The (Rather Short) Bland Adventure of the Ulcer

COOKING ADVENTURE #31: Haddock with Mashed Potatoes

So, you are probably wondering why I didn’t make Baklava like I said I was going to this week. I’m pretty sure that the title of this post sums things up quite well. Last Friday, while enjoying my blueberry pancakes, my ulcer decided to flare up and try to kill me. I spent the next couple hours in extreme pain in the emergency room waiting for them to give me a G.R. shake. This shake apparently consists of Tums, Pepto Bismo, Mylanta, and Zantac all in one. It stopped the pain for about three hours and then it was back to moaning and groaning and such. It’s been 6 days of eating very bland food so that I won’t upset the ulcer again, plus taking proton plus inhibitor pills to help heal it. I also discovered last week that apparently watermelon is extremely acidic as it caused me to collapse on the floor in pain after eating a slice. So from this experience, I’ve learned a lesson in what foods I can have and what I cannot. And to put it as plainly as I can, it sucks. Big time.

I’ve come to find out that the only way to not upset my stomach is to eat foods that are low in fat, sugar, and sodium content… which means that they pretty much taste like cardboard. My diet the last 6 days has consisted of saltines, graham crackers, scones, bananas, chicken, white rice, and the ever popular chamomile tea. I’m not exaggerating. That’s pretty much all I’ve eaten. After I detoxed from not having coffee for a couple days, I’ve started having very weak coffee in the morning with cream and sugar and that seems to be okay. I’ve also been able to eat canned fruit, which makes me extremely happy.

Gone from my diet however are some of my essential favorites: butter, smoked sausages (including the wonderful chorizo and linguisa), bacon (this is a Greek tragedy), raw fruits (including watermelon) and vegetables, garlic, CHOCOLATE, caffeine, and onion. These are only a few of the things, but I’m pretty sure I’ve made my point. This also eliminates high sugar desserts such as Baklava. And let’s be honest, I’m not going to go to all the trouble to make the thing if I can’t at least try it. And if I tried it, I’d probably go into convulsions. So… I’d rather wait a week to make sure my stomach is a little bit better.

I’ll admit, there really aren’t that many recipes one can make that sound edible in the bland diet arena. Last night… prime example. I had a filet of haddock… but I couldn’t do anything to it. Can’t eat mayonnaise, can’t garnish with bread crumbs, can’t squeeze lemon on it, can’t add spices to it… Which pretty much means I just had fish. Plain, ole, white fish. Hooray. As I baked it in the oven, my kitchen was overwhelmed by a strange scent similar to dish soap. That’s what this thing smelled like.

Now, for a garnish. What’ll it be? White rice, pasta, or mashed potato? Well, seeing as how I’ve gorged on so much white rice that I’m practically made of it, I chose to do mashed potato. But first, I had to wash the sauce pot… which was buried in the sink beneath all the other dishes I’ve neglected to do because I’ve felt too lazy and ill to do them.

After that mountain was moved, I filled the pot with water, selected a couple potatoes, cut them into inch long cubes and tossed them in. Those went on medium high heat for the next twenty minutes or so. Meanwhile, the fish had already cooked… over cooked. It sat on the tinfoil covered pan, curling at both ends, looking dry and crispy. By the time the potatoes were soft, the fish was about room temperature. Delightful. I drained the pot, and then smashed the potatoes into oblivion with a fork. Normally, I’d add butter and a splash of milk. But alas, I could have neither. So instead, I resorted to chicken broth… the other thing I’ve been consuming the last 6 days! Surprisingly, it’s not all that bad. It adds a bit of salt and flavor to the potatoes. It’s just not as wonderful as butter though.

I stared at my very white dinner on the plate and decided, for a bit of crunch, to add a crushed up Ritz cracker to it. I don’t know why on Earth I thought that was a good idea. It somehow just made the meal seem more pathetic.

The one thing I enjoyed most about this dinner was when it was over. I discovered that I apparently can eat frozen yogurt. Hell. Yes. I snapped up a pint of vanilla bean frozen yogurt as soon as I got out of work. I took a tiny taste just to make sure. No crazy tummy rumbling or shooting pain. I’m so happy about this that I could dance… well, if I actually knew how to dance.

Next week, I’ll attempt the Baklava… I promise!



8 thoughts on “The (Rather Short) Bland Adventure of the Ulcer

  1. So 4 years after you wrote this, I stumbled upon it while searching to find if, in fact, I could consume frozen yogurt with a raging bleeding ulcer. Lovely time in the ER last night – I’m sure you remember how fun that is, thankfully I had morphine though!
    Reading your blog post had me laughing out loud from the beginning and just really made my pretty rotten day so much better. I get to have a joy-filled endoscopy next week, but for now, I know I can at least enjoy the deliciousness that is FroYo. Yay!

    • Aw, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that right now! Mine has popped up to cause problems since that awful day four years ago, too. They really do suck. I’m glad that you got some entertainment out of that post though. I’d still go easy on the FroYo just as a precaution and stick to lots of bland stuff. Rice pudding isn’t actually that bad, hahaha. Hope you feel better soon and thanks for commenting. 🙂

  2. Thank you! I have a 16-year old who was just diagnosed with ulcers – not bacterial, JUST ulcers. All the sites I’ve searched for foods he can eat seem to say “avoid alcohol, smoking and NSAIDs. Oh yeah, and tomatoes.” This was the first site I found that mentioned actual reactions to breadcrumbs–goodbye my old meatloaf!–and some actual food items.
    So thank you!

    • You’re welcome. I will admit that at the end of this article I wrote something about being able to eat frozen yogurt. Don’t do it! It’s not a good idea.

      As far as breadcrumbs are concerned, I don’t think I had a reaction to them. They should be virtually safe for your 16 year old. I just didn’t have any to put on my fish, which was why I used cracker crumbs instead, haha.

      As long as you have him/her stay away from highly acidic foods, they should get better soon. Fresh fruit and veggies are usually a no. Canned fruit is okay, although I’d probably avoid oranges. Bananas and avocados are pretty safe exceptions.

      Other things? Rice pudding or tapioca pudding is an amazing treat! Try to stick to water as much as possible, too. The ulcer should heal with Proton-plus inhibitors (prescribed by a doctor), low stress, and lots of rest.

      Hope your kid feels better soon!

  3. just found this site. dealing with ulcer myself. how long did it take to heal? Cannot believe this happened since I don’t have hpylori, dont drink, dont smoke, dont take meds of any kind til now the awful antacids that i keep getting side effects from. Any words of wisdom for me?

    • I’m sorry I just got your comment! The ulcer was something that I needed to take proton plus inhibitors for (prescribed by a doctor) and had to stick to bland foods for a while. I think it was at least a few weeks before I started incorporating coffee and spiced food back into my diet. Just take it easy, remember to drink lots of water, and avoid as much stress as possible. Stress is known to make ulcers worse–I’m sure it had an effect on mine as well. Hope you are feeling better by now!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s