A week after the doctor diagnosed me, I met with a dietician to discuss eating habits. She was friendly and smiley like a high school school council president. She had a nice office, with pictures of deer and a food pyramid graph.
“This is really a lifestyle change for you,” she said. “Don’t think of it as a diet, because you’ll never get started.”
She passed me some papers. I read the title on the first few.
Bland Diet. Low Residue Diet. Low Fiber Diet.
The dietician got out a notepad. “First, let’s set you some goals. What would you say are your most important goals for eating right?”
“Um. Eating stuff that won’t make me crap blood, I guess.”
She frowned. “Can you be more specific?”
“I eat a lot of chocolate,” I offered, feeling like a jerk after a few minutes of silence.
“Okay.” She wrote down Go easy chocolate.
“And coffee makes me run. Um. With my legs, not – um. Look, this is pretty new to me, so whatever suggestions you can give me would be really helpful.”
She scribbled away for a minute, and then handed me the paper. “Okay.”
- Bland Diet
- Low residue/low fiber diet
- Go easy chocolate
- No coffee
“Try the foods on those lists and see how they work for you. Your eating patterns will start to vary and that might give you some stress, so take it slow.”
As my eating patterns normally fluctuated between the ramen and Cheetoes groups, I could definitely foresee some major stress coming. I studied the sheets. The Bland Diet seemed to consist of white bread, rice, and applesauce, while the Low Residue had little to no roughage.
“Aren’t some of these foods unhealthy?”
“Maybe from a general perspective, but we’re concentrating on digestion here. Applesauce instead of apples, because it’s easier on your gut. And you don’t want to stick to these religiously – mix it up a little.” She made a pot-stirring motion with her hands. “Try different foods and see what works best for your body.”
We made plans to meet again in a month’s time.