A woman smiling but also looking a little guilty is cozied up onto a couch with a blanket over her, lots of pillows, and a hot water bottle on her stomach. She is surrounded by smiling foods like guacamole, a glass of milk, a hunk of cheese, a red onion, and beans and peas.

Ignoring the Consequences for Favorite Foods

The older I get, the harder it is to turn down the foods I enjoy. Eating some of my favorites causes problems, but some foods are worth suffering the consequences. I decide if an offending food is worth the trouble by how good it tastes compared to how bad the resulting flare will be.

Mexican food is one of my biggest weaknesses. Unless I am traveling and forced to make smarter choices, I have decided it is always worth the inevitable pain it will cause. Guacamole and pico de gallo may keep me close to home for a while, but the taste is enough for me to throw caution to the wind.

To veggie, or not to veggie? Wrong question

Raw vegetables are a big no-no for me. Many are not worth the trouble, but some are hard to turn down. Tomato sandwiches are a favorite summer treat. I love tomatoes. I will eat tomatoes on sandwiches, in salads, and straight off the vine with a bit of salt sprinkled on top. As hard as I try to avoid them, I always give in and usually eat more than I should.

I love red onion on sandwiches and in salads. There is never a time when red onion does not bother me, so I know it will cause a flare-up. Still, I can only resist it for so long. Eventually, I give in and satisfy my craving. The delightful mixture of raw vegetables also known as a salad is another temptation I struggle with. Lettuce and spinach never agree with me, but when an assortment of raw veggies is added I get weak. Top it with a creamy dressing and a bit of cheese and I cannot decline this tasty troublemaker.

Beans and peas are other favorites I should avoid, but I find it hard to stay away from them for long. I live in the southern United States, and beans mixed with cornbread is considered a meal in the south. I love almost every kind of bean and pea, but these foods trigger the entire list of symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Regardless, it is hard for me to say no. Beans and peas taste good enough to suffer the consequences of indulging.

Debating on dairy is a moo-t point

Dairy is another issue. For many years, I was not bothered by turning down various dairy products. I did not care much for cheese and milk, so it was easy to avoid. That has changed in recent years. After I hit 40, I suddenly decided everything needed cheese. Quite recently, I entered a phase where visions of cookies and milk keep me up at night. I try to limit the amount of milk I use, but we all know that is hard to do when you need just the right cookie to milk ratio for maximum deliciousness. Milk and cheese cause a lot of pain, but they also provide a lot of pleasure. My gut might not be happy, but my taste buds are.

Fast foods are a necessity when you are on the go or pressed for time, so I decide which foods taste good enough to suck it up and deal with it. Burgers usually are not worth it. I am not a big fan. Pizza is an occasional meal, but I can do without pizza and not feel like I am missing anything. Sub sandwiches are usually my choice, but I end up topping a sub with many of the vegetables that irritate me. Who can resist a tuna on wheat topped with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and red onion? Not I, I tell you. Not I. If I leave off the toppings, it does not cause problems. I will if I am traveling, but it is too tempting to pile it all on if I am staying home. It is often worth the trouble it causes.

No pain, no flavor

There are plenty of foods I like that cause a lot of problems, but I decide if it is worth the pain by how good it tastes. This only changes when I travel. I think if I am likely going to hurt after a meal, it better be worth it. I know I cannot be the only person with irritable bowel syndrome that has a list of foods worthy of the suffering.

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