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Archive Monthly Archives: June 2021

Make Gut Healing Habits That Stick: 6 Proven Ways to Overcome Procrastination and Flaking Out

If 40% of deaths in the U.S. are due to behaviors that we have the power to change, what changes can you make today that will help you live longer? And is it possible that behavior changes like these can also have a positive impact on our IBD?

From eating with your gut in mind, to making lifestyle changes that impact how you feel physically, to using the power of our mindset to calm our Crohn’s or colitis, behavior changes and forming healthy habits like these are the key to living longer, healthier, and happier.

There’s a huge gap between knowing we need to make these changes and actually making those changes stick. We are all creatures of habit and behavior change is hard.

Today, I’m going to share with you 6 proven ways to overcome the procrastination and flaking out that often prevent us from making lasting behavior changes we know will have a big influence on our gut healing.

These researched backed techniques may just be the key to busting down the barriers between IBD hell and IBD healing.  

We’re talking about:

  • Why consistent, inflexible habits may actually keep you from reaching your gut health goals
  • The most fun way to achieve your goals may actually work better than the most effective way
  • The positive influence of watchful eyes (but not in a creepy way) on building gut healing habits

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll be saying goodbye to healthy habit procrastination and hello to new, gut healing habits that stick.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [06:34] A new book that will change the way you tackle your IBD healing journey
  • [15:45] Why consistent, inflexible habits may actually keep you from reaching your gut health goals
  • [18:51] The most fun way to achieve your goals may actually work better than the most effective way
  • [22:49] How to pair a fun habit with a productive one to avoid flaking out on that new positive change in your life
  • [24:05] The power of linking your new habits with a day that’s meaningful for you
  • [25:22] The positive influence of watchful eyes (but not in a creepy way) on building gut healing habits
  • [29:18] When the gap between you and your role model is too big, it can lead to you failing at achieving your goals
  • [35:10] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

DM Me on Facebook

Unhealthy Behaviors Cause Approximately One-Half of U.S. Deaths

Dr. Milkman’s Book

An Interview with Dr. Milkman

Another Interview with Dr. Milkman

Choiceology Podcast

StickK

Beeminder

Shine

Calm

Episode Transcript:

Researchers have found that over 40% of deaths are actually due to behaviors that we have the power change.

40%.

What you choose to eat, the lifestyle habits you create, your state of mind… these are all behaviors and part of that 40%. And we don’t even have to be as dramatic as life or death here. Think about the impact these types of behaviors have on your Crohn’s or colitis. When we form healthy habits and behaviors around these 3 key areas: eating, lifestyle, and mindset, we create the power to live, not just symptom free, but in healthier and longer lasting ways.

So, how do you do it? How do you make those three unbelievably hard, but necessary behavior changes to help you live your best life? That’s what I’m going to share with you today.

[Music]

INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis, connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.

[music]

[01:50] Hey dear one, welcome to the episode. I’m so honored that you’re sharing this time with me today. No matter what you’re up to—making breakfast, doing the dishes, working out, driving the mompool—we’re in this podcast bubble together and it’s my absolute favorite way to connect with you.

We’ve just been through one of the darkest times in history. A time when moving around your community was seldom. A time when we wanted nothing more than to settle in, all cozy at home in the clothes we probably wore yesterday, binge watching Tiger King, Bridgerton, or The Queens Gambit. We didn’t make lots of changes during Covid. We were just treading water, trying to keep things moving so we didn’t sink.

But now, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Now, we are starting to come out of the abyss and see the glimmers that even though life may forever be different, it may be time once again for change. The kind of change that gets us out of our comfort zone. The kind of change that even though difficult, comes with great reward.

When it comes to Crohn’s and colitis, the biggest change we can make in our lives is any change that leads to us feeling better. Any change that results in better gut health so we can get on with our lives and enjoy life on our terms. And thankfully there’s a wide range of ways we can improve our gut health.

And right now, at this moment it time, it feels like, in the U.S. at least, we are like butterflies, emerging from our cocoon after a long time sheltering in place. Now is a great time to make some of those changes that you might not have been emotionally strong enough to make a few months ago. Now is the time to adopt a new eating plan, get out in nature more, engage in a mindful practice like mediation or deep breathing, find ways to make your stress or anxiety more manageable.

How have things like that been going for you?

Are you diving in with both feet and making change happen? Or are you still holding back, still struggling to find the motivation, time, interest in making the changes you know will move the needle towards IBD remission.

If you’re still struggling to make change happen, this is the episode for you. I’ve just done a deep dive into the latest research on why behavior changes are so hard to make and what it actually takes to motivate us to make change. And oh my, you are going to be so surprised by the findings. This is groundbreaking and it’s not what you think it’s going to be at all.

Buckle up your procrastination belt mama, because I’ve got the antidote.

Change seems like a simple word on the surface, but if you’ve ever tried to make change in your life, whether you’ve succeeded or failed, you know just how daunting the whole process can be. We’re creatures of habit after all. I actually love that about humans. I love that we are so ritual and habit oriented. But what if you have habits and rituals that aren’t serving you? What if there are things about your food choices, your lifestyle habits, the state of your mind that could use a shift, a shift that will improve your gut health and lead you down the path to remission. I know you want that, right.

So, what exactly does it take to change behavior and why is it so hard to the make new behaviors stick? And how does all of this relate to the behavior changes we can make to help our IBD?

All good questions and it’s questions like these—behavior change questions– that were the catalyst for a new book by Dr. Katy Milkman: How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. Dr. Milkman’s book is full of fascinating research studies on how behavior change actually happens, not how we’ve been taught it happens and as soon as I read it, I knew I had to share some of her insights with you.

One of the things I know my clients and the mamas in our free and fabulous Gut Love Community struggle with is making change, even when it comes to positive changes that positively impact our IBD. So the whole time I’m reading, even though this book isn’t about IBD specifically, I’m thinking how can this help IBDer’s?

I think I figured it out and I want to tell you about some of the things I learned from the research Dr. Milkman talks about because I really think it’s going to help you find ways to make gut healing behavior change stick for you.

LET ME INTRODUCE OUR BEHAVIOR EXPERT.

But before we dive in, let me just tell you quickly who Dr. Milkman is so you can see where she’s coming from with the work she does. Dr. Milkman is a professor at the Wharton school, she is the co-director of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative at U of Penn, and she has a podcast called Choiceology. I’ve listened to several episodes and it’s really good. You might be thinking, oh stuffy academic type, but Dr. Milkman is really relatable and puts more heady concepts in terms we all can understand.

I’ll leave links to all her stuff in the show notes in case you want to check out all the work she’s doing habits and behavior change.

I HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE…

Now, right from the get go, I’ve got to be honest with you and tell you that looking into behavior change and the best ways to change our behavior, is a really personal pet project of mine. As chief procrastination queen, I’ve had roadblocks with behavior change my whole life. Take my whole journey in starting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. You may have heard this story before because I know I’ve shared it a time or two, but after I read the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book—the SCD how to guide—it sat in a box in storage for 5 years—actually it started in a box in South Carolina, then it stayed in that same box when we moved to Mississippi, and still stayed in a box in England, and then finally made its way to Maryland (where my hubby got out of the military) where I opened the box again in desperation after a doctor told me there’s nothing else I can do for you.

Now that’s procrastination, right?

I could also tell you about my late night procrastinations before every assignment, paper, and test in college, need I say more?

So, if you feel what I’m saying, if you’re a procrastinator too, just know that we’re in this together. I know procrastination well. She and I are on a first name basis. Just because I’m telling you about the wonderful work of Dr. Milkman doesn’t mean I have this anymore figured out than you. Behavior change is hard for me to, but I can say that reading about some of the interesting ideas in this book, it definitely gives me hope. And I hope it gives you some hope too.

6 PROVEN WAYS TO MAKE BEHAVIOR CHANGE WORK FOR YOU.

There’s six things that stuck with me most when it comes to how we can find the best ways to make the kind of behavior changes that will positively impact our Crohn’s or colitis. #1 We are told that this best way to change our behavior is through consistency (doing something in same time, same place). It’s not. #2 How something called “present bias” works to undermine behavior change and keep our procrastination alive and well.  #3 How what Dr. Milkman calls temptation bundling can lead us to behavior change that lasts. #4 The fresh start that can start any time of year (not just New Year’s), #5 The power of being watched (mmm, intrigue). And #6 The harm we do to our behavior goals when we look up to the wrong kind of role model.

Each of these little nuggets of wisdom deserves some time to explain how they can work to help you heal your IBD—because that’s what it’s all about. It’s about fitting Dr. Milkman’s work into our IBD mold. So, let’s do that. Let’s sus each of these out from an IBD lens, so you can see how these concepts can lead to good things for your gut health—and of course they work for other changes you want to make as well.

IS CONSISTENCY REALLY THE KEY?

[12:35] #1: The idea that behavior change is linked to something we do consistently—same time, same place, same environment. We’re told that if we are serious about starting a new behavior and making it stick, we need to create an inflexible plan and never deviate from the plan. After a period of time of adhering to this, we’ll have a new habit, right?

So, whether we want to start yoga or develop a daily meditation routine, or a habit of getting out in the sun to get a dose of vitamin D (huge for our immune function and overall health), we have to be rigid about it.

Well, according to Dr. Milkman’s research, and I love this really revolutionary find, the “inflexible, do it at the same time” approach, isn’t necessary for behavior change that sticks.

In a research study conducted with 25,000 google employees, they looked at the habit of developing an exercise habit. That’s an easy one to measure. But for you, think of it in terms of any physical activity that has the power to help you’re Crohn’s or colitis. I have clients who are cross fit goddess’s and clients who feel like they’ve accomplished their fitness goals for the day when they take the dog for a walk, so when you think about this study, think about whatever your movement goal looks like.

So, they put these Google employees into 2 different groups. Group 1 was told to go to the gym at the same time and same place. They were told to follow a set schedule. Group 2 was told to pick the time that worked for them. They were encouraged to set the same number of times they exercised per week, but how they got it done could vary.

Guess which group stuck with their new habit? It was group 2. The flexible group. The researchers found that building in elastic habit, one that has room for changing it, it’s a much more durable way to build a new habit.

So, how might this play out for you? Well let’s take the habit of developing a yoga practice. Maybe it’s your goal to practice yoga four times a week and you want to practice first thing in the morning for 30 minutes. What if one morning you wake up late because you weren’t feeling well the night before and now, you’re rushed to get the kids out the door. Yoga is not happening today. If you were in group one, that’d be it. You’re definitely not going to get to your yoga goal that day and it may be all you need to stop creating this new habit. It’s a completely inflexible approach. But if you are in group 2, you might start thinking about another time of the day when you could get your yoga practice in. You might have time for a 15-minute yoga session, you might do it later in the day, or you might skip it today all together and do your yoga practice tomorrow.

See how that flexibility can fit in your favor? When you develop a new habit, whatever it is, let yourself be a little bit flexible. Feeling like you have to do that new habit in the same way and at the same time every day can actually make you likely to quit soon after you start.

THE PRESENT THAT ACTUALLY CAN HARM YOU.

The second thing I mentioned was “present bias” and how it works to undermine behavior change and keep our procrastination alive and well. According to Dr. Milkman, “present bias” happens when we focus on our here and now rewards. Social media scrolling, binge watching TV… the things we do when we know we should be doing something else more productive.

When it comes to this type of procrastination, there’s a couple cool tools that are now out there to help us. One of them is an app called StickK. Basically, StickK is an app where you impose a fine on yourself if you don’t achieve your future goals. So, you tell the app your goal, you agree to a binding commitment contract, you choose a charity of your choice where the money will go if you don’t stick with it, and you also choose a referee (someone who you trust to be impartial) who can report you if you don’t achieve your goal. Some people recommend choosing a charity that you would definitely not want to support. Just a little bit more incentive for you to stick with your goal. There’s another app called Beeminder that works much in the same way. I’ll link to StickK and Beeminder in the show notes in case you want to check them out.

Besides SticKkK for procrastination and difficultly sticking with new habits, I really like the other method mentioned in the book called The Carrot.  I like this method because it involves fun and whenever I’m forming a new habit, I’m definitely more apt to stick with it if it’s fun. So most of the time when we think about achieving a new goal or starting a new habit, we think about the way that’s most effective in reaching a goal. But with The Carrot, we think about what would be the way that’s most fun for us to achieve our goal.

When people choose the fun way to achieve a goal, they are more likely to stick with their goal. Dr. Milkman equates this to Mary Poppins and her spoon full of sugar. The sugar (that is, the fun) helps the medicine (or the habit) go down. Of course, this way of doing things may not work for the perfectionist to wants to do everything in the most effective and best way, but do you want to achieve your goal, or do you want to give up because you’re so perfectionistic about the way it has to be done?

Have you been thinking about trying a gut healing diet like the specific carbohydrate diet or maybe Paleo? What if you did it with a friend? Wouldn’t it be more fun that way? The two of you can go through the ups and downs together, you can support each other along the way.

Or maybe you’re trying to go gluten-free, but the idea of figuring out the recipes and meal prep is making you feel overwhelmed. How can you make this more fun? Is there a gluten-free blog with the recipes galore? Is there a friend who might want to meal prep with you to share the load? They don’t have to have IBD, they just have to want to eat gluten free. Both of these ideas will make going gluten-free more fun. It might not be perfect, but these changes are not about perfection, they’re about making these new habits durable and sticky.

SPARKS FLY WHEN WE PAIR OUR HABITS WITH OUR TEMPTATIONS.

[21:15] Let’s talk about the #3 gem of a find from this research: it’s called temptation bundling. This habit building technique also has the fun built in. With temptation bundling, you only let yourself do your new habit, while you’re doing something productive. So, with an exercise example, you would pair the elliptical with a binge worthy show. One of my clients, Aimee uses temptation bundling with making her SCD legal food on Sunday. If you know anything about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, you know that it can involve a fair amount of making food at home. This is Aimee’s least favorite part of the SCD, so she does all her meal prep for the week on Sunday afternoon, while she catches up on her favorite podcasts. In two hours, she’s listened to 2-3 episodes (she flatters me by saying I’m in Sunday bundle), and batta bing, she’s ready for a week’s worth of eating for her gut.

What fun activity can you pair with a gut healing habit? Going for walks with a neighbor? Nighttime stretches with a good audiobook?

Don’t you just love the idea of temptation bundling? I think it’s my favorite habit building technique that I’m ready to try.

A FRESH START CAN HAPPEN ANY DAY OF THE YEAR.

Technique #4 has to do with fresh starts. And fresh starts don’t always have to be on New Year’s Day. A fresh start can be any day of the year. Mondays are the perfect fresh start day, as is the 1st day of the month, or any day that has some sort of significance for you. It’s about linking your new habit to a day that has meaning to you. When you do that, you’re more inclined to act.

I definitely know something about a fresh start. Remember those 5 years I mentioned in between finding out about the SCD and starting it? Well, after those 5 years went by and I was ready to start the diet, the month was May, but I knew that if I linked this diet to a fresh start, I’d be much more apt to stick with it. So, after careful planning and thinking about the perfect day for me, I chose July 4th—America’s Independence Day because it was my personal independence day too. It was the day I said, “no more” to doing everything my doctor told me to do. “No more” to being the good little solider, and never getting better. I think one of the reasons SCD was so successful for me was because of that very reason—I linked it to a fresh start day. Now, every year on July 4th, I have my own celebration of independence with all my favorite SCD legal foods.

I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME (BUT NOT IN A CREEPY WAY).

[25:30] Powerful habit builder #5 is the power of being watched, in a non-creepy way. We’re talking accountability my friend.  There’s this really cool study that Dr. Milkman talks about where a company is trying to get a community to sign up for an environmentally friendly energy saver—turning off power during peak times. Not typically a great sell, right? Well, the researchers created two different test groups. In one group, people were asked to sign on a sign-up sheet in their community using a pin number. The other group had the same sign-up sheet, but they were asked to sign up for energy saving using their actual names.

Guess which group had more sign ups?

Yep, you guessed it. The group that put their names down. They wanted to look good in their community’s eyes. Accountability. Our behavior changes when someone is watching.

How can you do this in your IBD healing life? Let’s say you’re feeling like the stress and anxiety in your life is wreaking havoc on your Crohn’s or colitis and you’ve decided to commit to a stress managing app like Calm or Shine. These are two great apps for stress and anxiety help. There’s a couple ways accountability can be used here. One way is to work with an accountability buddy. Someone who holds you to the goal you’ve set for yourself. If you’ve promised to use the app 5 times a week, your accountability buddy will be checking in with you to make sure you stay on track. If you don’t, a little tough love is employed to get you back on track.

Another way to use accountability is to shout your Calm or Shine app intentions out loud to the world and in this day and age, that’s easy to do. Post it on social media and declare your new habit to the world. Nothing holds you to your word like putting it out there for the world to see.

PICK YOUR ROLE MODEL WISELY.

One last tip to help you form super healthy gut healing habits, is habit change factor #6, looking up to the right people. We just talked about the positive power of social media. But there’s definitely a downside too. Everyone on social media seems so perfect. They seem to have it all together. They seem to be 10 steps ahead of where you are.

Comparing yourself to those people is never a good idea. The gap between you and them is just too great. Instead of inspiring you, they make you feel like a failure. Instead of wasting your time on people who seem to have it all figured out, pick someone who’s just a few steps ahead of you. This is someone you can relate to. This is someone who’s goals are similar to your own. Seeing yourself in this light will boost your self-confidence and help you feel like if they can do it, so can you. When you feel that way, you’re much more apt to keep those behavior changes going.

Alright mama, there you have it. 6 of the best, most research backed methods to help you get started with make lasting changes and forming healthy habits that have the power to bring your IBD into remission.

Now you’ve got the tools, what are you going to do with them?

YOU’RE GOING TO DO IT LIKE A MOM!

I’m going to recap the habit changing tools we talked about today. While I do, your job is to pick the two that resonate with you most. Don’t pick them all. You’ll never commit. Pick two that you can get started on right away. You can always add on more later.

Ready? Here’s the recap.

#1- Forget rigid goals, flexible, but persistent strategies work better

#2- Don’t get sucked into present bias (the rewards of the now), use apps like StickK and Beeminder to make sure you achieve your goals

#3 Use temptation bundling where you link a behavior you don’t want to do with one you love to keep you motivated to keep going

#4 Make that fresh start any day of the year, remember my fresh start day was July 4th, if you’re listening to this is real time and you live in the states, July 4 is coming up, maybe it could be your date too

#5 Get watched, in a non-creepy way of course, get an accountability partner or share your intentions with the world wide web

#6 Look up to people who are just a few steps ahead of you, looking up too high, only makes you feel like you can never achieve your goals.

Did you pick 2? Awesome, that’s all you need to do for today.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Tomorrow, dear mama, take some action. DM me on Facebook and let me know which ones you pick. I’ll let you know mine too and we can be accountability buddies to achieve our goals. @TheIBDHealthCoach

You’ve got this. I know you can do it!

We talked about a lot today. But this is just a sampling of the work Dr. Katy Milkman is doing on how we make changes and form healthy habits that last. If you’re a procrastinator like me, if you’re struggling to make the changes you know will help you feel better, help you to be the mom you know you deserve to be, help you live your best life, this book is worth the purchase. A link for Dr. Milkman’s book, How to Change is in the show notes.

[33:50] Say no to the status quo, say no to it’s always going to be this way, say no to I can’t… You can. It won’t happen all at once, but it will happen. Start small, with baby steps, form small habits you can work at every day and you will get there.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD healing journey.

Chat soon!

Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.

One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them to. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble shooting sesh today at karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, to cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first.

Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

7 of the Wackiest & Most Insensitive Comments IBDer’s Endure

“It must be great to be so thin,” or “Oh, I think I’ve heard of Crohn’s and colitis before, it’s that nervous person disease, right?”

These are just a couple of the insensitive and absurd remarks we endure at the hands of uneducated, thoughtless people who don’t really know what we go through on a daily basis. 

Today on the podcast, we’re diving into some of these crazy but true comments to remind you that you’re not alone. We all experience this level of absurdity from time to time.

And if we can just take a step back and appreciate these negative comments for what they are, comments from people who don’t understand the first thing about IBD, we might even have a good laugh together at how ridiculous they sound.

We’re talking about:

  • The appalling disinformation we get from the medical community
  • What to do when the insensitive comment comes from your friend
  • The reason why your doctor doesn’t recommend gut healing food to help your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll be reminded that you’re not alone. Even though we live in different places and we have different IBD symptoms, we both know what it feels like to experience wacky, insensitive comments that stick with us.

When it comes to comments like these, education and laughter go a long way.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [04:15] The appalling disinformation we get from the medical community
  • [09:18] What to do when the insensitive comment comes from your friend
  • [11:30] The best response to “Why are you so thin?”
  • [12:45] The type of insensitive comment that actually comes from the heart
  • [15:00] The reason why your doctor doesn’t recommend gut healing food to help your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms
  • [17:00] When people with IBS think they get what it’s like to have IBD
  • [18:35] And the most ridiculously insensitive IBD comment award goes to…
  • [22:24] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

DM Me on Facebook

Episode Transcript:

Episode 37: Seven of the Wackiest and Most Insensitive Comments IBDer’s are Told

It must be great to be so thin and Oh, think I’ve heard of Crohn’s and colitis before, it’s it that nervous person disease, right?

These are just a couple of the insensitive and absurd remarks we endure at the hands of uneducated, thoughtless people who don’t really know what we go through on a day to day basis.  Today on the podcast, we’re diving into some of these crazy but true comments to remind you that you’re not alone. We all experience this level of absurdity from time to time. And if we can just take a step back and appreciate these negative comments for what they are, comments from people who don’t understand the first thing about IBD, we might even have a good laugh together at how ridiculous they sound.

In a world of heartache, severe challenges, and uphill battles, it’s nice to laugh IBD in the face sometimes.

Let’s get into it.

[Music]

INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis, connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.

[music]

[01:49] Hey there mama and welcome to the episode. On the surface, insensitive moments might make you cringe, but sometimes in those cringe worthy moments, we can find a shared experience and instead of getting mad, we can turn that anger into a good belly laugh. We all deserve light and laughter sometimes.

So, recently I went to the GLC, our free and fabulous gut love community of IBD mamas and asked them this question—what’s the most insensitive thing you’ve been told when it comes to your IBD?

The responses were brilliant, and they helped me see that even though sometimes it may feel that way, I’m not alone. You are not alone. There may not be many people in the world who understand us, what we go through on a daily basis with Crohn’s and colitis, but we understand each other, don’t we? We’re in this together. I hope as you’re listening to these insensitive outbursts, you remember that and share a good belly laugh with me.

Before we dive in, I want to remind you that if you are not already a part of our GLC, it is open to all moms with IBD. It’s a safe space with loads of IBD info, recipes, workshops and first look information. If you’re struggling with IBD and you’re looking for a safe space with no judgement, look no further than the GLC. The link to join the community is in the show notes.

CUE THE EYE ROLL.

OK, let’s find out about insensitive comment #1.

This one comes from my client and GLC member Lindsay. Lindsay is speaking for all of us IBDer’s with her frustration:

#1 “For years, I tried to find out what was wrong with me. I went from doctor to doctor, and no one knew what to make of my daily multiple trips to the bathroom. One doctor actually gave me a referral to a therapist and told me I must have too much stress in my life. When I finally found a sane doctor who diagnosed me with Ulcerative Colitis, I actually cried tears of joy. Finally, I had an answer and finally someone took me seriously.”

Don’t you love the, “if I can’t find out what’s wrong with you, it must be stress or anxiety.” With the emotional pat on the head, like runaway little girl.  It’s truly appalling! What do we need to do to be taken seriously? When I ask women about their experience in getting diagnosed with IBD, it’s amazing to me how similar our stories are. It’s not unusual to wait 1,2,3 or even more years struggling with your symptoms to get a proper diagnosis and in the meantime, you’re treated like a hysterical, anxiety prone woman.

To combat the “you’re just anxious” travesty that befalls so many of us, I’ve found a few things to help with being taken seriously by those in the medical field.

THE REMEDY FOR “YOUR JUST ANXIOUS” SYNDROME.

#1- do your research before you go see your doctor and be able to describe your symptoms in a specific manner. Specific is the key word here. So, instead of a vague, statement like my belly aches, try for something more specific like I’m feeling a sharp shooting pain on the right side, just under my rib cage. It seems to flare up about 30 minutes after I eat. See the difference?

Also, research the possible treatment options for your symptoms and be ready to bounce your ideas off the doctor too. “I’ve heard fish oil can be helpful for achy joints, what do you think?” These specific ways of talking about your symptoms and potential treatment options will help give a focus to your appointment so they don’t go off on a “it must be stress” tangent.

Also, #2 know exactly what you want to get out of the doctor’s appointment before you even get there. Is there a test you someone to perform like a CT scan or a blood level like your vitamin D you want checked, or a prescription you want filled? Go in there with a plan, be flexible and open minded, but when you are certain about what you are looking to get out of the appointment, don’t leave until you get what you know you need.

#3- use some big words. Sad as it may be, when you know the proper terminology for the parts of your body affected by your illness like small intestine, colon, rectal abscess, terminal ileum, duodenum, fistula, ileocecal stricture… see what I mean? Lots of digestive system terminology, you’ll show the doctor you can be a strong contributor to the conversation and to your overall care. You don’t have to be a walking medical encyclopedia, just know the words that pertain to your IBD issues and you’ll immediately put yourself on equal footing with the doctor.

Some might call these tactics manipulative, but I call it speaking the doctor’s language. We shouldn’t have to play these games, but it helps us get taken seriously.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR FRIEND IS THE INSENSITIVE COMMENT CULPRIT.

Here’s another insensitive remark directly from our Gut Love Community member, Sheralee.

Insensitive remark #2 “I always feel uncomfortable when the topic of dieting comes up. My friends are all heavier than me and they’re always trying the next fad diet. One night at book club my friends were having that conversation again. I was staying out of it because all my friends know I have Crohn’s and don’t diet. All of a sudden, my friend looks me up and down and says, you’re so lucky, you never have to diet. I was so stunned; I didn’t know what to say. What do you say to that? Uh, thanks?”

Wow, Sheralee, that’s the very definition of insensitive.

Have you ever experienced something like this? I have. This is a tough one because it doesn’t involve an acquaintance and it doesn’t involve a doctor. These types of conversations are often harder with friends. When it comes to long lasting friendships, we want them to thrive, so I think gentle and firm honesty is the only policy. After a comment like this, where you literally have to cup your hand at your chin and physically use it to shut your mouth, that I’m sure is gaping open, it’s time for a more serious conversation. I probably wouldn’t have it in front of everyone though. If you really want the conversation to mean something and not just embarrass your friend, a 1 on 1 heart to heart is in order.

It might go something like this: Hey, Jane, that comment you made about me not needing to diet really hurt my feelings and here’s why. Education is key here. I’m willing to bet your friend wasn’t being insensitive on purpose so a little education on the realities of life with IBD will go a long way. Handling it this way can not only save your friendship, but it can help spread the word about IBD. I think the more people who get what we go through, the better our chances are at finding a cure!

[10:36] #3 Along the same lines as “it must be great not to have to diet,” is one of the top comments I get all the time is… “You’re so thin.” Again, what do you say to that? I could say my first reaction which is always, I’ve had 10 feet of my small intestine removed. If you had that removed and you couldn’t digest and absorb half of your nutrients, you’d be thin too. But, after taking a deep breath and releasing it, the response I usually give to this comment (and the one you might want to give if you get some version of this) really depends on your relationship with the person who says it. If it’s someone I’m close with, I use it as an opportunity to educate them on why it can be so hard for IBDer’s to gain weight, but if I truly don’t care what they think, I just say thanks and walk away. There’s no point in that conversation with someone one who’s just thoughtless and won’t benefit from your wasted breath.

Let’s talk about incredibly insensitive comm #4. Client and GLC member, Karyn nails it with her shared comment from those well-meaning family members.

WELL-MEANING FAMILY MEMBERS ALWAYS THINK THEY KNOW WHAT’S BEST.

#4 “After I was hospitalized after a colonoscopy a family member told me….You shouldn’t have gotten a colonoscopy. You are way too young to need one.”

Cue the eye roll.

Don’t you just love well-meaning family members who think they know what’s best for you? They read one article in the paper and say, hey, have you heard about this cabbage soup thing that cures IBD? You should try that. Or with regard to Karyn’s colonoscopy, why are you doing that? You don’t meet the criteria I’ve heard about so you must be doing something wrong.

The well-meaning family member is classic. We all have one of those in our family. The thing to remember about these individuals is that they care about us and usually, their heart is in the right place. They find out this information that they deem to be life transforming for us and they want to connect with us and help in some way. This type of insensitive comment is really different from unsolicited advice from a friend or acquaintance.

In situations like this, it might just be time to grin and bear it. Thanks Aunt Helen. It’s really kind of you to think of me. And then, change the subject. What you do or don’t do to help your Crohn’s or colitis, is none of Aunt Helen’s business. Think about the good place this advice is coming from and leave it at that.

[13:40] Let me tell you about the insensitive comment I heard about most from several GLC ladies. I think April’s experience really sums it up with incredibly insensitive comment #5.

“I’m sick and tired of my doctor telling me it doesn’t matter what I eat. Even after I started the specific carbohydrate diet 4 months ago and went for my appointment, my doctor told me it was a coincidence that my bloodwork looked great and that I was symptom free. Just a combination of being on humira and having less stress she told me. When will doctors accept that food matters?”

I get it April.

This is a biggie. This food has nothing to do with your illness is utter nonsense. The most we ever hear from our doctor with regard to food is: Just eat bland food when you’re in a flare. The only way I reconcile this insensitive attitude is by knowing that your doctor most likely doesn’t know that food can be medicine, especially for IBDer’s. They aren’t trained in nutrition; they’re trained in disease management. Of course, it doesn’t make our doctors unnecessary, because boy, I want a doctor by my side when I feel awful, or I’m in a massive flare up, or when I need medicine, or a surgery. They are fantastic at those things.

But doctors aren’t food specialists. Instead, we can do two things to help with this insensitive comment.

#1 We can show up, time and time again and show them how great we are doing on our gut healing diet, and we can share information and websites with them on the power of using food to help heal IBD. And #2, you know I love scientific studies. I’m a research gal and I love when scientists research some of these different diets. Every time I find a new study, I’m bringing it to my GI, to educate him, show him that there’s scientific evidence surrounding food and IBD, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll put a small dent in the medical model they’re used to. It’s fun for me!

WHEN THEY DON’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IBD AND IBS.

Let’s turn to Jemma. She’s a GLC member who’s frustrated by our next insensitive comment. Comment #6.

“What’s with everyone I tell about my IBD saying, I know what you’re going through. I have IBS. IBD and IBS are not the same thing. Not even close. I wish people would stop saying that.”

I hear you on that one and you’re completely right, Jemma. IBD—inflammatory bowel disease—is not the same thing as IBS—irritable bowel syndrome. IBD is definitely much more severe. Especially when it comes to the serious complications those of us with IBD can have—fistulas, fissures, strictures, bowel resections, ostomy’s, j-pouches… so many complications people with IBS don’t have to contend with.

With all of these insensitive comments, we have to decide, is this the time and place for some good hearted and much needed education? In this case, I think a quick IBD road map is helpful. You might say something like, I’m sure it’s tough to have IBS. With IBD, I have some of those symptoms too. IBD can also cause more serious ailments like strictures and hospital stays, sometimes the removal of intestines… it’s hard to go through.

And if you’ve gone through a complication like this, you can tell them about your own personal experience.

So, when it comes to the IBD vs IBS comparison, bond over what you have in common, and then educate them about what the differences are. And remember, this isn’t a competition over who has the worse condition. For the individual with IBS, their challenges are real, just like our challenges are real too. Support and love goes a long way my friend.

AND THE AWARD FOR THE MOST RIDICULOUSLY INSENSITIVE COMMENT GOES TO…

OK, we made it to incredibly insensitive comment #7. And I saved the most ridiculously insensitive comment for last. This one comes from GLC mom, Genita. This one is so ridiculous. Our GLC member writes, “I work in an office space with cubicles and my co-worker comments every time I use the bathroom. She’ll say things like, didn’t you just go to the bathroom. Or what are you doing in there for so long?”

Personally, if I’m going to laugh at any of these crazy anecdotes, it’s going to be this one. Some of these are serious infractions that really hurt your feelings, and some are just so crazy stupid, all you can do is laugh.  I’m definitely a talk it out, be upfront, can’t we all get along kind of gal, but with this comment, it deserves a quick quip to nip it in the bud.

Something like, why, are you keeping count? Or would you like to come in with me and find out” is in order. Comments like these are pointless and stupid and don’t really deserve your time or attention. Nip it in the bud and move on.

[20:01] So, what do you think? Have you heard incredibly insensitive comments like these too? I bet you have one in your back pocket that I didn’t even mention today. If you have Crohn’s or colitis long enough, you’re bound to fall prey to the miseducation of non IBDer’s.

Even though I know these comments can cause us emotional pain and head scratching wonder, I hope you’ll do what I do, educate or belly laugh. As a mom (and a homeschool mom too), I’m a huge fan of the teachable moment. Most of these people aren’t being nasty on purpose. The more we educate, the more people know about IBD, and the more people who demand funding to find a cure, right?

And if the moment isn’t right to educate, focus on just how ridiculous the moment is and have a good laugh about it. Laughter is ultimately the best medicine isn’t it?

Got a good insensitive comment story, come share it with me. DM me on Facebook and we’ll share an eye roll and a belly laugh together. @TheIBDHealthCoach.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD healing journey.

Chat soon!

Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.

[20:24] One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them to. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble shooting sesh today at karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, to cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first.

Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The SCD Revamp: 9 Changes to Help You Get Faster, Better & Longer Lasting Results

You might already know this, but I am a capital H HUGE fan of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

But even when you’re passionate about something with your whole heart, you can still find ways to make it even better.

Today, even though I couldn’t be more in love with the SCD and everything it can do to transform your life just the way it is, I’m going to tell you how you can make your SCD journey happen faster, better, and give you longer lasting results that have the power to stay with you for a lifetime.

We’re talking about:

  • Why SCD yogurt may be making you sick
  • The best SCD legal fruits for gut healing (ones that won’t jeopardize your bacterial balance)
  • The herbal teas that aren’t SCD legal, but should be to help you heal your gut
  • The most empowering thing that will happen to you on the SCD (it’s normalizing too)

And so much more!

After this episode, you can take the SCD revamps that work for you, scrap the ones that don’t, and make your gut healing journey the best adventure it can be.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [05:47] The 5 categories of food to strive for eating organic
  • [0945] Why SCD yogurt may be making you sick
  • [12:46] When it comes to SCD, if you want to be successful, think like a baby.
  • [15:55] The ultimate website for SCD stages, telling you what foods to add in and when to add them
  • [18:10] The best SCD legal fruits for gut healing (ones that won’t jeopardize your bacteria balance)
  • [21:20] What to do on the SCD if you are fructose intolerant (oh no, honey)
  • [23:00] The most empowering thing that will happen to you on the SCD (it’s normalizing too)
  • [27:30] The super-rich, concentrated, nutrient dense powerhouse that’s not on the SCD, but should be
  • [29:28] The herbal teas that aren’t SCD legal, but should be to help you heal your gut
  • [34:15] How to start food journaling to make your SCD journey better, faster, and longer lasting with the best resource to get you started today
  • [34:02] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

DM Me on Facebook

The Food Mood Poop Journal

Pecan Bread

Episode Transcript:

Hey there my friend, you might already know this, but I am a capital H HUGE fan of the specific carbohydrate diet. I’m not being overly dramatic when I tell you that, almost 13 years ago, the SCD literally saved my life. But even when you’re passionate about something with your whole heart, you can still find ways to make it even better.

Think about your favorite relationship, maybe it’s the relationship you have with your spouse or your best friend or an amazing connection with a sibling… I bet you’re still working on that relationship, aren’t you? You don’t just get to amazing status and leave it alone. Because if you did, that relationship would stagnate and eventually, it would slowly die. When something’s important to you, you work at it to make it stronger, to make it the best damn thing it could possibly be. Today, even though I couldn’t be more in love with the SCD and everything it can do to transform your life just the way it is, I’m going to tell you how you can make your SCD journey happen faster, better, and give you longer lasting results that have the power to stay with you for a lifetime.

Cue the intro—

[02:12] Hey, hey, hey and welcome to The Cheeky Podcast my friend. Today, we’re talking about my favorite subject of all, besides my kids probably. It’s the specific carbohydrate diet and exactly what you can do to get results faster, better, and have them last longer so you can get on with your badass mom a life and rock the amazing health it can give you. Amen to that!

So, you know I love the specific carbohydrate diet. I have professed my adoration and gratitude for the SCD on more than one occasion. But just like any diet or eating plan, there’s always room for improvement. Improvements and modifications to the SCD are long overdue. The diet itself has been around for generations and there have been amazing advances in the world of health and medicine since its inception.

A DIET WORTH UPDATING.

I don’t know why someone hasn’t taken on an SCD revamp yet, but I really hope they do. In the meantime, I’m going to give my two cents, for anyone who’s listening, on how the specific carbohydrate diet could be even better. We’re talking about 9 changes you’ll want to consider if you decide to start the specific carbohydrate diet. And these changes can help you see results faster, better, and your IBD remission may even be longer lasting because of it.  I’m not a doctor so I’m not making any medical claims here. This is just one SCD mamas opinion, but this is from my own experience as well as the experience many clients I’ve had the privilege of working with as they took their very own SCD journey too.

My 9 proposed SCD revamps, let’s do this.

#1 MAKE IT ORGANIC BABY!

The research is out, organic matters. The quality of the food we put into our body matters. It’s not just about eating healthy food like fruits and vegetables, it’s about the quality of that food, especially for those of us with gut disorders.

Now, from everything that I’ve read, Elaine Gottschall, the author of Breaking the Vicious Cycle, the amazing mama who introduced the SCD to the world, she knew all about the power of organic food. When Elaine was writing about the SCD, organic food was not mainstream. Elaine knew all about the power of eating organic, but she wanted this diet to be accessible to everyone. And that meant just getting this information in everyone’s hands, not about adding the burden of it having to be organic as well.

Today, we know better, we know that foods grown with pesticides, foods grown with chemical fertilizers, foods grown with artificial agents, and genetically modified foods have an impact on our digestive system. These types of chemicals are gut disruptors. We don’t need more gut disruptors. Eating organic fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy ensures that when it comes to these foods especially, we are not putting gut disruptors in our body.

Now, as my clients know, I always say get the best that you can afford and the best you can find where you live. Even if it means that you can buy some things organic and other things not. I encourage you to do the best you can with organic. But if someone were to revamp the specific carbohydrate diet, I know that they would talk about the importance of eating organic when it comes to gut health because organic matters.

#2 STEP OFF THE YOGURT.

[06:45] At least for a little while, and maybe always. Many people start the specific carbohydrate diet with the yogurt. It’s the crux of the SCD and for many it can be a very powerful healer. It definitely was for me. But I’ve seen way too many clients and friends give up on the specific carbohydrate diet too early, not realizing that the problem was the homemade fermented 24-hour yogurt.

I remember vividly my client Kim (know that every time I mention a client on the podcast I have slightly changed their name to protect their privacy). Kim had ulcerative colitis and was trying the specific carbohydrate diet to help manage her symptoms. Kim went for it with the SCD yogurt. She was so excited about it because after being so hungry during the SCD intro diet period, this was something that actually tasted good and it was filling. It was like a treat and she wanted to indulge in this creamy goodness.

The problem was that even though Kim was doing everything right on the diet, and that’s very hard to do especially at the beginning, Kim’s abdominal pain persisted, her diarrhea continued, she was still seeing blood in the toilet. Kim was at the beginning stages of the diet, her foods were well cooked and deseeded which helps you with better digestion and absorption. Nothing Kim was eating should be bothering her.

WHY WASN’T KIM FEELING BETTER?

Because I knew that even though SCD yogurt is virtually lactose free, it still does not work for everyone, I suggested that Kim stop the yogurt and see if it made a difference. It only took about a week. Everything turned around for Kim. Her diarrhea went away, the bleeding lessened, and her abdominal pain subsided. SCD yogurt was not a friend to Kim. She was sensitive to the casein in the yogurt and in other dairy products that are allowed on the diet. After removing the yogurt, it was a game changer for Kim.

If you’re on the SCD, and you’re eating the yogurt, and things are not turning around for you with your Crohn’s or colitis, think about stopping the yogurt for a little while. Just a week or two to see if it makes a difference. There’s no crystal ball or magic eight ball to decide this for you, it’s more of a trial and error to see if it makes a difference. It’s definitely a worthwhile experiment.

And going off the yogurt doesn’t necessarily mean forever. Many IBD mamas start the SCD without yogurt. When some healing has taken place and inflammation has subsided in the gut, usually after a month or two, some moms are able to bring yogurt in—slowly, very slowly starting with just a tablespoon at first. Heck, I’ve seen clients start with just putting the tip of their tongue to it. But start slow, whatever you do, start slow.

And if you’re never able to tolerate the yogurt on the specific carbohydrate diet, that’s OK. There’s lots of other ways to get your probiotics and beneficial bacteria in. I have many clients who not only feel better on coconut milk yogurt, but they also like the taste of it better. The bottom line is that SCD yogurt may not be for you. Don’t take it personally, move up and onward knowing that you and yogurt’s path may cross again.

And speaking of going slow, that’s brings us to my proposed SCD revamp #3—

HOW SLOW CAN YOU GO?

When you think you’re going slow with adding in new foods, take it down a notch and go even slower. I bet when you met your mate, you didn’t move in together on the first date. No, you took it slow. You went on a few dates, you met some of their friends, eventually met the important people in their life (parents, maybe siblings) and commitment came down the line. Now of course some of us did the first date to commitment faster than others. I knew my hubby was the guy for me after one month of dating, but that’s only because I had already dated all the frogs on the market before I met him. The point is, there is an order to things and the SCD is no different. 

After the intro diet, I see so many ladies diving in with wild abandon, only to waste so much time because then they have to back it all up and start over. All the fruits, all the vegetables, the meats, the almond flour, the dry curd cottage cheese… all of it, all at once. If you do this and you don’t feel any better, how will you know why you don’t feel better? How will you know what foods are bothering you? The answer is simple, you won’t. You won’t know what foods you’re reacting to and what foods are treating you just fine.

When it comes to SCD, if you want to be successful, think like a baby. Remember when your child came into this world and you started feeding them. You didn’t throw every food in the house at them. You added one new food at a time, you waited a few days between each food because you wanted to know how they would react. Trust me, I know firsthand that this is a very tedious and annoying process. But do it. Do it because it will serve you. Do it because it’s your best chance at long lasting remission.

Along the same lines as my proposed revamp #3, when you think you’re going slow, go slower, is proposed SCD revamp #4:

STOP ADDING IN FOODS WILLY NILLY!

The traditional SCD has no stages. Yes, it has an intro diet and the intro diet is crucial. It’s amazingly laid out, it’s the start of everything that follows after. But even if you know about my proposed revamp #3 and you’re going slow with all of your new foods, you may not achieve remission because you’re adding in the wrong foods at the wrong time.

[14:30] Timing is everything, we know this about life. How many times have we said to ourselves, I’m so glad that didn’t happen to me at that particular time because I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate it. Getting back to my husband, wow he’s making an appearance in this episode quite a lot, but I’ve told him over and over again that if I would’ve met him 10 years sooner, five years sooner, hell even six months sooner, he wouldn’t have been the guy for me. He was the guy for me because of the place I was at in my life. Timing is everything.

If you want the SCD to work at its peak performance for you, if you want to get there faster, do yourself a favor and follow the stages on the pecan bread website. I will link to them in the show notes so you can see exactly what I’m talking about. They have the best laid out SCD stages I’ve seen. These stages help you with the timing of the SCD. They help you know when it’s right to add in which foods. These stages take all the guesswork out of what you should eat and when.

If you’re on the specific carbohydrate diet and you’re still struggling, or even better, right from the start if you’re thinking about the specific carbohydrate diet, when you get started, use the stages found at pecanbread.com because timing is everything.

Let’s keep this revamp party going with change #5:

TOO MUCH FRUIT!

I Love fruit just as much as the next mama, and thankfully many fruits are full of simple carbohydrates making them perfect for the specific carbohydrate diet and your gut healing. The problem with many of these fruits is that they are also high in sugar. Now of course, I’m not talking white table sugar, which we know is bad for your gut and your waistline, I’m talking about the naturally occurring sugars in fruit. Unfortunately, when we eat lots of fruit on the specific carbohydrate diet, we keep the bacteria out of balance in our digestive system because sugar feeds bacteria. Between all of the allowed fruit with no limit in its consumption, plus the allowed fruit juices like 100% pineapple or grape juice, we can fail to move forward towards remission.

So, what should you do? Enjoy the SCD legal fruits… in moderation, especially in the beginning as you are trying to bring your microbiome back into balance. When you choose fruit, choose it wisely. Choose fruits that are full of nutrients and antioxidants. Berries are perfect for this—strawberries, raspberries, blueberries all pack a nutrient punch.   Go for it in their whole, natural, raw state when you are healed enough for raw fruits. Until then, you can still enjoy berries. You can create a berry compote topper (which is just a fruit puree) for all your SCD goodies or blend them into a smoothie in a high-speed blender so all the seeds get ground up and are easier to digest.

Propose revamp a #6 is a part B to limiting your fruit.

Revamp #6 is:

[19:36] WATCH OUT FOR THE HONEY, HONEY!

Just like fruit, honey is high in a simple sugar called fructose. Fructose intolerance is very common for people with IBD. Just like with the yogurt I mentioned earlier, how some people may quit the SCD early on because they think it’s not working for them when in reality they need to remove yogurt. Honey works very much the same way. The current SCD does not provide any guidance on limitations for honey so many people can overdo this sweetener. And you won’t have to overdo it by much if you’re already sensitive to fructose.

And what makes honey consumption even more challenging is that fructose intolerance symptoms are very similar to Crohn’s and colitis symptoms. Bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are the most common symptoms. If you’re thinking those issues sound very familiar to your IBD symptoms, you’re not wrong. See why it’s really difficult to figure out if it’s actually the honey that’s not working in your favor?

So, what do you do? Well, I wish there was a magic formula, but like I said there is no magic eight ball when it comes to healing and the SCD. Trial and error will be your best friend here. If you think that honey may be an issue for you, if you think you are sensitive to fructose, hold up on it for a week or two. See what happens. How do you feel? Did it make any difference?

THE TENACIOUS MOM WINS EVERY TIME!

So much of the SCD is really about trying new things and seeing how you feel. This is why tenacious and inquisitive mamas usually do best on this diet. Those who put in the time and effort to figure out what works best for their own body—keeping what works and getting rid of what doesn’t– tend to be the ones who do best on the specific carbohydrate diet.

Moving on to #7 on our list of SCD revamps:

YOU GET A LITTLE TOO NUTTY WITH THE NUT FLOUR.

It’s been almost 13 years since I began my SCD journey, but I still remember the day I tried flour for the first time—pumpkin muffins. If you’ve been on SCD before and like me waited to try nut flour until about three or four months in, I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a right of passage, it’s like a graduation in the world of SCD. Finally, baked goods like cookies and bread and muffins are part of your world. It’s a very empowering and exciting feeling.

It’s very normalizing.

And nut flour definitely has its benefits. It adds valuable nutrients to your diet like protein and good fat. Nut flours are high in gut healing minerals like magnesium, selenium, zinc, manganese and copper.

But a little nut goes a long way.

Let’s take almond flour for example. Almond flour contains good amounts of omega-3’s which are good for lowering inflammation, but it also contains omega-6’s and too much omega-6 can increase inflammation throughout your body. Almonds, as a nut, are also high in phytic acid. A compound that’s high in anti-nutrients. It’s a naturally occurring coating that covers the nut and protects it as it grows, but phytic acid can keep us with sensitive guts from absorbing the nutrients in our food. Too many nuts can equal nutrient deficiencies and gut dysbiosis. When it comes to choosing almond flour, I always recommend blanched almond flour because it’s lower in phytic acid since most of the phytic acid hangs out on the outer skin of the almond. When almonds are blanched to make blanched almond flour, and this outer coating is removed, mostly.  Small amounts may still remain which is one of the reasons why you don’t want to go overboard with the nut flour.

So, am I saying not to use almond flour at all? Absolutely not. I’m a huge fan of almond flour and other nut flours for so many reasons. Just keep in mind a couple things when using it. #1: it’s a good idea to rotate your nut flours. Almond flour isn’t the only nut flour out there. Pecan flour is really tasty in baked goods and of course, coconut flour is wonderful, and has more nutritional value than almond flour. Also #2, as I mentioned in the beginning, limit your nut flour. Definitely not in every meal or even every day. Keep almond flour, for the most part, as a side dish or dessert, and not the meal itself. Doing this will help you heal inflammation sooner and therefore help you get to IBD remission that much faster.

There’s two more proposed SCD revamps coming your way.

[25:59] Revamp #8:

MOVE OVER CHICKEN SOUP, THERE’S SOMETHING THAT MIGHT BE EVEN BETTER.

Let me give you a little background here. Chicken soup is liquid gold for SCDer’s. It’s the gut healer of choice on this diet with good reason. It’s cooked for hours and hours and it’s full of leaky gut busting, inflammation lowering, and bacterial balancing properties. Good stuff right?

Chicken soup is what I used when I started the specific carbohydrate diet close to 13 years ago. And I have to be honest with you, it worked for me. I ate chicken soup for a full two years, every day, before taking any break whatsoever.

But since then, I’ve learned about the difference between chicken soup/or bone broth if you drink just the broth vs meat stock. Meat stock is made with less water, so the water goes just over your bones and ingredients, and meat stocked is cooked for a shorter amount of time. What you’re left with is a super-rich, concentrated, nutrient dense powerhouse.

Think of it this way, meat stock is for flares. Bone broth or chicken soup is for helping you sustain remission. I don’t think you can go wrong with either one, but remember these SCD revamps are all about getting you there faster, better, and with long-term remission in mind.

If you’re new to the world of meat stock and you’re looking for a couple recipes to get you started, DM me on Facebook. I’ll be happy to shoot some recipes your way. On Facebook, you can find me @TheIBDHealthCoach.

LET’S CONNECT ON FACEBOOK!

OK there’s one final SCD revamp I want to propose to you.

Revamp #9:

GET YOUR HERBAL TEA ON.

Tea is a complicated thing when it comes to the specific carbohydrate diet. Currently, only a handful of teas are allowed.  Weak black tea, peppermint or spearmint tea and ginger tea. Having seen the gut healing power of several herbal teas over the years for myself as well as clients, I would love to see the SCD expand some of these tea options.

I completely get why Elaine did not include other herbal teas on the diet. Some herbal teas are high in polysaccharides which can work to keep your digestive system inflamed and keep your microbiome out of balance. But some of these herbal teas have so much benefit when it comes to gut healing that they really should not be ignored.

Teas like fennel tea, chamomile, licorice root, slippery elm, lemon balm, holy basil… just to name a few.

Other herbal teas are definitely worth considering when it comes to updating the SCD to serve IBDer’s best.  Just some tea for thought.

LET’S WRAP THIS UP AND BRING IT HOME.

[30:10] Let’s recap those 9 proposed revamps one more time so you can get one last look and see if you want to make any of these changes for yourself.

#1 Make it organic baby!

#2 Step off the yogurt.

#3 When you think you’re going slow, go slower.

#4 Stop adding foods in willy nilly.

#5 Too much fruit.

#6 Watch out for the honey, honey.

#7 You get a little too nutty for nut flour.

#8 Move over chicken soup.

#9 Get your herbal tea on.

Alright, what do you think mama? Do you agree with my revamps?

Have you tried SCD and made it your own? What changes have you made? Get in touch on Facebook and let me know. We can all learn together. @TheIBDHealthCoach

Let’s wrap up this episode with one last bonus overall ‘Do it Like a Mom’ tip.

YOU DON’T WANT TO SKIP THIS!

You may have noticed that that there was a common theme running throughout all 9 proposed SCD revamps. And that theme is trial and error. No matter how you do SCD, do it like a mom by being willing to go that extra mile, add something in, remove something that isn’t working, take a step back or start over if you need to.  Be tenacious, be persistent, be fearless. The SCD might just give you your life back. Isn’t it worth it to give it all you’ve got before deciding if it works for you?

The best way I know to make trial and error work for you is to keep track of everything you try through food journaling. You know, a journal where you keep track of the food you eat and how it affects your body? Food journaling allows you to see the patterns in what you are putting in your body, and how it affects the way you feel. When it comes to food journaling, I’ve got resource to help you get started. It’s my Food-Mood-Poop Journal. It’s everything you need to get started on your trial and error journey right away. You can get your Food-Mood-Poop journal by going to karynhaley.com/journal. I’ll also leave a link in the show notes to make it as easy as SCD pie for you.

And know that if you try all these things and you’re still stumped, know that I’m here for you. I work with clients to make the SCD work for them every day. If you’re struggling to figure the SCD out, get in touch and we’ll figure it out together. Reach out on Facebook or email me at hello@karynhaley.com. I’m here for you my friend.

Don’t give up. Keep fighting and listening to your gut instinct. It will never steer you wrong.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD healing journey.

Chat soon!

Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.

[36:36] One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them to. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble shooting sesh today at karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, to cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first.

Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.