Book Review: Creative Cooking for Colitis

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This week’s book review is “Creative Cooking for Colitis,” written by Angela Breidenbach (yay for Angelas!). I’m pleased to know Angela as a fellow writer and member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group, and she offered a preview of the book, available on CD or as a PDF download.

First, a little bit about colitis. Our good buddies over at Wikipedia define colitis as “an inflammation  of the colon and is often used to describe an inflammation of the large intestine,” with symptoms that include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, cramping and bloating. Angela herself suffered from six months of constant illness caused by microscopic colitis. “Everything I ate hurt and caused embarrassing results,” and Angela developed depression on top of the painful problems.

Can you imagine the pain and frustration of dealing with such a condition? I’m glad to say Angela didn’t give up: she worked with doctors, did tons of research and has come up with a comprehensive guide for dealing with colitis, including recipes, tips, and guidelines “that really made a difference with colitis and allowed me to regain control of my life, dreams and goals,” Angela writes.

I suffer from celiac disease – an allergy to gluten products – and angela notes that there are celiac-appropriate recipes in the cookbook, as well as some suitable for weight loss.

Angela starts her book off with this wonderful prayer:

The Creative Cook’s Prayer

Dear Lord,
Today I wake because you have granted me another day to see the sun shine.
Help me to use this day to live more fully as you intended I should.
Bless my body with nourishment that I may have energy to reach the goals you set before me.
Bless my choices to reflect you to the world and benefit those you love.
May my thoughts, words, and actions be pleasing to you and a joy to others.
Thank you for the opportunity to nourish those I love with creativity.
Help me to do so with a smile on my face and a servant’s heart.
Sweeten the words, spice the laughter, and sprinkle encouragement to all who sit at my table.
In Jesus name, Amen

Part 1: 25 Tips on how to start living and eating confidently again

This section details 25 “tips” for dealing with colitis. The very first one is: avoid NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which you might best known as products like Advil – ibuprofen- and Aleve). This one I have first-hand experience with: after my foot injury in 2009, the doctors had me on 800-1200 mg per day of ibuprofen to reduce the swelling. It didn’t take too long for the NSAIDs to start working their bad mojo, tearing at my stomach lining and causing pain, heartburn and bloating. I took myself off them after about 6 months; yes, it slowed the healing of the foot down, but at least I can eat! (BTW, tart cherry juice is a natural anti-inflammatory!)

Other tips include starting your diet with a one-day fast, then introducing foods very slowly (rice is the first one, because it causes virtually no stomach issues), keeping a food journal, seeing an allergist, incorporating exercise into your lifestyle, probiotics and much more. Excellent tips, backed up with first-hand knowledge and research.

Part 2: The first steps

Angela’s first recipe is, get this, white rice. “If you’re going to eat rice, it should be good,” she says, noting a preference (that we share!) for jasmine rice. The accompanying photo makes it look pretty tasty, too.

The next few recipes are part of the food introduction process, and include baked chicken, Sal Pollo Bocadillos (a yummy Spanish chicken sandwich), a hydration shake made with ice cream that Angela says helps her heartburn and soothes her stomach, and a family favorite – Swedish Pancakes, which resemble crepes and my kids call “special pancakes” because I make it on their birthdays.

Other recipes include a homemade chicken noodle soup (with homemade noodles! If you’re gluten-free like me, you can use rice noodles), a delicious looking frittata (Spanish tortilla, made with eggs and potatoes), “Itsa Sooo Good Italian Penne” (GF option: I like spaghetti squash – looks just like spaghetti!), and even desserts like Caramel Apple Crunchy and Easter Sonrise.

The recipes look delicious, easy to prepare, and surprisingly gentle on a weary digestive tract.

Part 3: The resources

Angela finishes off the book with a comprehensive list of resources on colitis and IBD (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and a list of “Difficult Foods” that should be avoided by colitis sufferers.

Bottom Line:

If you or a family member suffers from digestive issues, this perfect outlines a practical, easy way to start on the road to recovery. And if you know someone who suffers, it makes a great gift.

You can purchase the book (and see more recipes) at Angela’s blog: http://colitiscooking.blogspot.com/

By the way – who is Angela? I love her bio: what an amazing woman!

Angela Breidenbach is Mrs. Montana International 2009 working with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries, the American Heart Association, the Jadyn Fred Foundation and drawing awareness to Fair Trade practices. She has microscopic colitis and desires to help others lead a full life in spite of debilitating colitis. As a Weight Watcher leader, Angela speaks on healthy weight loss practices. She also teaches online classes and coaches one-on-one in courageous confidence, personal growth and powerful living. She’s certified in mentor/peer counseling as a Stephen Minister and Assisting Minister. She serves as the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Publicity Officer (2009-2011) and is a multi-award winning inspirational speaker and author, writing freelance and inspirational non-fiction. Not only did she walk the hard line of
deciding to donate her mom’s brain, but she is also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. She is married, has a combined family of six grown children, one grandson.

Want to win a copy of “Creative Cooking for Colitis?” Angela is giving away a free copy of her book (people named Angela are amazingly generous!) – see below for instructions.

One entry – leave a comment in the box below (be sure to include your name and email address so we know how to reach you) with one tip on dealing with digestive issues.

Additional entries – leave another comment for each of these entries:

*Become a fan of Angelicious on FaceBook

*Tweet this entry on Twitter

Winner will be chosen randomly on May 31, 2010.

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