Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hydration

Well, this diet has really been working wonders for me. I am not on any medications for Crohn's right now and haven't been for months. My gastroenterologist is skeptical about the whole thing, but my last colonoscopy showed a marked improvement from last year when I was still on Humira and Lomotil.

I did start back with 1 regular cup of coffee a day and it had the effect of causing me to be dehydrated. I was drinking water every morning, and now I don't want it with the coffee.

Hydration is an important component of staying well with Crohn's Disease. I've been drinking my 64 ounces a day, but that still doesn't seem to be enough.  I am going to try the tips in this article, starting with a week of using Normalyte Rehydration Salts.

Here is the link to the article:

https://www.verywell.com/how-to-manage-dehydration-when-you-have-ibd-1942677


On a personal note, I have a new puppy. His name is Dylan.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Recommitment

So, no surprise that I got off track with the diet during the holidays. Especially since we went on a cruise to the Bahamas. That was a blast! I did manage to be as sensible as possible and I only got really sick one night. I had this really rich dessert and paid immensely.

Within two days of being home and back on the diet, I was totally back on track. I took a few days before I went back to work because I had to do all of that stuff I usually do during the holiday break. Getting the house cleaned up, doing the laundry, running errands, etc.

More later. Thanks, Heather



Saturday, December 10, 2016

Caffeine continued and new foods

Weaning off caffeine:

So, I have been weaning myself off coffee. I still haven't managed to give it up. I am stuck at 1 cup of half-caff a day, followed by 1 cup of Chai Tea. I do not have caffeine the rest of the day. My hope is to switch to Chai Tea completely without feeling like a zombie.  And then, switch to herbal with no caffeine at all. However, caffeine is a huge crutch for me, and I don't know if I will succeed. Part of me thinks that the smell of coffee itself is a necessary part of beginning my day. Afterall, that is how I have started my day since age 18.

New Foods:

For a while, I had become very complacent with my diet. Why rock the boat? I'm doing well on the foods I can have. My family has travel plans approaching, and my daughter told me she wants me to be able to eat more kinds of foods on our trip. I had shared with her that I really quit trying new foods, so for the past two weeks, I've been making an effort.

I have added potatoes as long as they do not contain dairy.
Saurkraut
Artichoke Bottoms, yes bottoms, not hearts, the leaves are not digestible for "normal" folks
Different varieties of Goat Cheese. Did you know they make all kinds?
Blueberries and Cherries
Baked Chips
Ritz Crackers
and Jack Fruit, which I think I already mentioned.

I have also cheated with no repercussions twice this month; I do not plan to make this a habit. What did I have? A brat one occasion, and a slice of pizza on the other.

Happy dieting!

More Later. Thanks, Heather


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Results of the Diet

November 11, 2016, I had my annual colonoscopy. Yep, I'm up to one a year until my ulcers clear up. After my first surgery (1995), I had three ulcers around the site of my surgery for 15 years. No medication could clear them up, and they tried every medication available. I have two ulcers around the site of my second surgery (2013) that they first saw last year. I also had some other issues, and I was on Humira. This year my other issues cleared up with the diet but my ulcers remain. My guess is the culprit is coffee.

How does one give up coffee? I have tried in the past and I feel like a zombie; a zombie with a headache. So I have been decreasing the amount of coffee I have every day. I have traded in my 16 oz Tigger mug for my 8 oz Star Wars mug. Now I only drink 8oz of coffee a day. When I run out of this bag of coffee, I am going to switch to half-caf. And I can't get English Breakfast tea or any other caffeine replacement because caffeine is the problem. Did you know caffeine destroys the lining of your colon and causes ulcers? I didn't. But now I do, and I am determined to show my doctors that Crohn's can be controlled through diet.

You may recall that the first rule of the diet I am following is no caffeine, and it is the only rule I have not followed. I admit it; I'm addicted. Who wants to be addicted? It will be a process to go off of coffee, and I plan to replace it with B vitamin enriched smoothies and Herbal Tea. How great would it be to have no ulcers and to prove the doctors wrong?  My doctor was already impressed with my results and has agreed to let me stay on the diet without medication for at least three more months. At my next checkup, he will re-evaluate, and I hope he allows me to do keep the disease under control through diet for an entire year.

My plan to go off sugar didn't completely work. I am off of desserts, but I am eating things that have sugar in it like cranberry sauce, and Airborne Immune Support Gummies. I also have been using brown sugar in my coffee. I won't miss the flavor of coffee. In the past, when I have tried to go off coffee, I have gone cold-turkey. I hope that weaning off of it will make me avoid debilitating headaches and complete lack of focus. Wish me luck.

More later. Thanks, Heather

P.S. On Nov.16. 2016, my son and his wife were blessed with a new baby boy, Carter. He's the best.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Say Cheese!

Great news! I have added goat cheese and feta to my safe list. My food selections are really shaping up. I have gone off of pre and probiotics for now. Sometimes these supplements just seem to make me worse. I have gone on glutamine, Zinc, and digestive enzymes, and I am doing very well. I also finally added a green vegetable, spinach, thoroughly cooked.

I went to my gastroenterologist a few days ago. I have been off of Humira since July 10,  I had a flare in August and got in under control with my new diet, which I found in an English newspaper: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1076594/How-tackle-Crohns-Disease-help-drugs.html

He was not discouraging, but he clearly did not believe that it is working. He told me that if my next colonoscopy shows improvement he may recommend the diet to other patients. I am going to mark that in the win column. I feel confident that I will be improved over last year.

My favorite things to eat for dinner are:
Ritz Crackers and Goat Cheese with Cranberry Sauce
Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potatoes
Curried Tuna with Rice and Black Olives
Grilled Salmon with spinach and feta
and Flour Tortillas with Daiya Cheddar and a little Texas Pete microwaved for one minute.

I keep lunch pretty light. I have been eating Lactaid Cottage Cheese and Applesauce or my version of chicken soup, which has no chicken, just broth. I cook carrots and rice and combine the carrots, rice, and chicken broth and spice it to taste. It's pretty good.

Breakfast has been homemade rice cereal, my version of a smoothie - Daiya yogurt, one cup milk, and selected fruit juices, pomegranate, grape, etc., a Daiya tortilla, eggs, or a combination therein.

Staying on the diet has been challenging during Halloween, and will get much worse during the holidays, but I keep the reward of good health in my mind and think of the people that would give anything to alter their diet and be well.

More later. Thanks, Heather


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tips from The Daniel Plan

In addition to diet, I also take some supplements. Boswellia is the supplement I swear by for helping inflammation of the gut. For the next few weeks I am going to try some of the tips from the Daniel Plan:
http://danielplan.com/healthyhabits/digestivesystem/

Here are the 7 steps from The Daniel Plan:

7 STEPS TO OPTIMAL DIGESTIVE HEALTH

  1. Eat whole unprocessed foods. Make sure to include plenty of fiber from foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  1. Eliminate food allergies. If you think you have food sensitivities, try an elimination diet. Cut out gluten, dairy, yeast, corn, soy, and eggs for a week or two and see how your gut feels and what happens to your other symptoms.
  1. Treat any infections or overgrowth of bugs – Parasites, small bowel bacteria, and yeasts can all inhibit proper gut function. You must treat these infections if you want to heal.
  1. Replenish your digestive enzymes. When you don't have enough digestive enzymes in your gut, you can't properly convert the foods you eat into the raw materials necessary to run your body and brain. Take broad-spectrum digestive enzymes with your food to solve the problem.
  1. Rebuild your rain forest of friendly bacteria. Take probiotic supplements. They will help you rebuild the healthy bacteria so essential to good gut health.
  1. Get good fat. Take extra omega-3 supplements, which help cool inflammation in the gut.
  1. Heal your gut lining. Use gut-healing nutrients such as glutamine and zinc to repair the lining in your gut so it can resume its normal function.         
________________________________________________________________________

I have been taking Advil every day for a long time. According to the above steps, I need to stop. So that is one thing I am going to try. Making an appointment with the Chiropractor will be a must because the only way I can function without Advil is to get regular adjustments. I'm on track with steps one and two. What bothers me about step three is it does not tell you how one would be aware of such infections or overgrowths. I do always have thrush on my tongue so maybe a yeast cleanse is in order. I am going to use CandiGone and stop eating sugar for two weeks. Next, I am going to add digestive supplements, zinc, and Omega 3, and Glutamine to my daily vitamins. I already take probiotics and prebiotics.


So here's my plan:

Make an appointment with the Chiropractor and go off Advil

Stop eating sugar

Take CandiGone for whatever a full cycle is

Get Zinc, Omega 3, Glutamine, and Digestive Enzymes to add to my daily vitamins


I take Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, D3, Boswellia, and a multivitamin

I am doing pretty well on my diet. I have no cramps or bloating. My only disappointment is the few foods I can eat. Thank goodness for the Daiya products and the Lactaid products. I could be more imaginative in how I cook, but I work full time and I'm in graduate school, who has time?
More later. Thanks, Heather

Monday, October 24, 2016

Your Cheatin' Heart

Yesterday morning my daughter arrived in Charlotte back from a trip to Colorado. She and her boyfriend did not stick around for breakfast, as they were in a hurry to get back to Asheville. My husband and I decided to go to breakfast anyway. I had scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, grits, and rye buttered toast. I was sick all day.

It is so easy to convince yourself that one time will be okay. I should have just had scrambled eggs and white toast with jelly. It's just not worth it.

So today, and probably for the next few days, I will be back on a very tame diet.

Breakfast was Rice Cereal. Lunch will be Daiya Cheddar Tortillas, and dinner will be a smoothie.

You cheat, you pay.

More Later. Thanks, Heather