Having IC often means skipping a cheaper item for something more expensive because it doesn’t have trigger ingredients. I wanted tuna once and had to buy a can that was over two dollars because it was the only one without soy in it.
So how can a meal plan help this? It’s pretty simple actually. By creating a meal plan and sticking to it, (you can read how to here) you can use that to take advantage of sales.
My local grocery store has flyers and sometimes they do weekly deals. I used to look at them, see a great deal, only to discover it was three weeks later. The by the time the sale came up, I had forgotten about it and bought the item elsewhere at full price.
By making a meal plan and grocery list with it, I can make notes of sales and plan when to shop. I may go shopping that first week of the plan and get the bulk of it, but save a few items that are on a later date and go back to get the rest and snag that deal. Who knows, other things might have gone on sale by then.
I may be still buying that tuna at two dollars, but I’m getting other items on sale that I normally wouldn’t if I hadn’t started meal planning.
Do you use weekly flyers? Have the same problem with another food like I do with tuna? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just extract the problem ingredient when we got home and buy whatever we wanted?
Every year on my writing blog, I do a monthly challenge in April called The A to Z Blogging Challenge. The goal is to post every day, minus Sundays, and the post theme corresponds with the alphabet. Meaning April 1st is A, April 2nd is B, and so on. It's a fun challenge and always stretched my writing creativity. It's also a great way to find people interested in what you have to blog about.
This year, I decided to do it here. Not a lot of people know what Interstitial Cystitis is. It also has a nasty habit of taking YEARS to diagnosis. I figured why not use this challenge to spread awareness? The posts will be short because a lot of people take part in this challenge, so often longer posts will get skipped. Also, don't mistake any of this for medical advice. Join me on April 1st to learn all about this chronic illness and how I live with it.
If you look at me, you won't know I'm sick. In fact, you might think I look pretty darn good. My weight is right, and I'm not too tall or short. I'm relatively active. You may think I'm weird for dying my hair crazy colors, but that's neither here nor there. Overall, I appear the pinnacle of health.
Only I'm not.
I have three chronic conditions: Endometriosis, Iritis, and Interstitial Cystitis. All three can be very painful and all three you can't see on the outside. Well, my Iritis you can see if I ignore it long enough, but that carries the risk of losing my eye sight! I'd rather not, thank you very much.
(For those of you wonder, Iritis is an auto-immune disease. Basically, my immune system gets confused and thinks my left eye is a virus and attacks. I went through a lot of tests because it can be a sign of something else, but all those tests were negative. There's nothing I can do other than manage it and try to keep flares––what triggers them is a mystery––to a minimum.)
To control both my Endometriosis and Interstitial Cystitis, I take birth control and skip the placebo week. A lot of women report their IC being linked to their period and hormones. They can sometimes tell when that time of the month is approaching because their IC will flare. Or it will flare afterwards.
For me, it was after. I went through intense Endo pain for a week, then two weeks of IC flares. Taking the pill actually stops both from flaring. But if I eat the wrong thing, my IC will let me know, but the pain isn't nearly as severe. I can still function.
That often leads me to struggle with imposter syndrome. I'm not in pain, I'm not suffering, should I really be on the IC boards on Facebook? Should I really be this tired? Why can't I do the same things I did before the diagnosis? After all, I'm not in that bad of shape and seem to have things under control. Maybe I'm not really sick.
I worry that people will think I'm faking it. Or exaggerating. When I had a laparoscopy to diagnosis my Endometriosis, my doctor actually said to me, "Well, we know you're not faking it." That's stuck with me ever since 2011.
I know I'm not faking it. The pain is real and the damage has been done. It's just hidden on the inside where people can't easily see it, but if you really want, I have pictures.
Have you ever felt imposter syndrome with your illness? Did someone close to you refuse to believe? How did you deal with that?
In spring of 2016 I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. The way I ate changed overnight and I tossed the majority of the food in my cupboards. Spicy foods were out. Citrus food, gone. Vinegar and other acidic foods, too. My beloved Mountain Dew was now the enemy. It sucked. Eventually, I found a food that didn’t cause pain: Milk. From there I was able to build a list of food that were safe for me to eat. Mind you, the list of food that caused inflammation was much longer, but I had something to work with.
Fast forward a year and my husband came home with some scary news: he might be out of a job. We scrambled for a plan and where to cut costs. I suggested making a food budget and went to Pinterest to look up dining on a budget.
It was not IC friendly.
I couldn’t find a single website that talked about budget dining that didn’t have trigger foods. Spicy spices were abundant. Tomatoes were in everything.
Had no one really thought of this yet? There are plenty of information about IC, but no one trying to do it on a budget? Well, you know how blogging gurus tell you to find your niche? It looked like I found mine.
This blog will focus on my journey with IC, meal planning, and my attempts to keep costs low for two people. Having IC often means having to skip the lower priced items, but it doesn’t have to break the bank and it doesn’t have to be bland. There are substitutions and tricks to save cash.
Are you ready to join me? Do you have IC? When were you diagnosed?
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Artist and writer. IC doesn't define me. Always looking for fun hair colors to try. Lover of Doctor Who and vampires.
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