Midwestern Mom vs. Food
Myra loves to cook, but Crohn’s has turned food into her nemesis. The Tippi Team offers this mom and recent retiree a few tips and tricks she can use both in and outside of the kitchen.
In the 20 years that Myra Gorman has been living with Crohn’s disease, she’s never once been in remission.
Despite trying nearly 20 medications since her diagnosis, the 60-year-old from Chicago still experiences six to eight flares a year. “I’ve had a couple different surgeries,” says Myra. “I’ve been hospitalized a lot.”
That’s especially hard on Myra’s two adult children, whom she tries to guard from the worst of her disease. “But when I’m the hospital, my kids are there 24/7,” she says. “They see me in my weakest state.”
To try to control her Crohn’s disease, Myra has drastically changed her diet. She’s eliminated foods she knows irritate her stomach — and sometimes avoids eating altogether. “When my daughter got married, I didn’t eat all day, because I wanted to make sure that I was going to be perfect for her wedding,” says Myra.
It’s ironic that food is her nemesis, says Myra, because she volunteers at a food pantry and loves to cook and bake. “Having my family and friends here when I’m cooking is my favorite thing,” she says. “But I couldn’t care less if I’m eating it or not.”
Myra is hoping the Tippi Team can help her regain her love of food and find ways to fit healthy eating into her busy lifestyle, which also includes working at a pottery studio and traveling the world.
In fact, traveling is something she hopes to do more of now that’s she retired after 27 years working for a municipality. “Once I retired, I got the travel bug in me,” she says, “and I figured I’d better do it while I’m still healthy.”
Watch the episode to see if the Tippi Team can give Myra the food advice she needs to make friend of foe, along with tips that help keep Crohn’s from getting in the way of doing the things she loves.
Tips for Myra
Ask for a second opinion
Get a second opinion from a tertiary care center to see how you can get your Crohn’s into remission.
Buy liquid meal pouches
Try liquid meal pouches, which are very hydrating. These can help you avoid eating too much or having to go to the bathroom too much, especially when traveling.
—Tina Aswani Omprakash, Crohn’s advocate and blogger
Try something new
Visit international markets — like Indian, Middle Eastern, or Thai — and look for new fruits, vegetables, and spices to incorporate into your diet.
—Miro Uskokovic, Crohn’s advocate and chef
Create a dialogue with your children
Have an open and honest conversation with your children about your experiences with Crohn’s disease. This dialogue can create an opportunity for each party to set new boundaries about what feels comfortable for your care.
Prepare for travel
Create a pre-travel checklist that contains a comprehensive list of the medications, vaccinations, and anything else you might need on your trip.
—Tina Aswani Omprakash
Find healthier baking recipes
Read Better Baking by Genevieve Ko and Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich and try a recipe that doesn’t contain refined sugars or processed flours.