Crohn’s falls into the category of auto-immune diseases, which means that the body is attacking itself for some unknown reason. Just as arthritis attacks the joints, Crohn’s attacks the whole digestive tract causing depilating inflammation. They don’t know why this is but most treatments require suppressing the entire immune system to control the area of inflammation in the gut. When the whole immune system is suppressed, our natural healing abilities are also suppressed. Nothing in the body is being given a chance to heal. For most of my life I was suppressing and it wasn’t until I started SUPPORTING my immune system, I got well.
I share this information with you all because I want others who suffer from Crohn’s/IBD (or any disease) to know that there are options. Dr’s told me all my life that I will always have to take toxic med’s in order to keep remission. I never once achieved remission while on the long list of drugs I tried. I hear this not only from close people I know but being part of the health community online, I read about it daily on blogs, forums and different pages. How patients are turning away from the advise of their Dr’s and heading on their own path to wellness. How people like me, don’t believe in suppressing the entire body. I research nearly everyday on this topic and it makes sense to me more and more on how medication isn’t the answer. It is nearly a band-aid on a wound that will never heal. The body has the ability to create disease, it therefore has the ability to heal itself. Disease, illness and cancer are the body’s cry out for attention. It needs you to stop what you are doing and provide it with an abundance of love and respect. If you can detox, feed your body only healthy things and feed your mind with positivity and love, there is a huge chance that your body will love you back. I know it did for me and I hope it does for all who I inspire.
I get asked a lot how I started on this journey. “How do you eat all that roughage with a delicate gut??”
To many struggling with a digestive disease, eating simple things like lettuce or uncooked vegetables or even an apple can present a lot of issues. My first rule of advise is to start slow. Before starting raw or adding more “rouphage” into your diet, you must have somewhat healed intestines. If you are flaring, have inflamation or are not at a healthy standpoint with your Crohn’s, you can’t just throw roughage at your insides. Picture a raw burning rash on your arm. Would you go rub sandpaper on it? I’m sure you would much rather rub soft, warm or cooling, healing things on it, right? Treat your insides as anything else you would treat on the outside. You need to control the rash inside & soothing it before any fiber and roughage is introduced.
I can’t write up a specific plan for all of you but I can form a guide and some good tips on how to get started. Remember- we are all different! Our bodies can handle different limits and it is most important to learn to listen to your body’s capabilities.
Healing and preparing the intestines:
~Eat light, but often (no big meals), consuming soft & healing foods. Remember you want to sooth the intestines, not overfill or rough them up.
~Aloe water is a great intestinal healer. My favorite brand is George’s. It can be drank straight or added to smoothies.
~Turmeric, garlic and boswelia are great healers because they help to lower inflammation. When inflammation decreases, the intestines are given a better chance to thrive and heal.
~Starting a good probiotic if you already haven’t. This will help flush out the bad bacteria that may be thriving in your unhealthy gut environment.
~Drinking broth throughout the day. I like making my own organic chicken stock. If you are not into the idea of bone broths, then go for an all-veggie broth with kombu for added minerals and iron. Broths can bring you lots of beneficial nutrients, while keeping you hydrated and also being easy on the digestive tract.
~Glutamine pills to help re-build and strengthen the walls of the intestines. These can back you up so take one pill to start and see how you do from there.
~Replacing one meal with a fresh green juice or green smoothie helps give the intestines a rest. The more they rest, the more they can heal. (But remember, this doesn’t mean starving them. You still must provide lots of nutrients! )
~Chia seed pudding is a great thing to add to your healing repertoire. It is filled with good fats and the gel-like coating that is formed once the seeds are added to liquid lubricate the intestines and act as a sweeper to pull out any toxins and to keep the waste moving through while also hydrating the colon. Since these seeds are not broken down (they come out whole) go slow at first – a tablespoon a day and increase from there if you are able to digest.
Cultured and fermented foods, which are rich with naturally occurring probiotics, enzymes, B vitamins, can be one of the better methods for improving intestinal function and reducing inflammation. Traditionally fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimche, kvass, sourdough, kefir, yogurt, natto, miso, cultured fruits and vegetables. Fermented foods also have the ability to chelate toxic, heavy metals from the GI tract, such as mercury and lead. I love raw sauerkraut and pickles – my fridge is filled with jars of different brands! Just a tablespoon of raw kraut or one raw fermented pickle with each meal is beneficial for your gut and will help to heal your gut lining and whole gut environment through balance of the flora.
Chew, Chew and Chew some more!
You want your food to be a paste before you swallow. No bits and pieces going down the pipe! This is how things get clogged! Remember that digestion starts in the mouth. Begin the process diligently and help your body out by starting the few steps it takes to break food down.
Good rule of thumb: Chew your liquids and drink your food!
Find a fruit and vegetable that your body can handle and incorporate that into your daily meals. Pick a food that does not require a lot of digestion…think soft and delicate things such as banana’s, avocados, baked sweet potatoes, apple sauce, watermelon, pineapple, bib lettuce, peeled cucumbers to name a few. Start there and gradually add more when you can.
Help break down foods before they even enter the body
Puree’ steamed veggies, mash up fruits, make soups, pulse up pesto’s made from greens and blend up green smoothies and raw green soups. The idea here is the break down the foods so that your body will be doing less work and hopefully extracting more nutrients in the process. Get creative here and think soft and healing foods!
When introducing fiber, you do not want to jump the gun. Add things slowly by eating small servings. If you try to eat a huge amount of something you’re body isn’t used to, your intestines will be building up bloat, firing out gas, and having a hard time knowing what to do with all the roughage coming its way. Remember, this isn’t about adding as many healthy things in as you can. Adding in healthy foods at a faster rate, doesn’t necessarily mean its going to heal you any faster. Remember that you are re-teaching your body how to heal and function properly. Don’t throw too much at it. Make it a goal to add one raw or vegan meal a day. If you accomplish that, live with it for a while and add more when you are comfortable. Baby servings and baby steps to health.
Juices and Smoothies
These are a great way to give your intestines a rest. I absolutely love doing jucies and smoothies till dinner. You not only get all of your nutrients this way, but you also give your insides a chance to heal and spend some time relaxing instead of over-working or taxing themselves to heal AND digest at the same time.
Don’t feel like you need to be 100% raw
If you incorporate just one green smoothie a day, you are doing great things for your body!! I myself, even though my intestines are in a good state, can’t do ALL raw. Unless I am pureeing everything, they just can’t handle roughage with each meal. One to two meals per day with vegetables in their raw state is enough for me. The rest are either cooked or flash steamed. Don’t over strive for being a radical & strict vegan or raw foodist. Be flexible and work with your own needs!
Surround yourself with only a solid support team.
Learn to listen to your body.
Breath air deep into your belly.
Stretch it all out with yoga.
Lose all tension in your mid-section.
Don’t worry. It gets you no where.
Find inspiration around you.
De-clutter your home.
Surrender to your spiritual side.
Surround yourself in beauty and find the beauty in every little thing.
Avoid negative people.
Pull strength from deep within.
Create flow in your life. Unblock any stagnation.
Grow your own food.
Support your lymphatic system (invest in a rebounder).