I was recently diagnosed with acute Gastritis which basically means my stomach hates me and wants to cause me pain, or in other words, the stomach lining becomes inflamed and irritated when I eat. Which honestly sucks because if it gets worse, it can cause stomach ulcers which are way more painful and complicated. However, I have a mild version of it so as long as I am careful, it will get better with time and care. 

After getting the diagnosis I honestly had no clue what was in store so I took to Google and was told that my stomach was going to explode, or some other nonsense like that. Then I was terrified so I did what any scared college student would do: I called my mom. She was really supportive and convinced me that I was not going to die after all. She then helped me figure out what I could do to get better over time. She along with my sister and boyfriend helped me put together a list of foods I could and could not eat for the next few weeks. 

Here's What I Can't Eat

I figured out I need to baby my stomach and avoid half the things I eat on a regular basis, including: citrus fruits, tomatoes, milk and dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, dark leafy vegetables, excess sugar, and overly fatty foods. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and caffeine are all high in acidity so they may cause irritation and they definitely irritated my stomach. The rest of the foods listed are just generally upsetting to the stomach, they might not bother everyone but I personally had issues with them, which is why they are on the list. Since my stomach hates me this list means I have to stay away from some of the foods I love. I have had to say no to friends who have asked me to go out to places like Skyline and Insomnia Cookie. 

I am majorly struggling with the whole "no sugar" thing. I didn't realize how much taking sugar out of my life would make me want anything and everything sweet. I might be going through sugar withdrawal. I did cave in and buy some "healthy cookies" that only had 6g of sugar. What can I say? I am weak.

Sugar doesn't bother everyone with Gastritis but it did bother me. Most doctors, including mine, suggest monitoring your sugar intake and try to consume less than you normally would. Some sugar is okay but a lot can irritate your stomach. So I stayed away from it as much as I could but I love sweet things. Staying away from the foods I love was definitely a struggle but if it will make my stomach feel better it's worth it 100%.

And Here's What I Can Eat

Although I have to stay away from my beloved Chipotle burrito bowl and Keystone mac n' cheese, I can still have sushi and many other foods. Staying away from all the things on this list has been a struggle but besides sugar, one of the most difficult for me has been to stay away from dairy. Luckily, I am still able to have Greek yogurt which has saved me from trying to eat an entire block of cheese. Greek yogurt helps regulate the bacteria in your stomach which helps reduce acid in the stomach, so it is good to eat when you have any type of stomach issue. 

Along with eating a lot more Greek yogurt, have found myself eating a lot healthier since I am actually thinking about what I am eating. I have been eating more fruits and veggies rather than candy and chips. Which is really good since fruits and veggies are not only good for you, but most people who have gastritis have no issues with them. So, I ate all the fruits and veggies I could. Finding foods that taste good and I can eat has been a bit of a struggle but I have found that planning what I eat has helped me figure it out.

What I Do Eat

banana, strawberry
Dana Fowler

Along with the long list of foods the doctor told me not to eat, she also told me eating many small meals throughout the day would make digesting the food easier on my stomach. If it would help reduce the acid in my stomach I was on board. I started taking the night before to plan out and prepare my snacks for the day. I would use little Tupperware containers and snack size Ziploc bags to make sure I was keeping my snacks small. Snack planning isn't as difficult as I thought it would be, it just ads some extra time to your nightly routine. 

Luckily, I didn't have to add any more time for meal prep since I plan out my meals for the week every Monday. I just started making smaller meals and more snacks to eat throughout the day. I have honestly enjoyed preparing my food and will continue to do so after this Gastritis has cleared up. 

As much as I have enjoyed the meal prep part of this, I still hate that I can't eat the foods that I love. My stomach hates me for now, but for me it is only a temporary thing. I can't imagine what it would be like to deal with this all the time and I feel terrible for anyone who does. I truly miss chocolate and I can't wait until I can have mac and cheese again, but at least I have strawberries!