Archive Monthly Archives: February 2022

The Simplest, But Most Often Overlooked Eating for IBD Strategy

When you’re dealing with Crohn’s and colitis, it feels like a constant state of eat this not that. Should I be gluten free or grain free? What are the ingredients in that? Can I have that ingredient? Am I having a reaction to that food? How do I know?

So much to consider when it comes to eating for your health in a way that supports and heals your Crohn’s or colitis.

Today we’re going in a completely different direction. A direction that doesn’t care what eating plan you’re on. A direction that has nothing to do with what you eat, but has everything to do with HOW you eat.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • How many times experts tell you to chew the food in your mouth before you swallow (this number is going to shock you)
  • The before, during, and after eating plan that gives your body what it need to digest food properly
  • The best way to get your digestion working effectively before you even take your first bite of food

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Digestion in the Mouth

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Episode Transcript:

When you’re dealing with Crohn’s and colitis, it feels like a constant state of eat this not that. Should I be gluten free or grain free? What are the ingredients in that? Can I have that ingredient? Am I having a reaction to that food? How do I know?

So much to consider when it comes to eating for your health in a way that supports and heals your Crohn’s or colitis.

Today we’re going in a completely different direction. A direction that doesn’t care what eating plan you’re on. A direction that has nothing to do with what you eat, but has everything to do with HOW you eat.


Hey now, welcome to the episode, take a load of and join me for a little while today while we sip some tea maybe and enjoy this time together. I’m grateful to have you here with me today. I’m in my podcasting space in my office, I’ve got my black sweatpants on with my Wicked t-shirt (you know the musical?) I can’t believe it but I saw Wicked in London with Indina Menzel (way before frozen) This must have been 2005, 2006…) I had no idea who she was but I knew she had the best voice I had ever heard in my life. Wow, what powerhouse, right? How about you, how’s your day going? Are you rushing about? Are you taking care of the kiddos or are you taking care of yourself with some downtime? Whatever you’re doing, I hope you’re doing it in comfortable clothes like me. Cause IBD gals deserve comfortable clothes.

Can I get an amen?

OK my dear, let’s get into it because we have a different episode today. You know the cheeky podcast is the place to be for all things IBD food related. And with all the gut healing diets we’ve talked about on this podcast, what more is there to say? Haven’t we covered it all? Well, first of all, I can’t imagine we could cover it all. There’s so much to say on the topic of food and IBD. But today I want to go in a completely different direction. A direction that doesn’t care what eating plan your on. A direction that has nothing to do with what you eat, but has everything to do with HOW you eat.

Because how you eat is just as important as what you eat. It’s a topic we’ve yet to dive into, but it’s a big one and it can have instant and profound effects on each and every one of your IBD symptoms. Top to bottom, inside to outside the body. And the important how you eat topic I want to tackle today is chewing.


OK, it’s not the sexiest topic. And I’ll start this episode off with a warning:  You’re going to hear words like saliva and mucus. I promise as little as possible, and I’ll also try to make this episode as short and sweet because no one wants to hear those words over and over. But when it comes to Crohn’s, colitis, and living as healthy as we can, just like that P word we have to dive into sometimes (you know the one), occasionally saliva has to come up in conversation too.

One thing I’ve learned in my 35 plus years with IBD is that the more comfortable we get with talking about digestion from mouth to anus, the healthier we will be. So we’ll grin and bear it together—because the chewing part of digestion (yes, chewing is actually a part of digestion) is just as important as the pooping part of digestion.

If you’ve taken biology in high school, or maybe even Anatomy and Physiology in college, you probably remember hearing that digestion begins in the mouth. But actually, if you want to get really technical about it, digestion starts before we even put something in our mouth.

Think about your favorite food.

What’s that food for you? For me, right now (because it tends to change) it’s a toss up between this amazing veggie omlette I can’t get enough of. It’s made from eggs, right from the chicken fresh, with all my favorite veggies or chateaubriand—this really great cut of steak that’s so tender, it melts in your mouth like butter. Just thinking about either of those foods gets my salivary glands working. What food does that for you?

Proteins, minerals, digestive enzymes and of course mucus (and I promise, that’s it for that word) are found in your saliva and are all the beginnings of digestion. Just this simple act of thinking about the food you love or smelling the aroma of food starts digestion in your body, before you even take a bite.

Salivary amylase (that’s one of those digestive enzymes) it helps breakdown food in your mouth to prepare it for its next stage on the journey to being used as nutrients and energy for your body.

Now, if you’re dehydrated when you eat, this process can’t work as efficiently as it normally would so tip #1 for mindfully chewing to help your IBD is to make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. It actually helps your mouth digestion breakdown your food more efficiently so you can then use those nutrients for health and energy.

Our bodies, being designed so amazingly, already know instinctively how to break down the fat, protein, and carbohydrates in our food to provide our body with the nutrients we need. Of course, this is a little more complicated when it comes to those of use with Crohn’s and colitis because the breaking down and absorbing of nutrients is more of a challenge for us, but our body in theory still knows what to do.

Of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, carbs take the most work which is why carbohydrate digestion and the starch breakdown of those carbs starts in the mouth. These broken down starches turn into sugar that our body can use for energy. The more we chew these foods, the sweeter they become. Definitely an incentive to chew your food well because we all like that sweet taste in our mouth.

Now if you’re thinking, all this talk about carbohydrates doesn’t pertain to me because I don’t eat carbs or I’m on a low carb diet like Paleo or SCD, or Keto, think again. Those of us on gut healing diets that don’t include grains like bread and pasta still consume carbohydrates. Nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables all contain carbohydrates. Sure some have less than others, but even on a gut healing diet, you’re eating some amount of carbohydrate. And the breakdown of that carbohydrate begins well before it enters your stomach or even your small intestine. It begins in the mouth. By the time you take your first bite of food, the saliva is there, ready to start processing and digesting even as you complete the simple action of chewing.

Now, I’m sure for you this has all been mildly interesting but you’re probably wondering what does all of this have to do with Crohn’s and colitis. The salivary glands, the digestive enzymes, the amylase… I’m so glad you asked because the answer is OH SO MUCH!

When we take the simple but overlooked process of chewing our food seriously and we give our body the time chewing deserves, we’ve already broken our food down, made less work for the rest of our digestive system (so it can focus on healing not fighting this inner digestion battle which can lead to more inflammation, bacterial imbalance, and then dysregulated immune function), instead with proper chewing, your food has the power to digest easier, more efficiently and then all those nutrients digestion creates have the power to become absorbed into your body so you feel healthy and strong, from the inside out.

It all starts with mindful chewing of your food, whatever food you eat. How you chew your food matters to the overall impact of how you experience your Crohn’s and colitis.

Make sense?

Just think about it. Let’s say you’re in a rush. The kind of rush we moms are often in. The after school but before soccer practice rush when the kids are hastily getting homework done, you’re trying to find the practice uniform and when you finally find it stuffed under (not in) their dresser. It’s smelly and dirty and you’re running it to a quick wash cycle in the washing machine all while cooking dinner and yelling out answers to questions from kids 2 rooms over. Questions like, “Hey mom, how do you spell stegosaurus?” And “Hey mom, when I divide 587 by 23, which number goes side the bracket?” The quick, but healthy chicken dish you lovingly prepared ends up sitting on the table 15 minutes before you need to rush out the door.

Picture that meal going down.

Large chunks of food barely hitting the mouth before moving into the esophagus (chewing, what’s chewing?), stressed eating environment, looking at the clock ever 2 minutes… “We’re gonna be late, we’re gonna be late.” Not pretty for your digestion or your IBD right?

So the first thing I have to say before we even get into the meat of this chewing topic is that I’m a busy mom too. I get it. I hear you yelling at your phone right now. How do I possibly have the time to chew mindfully? I get that life isn’t perfect and that our chewing sometimes needs to be rushed, but here’s the thing about gut health and really anything that needs improving in your life. We have to have insight first, and after insight we can strive to do the best we can do.

So after all of this information you’ll hear about proper, mindful chewing I’m sharing with you today, if you end up with insight (because let’s face it, for most people the quality of chewing their food and its impact of the health of their IBD is just not something most give much thought to) and if after today you make a promise to yourself to go for B+ mom chewing status, that’s seriously about the best any of us can hope for.

OK, so let’s say you’re living in a perfectly balanced bubble of a no rush world. I know, you don’t live there but we have to start somewhere, then you can adjust to what works for you and your situation and that may even change depending on the day. So in a perfect world, what would chewing your food to help your Crohn’s and colitis symptoms look like? Well, there’s 5 general guidelines we want to keep in mind when it comes to chewing our food mindfully and properly. And then there’s my before eating-during eating-and after eating tips to make sure chewing your food well becomes a habit for you before you know it.

First, let’s talk about your 5 chewing well, chewing mindfully, general guidelines.

  1. Ideally, when we’re talking about chewing, your aim is to strive for 30-50 chews for each bite of food. I know, that seems like a lot, but next time you to count it. I bet you chew more than you realize. When I have my clients try this experiment, they usually tell me that they find they chew about 15-20 times for each bite they swallow so 30 isn’t that much of a stretch. 50 is a lot. Remember, we’re striving for B+ here, not perfect.
  2. Chew until your food becomes liquidy in your mouth before you swallow. Have you ever paid attention to how liquidy your food is before you swallow? It’s something that takes conscious thought, at least initially. The more chewing, the more your food is broken down before you swallow. Super masticated food means less work for your esophagus, your stomach, and your small intestine and then more absorption of those much needed nutrients for those of us with IBD. So chew until your food is liquidy, then swallow.
  3. Eat as many meals as you can with family and friends. Studies show that when we eat with others, we actual improve our digestion. So maybe that hectic weeknight I mentioned earlier isn’t the best example of this, but think picnics with friends, Sunday brunches with family and as many family meal nights as you can manage. B+ work all the way.
  4. Listen to your mama’s wisdom and chew with your mouth closed. Less open mouth eating means less gas for you—out of both ends!
  5. This last tip is your saving grace when you’re in a hurry. I have to have one tip in there specifically for us busy mamas. When you are forced to eat fast, be sure you take deep breaths as you eat. This simple act makes you relax and take time to chew your food. You will not only get more nutrients from your food, but you’ll enjoy the taste of your food more too.

Now let’s talk specifics.

How can you make sure you are chewing your food slowly and mindfully throughout the whole meal?

First, before you eat:

  1. Wash your hands. Of course, you want to eat with clean hands before touching your food, but also the ritual of washing your hands before you eat signals to your mind that you are transitioning to a new task. One that has the potential to bring you health and wellbeing.
  2. Turn off the TV, no phones or other devices at the table. This is a great rule for mates as well as families. Turn your attention away from distractions and into each other while you prepare to eat. I don’t know about your kids, but our kids suck with transitions. To help them better transition from electronics to mealtime, we used to have our kids turn off devices 30 minutes before eating. It made a big difference in the energy they brought to the table. And their calm energy always benefits your digestion.
  3. Set a clean and quiet table to eat. No one wants to eat with books or papers piled around them. A clean table sets the tone for a calm meal.
  4. Light a candle and place it in the middle of the table—it could be for date night, but it could also work for Sunday dinner or just dinner if you like. I have a friend who always has candles lit when we go to her house for dinner. I’m a huge fan of candles anyway so I find it an extra special touch that just sooths me when it’s there. Be careful with your meal candles though, you don’t want an overpowering scent competing with the aroma of the food.
  5. Take a few deep breaths for yourself before you sit down. A good 4-7-8 breath works. You’re just calming your energy before you sit down.
  6. Say a prayer or have a moment of gratitude before you eat. Whether you are by yourself or with family and friends, having a moment of grace or gratitude before you eat changes your whole demeanor and sets you up for a well digested meal. I love it when we do a round of gratitude at our dinner table with my family. It’s a great jumping off point for conversation and always leads to a positive dinner experience, even for my rowdy boys.
  7. Lastly, when you sit down to eat, think about your posture. Shoulders hunched, slouched posture does not make for good digestion. Straighten your shoulders, align your posture and remember to breathe.

During the meal, here’s the best way to help yourself chew those 30 bites before swallowing:

  1. Place a bite of food in your mouth—not too big a bite.
  2. Then put your utensil down. Chew, chew, chew… making sure it becomes liquidy.
  3. It may even help to put your hands in your lap as you chew or clasp your hand together. It keeps you from taking another bite until you have swallowed the last one.
  4. Consciously breath as you eat. I don’t know about you, but I often think to myself as I’m eating, huh, I’ve stopped breathing. Reminding myself to breath, especially when I feel like I’m in a hurry always helps settle me down to better digestion.
  5. Be present—with the food (how does it taste, smell, feel on your tongue, what memories and emotions does it evoke?) and be present with those around you. (enjoy the conversation, the laughter, even the moments of silence with these people you care so much about).
  6. If you find yourself feeling distracted, deliberately look at your food or even close your eyes for a moment to feel fully present with this meal. I know that might sound weird or corny but I’ve tried it, it really does help.

After the meal is over:

  1. Say thank you to the cook (even if it’s yourself)
  2. Don’t be in such a rush to go your separate ways. When you have a few minutes, take that time to sit, chat, enjoy each others company for a bit. I have to say that this is a weird area in my house. Growing up in my big Italian family, we always sat after we ate. We’d sit and sit and just talk and laugh and tell stories— plates would sit until eventually my grandmother would give the marching orders for who would do what to help pick up. My husband’s family never lingered while he was growing up. It was eat and then get up. Sometimes when we eat with them I’m the only one left at the table because I eat so slow—30 chews per bite! Even though we’ve tried to come to a compromise with our own family, I can tell how antsy my hubby gets when my family is over. He tolerates it for a while, but eventually he’ll always get up. Thankfully it’s to start the dishes so it’s a win for everyone.
  3. Lastly, if you have time, take a walk or a stroll after you eat. It’s so good for your digestion and your IBD. Help your body to process, digest and then absorb the nutrients in the food you just ate by moving around. Of course I’m not talking a spin on the trampoline or cartwheels, this is strictly stroll time. Just enough movement to feel comforted. It really can help the gas and bloating many of us get after meals.

OK, that’s a wrap on chewing and intentionally eating in a way to help your body digest and absorb your food so it has a positive impact on your crohn’s and colitis. With all the gut healing diets out there, with all the hype about eat this not that, chewing and eating with mindfulness is something we so often overlook.

I started eating this way years ago and I have to tell you it was game changing. Capitol H huge. I don’t know how this lands for you. It may seem like just another daunting task to add to the already piled high list of things you’re doing for your IBD, but I promise you, just like the way I eat now, chewing and eating mindfully have become second nature to me. I never have to think to myself, how many bites did I have? It just happens. And I know it’s 100% habit because I’m always the last person to finish eating. It’s OK to be that person. In fact it’s awesome to be that person.

So chew well, chew mindfully, think about some of the tactics we went over today and watch how it has a positive impact on how you feel.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey. Chat soon!

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.

Tomatoes: Yes or No?

Do you eat tomatoes?

Raw, cooked, skin on, skin off, canned, tomato sauce, ketchup… although I’m not really sure ketchup qualifies as a tomato by that point.

Tomatoes are one of those things that some with Crohn’s and colitis eat with no issues and others run to the bathroom as soon as a tomato touches their lips.

I’m somewhere in the middle when it comes to tomatoes. I’ve had periods in my life when I’d eat raw tomatoes by the fist full.

No problems whatsoever.

But when my Crohn’s inflammation isn’t completely under control—Bam! Tomatoes are a go preceded by a no.

No way for the raw tomatoes.

One thing I most always seem to tolerate is tomato sauce and thank God, because my Italian family wouldn’t tolerate it if I didn’t eat my grandmother’s famous sauce recipe. And truth be told, I wouldn’t either because that sauce is heaven sent.

The secret to my Nana’s sauce (God rest her soul) was that she always added a touch of sugar to cut the acidity in the tomatoes. It definitely helped me tolerate her sauce when she made it. Now that I eat, sleep, and breath with my gut health in mind, I substitute out the sugar and replace it with honey.

Still works like a charm to cut some of the tomato-y acid that can give us heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, and an upset belly.

If the jury is still out on you and tomatoes, or if you’re like me and you waver back and forth, you’re going to appreciate this post that’s all about tomatoes.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to take away some valuable, unbiased information on the benefits and the risks of tomato eating with IBD.

And if you choose to partake, I’m sharing a tomato inspired recipe at the end. It’s got a cooked and raw version so it will fit for wherever you’re at on your gut healing journey.

Four Things You’ll Learn in This Post

  • Tomato health benefits specific to Crohn’s and colitis
  • Why you might think you can’t eat tomatoes and how you can change that
  • The reasons why tomatoes don’t work for everyone with IBD
  • A gut healthy and delish tomato recipe that’s so easy you can make it today

Join our IBD mom tribe: The Gut Love Community of Moms


Fruit or Vegetable? Oh, the great tomato debate!

Why are we so set on putting produce in the wrong category?  Tomatoes do have seeds so technically they’re a fruit, but for this post I’m going with vegetable. That’s what most of us call it anyway.

Just like in my Italian household where tomatoes were used liberally, tomatoes are at the heart of all Italian cuisine. In fact, Mediterranean’s alike love to use tomatoes whenever and wherever possible.

From paella to Greek salad, pizza to stews, tomatoes are incorporated into all sorts of dishes.

Tomatoes, part of the nightshade family, are believed to have originated in Mexico, but after the Spanish colonization of the Americas, tomato crops began popping up in a variety of places. Today, tomatoes are grown all over the world.

Tomatoes are an easy crop to plant, and when they grow, they proliferate like crazy. If you have a garden, you know tomatoes are one of those plants that grow with so much abundance that you’re either canning them for winter or giving them away to friends because you just can find a recipe for every batch you gather!


There’s lots to love about the nutritional make up of a tomato. They are really high in vitamins A, C, B, and K. But they are also glorious for their mineral make up with nutrients like magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and copper.

That’s good news for all of us who are endlessly mineral deficient in America.

And if you are looking for fiber, tomatoes are a great option there too. With overall health benefits including heart health, better vision, lowering hypertension, better digestion, enhancing the skin, and reducing gallstones, tomatoes have a lot to brag about.

For this article, we’ll focus on the 3 main health benefits that are nearest and dearest to an IBDer’s heart:

  • Digestion
  • Heart health
  • Gallbladder disease

Can tomatoes help my digestion?

Yes and no.

If you’re looking for some great ways to get more fiber in your diet, especially if constipation is your digestive challenge (it’s more common in IBD than you might think), look no further than tomatoes. The insoluble fiber in the skin can really help keep you regular.

On the other hand, that same fiber in the tomato skin (that’s where most of the fiber is located), can cause many of us with Crohn’s and colitis to have challenges digesting it.

Seen any tomato pieces in your poop lately? Yep, that’s your IBD body saying, “Nope, not gonna digest it!”

But even if you do struggle to digest tomatoes, don’t write them off so fast because remember, it’s not about whether you think can eat a tomato or not. It’s about putting that potentially healthy tomato in a form that your body can digest and absorb.

But I’ve got IBD. What’s the best way for me to digest tomatoes?

  • Fresh pressed juice (add it to your juicer with some other veggies and fruit)
  • Canned tomatoes (because there’s no skin so it’s easier to digest)
  • Cooked tomatoes (because the fibers are broken down)

So go for it with tomatoes. Just be sure to put it in the best form for where your disease is at right now.

We can get so focused on our gut that we neglect our heart.

It’s easy to get side tracked with the digestive system. It rules everything we do from what we eat, to how we sleep, to the activities we are able to get involved with.

We may not even realize just how much our world is affected by the IBD colored glasses we wear. But next to our digestive system, the other big organ we’ve got to keep as healthy as possible is our heart.

That beautiful, blood pumping machine is vital to our overall health. Afterall, we don’t just function one organ at a time. We are a system that’s only as good as its weakest link. So keeping your heart healthy is just as important as our gut.

Tomatoes provide that heart healthy compound, lycopene.

One study found that eating foods high in lycopene was so important that it not only improved vascular function, it also played a role in preventing cardiovascular disorders. That’s because lycopene is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. When it comes to heart, the antioxidant lycopene been shown to be anti-hypertensive, shown to reduce in arterial stiffness, and reduce plaque in the heart.

And here’s the best part about heart healthy lycopene.

If you’re one of those IBDer’s who say, I guess I’ll miss out on all those lycopene benefits because I can’t digest raw tomatoes—this is one of the rare and awesome times I get to say that cooked is better.

You get more lycopene from cooked tomatoes than from raw.

So no worries if your belly isn’t up to raw tomatoes, cook them in a stew or in a sauce. Easier to digest and more lycopene for you!

How’s your gallbladder doin’?

You know how Joey from Friends is always saying, “How you doin’?” Well, for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis, the question should go like this, “How’s your gallbladder doin’?”

We have notoriously bad gallbladder issues.

Did you know that the risk of gallstones for those with Crohn’s is double the general population? Oh yeah, we’ve got the gallbladder market covered.

While many with IBD do end up having their gallbladder removed, I highly recommend you turn over every stone before letting that happen.

Once it’s removed, you can’t get it back and although doctors like to make light of a cholecystectomy (that’s the fancy name for gallbladder removal) and claim it’s not a big deal, trust me it is a big deal. Living without a gallbladder that’s so important for the release of bile to help us digest fat in the food we eat is crucial for those of us with a digestive disorder.

Studies show that a diet high in fruits and veggies is good for your gallbladder. Of the veggies recommended, tomatoes get high marks.

That’s because tomatoes are high in vitamin C, as well as loads of other vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes help your gallbladder function at its peak. So if gallbladder challenges are impacting you, look to the incredibly healthy and versatile tomato.

Of course, the tomato alone isn’t going to cure your gallbladder disease, but every little bit helps and tomatoes (raw or cooked) are ready to play a role in your overall health.


For all that’s great about tomatoes, even for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis, there’s some things we need to keep in mind before diving in.

A little goes a long way.

When it comes to tomatoes and IBD (and for others as well), eating tomatoes in moderation is key.

You don’t want to go hog wild with tomatoes. Tomatoes are acidic by nature. So too many tomatoes can result in heartburn or a feeling of acid reflux or indigestion. If that happens, it’s a good idea to take a break from tomato consumption for a little while. Thirty days is a good recommended time to see if it makes a difference.

Trying again after a break is important too. It’s the best way to know if there’s a true cause between your love of tomatoes and the symptoms you’re having.

Skins and seeds may not be your friend.

Like I mentioned earlier, eating tomatoes and feeling well after may be all about how you prepare and eat those tomatoes.

Raw and fresh, isn’t the only way to eat a tomato.

People with IBD, especially those who are not in remission, are going to do better with tomatoes that are in fresh pressed juice, ones that are canned, and tomatoes that have been cooked. Cooking breaks down the fiber and reduces the acidic nature of the tomato.

The skin and the seeds are the hardest part of the tomato to digest. Once these components are broken down, tomatoes are much easier to digest and absorb.

And think of all that healthy lycopene you’re absorbing too.

Be careful of over processed tomato products like ketchup and sauces with sugar or additives. These can be just as harmful to our bellies as raw tomatoes. Look for tomato products in their natural state. Either grow and can your own, or choose organic, minimal ingredient products like Bionaturae, Raos, and Muir Glen.

There’s more than one creeper out at night: Nightshades

We can’t conclude our conversation about the potential challenges IBDer’s might have with tomatoes without mentioning nightshade intolerance. Many people living with Crohn’s and colitis are sensitive to a certain type of produce called nightshades. Examples of nightshades include:

  • Tomatoes
  • White potatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Chilies
  • Some spices like cayenne pepper and paprika.

If you don’t tolerate these foods, a nightshade intolerance could be the culprit.

Why does this impact IBDer’s so much?

Well, one of the hallmarks of Crohn’s and colitis is food sensitivities. Many of us with IBD have them, but we aren’t sure which foods bother us, especially when our disease is in an active state.

When we’re in a flare-up it might seem like everything bothers you. But the truth is, we all have specific foods that don’t work for our sensitive bodies. Nightshades could be one of those foods for you.

How do I know if nightshades bother me?

Here’s a list of common nightshade reactions:

  • Arthritis/joint pain
  • Hives/skin rashes
  • Inflammation
  • Achy muscles
  • Bloating and gas
  • Heartburn
  • Itching
  • Excessive mucus

If you suspect a nightshade intolerance, it’s probably best to stay away from tomatoes for now.

Maybe a 30-day trial run without them could help you see if you have a problem. If you find that your sensitivity is mild, some things that help are not eating the skin of nightshades as well as cooking them first.

See, there’s another reason why it’s OK to cook your tomatoes.

Whether tomatoes bother you a little or a lot, there’s a phrase my clients will tell you I often say, “This is your now, it’s not your forever.” You never know. Tomatoes may come your way again down the line. Sometimes your body just needs a break to reset and recalibrate.

Only time will tell what your future holds between you and tomatoes. (sounds like relationship advice, doesn’t it ; )

So, what do you think about tomatoes? Yes, no, or somewhere in the middle?

Let me know in the comments below this post.

One last and really cool thing I have to tell you about the pros and cons of tomatoes for an IBD belly–

Keep in mind that your decision about tomatoes doesn’t have to be 100% yes or 100% no.

Sensitivities come in all shapes and sizes and there’s a continuum to all of this with, “Oh yes, I eat them all the time,” at one end of the spectrum. All the way to, “Mmm, sometimes I partake,” in the middle of the bell curve. To, “Hell to the no, never ever never no” all the way on the other side.

Figuring out where you’re at may take some time and patience, but I think with all the health benefits tomatoes offer, it’s worth figuring out what your relationship with tomatoes should be. And if the answer ends up being a solid no, don’t sweat it. There’s so many healthy foods on the planet just waiting for you to indulge in.

Ready to find out if tomatoes are in your wheel of wellness?


It’s bound to wet your tastebuds and jump start your health. And guess what? For IBD gals who struggle with raw (me, me!!) there’s a cooked version as well so whether you’re a raw tomato girl or a cooked tomato fan, you’ll love everything about this dish.



Prepared chicken salad (see recipe below)

3 large tomatoes

Fresh grated parmesan cheese

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar


Cut ½ inch off the top of each tomato.  Scoop out the pulp.  

Turn the tomatoes upside down on a paper towel to drain excess water while you prepare the chicken salad.  

Once the chicken salad is prepared, place the filling in the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Drizzle oil and vinegar on the top and serve.

*Digestion tip: if raw tomatoes don’t agree with your belly, this recipe can easily bake in the oven and be served warm. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place tomatoes on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm. Avoid eating any seeds and skin.

Chicken Salad

*Use the ingredients that work for your belly, get rid of the rest, keeping in mind you can always cook ingredients to break down the fiber and make them easier to digest.

2-3 pieces of cooked chicken, chopped or shredded

¼ cup celery, minced

1 Tbsp onion, minced

1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

8 green olives, chopped

8 red grapes, chopped

1 Tbsp slivered almonds

Sea salt and pepper to taste


Top with fresh or dried herbs like basil, oregano, parsley or thyme

Resources To Take the Conversation Further:

10 Science-Based Health Benefits Of Tomatoes

Soluble vs Insoluble Fiber

Lycopene and Vascular Health

Cooking Tomatoes Boosts Disease-Fighting Power

Is Gallstone Disease Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Gallbladder Disease and IBD

What to Know About Nightshade Intolerance

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

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 IBD Working Mom: Workplace Challenges and How to Solve Them

Can Crohn’s, colitis and work fit in the same sentence?

Well, for many of us, we make it fit. We need to work. We are fulfilled by our work. We want to work.

But Inflammatory Bowel Disease sometimes makes getting a job, navigating work situations, and keeping that job a bit sticky.

Today, we are going to unstick those sticky work situations so that you have everything you need to have the best IBD work experience possible.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • Six must do tips that fit for any IBD working mom situation
  • How to navigate the work bathroom like an IBD pro
  • The four best jobs for the IBD working mom

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Employee/Employer Resources (ADA and FMLA)

Ally’s Law

Get Your Restroom Access Card Here

Finding a Job That Works for You:

Chronically Capable

Working Nomads

The Mom Project

Flex Jobs

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

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.

From Valentine’s to Galantine’s to Kid-tine’s Day, With a Dash of Keeping it All Gut Friendly… I’ve Got Your Back

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

It used to be simple right? I remember when my hubby and I were dating and even when we were first married, we lived for Valentine’s Day.

I’d make him some kind of a homespun poem, filling in the blanks with conversation hearts like, I wonder if you’ll “Be Mine” and If you love me, will you please “Kiss Me”.

I thought I was so clever.

He’d give me some kind of sexy lingerie—the kind of lingerie all husbands think their wives are thrilled to get. We’d have a romantic date night even though Netflix and Chill hadn’t been invented yet.

How did we get it on before streaming services were invented? Our kids would never get the concept of actually calling on a rotary phone—the kind with the cord that keeps you stationary—and asking someone out!

But my point is, Valentine’s Day then and Valentine’s Day now is a whole different prospect.

With gut challenges that prevent us from enjoying some of the best Valentine’s Day goodies, plus kids that keep us way too busy to even plan a romantic date night, and now with new-fangled inventions like Galentine’s Day to mucky up everything February 14th related, we’re left feeling a bit dazed and confused about just how to spend this ever-changing holiday.

If you want to lift the fog and get a bit clearer on what your Valentine’s, your Kid-tine’s, your Galentine’s Day and what your gut friendly, gut fun Valentine’s Day options are, this is the episode for you.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • A Valentine’s/Galentine’s Meal fit for your gut health and your friends and family
  • Mom-tested, kid-approved Valentine’s candy everyone can eat
  • The reason why Valentine’s Day might turn out to be just another day for you (and why that’s OK)

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Your Complete Valentine’s/Galentine’s Meal Plan

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

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 Ways to Reduce Crohn’s & Colitis Arthritis Pain Naturally

Arthritis. Painful achy joints. Body stiffness. Difficulty getting your arms and legs moving in the morning. Swelling and tenderness showing up in your elbows, fingers, toes, knees, back, hips, wrists…

Are ailments like these just part of life with Crohn’s and colitis or is there something we can do to not just to cover up the debilitating pain and discomfort.

Something that gets to the root cause to bust that pain for good.

If you’ve been struggling with Crohn’s and colitis induced arthritis, achy or stiff body parts that keep you from your daily activities, this is the episode for you.

I’ve got you covered with 7 ways to combat the daily pain and they are all natural and research backed by scientific studies.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • The link between leaky gut and arthritis inflammation
  • The best and worst foods to eat when arthritis is flaring
  • The simplest joint lubricator that’s already in your own home

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Aloe Vera

Oral Administration of Aloe Vera Gel Study

Aloe Vera Juice Recipe

Cod Liver Oil & Fish Oil

Cod Liver Oil for RA Study

The Role of Fish Oil for RA Study

Turmeric and Curcumin

The Efficacy of Turmeric Extract and Curcumin on Joint Arthritis


The Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger

Effect of Ginger on Inflammatory Markers

Improving Knee Pain with Ginger Extract

Proteolytic Enzymes

The Safety and Efficacy of Enzyme Combination Wobenzym

Bromelain As a Treatment for Osteoarthritis

Episode Resources:

Arthritis: Diet and Supplementation

The Benefits of Using Aloe Vera for Joint Pain

Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe Vera for Back Pain Relief

Turmeric Anti-Inflammatory Properties on Arthritis

Curcumin for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Biological Properties of 6-Gingerol

Arthritis: What’s to Drink

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

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.