A bowl of salad features raw veggies that at first look serene and non-threatening, but then they blink and their eyes look evil. The background also changes from a bright day to a scorched, orange color with flames coming up around the bowl.

Would It Kill You to Eat a Salad? No, But It Hurts

I would love to eat healthier. Well, I would like to be able to eat a few healthier foods. The problem is most things that are considered healthy choices do not agree with me. At all. Some of the worst IBS flares I have ever had were the result of trying to have a healthier diet.

Wrestling with raw veggies

A summer salad with vegetables fresh from the garden is a delicious treat. There is nothing better than a cool meal on a hot day. I love raw vegetables, but I cannot tolerate them. Eating even a small salad is a surefire way to bring on a flare. I could eat a salad almost every day throughout the scorching summer months here in the deep southern United States. A cool treat is much better than a hot meal when the temperature rises. Unfortunately, indulging in a craving for a delicious salad is followed by regret. Make no mistake about it. I do occasionally enjoy a salad, but I cannot do it often or I would never be able to leave home.

Recommended healthy snacks often consist of carrot sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and other raw vegetables. I like carrot sticks. I enjoy radishes, cucumbers, and many other fresh veggies. When I was a child, my grandparents always had a huge garden in the summer. As soon as vegetables became ripe, I would make my way into the rows to harvest delicious treats to eat during the day. It was one of my favorite things to do, and some of my fondest childhood memories involve gardening. As much as I would love to enjoy these things on a regular basis, the consequences of doing so would far outweigh the enjoyment of healthy snacks and meals.

Southern-fried anxiety

We are known for deep frying everything imaginable. Some people in the south even deep fry butter. Butter, for crying out loud. Fried butter does not sound the least bit tempting to me, but I do have issues avoiding fried foods. Growing up, everything from the garden could be fried. Green tomatoes were fried. Squash, okra, and cucumbers were fried. The eggplant was fried. Of course, fried vegetables aren’t completely healthy, but there are far worse things a person could eat.

As much as I love all those things, I find myself avoiding them. I cannot eat raw vegetables. I cannot eat fried vegetables. It is hard to prepare vegetables in a way that does not result in a flare, and that is why it is hard to eat healthily. What is a person to do when the very foods touted as being good for you throw your body into hysterical fits?

Searching for a middle ground

I am not willing to avoid raw and fried vegetables completely. The thought of a garden salad or fried green tomatoes makes my mouth water. I do limit how much I eat because the pain and suffering are too great. I also must leave the house from time to time, so it becomes necessary to avoid trigger foods. That means vegetables. My attempts to maintain some semblance of a healthy diet, or at least a more balanced diet, will not kill me. It sure is painful, though.

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