All posts by Karyn Haley

{#herIBDstory} From Ulcerative Colitis to SCD: Jennifer Brown Leads A Life of Happenstance

Three weeks into October…

Are you already hitting a wall finding easy fall recipes that are good for your crohn’s or colitis, and also get the kid stamp of approval too?

If you love a tasty fall recipe that’s also good for your gut and something everyone in your clan will enjoy, you’re going to love this episode.

You’re also going to love this episode if you’re looking for a real life story of how the specific carbohydrate diet can work to help control your IBD symptoms. With me on this episode of The Cheeky Podcast is Jennifer Brown, SCD follower and chief recipe developer at her website A Life of Happenstance.

Jennifer and I talk about so many hot button issues for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis.

We explore how anxiety and stress affects our disease, we get into hormones and pregnancy’s effects on Crohn’s and colitis, we talk about Jennifer’s Specific Carbohydrate Diet journey and how this gutsy lady who never knew how to shop for groceries or make meals became an SCD pro, a seasoned cook, and a recipe developer.

Grab your tea and put your feet up mama. Get ready for a juicy conversation!

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • How Jennifer found success on the SCD when she didn’t know how to grocery shop or cook before she got started
  • The ways stress and anxiety has an impact on your Crohn’s or colitis
  • How you can get your hands on Jennifer’s latest fall recipes (I’ll just tease you with 3 little words– apple cider cake)

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

CONNECT WITH JENNIFER:

Jennifer’s Website: A Life of Happenstance

Jennifer on Instagram

Jennifer on Facebook

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.

Bonus Episode: More Fall & Winter Immune Boosting Ideas {for you and your kiddos}

Last week’s episode: 5 Supplements That Make the Cut to Boost Your Immune System and Keep you Healthy and Your Crohn’s or Colitis Happy This Cold and Flu Season covered a lot of ground.

We talked about supplements that should be a staple in your house—for both you and your kiddos. We went over the highest quality, batch tested brands that are worth the purchase. We also learned about the best online resources for those supplements.

But there’s a few things we ran out of time for.

Kitchen staples (food and drinks) and important natural detoxifiers we should all keep on hand as preventives and remedies for the myriad of germs that constantly circle us this time of year.

These kitchen staples are the perfect complement for your supplement arsenal.

In this bonus episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, we wrap up our important immune boosting conversation.

It’s a conversation that will not only keep the fall and winter sickies at bay but will keep your Crohn’s & colitis happy too!

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • The immune boosting beverage that also works as a healthier alternative to coffee too
  • Hands down, the best honey to use as a cough suppressant (and it’s good for your belly too)
  • The morning preventive detox water recipe that you can make with staples that are already in your kitchen

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Get Your FREE Kitchen Arsenal Morning Detox Recipes Here

Got a Question? Bring it to My Facebook Page

Episode 26: Far Infrared Light Therapy

Episode 46: 4 Stellar Coffee Substitutes That Make Your Gut and Your Tastebuds Happy

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.

5 Supplements That Make the Cut for Your Fall/Winter Immune Boosting Arsenal

So I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

Good news first.

Fall is in full swing and all the fun that goes along with it is happening. Beautiful fall leaves, kids in school, pumpkin patches, my favorite delish root veggies are at their peak of the season and are ready to be roasted.

Now for the bad news.

Fall is here and that also means we’re heading into cold and flu season. Covid is still wreaking havoc in some parts of the United States and definitely in other parts of the world. There’s never been a more important time to boost your immune system.

So all of those ailments that love to take up residence in your body, those lingering viruses and infections—they simply pass you by, your Crohn’s or colitis stays stable and you enjoy all the good times that fall and winter have to offer!

Today I’m dishing on the Top 5 Immune Boosting Supplements to keep on hand this fall and winter as preventives and remedies for everything that ails you.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • The 2 reasons why your vitamin C isn’t working as well as it could be
  • The problem with most vitamin D supplements
  • The fall/winter immune boosting supplement your kiddos shouldn’t be without

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Got a Question? Bring it to My Facebook Page

Episode 22 Juicing vs Smoothies: What’s Better for Gut Healing

Episode 24 Soup’s On: The Best Gut Repair Soups to Bust That Flare-Up

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe

iHerb.com Online Supplements

PureFormulas.com Online Supplements

Episode Links:

Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and Bone Health

T-Lymphocytes and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

9 Benefits of NAC

Benefits of Glutathione

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.

Is This a Flare-Up? 3 Questions to Ask to Know For Sure

I’m flaring bad!

Oh, she’s in a flare-up! It’s a flare-up!

How often have you heard statements like these from your fellow Crohnie’s or gals with UC? I bet you’ve said things like this about yourself at least time or two, or 5 or 20 or more depending on how long you’ve had your digestive disorder.

When it comes to Crohn’s and colitis, it’s all about the flare-up. We live in a constant state of, “Am I flaring or am I in remission?” and it can definitely be all consuming.

But how do you know if what you’re going through is truly flare-up material when it could be a stomach pain like all “normal” people have from time to time or some diarrhea or other digestive symptoms from something completely unrelated to your Crohn’s or colitis.

That’s what today’s episode is all about. How do you know if it really is a flare-up?

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • Why getting on a flare-up right away is the key to a digestive blip vs a long term sideline from life
  • Why Covid complicates things
  • Now that you know it’s a flare-up, what do you do?

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

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 Reasons Why the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Didn’t Work For You

I see it all the time.

Women come to me and say, I don’t get it. The SCD (the specific carbohydrate diet) seems to work for everyone with Crohn’s and colitis. I’ve tried it and I did everything right—fanatical adherence. And I still feel awful—maybe even worse.

Why didn’t it work for me?

Have you experienced this too? It’s so much more common than you might think when you’re out there doing this on your own feeling like the only one.

If this sounds like you, you’ve tried the SCD, you did everything the experts told you, you rocked it, but you still feel horrible. If you were left feeling defeated, frustrated and alone—this episode is tailor-made for you.

And if the SCD is on your radar, but you’re still gathering info and trying to decide when is the best time to start, this episode is definitely for you too mama because it’s going to save you wasted time and heartache as you venture out into the world of SCD

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • The reason why even though you feel like your miles away from SCD success, you really just steps away
  • The best nut flour for your digestive health
  • Why grains could be on the menu for your SCD gut healing plan

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Episode #5: The Top 3 SCD Missteps Everyone Makes

Episode #25 Coconut Flour 101

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.

Crohn’s & Colitis Meal Planning Made Easy

Happy New Year!

I can hear you saying, what?

I like to think of September as The New Year for Moms. When the kids go back to school, it’s time to get more “you” time, time to start something new that will give you big, bold traction on your Crohn’s and colitis healing, something like… (drum roll)… meal planning.

Wa-wa (like you got the answer wrong on a game show).

Not the climax you were looking for I bet. Many mamas groan when they hear those two words, but that’s only because they haven’t figured it out yet.

Today, I’m helping you figure out how doing meal planning the right way can give you less stress, more free time, and allow you to spend less moola on groceries.

Don’t think it’s possible? Oh, it is! Come join me and I’ll show you how.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • What is meal planning with your gut health in mind
  • 11 amazing benefits of meal planning that are also good for your gut
  • 3 tips to help you start meal planning today

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

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.

Crohn’s & Colitis Friendly Condiments from the Condiment Queen

Do you love condiments as much as me? Ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, salsa, and dips like guacamole and hummus?

You bet you do!

They add a little flava-flav to just about everything you eat. But when it comes to being able to enjoy condiments like these on your favorite foods, you run into two problems…

#1- The ingredients in traditional condiments wreak havoc on your gut (whether you know it or not).

And…

#2- Condiments like these, the ones you find at your local grocery store, are never on your gut healing diet. The ingredients are either full of sugar or chemicals (and often, both).

If you’re a condiment lover, hold on to your hat mama because this week on the podcast, I’m setting you up for condiment success.

I’m dishing out some seriously good news when it comes to these flavor makers. Condiments that turn your plain food from iffy to spiffy (yep, I said it) and at the same time, make your belly happy too!

We talk about:

  • The ingredients in 95% of all condiments that make your gut do a tailspin
  • Quick and simple recipes if you want to make your condiments at home (great for knowing exactly what’s in them)
  • How you know when you’re ready to start eating condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, BBQ sauce (all the good stuff) when you’re on a gut healing diet
  • Why condiments are the key to getting your kids to eat healthy food

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll have simple and delicious condiment recipes at your fingertips, knowledge about which store-bought condiments are gut healthy, and access to all the best condiment brands on the market. You go, condiment queen.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [07:00] The ingredients in 95% of all condiments that make your gut do a tailspin
  • [09:16] Why Mrs. Butterworth isn’t as friendly as she looks
  • [14:10] Quick and simple recipes if you want to make your condiments at home (great for knowing exactly what’s in them)
  • [15:00] Gut healthy, yet super tasty condiment ideas you can buy at the grocery store
  • [15:31] The absolute best condiment brands you can always trust
  • [16:18] How you know when you’re ready to start eating condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, BBQ sauce (all the good stuff) when you’re on a gut healing diet
  • [19:15] Why condiments are the key to getting your kids to eat healthy food
  • [22:23] The benefits of the condiment caddy and what to put it in
  • [24:04] The best way to take this conversation to the next level and get your gut healing plan in place today

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode

You’re FREE Resource: Condiments for a Healthy Belly and a Happy Mama

Book Your 30-Minute IBD Consultation HERE

DM Me on Facebook

Episode Transcript:

Do you love condiments as much as me? Ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, salsa… dips, aw dips, like guacamole and hummus?

Definitely tasty, but the problem is, with so many added ingredients like sugar and salt, plus chemicals to enhance flavor and color, and preservatives to increase shelf life, they’re usually not so healthy for your gut. But today we’re going to change all that so you can rest assured that the condiments your consuming aren’t messing with your digestive system. In this episode, I’m going to share with you the best gut healthy condiments you can have, ways to make the unhealthy condimnents healthy, and all the while, keep your Crohn’s or colitis belly happy.

If you love condiments as much as I do, it’s time to take your condiments from iffy to spiffy. Uh, the corniness has begun. Let’s get this condiment party started!

[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]

Hello dear one and welcome back to The Cheeky Podcast—the best place to be for moms with Crohn’s and colitis who are trying to heal with out of the box remedies that honor not just your symptoms, but your mom lifestyle as well. I am so thrilled to share this time with you today. Whether you’re dropping the kids off at school, washing the dishes, exercising or just laying down and chilling like you deserve mama, thanks for hanging out with me for a bit, I couldn’t appreciate you more. I love this podcast medium. It’s the perfect way to connect with you, my fellow gut loving mama.

After last week’s deeply personal and sometimes dark episode, episode 50 (go check it out if you haven’t yet), I needed something a little lighter this week. Something equally important for your gut health, but a little lighter. Something that brings joy to my life, and I hope joy to your life too.

And that’s condiments.

You know me as Karyn, the Crohn’s and Colitis Health Coach, but in my family, I’m known as the condiment queen. Move over Queen Elizabeth. I never met a condiment I didn’t like. Whether it was pre-Crohn’s as a kid, or after I started eating gut healing and healthy food, all the way to today. Condiments and I are, as the cool kids say, BFF’s. How about you? Do you love a good condiment? Do you have to have ketchup and mustard or mayonnaise on your burger? Maybe it’s relish or barbecue sauce? I’ll put condiments on anything but when it comes to a burger for me there’s nothing better than a barbecue sauce mayo combo and for a hot dog I like traditional yellow mustard and relish. If I’m lucky, some kraut.

Mouth watering yet?

[05:30] I’d love to know your sauce or a condiment obsessions. I remember way back in the day, when I was a kid, I had to put ketchup on everything. From breakfast eggs to dinner steak and everything in between, ketchup was my jam. My youngest child must take after me because he was quite the ketchup connoisseur as well. Lately he’s started to shy away from ketchup a bit, I think because his brothers like to tease him about it (and we all know how the whole older sibling younger sibling dynamic works), but if he had his way I think he’d put ketchup on salad.

Like I said, as a kid it was all about ketchup, but as I got older I fell in love with blue cheese on my pizza—maybe for you it’s ranch… fries dipped in mayonnaise (you can thank visiting the lovely country of Belgium for that), and to this day whenever I go out to a fancy restaurant, I have to order a sauce like bearnaise, or green peppercorn for my filet mignon.

[07:00] Condiments can enhance the flavor of pretty much everything we eat, but condiments, the kind we buy at the grocery store are usually really unhealthy for even healthy people, and for those of us with gut disorders like Crohn’s and colitis, the ingredients can be so disastrously disruptive, that at best, they said us to the toilet, and at worst they ignite the flames of a flareup.

Most store-bought condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salsa, salad dressings, hot sauce, soy sauce… all the ones that are probably in most kitchen refrigerators are usually filled with added sugars and salt. And over time, the sugar especially, will mess with your gut and create a bacterial imbalance and a host of distressing digestive symptoms.

If it was only natural sugar and natural salt that was added to condiments, I think we could find some work arounds, but the worst part of about these grocery store condiments is that they are filled with artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, even chemical preservatives and those of us with the gut disorders can be really sensitive ingredients like these. Even if you don’t feel it right away (like running to the bathroom 5 minutes after you eat), these artificial ingredients can make your Crohn’s or colitis worse and be one of the factors that keeps us from finding true and lasting remission.

Let me  give you a few examples so you can see exactly what I’m talking about here.

Let’s take maple syrup- Mrs. Butterworth? Seems like a friendly lady right. Think again. That’s definitely not maple syrup that’s hangin out in that kind of freaky looking bottle where we pour the syrup from the top of her head—come on, you know it’s weird. Syrups like Mrs. Butterworth, not to pick on her because there’s lots of other maple syrup imposters out there, have no maple syrup in them. Instead they’re filled with high fructose corn syrup, and, because hfcs wasn’t enough, then some more corn syrup, and then some cane sugar because the hfcs and the corn syrup wasn’t enough sweetness for the manufactures. Also caramel color and sodium hexa-meta-phosphate, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), and then there’s that added artificial flavorings (and who even knows what that means).

BBQ sauce is loaded with multiple types of sugar.

Many queso dips contain MSG.

Teriyaki and soy sauce are both loaded with sodium and gluten.

And don’t even get me started on your favorite store bought, supposedly healthy salad dressing. A salad should be a healthy meal. But the chemicals, the artificial flavors, preservatives, the gut disrupting gums that are used to keep the ingredients emulsified, the added sugar… makes your “healthy” meal anything but healthy.

If you’ve looked into or started any gut healing diet for your Crohn’s and colitis, you know that none of these store-bought condiments are allowed. There’s just too much crap. They’re not natural, and their ingredients cause major disruptions to your already disrupted gut.

So, even though you know you’ll miss condiments like crazy, you are motivated mama and you start that gut healthy, gut healing diet and all these condiments are off-limits. You’re eating dry chicken and tasteless vegetables. Your food has no pizzazz, no flavor, no flair. And it just makes you feel serious FOMO. Everyone else can eat jazzy, spicy, bold, flavorful, delicious treats, but you’re stuck with boring, bland, tasteless cardboard.

[13:04] If you’re smiling or laughing right now, you get it. You get the dilemma. It’s not fair.

But, hold the phone mama because I’m here to change all of that for you. Just because you’re eating gut healthy doesn’t mean your food has to be tasteless or boring. Hell to the no! Healthy food can be super tasty. You just have to add your own flair to it.

You can say yes to ketchup, you can say yes to a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce, you can say yes to creamy, delectable mayonnaise and salad dressing and sauces that make your Asian dishes sing. It’s all about finding a way to either create your condiments in a really simple and speedy way in your kitchen or knowing which brands have ingredients are best for your sensitive digestive system.

If you’re like me and you love condiments and food that tastes good, you’re going to definitely appreciate a brand new resource I have to share. I created this one especially for my clients who understandably refuse to give up flava when they’re in gut healing mode. It’s my pdf guide—”Condiments for a Healthy Belly and a Happy Mama” and it’s yours absolutely free. This condiment resource has quick and simple recipes for some of your favorite condiments, it has ideas for healthy condiments you can buy at the grocery store, and it also has my favorite condiment brands, so you know exactly what to buy and where, when it comes to your purchasing options. If you are a condiment queen like me, you’re going to love this resource. You can get it by going to Karynhaley.com/condiments That’s karynhaley.com/condiments

You can also get your free resource by checking out the show notes. I’ll leave a link there as well.

Before we wrap up for today, I want to address one of the questions I always get asked about condiments when it comes to eating for your gut health. Many gut healing diets like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, The GAPS diet, Paleo, even the gluten-free or dairy free diets, don’t get into when is it OK to add condiments (healthier condiments) like these to your every day eating plan.

[16:18] Although everyone is individual and some condiments that work for one mama will not work for another, the rule of thumb I like to follow is when you can eat all of the ingredients in the condiment separately without any G.I. or non-G.I. reaction, you can eat that condiment, in all its glory.

So if you’re waiting to enjoy mayonnaise for example, check out your mayonnaise recipe if you’re making it homemade, or the ingredients list for a store-bought option. It might include ingredients like eggs, a specific type of oil, maybe some Dijon mustard, sometimes you’ll see lemon juice or vinegar in mayonnaise. Can you tolerate all of these ingredients individually, by themselves? If you can, that condiment is yours for the taking.

Make sense?

Cool, so go for it with healthy homemade or store-bought condiments from my pdf resource guide because they really will jazz up any gut healing food you’re eating. I remember when I began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet back in 2008, condiments and seasonings became my go-to for every meal. It’s amazing how wonderful and deliciously healthy gut healing food can taste when you have the right condiments and the right spices and seasonings. It doesn’t hide the food like so many traditional condiments do. It brings out the natural flavor in the food. It’s just an absolutely different gastric experience when you eat this way.

So that’s good news isn’t it? Condiments are not off the table even when you are trying to eat gut healthy for your Crohn’s and colitis. Want to know something that might be even better than that? I’m going to tell you how to do condiments like the bad ass boss mom I know you are.

Let’s do condiments like only a mom can.

When you’ve collected all of these delicious and healthy condiments, you want to have them at the ready for you, but you can also have them at the ready for your kids too. Condiments are the key to getting your kids to eat healthy food.

[19:15] I’ve gotta shout that from the roof top one more time: Condiments are the key to getting your kids to eat healthy food.

The key to doing condiments like the mom I know you are is to set up a condiment caddy, one that is circular and spinnable. Some people call it a Lazy Susan. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google Lazy Susan. You’ll see exactly the device I mean. It’s a round platter that spins. When it comes to breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, set out the condiment caddy right in the middle of the table and watch what it does for your kids taste buds.

There’s two rules that bad ass moms follow when it comes to the condiment caddy. Rule #1 about the condiment caddy that works perfectly in your kids favor is that they are allowed to put whatever condiment from the condiment caddy they choose on their food. Even if you think it’s gross. I mean, even if they choose to put ketchup on their salad.

The second rule about the condiment caddy is that initially, they are allowed to put as much of that condiment as they want wherever they want. So again, back to getting your kids to eat salad, they are allowed to put as much salad dressing on that salad as they wish… at first.

Those two rules definitely go your kids favor. But with rule number two, as you get your kid used to whatever healthy food you’re dishing up, you start to pull back a little bit on the condiment. Eventually and hopefully you’ll be at an amount you consider to be sane.

[22:23] I got my kids to eat broccoli this way. A little parmesan cheese and butter on their broccoli and voila, they are now broccoli lovers. Same thing with spinach salad—at first they loaded it up with ranch dressing. Little by little, they were easing up on the dressing and loading up on the spinach—well at least it worked for 2 of my kids and don’t they say 2 out of 3 ain’t bad!

And if you’re wondering what would I possibly put in my condiment caddy, you’ll definitely want to check out my free pdf resource: Condiments for a Healthy Belly and a Happy Mama. It’s got condiments galore so I have no doubt you’ll find some condiments you and your kids will love. Remember you can find your PDF resource by going to the show notes or typing in KarynHaley.com/condiments into your browser.

Do it like a the amazing mom I know you are with the condiment caddy.

OK my friend, did I answer all of your questions about the best ways to use condiments to jazz up healthy, gut healing food… about buying healthy condiments at the grocery store and making super simple delicious condiments that will make your belly happy at home… and how to get the kids involved by making condiments the gateway to health food? If anything I’ve talked about today is unclear or you still have questions, be sure to DM me on Facebook. I’m happy to continue the conversation over there. On Facebook I am @TheIBDHealthCoach. @ TheIBDHealth coach.

[24:04] And if you’re a Crohn’s or colitis mama and you’re struggling—maybe you were just diagnosed, or you’re struggling to get off the toilet, struggling to have enough energy to enjoy time with your kiddos, struggling to get your head around the steps you need to take to create a healing path for you—that’s definitely my specialty… know that I’m here for you. I offer free 30-min coaching sessions for moms with Crohn’s and colitis who are ready to get clear on their healing path, so they can move forward with confidence, clarity, and good gut health. During our 30-minute consultation, we set goals together, we talk about how we can marry your symptoms and your lifestyle to create the best plan for your needs and wants, and we talk about how we can work together with me as your guide to get you to the other side faster and with less roadblocks. And whether we decide working together is a good fit or not, you leave the session with tools you can use to jump start your Crohn’s or colitis healing journey right away.

Win-win.

If you’re ready to take big bold steps mama to heal your Crohn’s or colitis, I’ve got you covered. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation at KarynHaley.com/IAMREADY.  That’s KarynHaley.com/IAMREADY

Dear one, just for today because we like to take it one day at a time– be bold, be brave, be kind to yourself, but always, always be true to who you are.

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.

After 35 Years With IBD: 5 IBD Breakdowns That Turned into Breakthroughs

It’s the big 5-0 (episode 50) and I’m getting personal to celebrate this milestone.

Thanks for hanging out with me over the past 50 episodes and for stopping by each week for your dose of IBD information from a food, lifestyle, and mindset perspective. I appreciate you more than you know!

Throughout episodes 1-50, you’ve heard others share their story. You’ve heard me talk about my clients, but I haven’t really shared a lot about my IBD journey, up close and personal, warts and all.

You’ve even sent me some really lovely emails asking why I do the work I do and why I started this podcast. You asked for a while now, so here’s goes nothing.

Today, I’m getting vulnerable, taking a break from my introverted self, and pulling back the curtain to share a few things I’ve learned in my 35-year Crohn’s experience with 5 breakdowns that threatened to take me down, and 5 breakthrough paths I chose to take instead. There’s lots of heartache in this one, but with lots of triumph thrown in too. Hope you enjoy and that some part of the episode speaks directly to you.

We talk about:

  • The dangers of using prednisone steroids long term
  • How bad 80’s hair isn’t so bad when you consider all the other bad things that happen in this life
  • Why gut healing food isn’t the only answer when it comes to keeping your IBD in remission
  • How you can get through any embarrassing IBD bathroom situation with a little stealth and a lot of humor
  • How everything in your IBD life comes back to your Wheel of IBD Wellness

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll definitely have your answer to why I created this podcast and why I do the work that I do. And most of all, I hope this information sparks some inspiration for you to keep fighting when you want to give up, keep asking questions and finding answers, and always, always be the one in charge of your healthcare.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [06:24] How bad 80’s hair isn’t so bad when you consider all the other bad things that happen in this life
  • [15:50] What a Sitz Bath is and why it could be your best friend when you Crohn’s or colitis rectal involvement
  • [16:49] How you can get through any embarrassing IBD bathroom situation with a little stealth and a lot of humor
  • [20:55] The dangers of using prednisone steroids long term
  • [22:15] The benefits of having a supportive mom by your side
  • [32:01] How you’ll need to pivot your IBD plan many times in your lifetime
  • [35:00] Why one particular infertility doctor is stupid
  • [37:53] Why you shouldn’t get cocky when it’s 10-0 in the 7th inning stretch
  • [45:15] Why gut healing food isn’t the only answer when it comes to keep your IBD in remission
  • [46:36] How everything in your IBD life comes back to your Wheel of IBD Wellness
  • [53:10] 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

Episode 30: I’m Doing Everything Right, How Come I’m Not Better

Dr. Allison Siebecker

Episode Transcript:

Welcome to episode 50 of The Cheeky Podcast. I can’t freaking believe it. Our little engine that could is raising our consciousness and giving hope to women all around the world that we mamas with IBD, we are bad assess and we will never give up, and we will never stop finding the true healing path in all of us.

Podcasts are and amazing invention, aren’t they? Connecting us to each other so we can find ways to help our Crohn’s and our colitis and I’m really proud to be a part of that.

Have you been with me since the beginning? You go girl! Joined halfway through? Amen sister friend? Maybe this is your first episode. Welcome aboard! No matter when you joined the conversation mama, I am so happy to have you here, I’m so grateful for you and I can’t wait to share some IBD wisdom with you in this special and very personal episode #50. Buckle up, because it might just be a bumpy ride.

Here we go!

Hey hey dear one. I’m so happy to share this time with you today. It’s episode 50. Whoo, hoo!! We made it. And to celebrate, would you do me a favor? Whether this is your first or 50th time with The Cheeky Podcast in your ears, if you’re enjoying the information, would you please take a minute to give us a positive rating and review in itunes? It helps other IBD mamas hear about all the IBD goodness we’re putting out each week. Thanks dear one, I appreciate you. Now we’ve got lots to talk about today.

Like I mentioned at the top, this is episode 50 and throughout the weeks and months that the podcast has been on, you’ve sent the most lovely and supportive emails and several have asked me to do this for quite a while. You tell me that the how to’s have been valuable in your healing, and you’re loving the interviews, but you’re wondering why I haven’t shared my story yet. What made me want to start the podcast? What’s my IBD story?

If I’m being really honest with you and with myself, I’ve put off talking in depth about my IBD story because I’m just not that comfortable being at the center of the story. I love telling client stories, talking about what I’ve learned on my IBD journey, but talking about myself, my mama always taught me the best way to shine is to shine a light on someone else.

But today, in honor of the big 5-0, I’m going to swallow my introverted nerves, and put it all out there, my Crohn’s story—at lease the parts I think will benefit you. I hope it inspires you in some way, to see your story in my story, to keep pushing forward, to never give up, to believe in your power, to know the strength and value of what you bring to the table with your intuition and insights– through all your provider interactions, and ultimately how you have the power to take charge of your own healthcare decisions. That’s the main thing I’ve learned in my 35 years with IBD. So, I’m getting vulnerable with 5 breakdowns I’ve experienced in my time with IBD and how I was able to turn those breakdowns into breakthroughs. Maybe you’ll see a bit of what you’ve gone through in my story, and insights to take with you for what you have yet to go through on your IBD journey.

Let’s go ahead and dive in with breakdown to breakthrough #1. It all starts with the diagnosis.

Like so many with Crohn’s and colitis, my story begins in a hospital.   

At 17 years old, I was just graduating from high school, ready to go to college 3 ½ hours from home to study dance with hopes of continuing my dancing career that started at age 3.   

I was ready to take on the world!   

[06:24] And let me give you just a little more context into where I was at, at that time. In my nuclear family, I was the “baby” in a house full of boys—the only girl with 3 older brothers- or more accurately, it was more like having 4 fathers who loved to watch my every move! I grew up in an upper/middle class family in the privileged community of Orchard Park, NY.  Go Quakers! I was fairly sheltered, moderately spoiled (although my brothers would tell you mega spoiled) and through most of my life up til that point, my biggest worry was “Do I have enough hairspray to hold up my big 80’s hair?” 

But back at the hospital, I was coming out of exploratory surgery where a colorectal surgeon was trying to find out why I kept having bloody poops and why I had several rectal fissures (tears in my rectal lining that bled when I pooped or sat down, or stood up, or moved…). 

“Hrfmmmbbrrrr….. Croobsh Distreshffff….. Vefishr Siknerth…..”   

No need to adjust your earbuds. These are just the sounds I woke up to as the anesthesia wore off after surgery. I can still hear it in my head today, these muffled voices and I remember seeing a blur of people I vaguely recognized as my parents and my doctor.  They were talking in hushed tones like people do in a hospital.  I remember, I couldn’t make out what they were saying, just those mumbles.  And the image lasted only a moment and I was out again, blissfully unaware that my life was about to change forever.  When I think back on those last moments of unknowing I had IBD, I wish I would have known that change was coming.  I wish I would have fully embraced those last few moments of true childhood innocence. 

As many loving parents do in a situation like this, mine tried and shield me from the emotional and physical pain they knew would follow.  Even when recover and wake from surgery, they didn’t tell me anything.  They said “the procedure went well” and “we’ll talk when we get home”.   

This isn’t the first time I have been shielded from the truth.   

Since I was 14, strange symptoms were creeping up with no known cause.  I went from stomach pain to esophagus pain to canker sores in my mouth and finally to bloody poop.  Well-meaning doctors diagnosed me with everything from Esophagitis to Endometriosis. 

It seems crazy to me now that they didn’t put 2 and 2 together. Or if they did, they were clearly getting 5!

So many of us have experiences like this before we get our IBD diagnosis. I’ve heard about this happening over and over from GLC members and clients—that it took years to get a proper diagnosis.

I have no clue why it takes so long.

 At the time, when I was getting all these non-IBD diagnoses—for 3 years, I didn’t question anything.  

I never asked, “Why would an otherwise healthy 14-year-old girl have esophagitis?”  In hindsight, I feel kind of stupid for not asking the right questions, but I don’t even know what the right questions would have been.

THE DIAGNOSIS THAT CHANGES MY LIFE

A couple days after that surgery, my parents sat me down to tell me the truth, “The doctor did a biopsy while you were at the hospital and discovered you have Crohn’s Disease.”  

You know exactly what my response was, I know you do. What’s Crohn’s Disease?

I didn’t know what Crohn’s was, but I knew the word DISEASE and it definitely didn’t sound good. 

At 17, I endured my first real breakdown moment in life when I got that diagnosis. Can you think back to that moment for you? When you got that diagnosis. It sucks right? Definitely a breakdown moment. Maybe a little bit of a relief because now you know what you have, but at the same time, it still sucks.

For me, sure, I had had some teenage challenges before this. I had boyfriends dump me, got through catty girl stuff and actually endured some pretty nasty bullying in middle school, but this breakdown, this IBD diagnosis was different. It made the other teenager challenges seem silly and frivolous.

The good news is that with this breakdown, I didn’t stay in the broken phase very long.

Even though any sort of physical healing from Crohn’s was still 20 years away for me, this physical breakdown of my body, led to an emotional breakthrough that still carries me through every challenge I encounter in my life.

Something I have to tell you as a side note, before I go any further is that I come from a long line of really strong women.  Great, great grandmothers and great aunts that immigrated from Italy with nothing.  An Italian grandmother I called Nana who lived a life of only going to school until the 4th grade, never owning a single toy or a doll, marrying an abusive husband, yet still carrying on– always bringing me to laughing tears with the stories she would tell.   

And my mother, who underwent multiple eye surgeries—6 or 7 I think before she turned 18 months old—throughout her life, she was legally blind in one eye. When my mom was 77 years old, she was diagnosed with liver cancer. Her doctors gave her 6 months to live, but she lived 6 years—mainly out of shear willpower and faith.

The Train Leaves the Station 

It’s because of these remarkable women in my life that after I graduated from high school and was diagnosed with Crohn’s that it was just expected I would carry on, strong and confident, that I could get through this, no sweat.  The strength of the maternal women in my life got me through that first blur of a summer with multiple doctor’s appointments, multiple medications and a new lifestyle to adjust to.  

In July, the summer I was about to turn 18, I remember vividly a conversation I had with my mom where I said to her, “Mom, I don’t think I can go to college anymore.  I’m so sick.  I’ve lost so much weight.  I’m so scared of how I will make it at college 3 ½ hours away from home.”   

My mom didn’t miss a beat.  In a loving way she sat me down and said, “It doesn’t matter that you’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s, Karyn. You will get through it. What’s more important is that the train of life is leaving the station.  If you don’t get on the train, Crohn’s be damned, your life will pass you by.”  That was all the discussion we had about it. I went to college.

With support like that, there’s no room for self-doubt.   

My first physical breakdown of the diagnosis of Crohn’s that turned into an emotional breakthrough happened when I went away to college two months after being diagnosed and I am eternally grateful that my mom didn’t let me wallow and lag behind.  College still holds some of the best memories and life lessons I could ever imagine.  

IBD and College: Life with Crohn’s in a College Far Away 

Breakdown #2

Breakdown #2 that turned into a breakthrough picks up my story about where we just left off. The breakdown begins as soon as I hit the college dorms.

It involves a sitz bath, 5-ASA medications that didn’t work, a year’s worth of steroids with 20 lbs of weight gain, face mooning, and finally becoming suicidal.

Let me break down my breakdown for you.

So, I have to start off first with complete honesty. While I was at college, I did engage in the typical college antics—parties, drinking, sorority life— but much of my college life, as I’m sure you can imagine, having IBD too— it was different than those around me.  

When I went to college, I was having really painful poops.  Like cry out in pain when I pooped painful. Those rectal fissures I told you about earlier?  Still there, except now I had more of them.

[15:50] It hurt so much to poop, that I had to use this contraption called a Sitz bath when I went #2. Have you heard of these? If you’re having painful poops, maybe a Sitz bath can help you too. Basically a sitz bath is a plastic, round bucket that sits on your toilet seat. You fill it with warm water and do your business in the water filled sitz bath, then flush all the contents down the toilet. In my experience, the warmer the water the better. It definitely lessens a painful poop when you have fissures or hemorrhoids.  

Every time I had to poop my freshman year in college, I’d go to the community toilet in the dorm (yeah, one of those gross community bathrooms everyone on the floor uses), I’d go in there hiding the Sitz Bath, a jug for the water and a towel to wipe my bum in a duffle bag.  I’d try to go to the bathroom when no one was around so they wouldn’t see me filling the water jug at the sink before I went into the bathroom stall.  I was super self-conscious that someone would ask, “why the hell are you filling a water jug and taking it into the stall?” 

Sometimes I was stealth and no one walked in.

[16:49] Sometimes, my dorm mates would see me and give me really strange looks, but thankfully they never questioned it—at least out loud.

I can laugh about the ridiculousness of it all now! 

Freshman year, there was also the rectal abscess I endured where I got a high fever from the infectious, puss filled, hard, sack in my butt. My doctor inserted a tube just to the right of my rectum to drain it. I had to keep it in for moths, and I hobbled along, even danced in a showcase performance, with this small tube sticking out of my butt. It sucked.

Someone please tell me that the treatment for rectal abscesses has advanced over the years. That’s just crazy!

But the worst part of my college experience happened my sophomore year when my disease had progressed beyond Dipentum, Asacol, Pentasa and antibiotics like Flagyl and Cipro. 

Shout an “Amen” if you remember any of these oldies! They’ve all been replaced with other, hopefully better, 5-ASA’s now. 

My doc told me it was time for steroids— specifically prednisone.  And of course this was a point in my life where I was a good little patient and did what I was told. If my doc said, steroids, I said, sure!  He mentioned to me about the weight gain, the “mooning” of the face, the acne that might follow… but the part about the emotional symptoms that might come up… not so much.   

Plus this was in the early 90’s. The days when steroids were given long term. After one year on these toxic drugs, I was teaming with anger outbursts, I was so moody my friends never knew if Dr. Jeckle or Mr. Hyde would show up, I was being teased with guys telling me, “You missed the freshman 15 and decided to gain the sophomore 20, huh? And finally it was the long term depression that set me into a downward spiral and messed with my mind. Eventually I started having thoughts of suicide.

Talk about a massive breakdown. How could this possibly turn into a breakthrough? Again, it took my remarkable mom stepping up and stepping in.

[20:55] One day when she was visiting me at college, I told my mom that I had started to feel suicidal. Again, this unflappable lady, she didn’t miss a beat. She marched me straight to my doctor’s office—I remember we definitely didn’t have an appointment—she demanded that the doctor see me immediately. I don’t think we even waited in the waiting room (maybe because the staff was afraid of others encountering my mom’s wrath) and when the doctor came in, she told that doctor that he was to immediately taper my steroids. She was appalled that they had kept me on them for so long and that they had better come up with a new solution, pronto.

Of course, I can’t claim with 100% certainty that it was the steroids, but I do know that I was never suicidal before prednisone, and I have never been suicidal since.   

Thank God, it isn’t standard practice to keep patients on steroids so long term anymore. I feel confident that this breakdown won’t happen to you.

Breakdown to breakthrough #2: suicidal on steroids to mama saving the day.

Breakdown to breakthrough #3 takes me from painful years of infertility to finally having the blessing of three amazing children. Let me tell you about it.

If you’re listening to this podcast, chances are you’ve got kids. You’ve got Crohn’s or colitis and you’ve got kids. It’s a real struggle isn’t it—kids and IBD? I’ve definitely had my challenges being a mom with Crohn’s, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I think I always new I wanted to be a mom—from as long as I can remember, but there was a time in my life when I thought my IBD would keep me from my motherhood dreams.

IBD and Marriage: Is he husband material? 

For many, many years, I followed the advice of my doctors.  I followed the conventional path.  I was still following the advice of the medical professionals who told me that food had nothing to do with my illness when I met a man that changed my life.  He was a friend of my brother’s, studying to be a Psychologist at the same graduate school I went to.   

You’ve met my head shrinking, coffee drinking, hubby on the podcast. He’s made an appearance or two.

We met on a skydiving trip—something we’d probably only do in our younger years. After that, we became inseparable.  

He’s been there through all of my Crohn’s hell and my bowel resections. I remember vividly when he held me in his arms and let me cry until I couldn’t cry anymore after I told him 4 ½ feet of my small intestine had become the size of a string of spaghetti and doctors were going to operate to take that part out.   

He was there again for my next bowel surgery when 4 ½ feet was removed again. But the best thing he ever did for me was to stand by me and our marriage when I broke down, thinking we’d never be able to have children.

 IBD and Infertility: Can I have a baby please? 

Within a year of getting married, Bill and I started trying to get pregnant.  With my Crohn’s history, I was worried it might be a struggle to get pregnant and I was right.  After two years of trying to conceive, we still weren’t pregnant.  We tried temperature readings, fertility drugs, scheduling sex at certain times of the month…. it was really stressful!   

I remember saying to Bill, “I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to have a child.  If you want out of our marriage, I will understand.”  Bill, my rock, said he was with me for the long haul.  He wasn’t leaving just because we couldn’t have children.   

Of course, we thought about adoption. We didn’t care how we became parents. We were seriously considering it while we also going through fertility treatments. I remember one idiot fertility specialist we met with—and trust me, I don’t use that word often or lightly and I understand how derogatory it is, but this doctor deserves it. He told me that the reason I wasn’t pregnant was because besides having Crohn’s I must also have anorexia because I’m so thin. He told me to get help for my anorexia and then I would be able to get pregnant. I didn’t have anorexia! In the words of Hermione in the first Harry Potter series, “What an idiot.” He truly didn’t get Crohn’s or colitis at all.

Just when I was at my lowest point, hormones raging from fertility drugs, we conceived our first child through a fertility procedure called IUI. I remember getting the phone call from the doctor telling us we were pregnant and literally dropping to my knees in pure joy and astonishment.  After such a dark times, what a breakthrough! And to my surprise getting pregnant my first time set off my fertility juices because I got pregnant two more times after that. We have three beautiful boys now—two of them grown men– and I feel so blessed that they are a part of my life every day.  

Breakdown #3: years of infertility to the miracle of 3 kids. What a breakthrough that was! If you’re struggling to get pregnant, please don’t give up hope. I’m so grateful that I kept trying.

Breakdown to breakthrough #4

[36:01] Probably the biggest breakdown to breakthrough I had in my almost 35-year Crohn’s journey was going from looking at my illness from an approach of making no decisions and no moves on my own, looking to everyone else for answers, keeping the power and the knowledge outside of my control, which by the way got me nowhere. Not once in those 20 years did I ever feel well. Not one day. And the breakthrough that emerged from this breakdown was the biggest transformation and mindset shift of my life.

In 2007, our family move back to the states.  We had been living in England for 4 years while my husband was in the Air Force. He was getting out of the military, and we were settling in Maryland.

I wasn’t feeling well.   

I was a mom with 2 little ones, 17 months apart. I was running myself ragged. I was stressed.

The immunosuppressive drugs I was on wasn’t suppressing my Crohn’s symptoms, but it was suppressing my immune system so much that I was constantly fighting off one infection after another.   

I went to a new gastroenterologist who ordered a colonoscopy and endoscopy.   

When the tests were complete she gave me this news, “There’s nothing else I can do for you.  You’ve had so much of your small intestine taken out that you shouldn’t have more surgeries.  You should wait and hope for a small intestinal transplant.”  

Of course, medicine hasn’t advanced that far yet! 

I was devastated.   

I’ve done everything I was told to do for 20 years. I listened. I took all the medication, as prescribed. Endured pooping in a bucket, a rectal abscess, steroid rage and depression, and 2 bowel resections. How can you be telling me there’s nothing else I can do for you. It felt like the medical community had failed me. 

What the hell do I do now?   

In that moment the mantra my mom taught me 20 years earlier, back when I chose to go to college instead of climbing in bed and staying there was pounding in my head—-  

“The train of life is leaving the station… The train is leaving the station…”  

And then it hit me.  The medical community may have given up on me, but I still have hope.  

I raced home from that doctor’s appointment and ran to my basement where books and trinkets are packed high in boxes.  I search and search until I found Breaking the Vicious Cycle—the book Elaine Gottschall wrote about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.   

Even though I had bought it and read it 5 years prior, at that time it just read like Greek to me. Gluten free, grain free, dry curd cottage cheese, almond flour, homemade yogurt? Know one was talking about gluten back then. I was not ready to hear it. But this time, right then and there, as I read it again, cover to cover, highlighting so much that all the pages looked bright yellow, taking notes in the margins… this time, for some reason, it made sense.   

 Somehow in that moment, the breakthrough just washed over me. I just knew that the words in this book were the step-by-step plan for my future. 

Gluten Free/Grain Free Eating Takes a Village 

I also knew that healing like this wouldn’t be easy. It wasn’t healing in a magic pill. It was hard work. It took time, but finally, after 20 years of hell, I knew it would be time well spent.

So even though I knew that this was the path I needed to take, I was still daunted.  It was a whole new way of eating for this Italian girl who lived on bread, pasta, cereal, and mashed potatoes. 

Even though the internet was not what it is today, I scoured and scoured until I found an SCD expert. A Health Coach who showed me the ropes and walked me step by step through the maze of SCD “legal” and “illegal”.   

I had never heard of a Health Coach before, but I jumped in with both feet with the clarity of a woman who knows she is on the right path for the first time in a long time, maybe the first time in her life. 

The SCD Diet: Game Changer 

So, I did the SCD intro diet and to be really honest with you, it kind of sucked, especially in the beginning.   

I ate like a baby.  Mashed bananas, homemade fermented yogurt, pear sauce, carrots cooked until they were mushy, chicken broth…   

Those first few days, I missed my old food and I felt like crap.   

But as the weeks went by, my crappy symptoms began to disappear.   

My stomach pain was gone, completely GONE.  My diarrhea began to improve. I couldn’t believe it

I hadn’t felt this good since my early teens! 

On the SCD, my initial plan was to try to go off all my meds in one year, but after just 6 months, I felt so good, that I just went for it.  

It’s been 13 years since then, and I’ve never regretted my SCD decision. Not once. The SCD saved my life.

Breakdown #4: From “there’s nothing else I can do for you” to an SCD breakthrough of healing proportions.

[37:53] You might be thinking that after that triumphant breakthrough, life with Crohn’s has been on easy street for this gal. Well for a while, I thought that was the case too. I’d been looking for a way out of all the pain, the medications, the uncertainty of what hellish symptom would appear next. SCD gave that to me. But what I learned in the last several years is that keeping my IBD under control isn’t just about diet, it’s about a lot more than that.

Breakdown to breakthrough #5, my final breakthrough so far. I hope that what I’m about to tell you can be a learning experience for you too. So you never have to go through my trials and tribulations.

For years, the SCD kept my IBD completely in remission. I ate huge salads for lunch every day. My once a day poops were so solid, that I experienced occasional constipation. My energy was through the roof, and I didn’t take it for granted. I savored every bit of a strawberry, of pumpkin seeds, of chrunky fibrous nuts.  

I thought, why isn’t everyone doing this? The SCD is the cure. After the most profound experience of my life, turning my IBD around with this diet, I became a Health Coach to serve others on their healing journey.

But about 5 years ago, a few things happened that brought me back to square one, and showed me that there isn’t just one path to healing. There’s several. About 5 years ago, I had to find my way past yet another breakdown so I could begin to rebuild again.

Within the course of a few months two illnesses struck me hard. First, I go the flu. Not a stomach bug, but the diagnosable flu. It wiped me out. I felt horrible. I laid in bed for a week, sometimes unable to pick my head up. I became severely dehydrated and required IV fluids. Thankfully, I did recover. Only a couple months later, I got plagued with food poisoning. E coli to be exact. It seemed like everything that was in my insides was coming out of both ends. I couldn’t get off the toilet for a several days. I think the flu I had had recently, had set up such gut dysbiosis that this food poisoning pushed it over the edge.

Looking back, I think if just one of these ailments had brought me down, I think I would have been able to fight it back. But the two of them, bam bam, together like that, it set up the stage for a lasting bacterial imbalance that I’m still fight to this day.

After months of trying to get back on track, I started working with a wonderfully gifted nutritionist, who diagnosed me with SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It’s common to contract SIBO after bacterial upsets like a bout of food poisoning. And SIBO is just want it sound like, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. When we think of the bacteria in the intestine, many people think that we have equal amounts of bacteria throughout the digestive track, but actually, most of the bacteria in a healthy individual lies in the colon—the large intestine. When too much bacteria travels to the small intestine, we can end up with SIBO. And it’s so much more common that many realize, especially for IBDer’s. Most mainstream doctors are not testing properly for SIBO and the symptoms are so similar to Crohn’s and colitis that we don’t realize we have it.  But it’s really important that we do figure it out because the treatment for SIBO is different than the treatment for IBD.

If you’re wondering about SIBO, if it might be a factor in your symptoms, and you want more info on symptoms, testing, and treatments, check out episode 30: You’re Doing Everything Right. How Come You’re IBD Isn’t Getting Better. It’s one of my most downloaded episodes and it’s got some great SIBO information. I’ll link to the episode in the show notes. Another great SIBO resource is Allison Siebecker. I’ll also leave a link to her SIBO work there as well. There’s a ton of good information on her website.

SIBO is a bit of a monster. You can treat it, but it usually takes a few treatment courses, and then in times of stress or bacterial imbalance, it can rear its ugly head again. SIBO is definitely something I continually work hard on to keep it in check in my own body.

I worked really hard to tackle SIBO and just as it was finally settling down for a long winter’s nap, I began struggling with small intestinal scar tissue from my old surgeries. The scar tissue was blocking my intestines, causing partial obstructions. Obstructions, maybe you have dealt with those in your own IBD life, are really the worst. Your abdomen fills up like a balloon, the pressure and pain on your belly is intense to say the least, and in my case, I just have to wait until the food passes through, which can be an excruciating few hours.

As annoying as all the physical aspects of illnesses, SIBO, and scar tissue can be, all of these physical setbacks began to take an emotional toll on me. When you’re doing everything right, you’re taking care of yourself, you’re eating right and you still get struck down with challenges you can’t control, it’s emotionally exhausting and infuriating. It was definitely a breakdown for me.

And unlike many of the IBD challenges I’ve been through in the past, the breakthrough with these latest setbacks wasn’t an instant a-ha or quick fix. This breakthrough has come to me in waves.

[45:15] Over the last few years, I’ve realized that staying well, isn’t just about one thing. It’s not just about finding a diet that works for you. It’s about what I like to call your wheel of wellness. To get through and thrive with IBD and the extra challenges it creates, I had to expand my healing circle. It doesn’t matter whether it’s another autoimmune disease that creeps up on you, which is really common for IBDer’s, or dealing with your IBD in the time of Covid, worrying about contracting the virus or whether or not to vaccinate– which of course creates stress that can impact our disease as well, or even other IBD related problems like SIBO, or candida, or scar tissue, or arthritis… we all have to use the abundance of resources at our disposal to create the breakthrough—to develop a fully functioning wheel of wellness.

For me, my wheel of wellness and the breakthrough that came from breakdown #5 means creating a wheel of wellness that centers around learning the ancient art of breathwork, dealing with my stress in a healthier way, focusing on ways to get more sleep, meditating, practicing yoga, trying energy modalities like reiki and craniosacral therapy, getting out of guilt mode when I need “ME” time, prioritizing what’s important in my life, journaling and feeling gratitude deeply every day, manifesting and visioning the change I want to see in myself. And of course, gut healing food too.

At their core, these are mindset and lifestyle practices and over the last few years, I’ve come to rely on these practices more and more. I find as I get older, I need them more and more in my life. And it’s been truly astounding just how powerful of a component the mind is when it comes to healing.

That’s what led me to starting this podcast. As I developed a larger wheel of wellness for myself, I wanted to share ideas with you that could help you develop your own wheel of wellness. If the last 5 years have taught me anything, it’s that everyone’s wheel of IBD wellness should look completely different, but I want to make sure you know all your options, so you can take that information and develop the healing plan that works for you.

These 5 breakdowns to breakthroughs that I’ve shared with you today are not the end of my journey. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that, when it comes to IBD, the journey continues everyday. There’s always obstacles that we get in our way. There’s always going to be breakdowns.

Healing and growing and learning how to rise above, is about finding a work around, finding a road less traveling, finding a path that’s dedicated to your name only. That’s where your breakthroughs lie.

There are many others in the IBD space—practitioners of one sort or another who tell you “this is the way to healing—the one way.” They may tell you the only way to help your IBD is with medicine or the only way to help you IBD is without medicine, but what I’ve learned through all my years with Crohn’s, through all the breakdowns and breakthroughs I’ve been through, is that there is no one way to find remission, no one way for all of us to heal.

If I could pass down just one important message to you from all the time I’ve spent on my own healing journey and witnessing others healing journeys, it’s to keep searching for your way. When it comes to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, we are all different. What works for one isn’t what works for another. But we do have one thing in common, one healing tool that you and I both need. And that’s our own personal wheel of IBD wellness. That invisible wheel that’s a combination of all the healing modalities that serve you best.

Keep cultivating your wheel of wellness and keep supporting your right to have the biggest say in how you treat your IBD.  In the next 50 episodes of The Cheeky Podcast, I promise to keep giving you big ideas that have the power to grow your Wheel of IBD Wellness—in the way that works for you.

It’s been my honor and privilege to bring you 50 episodes of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD. I can’t wait to see what the next 50 will bring.

Thanks for hearing my story today. I hope it brought some light and intention to the struggles you’re going through. You are in my heart dear one.

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

3 Things Moms Who Successfully Use Food to Heal Their IBD Do Differently

Are you about to get started on a special diet to help your IBD?

Maybe you’ve already tried to use food to help quiet your symptoms or get you out of a flare up and it just didn’t go the way you hoped. If you’re in either of these camps, you’re going to love hearing about the 3 things moms who successfully use food to heal their IBD do differently.

Let’s face it, one of the most life-changing things you can do to help with the bloating, the gas, the quick trips to the bathroom after you eat, the belly aches that can plague us, the acid reflux, the heartburn, the joint pain… you name it, is to find out what foods trigger your IBD and what foods help you feel better. If you want to be successful when you start or re-start any eating plan tailored for IBDer’s, this one’s for you

We talk about:

  • How to find a mentor who can help you when you need someone who’s been there, done that
  • How the big, bold, and slow plan takes you to the finish line first every time
  • Why all of the IBD healing diets aren’t all that different from one another (and how that’s OK)
  • Why making your food, everyone’s food is the key to your gut healthy diet staying power

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll have everything you need to start or restart your gut healing diet with the mindset for flare busting success today.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [09:21] How to find a mentor who can help you when you need someone who’s been there, done that
  • [13:58] The strong connection successful IBD moms have with Dorothy and Toto
  • [17:05] How the big, bold, and slow plan takes you to the finish line first every time
  • [18:13] Why all of the IBD healing diets you can choose from really aren’t all that different from one another (and how that’s OK)
  • [20:07] The role of food journaling on your “Eating for IBD” journey and how you can get my journaling system absolutely free
  • [25:15] How your gut healing diet will make your whole family healthier
  • [23:55] Why making your food, everyone’s food is the key to your healthy diet staying power
  • [33:19] A few insights from my own “Eating for IBD” healing journey (hint: perfectionists welcome)
  • [38:20] 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

Karyn’s Food-Mood-Poop Journaling System

Episode Transcript:

Are you about to get started on a special diet to help your IBD? Maybe you’ve already tried to use food to help quiet your symptoms or get you out of a flare up and it just didn’t go the way you hoped. If you’re in either of these camps, you’re going to love hearing about the 3 things moms who successfully use food to heal their IBD do differently.

Let’s face it, one of the most life-changing things you can do to help with the bloating, the gas, the quick trips to the bathroom after you eat, the belly aches that can plague us, the acid reflux, the heartburn, the joint pain… you name it, is to find out what foods trigger your IBD and what foods help you feel better. If you want to be successful when you start or re-start any eating plan tailored for IBDer’s, this one’s for you.

[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]

Hey there mama, Karyn Haley here with you on another episode of the cheeky podcast. I hope you have either already found some YOU time today or that you are going to later today. When we’re moms with IBD, we especially need to carve out that time. It’s crucial to our healing. Today, before taping this episode, I took a bubble bath with chamomile Epsom salt and Dr. Teals green tea and matcha foaming bath. No kids, door locked, 20 minutes of me time. Where can you find YOU time today? 20 might be too much when it’s last minute. So how about 5 minutes? I know you can find 5 minutes. Maybe listening to this podcast is your relaxation time. Trust me, it’s important for your health and healing. No guilt mama. You need it. You deserve it.

OK, now on with the show.

I’m excited about this one because normally, I give you an action plan, a step by step how-to for your Crohn’s or colitis, with but today is all about mindset. I know some might tune out when they hear that word—mindset. We want to think healing is all about our actions, but I gotta tell you, it’s not. Just because you have the knowledge it doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. Today is all about developing critical mindset skills every mama has the power to use. And trust me, these successful mom attributes aren’t complicated, they’re just often overlooked. But after this episode, you’re going to know the most important mindset hacks successful moms use to make sure their IBD healing diet works to reduce IBD symptoms and finally achieve lasting remission.

THE #1 THING SUCCESSFUL “EATING FOR IBD” MOMS DO DIFFERENTLY

Let’s dive in with #1 on our list of things successful moms do differently when it comes to IBD gut healing diets.

And I have to start this mindset shift with a question. Have you ever seen a chef create a recipe on the food network or on a youtube video and thought, that looks delish and easy, I could make that. You may even have all the ingredients, but your dish just didn’t turn out anywhere close to the chef’s version.

Or maybe you’re a DIY gal and you find a home improvement project to spruce up your bathroom or kitchen in 5 easy steps. “Bring your kitchen from drab to fab with thrift store finds in one weekend.” Your thrift store doesn’t have half of what the expert found in theirs. Instead of looking sheik, your modge podge vase look like it’s melting, the marble contact paper that was supposed to easily cover your microwave looks like an unfinished art project your 1st grader made, and your kitchen table staining results are so cringe worthy that you know you could never invite anyone over to eat with it looking like that.

For me, my moment of “I saw an expert to it so I can do it too” downfall is painting. I’ll see something like an old Bob Ross video and think, I can make happy little trees, only to get all the paint, get out the easel, and then decide my trees look more like abstract art.

We’ve all been there with ideas and projects that seem so simple, but without someone there with you, leading you by the hand, giving you step by step cues, someone you can ask questions to in the moment and give you direct feedback, your initial good intentions quickly turn to resentment and feelings of failure, and then just throwing in the towel and giving up.

Using food to heal your IBD works much the same way. You can read all about the diet you want to try, you can find recipes no problem—cookbooks, the internet… you can even make your own plan for success. And can you do it on your own? Of course you can, I know you can. But successful IBDer’s do it faster, and with a lot less bumps and stumbles in the road when they have a mentor by their side, someone who goes through the whole process with you.

A mentor offers you the option of:

Getting questions answered quickly without having to go down a 2-hour internet rabbit hole to find the answer.

Systems and frameworks for your specific diet

Recipes at your fingertips that are tailor-made for your sensitivities and tastes

Someone to send a quick text to when you’re at the grocery store wondering which almond milk to buy

Mentors have been where you are right now. They know the pitfalls and little known tricks that help you succeed quickly. And when it comes to finding IBD remission through a nasty flare up that’s taking you away from work, family, friends, things you love to do… everyday counts.

What does an eating for IBD mentor look like? The good news is that there isn’t just one type of person that can help you.

[09:21] I know it’s rare because we’re all searching for IBD buddies, because how many of us have people with Crohn’s or colitis right in our immediate circle, but maybe you have a friend or a family member who’s been there before. It does happen occasionally. They have Crohn’s or colitis and they’ve used food to help their symptoms too. If you have access to a mentor like that, I say always say start there. It’s not the perfect scenario because as you know, everyone’s IBD experience is different and what they can eat and what you eat, may not be the same. But it’s a good starting place and you already have a built-in connection with this person, which can be a great motivator.

Where else can you find a mentor to help you successfully use food to help your IBD symptoms?

Well, you know I’m a health coach and I am a mentor for people with IBD who use food as one of their healing tools. I’ve been where you are on my Crohn’s journey, over my years coaching I’ve had the pleasure of working with moms all over the world. I’m absolutely here as a mentor if you need me, you know how to get in touch, but there may also be a health coach who lives in your area. There are also health coaching directories you can find online. If you search for health coach directories, I’m sure you can find many and maybe even one who lives near you.

Other mentors that specialize in IBD and diet include nutritionists, dietitians… some nurses specialize in diet management. Practitioners like this have many different areas of expertise so just look for someone who specializes in IBD and the diet you are thinking of trying. For example, they specialize in IBD and eating gluten free or IBD and eating on the SCD.

With the world of healing being so global and virtual now, there’s no need to find a generalist. There’s lots of IBD specialists out there with the training you need for your particular case and needs.

Personally, on my IBD healing journey, I’ve worked with my own Health Coach and nutritionists along the way to help me find and maintain remission too. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but it was a health coach who was my initial mentor and the experience was so profound in transforming my life that that’ why I became a health coach too!

THE #2 THING SUCCESSFUL “EATING FOR IBD” MOMS DO DIFFERENTLY

Let’s talk about the 2nd mindset shift successful moms who use food to heal their IBD know. These bold, bright shining stars figure out a way to go big and slow at the same time.

At first, it might seem like those two philosophies, going big and slow, are diametrically opposed. But if you think about it for just a second, you’ll realize that they’re not. Moms who are serious about using food to help quiet their IBD symptoms make big bold plans and take big, bold leaps when it comes to finding the right IBD diet for them. They don’t make minor food tweaks.

[13:38] And when we’re talking about big bold plans in the eating for IBD department, we’re talking major diet shifts. The kind that, in all honesty, for a moment, upend your whole life, Dorothy and Toto in the tornado style upend, before the house gets set back down right where it was meant to be all along.

In practical terms, that means gut healing diets that change the way you grocery shop, possibly even the grocery stores you go to, diets that change everything you eat in your house and at a restaurant and at your friend’s house and when you travel. Big bold changes that challenge everything you knew before, but also offer life changing, amazing healing transformation on the other side.

What kind of diets are the “go big” diets?

We’re talking diets like the specific carbohydrate diet, the GAPS diet, the IBD-AID diet, the autoimmune Paleo diet. Each of these diets has subtle differences, but at their core these diets are about eating unprocessed whole food, removing gluten, removing lactose… they are very low in sugar, there’s a lot of home cooking involved and staying away from the pantry with boxed, canned, and packaged foods.

Like I said big, bold. Diets like these are not for the faint of heart. They are for mamas who are ready to try something completely new. Diets that take you on a beautifully life transforming journey. And it takes so much courage, trust in the process, and stamina to make these diets work for you.

[17:05] There’s so much stamina involved because when moms who are successful on IBD healing diets do it right, they don’t just go big, they also go slow. They don’t dive into the diet all at once hoping for a miracle. They introduced the foods on these eating plans tortoise slow. They understand that it took their body a long time to end at this place of pain and suffering, of inflammation and altered immune function and bacterial imbalance. A place where diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloody stool is the norm, not the exception. A place where you wake up every day afraid of leaving the house because you don’t know when or where you’ll need to find a bathroom. I know you know this place well, mama.

When you trust in the process of the diet and you have staying power on your side, you understand the need to go slow. Like I said, we didn’t end up in this place overnight and it takes time for the digestive system to repair and heal. Going super slow while going big with these diets at the same time takes extra courage, but it also gives your body the time it needs to heal and seal the gut. So that one day, eating fresh ripe strawberries, salads, apples… it’s your new normal.

 With successful gut healing diets, the tortoise wins the race every time.

Going big and going slow at the same time also means that you’re not diet hopping every few days. It means trusting in the process and sticking it out. I’m going to tell you something that many of the creators of these gut healing diets don’t want you to know. They don’t want me to tell you that there really isn’t that much difference between one of these “go big” diets over another. At their core, they’re all very similar and they all work to help bring your body back into balance. All of these diets like to tout that they’re the best in town. Only they work!

I’m here to bust that myth today mama. They all work. Sure, there’s tweaks here and there that everyone needs to make for their own individual body, but because they are so similar at their core, it doesn’t really matter which one of these big bowl diets you get started on. They all will help your Crohn’s or colitis to one degree or another.

When you pick your big, bold, IBD healing diet, stay the course. Go all in and make it work for you. Down the line, you can make those tweaks and changes that suit you best. But in the beginning, the best thing you can do is don’t overthink which one is best, because they all have great gut healing power.

Going big and bold and slow on a gut healing diet also means tracking how it’s going for you. That’s how we know which tweaks to make and when. Moms who are successful on IBD healing diets track their progress through food journaling. Journaling is the way we figure out those peppers we ate yesterday gave us heartburn, or the way we figure out that the lack of sleep we’ve had for the last two nights is making our colitis symptoms flare up, or the way we figure out that 24-hour fermented yogurt doesn’t work for us because it leads to arthritis in our joints. By the way, these are all things my clients recently found out by journaling through their own eating for IBD process.

It’s amazing the connections in the patterns you will see when you food journal through this life-changing, gut healing diet process. And there’s a lot of ways to journal. I know without a shadow of a doubt there’s one that will work for your personality and your lifestyle. I know I’ve mentioned it a couple times on different episodes, but I have a journaling system I created a few years back for my clients and you’re welcome to swipe it and try it out in your own life. If you go to karynhaley.com/journal you can get my food-mood-poop journaling system absolutely free. Journaling, it’s the key to big, bold and slow gut healing success when you’re eating for your IBD.

Going big bold and slow with your IBD healing diet has lots of components so let’s do a quick recap. Moms who are successful on their IBD eating plan go big. They choose diets that might have a big learning curve in the beginning but also hold big possibilities for life transforming healing. They don’t overthink their diet choice because they know that there’s something gut healing with every big, bold option. Moms who are successful on their IBD healing diet go tortoise slow. They don’t diet hop, they stay the course and let the diet work for them to truly repair from the inside out.

And through it all, moms who are successful on their IBD healing diet journal. They track their progress and they look for patterns in the way that the food they’re eating, the way that they’re feeling, and the way that they are sleeping affects their physical health—within the gut, but also through other part of the body too.

THE #3 THING SUCCESSFUL “EATING FOR IBD” MOMS DO DIFFERENTLY

[23:55] The third and last thing successful eating for IBD moms do is they integrate their diet with what the whole family eats. I see it happen over and over again in my practice when moms try to appease everyone in the family. They start out making their own food, something different for their spouse, and then on top of that, something else for the kids.

It’s a nightmare for mom and it never works.

Being a short order cook is not a sustainable model for your family and will always, always lead to burn out and ditching your IBD healing diet. You just can’t keep up with it. The time alone that you’re spending making different meals for everyone in your clan will keep you away from keeping the gut healing focus on you.

Do yourself a favor mama, be successful right from the get go and cook your food for everyone in the family. IBD healing food, and that means any of the diets I mentioned today, is healthy for everyone. Eating quality protein, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, eating whole foods and good quality fats is healthy for everyone.

And a really cool byproduct of cooking your food for everyone in your household is that everyone in the family gets healthier.

Now there’s just two caveats I want to point out that are important to mention here. Number one, if you are taking big bold steps and you are going tortoise slow, in the beginning of your diet you may not be eating exactly what your family eats because you need to, for example, peel and deseed your fruits and vegetables while your digestive lining is in repair mode. You might also be cooking your food longer in the beginning. With these beginning stages that are so absolutely crucial for your success, it’s really important to have help in the kitchen and emotional support from your family, in those beginning few weeks. But after the initial repair the flare phase of eating, when you progress to normal cook times and eating veggies with the skin on, get everyone on the same page when it comes to eating.

Getting in the habit of cooking like this (making your food everyone’s food) will preserve your sanity, lessen your stress, and in the long run it will help you find remission sooner. We know, the research shows us, that hectic schedules and chronic stress lead to physical ailments. Those physical ailments often show up in your gut. The place where we’re having problems already. One way to decrease your stress and time spent in the kitchen with a gut healing diet is to put everybody on the same page. Trust me mama, I’ve seen it many times before where people who do not do this fail to stay on a gut healing diet. They give up before they even put the time in to see results.

Make your food, everyone’s food.

I mentioned that there are two caveats for this point, and the second caveat is that even though you’re cooking the same food for everyone in the family, that doesn’t mean you can’t have an add-on for your kids and spouse. For example, if I’m eating grilled Hawaiian chicken with green beans, carrots, and some sliced mangos, that doesn’t mean I can’t add a side of basmati rice or quinoa or roasted sweet potatoes for the rest of the family. It’s much easier to add a simple side dish for your family than to make a completely different meal for you that adds on to the time you’re already spending in the kitchen. Unless you’re a chef and there’s nothing you love more than hanging out in the kitchen, adding a side dish to round out the family meal is the way to go.

So when it comes to meals, keep them super simple, don’t make separate meals for everyone because let me tell you what will end up happening. The person who will always get left of the equation is you. The person who won’t eat at all or who will grab for the mac & cheese you just made for the kids is you. Successful eating for IBD moms know that for this to work in a sustainable, healthy way for all, everyone in the house eats what you eat with the exception of adding a side dish or something else extra special like dessert so that they feel like they are eating with some sort of normalcy and in a way that’s tasty too.

THE “IN A GUTSHELL” RECAP

[30:42] Let’s do a quick recap of the 3 things moms who successfully use food to heal their IBD do differently.

#1 They get a mentor (a friend or family member whose been there, health coach, nutrition professional of some kind). Someone to show you the ropes and be your idea bouncer in real time because questions always come up.

#2 Successful moms go big and slow at the same time. Go big with your diet change—SCD, GAPS, Autoimmune Paleo, IBD-AID. And this, by no means downplays other smaller actions you can take like eat gluten or dairy free. These are great initial steps and I see them work, up to a point. If you want big bold, lasting remission, the transformational diets are the way to go. And when you choose an eating plan, always channel your inner tortoise. Take it slow. When you think you’re going slow go slower. Give your digestive system the time it needs heal and repair before you move on to eating quote/unquote “normal” foods again.

#3 Make your food everyone’s food. Your food is healthy, it’s healthy for everyone in the family. This may not work initially as you’re eating food that is well cooked and possibly without the skin or deseeded, but very soon you will be able to eat the food your family is eating. Have everyone on the same page when it comes to what’s for dinner. Add a side dish and you’ve got a meal that makes everyone happy (and healthy).

[33:19] Before we wrap up I’m want to leave you with just a couple quick hit bonus tips for a successful eating for your IBD journey. These are tips straight from my personal experience with success on the SCD.

Within the diet and you choose, be ready for lots of trial and error. We all know in the world of Crohn’s and colitis, there is no one size fits all magic pill or even diet plan. Within the diet you’ve chosen—the one you’re staying with long enough to see if it works, be open to seeing what works for you and what doesn’t. You’re going to make mistakes along the way. Lord knows I made lots and lots of unintentional mistakes at the beginning. Knowing that mistakes are part of the journey and accepting this upfront can be a huge weight off your shoulders. Your food-mood-poop journal will be your guide to help correct these missteps quickly so use it wisely to help you make adjustments, tweaks, and even to help you experiment and find out what works best for your body. Once I started used a journaling system in my early days of eating for IBD, it was a game changer.

Basically what I’m saying in a nutshell, going in with trial and error in mind, going in know there will be mistakes… is to try to avoid perfectionism at every turn. Ooohhh, I said that word! I know that is a hard ask for all of us with Crohn’s and colitis.

Recovering perfectionist Karyn raising her hand proud!

Those of us with IBD, we tend to be women who want to do everything we can perfect the first time, but I encourage you, as you begin a new gut healing diet, be OK with mistakes. Mistakes are what lead us to the path of great results. Successful eating for IBD ladies know this and use their mistakes as learning and growth opportunities.

Remember you can find my food-mood-poop journal by going to a karynhaley.com/journal. Feel free to use it as is or use it as a jumping off point to create your own journaling system. Maybe you love freehand journaling in a dedicated notebook, maybe you like to type notes on your phone or even selfie videos. Use the information from my journaling system, but find the method that works best for you.

Well, that’s a wrap on 3 things moms who are successful on IBD eating plans do differently. What do you think? Are you getting ready to go for it with eating for your IBD? DM me on Facebook and I’ll share with you 3 more awesome tips to help get you started on your best foot when it comes to making your gut healing diet work for you. On Facebook, I’m @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.

[38:20] 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.

{#herIBDstory} Ruthie Hanan Shares Her Journey Through Ostomy, J-Pouch Surgeries & the Healing Power of Meditation

I’ve got 4 words for you: Ostomy, J-pouch, Colitis, Warrior.

If you’ve got IBD, these 4 words that begin Ruthie Hanan’s journey (starting at the age of 15) will inspire and motivate you to keep moving forward, no matter what life throws at you.

Interviewing Ruthie for this episode of The Cheeky Podcast was an honor. I’ve been a fan of hers ever since I found her meditations on Insight Timer several months ago.

Ruthie’s ability to live every moment to its fullest reminds us to be present in what’s around us now, while we keep striving for better days ahead. Ruthie and I have a candid conversation about the mistakes doctors make and the consequences of decisions we make in our past that creep up in our present and how through it all, we can find joy and passion where we are right now.

We talk about:

  • What it was like for Ruthie to be a young model with a chronic illness in New York City
  • The often-untold information we don’t get when we’re thinking about an ostomy or a J-pouch
  • How to live in the present even when you’ve had past traumatic IBD experiences
  • The stages of chronic illness grief that aren’t really stages at all
  • Two beautiful and profound healing meditations with Ruthie as our guide

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll definitely want to check out Ruthie’s meditations on Insight Timer and her YouTube channel where she shares her passion for yoga and more of her IBD story.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [04:30] The first of two meditations with Ruthie as our guide
  • [22:41] What it was like to be a young model with a chronic illness in New York City
  • [26:47] Ruthie’s journey from ostomy to j-pouch
  • [34:02] What you don’t know, can hurt you when it comes to the j-pouch
  • [42:19] How to live in the present even when you’ve had past traumatic IBD experiences
  • [49:20] The role hypnotherapy can play in helping you deal with IBD
  • [53:41] The healing power of learning to say “both/and”
  • [1:05:32] Ruthie shares her second guided healing meditation with us
  • [1:13:17] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode

Ruthie on Insight Timer

Ruthie’s YouTube Channel

Tanis Fishman

Jennifer Piercy

The Artist’s Way

Nightlight Astrology

Episode Transcript:

Karyn: Hey there dear one, you are going to love this episode today, I am so excited to bring it to you, is the first in a new segment I’m introducing on the podcast called #herIBDstory, and what a story our guest has… You’ve heard me mention her before on the podcast when I recommended her meditations which are free on Insight Timer, it’s Ruthie Hanan ulcerative colitis and J-pouch warrior, yoga instructor, meditation guide. She’s been through so much on her IBD journey, and she’s gonna inspire the hell out of you today. Having suffered from chronic illness since the age of 15, practicing healing arts has been the key to maintaining health and working for Ruthie. She integrates what she learns into her life and shares the findings with others, allowing for a lifestyle that focuses on physical, mental and spiritual health for herself and others. Ruthie’s goal is to share the tools and experiences that help her every day in hopes of inspiring and reminding others that we are all our own best healers. During the episode, Ruthie shares with us what it was like for being a young model in New York City with a chronic illness, she shares the true and often untold information that we need when we’re thinking about getting an ostomy or J-pouch surgery.

Ruthie and I also get into how living in the present has been hard for both of us, but how it’s really a must when you’ve had traumatic IBD experiences, we talk about how the stages of chronic illness grief aren’t really stages at all, but more feelings that can crop up at any time and Ruthie shares with us, two beautiful and profound healing meditations, which she doesn’t even have written down, as she says the words are just channeling through her. It’s a moving conversation, and it’s one that I hope you can listen to or re-listen to when you’re not driving or walking, at least for the beginning in the end, because I don’t want you to miss out on Ruthie’s powerful guided meditations. I hope you enjoy #herIBDstory, the interview with Ruthie Hanon.

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Intro: You are listening to the cheeky podcast for moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with crumbs and colitis, connect explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Hayley, IBD health coach, Integrative Wellness enthusiast and Mom, three outstanding kids. After having Crone disease for thirty 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.

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[03:13] Karyn: I’m so incredibly honored to welcome our guest, Ruthie to the show, I feel like I know her because she’s been in my ear, she’s in my years most mornings, Ruthie, I’m gonna try not to fan-girl on you too much if it’s just kind of surreal to have you here on the podcast, but welcome, I’m just really happy to share your light in your story with our listeners today.

Ruthie: Thank you so much. I’m like, I’m incredibly honored that you feel that way, and I’m so happy to be here and talk to you, and I’m excited…

Karyn: One of the things that I mentioned in Ruthie’s bio is that she practices meditation and yoga, and she also shares that with all of us.

So if you’ve ever been on Insight Timer and you’ve searched for IBD meditations, Ruthie has probably come up. And that’s why she’s in my ear most mornings because I’m listening to her as I am meditating and visualizing the whole healing process for my IBD.

So one of the things that Ruthie and I talked about starting with is just to start this episode with a grounding meditation so that we can just set our intention for what we wanna experience today. Does that sound okay with you with…

Ruthie: Sounds perfect. Yeah. Awesome.

Karyn: I’m Gonna let you take it away. I’m gonna get comfortable.

RUTHIE TAKES US THROUGH A GUIDED MEDITATION

[04:30] Ruthie: Yeah, get comfy. Okay, so yeah, just getting into a comfortable position wherever you happen to be in the world right now, and just as you arrive, it’s always really nice to just bring everything from the physical to the more subtle, so first just checking in with your posture and how your body is physically feeling right now and can check out the relationship between your shoulders and your hips and feel that they’re in line with each other. Another really nice one is the pelvic floor and feeling that aligned with the back of your throat and just kind of clicks you into place a little bit, and if you’re in a space where you feel safe to do so at any point, you can allow the eyes to gently close and just marking your arrival to this practice with a full and deep cleansing breath, taking a slow intentional in down through the nose and just holding that for a moment when you are full, just experiencing fullness and whenever you need to slow, be letting that go and pushing a little bit more air out of you, even once you think you’re empty, to just truly empty yourself and then pausing and experiencing emptiness, and then allowing the next breath to come as needed.

And if that exaggerated breath felt really good for you, you’re welcome to do that a few more times if you’d like, and at any point you can release all guidance over the breath and feel yourself stepping back up into that role of the observer and witnessing your breath rather than controlling it or guiding it, just watching the Body breath itself and know that this feels completely impossible to do, and that is perfectly okay if that’s where you are today, and other days… This is very straight forward and simple. So just letting yourself be exactly where you are in this moment, and then just letting your awareness gently rest on the face and just notice if there’s any areas of unnecessary tension for most of us, we hold a lot of tension in our jaw and our eyebrows and forehead, simply by being aware of these areas, we soften into them, I’m just allowing for any expression to gently melt away as you start to bring some awareness into the ears. I was just fully relaxing the ears, this is another place I found that I often hold a lot of tension without realizing it, so just letting the ears be where they are and starting to welcome in all the sounds that exist around you…

Maybe you’re in a very quiet space, so maybe the sounds that are in your environment is just the humming of the lights, maybe sounds of nature outside or traffic, or maybe you’re in a little bit of a busier environment, maybe you’re driving… Maybe you are out in public somewhere or in a busy city, so practicing just hearing all the sounds that you hear as part of your environment and letting them be a reminder of this moment, remembering that… Sounds do not exist in the past or in the future. They are purely in this moment, so they can be used as an anchor to remind you of everything that’s happening right now as you listen, just starting to maybe feel a slight pulsing sensation of the years and noticing all the sounds outside of you as well as… Now, inside of you, feeling that relationship or hearing that relationship between your inside world and the outside world, maybe hearing the sound of your soft breath, maybe starting to hear a distant rhythm of your heart beat, and then gradually calling more awareness to come into your heart and just bringing awareness to your own personal rhythm, your own personal drum beat that’s playing in the background of your entire life, remembering the miracle that is your heart, and the fact that it is beating for you every moment you’ve been alive and will continue to do so.

Without any of your control, without any of you’re doing and remembering how this is a pure gift and miracle to you, and all the love that comes from that, all the love that your heart has come from, knowing that only love is what makes this possible. I’m just feeling beneath everything else, just feeling that core sensation of love, of compassion and gratitude of patients, of understanding that all exists in your heart, at your core of who you are, and then starting to trace the space between your heart and your head is you feel the tip of your head reach a little bit higher up and just clearing that channel of energy from your heart to your brain, and just feeling that energetic and physical connection from your heart to your brain, you remind yourself that all of this love and compassion and gratitude that exists in your heart, is being fed into your brain and therefore into all of your senses, so allowing yourself to see things through the lens of love, to hear things through love, to smell things and taste things, and speak things through love, and just be in the pure love, that is you and the world around you may be feeling that same heart, be also existing in the space between the eyebrows, and just trusting your ability to love, testing your ability to heal, trusting your ability to be the best of yourself that you can be…

If it feels like something you’d like to do, you can slowly bring your hands to a prayer position at heart center and just feeling that connection of your palms and fingers, and as you take a deep breath and you can feel yourself expanding fully and welcoming the fresh air into your body. And as you exhale, just allowing the head to gently bow, and as you bow to the source of energy you’ve come from whatever that is to you, owing to the constant source of inspiration and guidance around you, bowing to everyone in the space who’s completed this practice alongside you, and most importantly, vowing to yourself or listening for choosing to show up and for being you, and may this act continue to heal you through the rest of your days and nights, you bring the same sense of love and to everything that you do and to everyone that you see. Namaste.

[13:44] Karyn:  That was beautiful. See why I listened to her almost every day? It just gives me a sense of light and intention, so I really hope that it… I don’t know, when you’re doing a meditation, does it help you as well? How do you feel that?

Ruthie: Yeah, that’s really the main thing that kept me going with doing guided meditations was that I started to feel like it’s sort of like a sense of responsibility because you can’t really do an effective meditation if you are not doing it. Does that make sense? So I need to… And sometimes when I’m by myself, it’s a little bit harder for me to do it now because I’m like that it’s just me and I’m not… There’s no responsibility for me to stay in that space, but when I feel like I’m meeting others and bringing them in the place with me, it really is helpful for me to just stay and receive and speak and… Yeah.

Karyn: Yeah, that’s cool. I’m glad that you… Yeah, that… Yeah, I’m glad it does something for you too, as you’re the one giving us so much to do so…

That was wonderful. Like so many of us that come to helping people that have IBD, you come to this because of your own journey, you have ulcerative colitis, and I want our audience to hear your story because it is so powerful, and I think it will help so many who are going through some of the same things that you went through, and I’m curious if you can take us back in time, you can think about some of your first symptoms that you had that you know now were colitis, and it could be even before a doctor diagnosed you. What were some of the things that you are experiencing, what were some of your first early memories of ulcerative colitis playing a role in your life?

A STORY WE CAN ALL RELATE TO

[15:50] Ruthie: Yeah, so it goes back really far… Basically, as long as I can remember, I was in kindergarten when I was diagnosed as lactose intolerant, so that kind of started the whole like, Oh, I have a sensitive stomach. And I would always have a permanent pass to the nurse’s office throughout… Every grade in school, I spent a lot of time in the nurse’s office, we were always best friends, and I just survive off Pepto bismol and gasex and just… My mom had a sensitive stomach, so I just kinda thought it was somewhat normal, and then once I was all in through middle school, and then once I got to high school, I was in high school, which was scary and new, and it was intimidating, and I’ve always been an athlete, very competitive athlete, so I really care a lot about volleyball and I wanted to just be the best athlete possible and make the highest team and just do everything the most I could do it, and I started to really notice that before… Everything that was important in my life, I would not be able to get off the toilet and I would just be stuck on the toilet, I would just pretend I was playing games on my phone.

I just really played it off for a long time for a few months, and then finally… It was like a perfect storm. It was right before mid-terms. My freshman year, it was right before a big volleyball game that I knew I couldn’t miss a few hours before, and I was stuck on the toilet and my mom finally was just like, really… What’s going on? What’s happening? Are you okay? And I was like, Oh, I’ve been pooping blood for a few months, and I just never really said anything, I was just so embarrassed I was… I just figured it was a stomach bug and it would get better, and it just never got better, and it was really, really hard to accept that, it still is. Kinda hard to accept it. But yes, once I told her that she was like, Alright, you’re not going to the game. Or going to hospital, I went to the hospital, and that’s when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. My uncle had the same thing, and he actually had his colon removed to… But then once his was removed, they removed his colon, they found out he had Crohn’s disease, so he had Crown’s disease in his colon, so once they removed the colon and it just spread to the other intestines.

So they told me about all of that when I was diagnosed. They told me about the J-pouch, the ostomy, that whole thing, and I was like, and I was like, I was 15, I was like, Why are you telling me that this does not apply to me, I’m fine. And I was just really angry at that doctor, and so my mom took me to a children’s hospital in Boston, ’cause I was like, I just couldn’t do it with the doctor I had, and they were a lot more gentle with the information they told me and we’re mindful about how it was affecting me. And that was really nice. So I tried everything I was on Lialda for a long time, then I tried Remicade, and I hated that I had all these weird skin tags that came up from Remicade, which is weird. I tried Symphony… Let’s see, methotrexate, Humara, but I basically tried… Everything that was available to me, and I was doing on the SCD diet. I’ve heard you talk about that, and I had some relief from that for sure, but I was also just so young and the thought of me having to eat like that the rest of my life was infuriating and I was just like, I’m not gonna do this, I need something else.

[19:50]: So I just kind of slowly started introducing things back into my diet, so I’ve still remained gluten-free and dairy-free, and those are the most important things, and I try to be mostly sugar-free, but that is incredibly difficult to do, but I know for a fact that sugar is the devil when it comes to my symptoms, so… Yeah, and then so I was 18. I wasn’t even 18 years. I graduated, I moved to New York. I was modeling at the time, I went to fashion school, and I was just like, Get me out of this town, I need to get out. I need to live my life. So I went to New York and I was there for a few, I think two months almost, and then it was mid-terms on my first semester of college and couldn’t get off the toilet once again, and I hadn’t really been able to eat anything other than white rice for over a month. So I was 100 pounds at 5’11”, and now it was… I didn’t even feel like it was weird, I just noticed that people were looking at me differently, and that was pretty weird ’cause I was like…

I was just like, I felt very disconnected from the world around me, and then my mom came to visit me and she saw me and was like, that’s it, we’re going to the hospital. So she took me back to Boston, and I ended up staying there for a month, and I was on IV steroids for about two weeks, and the inflammation ended up getting worse. So then they were like, We have to take it out. So then I had my first of the three step colectomy, I got my colon taken out, woke up with an ostomy bag, had the ostomy for six months, and that whole six months is pretty blurry for me, just ’cause… I felt really low, I was all excited ’cause I was with a good modeling agency at the time, and I was like, Oh, I’ll go back and I can do modeling jobs with my bag and can be like… Bringing ostomy back into the public eye, I was like this is awesome, it… And of course, I go to my agency and they’re like, No, you’re not ready, I’m not gonna put you out for anything when you’re like this, so I was like, I can’t even do a beauty stuff, and they were like, No, like, Just wait until…

Karyn: I definitely want to hear more about that, ’cause I know you mentioned modeling…Yeah, and you’re doing this with ulcerative colitis… Did you do it before you had the ostomy as well…

Ruthie: Yeah, I started when I was 15, around the same time I was diagnosed.

Karyn: What is that? I can’t imagine that world with ulcerative colitis. What is that like?

THE PITFALLS OF MODELING WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS

[22:41] Ruthie: It was pretty bad. It’s pretty like everything that you hear about… It’s all true. It’s definitely changed, in recent years a little bit, but I don’t even think it’s changed that much, it’s just like, what’s acceptable has changed, so now they’re just holding you to a different standard, but they’re still holding you to a very strict standard, but yeah, they… I was told I was pear shaped when I was 15, and I was always told I had to lose inches around my hips, and I had to tone up or trim up, and I’ve always been tall and thin, and I think just once I heard that I was really like my whole world was kinda shattered and I just… I really saw myself differently, and then I noticed how whenever I was sick, I would lose weight, and I noticed when I lost weight, I would book more jobs. So I definitely think that the modeling industry or just being a part of it from such a young age contributed to how my disease accelerated and how it just got bad so fast because I was just destroying myself mentally ’cause I really didn’t think it mattered. I was just being very mean to myself all the time, and definitely is not good for your digestion at all.

Karyn: And are you at modeling jobs and having to sit on the toilet and having people to wait for you, that happens in lots of industries, but like any job you could have, if you have to take time off to go and use the bathroom…

Right, that’s just not acceptable at work, but I can imagine in a modeling job that would just be heightened.

Ruthie: I just wouldn’t eat, I wouldn’t eat for the whole thing before I shot, I wouldn’t eat the whole morning and it would be fine, but I was withering away, I was just… Not even a person

Karyn: So you were doing those things that you needed to do to not go to the bathroom, but then it was to your detriment because there’s no nutrients, you’re losing weight, things are just spiraling out of control, and so you get to a point where your doctor says, We’re gonna do this ostomy and J pouch. And what… They mentioned it to you earlier on… Right, but now this is what… How many years later that… You’re hearing this again?

Ruthie: Three years.

Karyn: So now you’re 18. 18, I remember when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s when I was 17, but I know I had it before that some of the time and my mother took me to a support group thinking that this is really gonna help me. And one of the first people that I met said to me, girlfriend, just do yourself a favor, get that ostomy… And just be done with that, right? Your whole life is gonna be better if you do that, and I asked my mother what that was, and she told me– she was a nurse, she told me… And I just remember thinking, What? No, just was I freaking out so much that I never went back to the support group, so now I’m imagining you, you’re 18 years old and they’re telling you this again, and you’ve gone through every medication you tried SCD, you’ve done all of the things. Right. And so I can’t imagine, number one, how you were feeling in that moment, I would love for you to talk us through that and then I would love to know…

Can you kind of talk us through that? I know you had three surgeries, what actually happens, because I know there’s people listening who are thinking, my doctor told that to me, I’m thinking That’s what’s down the road for me, but it seems so secretive, like doctors don’t really talk about what it is until you’re there and then you have to make up your mind really quickly… So what can you tell us about… What was that like for you to be at the end of your rope? And then can you talk us through what actually happens, what do these three surgeries entail.

THREE SURGERIES THAT CHANGE RUTHIE’S LIFE FOREVER

[26:47] Ruthie: Yeah, so when I first heard about the J-pouch thing, when I was first diagnosed, it was… I had the same reaction as you. Just like, No, no, no, there’s no way. It’s ever gonna happen to me. I will do anything to avoid that. But I think my inital action to it was so strong is because some part of me was like, that’s gonna happen to you. That’s gonna be your future. And I was like, no, no, no, I was just kinda fighting with myself for years, and then once I was in the hospital, it was kind of… And they told me that that’s what I need to happen. It was more like, it was a weird times of relief because I was like… One, I had a feeling that this was gonna happen. So then I was like, Okay, well, I guess I was right. I guess that was the reason I felt that way, this is gonna happen. And then also, I was so sick of going to the doctors and having them try new things and Oh, well, this new thing happened, that was an exhausting process for me, and I was just like, I want this dying organ out of my body.

Get it out. This is not helping me anyway, is hurting me so much, and I was under the impression is what the doctor said is no colon… no, colitis.

NO COLON, NO COLITIS???

Karyn: I think that’s what a lot of doctors say. Right, that’s what he said, yeah. I don’t have this problem anymore. If you get the procedure done.

Ruthie: Just like if you don’t have a colon, you can’t have colitis, and I was like, That makes sense. Cool, let’s do it. Yeah, but it…

Karyn: They actually think that I… I don’t think they’re malicious or something like… I think they actually believe that…

Ruthie: Yeah, but the thing is, is that pouchitis exists… I first time I got pouchitis, I was so angry ’cause I was just like, Come on, if I’m gonna have the exact same symptoms as a colitis flare-up, I would rather have my colon then have some pouch that’s now called pouchitis. I’m very lucky that I did that. I don’t have a lot of those, but that’s when my uncle always does, but he has at least a few every year, and he’s in his 60s, so it’s just crazy. So I wish they had told me about that. I wish they  been more real with me about my life is not gonna be fixed and it’s not gonna be perfect after this, because that’s really what I… That’s why I was dreaming up in my head, and that’s kind of the main reason why I was like, Yeah, let’s do this. I had the first surgery was really just fast because I was already in the hospital, I was already admitted, I’ve been there for three weeks, and then I had it and then I recovered for a week, and that process, just waking up with the ostomy bag is very strange, it was very surreal too, because leading up to it, I was watching a ton of YouTube videos of people with stoma bags and changing their bed, I was studying basically ’cause I’m like, this is a serious thing.

A part of my internal organs is gonna be on the outside of my body, and I have to take care of that, and that’s on me, so I just wanted to know as much as possible beforehand, and they have a stoma nurse that comes… Is always really helpful. They come in the hospital, and then I had a visiting nurse come, I think for the first few weeks that I had one just while I felt like I needed it to help me change the bag and to help me about the skin care and everything, ’cause that was a whole nightmare thing too, once I had the ostomy bag, life was… I was just recovering the whole time, basically, it was just… It was about six months that I had it, and then once I started to feel… It was a huge relief, I should say that, because going from… I had a bathroom log when I was in the hospital logging nine hours a day on the toilet, and that is not a life, and it’s impossible to live like in between that and sleep. There’s no life there. That’s all it was, it was that. And Netflix, and that’s everything.

And some sleep if I could. And so once I had the ostomy, it was beautiful. It was a beautiful, beautiful thing, and I understand why that person said that to you in the support group, ’cause there are a lot of people who get the bag and they never wanna go back. They’re like, This is perfect. This is amazing and great. I, over time, I didn’t feel that way, but when I first got it, it was just such a relief to not have to run to the bathroom every two seconds, ’cause my whole life was just doing something… Running to the bathroom, doing something, running to the bathroom and just constant every day all day. And to not have to do that, I was like, the possibilities are endless. I can do whatever I want. I’m from being in

Karyn: I’m free.

Ruthie: Yes, exactly. Definitely freedom, it was a really great thing. But I had so many issues with the skin, the bag, it would leak onto my skin, and then I’d get these really painful rashes of the skin being basically raw, and I hated that, and a few times in the middle of the night, I would wake up and the bag exploded, so I was just covered in my own poop, and that was like… I never want that to happen to anyone, but it stunk and yeah, just things like that, and just the fact that I felt so vulnerable and just the fact that someone… If someone could come and just grab my stomach and not even know that it’s there, and then everything’s out and my insides are exposed to the world and just… That was really scary and anxiety-producing for me, so I definitely wanted the reversal and the second surgery was about six months after the first, and It was three months after the first. And then they kept the ostomy bag and they just constructed the J-pouch, so the J-pouch is made out of your small intestine, so there’s nothing like artificial inside me, and it works as a colon is just smaller.

Karyn: So they constructed the J-pouch and I still had the stoma bag and then recovered from that surgery, that one was fine, it kinda just felt like the first recovery, it felt better than the first recovery ’cause I didn’t have a big incision, so then three months after that for maybe four months after that, so some amount of time after that, I had the reversal, so they wanna give your J-pouch, like some time to just get adjusted to being in your body before it has to work and do everything

[34:02] Ruthie: And they reconnected the end of the small intestine into the j-pouch… So yeah, they reconnected everything, they put it back inside me, and then I was working, and the one thing that nobody warned me about that I really wish someone warned me about was the diaper rash, ’cause when you don’t poop out of your butt for six months, and then you do it again. It’s not fun. It’s like you’re a new born baby, and that lasted way longer than I expected…. A few months. Yeah, it was intense, but I found a lot of good products. Well, having a bidet is really important, and having calmaceptine was really nice. It’s like a more minty stuff that you put on and yeah, there’s things you can do that make it a little better, but it’s intense for sure.

WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW CAN HURT YOU

Karyn: One of the things that… Well, I hear this from every single client that I work with, they’ll tell me… My doctor never told me this, my doctor never told me that… They just don’t know. And you mentioned the patios, you mentioned the pain of now having to re-train to go to the bathroom… Right. Or is there anything else that you think would be helpful for people to know? This is what your doctor is not telling you, This is what’s gonna be on after… The thing that I hear most about is from patients… Yeah, but is there anything else that you feel like your doctor’s just not telling you this…

Ruthie: Yeah, well, so I’ve had a total of six surgeries, now I had those initial three, and then I’ve had three additional because of bowel obstructions, because when you have any sort of abdominal surgery, you’re left with a lot of scar tissue, which I was not told about beforehand, and that scar tissue can cause so many issues and such as bowel obstructions, and I’ve had three different bowel obstructions, and it’s just like where you feel like you’re pregnant, nothing will pass through you at all, and just the worst pain and then the only way to clear it is to put an NG tube in your nose, so it’s like a vacuum that they stick up your nose and it goes down your throat and vacuums everything out the worst for 24 hours too. It’s ridiculous or longer. So yeah, that was something that nobody warned me about, and just the fact of having any sort of surgery on your stomach, it causes some sort of trauma and some sort of scar tissue, and those are the things that… They just have all these others, there’s just way more to it than just like no ulcerative colitis and that’s what really makes me upset to think about because I’m just like…

I just wanted someone to sit down with me and tell me every single thing that could happen if I had the surgery and everything that couldn’t happen, because… Even if I knew all of these things, I probably would have still done it. It would have been way nicer to know beforehand that this was a possibility rather than feeling like I was blind-sided, so… Yeah, exactly. That’s a big one.

Karyn: Yeah, I really want doctors to do a better job with this.

Ruthie: Yeah.

Karyn: I really don’t like hearing from people who have had it down there, they tell, everything’s gonna be fine. It’s just gonna be fine. No problem.

Ruthie: Just be real with me. Tell me it’s not gonna be fine. I would rather they just tell me the truth, ’cause in a lot of ways, it’s gonna be better…

Karyn: Right. Yet then there’s a lot that comes with it as well. so I have had… Not my colon, but I’ve had the removal of my small intestine and not the whole thing, but almost 10 feet of it, a really big chunk that has really affected me, and it happened when I was young too. And so I haven’t had an IBD surgery in 18 years, but the complications that I’ve now had from it, they said We’re gonna take your disease out now with Crohn’s, they don’t promise you that you’re gonna be healed because Crohn’s doesn’t usually work that way. It will usually come back and they did tell me to their credit, they told me it will probably come back and it did, so I had the first surgery with four and a half feet to have the second surgery with five feet that they took out, so now it’s almost 10 feet, it’s been 18 years and the scar tissue has now built up, so I have challenges with food passing through because of the scar tissue, and so I always think to myself, it would have been nice if…

They would have told me that, but I can’t go back in time. And so I try to live my life not feeling sorry for myself about the past and not feeling like what is my future gonna be like because I’ve had these surgeries in the scar tissue, it just keeps getting worse and worse. So for you, I would love to know, how do you sTay in the present, how do you not think about what was or what could have been, and how do you not think about… What could happen in the future? How do you stay present?

[39:18] Ruthie: Yeah. Well, I definitely do. I definitely do think about the past and the future, and I definitely have long periods of time, particularly after surgeries and unexpected surgeries, ’cause I had two unexpected surgeries in 2020, and I just really thought I was over everything, and that really messed me up for some time because I was just very afraid that like, Oh, what’s the point of doing anything if I’m just gonna have another surgery tomorrow, ’cause I felt fine beforehand, and then just one day I felt really sick, went to the hospital, wake up and out of surgery, I…

Karyn: Right, that’s how obstructions can work. You’re fine, and the next day you’re not.

Ruthie: And that’s terrifying.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO NOT LIVE IN FEAR WHEN THE WORST HAS HAPPENED TO YOU?

Karyn: So now you live in this constant state of when is that going to happen again, at least that’s what I’m doing.

Ruthie: Yeah, so what I do to help me with that stuff is… Well, first of all, I notice that I’m doing it because I think for a long time, you don’t even notice that you’re doing it ’cause you’re just like, This is the only way to think, there’s no other way to be like, This is real. ’cause it is a real thing, and you have to validate that that is actually a possibility, it could happen, and I think that’s what I was struggling with for a long time because I was just like… ’cause the fears are rational, they’re not out of the blue, it’s based on history, so you have to give yourself a break because you are afraid for good reason that it happened and it could happen again. So it’s like remembering that. And at the same time, I try to remind myself that if that does happen, what am I gonna do today that is going to just make me feel good and make me feel happy because yeah, it is a possibility I could be in the hospital tomorrow and say, there for a week. So how am I gonna live my life today and take advantage of the fact that I’m not in the hospital and then I’m not sick, because you can…

It’s such a such a flip though, because you can really easily just be like, there’s no point in doing anything if I’m gonna be in the hospital tomorrow, or you could flip it to be like, Well, if I’m gonna be the hospital more, I better do all the things today, ’cause I feel great today. And that is where I try to say, But you have to be… You have to be really, really kind to yourself when you slip into the other way, because it’s something my therapist told me that was really helpful, is that just about self-compassion and how our brains think that if we’re really hard on ourselves about feeling a certain way or doing something that… That’ll change the way that we do it. So it’s like if I’m constantly thinking about how I’m scared, I’m gonna be in the hospital, but then I tell myself, No, stop. Stop thinking like that, because you have to live your life, you have to be happy today, well, if you come at it from that hard perspective, it’s gonna keep you stuck in the cycle, so the only way to come out of it is by validating why you are stuck in the cycle.

And just imagine if your best friend or your daughter was going through the same thing, and how would you speak to them if they were going through it like it’s not their fault that they are scared because history is scary and the future is scary, but right now, everything is okay, so we can work through the things we felt in the past, we can work through the things or kind of plan mentally plan for things happening in the future, ’cause there’s definitely value in that, or just being like, Okay, well, if I get check when I’m out here with these people, what will I do and just kinda… It gives me a sense of peace just knowing that I’ve already played through this in my mind, so if it happens, I’m good, and then I don’t have to worry about it when I’m there, ’cause it’s like a dress rehearsal most… But I know that might not be helpful for everyone, so just kind of like a note.

Karyn: That’s hugely helpful, actually. Yeah, so we try to stay in the present. We try to live in the moment and enjoy it because we don’t know what the future is gonna hold, but at the same time, not feeling guilty or berating ourselves because we’ve planned for the future, or because one day we got stuck in the past, right. When the…

Ruthie: You can be in the present, and we think you can be presently planning for the future, and you can be presently working through the things you’ve lived in the past, is you just… Yeah, just being present with what you’re thinking about and not being like thinking about the past and feeling it like you’re fully there, it’s like watching it more like an observer, observing what happened in the past, what can you learn from what happened in the past? How can you apply that to what’s happening now, and how can you apply those lessons to what could happen in the future.

Karyn: A much healthier way to go about… Yeah, but I also, I tell my clients and I try to be this way with myself, like some days I’m just gonna have a bad day and I’m gonna cry. And that’s okay.

Ruthie: And you should do that. Everyone should do this exactly.

Karyn: If I don’t want anybody to live there, I would never wanna live in that place, but some days you need to do that, and I think oftentimes, as women, we feel like we’re just not strong, if we indulge in that it… And that’s even just a really horrible way to say it, indulge, it’s not indulging in a US being in that state, but we’re told, Well, no, you’re just… You can’t… So I encourage people to be there, what you’ve gone through is a really challenging thing, what we go through every day with IBD is really challenging, and so we just need to allow ourselves to be where we’re at…

Rutie: And every storm runs out of rain, so

Karyn: I love that, that’s the… Exactly, yeah, I kind of say it a little bit differently, but it… Same sentiment, I say, This is your now, if not your future, this is your now, it’s not your future. It doesn’t have to be your future.  now, so yeah, it’s like there’s the storm, but it’s gonna run out eventually that…

Karyn: One of the things that I really think that people don’t give enough thought to is the idea of surgeries like this with having an ostomy and having a j-pouch is that just going through all of the steps that you go through, it’s a loss and it’s a trauma, and oftentimes we think of it as, I don’t know, just a medical procedure, but actually there’s a loss in a trauma there, and so you might think that it’s this grief process and then you’ll just go through those… Do you know Elizabeth Keubler Ross, the stages of grief?She created the stages of grief, Denial, anger, resentment, acceptance… I don’t know, there’s another one in there that I’m not thinking of, but… So she created these stages of grief, and so people tell us that this is how you go through it, right, you’ll go through denial, then you’ll go through anger, but what I find is that, at least for me, and I would guess for stone and J pouch, people as well, it doesn’t actually work in the circular way…

Let go way. A circle doesn’t matter. So sometimes some days you might feel acceptance and then other days you might be back in denial and then… Right, do you find that for you as well, that you’re kind of all over the place with the emotions…

CHRONIC ILLNESS GRIEF: THE UNSTAGE PROCESS

Ruthie: Absolutely, and I think that a lot of the books I’ve read about ’cause… Yeah, you’re absolutely right. It’s, we’re morning a loss, we’ve lost an organ or we’ve lost a chunk of ourselves, so you have to… It’s a morning process, and you have to grieve that loss and accept where you’re currently at, and the organs that are here inside of you and are working and not taking those for granted either, but absolutely. Some days I will feel on top of the world, I’ve accepted. I am like, I did it, I had a tear. Exactly, and it’s like you feel like you kind of made it, but then the next day it’s like, can’t get off the couch and I’m crying all day, so it’s definitely… And I think a lot of the grief process of it and everything, if you read it exactly as it is and take it in exactly as it is, it can be kind of harmful just because you don’t think you’re doing it right, if you’re just like, Oh well, that’s not what my process has been, and it’s like every single person’s grieving process is going to be different, and it’s a very personal process, and it’s not something anyone can really tell you either, it’s like you can listen to what has worked for other people, but ultimately, it’s, you’re different and you have to do what’s right for you.

So if someone suggests something that like, Oh, you should… You’re this far away from when it happened, so you should be in this stage, it’s like… That is going… It’s like a record scratch. It’s like if your reality something, but then you’re hearing from someone else that your reality should be something different, then you’re just like, Wait, well, if I should be there then, but it’s like, No, just let herself be exactly where you are and take in what other people say, and things that resonate with you and makes sense and feel helpful, but take everything with a grain of salt because you… I’ve got really caught in comparing my healing to other people, healing, and it’s never gonna be the same, so there’s no real point in doing it.

[49:20] Karyn: When you’re feeling that way and you’re in your own pain, one of the things that you mentioned is therapy, and I think that that can be so helpful, I feel like somewhere… Maybe it was on one of your YouTube videos that I saw that you’ve done hypnotherapy.

THE POWER OF THERAPY FOR PHYSICAL ILLNESS

Ruthie: Yeah.

Karyn: Well, when I was 17 and just diagnosed, my mother took me to a therapist who did hypnotherapy, and I found that to be amazingly beneficial. Have you had the same experience?

Ruthie: Yeah, I think it’s beautiful. I think it’s way different than what I had in my head as to what hypnotherapy would be, ’cause I feel like we all have this first vision of hypnotherapy as being…

Karyn: Oh, like a little worse, the hypnotherapist on the stage who making them for

Like a dog and like a chicken…

Ruthie: Exactly, and that’s what kind of blew my mind when I first started doing God hypnosis was because I was like, This is what I’ve been doing, this is… It’s not the person who’s the therapist is not doing anything for you. They are guiding you through the process, that you can do it for yourself. And I think that’s something like in my head before I was like, Well, what if they do something to me that’s scary or harmful or too much, but it’s like you have all of the power, they’re just suggesting things to you, and if it feels good, you go with it, if it doesn’t, then leave it. So yeah, I really helpful.

[50:55] Karyn: And so when we think about therapy and hypnosis, that kinda leads me into thinking about meditation… Right, and… And also yoga. So how did those practices develop for you?

RUTHIE HELPS HER UC WITH MEDITATION AND YOGA

Ruthie: So yoga, something I kind of always been in my life in the background, my mom always had these yo good tapes I would do with her when I was little, but I never really… It just seemed kind of like another explore, another work at thing to do, so I didn’t really think of it as being anything deeper or more than just the physical postures, the asanas of yoga. I think I was 20, 21 maybe. It was in 2018, I decided to really go for it with yoga and I went through a really bad break-up, and I was just getting off of, or I was trying to get off of the biologics I was on, but I knew I had to make serious lifestyle changes, if I wanted to do that successfully, so I was like, I’m just gonna force… Or my sister was the one actually who said… She’s like, something crazy awesome happened. Did you force yourself to do yoga every single day, even when you don’t feel like it? So I was like, Okay, I’ll try it for a month. And I just never really stopped and I just… I did it every single day, just for you too, and just it some amount of yoga every day and really, really loved it, and I could see how it would just get better and better, ’cause it just…

In a month I did it. It was just getting better. So then I booked a trip for my yoga teacher training and went to Costa Rica for a month in April of 2018, and did a 200-hour teacher training, which was amazing. It was just like everything. It sounds like it was beautiful. Perfect. We did so much yoga, we were vegan for the month, which was nice, it was cool for me to try vegan, but my body definitely was craving red meat by the end of it,

Karyn: and I think everyone is totally individual, for some being vegan works for them, And then some, They need meat. It’s all individual.

Ruthie: Exactly, but it was nice that I tried, ’cause I probably would not have ever tried if I wasn’t forced to, so that was really great, and I came back from that trip and I felt like… Well, that was the first time I ever heard or I ever understood why people say food is fuel, ’cause that’s never been something that’s ever made sense to me my entire life, I’ve always just been like, You eat what’s gonna hurt you the least, and that’s just what you eat, I never thought of it as something as being energetic for you, if I wanted to have energy, I wouldn’t eat and then I would be like, I have a lot of energy, and that’s just what my life has always been, but when I went there, I would eat a meal that was grown on the land we were living on, and I would be like, so much energy, I felt like I tried to stress or something, but better, it was just like… Yeah, and I was like, I didn’t even know it was possible for people to feel like this, so I felt like I got a glimpse of what normal people feel like a normal people feel like every day healthy people.

So I was like, I don’t ever wanna lose this, how do I just keep this all the time. And yeah, it was really, really great. And I just continued to do yoga when I got back to the training, but then… And I was really into the whole mindset thing, and I was… Got a rake certification, and then I started to hear about the solar plexus and how your solar plex is easier, so forth and self-confident, so then I was like, Oh, that I… Yeah, I was like, that’s why I got sick was because I hated myself so much, and so then I was just really kind of equating everything, it’s like, Oh, it’s all been my fault now that I know… Now I can control it and now I won’t ever get sick in again, and I was there, I was like, This is it, I figured it out. And then of course, I got sick again and everything just shattered again, but we came to a way… It was kind of like the pendulum, I was all the way over here, I was way over here, and when I got to take again, it forced me to come to the Center and just be like, Okay, it’s not…

There’s not one answer for everything, there’s always gonna be… It’s a both/and thing. That’s another thing my therapist taught me, right? Yeah, because I always say but… And then every time I catch myself now and I’m like, No, it’s Both/and…love that. Yeah, western medicine and eastern medicine. We can have both of them. Exactly, I was really kind of shunning Western medicine for a long time, and just like… I have those periods too, but I kinda came to a center ground, I’m like, No, I’m alive because of it. So exactly.

Karyn: We can’t just count any of it, we have to use what helps us. Exactly. And so, when did the meditation come in?

Ruthie: So meditation was the main thing that I gravitated toward from the yoga teacher training, and we did these inner child meditations and Archangel invitations and all these kind of journey, a beautiful ones, and I just… It made so much sense to me. I just, I can’t even really explain it. It was just like, Oh yeah, I know exactly how to do this. It was just like, it felt like exactly what I needed to do, and it was… I never felt like a challenge for me at all to do guided cations, it was just like… It comes very, very naturally. So then when I got back from that teacher training, I found Insight Timer from my teachers there, and Tanis Fishman is an amazing teacher on inside time or a Jennifer Piercy. I love their style of speaking and just how inviting it is and not… ’cause there are a lot of teachers, everyone needs something different to click into that space, so I always say to people who are starting, I try as many different teachers as possible in her area, many times

Karyn: There’s no shortage. I’m always recommending Insight Timer. I love it, and I love that you gave couple of more names ’cause I’m gonna go check them out now…

Ruthie: Yeah, yeah. They’re amazing, amazing teachers. And a lot of what I say is  middle nuggets from what I picked from there were a lot of yoga needs are… Have you tried Yoga Nidra?

Karyn: Yes, I have.

Ruthie: Yep, that’s beautiful. Like a yogic sleep. So I tried all that stuff. I was like, This is amazing. And I just started looking, I’m like, I want something that I can listen to when I’m on the toilet, and I can’t go to the bathroom. And like, I want something, it’s for that, and I started looking and I couldn’t find anything, or maybe there was a few but didn’t really resonate or something, so then I was like, Alright, well, I’m just gonna make my own. So I just wrote it out, I recorded it, and then that was the first and only meditation I thought I was gonna do, and it’s like a 10-minute… It’s a solar plexus, the first one on my YouTube and on everything, and it has… I think it still has the most plays out of all of the ones I’ve done and see… Yeah, they really resonated with it, and I listen to it when I still and I need it, ’cause I really make a lot of the medications like for myself and for everyone else who feels like me…

Yeah, and then I just… Once I got positive feedback from all of that, I was just like, Why don’t I just do this… This is the perfect job for me. Like it’s a job that forces me to tune into myself and to be present, and it gives you that responsibility, ’cause I did love teaching yoga, but I was… I was teaching 10 classes a week at one point, and it was like, I can’t keep this up, this is too rigorous of a lifestyle, like meditations, so I’m like, I could do 10 to get… Meditation is easy in a week, probably more so… Yeah, so it was just… I really fell in love with it.

Karyn: I’m so glad that they’re there, you know, for a long time I was doing inside timer and I didn’t even look for any kind of digestive healing meditations ’cause I just figured they weren’t there, but when you actually go and look… It’s amazing, there’s a lot of really specific with whatever ailment you have, so I just let a timer, I highly encourage everybody to go there, so most of your work right now is on Insight Timer, and then we can also find you on YouTube. I know you have yoga on YouTube as well. Are those the main places where everybody can find your work…

Ruthie: Yeah, YouTube, Instagram, Insight, Timer, the usual stuff.

Karyn: Awesome, awesome.

Karyn: Well, I want to close out today, just like we started, I want to close out with another meditation so that we can leave today just feeling really wonderful about the day, with hope. Right, yeah, I would love for us to close out that way before we do that, do you have anything, any last nugget words of wisdom, anything you wanna just to leave us with?

THE POWER OF JOURNALING ON YOUR HEALING JOURNEY

[1:00:03] Ruthie: Yeah, I really think this is something that’s been very prevalent in my life lately, and I really just wanna say it as many people as possible. I really think that… It was actually two things. So I think that that journaling, I really think it’s necessary, and I don’t think you have to be a writer or call yourself a writer to do it, but any form of it too, even if it’s in the form of doodles or just scribbles on a paper, I think that documenting your life in some form, you can just pictures on your phone and reviewing that is so important too, ’cause nobody can really teach you what you can teach yourself, and by living your life and documenting parts of it in some form, your external world as well, as your internal world, things that happen in your life, and then how you feel about them and the thoughts that you’re having currently, I think doing that over time and reviewing that over time, you learn so much about yourself and it’s things that nobody else could ever tell you, because if you’re in our world, but we always forget, we forget the things are lessons we learned all the time, so just…

Even just this morning, I re-watched one of my old You Tube videos ’cause I realized I hadn’t watched any of them ever, and I was like, What did I even say on these… And I was like, Oh my God, I felt like I was learning things. Listening to myself, Fuck. I was like, This is crazy. ’cause you forget everything. So I think that is so, so helpful, especially with deep emotional stuff, which I feel like people with IBD often

Karyn: So no. True. And do you think that there’s the best time of day to do that, do you think we should plan in the morning to do it or in the evening to do it, or do you think it’s like just… When the mood strikes you. What do you think works best?

Ruthie: I think definitely when the mood strikes you, but I think when you are starting, that’s not gonna happen until you force yourself to do it, so I think starting first thing in the morning is really like Julia Cameron, I think it’s gonna be… Julie camera has a book, The Artist’s Way, and she talks about the morning pages, how every morning first in in the morning, write three pages, even if it’s just like, I don’t know what to write, This is dumb. I don’t wanna write right now, even if it’s just that for three pages, it’s kind of like a brain dump, like emptying the trash can on your computer or something, just getting it all out, so then you can start with a fresh mind.

Karyn: Yeah, I read that book a while ago, you know what I’m gonna link it in the show notes because everybody should read that book.

Ruthie: That is a must read for… Sure, read for sure.

Karyn: Okay, and I know you wanted to mention one more thing…

Ruthie: Yeah. Okay, the last thing is this really helpful analogy, I say it in a lot of my medications, but I kinda blew my mind when I first heard it. There’s this teacher. He teaches ancient astrology. It’s nightlight astrology on YouTube, but the teachers of course, like a YouTube course on The Hermetica, which is another great book, it’s the ancient teachings of Hermes, like the last wisdom of the Pharaohs. So what the symbolism of the moon and the sun, so the moon in ancestral represents the body like our physical bodies, and the sign represents our soul, so the moon does not have its own light, like our body is just matter. And we reflect the Moon reflects the light from the sun, from the sun. So our body is brought to life by our soul, and sometimes it’s a new moon, and sometimes the moon is totally in the dark, fund the soul, sometimes our body is totally in the dark and we feel like we’re in the trenches and nothing’s ever been good and nothing will ever be good again, and we’re just disconnected and lost feeling, and then sometimes we’re a full moon and sometimes we feel like…

Ruthie: Totally illuminated. Totally connected. Totally. Great. And with where we’re at, and then there’s all those phases of the moon in between, so it’s like you… Whenever you’re in one phase, you feel like That’s where you’re at, that’s where you’ve always been, it’s where you will always be, and there’s nothing that’s ever gonna change, but it always changes, and we always go through the cycles of the moon, just like the moon does, sometimes were partially illuminated, sometimes we’re partially in the dark and sometimes we’re full, sometimes we’re in the dark and just being whatever you’re at and not trying to change it, not trying to be a full moon when you’re in a new moon, just being the new moon, just being in that darkness and knowing that the next phase is right around the corner, so that’s very helpful.

Karyn: So I love that, so much wisdom from you, and you mentioned so many things that I’m gonna go through this before I make it go live, and I will put all the links in the show notes because I was… Wisdom from you. That’s amazing, all the things that you’ve learned in this short period of time, and I’ve gotten so much from your Insight Timer meditations, but who now you were just the fount of wisdom. That’s awesome. I love.

Ruthie: Thank you so much.

Karyn: Oh, it’s been such a joy. It’s such an honor for me to talk with you today. I’m just really grateful to you, so thank you for sharing the space with me, Ruthie, and thank you for sharing your light with everyone that’s listening.

Ruthie: Thank you so much for having me, this is awesome.

Karyn: Let’s close out with a meditation… Yeah. Okay.

ONE LAST MEDITATION WITH RUTHIE

[1:05:32] Ruthie: Yeah, I wanna do… We’re gonna do a stomach one too, so… Let’s do it. Okay, so just coming back to that comfortable position, if you’re sitting with your feet on the ground is really feeling your feet on the ground, closing the eyes if you feel safe to do so, and taking that same cleansing breath, full in Him, in full exhale. Just letting the crown of your head lift up, light we toward the ceiling and just feeling the length of your spine as you start to settle back into your body, just coming back to your heart, feeling once again that unique rhythm that your heart has… Remembering that connection that your heart has to your mind, to your senses, and now remembering the connection that heart has to your stomach, and just feeling all that love and… And that’s in the heart. And how that is directly connected, passing through the lungs and coming into all the organs in your Sumac. Now you can gently place your left hand on your hearts and your right hand on your belly, wherever it feels called to go is trusting where your hands naturally fall, and not just feeling this connection of your palms to your body, so feeling how your heart is beating into your hand, and also how your hand is beating back into your heart, feeling maybe the rise of your belly as you breathe in into your hand and the fall as you breathe out, or maybe even feeling a heartbeat in your stomach that’s pulsing into your hand in your right hand pulsing back into your stomach.

Now, just feeling the love from your heart, this enter into your hand naturally travel up the left arm, come into the left shoulder, across the collar bones, down the right arm, through the right wrist, into the right hand and into the belly, and just feeling the circuit that you’ve just created connecting your heart to your belly in two ways now, direct line through the inside of your body and your torso, and now from the outside, from your hands, through the hearts in your hands, and just allow your stomach to receive this healing from your own heart. Notice if there’s any resistance to it, I know that that is okay to trust that you will always receive what you are meant to receive when you are meant to receive it, just stepping out of your own way as you feel ready to receive and to heal… Whenever you feel ready to do so, you can slowly let your palms find each other now, feel all of that energy to settle within your stomach, let it be absorbed into the organs, into the cells of your body, and feeling this love just feeding into each palm. Now, as you take a deep and conscious breath and once again feeling yourself fill up, letting yourself fill up, and as you exhale, slowly letting the head bow once again, just bowing to the source you’ve come from, bowing to the inspiration and guidance around you, bowing to everyone in this space, who’s completed this alongside you, most importantly, bowing to yourself for listening for choosing to show up and just for being here.

May this practice continue to heal you through the rest of your days and nights, may you bring the same love and understanding into everything that you do into everyone that you see… No.

Karyn: Mmm… Thank you, Ruthie. Thank you.

Ruthie: Thank you, Karyn.

Karyn: That was something really special. Right. Mushy is definitely an inspiration to us all, if you wanna practice yoga with rule or you want to use her as a guide through your meditations, you can find her on YouTube and Insight Timer, she also is on Facebook and Instagram. I will go ahead and link to rothes website and YouTube channel in the show notes, definitely go check her out and thanks for joining us on the podcast today, and stay tuned for more her IBD story episodes as we continue to shed light on IBD women warriors in our circle, 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 take 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 It moms everywhere.

[1:13:17] Karyn: And if you feel called 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 St 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, ’cause if you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between players and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my… The website, it’s Karyn Haley dot com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, but my name with the Y, so it’s K-A-R-Y H-A-L-E-Y dot com, and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD Root Cause troubleshooting 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, hit of 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 amino 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, cause trouble shooting today at Carondelet 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 CV podcast for moms with it, either by me or my guest is not intended to diagnose, treat, 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 the 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 #1 Reason You Haven’t Busted That Flare-Up and What to Do Instead

Have you ever dived into one of the many gut healing diets out there, I’m talking head first, blazing a trail, only to scratch your head a few weeks later wondering why it didn’t work for you?

Or have you found a diet that works for many of your gut struggles, but there’s still lingering symptoms that never seem to clear up?

Or maybe you’re in the middle of a flare up right now.

It’s raging, but you’re so overwhelmed you don’t know where to start. It might feel right now like the world is caving in, but actually this is the best place to be– with all your options laying at your feet.

You just need some help getting clear on what those options are, and most importantly, where to start first.

If any of these scenario’s sound like you, dear one, you’re going to love this episode.

We’re talking about:

  • Hands down, your first go-to step when a flare-up is coming on
  • Why your seeing undigested food in the toilet
  • Your best bet to bring your bacterial imbalance, back into balance
  • The gentle detoxifier that helps you release toxins and bacterial build up in the body (no cleanse necessary)

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll have the tips you need to finally take confident steps on your gut healing journey. That nasty flare-up is going down.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [05:59] The most important part of any gut healing diet that’s missing
  • [09:58] Hands down, your first go-to step when a flare-up is coming on
  • [15:22] Why your seeing undigested food in the toilet
  • [19:37] Herbal teas that help your worst digestive symptoms (bloating, gas, abdominal pain, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, insomnia…)
  • [22:56] Your best bet to bring your bacterial imbalance, back into balance
  • [26:55] Are you sure you can’t eat eggs? Try these two things before you ditch this nutrient packed gut healer
  • [30:10] The gentle detoxifier that helps you release toxins and bacterial build up in the body (no cleanse necessary)
  • [35:56] The repair the flare tip you never saw coming (but you’re going to make a priority after you hear this)
  • [42:03] Repair the flare “do it like a mom” tips for success
  • [45:39] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

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Mentioned in This Episode

Your IBD Action Plan

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Episode Transcript:

Have you ever dived into one of the many gut healing diets out there, I’m talking head first, blazing a trail, only to scratch your head a few weeks later wondering why it didn’t work for you?

Or have you found a diet that works for many of your gut struggles, but there’s still lingering symptoms that never seem to clear up?

Or maybe you’re in the middle of a flare up right now. It’s raging, but you’re so overwhelmed you don’t know where to start. It might feel right now like the world is caving in, but actually this is the best place to be– with all your options laying at your feet. You just need some help getting clear on what those options are, and most importantly, where to start first.

If any of these scenario’s sound like you, dear one, you’re going to love this episode. If you can relate, this one’s for you.

[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]

[01:54] Hello my love, how are you feeling today? Is it another day in IBD paradise or are there some things you’re still working on? Let’s just take a deep breath together and set an intention that you will leave today’s episode with at least one nugget of wisdom you can take with you on your IBD healing journey. Now, just let it go. Whatever you need to hear today to help you through, it’s in your heart, it’s out there in the ethers, ready to take shape.

Today we’re talking about the #1 reason you haven’t busted that flare up and what to do instead.

We have to start this episode with a truth bomb. One that’s gonna give you an Amen, sister friend kind of feeling. And it goes like this: Even though you’ve most likely not heard from your doctor that the food you eat, along with the state of your mental and overall physical health will impact your IBD, you already know this to be true.

You know it in your heart. Am I right?

You probably wouldn’t be listening to this podcast if you didn’t have the urge to seek out something more… some other way to heal besides reaching for a pill or an infusion.

And even if you do take medications or infusions, you know that you’ll need less medicine or be able to come off your medication sooner if you make healthy choices when it comes to your gut.

FROM 6-MP TO SCD

That’s how it happened for me. I was moving along on 6-MP (it’s an immuosuppressive), and after 20 years of gut struggles that tore me apart, I was finally eating a diet that was controlling my symptoms and I finally said to myself, I don’t think I need this medication anymore. And you might be just at the start of a similar journey. You might have heard about this diet or that diet… And you may have heard that outside the world of Crohn’s and colitis, healthy people eat kale and sprouts and quinoa… berries and raw veggies.

And so many of us go for it. We think that if we just follow the foods listed as legal on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, or the Macrobiotic diet, or Paleo, or Whole 30, or if we eat 10 fruits and veggies a day, our abdominal pain will disappear, our diarrhea and bloody stools will clear up and we’ll begin to heal.

And listen, I know all of these kinds of options aren’t easy. The shear willpower it takes to stay on diets like these is beyond intense. When we put in extraordinary effort and we embrace eating extreme diets, we want the payoff to be worth it.

WHERE’S THE PAYOFF?

We’re working our butts off. We deserve the payoff to be worth it.

But the problem is, these diets don’t take into account the most important part of healing—the repair phase. And I’m not talking about the long-term repair we do over time as we begin to heal our gut. I’m taking about the pre-repair work that needs to take place before ANY healing can begin.

Over the years in my coaching practice, I kept seeing clients who came to me saying, “I tried Paleo or I tried the SCD and it didn’t work. I tried supplements, herbal remedies, elixirs, but they didn’t work.”

This really got me thinking. These kinds of gut supporting remedies should work. How come, in many cases, they aren’t.

What I found 99.9% of time is that instead of spending quality time in the repair phase—this almost pre-digestive healing phase, most people jumped right into their new healing regime. And especially when mamas with Crohn’s or colitis jumped right into an eating plan or a healing regime without proper time spent in repairing the flare first, they just weren’t successful in creating long-lasting healing—the kind that sustains remission.

THE PROBLEM WITH JUMPING OFF THE LEDGE

It’s like starting to exercise without warming up—it puts you at greater risk for injury. Your whole digestive system works in much the same way. We’ve been exercising our digestive system without warming it up for so long. Now, we have to set up a strong foundation before we can move on to lasting healing.

That, what I affectionately like to call the “repair the flare” foundational step is about setting your digestive system up with the proper tools to address the irritation in the digestive track, the inflammation that’s raging throughout the body. Starting to wake up the intestinal villi that have been lying flat and dormant for so long.

Once we take the necessary steps to ignite our body’s innate repair system, there’s no stopping us. But failing to at least light the pilot light in our digestive system, ends up in half results, repeated stops and starts, and this feeling that full remission is just not possible for you.

7 REPAIR THE FLARE TIPS TO HELP YOUR IBD

Let’s end this problem today—these failed attempts and starts and stops, half attempts– Because today, I’m sharing with you 7 repair the flare tips to ensure that when your IBD is raging, you know exactly what to do first, as soon as possible if you can, because the sooner you set these tips in motion when a flare starts, the better you’ll feel and the quicker you’ll start to calm your symptoms down and find remission.

We’ll start by going over the 7 tips. Then with all this information in hand, I’ll tell you how you can get started on them and do it like a mom, with no overwhelm or confusion involved.

Let’s get started.

TIP #1 GRANDMA WAS RIGHT!

[09:58] So tip #1, the best advice I’ll ever give you, is to get started with a high quality bone broth or meat stock right away—like the moment you realize this is a flare. It’s coming on, I know somethings not quite right. Just like with a cold how it’s best if we can get it with the first sniffle, bone broth works much the same way. The sooner you get on it the better.

Now maybe your mom or your grandmother, or great-grandmother made homemade stock before. Growing up Italian, my grandmother always had homemade chicken soup on hand. And it was delish. Little did I know it was also so healing for the gut at the time. Homemade stock, made with chicken or beef bones is full of nutrient rich collagen and gelatin. These two compounds are mother nature’s miracles for our digestive health.

If you don’t do any other tips you hear today, this is the one to do. The results can be huge. The gelatin (and yes, if you’re thinking jello gelatin, you’re on the right track—only less processed and less sugars and dyes—pure gelatin) in the meat stock comes from the skin, the bone marrow, and the tendons of the animal. The gelatin we get from our homemade stock sets the mucosal lining of the gut up for healing success by repairing the lining of the digestive system. Goodbye leaky gut, hello strong intestinal barrier that can now absorb and digest the nutrients we eat. We’re not going to get gut healing results from a chicken breast or a filet mignon. We need the gelatin rich joints and bones of the animal.

That gelatin in the broth also helps balance our stomach acid and digestive enzymes so we have less bloat, less gas, less acid reflux… talk about setting yourself up for repair the flare success!

The collagen in our homemade stock helps us lower inflammation levels, not just in our gut but throughout our whole body. So it’s working on IBD joint inflammation. It also works at lowering pain levels and easing muscle aches. And like gelatin, collagen helps improve leaky gut.

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

With stock and broth, I would try to get in as many cups a day as you can. 1 at a minimum to 5 cups a day, depending on the severity of your flare. Start with just a ½ a cup and ease into more each day. And I know there are some really great local restaurants and shops that sell homemade stock. I have a client in Argentina who gets her stock right around the corner from her house. I’ve had great homemade stock from Springbone Kitchen in NYC. So I know there are some high quality options you can buy. For the most part though, I prefer homemade where you control the ingredients and you know all about the cook time. Don’t be fooled by your regular grocery store “bone broth” options that come in a box or a can. They don’t have the gelatin we need for gut healing.

TIP #2: SAY GOODBYE TO KALE SALAD

[14:44] Let’s talk about tip #2: Skip health food.

Most people believe that “we are what we eat” but IBDer’s are not what they eat. We are what our body can digest and absorb. And in a flare, digesting and absorbing your food is tricky. Do you go to the bathroom and see undigested food in the toilet? This is a sign you’re not digesting and absorbing your food properly.

It’s time to back it up with everything you eat. I want you to eat nutrient packed vitamin and mineral rich fruits and veggies. But your body just can’t tolerate and assimilate these foods in their natural state right now. That doesn’t mean you can’t have strawberries, blueberries, carrots, green beans, spinach, and kale.

You can, you just can’t prepare them the way most people eat them.

Put those fibrous foods in a form YOU can digest.

Blend your fruit in a smoothie. Make a blueberry compote to drizzle on your favorite foods. If compote sounds like a fancy food, it’s not.  It’s actually so ridiculously easy to make. Making your berries and other fruit in this way is all the gut healing nutrients without the trouble of the food not being able to make its way through your digestive system. Now, when it comes to fruit, I’m not saying eat fruit all day long because too much fruit is definitely a case of getting too much of a good thing. But a couple servings of berries in a digestible form every day, that is the way to repair the flare.

Veggies can be puréed too. My favorite way to get all my vegetables in when I’m in a flare is by putting them in a soup. I make a soup that I call my 15-vegetable soup. It’s basically the meat stock we just talked about with every vegetable I can find in my house mixed in. When the soup is cooked, I pop it in a blender and voilà, super healthy, delicious, nutrient packed soup that’s also repairing my gut at the same time.

When you’re in a flare, eat healthy, don’t go for the nutrition less mac & cheese and potatoes. Keep it healthy, but just eat it in a form that your body can use to help you heal.

Real quick before we leave tip number two behind, I want to mention episode 24 of the podcast. Back in episode 24, I talked all about the power of using soup to heal your gut. When you’re in a flare, there’s just nothing better. Go back and listen to that episode and you’ll get some great tips for how you can use nutrient dense, healing soup to begin the digestive repair process and bust that flare.

TIP #3: YOU AND THE QUEEN HAVE A LOT IN COMMON

[18:43] Moving along to tip #3: Start sipping tea, herbal tea that is.  

Tea, hot or cold, and I should say the right high-quality tea, is amazingly beneficial for your digestive health. Herbal teas, which are not actually teas at all but more like dried fruits, dried flowers, and dried herbs, are a wonderful jumpstart to your healing the flare process.

There are so many herbal teas that are wonderful digestive helpers for things like bloating, gas, abdominal pain after eating, nausea, anxiety and restlessness… there are even herbal blends that work on multiple gut challenges at the same time. But when you’re in flare mode and everything seems to bother you, I prefer single herb teas. Peppermint for heartburn, bloating, gas as well as just being great as a digestive system relaxer after a meal. Ginger tea for when nausea strikes. Chamomile tea to help you relax before bedtime. Sticking to single herb blends in the beginning will help you know which teas work best for you and which ones are best for you to stay away from.

Once you have built a repair the flare foundation, it’s OK to move onto herbal tea combinations. One of my favorites is a tea called throat coat. Some people think it’s just for sore throats, but it’s full of digestive healing compounds like slippery elm, and licorice root, and marshmallow root. Some people do really well with throat coat in early stages, but I don’t think it’s worth risking it. Keep the throat coat tea for after you’ve set a foundation for your digestive healing and are now in full on healing mode.

Warm foods and liquids work for me year-round, but everyone is different. When it comes to tea, let the season be your guide. If the weather is warm, go for it with iced herbal tea. During the cooler months there’s nothing like a warm mug of hot tea to soothe everything that ails you.

TIP #4: FERMENT IT, BABY!

[21:20] It’s time for tip #4 to help you repair that flare: homemade fermented 24-hour yogurt

I’m not talking about the yogurt you buy at the grocery store. This is the yogurt that’s been made at home with ingredients you know and trust and it takes 24 hours to ferment.

Now this is a tip that’s going to need a little disclaimer, because I don’t recommend yogurt for everyone, whether that yogurt is dairy or non-dairy.

Especially when our Crohn’s or colitis is in a flare, one of the main factors is gut dysbiosis. We have an imbalance of the bacteria in our microbiome. This imbalance leads to bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, arthritis, headaches, sensitivities to foods, brain fog, poor concentration, irritability, moodiness, memory challenges, skin rashes… gut imbalance is a very powerful factor in keeping our IBD humming—and not in a good way. Crohn’s and colitis thrives on a disrupted bacterial system.

One of the ways to bring in this bacterial imbalance back into balance is with yogurt. Homemade, 24-hour fermented yogurt is full of probiotics that have the power to bring balance to our digestive system. I’ve seen people’s whole lives turn around on a couple cups of yogurt a day. Some people thrive on it.

But when the bacterial imbalance is so severe, the addition of yogurt can be challenging to say the least. Whether that yogurt contains dairy or is dairy free—like coconut milk yogurt for example. I love recommending yogurt as an option to help really repair that gut lining initially, but I want to let you know that there is a caveat here. When you’re adding in yogurt, please do not add in heaps and heaps all at once. If that gut dysbiosis in your body is strong, it will set off a chain reaction call the herxhiemer reaction, or you may have heard it called die off. This is the release of all of the bacteria and toxins that are stored up in your body over time. Die off can make you feel worse than your flareup. Have you ever experienced this before? You tried to introduce yogurt and it made you feel worse. This is likely because of this die off reaction.

Bottom line here is that homemade 24-hour fermented yogurt can be great, but go very, very slow. I have had clients that need to start with a half a teaspoon a day, or even just dipping their tongue into the yogurt at first. For some people yogurt works fantastic, and for others, it’s just more of a headache than it’s worth. Give it a try and see how it works for you.

I’ve got three more tips to share on this episode and then I’m gonna tell you how you can get four more of my repair the flare tips to check out after the episode.

TIP #5: GOT CHICKENS?

[25:30] Tip # 5 is: Eggs, and mainly the yolk or the yellow part of the egg.

This is another tip with a caveat. Like yogurt, eggs are fantastic during the repair the flare stage, but eggs are not for everyone.

Egg yolks are a powerhouse of a healer.

They are probably the easiest food to digest on the planet and the amount of digestive healing nutrients found in an egg yolk is insane. Yolks are full of protein so you’re getting large amounts of health building amino acids and vitamins with every egg yolk. B vitamins like B1, B2, B6, B12—B is an essential vitamin for digestive healing. Egg yolks are also high in vitamin A and D as well as biotin. Eggs are full of fatty acids, choline, zinc, and magnesium.

Eggs offer a powerhouse of healing potential, and they set the gut up for further healing and remission down the line. But as we know, some people are sensitive to eggs. If this is you I want to mention two things that are specifically for you with an egg sensitivity, not an egg allergy.

The first thing is that many people who are sensitive to eggs are actually sensitive to the egg white, not the yolk. The part of the egg I’m talking about in your repair the flare phase is the egg yolk. This is where the nutrients that you need are found. So it might be worth trying just the egg yolk to see how you do. The other thing I want to mention, and I’ve seen this happen over and over with several of my clients who are sensitive to chicken eggs. They are not sensitive to other eggs like duck eggs for example. So again, even if you’re sensitive to chicken eggs it can be worth trying eggs from a different animal to see how you react.

If you know you tolerate eggs and maybe even thrive on them, you definitely want them to be a part of your repair the flare phase. Free range organic eggs, the ones you can find from a farmer you trust are best. And having your own chickens who graze on grubs, even better! And when it comes to the gut healing health benefits of eggs, the more raw you eat the egg, the better.

If you’re very trusting of your egg source, you can blend the raw egg into a smoothie, make a gut friendly homemade ice cream with raw eggs, add them to homemade mayo. The way I love to have them and the way I recommend my clients have them is to stir them into a steaming bowl or cup of your bone broth. This cooks the egg a little bit, especially for those of us who are squeamish, like me, about raw eggs. Once the egg is stirred into your broth, you won’t even know it’s there. Like an egg drop soup, it will just add a richness to the taste and flavor of your bone broth. And of course, it’s adding a mega layer of repair the flare healing.  

TIP #6: A SALTY DETOX

[30:10] How are you doing mama? Are you ready to bring these tips home. Let’s move on to our second last repair the flare tip. Tip #6 is all about detoxifying our body naturally. Getting rid of the toxins that build up and keep our flare in an active state. And I’m not a fan of most detoxes where do you fast or participate in a cleanse. Most of these are really irritating to the digestive system. But what I do love is a way to gently detox bacteria and toxins we’ve built up in our body with Epsom salt baths.

Throughout all of these tips we’ve been working our way through the systems of the body. Immune function, inflammation, bacterial balance… to repair the flare and set us up for long lasting remission, we must also focus on our detoxification pathways.

Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfide, those large salt looking crystals that are sold in pharmacy’s, grocery stores, and online have a myriad of health benefits from boosting our magnesium levels (something many of us are deficient in) and reducing stress, but when it comes to the repair the flare phase of your intestinal healing, I love Epsom salt for its ability to flush away toxins and reduce pain and inflammation.

I mentioned that Epsom salt is part magnesium and part sulfate. The sulfates in the Epsom salt help the body to release toxins through a process called reverse osmosis. Have you ever heard of water filtered with a reverse osmosis process to purify it? This is the same type of process. The Epsom salt literally pulls the toxins out of your body.

In the world of Crohn’s and colitis, the toxin releasing effect may help us release bacterial overgrowth and ease bloating, while the anti-inflammatory effect can ease abdominal pain, also  joint pain, help to reduce painful hemorrhoids, and even lower our C-reactive protein levels. One study even found a link between low magnesium levels and high c-reactive protein levels (one of the inflammation markers our doctors are always checking in our bloodwork). So this study showed that Epsom salt can help to increase magnesium levels in our body, which in turn has the power to lower our CRP.

Like with everything I recommend, always start small with Epsom salt. Too much can led to dehydration and diarrhea. We definitely don’t want that so small amounts is best. ¼ cup in a full bath is a good starting place. If you can work your way up to 1-2 cups per bath and soak for about 20 minutes, you’ll get all the detox benefits you need.

Epsom salt is also great as a foot soak. We release toxins though our feet too so try it as a foot bath as well.

We’ve made it to our last tip of the day. Tip #7. Remember, there’s 4 more tips coming your way after the show. If you want the rest of my Repair the Flare tips, all you have to do is go to karynhaley.com/actionplan. That’s karynhaley.com/actionplan

All the tips we talked about today, plus 4 other important repair the flare tips are talked about in more detail in My IBD Action Plan. If you want more helpful IBD tips, you’ll get them there.

TIP #7: THE BEST MEDICINE ISN’T MEDICINE AT ALL

[35:35] So what’s tip #7? Tip #7 is a mental health tip. We know the food we eat (or don’t eat is important). Finding ways to reduce our inflammation, boost our immune system, balance our bacterial load, and flush our toxins… all important. But if we don’t take care of our mental well-being, we don’t stand a chance at achieving remission.

There’s never a more important time to take care of yourself than when you’re in a flare. It’s time to let go of everything you can. Get support from your family, your friends, your neighbors, your partner… leave the dishes, the vacuuming, the laundry…

There’s many mental health wellness tips I could impart you with today—selfcare and prayer, meditation, talking to a girlfriend.. these are all important, but the one I want to drive home for our top repair the flare mental health tip is to find space in your life to smile and laugh, even in your darkest moments.

There’s a reason why we all know the saying laughter is the best medicine. It’s because it is. I could go all into the endorphin release laughing creates, I could talk to you about the positive physiological changes laughter creates, I could mention the research studies that show how laughter boosts our immune system, lowers stress hormones, and decreases pain… but I’m not going to do that because I’d rather show you what laughter can do… with a joke.

This is one of my mom (who passed away earlier this year), this was one of her favorites. It’s a courtroom joke. A supposedly real conversation between an attorney and a witness. It’s the kind of joke you could hear 100 times and it would be funny every time you hear it. Here goes–

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS: No..
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Ba dum bum… could that be a real courtroom conversation? Somehow I doubt it, but it’s funny. It always cracked my mom up and I can’t help but laugh when I hear it. Watching you tube videos, funny movies, tickling your kiddos—or even just watching kids playing together is funny.

Laughter is the best medicine.

Laughter, tip #7.

LET’S DO A QUICK RECAP

[39:49] Let’s do a quick recap of our repair the flare tips.

Tip #1- Homemade bone broth, remember to get the healing collagen and gelatin benefits, homemade is the way to go.

Tip #2- Skip the health food, eat food in a way that’s easy to digest and absorb. Purred, blended, in a soup… make all your food easy for you to use its nutrients to heal.

Tip #3-Herbal tea, hot or cold… peppermint, ginger, chamomile… they all have gut healing benefits.

Tip #4- Homemade fermented 24-hour yogurt- just can’t be beat for its bacterial balancing benefits

Tip #5- Eggs- full of vitamins and minerals, high quality eggs are a must, especially the yoke and as raw as you tolerate—in a hot broth is ideal.

Tip #6- Epsom salt in a bath, in a foot soak, even to soak your bum when hemorrhoids are bothering you, Epsom salt gently detoxifies and reduces inflammation in your body.

Tip #7- Laughter, the best medicine. Laugh often, laugh with your kids, laugh with your friends, find something to laugh at every day.

So how can you use these tips without getting overwhelmed or stressed?

Well, first of all you’ll want to get started well before the flare gets out of control. These tips work best when you feel a flare coming on. Remember, the quicker you get started the better. If all of these are new for you, there’s no need for overwhelm and trying to do all 7. Pick anywhere from 2 or 4 to get you started. You don’t need all of them, just some key tips will get you started. And pick the low hanging fruit and run with those first. Do you already have a whole chicken in your freezer at home? Start with the bone broth. Is Epsom salt in your bathroom cabinet? Go for it with an Epsom salt bath tonight. Get started with what you can and the rest will fall into place when you are ready.

IT’S TIME TO “DO IT LIKE A MOM”

And when your mama, everything is easier when you can get the kids involved. Make eggs for breakfast for everyone in the morning. If you’ve got olders—let them make the eggs! Plan an activity or a movie where the whole family will sit around and laugh. Trying to find a way to eat nutrient dense fruits and veggies in a way you can tolerate them? Smoothies for all! Yes, you can put veggies into your smoothie—spinach and kale blend great and they don’t change the flavor of the smoothie.

Are you ready to add a couple of these tips into your life? You can do it. And I’m by your side if you need help. DM me on Facebook and we’ll chat about how these tips can fit into your life. @TheIBDHealthCoach

OK mom friend, remember, you can get 4 more repair the flare tips and my IBD Action Plan by going to karynhaley.com/actionplan

So there you have it. 7 of my best tips when it’s time for serious gut repair healing. Stop diving in with the diet, the supplements, or whatever else, before you set the stage for gut healing. You’ll be so happy that you took this time to ensure your IBD remission success.

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.

[45:39] 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.

4 Stellar Coffee Substitutes That Make Your Gut and your Tastebuds Happy

Are you trying to cut out coffee, but you just can’t find a coffee alternative that ignites your senses and your tastebuds like coffee does… one that even has the power to improve your gut health at the same time?

Oh yeah, it’s possible.

Today, we’re taste testing 4 coffee alternatives to help you decide which one is worth ditching your daily coffee crutch.

Prepare to have your mind blown with some strange (but healthy) compounds that actually taste like the real thing. Coffee connoisseurs welcome—but tea connoisseurs are going to love this episode too!

We’re talking about:

  • Why caffeine is a problem in the first place (get your science geek hat on)
  • Why decaf coffee is not the answer
  • The negative digestive challenges coffee creates (especially if you’ve got IBD)
  • The coffee-alternative taste test that will finally give you the desire to ditch your coffee for good

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll be rushing out to the grocery store to purchase your first coffee alternative—or at least booting up your computer to buy it online ; )

  • [07:20] The negative impact caffeine has on you neurologically and physiologically
  • [09:44] What is methylxanthine and why it gets confused with caffeine
  • [16:53] Why decaf coffee is not the answer
  • [21:48] The psychological and lifestyle component that keeps you coming back to coffee
  • [23:58] The coffee-alternative taste test begins
  • [32:51] The reason why some IBDer’s will need to stay away from teeccino
  • [35:45] The simple at home method for making hot roasted cacao
  • [44:19] Hands down, the healthiest coffee alternative in the taste test
  • [49:00] The weed in your backyard that makes a great tasting coffee substitute
  • [56:25] 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

Teeccino

How to Brew Hot Roasted Cocoa

Four Sigmatic

A Peak Inside Roasted Dandelion Root

Additional Resources From the Episode

Cacao vs Coffee

Mayo Clinic and Caffeine: How Much is Too Much?

Can Coffee Upset Your Stomach?

The Untold Truth of Coffee

Caffeine and IBD

Episode Transcript:

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.

Using Craniosacral Therapy to Bring Your Digestive System into Balance with Margie Holly

So you probably have a doctor… You probably use internet doctor as well. We all do that from time to time. What else are you using to help bring your Crohn’s or colitis into balance?

One of the practices I’ve used for some time now is called craniosacral therapy.

Have you heard of it?

Maybe you’ve even tried it. If you have, you know how gentle and truly transformative this approach can be.

Craniosacral therapy works with our own innate power to heal.

Yes, you have that power. Maybe you just haven’t tapped into it yet.

Because sometimes that power, it can be very deep within, but we all have it and craniosacral therapy, can help bring that power out in you.

To help us explore how craniosacral therapy can help you find the power within, I invited leading craniosacral therapist, Margie Holly, to the episode so she can enlighten us with her wisdom and knowledge and the guiding principles behind this healing practice.

Margie has a really unique viewpoint and a unique take on craniosacral therapy and how it can help those of us with Crohn’s and colitis.

We’re talking about:

  • How craniosacral therapy works to help you tap into your innate power to heal your body from within
  • From start to finish, what happens during a craniosacral therapy session
  • Why the phrase “you are not your symptoms” can set your IBD free
  • The indirect and direct effects of craniosacral therapy on our immune system, our microbiome, and our inflammatory process

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll exactly what craniosacral therapy can offer to help you feel better with IBD. You’ll also know how to find a craniosacral therapist who can help you take this knowledge at put it into practice.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [11:02] How craniosacral therapy works to help you tap into your innate power to heal your body from within
  • [15:24] What we learn about “taking responsibility” when we change the role of our doctor from guru with all the answers to a highly respected consultant
  • [16:49] From start to finish, what happens during a craniosacral therapy session
  • [24:08] Why the phrase “you are not your symptoms” can set your IBD free
  • [33:04] The indirect and direct effects of craniosacral therapy on our immune system, our microbiome, and our inflammatory process
  • [39:13] Why it’s so important to connect our first and second brain through the vagus nerve
  • [52:14] Where to go to continue the craniosacral therapy conversation with Margie
  • [56:05] The best way to take your gut healing journey to the next level

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode

DM me on Facebook

Margie’s Website

The Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America

Episode Transcript:

Karyn: So you probably have a doctor… You probably use internet doctor as well. We all do that from time to time, what else are you using to help bring your Crohn’s or colitis into balance? One of the modalities that I’ve used for some time now is called craniosacral therapy, have you heard of it? Maybe you’ve even tried it, if you have, you know how gentle and truly transformative this approach can be, it works with our own innate power to heal… Yes, we all have that innate wisdom to heal, sometimes the power, it can be very deep within, but we all have it and craniosacral therapy, it can help bring that power out in you, and if you’re thinking that this is just a little too woo woo for me, Karyn, I want you to just give this episode, listen with an open mind. I think you’ll find that it isn’t as woo woo as you might think. Craniosacral therapy, it’s back in science, and it can be really wonderful, it can be a great adjunct to your current IBD treatment plan. Now, I’m definitely not an expert in craniosacral therapy, so I invited leading craniofacial therapist, Margie Holly, to the episode so that she can enlighten us with all her wisdom and knowledge on this subject. Margie has a really unique viewpoint and a unique take on craniosacral therapy and how it can help with IBD symptoms.

There’s really great information in this interview, but what I love is that Margie is really down to earth and she’s just so knowledgeable, you know, it just… Information just comes out of her because it’s just already in there, she didn’t have to look it up in a book, she’s just so versed in craniosacral therapy that it just comes right out of her… I know you’re gonna love hearing from Margie, you’re gonna love what she has to say, so let’s dive in.

[02:03]: 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 at the 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.

Well, I can welcome dear one, we meet again.

LET’S LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST.

And I’m especially excited about this episode because I get to introduce you to craniofacial therapist, extraordinaire Margie Holly, talk about… a professional who knows her stuff, Margie has been practicing energy medicine for almost 20 years. Her work combines elements from advanced massage therapy, biodynamic craniosacral therapy, polarity therapy, and RAI with Margie. Every session is unique to her client’s needs, creating a partnership that optimizes your health, therapy sessions with Margie are about restoring calm, finding clarity and regaining control. I know we all want that, right? I love that Margie talks about being passionate to help clients tap into their own capacity to heal, sometimes we just need to hear that somebody else believes in us. Somebody believes that we have the power to heal. During my conversation with Margie, we talk about what a typical craniosacral therapy session looks like, we talk about how craniosacral therapy can get you to the heart of your Crohn’s and colitis by strengthening the immune system, balancing the microbiome and reducing inflammation. Margie talks about how she sees trauma and getting diagnosed with IBD. Don’t sugar-coat it’, it’s a trauma, and she talks about it in a term that I just love, she talks about it with what’s called undigested life experiences.

I just love that. And she talks about how to see your doctor as a consultant instead of one with limitless knowledge on high… Basically, Margie says that we’re in charge of our healthcare, and you’ll see from our conversation how Margie’s work as a craniosacral therapist can help you find the power within to bring your health back into balance. I talked to Margie on Zoom, so I had the pleasure to see her and enjoy this wonderful, serene nature scape that Margie has, it’s right behind her on the wall. right behind her, is a beautiful waterfall in a lush green space with a blue pool of water. Can you picture it? After my interview, Margie and I had a great conversation about this waterfall space, and we talked about the importance of being in nature and how that can have a profound impact on your health as well. If you wanna see her ideal nature scape, head over to my YouTube channel. I’ll leave a link in the show notes so that you can check it out. You can check out that beautiful background, if you could go to a place like that. I just know that it would have a positive impact on your health to…

Alright, I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s dive into my conversation with craniosacral therapist, Margie Holly. Hi, Margie, welcome to the podcast. It’s so great to have you here today.

[05:46] Margie: Thanks, Karyn, and I’m really excited to share what I know.

TEA OR COFFEE?

Karyn: This is gonna be awesome, and I know that no one on the podcast knows who you are, so I want to introduce you to them, and I like to start with just a couple… Get to know you questions. I find that there’s a couple of questions that are really simple, but they just tell a lot about who you are, is that okay if we start with that? Yeah, fire away. Okay, so there are two questions and they’re either/or questions. So the first question is… tea or coffee?

Margie: coffee.

Karyn: coffee… cream sugar or… How do you take it?

Margie: I’m trying to get away from dairy, but I do, I haven’t been able to eliminate that dairy from my coffee yet. Yeah.

Karyn: Gotcha, okay. And one more… cats or dogs?

Margie: Oh good God, they’re both… I love them both and I have them both. So can I say both?

Karyn: You can. Absolutely say both. Lots of animal lovers say that. I love it. Okay, so that just kinda gives our viewers just a little bit of a sense about you before we get into the meat of it, you are a craniosacral therapist and in full disclosure for everybody, you’re my craniosacral therapist. And so the work that we’ve done together, it’s been so amazingly profound to me that I just knew I had to have you on because I have to share your light and the amazing work that you’re doing with everybody else that has Crohn’s and colitis, that just doesn’t really… They might not know about it. So for our viewers that don’t know what craniosacral therapy is, can you just kinda give us an overview, what is… craniosacral therapy, and I would also love to know how did you get into this work?

[7:22] Margie: Well, in a nutshell, craniosacral therapy is a very gentle form of body work that taps into your nervous system’s ability to bring you back into balance, so it’s very gentle, non-invasive, and it really just helps to optimize the health within your system. Is that not enough of an explanation?

Karyn: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. We’ll get into more specifics, but I love that.

Margie: Yeah, yeah.

Karyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so how did you get into this work?

Margie: Well, I think it was born under the sign of Mercury, so I’m a communicator at heart. My whole life, all of my careers have been as a communicator, and I really just was drawn at one point to get into energy work. I trained in Reiki just for my own satisfaction and to help my family and friends, and then several years later, I was just working with somebody giving him Reiki and he said, You know, have you ever tried massage? And so, I kind of just followed the breadcrumbs, so I went into massage and then I realized that, Okay, well, that’s okay, but it’s kind of limited and it’s very physical in terms of what I had to do with my body, and so I was looking for something else that would be a little bit deeper, a little bit more gentle and cranial came into my awareness. I’m very much a believer in that we hear what we need to hear when we’re ready to hear it, and so that’s how cranial came along, and I’ve been doing that since 2017, and it’s really changed, not only changed my practice, but also changed my life in terms of helping me to be able to navigate the ebb and flow of the chaos that’s life on planet earth.

Karyn: Is it an interesting how… When we go into something, how we might go into it with intentions of helping others, and then what we find is that it also helps us as well, it’s like this beautiful circular energy, it’s like something going on in the ether that where it’s this… I don’t know, it’s like a path that it helps both of us.

Margie: Right, absolutely. And how many adages are out there? Physician, heal thyself. Carpenter, fix your own house, you really have to be coming from a balanced whole place, and if you’re not whole, you can’t help other people be whole as well. I mean, we’re all human and we’re all on this journey, so we’re none of us perfect yet, but it’s in the partnership and the sharing and the learning from each other, I definitely… I think I teach my clients as much as I learn from them. Yeah.

Karyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Something that… There’s a lot of different energy works, like you talked about doing Reiki before, right? You talked about massage, something that I think is really unique to craniosacral is the whole idea of the body having the wisdom to heal, having the power to heal itself in craniofacial therapy, tapping into that power, and I know for me, I spent… I’ve had Crohn’s for 35 plus, I think it’s 35 years now, and for 20 of those years, I was giving my power away, I was listening to the doctors only, I was doing… I came from that western medical background, I did everything that they told me to do, and I never got better. Not once, not ever. Surgeries, medications, I never got better. And it wasn’t until I said, What am I doing here? I’m giving my power away. And I’m not getting any better. Why am I doing that and how can I take that power back? And I find that really interesting about craniosacral therapy, because I think it has so much to do with tapping into your own power that maybe you don’t know that you have... How do you experience that with craniosacral therapy? Do you know what I’m talking about?

TAP INTO YOUR INNATE POWER WITHIN.

[11:02] Margie: Exactly, yeah. We all have a healer within us, and we were born with that innate ability, if you look at the way the body was designed, it heals itself, it’s always bringing itself back into balance. If you cut yourself, it heals… If you break a bone, it heals, and it’s the same with your nervous system, it has the capacity to come back into balance and heal and diffuse what I like to call undigested life experience. Some people call it trauma, and trauma has many definitions, but a surprise, a shock and overwhelmed to the nervous system, it can be anything that kind of sets you up for an imbalance, and if you’re not given an opportunity to come back in to balance, the body can’t do what it’s designed to do it. Getting back to that, taking your power and connecting to your inner healer, it is, I think a pathology of our western world where we have been trained from birth not to trust ourselves, not to be the authority, like, Well, we don’t know anything, we just listen to the doctor, listen to the teachers, listen to your parents, not that you shouldn’t listen to your parents, but you should listen to that inner wisdom, and we all have it, we all have that inner wisdom and we were born with it, but…

It wasn’t cultivated in us, and as a matter of fact, it was kind of squelch in us, so the trick is really learning the habits that help you to hear your inner voice, your inner wisdom, and… Yes, consult the doctor’s, consult the experts, they are your consultants, they are not your taskmaster, they’re not the ones there to tell you what to do, they’re the ones who are sharing their wisdom and their understanding of the human system that you’re dealing with, and then you take that information and you combine it with all your other research, and then you combine it with your inner knowing, and then you make your decision… That’s taking your power back.

Karyn: Yeah, exactly. So much of the time, I think, especially as women, we’re trained that we need to give our power away, and specifically for moms who are listening to the podcast, that’s just so important that we feel the power that we already have, right? because we have it. We just haven’t tapped into it. And I love that phrase that you said, this undigested life experience, when you’re talking about how people can feel trauma, whether it’s emotional trauma or physical trauma, and getting diagnosed with a chronic illness that really is a trauma, it’s a physical and an emotional trauma, and I really like how you worded that, that undigested life experience instead of saying… there’s something about the word trauma that makes you feel like victim… It’s traumatic, right? But what I like is this undigested life experience, because then I feel like, Okay, it’s just… There’s something that I still need to do, but I don’t have to be the victim

Margie: Or… Exactly, yeah. And it’s about being able to complete a process. There’s so many… I was just listening to an early childhood, a doctor who specializes in early childhood education and in how you get two-year-olds with the tantrums or teenagers with tantrums, and it’s because they haven’t been allowed to complete their process, but if we allow ourselves to complete a process, then it’s finished and it’s done, and it’s not taking up space in our nervous system, in our brain. In our life.

Karyn: Yeah, and craniosacral therapy can help with you completing that process. Yes, yeah, yeah. I like what you said about how you see the doctor as the consultant, right, they’re not the God on high, they’re not the person with all the wisdom. But when you’re seeing your doctor, you’re coming in as equals, I have this thought, you have this thought, and let’s just kinda see what we can come up with. One of the things I really feel like when I come in to see you for craniosacral is we’ll talk beforehand, right before the treatment, we talk, this is my experience, and you kinda draw out how is that affecting you and what did you want your focus to be for today, I never feel like that I’m coming in and saying, You’re my guru, solve my problem, it’s like, we’re in this place together, we’re on this equal footing, and let’s figure out how to best help me together, so I just love having a mindset of that.

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY IS SCARY… AND POWERFUL.

[15:24] Margie: Yeah, and part of that Karyn is that when you decide to take your power like that, there’s an implied responsibility that it’s so easy to give your power away because it’s kind of intimidating to think, Oh my gosh, I got myself here. How do I get out of it? I have no idea. Give me a pill. Cut me open, tell me to do this five times a day, whatever. No, it’s about taking that personal responsibility to participate in your own life, be the star of your own life, and even when you just make that shift, I think something in your physiology can shift…

Karyn: Yes, I experienced that myself when I’ve made that shift and said, There’s no savior here, there’s nobody coming in to just give me the wave of the magic wand, give me the pill. I can do this. Right, there’s a freedom in that. But also that, like you said, that responsibility.

We kind of talked around, just in general terms, what craniofacial therapy is that I would really love for you to talk our listeners through what happens during a craniosacral therapy session. When I come in the door from start to finish, what’s happening, because for somebody who’s never heard of this before, it might sound kind of like.. What are they actually doing? A lot of people are familiar with massage. How is it different than massage? How was it like massage? What’s actually happening when someone comes into your office?

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY SESSION?

[16:49] Margie: First, when someone comes to see me, as you said, the conversation is the first thing, and there’s a reason for that, it’s to engage in a partnership, first of all, and understand what your goals are, therapeutics are, where your challenges are, and then to explain how the therapy might help, but it’s also… There’s something that happens in your physiology when your body and your brain hear the words out loud versus just thinking them… We’re writing them down on a piece of paper. There is a physiological response to that, so at the start of a session, we’ll talk about briefly, what’s going on for you, what’s going on in general, what’s going on this week or today, because then your nervous system or the mechanism inside that inner heal or can hear those words and say, Oh good. That’s what we’re gonna work on that. Great, and it sort of primes your system to work on it, and then we get on a massage table, you’re fully closed, it’s very private, you can get under the covers and get all cocoon or just lay on top, however you prefer. And the first thing we do is we settle your system, so the craniosacral system Just to sort of back up a little bit, is everything from your head to the bottom of your spine, so it’s your brain, it’s all of the membranes and the bones in your skull, it’s your spine, the nerves that come down your spine, so that whole system is something that I hold and help to settle in practical terms, as you’re laying on the table, I might contact…

Your body in place is very light contact, I might cradle your head or I might even hold at your feet, will put my hand underneath your sacrum, which is that triangular bone at the bottom of your spine, and that helps to settle the nervous system. So the first thing you need to do with anything is to have the resources, so maybe the first 10-15 minutes even of a session, I might just be begin in stillness, getting your system so still that it has a chance to come out of its fight or flight mode and come back into the healing, rest and digest mode, Let your nervous system settle out so that then I can hear your system, so in those 10 minutes, I’m listening deeply to what’s going on in your nervous system, so I can understand where there might be some hiccups, some patterns of holding, and then your body tells me where we’re gonna work, and then I get more specific, so in the case of your audience who are dealing with IBD, I will probably likely work in that whole field… The abdominal field, now that starts at the diaphragm and goes all the way to the top of the pelvis, and it encompasses all your viscera, all your vital organs, but it also has other things going on and they’re working more specifically with that area.

It can tell me where there might be restrictions that need to be released, where there might be fluid build-up that needs to be flushed, where things just need to be able to have a chance to come back into balance, and the great thing about the type of craniosacral I practice is not putting any force in from outside the body, I’m just sort of letting your body tell me where it needs support, and then when the body is supported, it can say, Oh, I had no idea I was holding that there, let me just release that, let me open and it’s amazing. You’ve felt it. In the context of a session, people might just have little twitches or releases or energetic shifts, a feeling of flow, there’s a lot that could happen in a session and then… So it’s really your body that’s guiding me through just gentle placement of hands on specific areas to help support whatever needs supporting in that area.

Karyn: Yeah, and so when you’re doing this during the session, just in terms of what you are feeling it as the practitioner, are you feeling kind of like energy from our body as we’re lying on the table? What are you feeling?

[20:52] Margie: Well, there’s several layers to this, in my two-year training, it’s a two-year program to learn this, we learn how to palpate the flow of spinal fluid, so the spinal fluid has a natural oscillation from the cranial field down through the spinal column and back up again, and its function is to feed the nerves, to flush out the metabolic by-products of the nervous system that has a palpable motion, just like learning how to feel a blood pulse… We don’t all know how to do that, so I’ve been trained to do that. We start with that flow and that will tell me a lot about what’s going on in your nervous system, how vital it is, or how deplete in it is, or if there are blockages anywhere that would interrupt the optimal healing for health of that. So that’s what I’m tapping into first and foremost, is that fluid flow, that oscillation, that title flow, and also that flow reflects on… our bodies are what? 75-80% water. And so, fluid kind of reflects on itself, so that cranio cerebral spinal fluid, as it oscillates back and forth, it also affects all the parent bones of the body, the shoulders, the arms, the legs, the hips, so I can feel sort of a…

It’s almost like a breathing of the body, of the tissue field, so we look at the fluid field, the tissue field, which is your bones and your muscles, and then yes, there is an energetic component too, I can feel the bio-field, which is your… Some people call it aura, science calls, is it the bio-field electromagnetic field, whatever you wanna term it, that’s the energetic field of your body, so the form of cranio that I practice is called biodynamic, and it takes in all three of those fields and treats it as a whole… So there are other forms of cranial that are a little more by mechanical, a little more applying for us from outside the body, I prefer mine because it just lets the body do its adjustment in its own way, in its own time, and that provides for a more lasting shift.

Karyn: It’s absolutely fascinating to me, right, if you never think in terms of this, it’s just… It’s like a whole new world is opening up to you. Right, it’s just absolutely fascinating. So something that I’ve heard, and you can tell me if this is true or not, but it… So people who are coming to you for craniosacral therapy and they’re coming with Crohn’s disease or with colitis, they’re probably thinking, well, all of my work is gonna be focused right here, right in the intestine, and you can’t see where my hands are, but it’s the small intestine the large intestine may be the esophagus, but from what I hear, you might be touching my foot or my head, right, but it’s still having an effect on the digestive system…

YOU ARE NOT YOUR SYMPTOMS.

Margie: Yeah, and it’s because Karyn, you are not your symptoms…

Karyn: Wait a minute, we gotta sit with that for just a second, you guys say that one more time because that’s good… say that one more time.

[24:08] Margie: You are not your symptoms. Yeah, and so just focusing simply on the symptoms, it’s kind of like taking an energetic aspirin, okay, so maybe that might help, but if you’re not treating the whole person, the whole body, mind, spirit, that’s the organism that we’re working with, and that’s who you are and to treat things on a global scale. Gives your system the space and can draw on resources to help me… You’re imbalanced in your digestive system, it didn’t happen all at once, it was probably an expression of your body trying to hold some kernel of health and saying, Okay, I’ve got to encapsulate something here, I’ve got to… So that this organism, this person can continue functioning, I need to grab this and put it here and control it, and so if you really look at any condition, I consider it an expression of health, it’s your body trying to do its best to do its job that might not hurt. That might not feel good. It might hurt, it might cause you sleepless nights, but if you can make that shift of shifting from, Oh my gosh, this is wrong, to oh my gosh, how wonderful my body is, but sending me these signals, and now it’s up to me to interpret the signals, that’s where my role as communicator comes in, because I’m helping facilitate a conversation between you and your body.

Karyn: Yeah, so big. So huge. And so when you’re doing this, tell me, do you have sessions where it’s completely quiet and nobody is saying anything, right, and there’s so much going on, but yet it’s silent, and then other sessions where you’re talking with your client the whole time. How does that work?

Margie: Yeah, and you know what, I can have those kind of sessions, like a variety of sessions for the same client, it really just depends on what’s going on with your system today and what needs support, someone who has some chronic condition is more than likely be in sort of constant low-grade state of fight or flight. You know what that is, right?

Karyn: Yes, but explain it for those who might not know.

FIGHT OR FLIGHT ISN’T JUST FOR CAVEMEN.

Margie: So your autonomic nervous system, that’s the nervous system that… consider it like automatic, it’s everything your body does to keep you functioning every day from blinking your eyes to breathing, to sleeping, digesting your food. Things you just don’t have to think about. There’s two pieces of that, one. It’s job is to keep us safe, and that’s the prime directive of our nervous system, is to keep us safe and keep us functioning so that we have turned fight or flight mode, so when the body or the system perceives a threat, and back when we were cavemen and there were saber tooth tigers or other rival tribes coming along, we had to fight or flee, there’s other components to that for women in particular, there’s freeze and fawn, they’re the other two… and it’s basically all the survival mechanism, so we’re not running from saber tooth tigers today, but you know what? We’re navigating traffic, we’re dealing with our spouse and our kids and trying to deal with our careers maybe, and also maybe our aging parents, however many pieces of our life are swirling around us, if we’re not ready and fully resourced, all of them can be perceived as a threat, and if all of that hits at once for many of us, if that’s what it’s doing, and then not even to mention this past year with covid…

Our systems are always trying to keep us safe, they’re always monitoring for where the danger is, and so if that danger is so overwhelming… it overwhelms the nervous system, it cannot do its job of helping us thrive because we’re just trying to survive, so… Yes, some people who are in that right now, probably their whole session is just going to be holding and allowing that system to calm down, come out a fight or flight, recognize that, alright, it’s safe now, I can shift into the other part of the functionality, which is we term rest and digest… well rest, digest and reproduce. There’s a lot of clients that I work with who are dealing with fertility issues as part of their stuff is dealing with stress and being able to get out of fight or flight mode, so their bodies are like, Oh okay, now I can make a baby. So, tiny steps first though, so if somebody is in that kind of a chronic chaotic existence, it’s gonna be very beneficial and maybe even one or two sessions just doing nothing but being still, and once we get into the other part of that, when people have a little bit more resources, and usually it happens within the course of a session that maybe after the first 10-15 minutes, I feel a greater vitality in that drive behind the fluid flow or in the expression of that breathing of the bones.

It just gets bigger. I can tell there’s more vitality in the system, and then we can start taking that vitality and applying it to things, and that’s where a lot of times, sometimes the session gets talky because I wanna hear feedback like, Okay, I have my hand on your belly right now what are you sensing? What’s going on for you? And then when you’re giving me that feedback, I can respond appropriately and we can really work through it to help make those dramatic shifts that… And sometimes they’re real subtle shifts that will support your underlying health.

Karyn: I really like that you mentioned that one of the things that you’re doing with craniosacral therapy is helping people with infertility because that’s something that people with Crohn’s and colitis really struggle with, and I can imagine that along with infertility, that it probably would be helpful for anybody, even just having menstrual cycle challenges or going through menopause too, because as women, we’re all gonna be in those stages at one point or another.

[30:14] Margie: So guess what? In the brain, which is the large part of what I treat, that’s the cranial field, your brain has chambers in it called ventricles, where the spinal fluid is manufactured and then pointed and then deliver it out to the system, but laying right around or on top and below those chambers are the major glands, the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus, they are the ones who regulate our hormones, they regulate puberty regulate our reproductive hormones, and they work in conjunction with our adrenals in the case of adrenal fatigue or our ovaries in the case of fertility, so helping to balance and to support the optimal functioning of those glands is very important to all of those issues. Yeah.

HOW CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY HELPS IBD.

Karyn: And so one of the things that I’m thinking about, I’m just kind of thinking, I’m putting myself in the mind of somebody listening or watching us, and they might be thinking, that sounds really interesting. Right, and of course, I’m looking for anything that could heal that could help my Crohn’s or colitis and bring it into remission, but how could it help me specifically… So some of the things that people with IBD really think about and really have challenges with is our immune function, right, this is an autoimmune disease. So it impacts our immune system, and we kinda have what I call this wonky immune system that’s really over-active, and so that’s a challenge for us. Another challenge for people with IBD is bacterial balance, you the microbiome. It’s completely out of balance. So that’s something that’s really challenging for us. And then the other part, the other piece of Crohn’s and colitis is inflammation, we’re dealing with inflammation, and that inflammation isn’t just housed in the gut, it might start in the gut, but then through leaky gut through other processes, because we’re not just walking one organ… Right, we’re a holistic body and it all is…

It all is together, right? So it might leak into other systems, so that inflammation might show up in your joints or it might show up as a skin rash, or it might show up as a brain fog, or even ADHD, poor concentration, it’s amazing where that inflammation can go. So we’re dealing with these three issues, this autoimmune feature, the microbiome that’s out of balance and the inflammation, so in what ways could it specifically help those types of issues for people who are saying, wow, you know, Margie, this sounds really interesting, but how can it help me specifically with my illness.

[33:04] Margie: I understand. So I’d say that the effects of cranial on those three things are both indirect and direct... Okay, so indirectly… Well, we’re looking at the nervous system, all of those functions are controlled by the nervous system, to take the idea of the immune function and the autoimmune specifically, it kinda comes down to there’s an element of the body not recognizing itself, and so it thinks that it’s invading itself, so it’s always trying to fight itself. So part of that is that the nervous system is so… I’m gonna say over-regulated, it’s kind of like it’s hyper-regulated, it’s like spinning in on itself so that it can’t recognize friend from foe, and so it’s in the stillness where, like I said, coming from the fight or flight back into the rest and digest, helps the body to calm down and see, Okay, I don’t need to always continuously be sending the signal of something wrong, something’s wrong, something’s wrong. So in other words, I guess I put it shortly, it helps break that feedback loop so that your system can recognize itself and begin to differentiate where it needs to build itself up and where it can just sort of fall off and not attack itself.

I know there’s a better way to put that, but…

Karyn: No, I think that was great because that is… That’s exactly what is happening. We are attacking ourselves, that’s the whole issue with autoimmunity, and so finding a way to break that cycle is huge, and I love that craniosacral therapy can help with that.

0:34:56.6 S2: And so that also kind of goes back into the microbiome imbalance area too, because again, it’s… What craniosacral can do is to still the system, we work with something called a still point, that’s a therapeutic term. A still point is where we encourage that flow of the CSF to just stop, and so when that stops, it’s like the body can Pause and all of the energy that it used to keep that going can be used for something else, it can settle and it can build and it can potentiate. So, that allows that you’re living organism to recognize and learn that, Oh, balance is possible because when you’re out of balance, your body doesn’t even know that balance is possible, so getting into the stillness, and it’s not only craniosacral that helps with this, but that’s part of the… As a feature of it is that it just helps your body be able to learn that, Oh, this is what balance feels like, and then again, let’s… It then build on itself, it’s kind of like, remember those old toy cars that you would just sort of pull back and full back and…

Karyn: Yes, my kids love those, they make those.

Margie: So we go back to your system and let it build up and then it can go to zoom, it has a much more potency in it.

Karyn: There’s some sort of scientific… Some physics principle at play there, right?

Margie: Yes, yes, I know. I didn’t really do well in physics.

Karyn: We’re not the right people to answer that, but… Yes, but I totally get what you’re saying, right? When you take that step back, it gives you the energy to propel forward, right, and that’s what we’re trying to do here is give the body a place where I can propel forward, and sometimes with craniosacral, I find that sometimes… when I’m in a session, there’s a light bulb that goes off and it’s in it, like you said, you have a sigh or a breath or something, and then other times, I just don’t know, I’m like, I just have to sit and think with this for a little while I’m not quite sure what… I know something happened to here, I’m not quite sure I feel a release, but I’m gonna have to go and think about that… Right, so it’s interesting how sometimes you have this light bulb moment and then other times… I just know it’s more subtle, like the transformation is subtle, it’s still pulling that car back so that you can propel yourself, but it’s… How it hits you different, depending on where, I guess where you’re at, where your mind is out, where your body is that for that day, yeah.

Margie: Exactly. And then when you have a conversation with someone you don’t always… You might go away thinking, Wow, that was a really fulfilling conversation, you might not be able to remember what you talked about. You just remember it was a really great experience. Well, it’s the same thing, you’re having a conversation with your body, your body is communicating things to you, and when you get off the table, you might not really understand what exactly just happened, you just know you feel better, but everything is a little bit more resourced, everything’s a little more smooth. Yeah, so it’s not something you have to put a label to or a finger on like, Oh, that’s what happened. If you just feel like that was beneficial. Right, there’s something that shifted in me… That’s enough.

And the other thing too, is that your on the table starts a process, sometimes takes two or three days to integrate and continues… I have people who sometimes they get off the table thinking, Oh my God, I feel like I slept for eight hours, and other times they get off the table thinking, Well, I felt good, I don’t really know what that was, but then they called me three days later, and say, Oh my God, I just… It was amazing, I slept so well last night, or I feel so clear-headed or my stomach not bothering me today, so it’s a cumulative kind of progressive effect. We’re seeing your nervous system how to bring itself back into balance so that it can support you in your day... Yes.

Karyn: Okay, something that’s coming up for me that I’m thinking about when people are coming to you for a session, do you say to them, You know it’s gonna take eight sessions, do you say to them, You need to come once a week. If you want this to be effective, how can people plan what craniosacral therapy might look like in their lives?

Margie: Well, again, I go back to your inner healer, you have to know, you have to decide, and some people are so out of touch with their bodies then they can’t even feel what’s going on, even if I say, Oh, I also do massage. So sometimes if I’m doing a massage, I say, How do you feel right now? I don’t feel a thing, some people are just really out of touch. And it makes sense if you’ve got something going on where you feel like your body has betrayed you… You don’t want to be friends with that, you don’t wanna even know, you know what, I don’t wanna hear it, you just wanna get through your day, so… You can’t really say, Oh yeah, it’s gonna take X amount. I do tell people, hey, give it three sessions. That will really help you see if this is for you, now, there’s plenty of other forms of therapy out there that can really be beneficial for people, and that’s why there’s so many individuals, that’s why there are so many different ways of helping you access your own health but my advice is always to listen to yourself. One of the things that I do in all of my sessions at the end is I connect the gut wisdom, the gut brain to the head brain, and literally connecting that neural pathway through that vagus nerve, most people have heard about the vagus nerve in context of…

Oh, that’s what helps you relax. The vagus nerve, that’s only 20% of what it does, 80% of the nerves of fibers of the vagus nerve is listening and sensory, and it’s giving your brain information and so if you think about how the body is formed in embryology, the gut forms before the brain, so you have neurons in your gut that give you information, and so being able to tap into that and listen to that, and that’s another thing that’s been trying to kind of try to… They weed it out from us, they train us not to do that, right, oh, you have to manage by facts and data, you can’t… You have to… Where’s the science? No, where’s the gut feeling? Where’s the understanding of what’s really going…

Karyn: Yes it’s that, second brain.

IS THE SECOND BRAIN REALLY THE FIRST BRAIN?

Margie: Yeah, and that… I call it the first brain… Really.

[41:23] Karyn: You know what? I love it. It is the first brain. You are so right. You know, I remember my son, I always would talk to the kids about their second brain, which I hear what you’re saying first brain, but I always would say it’s your second brand, you know, we actually have… We have two brains, and there’s one in your gut, and my son went to… It was either kindergarten or first grade, and they were talking about the parts of the body, and the teacher mentioned the brain, and my son said something about the brain in a stomach, and the teacher was like, What are you talking about? What is that kid learning… And she actually called me, Why are you teaching this kid that there’s two brains like… Well, actually there is, right? And I really love Margie that you talk about it, how it being the first brain, we have more neurons there than we do in our brain, so that makes complete sense that feeling it is so much more powerful and impactful than the thought that we’re getting in our brain.

Margie: And being able to tap into that. Now, this… That simple thing you can do to do that, put your hand on your stomach and put another hand on your neck, this is the track where the vagus nerve comes down behind the ear, down through the chest, stomach, so as you’re contacting those points along that pathway, you’re actively activating that pathway, that neural pathway, you’re reinforcing it,

Karyn: And anybody who’s listening to this, if you’re not driving a car, operating a car.

Go for it, try that, so that you can kind of feel that connection for yourself, it’s really powerful if you really dive into it, you really concentrate on it. I’ve done that myself. Yeah.

Margie: Yeah, yeah. Why, I encourage people to do that when they’re deciding how many sessions they need, to say, Hey… Did that work for me? How was that? Some people know, Hey, I’m working on a specific things… I got specific goals, like for instance, if somebody’s dealing with a concussion, but those concussion symptoms, they might need to schedule, I say at least three sessions, one, because you’re building on momentum and you’re flushing things out and you’re really addressing a specific issue when it’s something a little bit more general, like stress management or anxiety, that could be something that we do two or three sessions in a row in close succession, and then you decide, Okay, maybe I need to come see you once a month, maybe I’ll come back for a tune-up once a quarter, once a year, whatever works for your body, and you are the one who knows best what works for your body. Amen to that.

Karyn: Yeah, so it sounds like what you’re saying, you may feel something from the first session, you may not, but give it three sessions. And see, how do you feel? At least a minimum of three. And see, did it make a difference for me? Do I feel different? With my illness? Yes, yes, yeah. And I know we’re not, Oh, and I know we’re not coming to you with just Crohn’s or just colitis… Right, we all have lots of other issues, so what I think is really cool is when you go to your gastroenterologist or you go to your cardiologist, right, you’re going for that one thing with craniosacral therapy, you’re not just going for the Crohn’s or just the colitis, you’re going for your whole body, so that might be your most pressing issue, but what I find is that you might find… Actually, you have some other things going on, right? As well, and so it’s working on all of those, so it’s questioning like, how do I feel overall, how does my whole body feel after this session or after a couple of sessions…

Margie: Exactly.

WHO SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY?

Karyn: Yeah. Is there anybody, Margie, in wrapping up today, is there anybody that you feel like just it would not be a good fit for craniosacral therapy, maybe there’s a contraindication, or maybe it could even be some sort of emotional barrier or block… Is there anybody that you feel like… No, it wouldn’t be for them.

[45:01] Margie: Well, yeah, there are certain… Overall, there are very few contraindications for this work because it is so gentle, it’s really just very still, and that’s allowing your body to do what it’s gonna do at its own pace, that being said, I would not work with somebody who has a very acute head injury, I’d wanna make sure that they see their primary care acute management team first to make sure that there’s nothing going on, because we are working with the fluids and the pressures in the membranes and the brain, and so if somebody had just had a stroke or who has just had a traumatic brain injury, I will not see them because they need to get stabilized first, this is more of a rebuilding therapy versus a primary acute care thing. Other people, I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t see, but I have worked with folks who have come to me to say, Yeah, I know I’m holding trauma. And what I can do is support their system, but I will refer them to, say, a psychologist to work with, if they’re dealing with really horrendous stuff that’s very deep in there, I know my limitations and I know my scope of practice, and I’m not a psychologist I know I can help work with your psychologist as a team, as part of your health team to help you work through these issues because mental emotional trauma is stored in the body as well, so getting at it from a what’s called a somatic standpoint, really help move the needle in terms of diffusing that experience so that you’re not…

Something like that. It’s kind of like, if you’ve ever seen a whirlpool, your life is flowing along and something might happen, for instance…a couple of months ago, somebody cut me off in traffic and I saw him changing lanes and he just didn’t see me, and he just came right in front of me, so it was just a little fender bender, but now when I’m in traffic and I see somebody changing lanes, I still have that trigger like, Oh, and your like danger, these triggers kind of get stuck in our system if they don’t get diffused, they can become kind of like a whirlpool just swirling around on itself. Now, the little fender bender is a very gentle example, but people have some really deep trauma in their lives, and some of them just might not even remember the trauma if it happened long ago or if it was buried so deep. So what I’m saying is, I will work with folks who are working with those issues, but if they’re working with a healthcare, a mental healthcare provider as well, so that we can all work in a team to help diffuse the trauma, wherever it’s a living…

IBD HEALING TAKES A VILLAGE.

Karyn: It takes a village. It takes a village to heal. It really, really does. I really like what you’re saying about that. Something that I talk about often on the podcast is this invisible wheel of wellness that we all have, and it has spokes, and so I like what you’re saying that you’re… Nothing in craniosacral is the end all be all. It’s the one thing that you need to do. No, it’s one spoke in that wheel of wellness, it’s part of your care, it’s part of your wellness journey, it’s not the one thing, and they all can work synergistically together to bring about health. Exactly, yeah, I love it. And so that brings me to my last question, which is, most of my listeners, they are not local in Maryland like you and I are, so I’m just curious, is craniosacral therapy is something that somebody could benefit from virtually… Could they contact you and work with you virtually, or is it something that they should really try to find somebody locally?

Margie: You know, it’s interesting because this past year with us being in lockdown, many of my colleagues have done distance… I do distance work, it’s not technically called cranial work though, this is a therapy that’s been around for quite some time, it’s… Roots are in osteopathy, and then it’s grown from there. But we have to be very careful about our people’s understanding of the work and where are places in the overall scheme of the healthcare landscape, so to call something craniosacral means you’re putting hands on someone and you’re working manually with their cranio system. I can tell you people get a lot of really amazing results, even in terms of releasing physical tension and stress from the distance work that I do, but I can’t call it craniosacral because I don’t wanna do that to our industry, we’re struggling for legitimacy as it is, so I just like to be really clear about what it is and what it isn’t. And so there are some things that can be done virtually, but people can also look for a craniosacral therapist in their area.

Karyn: Probably 10 years ago, it was really difficult to find somebody, but I’m willing to bet most everywhere that somebody lives, probably even overseas, that there could be a craniosacral therapist in your area. Is there a national association or anything like that, that I could go and say, find a practitioner?

WHERE CAN I FIND MY OWN CRANIOSACRAL THERAPIST?

[50:15] Margie: Yes, in North America, which is a Canada and the US, there is an association called the Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America. Their website is craniosacraltherapy.org

Karyn:  I’ll be sure to put that in the show notes.

[50:33]: Yeah, and they have a Find a Practitioner feature on their website, you can also read a lot of articles and learn a little bit more about the nitty-gritty of it, now that is a reference to anyone that practices biodynamic craniosacral therapy. As I said, there are other forms of cranial therapy, which may or may not be as effective, everybody has their own flavor that they like, for me, that’s the most effective because it treats the whole person body-minded spirit. There are other more biomechanical forms of this work where it’s, no matter how light the touch, you’re still applying pressure from outside the body and force from out the outside the body, and the therapist is deciding when and where to do that. That can be a very effective work, but if you want to just let your inner healthcare healer do the work, then I would look for the bio-dynamic form.

Karyn: I have loved this conversation because even though I feel like I’ve been doing craniosacral for a while, it’s been really beneficial for me, and I felt like, Oh, I know a lot about that, I learned a lot today, or just even affirmed of my understanding of how it can help me and it just gives me just kind of a little skip in my step today thinking, Hey, pat on the back, I do that. So I wanna thank you so much for joining us for this conversation today, I know that after hearing your story about how you came to craniosacral therapy and about hearing about your practice, I know that my listeners are gonna wanna find out more about you, so is there a place that they can go… Do you have a website that they can go to to find out more about the wonderful work you’re doing?

CONNECT WITH MARGIE.

[52:14] Margie: You can find me at findthehealthwithin.com, because this is what this work is about. It’s about finding the health within your own system, so findthehealthwithin.com. You can read a little bit more about me and my background as well as Schedule, I offer a free 15-minute phone consult if you really just wanna chat and find out about how it can help you. I think that might be the place to start.

Karyn: This is really amazing, if you’ve never done this before, it can have a profound impact on how you feel overall and on your Crohn’s and colitis symptoms. So I highly encourage you to do that. I will put the link to Marie’s website on the show notes so that you can go and check it out. Awesome, thank you so much, Margie. I just really enjoyed our conversation today, thank you for sharing the space with me.

Margie: Thank you Karyn for having me, I appreciate the opportunity to educate people on the possibilities that are out there for them.

Karyn: Awesome, take care.

Isn’t she just so knowledgeable? I love hearing how Margie talks about our body’s ability to heal and how craniosacral therapy can really help us tap into that, if you wanna know more, if you want more information about Margie, remember there’s a link to her website in the show notes, I know that she’d love to hear from you whether you live in Maryland or you live anywhere else in the world, and if you want to find a craniosacral therapist in your area, there’s a link in the show notes for that as well, so you can find a practitioner where you live, I hope you learned something today that made you just say, Ah, or maybe you just got a glimmer or a feeling of hopefulness when it comes to healing your Crohn’s or colitis, there’s always another door opening, another modality to try… Craniosacral therapy is another modality that you could possibly try, don’t give up Mama, stay in the fight and just know that I’m in it with you, I’m right there by your side, if you wanna reach out and chat with me…

Remember, I have a new Facebook page. It is @TheIBDHealthCoach @TheIBDHealthCoach, let me know how this episode landed for you and also let me know what other episodes you want… What do you wanna hear about? 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 tacky 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 It moms everywhere. And if you feel called to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, because that’s what we’re all about over here at the typo cast. One last thing, if you’re still with me and if you are, you’re definitely my thing, we have to get to know each other better.

If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with the ups and downs between players and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to the website, it’s Karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different of my name with a Y, so it’s K-A-R-Y-H-A-L-E-Y dot com, and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD Root Cause troubleshooting 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 to 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 damn your yoga pants for us to work together. You know, I’m wearing them too.

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 cause troubleshooting, fasted at Karen healed com, click on the work with me tab and I’ll see 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 pro-professional medical advice. The statements made in the CD podcast for moms with it, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, 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 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 Gut Healing Supplement Your Doctor Hasn’t Told You About

When was the last time your GI doctor said to you, instead of your usual medication, let’s try THIS supplement first? Uh, never? Maybe they say take a multivitamin, but other supplements, heck no.

Why not?

Is it because they just don’t learn about supplements in medical school? Is it because medication management is what they’re trained in and on top of that, they are inundated with pharmaceutical reps who give them free samples and slanted research that touts the benefits of said medications without giving a full picture of all the toxic side effects?

Is it because they just don’t run in circles where gut healing supplements are being discussed so they never see the myriad of scholarly and scientific research studies being conducted that prove the benefit of supplements for those of us with IBD?

Maybe it’s all of the above.

You know I support medication when it’s needed. I’m the first to say that when I’ve needed meds, I was first in line to get them.

But medication as the goal we strive for?

Medication as a life long cover up without ever getting to the root cause?

Medication that keeps us from exploring the healing power of food?

No way.

There are supplements that can bridge the gap between medication and stand on your own “food is medicine” health. And you, dear one, need to know about these amazing bridges too few are talking about.

We’re talking about:

  • Do you have leaky gut? Let’s find out
  • The #1 food source of l-glutamine is something you might already be eating
  • The trick to figuring out the best l-glutamine dose for you
  • Who l-glutamine is not for

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll know everything about a powerful supplement that actually helps our Crohn’s and colitis symptoms, but few doctors are bold enough to tell you about.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [08:55] Do you have leaky gut? Let’s find out
  • [13:36] The organ that’s the gateway to food sensitivities and how l-glutamine can help
  • [17:30] The #1 food source of l-glutamine is something you might already be eating
  • [20:55] The trick to figuring out the best l-glutamine dose for you
  • [24:20] Who should take l-glutamine on an empty stomach and who should take it with food
  • [27:35] Who l-glutamine is not for
  • [31:02] L-glutamine’s role in improving intestinal barrier function, cell regeneration, bacterial balance, and decreased inflammation
  • [34:05] The best way to take your gut healing journey to the next level

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode

DM me on Facebook

The Gut Love Community

Thorne Research L-Glutamine

Jarrow L-Glutamine

Source Naturals L-Glutamine

Additional Resources

L-Glutamine Benefits Leaky Gut and Metabolism

Should You Use L-Glutamine for Leaky Gut

Why L-Glutamine is the #1 Ingredient for Repairing Leaky Gut

Teaspoon to Gram Converter

Effect of glutamine on Th1 and Th2 cytokine responses of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Therapeutic Potential of amino acids in inflammatory bowel disease

Side effects of long-term glutamine supplementation

Role of glutamine in protection of intestinal epithelial tight junctions

Molecular mechanisms contributing to glutamine-mediated intestinal cell survival

Effects of glutamine supplementation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

Episode Transcript:

When was the last time your GI doctor said to you, instead of your meds (or, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, along with your meds) let’s try THIS supplement first? Uh, never? Maybe they say take a multivitamin, but other supplements, heck no.

Why not?

Is it because they just don’t learn about supplements in medical school? Is it because medication management is what they’re trained in and on top of that, they are inundated with pharmaceutical reps who give them free samples and slanted research that touts the benefits of said medications without giving a full picture of all the toxic side effects? Is it because they just don’t run in circles where gut healing supplements are being discussed so they never see the myriad of scholarly and scientific research studies being conducted that prove the benefit of supplements for those of us with IBD?

Maybe it’s all of the above.

You know I support medication when it’s needed. I’m the first to say that when I’ve needed meds, I was first in line to get them. We’ve got a relaxing and remitting chronic illness for goodness sake. There are going to be times when medication will be our savor.

But medication as the goal we strive for?

Medication as a lifelong cover up without ever getting to the root cause?

Medication that keeps us from exploring the healing power of food?

No way.

There are supplements that can bridge the gap between medication and stand on your own “food is medicine” health. And you, dear one, need to know about these amazing bridges too few are talking about.

Today, I’m pulling the cover off, I’m looking under the hood, sneaking in the back door, uncovering the secrets behind… whatever dun, dun, dun analogy works for you, on a particular supplement that actually helps our Crohn’s and colitis symptoms, but few doctors are bold enough to tell you about.

Here we go—

[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]

[03:14] I trying to think about the first time I was introduced to the supplement l-glutamine. That’s the IBD healing gem we’re talking about today. I don’t know why, but the exact moment isn’t coming to me. It was certainly in the last 10 years, during my “I am gut healing woman, hear me roar” phase. I’m still in that phase by the way and, personally, I hope it lasts forever.

Well, whenever I was introduced to l-glutamine, the one thing that I do remember is that for me, it was life changing. As you’ll see as we dive into our conversation about l-glutamine, it can have a multitude of different benefits for different people, but for me, the most noticeable difference was in two areas: my poop and my gut pain.

The constant, chronic diarrhea moved into formed, less frequent bowel movements (amen for that), and the daily abdominal pain subsided in a matter of a couple weeks. When we’re talking IBD, those two improvements are huge!

It’s possible that l-glutamine could be a game changer for you too. I’ve seen it have a big impact with clients and GLC members as well. We’re going to tackle all the ins and outs of this amazing supplement, and there’s lots to discuss, but don’t hit pause and purchase on Amazon just yet (I know how your mind works—and please don’t purchase on amazon), because while glutamine is great, it isn’t for everyone and I definitely want you to have all the facts before you decide if this is might help you too.

L-GLUTAMINE COULD BE THE SUPPLEMENT FOR YOU.

And hey, if you have concerns that it may not be for you, I highly recommend you seek out the advice of a supplement literate doctor—like one who specializes in integrative or functional medicine, maybe a naturopath who specializes in IBD. These are the doctors who will be able to tell you if l-glutamine is the right choice for you.

Here’s what we’re going to cover today:

–A little history of l-glutamine (what it is and where it came from as a supplement)

–The benefits of l-glutamine (it’s not just about the gut)

–Possible food sources for l-glutamine that can help everyone with IBD

–If you decide it’s worth a go, how do the experts recommend you use it

–Who l-glutamine is not for (you’ll definitely want to pay attention to this part)

–And lastly, the latest, unbiased scientific research on our supplement star of the day, l-glutamine.

Let’s dig in.

WHAT EXACTLY IS L-GLUTAMINE?

[06:18] Using l-glutamine as a supplement started with weightlifters. They use it to help them repair muscle after workouts. L-glutamine is an amino acid, and amino acids are the building block of proteins. It’s proteins at their smallest level. Proteins are made up of many amino acids like lysine, GABA, proline, serine… glutamine is one of those amino acid protein builders. And glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in our bloodstream. Although we don’t feel it, we use large amounts of l-glutamine in our bodies.

So in the beginning days of l-glutamine as a supplement, many people were using it to help them build muscle and lose weight, but as it turns out, l-glutamine is much more than that.

L-glutamine has the power to help us remove waste (like ammonia that can build up in our body), it helps us build proteins, it also helps to stabilize blood sugar so we have less food cravings, l-glutamine also plays a big role in the health of our bones, skin, blood vessels, hair and nails. So many parts of our body rely on this key in amino acid for health and vitality.

All of those benefits are great right? But what you’re waiting for is the gut benefit, how can it help your Crohn’s or colitis? One of the best ways it’s been found to help is with mucosal lining repair– the repair of the lining of the digestive system. We know when we have IBD this digestive lining is impaired. And when is lining is impaired, we are at greater risk for something called leaky gut.

IBD AND LEAKY GUT.

Have you heard of leaky gut? It’s become kind of a buzzword to encompass anything that’s wrong with your gut, but leaky gut is real and it can be a big challenge for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis. Technically called intestinal permeability, leaky gut happens when the tight junctions that keep the intestines sealed, become loose allowing bacteria, undigested food particles, and toxins to pass from the gut into the bloodstream.

Leaky gut can be a real problem and is a huge part of where autoimmunity begins. Since Crohn’s and colitis are autoimmune diseases this could definitely have played a huge role in the early stages of the onset of your disease and may be continuing to play a role even today.

Now, most people IBD or not, don’t get enough l-glutamine from food sources alone. And of course for IBDers, this is a bigger problem for us as we have difficulty digesting and absorbing the nutrients in the food we eat leading to malnutrition. So we may need more l-glutamine for sure.

As we wrap up what l-glutamine is, I want to make sure that you know that l-glutamine is not a cure all. I’m not saying, take this snake oil and you will be cured. L-glutamine has the potential to be part of your wheel of wellness that I love to talk about. That invisible wheel that’s rolling along with you everywhere you go, keeping all of your healing spokes turning and working for you. L-glutamine is a part of your wheel of wellness that includes food, lifestyle, other supplements, mindset, providers that support you, and medication when you need extra support.

TELL ME ABOUT THE BENEFITS.

[11:13] Now that we’re clear on what l-glutamine is, let’s get into its benefits in real detail so you can see (in real life) what it has the potential to do for you and most importantly how you feel.

I mentioned earlier that l-glutamine has benefits beyond the gut and I want to take a moment to point them out because they can be just as vital for your health. In scientific studies l-glutamine has been shown to boost the immune system, help fight infections and diseases, help in balancing pH levels in the body, it’s been shown to boost brain health and of course, there’s of those gut healing benefits as well. L glutamine has been helpful for gut conditions are like IBD, IBS, diverticulitis, and other autoimmune diseases as well.

Within the digestive system, a glutamine can help you rebuild and repair your intestinal lining. And if you don’t mind me getting just a little bit technical for a minute, I think it’s really cool with how l-glutamine is repairing the intestinal integrity of your digestive lining.

Check this out- L-glutamine supports barrier function, so that is talking about the leaky gut component so many of us have where the tight junctions in the digestive system open to allow food particles and bacteria and toxins into the blood stream. L-glutamine actually has the power to strengthen the barrier between your digestive wall and the bloodstream. Goodbye leaky gut!

If you know you have leaky gut, this is big news. Something that can actually help after most likely years of struggle. And if this is a new concept for you or you aren’t sure if leaky gut fits for you—some of the signs you have leaky gut include: fatigue, food sensitivities (especially gluten and dairy but other sensitivities as well), skin rashes, headaches, mood disorders, brain fog, thyroid challenges, diarrhea or constipation, SIBO, or candida.

And let’s stay here for just a sec with this concept of l-glutamine helping to repair your leaky gut. I mentioned that one of the symptoms that you have leaky gut is food sensitivities. Leaky gut is the gateway to food sensitivities. Being sensitive to various foods is really common for those of us with IBD, whether you know your sensitivities or not. It’s really common for me to hear a client say I don’t know what I’m sensitive to, everything seems to bother me.

Can you relate to that? Leaky gut could be at play here.

When we use supplements like l-glutamine to repair our leaky gut, we can become less sensitive to the toxins in our bloodstream. Just a simple act of repairing the gut lining and improving our leaky gut can be enough to lessen our food sensitivities. And for you in real life, that means less bloating and gas after you eat, less diarrhea, less skin rashes, less brain fog, forgetfulness, anxiety, depression (yep, leaky gut can affect mood too), and the list of benefits goes on and on and on…

L-glutamine doesn’t stop there with its benefits though. It’s also responsible for cellular reproduction in the intestines which is really important for us when we’re trying to rebuild healthy cells within the gut. Healthy cells mean less inflammation and less IBD symptoms. And not only does it help you rebuild healthy cells, l-glutamine helps you rebuild them fast. In research studies, l-glutamine has been shown to help your enterocytes (a type of cell in your intestinal lining) regenerate and repair in a manner of just a few days.

The last technical, but really cool implication of the powerful impact of l-glutamine for those of us with IBD is that it can reduce proinflammatory cytokines. If you’re really familiar with Covid-19, you’ve probably heard about cytokines before because the virus can produce a cytokine storm in our bodies. Cytokines are signaling molecules that get released from our T helper cells. When we have IBD, our inflammatory cytokines can spiral out of control, creating a cytokine storm (just like Covid does) and that keeps our disease active. Lowering the inflammatory cytokines helps the T helper cells calm down so we can ditch that flare and get into remission.

Sealing those tight junctions and repairing your leaky gut

Improving cell integrity so you have a healthier digestive system

And lowering your inflammation levels at the gut level…

Imagine how you could feel with l-glutamine working for you!

THE BEST L-GLUTAMINE FOOD SOURCES.

Now, I mentioned that we can get added amounts of much needed l-glutamine in supplement form, but before we talk about how to use l-glutamine in supplement form, I want you to know that you can also get some of this powerful amino acid in the foods you eat.

[17:34] Your best food source of l-glutamine is from bone broth—the most gut healing gem there is. After that, you can also find good amounts of l-glutamine in grass fed beef, chicken turkey, wild caught cod and salmon, venison, eggs, dairy products, as well as asparagus, beans, lentils, spinach, beets and broccoli rabe.

Are any of those food sources up your alley?

If you like any of these foods and you can make them in a way that is easy to digest, especially the bone broth, go for it because every little bit of l-glutamine is a good thing. But I do want to stress that it would be next to impossible to get all the healing l-glutamine that your digestive system needs in food form. That’s why we supplement.

THE TRICK TO MAKING L-GLUTAMINE WORK FOR YOU.

Supplementing with l-glutamine is not as easy as just popping a pill every day like you might do with your probiotic. There’s definitely some trickiness involved so I want you to pay close attention when we talk about what the experts are saying about how to take l-glutamine. If you’ve been multitasking and I completely get it mom friend, come back to me for this part because you’re really going to want to soak this information up. Maybe even jot down a few notes.

OK, when you buy l-glutamine you want to buy a super high-quality brand. All l-glutamine is not created equal. Before we leave this section of the episode, I’ll definitely share with you a couple good brands that are worth buying, but for now just know that with l-glutamine, quality matters.

You can buy l-glutamine in capsule and powder form, but I highly recommend that you stick with the powder form. The powder can be easily mixed with water and then drunk making it highly digestible and highly absorbable for the gut challenged.  Because what’s the use of taking a supplement if you’re not absorbing it.

I mentioned that the powder can be mixed with water. Just use a small amount of water here, you don’t want to dilute the powder too much. L-glutamine is virtually odorless and tasteless so most people take it with a little bit of water, but if you find that challenging you can also take it with a little bit of juice.  

There’s a lot of research studies on just how much a glutamine to take for IBD. There really is a wide range in what experts say about dosing, but most agree somewhere between 7 to 30 g daily is best. I have to say though that I’ve seen people find significant benefit from 2 g and I’ve also seen people need to go up to 40 g with l-glutamine. It’s very individual.

To find the best amount for you, you’ll want to start very slow. My clients will tell you that I am the queen of slow whether it comes to adding in new foods or starting a supplement regime. Starting slow allows you to make the necessary adjustments early before you have significant side effects. To start with l-glutamine, start very small—I’m talking 1/8 of a teaspoon small. If you’re able to tolerate that without any problems for three days it’s time to bump up to ¼ teaspoon, stay there for three days and then ½ teaspoon, wait three days then ¾ of a teaspoon, and continue at that amount for another three days and bump up to 1 teaspoon.

See the pattern here? You are starting at a very low dose and working your way up every three days. It can be a tedious process but it’s so so so important to know what the best dose is for you. Going slow and assessing how you’re doing every day is the way to figure that out.

I mentioned a wide range in dosing for l-glutamine, between 7 g all the way up to 30 g. Personally, I wouldn’t want to take any more of a supplement than I needed. That’s why I always recommend starting very low and working your way up slowly until you start to see results. There’s no need to take more than your body needs. Knowing that you’re having results with l-glutamine will mean less diarrhea, less abdominal pain, less bloating and less gas… all those lovely gut symptoms.

Since we don’t really talk in grams in America, let me just give you a quick teaspoon to gram guide so you know about how much I’m talking about here. 1 teaspoon is about 5 g, 2 teaspoons is around 10 g, and 8 teaspoons is about 40 g. I am including a teaspoon to gram reference guide in the show notes to help you out.

When you start with a very low amount and work your way up slowly, side effects can be few and far between. One thing that I want to point out is that some people do have some mild abdominal cramping when they’re just starting out with l-glutamine. This isn’t severe, this is on the very mild end and it usually goes away within a few days. Some people may also have a few days adjustment with their bowels after starting l-glutamine. It’s not unusual to have a little bit of loose stool in the beginning. Anything other than that is not normal and a sign that the supplement is not for you.

I haven’t seen research to back this up, but I’ve noticed that clients who have diarrhea tend to do better with l-glutamine when they take it on an empty stomach. Clients who are dealing more with constipation can take l-glutamine with food. So base whether you take it with food or without on your current bowel symptoms.

I also want to mention that you do not need to refrigerate l-glutamine. It is fine in a cabinet or pantry. A cool dry place is all l-glutamine needs. When buying glutamine, I mentioned that there are brands that are better than others. No matter which brand you buy, I would not choose a combination supplement. You may have seen supplements like this before called Gut Repair or Digestive Ease. These aren’t real brands, I’m just making these up. But in supplements like these, l-glutamine is one of several gut healing supplements included on the label. This may work for people with mild got troubles, but I find that people with IBD have really sensitive guts and need to take these types of supplements one at a time. Brands of l-glutamine that are packaged with just this one supplement that are also a very high-quality include Thorne Research, Jarrow, and Source Naturals. Thorne Research is probably my favorite, but the others are high-quality as well.

THE PROBLEM WITH LONG TERM L-GLUTAMINE USE.

[26:45] When it comes to long term use of l-glutamine, it isn’t something that has been studied very much. I’ve spoken with several doctors and nutritionists about l-glutamine and I’ve always been told that it is considered safe long-term.  But I did find one study with interesting results on long-term l-glutamine use. This particular study showed that long-term use of l-glutamine at high doses (over 40 g so we’re talking really high doses here) can cause alterations to the amino acid transport system in our body.

That’s why I recommend getting in and getting out with l-glutamine. Bump up to the lowest dose that does the job and when you are symptom-free for three months, take a break. Enough healing may have taken place that you don’t need it for a period of time.

One last really important note for my multitasking mamas out there, stay with me just a few more minutes… it’s important for you to know that l-glutamine is not for everyone. Most people do very well with this supplement, but it is not recommended for people who have a history of heart racing, chronic headaches, and also may not be for people with chronic anxiety. Also, l-glutamine has not been studied in pregnant or nursing moms.

If any of these symptoms are familiar to you, I would just always check with a doctor who knows about supplements like an integrative doctor, functional medicine doctor or a naturopath who works with supplements to bring G.I. health into balance on a regular basis. They can tell you if l-glutamine is a good choice for you or not.

Bottom line here is that if you feel worse when you take l-glutamine and you’ve also used the path I suggested with starting low and bumping up very very slowly, this is not the supplement for you. Like I said, although it works for most, it’s not for everyone.

The last thing I want to share with you before we wrap up for the day is from my research geek brain. There are so many wonderful research studies about l-glutamine and I’d love for you to check them out. I have attached several in the show notes section. Feel free to check them out, but if you want a reader’s digest version let me tell you what several of these studies found.

L-GLUTAMINE RESEARCH REVEALS THE TRUTH.

Here’s some statements taken directly from the research:

“Amino acids, as therapeutic candidates, may ultimately help to maintain intestinal integrity in IBD patients.” So, this study found that amino acids, l-glutamine is an amino acid, has been shown to help maintain the digestive health of IBD patients.

“Amino acids can increase intestinal friendly microbiota.” So this study looked at in the bacterial balance in the digestive system and found that amino acids can help increase friendly bacteria which leads to a healthier digestive system and less symptoms for us.

One IBD specific study found that, “Glutamine supplementation is beneficial in improving disease symptoms, intestinal structure and barrier function.” Improving Crohn’s and colitis symptoms, improving the structure of our gut, and improving leaky gut as well. Again, those findings have incredible potential as we work through healing our illness.

And lastly, I want to share with you the findings from another glutamine research study. The study found that, “Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in the blood stream, is the primary fuel source for enterocytes and is essential for gut homeostasis and health.” So,l- glutamine, the supplement we’ve been talking about this episode, is the primary source of energy for the cells in our intestinal wall and not only that, but it’s also essential for the balance in our gut and our overall health.

Bam, drop the mic, I couldn’t say it any better than that.

WHAT L-GLUTAMINE IS NOT.

Today we learned about a powerful supplement that may be of benefit to help you bring your IBD symptoms into control. L-glutamine isn’t a wonder drug and it isn’t a magic pill. It also doesn’t work for everyone. But the research doesn’t lie and it’s time someone told you about the potential benefits of this supplement. You’re certainly not hearing about it from your GI doctor.  

If you want to get really good solid information about gut healing supplements like l-glutamine, I highly recommend you seek the advice of a doctor trained in what supplements can do for those of us with Crohn’s or colitis. An integrative doctor, a functional medicine doctor or a naturopath who specializes in G.I. disorders. They’ll tell you about the benefits of l-glutamine because they’ve seen it work in their practice over and over.

[32:33] Look at the resources and the research I’ve included in the show notes to help you decide if you are a good candidate for l-glutamine. Remember, I’m here for you as well. If you have any questions about l-glutamine, don’t hesitate to reach out. DM me on Facebook @TheIBDHealthCoach. I’m looking forward to connecting with you. I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I am a research queen and I’ll be happy to help you make the best decision for you.

Alright mom friend, that’s a wrap on The Cheeky Podcast for this week. Looking forward to connecting with you again soon. 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.

[34:05] 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.

No More Worry You’re Doing it Wrong: Gluten Freedom in 5 Simple Steps

You’ve made the decision to go gluten free. And I have to commend you because it’s a great decision. If you’re going to start quieting your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms with food, glorious food, then eliminating gluten really is your perfect starting place.

But now that you’ve made the decision to eat gluten free, how do you get started? That’s what this episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD is all about.

If gluten free is your destination, I’ve got you covered.

We’re talking about:

  • Three, must know, facts about how the FDA treats gluten in the United States
  • Your #1 resource for finding hidden gluten
  • The ideal length of time to give your new gluten free life before deciding if it’s working
  • What are your next steps if eating gluten free doesn’t work

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll have everything you need to get started on your gluten free journey with the confidence and perseverance you need to make it work for you.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [08:55] Beware of these whole foods that you might not think contain gluten
  • [11:14] Three, must know, facts about how the FDA treats gluten in the United States
  • [13:10] Why looking for the word “gluten” on food products doesn’t help
  • [14:56] How ignoring the Nutrition Facts Panel is the key to gluten free food shopping
  • [17:30] Your #1 resource for finding hidden gluten
  • [19:55] Where all the naturally gluten free foods hang out in the grocery store
  • [25:16] How meal planning can save you time and money as you start your new gluten free life
  • [28:47] Picking your gluten free date is the best way to ensure you get started
  • [30:20] The ideal length of time to give your new gluten free life before deciding if it’s working
  • [31:58] What are your next steps if eating gluten free doesn’t work
  • [27:47] The best way to take your gut healing journey to the next level

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode

SIGN UP FOR THE FREE CROHN’S AND COLITIS MEAL PLANNING MADE EASY WORKSHOP HERE

Workshop going on LIVE July 22, 2021

DM me on Facebook for Your Hidden Gluten Ingredients List

The Gut Love Community

Episode 34: Who Else is Confused About Gluten?

Episode Transcript:

You’ve made the decision to go gluten free. And I have to commend you because it’s a great decision. If you’re going to start quieting your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms with food, glorious food, then eliminating gluten really is your perfect starting place.

But now that you’ve made the decision to eat gluten free, how do you get started? That’s what this episode is all about.

If gluten free is your destination, I’ve got you covered.

Gluten freedom in 5 simple steps, here we go!

[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]

[01:26] Welcome dear one, we meet again. I’m so happy that we’re sharing this time together. Crohn’s and colitis can be a monster, and here we are lifting each other up, talking about this invisible disease no one seems to really gets but us. I don’t know about you, but in my life, it’s rare that I find someone who gets what my life is like as a mom with IBD. I’m so grateful that we have this opportunity to connect today. Let’s use our time together to take big, bold IBD action steps!

Sound good?

So, something I know, when you make a decision as big as trying a gluten free diet, I know that you’ve given this a lot of thought. You’re sick and tired of being on the medication merry-go-round with little to no results. You’re IBD isn’t getting better. Toxic medication after toxic medication is offered to you as a cover up for your symptoms. All of the diarrhea, the abdominal pain, the bloating and gas after you eat, the soul sucking fatigue, and the treatments that give you with nasty side effects, leave you feeling that you’re never going to be the mom you know you can be and deserve to be.

And I know something about the way you’re feeling because I felt exactly that way back in 2007 when I started planning my gluten free journey. Man was it tough back then. No one knew what gluten meant, I didn’t know what gluten meant. I had never heard of it before. It was rough navigating this new world.

In this episode, our focus is on how to get started when you already know what gluten is and why it’s a good idea to remove it from your diet. But if you’re still thinking about the what and why of gluten, I highly recommend you go back to episode 34: Who Else is Confused About Gluten? That’s the episode where I start at the beginning and lay out exactly what gluten is and why you want to avoid it. You can think of that episode as part I and this episode as part II on your way to gluten freedom. Both episodes do stand alone, but together they are golden.

Before we move into my 5 step plan, the “how” on your road to gluten freedom, let me give the gluten free 10 cent tor. You’ll want to go back and take a full listen to episode 34, but this is at least the gist.

THE WART-NOSED WITCH YOU WANT TO STAY AWAY FROM.

The biggest thing I want you to know about gluten before we get to your 5 steps is that gluten and IBD just don’t mix. I’m not going to sugar coat it. You know I’m a straight shooter so I’m telling you straight, no cap. Out of the hundreds of IBDer’s I’ve had the pleasure to meet and chat with in the gut love community, I’ve rarely met someone who’s rockin’ their IBD remission on gluten.

And that might sound like really bad news to you, but I prefer to actually look at is as a positive. If you remain gluten free—and it’s so much easier today than ever before—look at the life you can have! Less gut pain, less trips to the bathroom, less bloating, less gas, less painful joints and skin rashes, etc, etc… Powerful stuff.

Remember that gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and other grains. Like I said, gluten and IBD don’t mix. Think of gluten as the wart-nosed witch. And it’s the food grade equivalent of white school gluten—all sticky, gooey, gelatinous, and generic. And the gluten of just 50 years ago, isn’t the gluten you’re ingesting today due to farming practices to yield more and grow faster crops. Wheat and other glutenous grains are not your friend.

[06:17] Gluten can create so much damage to our intestine that we flare up, and worse, it can then move into our bloodstream and inflame our joints, our skin, and even our brain. Gluten has been linked to brain fog, lack of focus, anxiety, depression, ADHD, headaches, even neurological challenges like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

OK, that’s really the reader’s digest version of your gluten free why not, but enough to catch you up so we can move on to the how. After listening to this episode, head over to 34 for the complete picture. You’ll be glad you did.

YOU’RE COMPLETE GLUTEN FREE PLUGIN PLAY SYSTEM.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a system, a framework, a step-by-step guide, a tutorial. Just give me the steps so I can “have at it.”. Gluten freedom in 5 simple steps is a complete plug-in play system, so follow it to a T, and you’ll be moving on to gluten freedom in no time.

Step #1: Know what you’re looking for.

[07:34] Knowing what gluten is, doesn’t always hep you know how to look for it. And knowing what to look for is all about reading the food label. We’re going to get there, I’m going to get you all set up for what to look for on the food label, but I also want you to be able to find gluten if the food doesn’t have a food label so let’s start there. If there’s no label, the best thing to remember is that food in its whole and natural state doesn’t contain gluten.

We’re talking plain fruit, plain vegetables, plain protein (beef, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and seafood). Eggs are gluten free, plain butter is gluten free, plain oils (without any seasonings) are gluten free. Plain milk and other dairy products are gluten free, plain unseasoned nuts and seeds are gluten free. And there are some grains that don’t contain gluten either like rice and quinoa. See a pattern here? Plain, unmarinated, unseasoned, unflavored whole foods are gluten free.

BEWARE OF THESE HIDDEN SOURCES OF GLUTEN.

In some cases though, even with whole foods, I want to you be wary. Like yogurt, which is a dairy product, is gluten free, but topped with granola, not gluten free. Some yogurt flavorings contain gluten. Plain meat is gluten free, but pre-marinated or pre-seasoned meat may not necessarily be gluten free. Often times, it isn’t. A block of plain cheddar cheese, gluten free, but store bought shredded cheese in a package is often not gluten free because they add flour as an anti-caking agent to keep the shreds from sticking together. Veggies without dip or salad dressing is gluten free, but add the dip, and now you’re likely getting glutened.

See how adding in one ingredient to your plain, whole food can change everything. That doesn’t mean you have to eat everything plain. Hell to the no! It just means you either need to read the label and look for the words gluten free, or add your own seasonings at home. There’s amazing flavor you can add with your own seasonings. Eating GF can be amazingly flavorful and delish. In fact, I’m willing to bet a whole new world of flavor is just around the corner for you. Just you wait and see.

In step #1, we found out what to look for. In step 2, we go looking for it.

FORGET TH BEAR HUNT, WE’RE GOING ON A GLUTEN HUNT.

We look for it by knowing how to read food labels. We become a gluten free super sleuth. You already know how to look for gluten when there isn’t a label, now we tackle looking for gluten when there’s a label attached, and that label on our packaged, box, or canned food, unfortunately, that label is meant to confuse us.

When it comes to food labels and gluten, there’s three things that are most important for you to know to break through the confusion about what contains gluten and what doesn’t.

#1: In the United States, gluten-free food labeling is completely voluntary. This is not the case in every country, so if you don’t live in the U.S. you’ll want to check what your countries regulations are for transparency with gluten containing foods. But in the U.S., there is no FDA (food and drug administration) mandate that requires a product to say it’s gluten free. So just because a product doesn’t say gluten-free doesn’t mean that it isn’t. For example, you don’t typically see the words gluten free on a carton of eggs, but they are naturally gluten free. But, #2, if the product does say gluten-free you can be sure that it contains less than “20 ppm of gluten” and trust me when I tell you that’s pretty low. For most people who are gluten-free including Celiac’s, that is usually low enough.  #3: The last thing I want you to know about reading food labels is that the FDA does not require a front label of a product to say that it contains gluten.

If this doesn’t clear things up for you yet for guaranteed gluten free shopping, don’t worry, we’ll get there. Understanding gluten and food labeling is a tricky task. That’s why knowing how to read a food label is about the most important thing for us to talk about. You just can’t go 100% gluten free unless you understand food labeling.

WHY THERE’S NO POINT IN LOOKING FOR THE WORD “GLUTEN.”

So right about now, you might be thinking, can I just look for the word gluten. Well, no, because remember, food manufactures aren’t required to tell us that their product contains gluten. In fact, they pretty much never do. The ingredients, though, never lie. That’s why it’s up to us to be gluten free super sleuths to know if an ingredient has gluten in it. For example, ingredients like Brewer’s yeast, semolina, spelt, and dextrimaltose all contain gluten. When you know which words = gluten, you’re living the life of gluten freedom.

Let’s talk about how we do this.

[14:57] It all starts with food labels. We need to understand that a food label has three parts. And when I’m talking about “food labels” I’m talking about the nutrition facts panel. That’s the food label I’m talking about. It might be on the side of the product, it might be on the back of the packaging… it’s there somewhere because the nutrition facts is required by the FDA (the food and drug administration) so just move the box or package or can around until you find the nutrition facts.

There three distinct parts of a food label and they include the nutrition facts panel, the ingredient statement, and the Allergan statement. Most of us are taught to read the nutrition facts panel where you see how much fat or carbohydrate, salt or sugar a product contains, but when it comes to gluten, I’m going to tell you to ignore that part. The two parts we are most interested in are the ingredient statement and the Allergan statement.

The first place you’ll always go to look for gluten is the Allergan statement. It is at the bottom of the nutrition facts panel. One of the allergens that the FDA requires be listed there is wheat. If you see the word wheat in the allergens statement you know that this product contains gluten. And you’re going to step away from the package.

YOUR #1 HIDDEN GLUTEN RESOURCE.

Now I wish that this was a full proof way to avoid all gluten but unfortunately, as we’ve learned, gluten comes in many forms. It’s not just found in wheat. So after you look at the allergens statement, it’s time to look at the ingredient list. Check for obvious sources of gluten like wheat and barley and rye, but also look for that hidden gluten that I just mentioned. Those words that don’t say gluten, but they mean that there’s a gluten in the product. Now there are way too many hidden gluten words for me to tell you all of them on this episode, but I do have a complete list. If you want a copy of my Hidden Gluten “Never Eat” Unsafe Ingredient List, feel free to DM me on Facebook and I will send a copy your way. On Facebook I am @TheIBDHealthCoach.

I love chatting with you over there on my new Facebook page so hit me up and I will be happy to send it your way. @TheIBDHealthCoach.

Now that you know how to read the food label to check for the obvious and the not so obvious gluten, it’s kick step 2 (looking for gluten) into high gear. It’s time to put your newfound knowledge into practice. Let’s start with your pantry. Look at all of your boxed, packaged, and canned foods. Check out their labels and see what contains gluten. You’re going to be really surprised at all of the pantry foods that contain gluten. Ones you never even suspected.

Soy sauce? Yep, contains gluten. Most salad dressings? Yep, contains gluten. Teriyaki sauce? Yep, contains gluten. Now that’s not to say that we can’t find gluten-free version of these foods. There is gluten free soy sauce, it’s called tamari. There’s lots of gluten-free salad dressings out there, you just have to know where to find them. When we start to look for gluten free alternatives, we see that they are everywhere. We just have to know where to look.

Once you accomplish a pantry clean out, it’s time to go to the grocery store. Step #2 is all about going out and looking for it, gluten free food that is, so go for it, take a trip to the grocery store and start checking out different foods. You don’t have to buy anything during this trip, this is more of a reconnaissance to see if you can find foods that don’t contain gluten. Remember, your best bet is going to be looking for foods that are naturally gluten-free. And those are the foods that I mentioned earlier. The vegetables, meats, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, and yogurt. Food that’s in his whole and natural, plain state is usually gluten-free.

THE POWER OF THE PERIMETER.

[19:55] This is the kind of food that doesn’t come in a can, a package, or a box. This is the kind of food you find on the perimeter of the grocery store. Try to stay here as much as possible and there will be no second-guessing whether a food has gluten in it or not.

When it comes to the grocery store isles, the boxes, the cans, the packaging, always look at your food label. You now know how to read it. So, look to see if it contains gluten. If it does, you know it’s time to step away from the package and move on to something else.

I want you to come back from your reconnaissance mission with a sense of pride because you did it mama. You took an amazing step, the knowledge building step. What’s that they say about knowledge and insight? It’s half the battle.

Step 2 to gluten freedom, done.

In step #1 we found out what we were looking for, and step #2 we went looking for it, now in step #3 it’s time to make a plan for gluten freedom.

MAKE A PLAN.

Will you go all in or maybe dip a tow in and go gluten-free meal by meal? Maybe this week you’ll try breakfast, and next week you’ll add lunch and so on. There’s no perfect way to do this and going all in doesn’t necessarily mean you’re more committed than the folks who take the dip a toe in approach. Remember when it comes to healing our IBD, we have to match our symptoms and our lifestyle. Keep your lifestyle in mind when you’re deciding what you want to commit to and how long you want to take to commit.

The planning step will also involve your family. Is it just you going gluten-free or is the whole family going for it as well? Going gluten free is healthy for everyone so there’s no reason why everyone in the family can’t go gluten-free with you. It’s really a personal choice and of course it involves that lifestyle component again. Do you have time to cook separate meals for different family members? Will you feel more supported if family members are doing the gluten-free life with you?

I know what you’re going through here because I remember not that long ago trying to make this decision for my family as well. Most of the food we have in our house is gluten-free, but occasionally some pasta or bread with gluten in it will make its way into our house. I don’t intentionally make things that have gluten in it, but I also don’t want to make everyone feel resentful of my diet. I try to walk a fine line and stick with things that are naturally gluten-free. That way no one feels like they’re missing out.

I remember my client Penny telling me that when she decided to go gluten-free, they had a big family meeting to talk about it. Penny had teenagers and she really wanted to get their opinion before she brought all gluten-free food home. To her surprise, Penny’s teenagers said they really wanted to support her. Plus, they were really into sports and being physically fit so they thought that it might be a good idea for them to try as well. That’s what worked for Penny’s family. Everyone’s family is different but it’s good to take some time in the planning phase to figure out what works best for your family situation.

MEAL PLANNING IS KEY FOR GLUTEN FREE SUCCESS.

Once you decide whether you’re going to go all in on day one or take the escalator approach down to the finish line, and you decide whether your family will eat gluten-free with you or if it’ll just be you riding the gluten-free train, it’s time for some meal planning. It’s time to figure out what you’ll be eating and when for at least the first week I’d say. Deciding on the meals you’ll eat, the ingredients you’ll need for the meals you want to make, making a list for the grocery store, heading to the grocery store to buy what you need (you already did the reconnaissance so this should be fairly easy), and then coming home and meal prepping those meals because that’s what’s going to save you time and money in this whole gut healing adventure that you’re a part of now.

[25:16] Don’t let the whole meal planning part of your new eating plan overwhelm you. This is the place I see many moms stop, but it can be done. If you’re completely new to meal planning on an IBD eating plan and if you want to get a jump start on the meal planning part of eating gluten free (the deciding what to eat, figuring out the ingredients, meal prepping it all)… if you want some help figuring this out just a little bit faster (and you’re listening to this episode in real time), I want you to know that I have a brand-new live training all about Crohn’s and colitis meal planning made easy.

And it’s all going down tonight. July 22, 2021, at 5 PM EST. If you want to join me live for my meal planning workshop, all you have to do is go to karynhaley.com/mealplanning. That’s karynhaley.com/mealplanning. A replay will be available so if you aren’t able to join us live, still sign up and I will send a replay your way. I hope you’ll join me live though because there’s just a wonderful energy that happens in the live exchange and you’ll also be able to get your questions answered in real time. And one last reason to join live is that today is my birthday, so I am giving away some extra special bonuses for everyone who shows up live. The Crohn’s and Colitis Meal Planning workshop happening tonight. Hope to see you there.

OK, so you gluten-free goddess, you know what you’re looking for when it comes to gluten and you have gone to look for it. You’ve also made an amazing plan that includes how you go about it, will the family join you, and you’ve done all the meal planning and meal prep and you’re ready to start eating gluten free. What’s next?

TIME TO TAKE THE GLUTEN FREE PLUNGE.

Step #4 is next. And Step #4 on your gluten-freedom plan is to go for it, dive in. Whatever diving means for you. So many people that I see start a gut healing diet like gluten-free with gusto, only to quit a few days later when they don’t see results. We know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your gut health. Going gluten free isn’t the kind of thing where you wake up after a week and say oh my goodness I am healed! So, when you dive in, dive in for the long-haul.

When you follow the steps that I’ve laid out for you today, you’ll be prepared to start your gluten-free life. And preparation is really the name of the game when it comes to sticking with a gut healing diet. Those who go in knowing exactly what gluten is and where to find it, those who prepare their weekly menu ahead of time, and meal prep ahead of time are much more likely to be successful in the long run.

When will you dive into gluten freedom? Go head, think about it right now while we’re chatting. Tomorrow? In one week? In one month? When will the time be right for you? And don’t just say a season or a month, I want you to pick the day out. August 1 has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? Or maybe you feel like the kids need to be back in school before you can commit, that’s OK. How about September 1st?

Are the wheels turning? Did you pick a day? Awesome, now put that date on your calendar. All you need to do to make that your reality is go through steps 1, 2 and 3 before that date. You can do it, remember get in touch if you want some help. That’s what I’m here for.

OK, last step, step #5.

You’re rocking that gluten-free life. You’re all in. You’re not cheating, you’re giving it your all, the kinks have been worked out and you are feeling really confident about planning, cooking, and eating gluten-free.

It’s time to assess.

[30:20] Ideally, you’ll give gluten freedom a minimum of three months before you take a look at how it’s going. Now, I wouldn’t expect miracles in three months, but hopefully you will see some improvement in how you feel. Researchers tell us that gluten can stay in the body for up to six months, but the three-month mark is a great place to just step back and ask yourself, how’s it going?

Do I have any less diarrhea?

Do I have less bloating and gas after mealtime?

Do I have more energy, less headaches or brain fog?

Did the skin rashes clear up?

The answers to these questions or questions like these will help you determine if gluten-free is worth continuing to help keep your gut symptoms and you’re beyond the gut symptoms in check.

WHAT IF YOU SAY, “YES!”

You might say yes, I feel fantastic. I feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life! If that’s the case, you’re going to keep rocking your gluten-free life. You’re going to feel really grateful that you stumbled onto something that can really protect your health and ensure your gut loving future.

Or, although it’s highly unlikely, you might say nope, this didn’t really help me at all. I gave it a fair shot, I didn’t cheat, not even once, but it just didn’t help me. Know that this is not the end of the line for you. There’s so many healing mechanisms when it comes to Crohn’s and colitis. Keep searching and keep trying new things within the food, lifestyle, mindset realm because I know that there is a path out there for you.

And if you’re like many of my clients, you’ll say to yourself wow, this gluten-free life is helping me. I’m not exactly where I want to be, but I do see some benefit. I wonder what else I could do to help me feel even better. What can I combine with living gluten-free to help me feel even better?

IS IT TIME TO MAKE TWEAKS TO YOUR WHEEL OF WELLNESS?

I’m not gonna lie to you mama, Crohn’s and colitis are both a complicated beast. There isn’t usually one healing fix. Using a gluten-free diet can be life-changing, but it usually is one spoke in your wheel of wellness. I’ve talked about your wheel of wellness before on this podcast, but we all have this invisible wheel rolling along beside us as we move about our life. This wheel has many spokes on it, just like a bike wheel. One of those spokes might be eating gluten free, another might be some type of daily movement, another might be you’re a doctor, another for meditation or another spiritual practice, and another might be a health coach like me. Healing takes a village and your wheel of wellness gives you a village of health.

Step five in your gluten freedom plan gives you the power to assess where you’re at with your wheel of wellness, to add spokes when you need them and change out the spokes that are no longer serving you.

Step #5, assessing where you’re at is a step you’ll come back to over and over on your IBD journey. I’ve had Crohn’s for 34 years and I’m constantly coming back to step 5, making tweaks and moving forward again.

I wish I could tell you that going gluten free is the cure for Crohn’s and Colitis. The truth is, it’s not a cure, but it definitely can be a game changer. Let it be a game changer for you when you follow these 5 steps.

[34:38] Let’s go over them one last time.

Step #1 Know what you’re looking for (know what gluten is and where it hides).

Step #2 Go looking for it (in your pantry and in the grocery store) and that all starts with knowing how to read your food label.

Step #3 Make a plan (a plan that includes not just your symptoms but your lifestyle, one that takes your family into account, and one that includes meal planning)

Step #4 Dive in with gusto and give it your all, no cheats

Step #5 Asses (not after 3 days, not after 1 week, but after a minimum of 3 months of consistently being gluten free- not cheats). Make tweaks to your wheel of wellness and keep moving forward to keep IBD in its place.

Remember my dear friend, if you want to join me live tonight to learn more about how you can take your gluten free diet to the next level and get results faster with meal planning, there’s still time to register for my Crohn’s and Colitis Meal Planning Made Easy Workshop. It all starts at 5pm EST. The link to register is in the show notes or you can go to karynhaley.com/mealplanning.

Hope to see you 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.

[36:52] 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.

I Cheated on My Gut Healing Diet. Now What?

Gluten free, SCD, Paleo, Dairy free, GAPs… many of us follow some sort of restricted diet to help quiet our Crohn’s and colitis symptoms.

In many cases, diets like these are game changing. They help us digest and absorb the nutrients in our food better, so we then have more energy, less gas, pain, and bloating, less blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. And diets like these can keep us from using the bathroom 3, 4, 10, 20 times a day.

Results like this are massive when we have IBD. We’d do anything to stay in that place. That’s why when these diets work, we tend to stay on them.

Unless we cheat.

And it’s that cheating part (intentional or unintentional) that we’re going to cover today.

We’re talking about:

  • A cautionary tale of what can happen on your IBD eating plan after the pandemic
  • When well-meaning friends send you down a dark, cheating path
  • The biggest factor in deciding what to do after you cheat on your gut healing diet
  • The one tool you’ll definitely need if you decide you want to intentionally cheat on your IBD diet

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll know the best methods to try for every type of Eating for IBD cheating you may encounter.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [02:05] All the deets on my Crohn’s and Colitis Meal Planning Made Easy Workshop
  • [05:45] A cautionary tale of what can happen on your IBD eating plan after the pandemic
  • [09:55] When well-meaning friends send you down a dark, cheating path
  • [11:45] The intentional cheater finds out what foods work and what doesn’t work for her
  • [12:45] The biggest factor in deciding what to do after you cheat on your gut healing diet
  • [14:17] What to do when picking up where you left off is not an option
  • [18:18] SCD embarrassment, shame and guilt
  • [20:45] A dairy cheat vs a gluten cheat (which is worse?
  • [22:42] The one tool you’ll definitely need if you decide you want to intentionally cheat on your IBD diet
  • [25:18] What to do when you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed about cheating
  • [27:47] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level

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Mentioned in This Episode

SIGN UP FOR THE FREE CROHN’S AND COLITIS MEAL PLANNING MADE EASY WORKSHOP HERE

Workshop going on LIVE July 22, 2021

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Episode Transcript:

Gluten free, SCD, Paleo, Dairy free, GAPs… many of us follow some sort of restricted diet to help quiet our Crohn’s and colitis symptoms. In many cases, diets like these are game changing. They help us digest and absorb the nutrients in our food better, so we then have more energy, less gas, pain, and bloating, less blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. And diets like these can keep us from using the bathroom 3, 4, 10, 20 times a day. Results like this are massive when we have IBD. We’d do anything to stay in that place. That’s why when these diets work, we tend to stay on them.

Unless we cheat.

And it’s that cheating part (intentional or unintentional) that we’re going to cover today. What do you do after the cheat?

Here we go!

[01:55] Hey there mama! I’m so happy we’re here together today. We’re diving into a juicy topic and I know you’re going to love it and benefit from it.

Before we get started, I have some hot off the press news to share. I want to tell you that I’ve got a brand new free training that I created just for you. It’s called the Crohn’s & Colitis Meal Planning Made Easy Workshop and it’s going to change the way you eat for your IBD. This workshop is all about how you can save time, money, and stay on track while you successfully use food to heal your gut.

Can I get an amen?

As moms with IBD, we all need that. We need sanity surrounding mealtime. This is a LIVE workshop. I love doing it live so I can be going through it right there with you and you can get your questions answered in real time. And this workshop is extra special for me because it’s all going down on my birthday, Thursday, July 22nd (2021) @ 5pm EST. If you’re interested in joining me to lessen your eating for IBD load, and you want tips that can reduce your stress and the time spent in the kitchen, you’re going to want to join me. The link to register is in the show notes or you can go to karynhaley.com/mealplanning to sign up.  Because Crohn’s & Colitis Meal planning Made Easy is taking place on my birthday, I’ve giving away some special surprises and bonuses to everyone who shows up live. I can’t wait. It’s all happening @5pm EST on July 22nd. Register in the show notes or go to karynhaley.com/mealplanning.

OK, let’s talk about cheating… (dun, dun, dun, dun)

CHEATING HAPPENS.

Let’s face it, cheating happens. It might happen when we go to a family member’s house for dinner or when we travel or eat out at a restaurant. It might even happen in your own home. Sometimes we get glutened or grained when we’re out. In many cases, we don’t plan it, we don’t bring it on ourselves. It’s an accident, but it happens. I’d like to always give you the benefit of the doubt and say it always happens by accident, but as we know, sometimes cheating on our gut healing diet is intentional. We know what we’re doing. We know there might be consequences, but in that moment, the temptation is just too great.

We do it, consequences be damned!

I can tell you right now that you can stop beating yourself up because it doesn’t matter whether it’s intentional or unintentional, cheating happens. Which might make you wonder, what do I do when I cheat? Do I need to take a step back to an earlier step on my diet? And if so, how far back? In cases of the SCD and GAPS, do I need to go back to the introductory diet? What if I feel awful after I cheat or if it sets off a flare up? Or, a scenario we don’t talk about that often– what if I cheat and I feel fine? Do I still need to take a step back?

So many good questions and we’re going to answer all of them today.

A CAUTIONARY TALE OF AN SCDer AFTER PANDEMIC LIFE.

[05:45] I have a client with Crohn’s named April. She started the SCD (the specific carbohydrate diet), during the pandemic quarantine. She wasn’t going out anywhere, she had the time to cook all her food at home… and April saw results. She was moving along swimmingly for about four months, until her part of the world started to open up. Now, April is back to work, she accepted invitations to go to friend’s houses, she enjoyed gatherings with her family at their homes and it was getting really challenging for April to stay on the diet. Before, she was in her own gut healing bubble, but now she had to figure out how to bring SCD out into the world. And for April, this didn’t go so well.

At a family gathering, April’s siblings, mom, grandmother, and other relatives struggled to understand her new diet and she didn’t really know how to explain what she was going through to them. She was the only one in the family with Crohn’s. No one had ever eaten any special diet.

April felt singled out and alone at a gathering of healthy people. She decided to try just a little bit of her grandmother’s matzo ball soup that contained gluten and grains because she thought a few bites wouldn’t hurt. And that turned into potato latkes and the delicious bread her aunt always makes for family gatherings. For a little while, April was thinking she was going to get away with it. Afterall, it was just a small cheat. But 30 minutes later the cramping, bloating and diarrhea hit April like a ton of bricks. April spent the rest of the gathering upstairs in the bathroom feeling guilty, ashamed, and alone.

If you’re on a special diet to help your Crohn’s or colitis, you’ve experienced a situation similar to April’s. We all have. Especially in those early days of a diet when we’re still trying to figure it out for ourselves. It’s a really tricky time and one single misstep can take you down fast.

WHEN A WELL-MEANING FRIEND DOES YOU WRONG.

When I was new to SCD, I remember I had a good friend who wanted to make a meal for me. She said, “Send me the recipes and I’ll make a whole meal for us to share together. I know you’re going through a lot and I want to be there for you.” I thought about this for a long time. It was such a kind invitation from my friend. But I knew that it could be risky. Even with SCD recipes, it could be a disaster. But I wanted to show my friend how grateful I was for her support, so I said yes. I didn’t want to offend her or make her feel like I didn’t trust her. I gave my friend the recipes and hoped for the best.

My friend tried so hard. She made those recipes just as I had instructed. I ate every last bite with delight and so much gratitude for this amazingly kind gesture. And I got through the first few hours no problem. I felt really great after eating her food. I didn’t have any inkling of trouble until I got home when my belly started rumbling and gurgling. I could feel everything that I had just eaten rounding its way through my colon. It all had to come out, and it definitely did. For three days, it came out.

[09:55] It turned out that two of the recipes included bone broth. My friend had bought the bone broth at the store thinking bone broth was bone broth. But unfortunately, the one she used had some additives and artificial ingredients. And I was really sensitive to those ingredients.

After a few days of nonstop trips to the bathroom, my belly flip-flops subsided and I started to feel better. It was a rough few days, but before this all happened, my belly was in good shape. I was in remission. So, I was able to get back on track rather quickly.

WOULD ANYONE INTENTIONALLY CHEAT?

What did I do to get back on track? I’ll tell you in just a minute, but first I want to share one last story with you. This is the story of my client Casey. I didn’t meet her until she was on the Paleo diet for two years. Casey was doing really well. She had maintained remission for over a year and she felt really great. Casey wanted to enlist my help so she could intentionally cheat. She wanted to see if she could start eating foods that weren’t on her eating plan. Casey and I worked for a few months to figure out what her body was ready for and what it just wasn’t. Quinoa, dairy based kefir, and basmati rice… definitely a go. Sourdough bread and oatmeal… definitely not a good option for Casey.

Yep, she was intentionally cheating to see what would happen. She was in a healthy place with her ulcerative colitis, and she wanted to see what would happen. She wanted to expand her diet, she wanted more variety and fun in the food she was eating. There were a lot of things Casey was able to add in because enough intestinal healing had taken place over a period of time. She was rocking her Paleo life and it was time to cheat and see what happened.

Two of the stories I shared with you have to do with unintentional cheating and one of them is an intentional cheating story. But it really doesn’t matter whether the cheating is intentional or unintentional. And for the most part, it doesn’t even matter how long you’ve been on your eating plan. When it comes to cheating on a gut healing diet, what matters is the state of your illness, how you feel, and how long you’ve felt that way. That’s what will determine ultimately how the cheating will affect your body.

APRIL’S STORY GOES FROM BAD TO WORSE.

Let’s go back to April, remember she’s my client with Crohn’s who got caught up in the moment at a family gathering. I told you that April had a really challenging time after she ate food that wasn’t on her eating plan. But what I didn’t share with you yet is that the incident I told you about set off a cascade of behavior for April. She really wanted to commit to her eating plan, but she just kept being put in situations where she got uncomfortable not eating the food that was offered. She went out to a restaurant, she went over to her friend’s house for dinner, she traveled and didn’t bring her SCD legal food with her.

That one event set in motion a series of negative events for April. Even though she was feeling terrible at the time, definitely in flare mode, diarrhea, bloating, gas, lots of abdominal pain, arthritis, blood in the toilet, lots of brain fog and trouble concentrating… she just couldn’t figure out how to get back on track. April lost her way.

This is about as big as a cheat gets. April’s cheat that went on for a few months. April knew that she was not eating in accordance with her gut healing diet and it was the reason she was feeling so awful, but she just couldn’t get back on track.

For April, just starting the SCD again, picking up exactly where she left off, was not an option. April’s intestinal system was in a precarious place. She needed drastic food action and possibly medication to get her flare under control and get back to where she was in her first few months on the diet.

Because so much digestive repair work needed to take place, I recommended that April go back to the beginning, intro and all. On the specific carbohydrate diet, the introduction diet is a very special place. It’s a place of immense digestive lining repair. It’s a place of true healing that will last for a long time if it’s done right. It’s a sucky few days, no doubt about it, but it is just so powerful and it’s a place to go when you have seriously gotten off track.

After completing a few days on the intro diet, April had a choice to make. She could go back to where she was at before she went astray on the SCD and see if that powerful phase was enough to bring her gut into balance, or she could start again in the beginning stages and start to work her way through again.

ARE YOU AND APRIL SIMILAR?

If you’re thinking that April sounds like you, because you’ve been on an eating plan, and it doesn’t have to be the SCD. It could be a gluten-free diet or a dairy free diet, the diet itself doesn’t matter. If April story resonates with you because you’ve taken some time off your gut healing diet and you’re thinking about how to move forward in the best way possible, you’ll have to decide what works best for your symptoms and your lifestyle.

Decisions like this always go back to your symptoms and your lifestyle. How bad are your symptoms? Do you feel like you could tolerate going way back in time again? Do you have the time in your life right now to put in the energy that it might take to get completely back on track?

For April, the decision was really easy. She knew that on her first four months on the SCD, she felt fantastic. She knew it was working for her. She knew if she started again and went through the stages again, she would be in a good place. So, April went back to the intro, and then she started again. It was about a month ago and so far, April is doing really well.

And especially for April, and this might resonate with you as well. Looking at what caused this in the first place. Why did she intentionally and consistently cheat for so long? I told you that when April started her diet, she was in a quarantine bubble. She wasn’t engaging with other people and the diet was easy to follow. Once April moved out into the world, she found it difficult to commit to the SCD and explain what she was doing to her friends and family. didn’t she.

So along with starting over, April and I are looking at why this happened in the first place. And if April’s story resonates with you, I really want you to look inward at this as well. We’re not born with the ability to talk with people about hard subjects. We’re not born with the ability to be non-conformist. Behaviors like this take time to think about and time to cultivate the new habits that will keep us on track.

SCD EMBARRASSMENT, SHAME, AND GUILT.

When I was in my early days of the SCD, I really struggled with this too. I never cheated intentionally, but I felt so uncomfortable being around others and eating food that was different. I used to have such embarrassment about my almond flour bread and homemade condiments, and bringing my lunch bag wherever I went that I would get really red in the face any time I had to order different food at a restaurant, or any time I brought my own food out at someone’s house. I had to go deep within and figure out why this was such a struggle for me, why did I get so embarrassed about being different from others. Once I did that, I actually planned and prepared things that I would say to people about why I ate differently. This might be something for you to do as well in the beginning stages of new diets like SCD and GAPS.

So, to bring April’s story to closure, if her story sounds similar to your story and you’re thinking about where to go back to after a long cheat and after a long period of not feeling well, go back to the beginning. Go back to where it all began. Once enough healing has taken place in the early stages of your eating plan, you can decide if you want to move forward slowly or jump back to where you were when you fell off the wagon.

Remember when I told you about that well intentioned friend who made the meal for me. I felt fine at first, but after I got home the tummy rumbles and the diarrhea set in. I had to get all of it out of my system. The additives and artificial ingredients in the bone broth set off a chain reaction in my body and I had no choice but to just get rid of all the toxins.

A DAIRY CHEAT VS A GLUTEN CHEAT

But remember, when this incident happened to me, I was in a really good place with my gut health. I have been on the specific carbohydrate diet long enough that I was in remission. I wasn’t having daily diarrhea and most days I felt really well. After three days of diarrhea, my stool firmed up again and I was able to jump back on the SCD horse and pick up exactly where I left off. One cheat, a few days of not feeling well, and then back on track.

Are you going strong on your eating plan? Did you cheat once intentionally or unintentionally with negative consequences? Maybe you can pick back up where you left off. It all depends on how the cheat affects you that really depends on what you’re going through at the time. Do you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity for celiac disease along with your IBD and did your cheat include gluten? If so, that’s going to potentially wreak havoc on your gastrointestinal system.

[20:45] A dairy cheat, for those who are sensitive to lactose or casein, may only last a couple days, but for those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, it’s going to cause a serious problem. Researchers tell us that gluten can last in the body for up to six months. That’s not to say that you will feel like crap for six months, but it will take a while for you to feel like yourself again. That’s the time to be eating very carefully with your digestion and absorption in mind with every single food to eat.

So, when it’s just one cheat, whether it’s intentional or unintentional, what matters most is how you react personally to that food. Is it something that you’re only mildly sensitive to and you can rebound from fairly quickly, or is it something that’s going to set you back potentially for six months. These are the questions that will help you decide where to go next.

HAS ENOUGH HEALING TAKEN PLACE?

On the other hand, if you’re like my client Casey, who’s purposely cheating to see how her body reacts, your decisions may look very different. Casey had been on the Paleo diet for quite a long time and was feeling great. Casey was intentionally wondering what else can I eat? Has enough healing taken place that I can start to add more variety and pizazz to my diet?

Casey decided it was time to cheat. She had been in remission for a year. She took the time to carefully weigh the possibilities and what she might try first. We worked very hard to figure this out together. And when Casey decided to cheat or as I like to think about it– move forward, she went very slowly. She added in one new food at a time and she used my Food-Mood-Poop Journaling System to figure out how the food she was eating made her feel. Remember, some foods worked for Casey and some didn’t. This is bound to be the case for you as well.

If it’s time to start moving forward and cheat with intention and purpose, be the tortoise. There’s no need to rush here. Keep close track of all the new foods you’re adding in and how they affect you. When you think you’re going slow, go slower. Be the tortoise because the tortoise always wins in the end.

How is all of this landing for your mama? Is it giving you a little bit of clarity on what to do when and if you cheat on your gut healing eating plan? I truly hope so.

Whether you’re in the cheat zone, you end up cheating once, or you are intentionally cheating, I highly recommend you use a Food-Mood-Poop system as well to track how the food you’re eating is affecting you. There’s lots of ways to journal, if you want to see how I do it, DM me on Facebook. I’ll be happy to share my journaling system with you. On Facebook, I’m @TheIBDHealthCoach. Just shoot me a message and let me know you’d like my F-M-P Journaling System.

THE LAST PUZZLE PIECE COMES TOGETHER.

Before we wrap up today, there’s one last puzzle piece we have to fit together. And that’s how all of this cheating might be impacting your mental health. Your emotions.

There’s no doubt about it, it doesn’t matter why we cheat. There’s negative emotions that go along with the concept of cheating. You might feel like you messed up, you might feel like you’re a failure, you might be inclined to beat yourself up and think about the cheat over and over again. Feelings about cheating might overwhelm you and make you begin to feel stressed, anxious, or even depressed.

And this is directly for you mama, if you’ve ever cheated on your gut healing diet before. You might be in the midst of a cheat right now. Holding on to the cheat, beating yourself up about the cheat, deciding that the diet isn’t worth it because you cheated, feeling stressed or depressed or anxious—It’s not an option.

It’s just not.

What’s the point?

HEY CHEATER, YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

Most everyone cheats at one point or another whether they’ve been on a gut healing diet for one day or 1,000 days. It doesn’t make us less than. It doesn’t make us unworthy. It doesn’t mean we should feel embarrassed, or ashamed like we can’t tell anyone about it.

Staying on a gut healing diet is freakin’ hard. It’s not for the weak, it’s not for the meek or timid, it’s for the bad ass woman that I know you are. You are a bad ass woman who’s using everything at her disposal to heal, and I know you are because you’re listening to this podcast right now, there’s no need for shame or guilt or embarrassment.

You are human. I am human. We’re all just doing the best we can on any given day. No matter how long the cheat, let it go. Today is a new day. Tomorrow is a new day. We’re starting fresh.

If the cheat really rocked your world and you’re feeling awful, you’re in flare up mode, you’re on the couch, you’re struggling to take care of the kids, it’s time to take a step back. Start back at the place where you felt your best, and for some that may be way back at the beginning. But start again because it is so worth it. And if you’re struggling to get started again, reach out because you know I’m here to help.

And if the cheat didn’t really affect you, you’re going about your day, you’re not in constant pain, you’re not symptomatic, move onward and upward because the cheat is in the past (where it belongs).

Simple as that.

You got this. I know you got this. We’ve got this IBD craziness together.

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.

[28:16] 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.

My Kick Chronic Illness Mom Guilt to the Curb “3 by 3” Roadmap

There’s your typical run of the mill mom guilt. That’s pretty grueling and consuming all by itself.

But then, we moms with Crohn’s and colitis, we get to add in a little cherry on top of that mom guilt, just a little extra guilt in the form of chronic illness mom guilt.

How is that type of mom guilt different, and why does it keep our IBD in a state of subpar health, and most importantly, how can we finally kick chronic illness mom guilt to the curb so we can having a healthier relationship with our kids, our partners and ourselves—and crush our IBD at the same time?

That’s what we’re talking about today.

We’re talking about:

  • The mental muscle anyone can build to help with your chronic illness mom guilt
  • The power of becoming a B- mom
  • How the thought stopping technique can get you over the comparison game
  • The failure I was for not stimulating my kid’s brains in the right manner

And so much more!

After this episode, be ready to topple the 3 pillars of chronic illness mom guilt that are standing in the way of your IBD remission.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [12:45] The comparison game we play as adults starts in our childhood
  • [14:40] The failure I was for not stimulating my kid’s brains in the right manner
  • [18:20] When was the last time you chose YOU over everything?
  • [19:55] The YOU plan is the simplest problem, but hardest to fix
  • [20:21] The mental muscle anyone can build to help with your chronic illness mom guilt
  • [25:43] What to do about friends who make you feel insecure and unsupported
  • [28:22] How the thought stopping technique can get you over the comparison game
  • [33:33] The problem with making Wonder Woman your hero
  • [35:05] The power of becoming a B- mom
  • [37:40] 4 mantras to help with chronic illness mom guilt
  • [41:30] The small sized, medium sized, and large sized YOU plans that will help your mental and your gut health
  • [48:59] Where joy, peace, and escapism fits in your chronic illness mom guilt plan
  • [51:49] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

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Episode Transcript:

There’s you’re typical run of the mill mom guilt. That’s pretty grueling and consuming all by itself. But then, we moms with Crohn’s and colitis, we get to add in a little cherry on top of that mom guilt, just a little extra guilt in the form of chronic illness mom guilt. How is that type of mom guilt different, and why does it keep our IBD in a state of subpar health, and most importantly, how can we finally kick chronic illness mom guilt to the curb so we can having a healthier relationship with our kids, our partners and ourselves—and crush our IBD at the same time? That’s what we’re talking about 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]

Hey there awesome mama! So happy to be here with you. We’re diving deep today. Are you ready? Let’s take a deep cleansing breath before we go for it. (deep breath in and out) It’s always good to center and ground when you’re going inward.

Hands down, the best part of being an IBD Health Coach and having a degree in Counseling with a Specialization in Medical Family Therapy means that I get to help my clients dive into what’s standing in the way of their IBD freedom from lots of different angles. We get to take a whole life approach, not just nutrition and supplements, not just lifestyle, or just mindset, but all of these healing modalities together. Because it’s never just one thing that contributes to your state of dis-ease. It’s all of these challenges together that create the path for the tornado, and all of these modalities combined that can bring health back into your life.

And when I talk to clients about different eating plans and supplements that can help them find remission, they always think that is going to be the hardest part. What the heck is dry curd cottage cheese and where do I buy finely ground blanched almond flour and what’s the best probiotic to take? This stuff is actually easier than you think. When you finally get resources at your fingertips, everything falls into place. I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s not the eating for IBD that stops most people from moving forward. It takes time and patience, you with the right tools, you will get there. The hardest part, the part that can keep you stuck in quicksand for way too long is diving into the mindset piece that impacts your Crohn’s and your colitis.

THE CROCODILE IS WAITING TO STRIKE.

Because you can do everything else, but if your mind hasn’t found a way through all the anger, denial, shame, guilt, embarrassment, stress, anxiety, and depression… not just from your chronic illness, but also from all the other stuff we tend to carry around with us unconsciously in our mind. It’s in the background, just lingering beneath the surface, waiting like a crocodile who hides in the water for it’s victim, waiting to come out and strike when we least expect it.

These are the mindset barriers that will keep your IBD in a state of passably OK, instead of I’m feeling fantastic.

And I want you to feel fantastic.

I want your Crohn’s or colitis to be something you only look at in the rearview mirror. Something you only take out for party anecdotes—hey, remember that IBD told you about? It hasn’t bothered me in months!

Yas!!! That’s where I want you to be.

THE MINDSET PROBLEM THAT’S KEEPING YOUR IBD FROM FULL REMISSION.

[05:33] So today, we’re going to focus on one of those mindset barriers. And we’ll focus on the one that affects us mamas the most. It’s mom guilt. And not just any mom guilt, but double whammy mom guilt we get to be blessed with because with us, it’s not just about the normal mom guilt. We’re over achievers.  We’re mom guilt on steroids (literally sometimes)—we’re mom guilt with a side of chronic illness. Think of it like the cherry on top. Only it’s a really nasty cherry, one that tastes awful.

And something I’ve learned in my almost 35 years with IBD (wow, has it been that long), is that chronic illness mom guilt will feaster, it will eat at you, it will linger even when you’re doing everything right to help you feel better. And if you’ve experienced this chronic illness mom guilt before, you know exactly what I’m talking about…

You’re left alone on the couch or in your bed, doubled over in belly pain, or my personal choice, with the heating pad, while your partner takes the kids to the big game (or the dance recital, or the playground, or the amusement park… you fill in the blank there). And while their packing up and leaving, you think to yourself, “Could I just suck it up and go too?” As you try to get up you realize, nope not gonna happen and the chronic illness mom guilt sets in.

Or maybe you’re on a special diet to help your IBD symptoms—gluten free, Paleo, SCD—it doesn’t matter which one. You’re making your own food, you’re spending loads of time in the kitchen each day, but you can’t feed you’re kids that food, even though it’s perfectly healthy for them too because you don’t want to restrict them. So you shlep together a whole different dinner for them as well, feeling so exhausted after all that, that you don’t even feel like eating your own food. And chronic illness mom guilt sets in.

Or how about when you have littles—3,4, 5, 6 years old. And you’re out at Target. Uh-oh, you’ve got to go… NOW. There’s no holding it. There’s no stopping it. You’ve got to get to the bathroom now. There’s no alternate options for your little ones, they’re in the stall with you. You may need to sit for a while, it might get smelly in there. Chronic illness mom guilt starts creeping in… how long is this going to take? The kids are getting restless. I better just give them my phone to play with and I’ll definitely need to get them a treat for their patience. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

What scenarios make you feel guilty when it comes to chronic illness mom guilt? Is it a scenario like one of these or maybe something else?

Well, first I just have to say, and I know you already know this, but we can’t hear it enough. We all have mom guilt. It comes with the job. Did you read the job description?

YOU’RE A MOM, YOU SIGNED UP FOR THIS.

Oh, yeah, there’s a job description.

I will get on board with passing something the size of a watermelon through a hole the size of a ping pong ball.

I will change 7,000 diapers in my baby’s lifetime (that’s the average, crazy right). Got another kid? Double that!

I will embrace mom guilt and all the crappy feelings that come with it, and it will wreak havoc on my IBD.

Yep, we sign on for it alright. And it’s slowly and surely killing us and it’s time to kick it to the curb.

For your own sanity.

For your Crohn’s or colitis remission. Can I get an Amen?

For your intimate life with your partner (hubba hubba, cause it’s just not sexy when you bring mom guilt in the bedroom)

For the love of God, it’s time mama.

Once and for all, let’s pledge together that we’re going to kick chronic illness mom guilt to the curb today. And I’ve got the best plan of action to help you do just that. It’s called My Kick Chronic Illness Mom Guilt to the Curb “3 by 3” Roadmap.

I created this plan, after years and years of letting chronic illness mom guilt get in the way of my IBD recovery and I’m sharing it with you so you can kick mom guilt to the curb as well. Because I used to be you. All those examples I just gave you—all those chronic illness mom guilt examples— the mom on the couch missing the fun family activities, the mom making herself crazy making separate meals for everyone in the family, the mom resorting to bathroom phone games for toddlers and bribe gifts—guilty, those examples are all me. And all of that mom guilt wreaked havoc on my IBD. And that’s just a small sampling, but at some point I realized I had to ditch the ever-present chronic illness mom guilt to save myself and ultimately save my relationship with my family. I’m not perfect by any means and I don’t try to be, but I’ve got it under control at least. That’s what I want for you too.

[11:34] So, I call it My Kick Chronic Illness Mom Guilt to the Curb “3 by 3” Roadmap because the roadmap has 3 pillars and each of the pillars has 3 steps. 3 by 3.

Let’s talk about each of the Pillars of Chronic Illness Mom Guilt that are keeping your IBD way to present in your life and then I’ll share with you the 3 steps in each pillar and tell you what we can do to solve this mom guilt problem to topple each pillar for good.

Pillar #1 that creates chronic illness mom guilt is Comparison.

Girl you know it’s true.

THE COMPARISON GAME

When it comes to motherhood, we are comparison queens. And it all starts in childhood.

We’re conditioned that mom is the caregiver, the nurturer, the one who makes the bad dreams, the monsters and boo boo’s go away. TV, parenting magazines, social media, even our own childhood experience shapes these “the mom we should be” intrusive thoughts.

And it’s OK to have those thoughts. I love being the nurturer, and the cuddle mom. It’s not just a badge of honor, it brings me joy. But the problem is, everyone around us makes all these tasks look effortless.

Society tells us that we better be the mom who gives birth naturally, breastfeeds our babies, gives them kale chips instead of candy, uses cloth diapers, potty trains them before their 2, and stimulates their mind at all times.

I once had a fellow mom tell me that I should get rid of the video screen in my minivan (this was in the early 2000’s when kids didn’t have personal devices)—she told me that it was my job to stimulate my kid’s brains while we drove in the car.

What a failure I was. I wasn’t stimulating my kid’s brains. And for a second, I thought huh, does she have a point? We only use it for road trips, but maybe that’s too much.

The comparison game is ruining not just our psyche. It’s crushing all the efforts we’re making to try to get this illness into remission.

Chronic illness mom guilt through comparison. It’s time to crush that pillar.

I mentioned that there are 3 pillars, so let me tell you about the second one.

Pillar #2 that creates chronic illness mom guilt is Perfectionism or what I like to call…

WONDER WOMAN SYNDROME

There ain’t no perfectionist like a mom with a chronic illness and us mamas with IBD are at the top of that list. This chronic illness mom guilt masterpiece comes from one thing—expectations. Expectations about what our mom world should look like, expectations about what we should look like, how our kids should look, talk, be, do… Whether we’re able to admit it to ourselves, we all have expectations surrounding our mom life.

And expectations aren’t always a bad thing, but when we set the bar too high, we’re left to fall a long way down.

We feel like crap when we’re in an IBD flare, but we struggle to clean the house up when someone is coming over.

We aren’t’ up to eating anything, but we make a 3-course meal for our family.

Our spouse or friend offers to help, but we don’t accept it. Nope, we’ve got it all covered. We will somehow become wonder woman and make it miraculously come together in the end.

Guess where we hold all that perfectionistic energy? You guessed it, in our belly. We push our way through chronic illness mom guilt until our breaking point. It’s a vicious cycle.

Chronic illness mom guilt through perfectionism. It’s time to crush that pillar.

[17:25] So far, we’ve talked about two chronic illness mom guilt pillars that we’ve been holding up for far too long—comparison and perfectionism. And Pillar #3 that creates chronic illness mom guilt is the Priority Paradox.

THE PRIORITY PARADOX

If I asked you what you prioritize in life I bet you’d say your kids, your spouse, your aging parents, your job, your friends, your commitments… and all of that would come before you say, I prioritize my own health needs. But Karyn, I do prioritize my health. I have to. But when was the last time you really choose YOU over everything. You over everything.

Just thinking about that gives you mom guilt, doesn’t it?

What kind of mother would I be if I choose myself over my kids? The kind of mom who then has the energy and health so she can then devote time to her kids.

Knowing what to prioritize and when to prioritize it is especially hard for us IBDer’s. Our tendency is to put everything else in front of our own needs, but it’s tough…

Because we need more sleep than other moms.

Because we spend more time in the bathroom than other moms.

Because we need time to re-energize more than other moms.

And when we don’t really have a choice about putting everything, we think should be a priority (all those things I just mentioned) first, guess what happens?

Loads and loads of chronic illness mom guilt—plain and simple.

Why don’t I have my priorities in order? Why can’t I be like other moms who can put their kids first? Definitely some comparison rearing it’s ugly head in there.

THE YOU PLAN YOU NEED.

The sooner you make a YOU plan, the better mom you’ll be. Of all the pillars we need to topple, this is really the simplest problem, with the hardest solution. It’s against our nature to commit to something that supports our health and healing, especially if it means something in our mom life has to give.

If you find yourself struggling in this area, finding your YOU plan that just shifts your priorities ever so slightly is making you a little crazy because you feel like why can’t I just learn to put me first sometimes, I want you to know that creating a YOU plan isn’t a learned skill at all. It’s more like a muscle that needs to be used again and again to gain strength and momentum. So don’t beat yourself up and feel like you just can’t figure this out. This problem isn’t one you figure out. It’s one you just do over and over until it becomes a sacred part of you.

We all know what it’s like to start an exercise regime. Let’s be honest, on day one it kind of sucks. We can’t go as long as we want to, our exercise isn’t as intense as we’d like. By the time day 1 is over, we feel sore, achy, maybe a little defeated.

But then, little by little, the more we exercise, the more we make a deliberate commitment, the easier it gets. Our routine starts to take shape, we begin to see the results, and we might even start craving the feeling exercise gives us. Training your muscles physically—it’s the same process as training yourself into  a YOU plan. You can’t expect to go from weak to strong in one day. As you’ll see when we talk about your 3-step plan to crumble the priority paradox pillar, it’s about giving yourself time and grace to build up your YOU muscle. Growing pains will happen, but as long as you don’t give up, you will see results.

So, we’ve got the problem down mama. We know the three key components that are keeping us stuck in chronic illness mom guilt. The pillars of comparison, perfectionism, and the priority paradox. We’ve held up these negative pillars with craft glue, a little glitter for show, and shear mama bear fortitude for so long. It’s like we’ve been single handedly holding up the leaning tower of pisa. It’s time to take our hand away from holding up these negative emotions and watch them crumble into dust. So, how do we do that?

YOUR 3 MUST DO STEPS TO REDUCE THE COMPARISON GAME.

There’s 3 must do steps for each of the pillars we’ve talked about today. Remember, it’s a 3 by 3 plan. My Kick Chronic Illness Mom Guilt to the Curb “3 by 3” Roadmap is a 3 by 3 plan. Three pillars, three steps for each one to watch them crumble before our eyes. Let’s topple pillar #1: The Comparison pillar.

Step 1: It’s time to complete a friend audit to possibly cull the heard. Are you hanging out with a mom that make you feel inadequate, less than, unsupported? Do you feel like you always have to put on extra lip gloss or dress your best to keep up with that friend? Is she always giving you advice on what you’re doing wrong with your kids? Can you picture this friend? If so, it’s time for a little distance.

We all know ladies like this. And a lot of the time, it’s really more about us than them. Technically, THEY are not making us feel less than. We are the ones with the internal thoughts that push our feelings in this negative direction. But if you’re experiencing this in a relationship, it can definitely be worth taking a step back to evaluate what’s making you play the comparison game with this particular friend.

And the pull back from friends like this doesn’t have to be all at once and it doesn’t have to be today, but start thinking about the friends that lift you up and the friends that don’t. Make a deliberate plan to start spending more time with friends who light you up every time you hang out with them.

Stop the comparison game Step #2: Take a social media respite. I know you’ve been told to do this before, but did you do? Or did you say, I’m taking a week off and then a couple days later, take a quick peak (fingers over the eyes- I’m not looking kind of peak), and then well, I just have to see what so-and-so is up to, and then you’re back in. You’re hooked.

Summer is the perfect time for some technology free downtime while the kids are out of school, and let’s put social media at the top of that technology free list. Instagram and Facebook do have their good points, but so much of our scrolling centers around envy for what fun someone looks like their having or negative self talk when we see someone who appears to have their whole life together. Even though we know rationally that this is just a slice of someone’s life, we get caught up in comparing our lives to theirs. Sometimes this comparison is so instantaneous that is almost unconscious.

Taking a short break from all things social media can really clear your mind and just give you the perfect refresh for your brain health, which as you know if you listened to Episode 6 (way back in the early days of the podcast) is deeply connected to our gut and IBD health.

So step #2 in crumbling the comparison pillar is take a social media hiatus.

Step #3, the last step in defeating the comparison pillar involves making your comparisons healthier by replacing the feelings comparing yourself to others gives you like jealousy, fear, judgment, FOMO (fear of missing out), and negative self talk, with more positive emotional states like empathy and curiosity.

THE POWER OF THOUGHT STOPPING.

[28:24] We do this with a technique called thought stopping. Every time you recognize you’re having one of those negative emotions I just mentioned—like the jealousy and the FOMO, you say to yourself “STOP” (or outloud—of course if you’re in public you might get some strange looks), but “STOP” is your key phrase.

STOP is your cue to replace the negative thought with a more positive and healthy one.

Here’s an example of how this can work in your life:

Let’s take that mom friend we all have who always has the perfect homemade cookies at the bake sale, wears designer clothes while holding her 6-month-old, has no baby spit up on those clothes, has perfectly behaved children—you know that mom.

Instead of thinking, wow, Kim just has it all together. Why can’t I be more like Kim. As soon as that thought creeps into our consciousness, we’re going to say “STOP” and replace that thought with curiosity instead, “I wonder what’s behind all this seemingly perfect outward appearance. I bet on the inside, she’s actually more like me. I bet she doesn’t feel as perfect as I’m making her out to be. Maybe she even has a perfectionistic streak in her, just like me.” That might lead you to go up to her and say, “Isn’t it so hard at these bake sales. Everyone feels like they are being judged for what they bring in. I wasn’t feeling well last night so I decided store bought was good enough.” She might say,” hey me too. Mine are store bought too or my mom helped me with these because I was exhausted last night too.”

Now you’ve got a connection, a conversation, and you’re seeing just how similar you actually are. No need to compare her outsides to your insides.

Let me give you one more example of thought stopping so you can really see what this might look like for you. This one has to do with turning our FOMO into JOMO (joy of missing out). This is an example that just happened to my client, Denise. Denise was feeling bad because she didn’t feel up to going to book club. She had such a busy day and by nighttime, her chronic illness fatigue (we all get that) had set in. FOMO was hitting Denise hard.

But as soon as that feeling came over her, she decided to replace it with “STOP.” And then she thought, what feeling can I replace this feeling with? Well, I might not feel up to book club, but I do feel up to putting on my most comfy pj’s and asking my daughter if she wants to snuggle in bed with me and watch the new show we’re watching, The Mysterious Benedict Society. And that is just what Denise did. She told me that she and her daughter ended up having a great time together. Denise turned her FOMO into JOMO.

See how thought stopping works? You can do it too mama. It takes a little practice to get that word STOP to pop up in your head, but once you do, you’ll be unstoppable.

(sound of a pillar dropping). Hear that? That’s the sound of the comparison pillar toppling. Do a friend audit, opt out of social media for a bit, and thought stopping—your 3 steps to taking the comparison pillar down.

[33:33] OK, remember pillar #2 that’s perpetuating your chronic illness mom guilt? It’s the perfectionism pillar. Let’s crush that pillar in 3 steps right now because Wonder Woman, although she’s awesome on the screen, she’s not a real person.

LET’S CRUSH THE PERFECTIONISM PILLAR.

Step #1: this step can be quick hit, but for some, it take a long time to figure it out. Step 1 is insight. Knowing that perfectionism is standing in your way. This can be the hardest step for many to overcome. Because once we have insight, we can tackle perfectionism head on.

Wondering where you fall on the perfectionistic tendency scale? Here’s some questions you can ask yourself to figure it out.

Do you set high expectations for yourself?

Do you feel like others seldom do things as good as you?

Would you or your friends call your personality Type A?

Does your need to get things right interfere with your ability to get things done?

Do you say “yes” to others even when you know it means you’ll be saying “no” to yourself?

Welcome to the perfectionism club my friend, I’m your founding member. Recovering perfectionist at your service!

Step #1: insight.

THE POWER OF BEING A B- MOM.

Step #2 in the quest to topple pillar 2 (perfectionism) is to focus on becoming what I like to call the B- mom.

To curtail your chronic illness mom guilt, what if today, instead of striving to be a perfect A+ mom, what if you strived to be a B- mom? A B- means that you got it right 80% of the time. That’s not too shabby. Of course, there’s the caveat that life and death situations call for your A+ effort, but how often does that happen?  A B- is a solid effort.

I adopted this mindset when I had my 3rd child and holy cow, life improved life for everyone! I lowered the bar just a little, accepted that sometimes my Crohn’s is going to impact my ability to be the best mom in the world, and decided that it didn’t make me any less of a mom or a woman.

So let’s make this step as real as we can. Let’s say you don’t feel well and the house looks like a tornado went through it. Ask yourself this question: Is there love in your home? I always tell my kids when you leave the nest, I don’t want you saying, man that house was always clean! I want to hear, wow, I was loved.

Strive for B-. It takes work, but it’s so worth the non-effort.

OK one last step to topple the perfectionism pillar. Step #3 is Be you, flaws and all.

Life rarely goes as we plan it. Sh@%t happens. When that happens, I want you to really feel it. Not try to push past it. Really feel it, embrace the bad stuff too. The only way to step to the other side of a door is to walk through it. If we try to step around the door, we only find another door in our way.

Go through the door, and eventually you will come out the other side.

To help you with this, I’ve come up with a few mantras that might help too. Pick the one that works best for you:

My health is more important than my perfectionism.

I will enjoy the journey, and not just the destination.

When I ask for help, I grow my inner circle.

Today, I’m a rockin’ badass B- mom.

You got this mom friend. Let that perfectionism pillar drop right at your feet. No more perfectionistic chronic illness mom guilt. (sound of a pillar dropping).

Last pillar mama. Let’s do this. Pillar #3 was the Priority Paradox.

Remember I mentioned that when you are re-ordering your priorities and coming up with a YOU plan, you’ve got to think of it like muscle building—not pump you up muscle building—but building a smallish muscle that you didn’t have before.

So how do you build that muscle? It’s starts with knowing your YOU plan options. So many of us are willing to build in YOU time, but we don’t know where to start. Let me help you get started. If you’ve got a pen and paper or a phone app open, you’re going to want to write these down. I’ve got you covered with small sized YOU time (when you’ve got 5-15 min), medium sized YOU time (when you’ve got 15-60 min), and large sized YOU time for those extra special occasions when you’ve got 1 hour or more for YOU time.

I’m going to go through these quickly, but if you want a printed list, DM me on Facebook and I’ll send it your way. On facebook I’m @TheIBDHealthCoach. For now, just listen for the ah-has that come up in your mind. Try for at least one idea in each time category.

OK let’s start with the small sized YOU time ideas. When you have 5-15 minutes, you can:

[41:30] Do something that gives you a belly laugh- watch a comedy, tickle your kids, watch one of those funny pet videos on you tube… on the opposite side of your emotions you could meditate with my favorite meditation app (insight timer), you could go outside and do some earthing (involves walking outside barefoot—you’re just going to have to trust me on how amazing this one is), you could complete a 4-7-8 breath, lock yourself in the bathroom for some quick downtime (great for moms with littles when we know their safe), stretch like a cat, or cuddle with your partner.

Time for some medium sized YOU time. When you have 15-60 minutes you can:

Take an Epsom salt bath (awesome for detoxification), get a pedicure (not at home), enjoy some infrared sauna or infrared heat lamp time (if you don’t know what I’m talking about listen to episode 26), re-ignite your spirit with a new hobby or an old hobby you forgot about, go for a walk outside, take a nap, or float in a pool.

Ready for some big, bold YOU time. Here we go. When you have over an hour you can:

Enjoy a girl’s night out or even better a girl’s weekend getaway, take a course or learn a new skill on a topic you’ve been wanting to learn about, enjoy a date night, plan something to look forward to (something a couple months away), get a weekly massage or try some healing reiki or craniosacral therapy, or acupuncture. If you’re not familiar with these energy healing practices, we’re going to be talking about them in the coming weeks so get ready for some super cool IBD healing ideas.

OK, which YOU time ideas are calling your name? Did you pick 3? I hope so. Remember if you need that list in electronic or paper form as a reminder, DM me and I’ll send it to you. So many of you have been reaching out since I set up my new FB account and I’m loving connecting with you that way! It’s great because that connection helps us see that we’re not alone out here in a sea of no one who understands what we’re going through.

So, now you have your YOU time ideas. It’s time to put them into practice. You’re going to do this, all to crush pillar #3: The priority paradox in 3 steps.

LET’S PUT THE PRIORITY PARADOX PILLAR INTO PRACTICE.

Step #1: If YOU time is new to you, if you never prioritize yourself (and you know who you are), I want you to pick only one of the ideas from this list. Maybe there’s one that called to you or one that you’ve wanted to try for a while now.  I want you to promise me you’re going to go for it this week.

And if you’re pretty good at YOU time, it’s time for an assessment. What’s working and what’s not? Do a mental switch up with the YOU things that aren’t serving you and get clear on your vision. What YOU time do you value most? Go for it with one of those ideas this week.

Step #2: Time to put it on your calendar and set your intention for follow through. Whether you’re new to this or old hat, press pause on the podcast and put it in your calendar right now. Saturday, 2pm, time to meet my friend who’s teaching me to crochet. Whatever it is, put it down and then say to yourself, come hell or high water, I will make this my priority. I’m doing it too. This Sunday after soccer, soccer, and more soccer, I’m going to have a date night with my hubby. It’s something we haven’t taken time for in a while and I’m making time for it because it will make me happy. Simple as that. No chronic illness mom guilt allowed.

ARE YOU FEELING JOY, PEACE OR ESCAPISM?

Step #3: You’ll do this later. Once you get started with your new YOU time ideas, it’s time to use your insight and intuition to decide how it’s going. Does this new habit bring you joy, peace, or escapism? If you say “yes” it’s working. Keep it up! If not, it’s it feels like a chore, switch to a new YOU time idea. Keep growing your YOU muscle until you’re at the place you want to be.

The priority paradox pillar is about to come down. Can you feel it? (sound of pillar dropping). Awesome sauce. You did it mama! You crushed all 3 pillars. The pillars that were keeping you living in chronic illness mom guilt for way too long.

How do you feel?

Today, we moved through some pretty powerful emotions as we learned about the Kick Chronic Illness Mom Guilt to the Curb “3 by 3” Roadmap. Don’t be surprised if you feel drained or tired. Even more reason to plan that YOU time.

None of this is easy. The concepts are simple, but the execution is hard. This is going to take time. Pushing through chronic illness mom guilt is not a destination. It’s a journey. One I personally work at every day. Some days I rock (in B- mode), some days I suck at it, and I have to take a step back and say what the heck am I doing.

Remember, I’ve got you. I’m here to help. If you find yourself struggling in this area, and mom guilt is taking over, get in touch. We’ll work though it together.

I appreciate you. I’m so glad we’re in the same gut healing orbit mom friend. 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.

Is Dairy Making Your IBD Worse?

Have you heard that eating dairy products can make your IBD worse?

Some say it’s inflammatory and irritating to the gut lining. And others say we need dairy because it’s rich in calcium and it helps give us strong and healthy bones.

It’s hard to get to the truth with so much misinformation out there. Today, I’m busting through all the clutter and the noise to give it to you straight. It’s your dairy 411.

We’re talking about:

  • The nutrient that’s actually responsible for good bone health (and it’s not calcium)
  • What acne, skin rashes, heart burn and acid reflux, and eczema have in common
  • The 3 questions you must ask to know if dairy is a culprit for you
  • The 5 things you should do if you just can’t give up dairy

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll know exactly what to do to find out if dairy is a culprit for you and you’ll know what to do about it too.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [05:59] Why the United States government loves to promote dairy (and what they should promote instead)
  • [08:24] How Asia and Africa aren’t dairy crazy, but still have the lowest rates of osteopetrosis in the world
  • [08:35] The nutrient that’s actually responsible for good bone health (and it’s not calcium)
  • [13:33] The difference between lactose and casein intolerance and what to eat for both conditions
  • [16:04] The link between casein sensitivity and gluten intolerance
  • [18:25] What acne, skin rashes, heart burn and acid reflux, and eczema have in common
  • [23:45] The dairy product that I thrive on
  • [25:04] The 3 questions you must ask to know if dairy is a culprit for you
  • [28:36] The raw dairy products that have more nutrients than pasteurized products (and their easier to digest too)
  • [29:23] Two animals whose milk might be easier to digest and absorb
  • [30:49] How to get your very own FREE non-dairy milk recipes
  • [32:10] How long you should give dairy free a try to know if it makes a difference
  • [32:59] The 5 things you should do if you just can’t give up dairy

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode

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Additional Resources:

Foods High in Calcium for Vegans

Dairy: 6 Reasons You Should Avoid it at All Costs (Dr. Mark Hyman)

International Osteoporosis Foundation: Vitamin D

Definitions and Facts for Lactose Intolerance

Dairy Free Diet Benefits

Dairy Sensitivity, Lactose Malabsorption, and Elimination Diets in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Episode Transcript:

Have you heard that eating dairy products can make your IBD worse? Some say it’s inflammatory and irritating to the gut lining. And others say we need dairy because it’s rich in calcium and it helps give us strong and healthy bones.

Who’s right?

If you’re doing a head scratch, not sure what to believe, you’re not alone. There’s so much information, and much of it misinformation out there about dairy that it’s no wonder you’re confused.

And if we’re tryng to decide if dairy is good or bad for our personal situation, that’s hard too right? Because for many of us with Crohn’s and colitis, it seems like everything we eat bothers us. How could you possibly decipher if dairy is one of the culprits?

So often I hear that very thing from clients when I ask about dairy—I’ll say, is dairy a culprit for you? The response I get is “I don’t know. Or how would I know when everything I eat gives me diarrhea, and gut pain, gas and bloating?”

The truth about dairy is that the dairy council and the proponents of dairy aren’t correct and the naysayers that claim that all dairy is the worst thing you could possibly put in your mouth aren’t correct either.

The truth is that when it comes to dairy, whether it’s good or bad really depends. Like so many of the foods we put in our body, it depends on YOU.

Now, on the surface, that might be a frustrating answer for you, but in this episode of The Cheeky Podcast, I’m going to make sure that once and for all, you know how to figure out if dairy is your friend or your foe.

It’s the 411 on dairy, here we go!

[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]

[02:43] Hello, hello, welcome! Karyn Haley here, your IBD Health Coach. Today, I want you to know that I appreciate you and am so glad we’re hanging out today to talk about dairy. As an IBD’er—a mom with Crohn’s or colitis, crohn’s colitis, indeterminate IBD—you know who you are, you know what a difficult decision it can be. Saying “I do” or “I don’t” to dairy. Let’s demystify all the noise out there and figure this out together.

Here’s the rundown on our conversation today. First, will make sure we’re all on the same page with what I’m talking about when I say dairy. Next, we’ll talk about why dairy is included in our governmental healthy eating guidelines (in the United States anyway) and why other countries don’t include it, then we’ll talk about some potential problems with dairy, will go over the three questions you need to ask yourself to know for sure if you have a dairy challenge, we’ll talk about what to do if you do find that you do struggle with dairy and lastly I’ll give you your healthiest options if you choose to eat dairy products.

So much to discuss, you’ll want to take notes if that’s an option for you, so let’s dive in.

EXACTLY WHAT FOODS ARE CONSIDERED DAIRY?

First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to dairy. What kinds of foods am I talking about when I say dairy. Dairy products are animal-based products, so they come from animals like cows, sheep, goats, camels, and some types of Buffalo. There are other animals that make milk of course, but these are the most common ones we see. The milk from those animals, and most commonly cows, are responsible for making milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, cream, ice cream, whey, milk powder, condensed milk, and curds. All of these foods are considered dairy products.

And as a sidenote, today were talking strictly dairy sensitivity and intolerance. We’re not talking about a true food allergy. People can have a true food allergy to milk. When they consume milk, even in small amounts, it may lead to hives, swelling, severe vomiting, difficulty breathing and possibly anaphylaxis which is such difficulty breathing that may lead to death.

Today’s focus is dairy intolerance, not allergy.

[05:59] So, now that we know what we’re talking about when it comes to dairy, let’s figure out why milk and other dairy products are so highly recommended by our governmental agencies and departments of health in the U.S. When we’re talking about the My Plate guide, that’s the visual FDA guidelines for what we should be eating—remember that replaced the food pyramid from our childhood– we see a sectioned off plate with areas for fruits and vegetables, protein, and grains. Off to the side of this plate is a circle for dairy. As kids we’re told that if we want to be healthy, if we want to have strong bones and we want to have enough calcium, we need to consume dairy.

DO WE NEED DAIRY TO GET OUR CALCIUM AND STRONG BONES?

So, the real question isn’t why do we need dairy, but a better question is why do we think we need dairy? And that’s the answer. We think we need dairy because we’re told by our government that we need to consume dairy to be healthy. So is this true, is this really the case? We need dairy to be healthy, to have strong bones, to be physically fit, to have enough calcium in our diet.

Well, here’s what I can tell you. We are the only species on the planet that drinks another animal’s milk. Let’s stop and think about that, that’s kind of weird isn’t it? Drinking another animal’s milk. If we’re lucky, we’re nursed by our mothers and we get an amazing amount of nourishment from them. But the nourishment we get from mother’s milk is very, very different than the nourishment we get from another animal’s milk.

But Karyn, I can hear you saying, what about calcium? What about osteoporosis? Milk makes sure we have enough calcium so we don’t get osteoporosis, doesn’t it? When I looked at the actual research on dairy and calcium and osteoporosis, I found that having enough calcium in your body doesn’t mean that you won’t get osteoporosis. And here’s another interesting fact, the continents of Africa and Asia by and large are not shoving cow’s milk down their babies’ throats. And guess what? They have the lowest rates of osteoporosis in the world.

Interesting right?

VITAMIN D IS ACTUALLY BEHIND GOOD BONE HEALTH.

[08:35] Turns out vitamin D levels have a much closer link to our bone health. Vitamin D can help us limit the risk of fractures, helps us absorb calcium, remineralize our bones, help us to have strong muscles so that we decrease our risk of falling. Vitamin D does all that. And just in case that’s got you thinking about your vitamin D level, that is a great thought. Having Crohn’s and colitis historically puts you at risk for having a lower vitamin D level. So while you’re thinking about it, get your vitamin D level checked. And if you want to increase that level, think about wild salmon, sardines, shiitake mushrooms, egg yolks, and of course my personal favorite, the sun.

Now mind you, I’m not saying poo poo to calcium. It’s meaningless. Calcium is important. It’s been shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer so that is a big calcium bonus for us with IBD especially those with ulcerative colitis. But the key piece of information here is that dairy, per say, hasn’t been shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer. It’s calcium that does that.  

THERE ARE BETTER SOURCES OF CALCIUM.

And calcium is found in several food sources. Foods like beans, peas, lentils, kale, bok choy, broccoli, oranges (yes, oranges are high in calcium), and seeds like pumpkin sesame and chia. And if you’re thinking that I’ve got IBD, I can’t have half of those things, I have to challenge your thoughts here. No, if you’re in a flare you cannot digest many of those foods in their whole state. Seeds for example are often thought of is a no-no when we are in a flare or have a stricture in our intestine. But here’s where the high-speed blender becomes your best friend. Putting seeds like pumpkin seeds and chia seeds in a smoothie is an awesome idea. All of the benefit without the difficulty digesting the seeds. Kale and other greens that are high in calcium, but those are another example where it might be difficult for you to eat these foods in their raw form, or even their cooked form. How about blending them into a smoothie in a high-speed blender. Now there’s a great source of calcium.

So yes, calcium is important, but dairy isn’t the only source of calcium. In fact, there are higher sources of calcium like the ones I just mentioned. And when it comes to bone health, we just learned that an even more important factor is our vitamin D level. So please do me a favor and get that vitamin D level checked. The industry standard “normal’ level is 30, but functional medicine doctors (the ones who really dig deep into root cause wellness and not just symptom management), they really like that number to be much higher like between 45 to 60. My vitamin D level has been as low as seven so I’m always working hard to keep it as high as I can.

ARE YOU ONE OF THE 68%?

When we’re talking about the question of do you need dairy in your life, it’s important to know that approximately 68% of the world’s population is genetically incapable of digesting dairy due to lactose intolerance. I’ve heard numbers as high as 75%, but I like to go with the most conservative stats, so we’ll say at least 68%. So, way more than half of the world’s population has trouble digesting dairy. And that number appears to be higher for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis since we already have sensitive digestive systems.

Now, I just mentioned a condition called lactose intolerance. That is one of the problems that people can have with dairy products. Have you been diagnosed with lactose intolerance? Did your doctor explain to you exactly what that means? So often our doctors give us a diagnosis but don’t take the time to explain what it actually means. So, in case you’ve been diagnosed with lactose intolerance and you’re really unclear what it means or maybe your thinking lactose could be a trouble spot for you, let’s get really clear on exactly what lactose intolerance is and what it means for you in terms of what you can and can’t eat.

THINK SUGAR…

[13:33] When you see -ose at the end of a word, think sugar. So glucose, sucrose, galactose, lactose… these are all forms of sugar. Lactose is milk sugar, the sugar found in milk. People who are lactose intolerant do not have the enzyme lactase that’s needed to digest dairy products.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance include digestive pain or tummy upset after consuming dairy, bloating, gas, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. These types of symptoms usually happen about 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating dairy.

Now, like so many of these secondary diagnoses, we are left in the dark because having IBD, we already have digestive pain, tummy upset, bloating, gas, and we can at different times have vomiting and nausea as well, and of course we’re all too familiar with diarrhea. It’s a huge challenge and I promise that today I’m going to share with you some ways you can figure out if it’s your IBD or an intolerance to dairy.

WHY YOU’RE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS, JUST YET.

But when it comes to the problems that dairy causes in some people, it isn’t enough to just talk about lactose intolerance because there’s another dairy challenge that’s also a possibility for you. Even if you’re OK digesting lactose, you are not out of the woods. There’s a protein found in milk called casein and many people are sensitive to this protein. Actually, you can be lactose intolerant and casein sensitive at the same time. Many people with gut challenges are.

With lactose challenges, we can compensate fairly easily because often times, there are lactose free versions of dairy products, but we can’t get away from casein—that protein found in dairy. It turns out that many people who are gluten intolerant are also intolerant casein. That’s because the molecular structure of casein is very similar to the molecular structure of gluten.

So here comes my first of many tips regarding dairy in this episode. I always recommend that people who know they have a challenge with gluten, people with celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, I always recommend that they also stay away from dairy. It’s amazing, the transformation that it can make for your IBD life. If you stay away from gluten, stay away from dairy as well.

Remember dairy isn’t a problem for everyone. 68-75% of the world’s population. So that means that 25-32% don’t have a challenge digesting dairy. However, when it comes to the people who struggle to digest dairy, more often than not, I see that struggle in those with gut challenges like IBD. When you already have a gut challenge, dairy products can further exacerbate the problem.

IF YOU HAVE THESE PROBLEMS, YOU SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM DAIRY.

While we’re talking about the problems with dairy, I also want to mention an important sidenote here. Back in episode 30, we talked about hidden disorders that that are standing in  the way of you getting to the healing place you deserve to be. These are issues like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, candida, leaky gut… if you haven’t listen to that episode, definitely go back and check it out, it is one of my most listened to episodes. These hidden conditions that are standing in the way of your recovery, they are also a reason for you to stay away from dairy. Conditions like SIBO and candida and leaky gut (and thyroid challenges—that’s another hidden condition linked with IBD) can mean that you also have a dairy sensitivity. If this is you, it’s my recommendation that you also avoid dairy.

Now, if all of these gut related conditions are linked with dairy sensitivity, you might be wondering if there are other challenges that we see when there’s an underlying dairy intolerance.

WHAT ELSE IS LINKED WITH DAIRY INTOLERANCE?

[18:25] Yep, there definitely are.  Eczema, acid reflux, heartburn, acne… these have all been linked with dairy sensitivity. Not cause, mind you. The research isn’t saying one causes the other, but just that there’s an interesting link between people who have conditions like these also having difficulty digesting dairy. When dairy is removed, challenges like these may just disappear.

When it comes to avoiding dairy because you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or candida or leaky gut, thyroid challenges, eczema, or acid reflux, it doesn’t necessarily mean that avoiding dairy is your forever, it is just your NOW. Once enough healing has taken place in your intestine, it is possible that you may be able to tolerate small amounts of dairy again. The interesting thing that I always see with dairy unlike gluten, is that dairy really is in a continuum. Some people seem to be able to tolerate a cup of dairy a day, others tolerate a tablespoon of dairy a day. Everyone is different and figuring out your dairy level will be important once you bring it back in your life.

Remember, I’m not saying that you NEED dairy in your life. We’ve already talked about some much better ways to get calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones healthy, I just know how delicious dairy is and so I want to offer that up to you in case you’re looking forward to adding some amount of dairy back into your life at some point.

THE TORTOISE ALWAYS WINS IN THE END.

I know this is hard, I don’t take these recommendations lightly. I know that this is easier said than done. It’s difficult, it can be a process. It’s OK to take baby steps. Just keep taking imperfect action, keep moving forward and you will get there. And of course, you know if you’re struggling to make changes like this to your diet, I’m here for you. It’s my passion to help you with things like this. Reach out to me through FB and we’ll chat. @TheIBDHealthCoach.

So those are the problems and conditions associated with dairy intolerance. We talked about lactose intolerance (milk sugar). We talked about casein intolerance (milk protein). We talked about conditions that are linked to dairy sensitivity. Conditions are like SIBO, candida, leaky gut, thyroid challenges, eczema, acid reflux, heartburn, skin rashes, acne…

You might be thinking wow that sounds just like me. I’ve had acid reflux all my life. I wonder if doing a trial run without dairy would be helpful for me? Or I know that I’m lactose intolerant so I’ve been drinking lactose free milk, but it’s weird because I still feel crappy when I drink lactose-free milk. Oh, I know what it is now. It must be that I’m not just sensitive to lactose, I’m also sensitive to casein.

MY FAMILY IS NO STRANGER TO DAIRY INTOLERANCE.

In my family there are three of us who know we are sensitive to dairy. 3 out of 5. Oh wow, that’s interesting. I never thought about it but that’s 60%. That’s close to the national average. When my youngest was about three, he started getting these weird rash patches all over his torso. At first, I chalked them up to a chlorine sensitivity or bug bites, but when it happened a few times after a dairy binge (his favorite food of course) I decided it was time to remove the dairy and see what happened. The rashes were gone in a week. We realized it was a lactose challenge for him.

But for my middle son, dairy was a different story. He’s more severe. After a couple mass vomiting incidents from milkshakes and sitting on the toilet for days after eating pizza, we knew his problem was bigger. His test for a true milk allergy was surprisingly negative, but he is intolerant to both lactose and casein—the double whammy. Does that mean he always stays away from cheese and ice cream. Well, not always, he is 18, but he knows when he eats more than a teeny tiny bit, he’s going to be in big gut trouble.

As for me, the other dairy sensitive one in our family, I’ve learned that the only thing dairy related I can eat is 24-hour fermented yogurt. It’s virtually lactose free and I wouldn’t just say in “works” for me. I’d say I really thrive on it. Some do and some just don’t. Occasionally I eat raw cheddar, but that’s about it for me and dairy. It’s more of an acquaintance in my life rather than a lifelong friendship.

IF THE “A-HA” FITS.

Can you relate to any of these scenarios? The ones from my family or the earlier conditions associated with diary intolerance? Were you nodding along saying “that’s me” this whole time?

If that’s you, that’s fantastic news. I’m so glad for these wow and a-ha moments. But if you’re like most moms with Crohn’s and colitis, you might still be wondering, is this me? Nothing I eat seems to work for me.  Nothing I take away seems to work for me. I don’t know if this is me or not. If you’re in this category where you’re still saying does dairy intolerance fit or not fit, I’ve got three questions that will help you finally get to the bottom of the this. Three questions that will tell you for sure, if dairy a problem for you and if you should avoid it.

3 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK.

[25:04] Let’s start with the most obvious. Question #1: Did I test positive for lactose intolerance or casein intolerance?  

If your answer to either of these questions is a resounding yes, you’ve got a dairy problem. If your problem is lactose intolerance, you’ll want to stay away from all lactose containing dairy products. And although there are a few ways to test for lactose intolerance, the most common test is the hydrogen breath test which looks at undigested lactose in your body.

If casein might be the culprit, you’ll want an IgG blood test that looks for antibodies in the blood. Of course, a good doctor won’t just look at breath and blood tests. They also look at your symptoms as well.

If you end up positive for one or both of these dairy sensitivities, you’ll want to take steps to avoid certain dairy products.

Let’s talk about question #2 to ask yourself: Do I have symptoms, both G.I. and non-G.I.? We already touched on both of these. Do you have symptoms like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea after eating dairy? We usually look at these symptoms happening 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating dairy. If could be longer though. Non-G.I. symptoms that can be an indication of a sensitivity to dairy include skin rashes, acne, eczema, heartburn, and acid reflux. Remember conditions like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, candida, leaky gut and thyroid conditions can also mean that it’s a good idea to stay away from dairy for a while.

Do any of those sound like you?

If so, you’ll want to lay off dairy for a while.

One last question you should ask yourself. Question #3: Have I tried other food related gut healing methods to lessen my Crohn’s and colitis symptoms without success? For example, did you try a gluten-free diet and find that while it helped somewhat, it didn’t help completely?  Or maybe you started the specific carbohydrate diet and ate lots (or even a little) of the SCD legal yogurt and your symptoms didn’t improve. What if you tried removing all dairy for a while on the SCD to see if it helps?

SO YOU ANSWERED “YES.” NOW WHAT?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to experiment with a dairy free diet. And there’s lots of ways that you can try this. If lactose is your culprit, you may still be able to benefit from some dairy products. 24 hour fermented yogurt is virtually lactose free, so is 24 hour fermented kefir. These dairy products may work for you and they have the added benefit of being high and probiotic bacteria that can help your gut heal.

You may also be able to tolerate raw dairy products. Some people who are mildly sensitive to dairy are able to tolerate raw dairy like raw cheese or milk. I definitely tolerate raw cheese much better than I do traditional cheese products. Raw dairy products like these are not pasteurized so they contain more vitamins like A, C, E, and B. They also contain more minerals like iron and zinc.

Raw dairy products are illegal in many states, so you’ll want to follow your state guidelines. If you are able to get raw milk products, I highly recommend you have a lengthy conversation with your farmer to make sure you are comfortable with their practices. I have a friend’s daughter who got salmonella poisoning from consuming raw milk but that is very, very rare. Most raw dairy farmers are safe and so are their animals.

Along with eating low lactose dairy and raw dairy products, it may also be helpful for you to try another animal’s milk besides cow’s milk. Two animals whose milk can be more easily tolerated are goats and sheep. I’ve had several clients who do not tolerate cows’ milk but do tolerate milk from other animals. It’s worth checking out if you are a dairy lover.

All of the ideas I just mentioned are for you if lactose is your issue. If you are sensitive to casein, you’ll want to avoid dairy all together. And these days, it’s not that difficult to avoid dairy. Non-dairy alternatives have popped up everywhere. When it comes to milk, my favorite options are the nut milks so coconut milk, cashew milk and almond milk. Yes, you can buy these at the grocery store, but you can also make your own. It is so simple to do and the ingredients are much healthier for your gut. Seed milks are also an option. You can actually make milk from hempseed, flaxseed and also pea protein. So many options when it comes to dairy free milk.

THE RECIPE COLLECTION YOU’LL WANT FOR YOUR KITCHEN.

I have a whole recipe collection of easy peasy homemade dairy free milks so if you’re interested in trying out a recipe for yourself, DM me on Facebook and I will send you my dairy free milk recipes. On Facebook I am @TheIBDHealthCoach.

You can also replace butter which does contain casein with ghee. Ghee is a great casein and virtually lactose free butter alternative for those who are dairy free. You can buy it at your regular grocery store in the oils section or you can even make your own at home. Coconut oil is also a great option for cooking and baking.

If you said yes to my 3 questions and you’re ready to try eating dairy free to see if it helps your Crohn’s and colitis symptoms, I recommend trying it for a minimum of 30 days. If you can make it up to three months that would be ideal. That will give you enough time to decide if eating dairy free is helping your IBD.

Remember, the most important wrap up item here is that if you have IBD, it’s likely that you are sensitive to dairy in some way. As we’ve seen, there are degrees of sensitivity, but it can truly make a huge difference in your life by giving dairy free a try. It doesn’t mean that it’s your forever. It just means that it’s your now.

[32:59] And after all this, if you just feel like I can’t do it. If you can’t give up dairy, and I do see this a lot. People love their dairy products. If you just can’t give up dairy products all together, I highly suggest that you do these five things.

DO THESE 5 THINGS IF YOU JUST CAN’T GIVE UP YOUR DAIRY.

#1- choose hard cheeses instead of soft cheeses. Hard cheeses, aged longer, are a lower in lactose for the most part.

# 2- choose raw cheese, they can be easier for your sensitive belly to digest.

# 3- make your own yogurt instead of buying it, when you make your own yogurt and ferment it for 24 hours, you now have liquid gold in your possession. The probiotic benefits are amazing and the lactose is virtually nil.

#4- when you buy dairy products, buy organic and grass fed. Organic and grass fed products will ensure that you have the healthiest product with the most nutrients available to build up your sensitive system.

#5- start dabbling with non-dairy, it’s not as bad as you might think. Cashew milk ice cream is delish, coconut milk yogurt is rich and creamy. Dip a toe in mama. You might just surprise yourself.

THE RECAP.

Woo-Wee, we covered a lot of dairy ground today mom friend. We started our conversation talking about what exactly is a dairy product, we got into the whole “do we need dairy” controversy. Do we really need dairy? Probably not. We talked about the problems people can have with digesting dairy, including lactose intolerance and casein intolerance. We explored the G.I. and the non-G.I. related challenges that have been linked to dairy sensitivities. We went over the three questions to ask yourself to figure out once and for all if dairy could be your culprit. We talked about what to do if you answered yes to any of those questions. We talked about what to avoid if you do go dairy free and how long to try it (remember 30 days to three months). And lastly, I threw you a bone mama, if you just can’t do it. If you just can’t give up dairy. I gave you five tips to make the dairy you eat the healthiest it possibly can be.

Well, that’s a wrap on episode 40—the dairy episode. If you want to continue the conversation, reach out on Facebook. DM me, I’m @TheIBDHealthCoach and I can’t wait to hear from you.

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

Chat soon!  

[36:36] 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.

The #1 App of 2021 You’re Not Using {but should be for your IBD}

How much do you love the apps on your phone?

I bet you use them multiple times a day for their convenience, and yes, for the fun games too!

What if there was an app that actually had the power to lessen your IBD symptoms, help you feel less stress, less anxiety, less depression—one that can even help you sleep better? You’d stop what you’re doing and get it right away, wouldn’t you?

Well stop what you’re doing dear one because today, I’m telling you all about that very app.

We’re talking about:

  • The best app of 2021 (to help your IBD symptoms) is Insight Timer
  • My top 7 recommendations to make meditation work for those of us (me included) with “busy mom brain”
  • The best meditation guides who specialize in Crohn’s, colitis and healing (so you can get started right away)
  • Insight Timer isn’t just for grown-ups, with fun meditations like “Yuri and the Dragon” your kids will get into it and reap the benefits too!

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll have everything you need, along with the clarity and confidence to give meditation a try—mom style!

Episode at a Glance:

  • [05:28] The best app of 2021 (to help your IBD symptoms) is Insight Timer
  • [08:45] The 8-week study that showed the power of meditation on your IBD symptoms, your anxiety, depression, and the overall quality of life
  • [11:45] My top 7 recommendations to make meditation work for those of us (me included) with “busy mom brain”
  • [15:50] I’m walking you through how to use the app with all the nuts and bolts, so you know exactly how to use it to your best IBD advantage
  • [22:02] The best meditation guides who specialize in Crohn’s, colitis and healing (so you can get started right away)
  • [23:32] Insight Timer isn’t just for grown-ups, with fun meditations like “Yuri and the Dragon” your kids will get into it and reap the benefits too!
  • [29:13] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

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Mentioned in This Episode

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Additional Resources:

Mindfulness Training Helps Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Meditation May Relieve IBS and IBD

Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation and How to Get Started

Meditation: In Depth

The Basics of Meditation for Kids of Any Age

Episode Transcript:

Do you like apps? Phone apps that is, not appetizers. Apps can make your life easier and, in some cases, more fun? In the last 10 years, apps have changed all of our lives. And if you knew about an app that has the power to lessen your IBD symptoms, you’d stop what you’re doing and get it right away, wouldn’t you?

Well, today, I’m sharing with you that very app. It’s the #1 app you’re not using, but you should be. Let’s get to the intro so I can tell you all about 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]

[01:27] Hello dear one. Thanks for joining me today. Whether it’s your first or 39th time listening to the podcast, I’m so glad you’re here. Us IBD gals have to stick together. Cause we’ve got bonds baby. And we are stronger when we bond together. Let’s keep this growing and learning and bonding party we’ve created going.

Today’s topic is an extra sexy one—Apps. Ooohh la la, apps. Ha! I don’t usually get techy because it never works out for anyone, and obviously I’m being sarcastic about our topic being sexy, but this week we’re going tech because I believe this tech is going to be important for your IBD healing journey.  

Do you have apps on your phone? I’m willing to bet with 99.9% certainty that you have at least a few of them besides the ones your phone comes with. The app industry is making bank my friend. I remember back when apps first became a thing, phone technology was exploding, people were texting and taking their phones everywhere they went. This was probably 2008ish, give or take a year. I remember telling my husband, I think this app thing is a fad. It’s not going to last.

IT’S THE DOG LIFE FOR ME.

Boy was I wrong. Apps haven’t gone away and today they’re bigger than ever. It seems like there’s an app for everything. Just today, I saw a picture of the cutest dog (on a social media app of course) and I didn’t know what breed it was. I really wanted to figure it out because we’re thinking of getting another dog and I wanted to find out about this dog’s temperament. It was just so stinkin’ cute! The only information I had was the picture of the dog and I thought to myself, there’s got to be an app for that—one that uses facial recognition to tell me the breed. It took me all of 2 seconds to find Dog Scanner, an app that scans a dog’s picture and tells you what breed it is. Fantastic, right? By the way, the dog ended up being a Shih Tzu—adorable little thing. I’m still trying to convenience my big dog loving hubby that we need this tiny, dog, but stay tuned on that. I’ll keep you posted.

So what kind of apps are on your phone? Entertainment apps, maybe your bank app, social media apps like Instagram and Facebook, Amazon??? I’ve got all of those too and I do use them a lot, but my most used app is one that not a day goes by without me using. It’s without a doubt it was my most used app of 2020 and it will definitely be my most used app of 2021. And it’s an app that has capitol H huge prospects for helping your IBD symptoms.

THE PERFECT MEDITATION APP FOR THE MOM WITH A BUSY BRAIN.

[05:28] This app is called Insight Timer.

Have you heard of it? I probably have mentioned this powerful app on the podcast before in passing, but it really deserves its own episode, because that’s how powerful this little app can be for you.

People who are novices with the app, might call it a meditation app, and it is, but it’s so much more than that.

When I work with moms in my health coaching practice, we often have a conversation about meditation and other mindfulness practices that can help lessen IBD symptoms. And the response I often get is, “That sounds great, but I just can’t quiet my mind, Karyn. All that stillness would drive me crazy!”

And to that, I always say, “Have you heard of Insight Timer?” It’s the perfect meditation app for the mom with an always active brain!”

Insight Timer isn’t about the kind of meditation that berates you if you can’t completely quiet your mind. It’s an app with literally thousands of meditations—I like to call them visualizations or guided imagery (free mind you), with every length of visualization time length you and possibly imagine—even as little as 1 minute. You can also completely customize your Insight Timer experience. Last time I looked, there were 95,000 free meditations on the app.

EVERYTHING INSIGHT TIMER OFFERS.

Want to focus on healing, there’s hundreds of visualizations for that. What to feel more grounded or happy, or relaxed, or use your breath to calm your belly when it’s doing a roller coaster course inside of you or ease the pain you’re feeling all over your body? Maybe you have a specific meditation practice in mind. Manifesting? Chakra balancing? Body Scan? Mantras? Chanting? Using Prayer? There’s visualizations for all of these. Whether you consider yourself to be spiritual, religious, or none of the above, trust me, there’s an option for you—and in the amount of time you’re able to give in that moment.

So, that’s what Insight Timer is. But the next question you’re probably thinking is why would use it? What’s in it for me? This is such a great question and why I wanted to dedicate this episode to this very special app. The power of meditation and visualization for Crohn’s and colitis is what’s it’s all about.

THE PROOF IS IN THE RESEARCH.

[08:45] Specifically for IBD, a study was published in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease journal showing the benefits of using MBSR- or mindfulness-based stress reduction meditation. A group of IBDer’s participated in meditation practices for 8 weeks and reported reductions in both physical and psychological symptoms related to their illness. They also reported experiencing less anxiety and depression around their illness. The study even looked in on its participants 6 months later and found that they reported much greater quality of life after continuing to use their MBSR practice.

Harvard, smartie pantser’s like they are, are also studying the impact of meditation on IBD. Their study lasted 9 weeks, with participants using relaxation response meditation and the majority of those with IBD reported significantly improved disease-related symptoms, less anxiety, and better overall quality of life.

And although I know we’re all most interested in the IBD benefit, it’s great to know that meditation and mindfulness practices can help with other areas of our life as well. How many of us struggle with sleep? Oh yeah, we do! Meditation research shows that it can help relieve ruminating (or that thinking brain we can all get and are unable to turn off) when it’s time for bed. A 2018 study showed that meditators had less insomnia and more quality sleep when they meditated before bedtime.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL MEDITATION CAN DO FOR YOU.

Practicing some sort of mindfulness practice has also been linked with lowering blood pressure, lessoning headaches, lowering the stress hormone we have in our body called cortisol (which when elevated can impact our gut health), boosting the immune system, and reducing chronic pain.

When you see all the research mounting to support the powerful impact of meditation on our IBD and other areas of our health, it really becomes a no brainer.

Meditation can improve the quality of your life.

Now that you know what the scientifically proven benefits of meditation are, let me share with you my top recommendations to make sure meditation will work for you— whether you choose to use the Insight Timer app or one of the many other options out there.

So here’s my 7 recommendations to make meditation work for you:

  1. I recommend that you meditate in the morning or in the evening (or both). There’s something about the quiet that surrounds these times of the day that makes you more focused and helps meditation work for you.
  • When you meditate/visualize focus on what you are thinking and feeling in that moment.
  • Try to focus on the present as much as you can. Let the past and the future go. Thoughts will pop into your head. That’s normal. Just try not to follow the thoughts. If you find that you are drifting away from the present, just ask your mind to come back to the here and now.
  • Allow yourself grace, especially in the beginning. If you’ve never meditated before, it’s going to be a very new experience. Meditation takes practice. It’s a skill you develop, not an innate gift you’re born with.
  • Chose a place to focus your energy—it could be a prayer, a chant, a mantra, or the words of your meditation guide in Insight Timer.
  • You may want to light a candle or close your eyes and go inward when you meditate. Rituals like these can make your experience better.
  • Above all, let meditation be a judgement free zone. A place where you don’t beat yourself up or feel less than or unworthy. You are worthy, you are strong and capable. You are human. No judgement.

How are you feeling? Are you ready to give meditation a try?

I’M TAKING YOUR THROUGH THE INSIGHT TIMER APP SO YOU KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO USE IT.

Let’s make this as easy as pie for you. My recommendation, whether you’re a seasoned meditator or your just getting started is to download the free Insight Timer app on your phone. It’s available on google play as well as apple. Once you have the app on your phone, and maybe you even downloaded it while we’ve been chatting– look for the icons at the top of the screen. If you’re driving or otherwise engaged, just mark this place of the episode on your phone so you’ll know where to come back to. OK, so you’re on the app, looking at the icons on the top of the screen. Choose the “Guided” icon. From there you’ll see various filters by time. 5-10-20-30-and 30+ minutes. Pick the one that fits the amount of time you have. Keep in mind that if you pick 5, let’s say, that will include all meditations with times from 1-5 minutes. If you pick 10, it will be meditations between 6-10 minutes and so on.

Let’s say you have up to 15 minutes, click the 15-minute filter. From there, you will see thousands of meditations pop up. I like to first use the filter icon at the top right. So press that. Then, within the filter, I select meditations. If you’d rather listen to music only as you meditate or listen to an uplifting talk, those are options as well. Within the filter section, you’ll also have options for a female or male voice, background music or none, and then in the advanced features, you can filter by benefit (like pain management, stress reduction, or sleep) and also by practice like guided imagery, chakra balancing, or affirmations. Choosing these options will get you closer to the type of meditation you’re looking for. Otherwise, your choices are just so huge, with hundreds and hundreds of meditations, you can get overwhelmed by which one to pick.

The last bit of info to increase your Insight Timer experience is that once you have your benefit and practice selected and your back on the screen to pick your meditation, you can also click on the sort (the icon at the top left) by highest rated or most played, even shortest or longest. This will also help narrow down your choices.

Once you’ve done this and you see your meditation options, tap on one that calls to you, then you have the option to look at the summary of the meditation and it’s rating and number of plays to help you decide it’s the one for you.

It’s a really user friendly system. If you had the app open while I was walking you through it, I bet you’re on your way already.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FIND A MEDITATION YOU LOVE.

[20:57] Once you’ve used the app for a few days, you’ll find that there are meditations you like more than others. Be sure to heart the ones you love, and they’ll always stay in your bookmarks. That way you can go straight to those and bypass the thousands of other meditation options—unless of course you’re in the mood to try something new.

If you’re looking for some really helpful meditation guides with great meditations, especially for IBDer’s, there’s a few I highly recommend checking out. Michelle White, Ruthie Hanan, Kelly Schwegel, Davidji, Alexandra Elle, and Sara Blondin are a few that come to my mind. Check them out to help you get started.

IT’S TIME TO DO IT LIKE A MOM.

Before we part ways today, I’ve got to tell you how to do Insight Timer like a mom. I know once you get started, you are going to rock this. You’re going to end up falling in love with it. I’ve given you everything you need to get on it, but there’s one section we haven’t talked about yet, and that’s the most wonderful section in the app called “for parents.” You’ll definitely want to check this part out.

It houses the most incredible meditations for our kiddos. And not relax your body, or woo woo mystical meditations some kids might not take to, these are meditation stories with kids in mind. They are so absolutely clever and great for kids. My youngest uses the kid’s meditations every night. He struggles with going to sleep by himself, but as soon as I started him on this app, with meditations like Yuri and the Dragons, Billy & Zac and the Cat Go to Space, and Unicorn Sleepover, his sleep habits turned right around. These stories, even though the names sound exciting, are designed to calm little brains and help them drift off into slumber land peaceful and happy.

INSIGHT TIMER ISN’T JUST FOR YOU, MAMA.

So your Do it Like a mom for today is to try Insight Timer on your kids as well. Whether they do it in the morning or at night, they will get those same amazing benefits I mentioned earlier—less stress, less anxiety, better immune function, better sleep habits. And with kids, we also see better focus, creativity, and self-regulation, greater attention span and a better mood. Who wouldn’t want all those amazing benefits for your kids?

The app is there. You know how to use it. What are you waiting for? Maybe this week, you’ll try it once or twice. That’s a great goal for your first week. See how it works for you. Play around with the time of day if you like. There’s no right way or wrong way to do this. Find the way that works best for you. And then, once you have a schedule that works for you, keep at it.

Meditation is not a kind of magic pill formula. It’s the type of practice that works overtime. So be patient with it. Remember the studies I mentioned, those participants were practicing meditation for 8 and 9 weeks before they were asked about results. Give it 2-3 months and see if it helps.

OK friend, will you do me a favor? Once you have Insight Timer on your phone and you try a few meditations, DM me on Facebook and tell me what your favorite meditation is so far. I love expanding my meditation practice. I’ll share with you my current favorite too. On Facebook, I’m @TheIBDHealthCoach

OK dear one, may your meditation practice be peaceful and rewarding, and may you get as much out of Insight Timer as I do. 

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

Chat soon!

[28:34] 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.

[34:02] 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.

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.

Ep 35: The 5 Best Recipe Blogs for Moms with IBD {gut healing recipes that never sacrifice taste}

Are you ready to use food to help quiet your Crohn’s and colitis symptoms, but with information overload you don’t know what resources you can actually trust?

Has your gut healing recipe collection dried up?

We all need a little spice and renewal in our weekly meal rotation from time to time. Whether you’re a “food is medicine” newbie or you’re looking to rev up your IBD meal planning, I’ve got you covered in this episode.

We’re talking about:

  • The recipe website that makes a healthy, gut friendly version of your favorite candy bar, the Twix bar
  • The recipe creator and blogger whose gluten free recipes should be your #1 starting place when your ready to go gluten free
  • The grain free comfort food baking/cooking genius that even has a recipe for SCD legal mac and cheese (two ideas you never thought would go in the same sentence!)

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll have hundreds of tried and tested, gut healing recipes right at your fingertips. The only question you’ll have is, which one should you try first?

Episode at a Glance:

  • [05:00] The Paleo recipe creator who gets the whole family in on creating and tasting recipes
  • [11:40] The mom whose UC struggle led to creating SCD recipes and sharing them with the world wide web
  • [16:18] The SCD legal balsamic vinegar you need to make Baked Chicken Bruschetta
  • [16:47] The recipe creator and blogger whose gluten free recipes should be your #1 starting place when you go gluten free
  • [20:10] The recipe website that makes a healthy, gut friendly version of your favorite candy bar, the Twix bar
  • [20:58] The grain free comfort food baking/cooking genius that even has a recipe for SCD legal mac and cheese (two words you never thought would be in the same sentence!)
  • [25:49] The self-trained chef, IBDer, and mom of 3 who created a cookbook empire that centers around Paleo and other grain free foods
  • [32:30] My “do it like a mom” challenge for you
  • [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:

Nom Nom Paleo

Healthy Gluten Free Family

A Life of Happenstance

Lila Ruth Grain Free

Danielle Walker

Against all Grain

Episode Transcript:

Are you ready to use food to help quiet your IBD symptoms, but with information overload you don’t know what resources you can actually trust? Has your gut healing recipe collection dried up? We all need a little spice and renewal in our weekly meal rotation from time to time. Whether you’re a “food is medicine” newbie or you’re looking to rev up your meal planning, I’ve got you covered in this episode. It’s the five best gut healing recipe websites for moms with IBD. Let’s get this party started.

[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]

Hello, hello my love! It’s the best day of the week because it’s the day that I get to connect with you and talk all things Crohn’s and colitis, gut health and healing, and how it all ties into the quality of our life as a mom. Today is no exception. I’m really looking forward to telling you about the websites I count on and use most to find recipes that work to keep my Crohn’s quiet.

One quick note before we get started, I’m not at my podcast studio where I usually record episodes so the sound may not be as clear as it normally is. I’m actually sitting in a closet at the house we are vacationing at this week. I’ve heard the closet helps block out other noises. We’ll see how it goes. We’re celebrating my youngest’s birthday with a staycation at a house different from our own. VRBO is an awesome invention isn’t it. Especially during a pandemic. I can’t wait to tell you about these absolutely fantastic, and in some cases, little known recipe websites that can help you to starting healing your gut troubles so you can turn your life around so let’s get started.

[03:00] Within these 5 best to gut healing websites for moms with IBD we’ll be talking about three things. #1: Who is the recipe extraordinaire behind the website (and by the way most are moms too because I love supporting other mamas). #2: who these recipes are best for so you know if it’s the best site for you to check out.  And #3: my top three favorite recipes from each website so that if you want, you can get started with these gut healing recipes right away.

PALEO RECIPES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.

Let’s start with hands-down the best food photography I’ve seen from a website and that’s Nom Nom Paleo. The culinary backbone and recipe designer of this website is Michelle Tam. According to Michelle, she was a “Frankenfood” junkie (you know, the kind of food Frankenstein would have developed in a lab—chemicals and ingredients a 5th grader can’t pronounce) while she was in college at Berkeley studying nutrition and food science.  After getting married and having kids, Michelle talks about developing a “muffin top”(oh, the muffin top), and wanting to lose weight by trying calorie counting and doing heavy amounts of exercise.

Michelle’s husband found the Paleo diet first. Although Michelle was skeptical, she saw that her husband’s health improved by eating this way. In 2010, Michelle started Paleo and began to lose weight and feel great. She started her recipe blog and website to chronicle her journey and help others on their own health journey. Nom Nom Paleo is a family affair, often including Michelle’s husband and her kids.

Not only is Nom Nom Paleo a website, but Michelle now has an award-winning app and podcast. I’ve listened to a few episodes of the podcast and really found it endearing because Michelle gets the whole family to weigh in—including her husband two kids—big O and little O). It looks like no new episodes are being published at this time, but I did find what I listened to really engaging and helpful when it comes to paleo life for the whole family so you might want to check those out if you’re interested in using the Paleo diet to be a centerpiece for your IBD healing.

Michelle also has a couple of cookbooks out so if you try the recipes on her website and you want more from Michelle, you can buy her cookbooks as well.

A IMPACT OF A POWERFUL VIDEO.

My absolute favorite thing about this recipe website is how the recipes are laid out. Usually, and you might be like this as well, when I find a recipe blog, I jump straight to the recipe because I’m not interested in the blah, blah information that comes before. But with Nom Nom Paleo, I never jump straight to the recipe because the information is laid out so well, it’s really informative, and it’s information I actually care about. Plus, as an added bonus many of Michelle’s recipes include a video, and I don’t know about you, but I love a good cooking video so I can actually see someone making the food I’m about to make.

If you’re finding that you relate to Michelle’s story, maybe you tried the calorie counting approach before, maybe you’re a Frankenfood addict, maybe you love the idea of her business being a family affair. If so, you’ll definitely want to check out her gut healing recipe website. I think Michelle’s recipes are best for moms who know they want to dive in in a big way with well-known diets like Paleo, Keto, or Whole 30. Michelle’s recipes follow the principles of these diets, the ones where these diets are household names, there’s lots of support and chatter about these ways of eating (both in person with a girl gab and virtually with thousands of sites dedicated to diets like these). If you’re interested in following a diet like this, where it might not check every box for your IBD symptoms, but it can make a huge difference and, it’s so ubiquitous that you can even buy ready-made food at the grocery store—many IBD eating plans can’t say that. If you feel that way, this is the recipe website for you.

While there’s a plethora of free recipes on the site, like I mentioned Michelle does have cookbooks you can purchase, and within her website, she’s partnered with a meal planning service which we know can make life much easier. So if that’s something you’re interested in you can get more information on her website. And I will absolutely post a link to Nom Nom Paleo in the show notes so you can easily access the site.

When I’m trying to decide if a gut healing recipe blog is for me, I always look at the recipe index. I want to know, how do they lay out the recipes, is it easy to follow, are there categories that are of interest and might be beneficial for me and Michelle definitely doesn’t disappoint. There’s a massive recipe index with categories like gluten-free, grain free, dairy free… you can also search by recipe type like beef recipes, nibbles, or treats. I also really like that she has a search by cooking method like slow cooker or instant pot. And if you know the type of diet you want to try, or if you’re already on one of these popular diets like Whole 30 or Paleo or Keto, she also lets you search by diet. And if you’re looking for Paleo lunch ideas for you or your kiddos, Michelle’s got you covered with Paleo lunchbox ideas, a section on her site that includes recipes and lunchtime tips.

A RECIPE WEBSITE WHERE THE PICS LOOK SO DELISH, I COULD BITE MY COMPUTER SCREEN.

So, super robust site. It is probably the most user-friendly gut healing recipe website that I’ve found. If you’re interested in one of the diets I just mentioned or you just want to dip a toe and start trying some of these recipes that can really help your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms, I highly recommend checking out Nom Nom Paleo. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that all the recipes are super organized, very professionally laid out, and the pictures are absolutely stunning it makes my mouth water and I want to eat the screen.

MY 3 FAVORITE NOM NOM RECIPES.

Now, while every recipe looks delightful and of course you have your own tastes, I want to make this as easy as possible for you. Right now, my three favorite Nom Nom Paleo recipes are #1: the spicy pineapple turmeric smoothie. This is so light and refreshing and perfect for this time of year. I have to confess that I don’t add the chili pepper as it’s a little spicy for me, but do what works for you. It’s great with or without it. My second favorite recipe right now is the chunky monkey ice cream bonbons. Again, this is a sweet gut healthy treat that’s perfect for this time of year with the warm weather we’ve been having.

And of course, if any website has an instant pot recipe, I’m always game. My third fav of Michelle’s is her Yankee Pot Roast. And there is a cooking video that goes along with this recipe so bonus points for that.

A GUT HEALING RECIPE BLOG FROM A MOM WITH UC.

[11:40] Let’s talk about gut healing recipe website #2. It’s A Life of Happenstance. Who is the recipe genius behind this delicious website? It’s Jen, who’s a mom of two. Jen has a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. On her website, Jen talks about the challenging symptoms of IBD with abdominal cramping, fatigue, bloody diarrhea, and weight loss.

After Jen experienced multiple stays in the hospital, all before she was 30, she decided to seek out a nutritionist, a functional medicine doctor, and she also decided to switch her gastroenterologist. I have to give Jen so much credit for doing this. So many of us know that we are stuck in a dead-end relationship with our gastroenterologist, but we don’t do anything about it. They don’t listen to us, they don’t see any connection between food and our illness, and they spend our entire 15 minutes which is never enough time, pushing the medicine of the moment. And while we may very-well need medicine, we also need to think about the food we’re putting into our body. It is so important and can be one of the main factors that can get us off all that medicine were taking.  

JEN FINDS HER WAY OUT OF THE DARKNESS WITH THE SCD.

Jen ended up trying the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and she talks about how it’s really helped to lessen her symptoms. From the information that’s currently on her website, it seems like Jen considers herself a work in progress when it comes to her ulcerative colitis. I definitely love this mentality and mindset. It takes many pieces and parts to fall into place for us to achieve remission, and that remission may not always be the case. I never take my remission for granted and I’m always finding new ways to help balance my illness and my overall health.

Jen’s website, A Life of Happenstance, is perfect for SCD newbies. Whether you’re dipping a toe in, trying recipes to see if they fit for you, or you’re starting SCD with gusto, I think Jen’s website is a great place to start.  Lots of recipes and pictures as well. I just can’t make a recipe without a picture.  

It’s very traditionally laid out with categories for breakfast, mains, dessert, side dishes, etc… but it also has some really cool sections like recipes by proteins so if you’re looking to make chicken, beef, seafood, pork, or turkey recipe, you can look in those sections. The categories even go above and beyond with the sections for further sensitivities many have even when you’re on SCD, like sensitivities to dairy and eggs. There’s also recipe categories for other diets too like Paleo, Whole 30, and Vegetarian, but my favorite recipe index is the recipe by season. I love this because I love to eat by the season. Pears and apples in the fall, winter squash in the winter, berries in the summer… When food is in season it just tastes better, it’s fresher and healthier for your digestive system. If you go to Jen’s website, you have to go to the by season index.  

As a reminder I will be putting a link to A Life of Happenstance in the show notes so you can check it out if you like.

MY TOP 3 FAV’S FROM ‘A LIFE OF HAPPENSTANCE’.

So, what are my top three recipe recommendations from Jen’s website? Remember, my tastes and I’m sure yours change over time, but right now my favorite three recipes are, #1: the cumin lime tortilla chips. These are delicious when you dip them in guacamole. I’ve mentioned this before on a previous episode, but I really love her no bake strawberry gelatin pie. I’m also a huge fan of Jen’s baked chicken bruschetta. I absolutely love bruschetta from my former high carb, high bread life and this allows me to eat the bruschetta toppings I used to load my bread with, with a chicken twist. This particular recipe does call for balsamic vinegar which many of us SCDers might be wondering about. Know that in the SCD legal world, balsamic vinegar that is aged and does not have added sugar is legal. So, if you can find that type of balsamic vinegar, you should definitely try this recipe. It is so delish, it will not disappoint your whole family.

GOING GLUTEN FREE? THIS WEBSITE HAS YOUR NAME ON IT.

[16:47] Let’s talk about gut healing recipe website # 3. And that website is Healthy Gluten Free Family. Healthy Gluten Free Family is run by Karen, a mom who has a son with celiac disease. I absolutely love that Karen and her family are all supporting her son by living a gluten free life. It’s something we can all relate to. We’d want to do the same for our own kids in need. Karen’s recipes are all about foods that her entire family eats and enjoys.

Healthy Gluten Free Family is an awesome resource for recipes if you are ready to eat gluten free to help manage your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms. Whether you want to try a few recipes to dip your toe in or you want to make a whole gluten free shift to help your IBD, this website has so much to offer, and I think it’s you’re # 1 starting place. If you are completely new to eating for IBD and you want to just try one thing that will have a big impact on your symptoms, go to this website. It will get you started with some delicious, healthy recipes. You won’t even miss the gluten.

I really like that Karen’s website doesn’t just have recipes, it also has a blog for gluten freers. It’s not a weekly offering, but I’ve gone through the articles several times before and it does have some really good information for those starting a gluten free life. Karen also offers shopping recommendations on her website with affiliate links through Amazon just in case you’re completely new to the world of gluten free food, with food recommendations and kitchen gadgets that can make your gluten free life easier.

NON-TRADITIONAL RECIPE CATEGORIES THE WHOLE FAMILY WILL LOVE.

Those are some of the lovely bonuses on the website, but of course it’s all about the recipes and Karen does not mess around here. Her recipes are well laid out and the pictures make them look delish. Not only are there several recipe index categories that you can click on, but I love that she includes these super cute icons at the top of the main recipe page that make the recipes easy to navigate. These icons include traditional categories like breakfast, dinner, lunch, and salads, but also some really interesting options like Taco Tuesday, which is a section full of Mexican dishes that my family personally loves, as well as 30-minute meals (and who doesn’t need 30-minute meals in their life), and another section called Think Spring. I’m sure that Karen changes this seasonally so I bet summer will be on the horizon. She also has a no bake icon which again is fabulous when we want a quick and easy recipe to make for the family.

Really clever, right?

MY GLUTEN FREE FAV’S.

My three favorite recipes on the Healthy Gluten Free Family website are the no bake mini Twix bars. Yes, Twix! Do you remember Twix bars? They were my favorite candy bar growing up. This is a gut healing and gluten free version of the popular treat. My whole family loves these. I also love Karen’s gluten free black bean burgers. This is a really good twist on the traditional burger and perfect for the vegetarian in your life. Of course, I mentioned that my favorite icon is the Taco Tuesday section. Right now, I’ve been making a lot of the grilled shrimp tacos with corn salsa. My kids are huge fans.

Of course, I have a link to Healthy Gluten Free Family in the show notes if you want to check it out.

A PARTNERSHIP IN LIFE AND IN GRAIN FREE RECIPES.

[20:58] I’m super passionate about gut healing recipe website #4, Lila Ruth Grain Free. Catherine, the recipe developer for the site says that both she and her husband struggled with autoimmune issues. Catherine has a passion for baking and photography, which you can totally see in her amazing food photographs on the site. I also love that the name of the website comes from Catherine’s grandmother. It’s such a sweet way to keep your memories of a loved one alive, I think.

Katherine’s husband, Ted, is a blog contributor who has celiac disease. A lot of people with celiac and also with IBD find that going gluten free just isn’t enough for them. They find that eating grain free can help them even more and this website and it’s recipes can definitely help you if you’ve already tried gluten free and found that it just wasn’t enough to totally get rid of your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms.

Catherine and Ted seem to have a really exceptional partnership with this website. Catherine talks about being the baker, and creating traditional and comfort foods. While Ted makes the salads, savory dishes, and cocktails. What a perfect combination for these two! It must be fun to live in their house at dinner time.

The Lila Ruth Grain Free recipe website is best for anyone experimenting with eating grain free or anyone on a special grain free diet like SCD, GAPS, Keto, or those who are dairy free or vegan. And if you really like Catherine’s recipes, she does have a cookbook you can purchase right from the website (it links to Amazon). Catherine has loads of recipes, with like I said, the most amazing photographs. Photographs are really important when it comes to feeling like I must shelp out all these ingredients and take the time to try a recipe in the first place.

Recipes on the website are broken down by categories like SCD, Paleo, Vegan, Keto, cocktails and smoothies too. So, you can just go to the eating plan or a grain free gut healing diet you are most interested in and start there.

GRAIN FREE AND COMFORT FOOD AT ITS BEST.

My favorite three recipes from Lila Ruth Grain Free are #1: the Cran-citrus fizz cocktail/mocktail. I made this the other day for my hubby and I to hang out late one warm night on the back deck. It was really light and sweet and delicious– and healthy, which is such a bonus. My #2 favorite recipe is the SCD Mac and Cheese. SCD and Mac and Cheese never go in the same sentence. Catherine’s take on this usually illegal comfort food is to die for. You’re gonna love it.

My third favorite recipe on the website is the SCD + Paleo key lime pie. I am a sucker for a really good key lime pie. And of course, eating no refined sugar and no grains, this wasn’t an option for me. I remember years and years and years ago, probably 25 years ago, my hubby (who was my boyfriend at the time) and I lived in Florida. We would often frequent the always busy, line out the front, restaurant called Joe’s Crab Shack. While I am definitely not a fan of crab, I always went with my hubby because of their most delicious key lime pie. Shout an amen if you know this restaurant and you know the key lime pie I’m talking about. It’s really the best in the world, hands down, until I tried Catherine’s grain free key lime pie. If you’re a lover of key lime pie, you have to try this recipe.

Lila Ruth Grain Free is linked in the show notes.

SHE MAKES GRAIN FREE COOKING AND BAKING AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.

[25:49] We’ve made it to healthy gut healing recipe website #5. This is one you might already be acquainted with. It’s Danielle Walker’s Against all Grain and Daniellewalker.com websites. Against all Grain was Danielle’s first website but it looks like she’s moving things over to daniellewalker.com now. I include Against all Grain here because you might still want to check it out. There are several good recipes on that site. With cookbooks like Against all Grain, Celebrations, and Eat What you Love, Danielle Walker has become a household name for grain free eaters everywhere. Danielle was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at 22 years old. After a few years of suffering, hospitalizations, and doctors saying that food doesn’t matter, Danielle was at her wits end. Weight loss, arthritis type of pain, elevated heart rate, hair loss, malnutrition, sleepless nights, unbearable joint pain and insatiable hunger plagued Danielle. During her worst periods, Danielle says that she “bordered death more than once.”

I’m betting having IBD yourself, that these are symptoms and scenarios that you can relate to all too well. After trying a couple different grain free approaches, Danielle decided on Paleo to help her heal and started a blog to help others suffering from similar ailments. Danielle calls herself a self-trained chef and her site features grain free, gluten free, dairy minimal, refined sugar free, Paleo, SCD, GAPS, and gluten free recipes.

It’s a little bit of something for everyone who suffers from Crohn’s and colitis and is looking at food to help in the healing process. Over the years, I’ve made several of the recipes from Danielle’s website and I’ve collected most of her cookbooks. She’s a really talented recipe developer and I love her website especially because the food pictures are gorgeous and very professionally done. Recipes on the website are traditionally laid out with categories for appetizers, beverages, breakfast, etc… recipes are also laid out by diet to so that would be things like Paleo, SCD/GAPS, vegetarian, as well as by cooking tools so if you want to make a meal in a slow cooker or instant pot. You know I’m a sucker for any instant pot creation.

THE HEAVENLY COMBO OF GORGONZOLA AND FIG.

There’s way too many favorites to count when it comes to Danielle’s recipes but I think my favorite right now are #1: her Gorgonzola fig flatbread. I’m a huge fan of blue cheese so I swap out the Gorgonzola and use blue cheese, but figs and blue cheese or gorgonzola are so delicious together. I also recently made Danielle’s ice cream sandwich recipe. It’s Paleo and gluten free. It was so much better than I was expecting. Ice cream sandwiches are just something that is difficult to recreate. There’s that childhood love and memories you have to compete with. But these ice cream sandwiches were delicious, even my kids enjoyed them.

My last Danielle Walker favorite is her stuffed sweet potatoes. Back in the day, I was a huge loaded baked potato fan. Jason’s Deli anyone? White potatoes are now not on the menu for me, but occasionally I’ll eat a sweet potato and Danielle’s recipe is so overloaded with savory goodies that it’s a party in every bite.

Like all of the websites we’ve talk about today, I will link Danielle’s two websites in the show notes so you can easily check them out.

MY REC’S FOR YOU.

So, tell me what you think mama, is there a website or a recipe I mentioned today that’s calling your name? If you’re completely new to the world of eating for your IBD, I highly recommend Healthy Gluten Free Family. It’s your perfect starting place. If Paleo is your jam, you can’t go wrong with Nom Nom Paleo. Super delish recipes the whole family will enjoy. If SCD is your life right now, go for it with A Life of Happenstance. It’s the perfect starting place for SCD legal recipes that don’t give up taste. And if you’re grain free and you’re sampling different diets right now like Paleo, Whole 30, or Keto, check out Lila Ruth Grain Free or Danielle Walker.

So, where do you go from here? How can you do IBD healing recipes like a mom?

ARE YOU READY FOR A MOM-SIZED CHALLENGE?

As soon as you’re done listening to this episode, go check out the one website I mentioned today that’s calling your name. Pick one recipe, just one. You can use my favorites and see if they become your favorites, or you can pick the one that sounds the most delicious to you. You can’t go wrong with any of these. I promise you that. Once you’ve picked out the recipe you’re going to try this week, DM me on Facebook. @TheIBDHealthCoach. I can’t wait to hear which recipe you picked and how it goes for you.

It’s one little step, but remember it’s baby steps like this, when we add them together that create gut health and healing from the inside out. You can do this and I’ve got you, every step of the way my friend.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you much get that and happiness always.

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.

[34:02] 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.

Ep 34: Who Else Is Confused About Gluten and Exactly How it Impacts IBD?

Of course, you know what gluten is and what it does to your body. Everyone knows what gluten is.

But what if you don’t?

What if, after all these years of people talking about gluten like they know exactly what it is, you’re feeling confused.

No more being afraid to ask about gluten!

How about a crash course in all things gluten and how it may be impacting your Crohn’s or colitis? How about a simple 3 step framework that makes you a certified gluten free super sleuth everywhere you go—badge and all.

If the whole concept of gluten-free makes you want to pull your hair out, or if you know you should stay away from gluten because you’ve heard it makes your IBD worse, but you don’t know exactly why, or if you just love to nerd out like me on all things gluten related, you’re going to love this episode.

We’re talking about:

  • How long gluten stays in your body after you eat it
  • Your simple 3-step gluten free crash course framework so you know what you can eat and what to stay away from every time you eat
  • When you should to choose “certified” gluten free and when you don’t need it
  • The reason why brown rice might not be as healthy as you’ve been led to believe (especially for those of us with IBD)

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll have all the information you need to begin your gluten free life. In fact, after this episode you’ll be elevated to gluten free super sleuth status.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [05:36] An imagery experience that really helps you understand gluten and grains
  • [08:34] What gluten and your kid’s craft corner have in common
  • [10:25] The link between leaky gut and gluten
  • [11:40] The reason why it’s so difficult for us to know the difference between gluten sensitivity and IBD
  • [13:01] What happens to your body if you’re gluten sensitive and you keep eating foods that contain gluten?
  • [16:03] How long gluten stays in your body after you eat it
  • [19:01] Your simple 3-step gluten free crash course framework so you know what you can eat and what to stay away from every time you eat
  • [21:45] Becoming a gluten free super sleuth at the grocery store
  • [25:04] When you should to choose “certified” gluten free and when you don’t need it
  • [27:50] The reason why brown rice might not be as healthy as you’ve been led to believe (especially for those of us with IBD)
  • [32:11] The surprising way you can include your family in your gluten free life
  • [37:11] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Your FREE Gluten Free Cheat Sheet

The Gut Love Community

Additional Resources from the Episode:

Definitions and Facts for Celiac Disease

Hidden Sources of Gluten

Clarifying the Gluten Free Label Rule

54 Foods You Can Eat on a Gluten Free Diet

Is White Rice Healthy?

Why Modern Wheat is Making us Sick

Neurologic and Psychiatric Complications of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Episode Transcript:

Of course, you know what gluten is and what it does to your body. Everyone knows what gluten is. But what if you don’t? What if, after all these years of people talking about gluten like they know exactly what it is… some saying it’s bad for you, others saying don’t believe the hype. If you don’t have Celiac Disease, gluten doesn’t affect you. What if all this time, with everyone around you seemingly knowing exactly what gluten is … what if you’re actually kind of vague on the details behind gluten and you’re unclear on how it affects your body? What if you’re confused about what foods contain gluten and what foods don’t? What if you’re a little leery of asking these questions because it seems like everyone around you knows all about gluten and you don’t want to be the odd woman out.

If the whole concept of gluten-free makes you want to pull your hair out, or if you know you should stay away from gluten because you’ve heard it makes your IBD worse but you don’t know exactly why, or if you just love to nerd out like me on all things gluten related, you’re going to love this episode.

[Music]

[01:20] 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]

Hey there dear one. Today’s episode of The Cheeky Podcast is all about gluten. What is it? Is there really a difference between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease? Why does it matter so much for those of us with IBD that we know what gluten is in what foods contain gluten? If gluten is so bad for you, what kind of problems does it cause? And will all those problems show up in your gut? Can gluten affect other parts of your body? And is there a full proof way to know if something has gluten in it so you don’t get glutened yet again?

We’re going to answer all of these questions and so much more today.

So while back, probably 13 years ago now, I had never heard of gluten. When a little book called Breaking the Vicious Cycle told me I should stay away from eating gluten to help my Crohn’s disease, I had no idea what they were talking about. I had never hear of this word gluten before. But somewhere down the line, while I learned all about how the specific carbohydrate diet can help those of us with IBD, I learned. I learned what gluten is, I learned about it’s impact on IBDer’s especially, and as time passed and more people started to talk about gluten, I forgot that not everyone knows what gluten is.

HOW CAN YOU STAY AWAY FROM GLUTEN IF GRAINS ARE CONFUSING TO YOU?

A few years ago, I was talking to a client during one of her first sessions. I was outlining a possible eating plan for her that was gluten free. I was telling her about all of the grains that contain gluten and talking about how with her new diet, she wouldn’t be eating these grains. I could tell by the look on her face that she was completely confused, and her response told me everything. She said, “Sure Karyn, I can stay away from gluten, but what’s a grain anyway?”

And right then and there, everything changed for me. It was the most wonderful reminder that not everyone knows what gluten is. Many people don’t even truly understand what grains are. How could I ask my client to begin a gluten free diet when she didn’t even understand the grains were.

So, before we even get into how gluten affects the body, before we get into the difference between celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity and the symptoms of gluten intolerance, we have to start at the beginning. This is especially for you mama, if you’ve been wondering this very thing. Over the years, I’ve learned that when many of my clients come to see me, in the beginning they are confused about this too. So, once and for all, let’s start at the very beginning and clear up any confusion that’s been standing in your way of your true understanding of what gluten is so you can move forward and decide if gluten is something you want to eat or something you want to avoid.

AN IMAGERY EXERCISE TO EASE YOUR GLUTEN CONFUSION

[05:36] Picture yourself on a warm sunny day, in a tall field where beautiful golden brown stalks are swaying in the breeze all around you. At the top of those stocks is a feather like structure. You are walking through the crops, letting your hands drag against the feathery like tops. Although this top of the crop contains hard pods that are filled with seeds, together, as you glide your fingers over them, they are very soft to touch. If you picked the top of the crop out of the ground and tickled your chin with it, I would almost feel like a light, warm feather.

In these light and feathery tops of these golden brown crops are grains pods, that when ground and processed in a manufacturing plant, these grain pods get made into foods like flour. Yes, the flour that you buy at the grocery store—white or brown—it doesn’t matter, both contain grains. Flours like these can be made from wheat (that’s the flour we’re most familiar with). And grains that got processed into flour are used to make bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, pizza—all those doughy foods we are used to eating in America and other parts of the world. Now, in these grains that make the flour we buy at the grocery store are protein structures. One of the protein structures that’s in many of those golden brown grains like wheat, barley, and rye is called gluten.

GLUTEN IS A HAIRY, WART-NOSED WITCH

So hopefully that imagery exercise helped you see exactly what grains and gluten are. Many people think gluten must be this this nasty, hairy, wart nosed, witch who hides in your favorite foods, but actually gluten is just a protein found in grains.

Like a just mentioned, the most popular grains where you’ll find gluten are wheat, barley, and rye. But gluten is also found in other grains you might see like kamut, spelt, and some oats. So, gluten is not just found in wheat. It’s in many other grains as well.

And gluten has this really interesting property. Think of gluten like the Elmer’s glue your kids use—sticky, elastic, glue. It’s what makes all those baked goods I mentioned before (the bread, cookies, and pasta) chewy, springy, and sticky. Gluten is the glue that binds our baked goods together.

Sounds wonderful so far, right? Why would gluten ever get a bad rap? It’s the star of so many delicious foods.

Well, the problem is that even though on the outside, gluten seems like a harmless, useful protein, on the inside, and especially for those of use with Crohn’s and colitis (so people with already sensitive guts), gluten can start to behave like that nasty, hairy, wart-nosed witch and wreak havoc on not just our digestive system but our whole body as well.

So what exact is so bad about gluten? Why is it a gut disruptor for us?

THE PROBLEM WITH TODAY’S GRAINS

Well, 50 years ago you might not of had a problem eating foods that contain gluten. But yesterday’s gluten is not the gluten of today. Advances in farming to yield more crops in less time and modernization of crops like growing dwarf wheat, have increased the amount of gluten in grains and made these grains more difficult for our sensitive bellies to digest.

For Crohn’s and colitis bellies, gluten can cause inflammation, an immune system response, and leaky gut that forms when unbroken down gluten particles break through our intestinal wall and begin to travel like foreign invaders into our bloodstream.

This difficulty processing gluten can be so damaging to our intestinal wall, that it actually flattens our intestinal villi, which are these finger-like structures that should stick up tall and proud, protecting our intestinal membrane and helping us with nutrient absorption. When you are sensitive to gluten, these villi can become flat and inflamed. An experience called total villous atrophy and an immune reaction can occur that is so severe that the body attacks the small intestine. This is what is known as Celiac Disease. And you can absolutely have IBD and Celiac Disease. You might be listening to this podcast shouting, me, me!

Symptoms of celiac can be very similar to our Crohn’s and colitis include severe bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU TOO?

But, what I tend to see more often with my clients who have IBD is a similar reaction to gluten, but without the diagnosis of celiac. People who experience similar challenges to gluten, without the celiac diagnosis have a true gluten sensitivity known as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, or a gluten intolerance.

You might have noticed this in yourself. You know that you seem to have a reaction to foods that contain gluten, but you don’t have Celiac. Or maybe you’ve been having the symptoms I mentioned… the bloating, gas, diarrhea, gut pain, but you’re thinking it must be my Crohn’s or my colitis.

This whole gluten sensitivity gets really confusing for those of us with IBD because the symptoms for celiac and IBD are so similar. The bottom line here though is that I don’t want you to let anyone (doctor, friend, internet meme making fun of people who say they’re gluten sensitive) tell you gluten sensitivity isn’t real. For those of us with a sensitivity to gluten, it’s as real as it gets. 18 million Americans have gluten sensitivity compared with 2 million who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. So, there’s a lot of us out there. I’m definitely a member of the NCSG club.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?

And when it’s left untreated, celiac and gluten sensitivity can cause a host of additional problems for us. From inflammation that leaves the digest tract and travels to other parts of the body like the skin (with rashes, bumps, or eczema)… my son had something called dermatitis herpetiformis—a skin condition caused by an intolerance to gluten. His general dermatologist told him he had psoriasis and gave us this foam medication that never worked. After seeking a second opinion and learning it was dermatitis herpetiformis and removing gluten, his skin patches were completely gone within 1 month.

Unchecked celiac and gluten sensitivity can also wreak havoc on the neurological system (with ties to challenges like brain fog, migraines, and ADHD, additional autoimmune disorders, to thyroid disease, heart disease, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. So gluten challenges have the power to take over our life. Studies have even linked gluten intolerance to type 1 diabetes, MS, anemia, osteopetrosis, infertility, and epilepsy.

All that chaos from one little protein.

SO, WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM GLUTEN INTOLERANT?

The good news is that whether it’s Celiac or NCSG, the way to solve the problem remains the same, remove gluten.

Easy, right? I know from experience that it isn’t so simple. It takes first, really understanding what gluten is, next knowing where to find gluten (and if you already tried to live a gluten free life you know you have to have a PhD in “glutenology” or gluten “detectivery” to know all the hidden places gluten is found), and then you need a plan in place to make sure you don’t cheat and don’t get glutened unintentionally. Just one ingestion of gluten can stay with you and damage your insides for up to 6 months after eating. Staying consistently gluten free isn’t a joke and it can be tricky to navigate.

GIVE GLUTEN FREE FOODS A FAIR SHOT.

So how do you do it? If you want to try a gluten free life, and whether you have IBD or not, I highly recommend you do, just to see if it makes a difference with your symptoms—I’ve seen it have truly amazing results for many clients I work with.  Just make sure you give it a fair shot—30 days to 3 months. No gluten, no cheats, no getting glutened because remember it stays with you, even in small amounts.

What’s 3 months? You can do it!

[18:00] And if you want to do it, let’s get you started and off to the gluten free races! So, we know all about grains and that they can get turned into flour. And we know that many of the foods made with flour today (bread, pasta, cookies, etc) contain gluten and that makes them more difficult to digest. You might be thinking, OK, I’ll just choose gluten free forms of flour and we’ll be good to go. Well, I wish it was that simple, but staying away from gluten isn’t just about staying away from gluten containing flour.

Food manufacturers love to hide gluten in packaged, boxed, and canned food to make our lives more complicated. You really do almost like you need to that PhD in gluten “detectivery” to live a gluten free life.

Are you ready for your crash course? I might not be bestowed with the power to give you a PhD, but I’ve got a gluten free detective badge coming your way with my 3 Simple Steps to Gluten Free Super Sleuth Status.

I LOVE A SIMPLE 3 STEP PLAN!

Step 1 is all about finding the obvious and the not-so-obvious gluten.

I mentioned that food manufacturers like to hide gluten in products. These are foods like salad dressing, soy sauce, marinades, seasoning packets, pre-seasoned meats, and cans of soup. Even non-food items may contain gluten. Toothpaste, make up, shampoo, even some medicines and supplements contain gluten. It’s crazy, but when you really start to look out for gluten, you will be surprised at how many places you find it.

I wish I could tell you that what I just shared with you was an exhaustive list, but I’m really just getting started here.

I’VE GOT A FREEBIE WITH YOUR NAME ON IT.

If you really want to get serious about avoiding gluten (in places where it’s obvious and places where you need your gluten free detective badge), I’ve got a cheat sheet with your name on it. It’s my Obvious and Not So Obvious Gluten Free Cheat Sheet. You can take this cheat sheet with you, put it in your purse, pin it up on your refrigerator—put it wherever you need to, to help you at the grocery store, restaurants, while traveling, and eating at friends’ houses. America is opening, we’re all getting out more, so this gluten free resource will definitely come in handy. If you want my complete gluten free cheat sheet, you can find the link for it in the show notes or go to it directly at karynhaley.com/glutenfree to check it out.

OK, so step 1 of your super sleuth gluten free detective skills is knowing to look for the obvious and not so obvious hidden gluten. Get your gluten free cheat sheet and you’ll be all set knowing what to look for.

BECOME A LABEL READING SUPER SLEUTH.

Step 2 is developing your super sleuth gluten free detective label reading skills. And it ain’t as easy as it sounds, let me tell you. Food manufacturers aren’t required to say “this contains gluten” on the package—not on the front of the package, not in the nutrition facts, not in the ingredients, not even in the allergens list. But, the FDA does require that if foods contain any of the top allergens, it does need to be list on the allergens list located, on most products, just under the ingredients list. And wheat is a common allergen. Ding ding ding, remember wheat is a big player in the world of gluten. So, when you’re playing super sleuth gluten free detective, the first place to look is the allergen list. If you see the word wheat, you know it contains gluten. Place it back on the shelf. Step away from the product. No one gets hurt.

YOUR’E NOT OUT OF THE WOODS JUST YET.

Now, if the product doesn’t contain wheat in the allergens, that’s great, but it doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods just yet. Since gluten goes by many names, it’s time to search the ingredients for those names. Do you see the words, wheat, barley, or rye? How about brewer’s yeast, bulgur, bran, malt, matzo, or triticale—they all contain gluten.

Remember, there’s lots of hidden gluten out there. This is where your gluten free cheat sheet will come in handy so grab it and take it with you to the grocery store.

I promise you won’t need it forever. It’ll give you a leg up on gluten until you get comfortable identifying hidden gluten in the food you buy.

[24:01] And a couple bonus tips when it comes to step 2: some packaged foods will say “gluten free” on the label. Half these foods are already gluten free and the manufacturer is just using the words “gluten free” to hike up the price of the food. Don’t be fool by false claims. Always be a skeptic when you see “gluten free” on the front of the package. Some foods are naturally gluten free.

One other bonus tip when it comes to step 2: In order for a food to be considered gluten free, it must contain less than 20 ppm of gluten in the food. While that may seem like a very, very low amount of gluten, to many of us super sensitive folks with IBD and also with Celiac, that may not be low enough. I’ve had clients who’ve not been able to tolerate even that amount. If this is the case, choose foods that are labeled “certified gluten free.” This label ensures that it was tested and certified by a 3rd party and that the levels of gluten in the product are even lower than the industry standard—usually anywhere from 5-10 ppm.

Lastly, just because you have read a food label a month ago doesn’t mean you can always trust what’s on the ingredient list to be the same. From time to time, food manufactures change their ingredients, so be on the lookout for changes like that. It’s happened to me several times in all my years of being gluten free where a product I love has changed ingredients and is no longer safe for me to eat.

DON’T FORGET STEP #3.

One last step in my 3 Simple Steps to Gluten Free Super Sleuth Status. You’ve almost got your gluten free detective badge now mama!

Lastly, Step 3 says that instead of having to navigate the world of the super sleuth’s to find the gluten free version of every food, do it the much easier way and just buy food that naturally gluten free—it’s tons healthier and better for your digestive system anyway.

Foods that are naturally gluten free are whole foods. Whole fruit, whole veggies, unmarinated meats and fish, eggs, most diary products (but be careful with ice cream and some cheese products like prepackaged shredded cheese or cheese spreads), whole ancient grains like quinoa, millet, and amaranth). Rice is gluten free, but instead of brown rice, I like white rice better. Many people choose brown because they believe it to be healthier, but actually, but if you’re going to eat rice, I like white basmati rice as a better option. Brown rice contains more phytic acid (which is a natural coating that makes it harder to absorb the minerals in the rice) and also and higher levels of arsenic. Both of these compounds can be challenging for our already compromised gut. White rice, and especially basmati rice, is easier and gentler on our digestive system.

Plain fats and oils, we’re talking butter, coconut oil, ghee, EVOO… are naturally gluten free, many condiments like ketchup, yellow mustard, and mayo are naturally gluten free. You’ll want to always double check the label though, just like I taught you in Step 2 because some condiment companies do tend to add gluten. BBQ sauce, and pasta sauces are a couple places you may encounter gluten.

[29:40] My favorite naturally gluten free condiment is coconut aminos. It’s close to tasting like a soy sauce and it’s delish for salad dressings veggie toppers, Asian dishes. You can find it in the condiments section at your grocery store.

One last thing I want to warn you about as we finish up Step 3. With all of these naturally gluten free foods, and with the packaged gluten free foods, remember that just because a food is gluten free, doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

BUT IT’S GLUTEN FREE!

I hear this from people all the time. Clients, friends, family members.. even though my mom has passed, I can still hear her in my head saying, “But Karyn, it’s gluten free.” I don’t know where gluten free became synonymous with healthy. Yes, for many of us with Celiac and gluten sensitivity, eating gluten free is healthier for us, but cookies are not healthy because they are gluten free. They’re just gluten free.

Crappy food is crappy food, no matter what.

OK my love, we’ve covered a lot of ground today. We started at the very beginning with what’s a grain and what’s gluten. We discovered why gluten and IBD are a bad combination. We explored the difference between Celiac and gluten sensitivity. And finally, I shared my Simple 3 Step Plan to Gluten Free Super Sleuth Status.

You’ve got that coveted badge of gluten free honor now mama. Wear it proudly!

One last thing, we have to talk about before we part for the day. Let’s talk about how when it comes to gluten, you’re going to:

DO IT LIKE A MOM.

You can think of this as your last bonus tip.

[32:11] If you choose to eat gluten free, feed your family gluten free too. Make your life easier, not harder. The saddest thing for me is listening to a client tell me, I make X for me for dinner, Y for my kids and Z for my hubby. No freakin’ way my dear mom friend. Get real. We don’t have time for that.

Let me make this easy and break it down for you. For breakfast, eggs, most bacon, Applegate Farms sausage, fresh fruit, smoothies… are all naturally gluten free. A treat for the kids might look like a gluten free muffin or pancake.

Lunch might be a protein like chicken, turkey, or fish, eggs or tuna salad… lettuce greens in a salads, whole fruit and veggies, hummus, avocados or guacamole. If you want to keep it traditional and make a sandwich sometimes, gluten free bread is available. Better still, how about grain free bread? Most of my clients like it better anyway. You can easily make your own with almond or coconut flour or you can buy grain free bread from a company called Against the Grain. It makes a great tasting bread, rolls, bagels and pizza too.

Dinner is all about healthy protein and healthy fats. Chicken, turkey, lean beef, or pork, salmon or tilapia. Serve a double vegetable and a small starch as a side. Remember basmati rice, sweet potatoes, and quinoa are all gluten free.

KEEP THE FOCUS ON NATURALLY GLUTEN FREE FOODS.

When it comes to your kids, do it like a mom and focus on naturally gluten free foods. They always seem to taste better, and they’re healthier for your kiddos too.

You’ve got this mom friend. I’m with you every step of the way.  Remember if you’ve got Q’s, about the episode, I’m happy to help. If you’re on Facebook, I am too. DM me @TheIBDHealthCoach. Make sure you put the THE in the front when you’re searching. My other account got hacked so this is a new one.  Can’t wait to hear from you.

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

Chat soon!

[36:34] 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.

Ep 33: 5 {More} Healthy Fats You Need to Heal Your IBD (Part II)

Ditch those preconceived notions you’ve been bombarded with about how all fat is bad for you and come with me on Part II of our journey to discover more of the best, high quality fats that help heal your IBD.

Last week (in Episode 32 and Part I), we uncovered the first 5 healthy fats that will make a big difference for your IBD healing and recovery.

This week, we investigate 5 more healthy fats that play a key role when we’re trying to calm down the bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other gut challenges that plague us when we’re struggling to get control of our Crohn’s and colitis.

When we add eating healthy fats to our IBD eating plan, we add the ultimate in healing power to boost our immune function, lower our inflammation, and diversify our gut bacteria.

And these are the 3 keys to successfully combating our Crohn’s and colitis.

Episode 33 is a continuation of the juicy goodness from Episode 32, so for the full fat experience ; ) don’t forget to check out that episode too!

We’re talking about:

  • Why you shouldn’t give up on all eggs, even if you think you’re egg sensitive
  • The only type of salmon you can trust
  • The gut healing way to get quality fats from nuts and seeds, even if you’re in an IBD flare

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll be armed and dangerous with all the information you need to enter the grocery store, ready to shop for high quality foods that will actually move the needle toward IBD remission and IBD freedom!

Episode at a Glance:

  • [09:34] Why you shouldn’t give up on all eggs, even if you think you’re egg sensitive
  • [15:50] The way to use eggs to add the extra gut healing factor to bone broth
  • [17:42] The 3-fold benefit of full fat yogurt
  • [19:40] The healthiest non-dairy, gut healing options for yogurt (definitely not soy)
  • [29:20] The only type of salmon you can trust
  • [32:40] The gut healing way to get quality fats from nuts and seeds, even if you’re in an IBD flare
  • [36:45] The ultimate healthy fat, and gut healing food that boosts your immune system, diversifies your gut bacteria, and lowers your inflammation, all in one beverage
  • [39:58] The best store-bought bone broth companies that are worth their weight in gold
  • [44:45] The most comprehensive (and FREE) healthy oils guide you’ll want to get your hands on today
  • [55:58] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Your FREE Healthy Oils Guide 101 &102

The Gut Love Community

Ep 32: 5 Health Fats You Need in Your Diet to Heal Your IBD (Part I)

Ep 12: Your Top 10 SCD Yogurt Questions Answered

Ep 15: 7 Healing Gems Every IBD Mom Needs to Know About

Additional Resources from the Episode:

Egg Nutrition and Health Benefits Explain Why It’s a Superior Food

Yogurt: The Nutrition Source

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Depression

The 6 Best Seeds to Eat

18 Amazing Health Benefits of Bone Broth

Salmon Nutrition: Wild Caught Salmon Protects the Brain, Bones, Eyes, Skin, and More

3 Healthiest (and worst) Fish for Your Health

Episode Transcript:

[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]

[00:50] Welcome dear one, I am so happy and excited to share this moment with you today.

If you’re listening to this around the time of its release, it was just Mother’s Day last weekend. How was your day mama? I hope you got all the pampering and love you so richly deserve. I hope your IBD didn’t get in the way of enjoying the one day of the year that’s all yours.

MOTHERHOOD.

Even with all the crap we have to put up with (figuratively and literally), even with kids who talk back, and teenagers who break the rules, and hectic schedules and multitasking that would make a man’s head spin, I’d still take motherhood over every job in the world.

I bet you feel the same way too.

Motherhood is an honor to be cherished. And it is so important to me that you get everything you can get out of motherhood. That you suck the marrow out of motherhood. And at the end of your life, you can say that motherhood was a joy and a privilege and something you were so completely present for.

I’m so passionate about helping you heal your IBD, because I want you to be the mom and the woman you were destined to be. The one you were before Crohn’s or colitis came crashing in to change everything. So even though Mother’s Day has passed, in the United States at least, I want you to know that I know how hard you work each day. And I know you are the unsung hero, not just of your household, but for the world. Dramatic, yes, but no less true in my mind. Those of us with Crohn’s and colitis have to work extra hard at motherhood. We work extra hard because it’s challenging to be a mom with IBD.

CATCH ME UP ON PART I.

Speaking of motherhood, we had a great episode last week, just for you mama. Last week’s episode was part of one in our two-part series, 10 Healthy Fats You Need in Your Diet to Heal Your IBD. Last week, we went over the first five of those fats. I’ll give you a super quick recap, but if you haven’t heard Part I yet, episode 32, do me a favor and go back and take a listen when you have time. These 2 episodes all about the power of high-quality fat can stand alone, but they can be used together to make an even bigger impact for your gut health, and your mom life as well.

We started the episode talking about the importance of fat and how scientists and the medical community have gotten fat wrong for so many years. We talked about how fat can actually set your IBD free. Good fats can help heal inflammation, boost your immune system, and benefit your digestive bacteria to ultimately help heal your disease. So, get on the fat train mama. Don’t be afraid of fat, good fat that is. In episode 32, we talked about five healthy fats that also help heal your digestive system. Today we’re going to finish talking about 5 more healthy fats that should be part of your diet, healthy fats 6 through 10.

TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL.

So, last week, when I emailed our gut love community, the GLC for those in the know, all about this latest podcast with fat as our star, I asked our GLCer’s to reach out and tell me what you thought. What fat that we talked about last week interested you the most? Which one were you going to try to get more of in your life?

I love your responses so much that I thought I’d read a couple responses for you.

Sherry said, “I love your story about avocados Karyn. I always thought I hated avocados too. This week I tried guacamole for the first time and it was delicious. I bought it at the grocery store, but next time I’m going to try my own. Can you send your guacamole recipe my way?”

I already sent Sherry my fabulous guacamole recipe, but if you would like the recipe too, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can email me at hello@karynhaley.com.

Tayell also reached out and said, “That was a juicy podcast. I can’t wait for part two. I’ve always been a milk chocolate lover but I’m guessing that is not the kind of chocolate you’re talking about. I found Hu chocolate at Thrive Market online and just ordered it. They have so many delicious flavors. I got cashew butter. Can’t wait to try it. I’ll let you know how it tastes.”

Tayell, cashew butter is my favorite too! And now you are combining goods fats with the chocolate and the nut butter. Bam, Tayell is slaying it! Let me know how it goes, Tayell.

DID YOU GET YOUR HEALTHY OILS PDF SERIES YET?

I love it ladies, I love that the episode inspired you to eat some fat and not be afraid of it.  Don’t forget, last week I mentioned that I also have a freebie going on right now to help you pick out your healthy oils at the grocery store. No more standing in the oil section wondering what’s good for baking, good for cooking, which ones should you not cook at all, what’s healthy and what’s not. I’ve got you covered with two of my favorite resources, Healthy Fats 101: Not Your Mama’s Oil and Healthy Fats 102: Smoke Point.

If you want to get your hot little hands on these resources, all you have to do is look in the show notes. There’s a link there. Or you can always just type the link into your browser– karynhaley.com/oil

[08:10] Now that you’re up-to-date on everything Part I, let’s go ahead and dive in and finish this two-parter episode with Part II. Let’s talk about 5 more good fats. Remember these are the fats you want more in your life when you’re trying to bring your IBD into remission. We need good fat in our diet. Each of the fats we’re talking about today, and the ones we talked about last week, behave a little bit differently. They all have a different nutrient profiles. We went into depth on these nutrient profiles in the last episode and we’ll be going into that for today’s fats as well so you know exactly what you’re getting everything you use these foods. But just know that the bottom line here is that these fats are healthy for your whole body and they are also an important part of your Crohn’s or colitis healing regime.

Let’s get to it. Let’s talk about gut healing healthy fat #6.

THE EGGSTRAORDINARY SUPERPOWER OF EGGS.

Healthy fat # 6 is one of my favorite foods, eggs. Super versatile, super healthy eggs.

Before we get into talking about all the health properties of eggs, and there are many, I want to speak directly to you mama if you are egg sensitive. Before you go ahead and tune out this part or a fast forward the episode, I want to tell you what I tell all my clients who can’t tolerate chicken eggs. It’s worth giving duck eggs a try before you decide to ditch all eggs.  Eggs from different animals have different properties and sometimes you may be sensitive one bird’s eggs, but not another’s. See if you can find duck eggs first before you give up all eggs. Of course, there’s other types of birds that lay eggs like turkey, quail, and goose, but I prefer to recommend duck eggs because they are very easy to find, even in your regular grocery store.

OK, so let’s talk about eggs, whatever eggs work for you. The key to getting the most gut healing benefit from eggs is all about buying high quality eggs. By the best eggs that you can afford to get all the benefits eggs have to offer. When buying eggs at the grocery store, you want to look for free range eggs because they contain lower amounts of cholesterol, more vitamin A, more omega-3’s, more vitamin D, and more beta carotene.

Pasture raised eggs and organic eggs are even better. When purchasing eggs, it’s great if you can buy from a friend who has a farm or if you have the space for it and no HOA standing in your way, possibly have your own chickens to get your eggs from. Knowing your egg source can really be helpful. Many companies claim their eggs are free range but only let the chickens out for a few minutes a day. This is not a free range chicken. That’s a jailed chicken with a visitor’s pass, at best. You should definitely be mindful of the conditions the chickens that lay your eggs are living in. You want to look for chickens who have full access to the outdoors, access to grub’s and other insects, chickens who are not given hormones or antibiotics, not chickens that are placed indoors and fed grains all day.

Whether you buy your eggs at the grocery store, from a farmer, or you have a few of your own, there is no truth to the color of the egg determining how healthy they are. Different breeds of chickens just create different color eggs. These different colors like blue and brown definitely look cool, but don’t think that they are healthier, because they’re not. Also don’t be swayed by the words natural or fresh on the egg carton. Neither of these made up words have anything to do with the health of the egg.

THAT YOLK IS THERE FOR A REASON.

When you eat your eggs, try not to skip the yolk. It’s got a much broader nutrient profile than the white of the egg. The yolk has loads of vitamins and minerals that are so crucial for your gut health and healing. Vitamins and minerals like B12, phosphorus, riboflavin and selenium. Eggs are a wonderfully healthy good fat that can help you heal, but eggs are also a great source of protein, the other building block of gut healing.

And I love that eggs are not just good for your digestive healing, they also have a multitude of health benefits including keeping your heart and eyes healthy, improving liver and brain function, and giving you healthy, glowing skin. Gotta love a food with all those health benefits, right?

Besides all of the wonderful benefits of eggs, what’s even better about this high quality fat is just how many things you can do with them. Let your imagination run wild when it comes to eggs. Eggs are not just for breakfast with scrambled, poached, fried, hard-boiled, or deviled. Eggs make awesome salad toppers, they make tasty little bites of heaven wrapped in bacon when you bake them in a muffin pan, they are delicious in an avocado boat and if you haven’t seen an avocado boat google it. You’re gonna love it. If you are grain free like me, you can make tortillas with eggs using them as your roll up filled with anything your imagination can think of.

When you’re in the beginning stages of gut healing, I highly recommend you crack open an egg into steaming hot meat stock or bone broth. The hot soup will cook the egg just enough and the nutrients will still be well intact for you to benefit from. Or how about a soft boiled egg as a topper for a beef or turkey burger. I bet you’ve seen these at a restaurant before. When you cut into the burger, the yolk of the egg spills out. It’s so healthy for healing your gut. And I’m giving you bonus points if you top the egg burger with sliced avocados. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!

DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET SAUCY WITH YOUR EGGS.

With every amazing way you can serve an egg, there’s probably nothing more wonderful than a Sicilian egg. In my Italian family, hard boiled eggs are always a part of the spaghetti sauce. The egg goes in with the meatballs, sausage, and spareribs and simmer within the homemade tomato sauce. And this all gets served over your spaghetti noodles for a delicious, mouthwatering Sicilian meal. Trust me, everyone I’ve ever served it to thought it was weird at first but is instantly converted the moment they try it. It’s like, what have I been missing this entire time. Hard-boiled eggs in my sauce? Of course, it makes sense! And these days, my spaghetti noodles are spaghetti squash or zoodle’s instead of pasta noodles, but the sauce still remains the same and it always includes hard-boiled eggs.

STOP BUYING LOW FAT/NO FAT YOGURT.

[17:42] Healthy fat #7 is full fat yogurt.

The gut healing benefits of full fat yogurt are 3-fold. First, it’s fat content, second the protein each serving contains, and lastly, the rich, gut healing probiotics in each bite. We all know how important probiotics are for the health of our gut and the bacterial balance of our microbiome. When we have Crohn’s and colitis, we can have a digestive system riddled with dysbiosis. The probiotics in the full fat yogurt are a great way to help balance that gut flora so you feel better, have less stomach gurgle and stomach aches, and less problems in the bathroom.

And when your yogurt comes from grass fed cows, you get your biggest nutritional benefit. When grass fed cows make grass fed milk, and that grass fed milk makes grass fed yogurt, it’s  full of omega-3’s, whey protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D, K2, and of course gut healthy enzymes and probiotics. Wow, can you imagine just how gut healing those nutrients can be for your IBD, all in just one amazing serving of full fat yogurt.

Just like eggs can come from different birds, yogurt doesn’t always have to come from a cow. If you are sensitive to cow’s milk due to either the lactose which is the milk sugar in dairy products (and a common sensitivity for those of use with IBD) or casein the protein found in dairy products, know that other options are available for you and you can still get many of the benefits of yogurt. Goat or sheep’s milk yogurt are two options, coconut milk is another great option for yogurt, and almond milk yogurt is also a possibility, as long as it contains the beneficial bacteria needed to help our gut.

Like so many of these quality fats I’ve been mentioning in this 2-part episode, there’s amazing health benefits that move beyond the gut. Studies have shown that yogurt can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, it can be a protective factor against colon cancer, it can increase bone density and support a healthy weight when we choose full fat. Yogurt can help boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, can even help regulate our mood due to the gut brain connection.

Yep, I know you are feeling it too. Yogurt is a powerhouse.

When it comes to yogurt, the keywords to look for are organic and grass fed. These two options will give you your best gut healing benefit. Whenever I’m recommending yogurt to a client, I always give a good, better, best scenario for which yogurt to choose.

THE YOGURT LOWDOWN.

#1- When it comes to yogurt, your #1 best option is to make your own at home. And if you’ve never done this before, it might seem overwhelming, but trust me it is so stinking simple. It’s also like riding a bike. Once you know the simple few steps, you never forget how to make homemade yogurt. Making your own SCD or GAPS legal yogurt was the star of episode 12: Your Top 10 SCD Yogurt Questions Answered. If you are new to making your own yogurt at home, I highly recommend you check out Episode 12 to give you all the information you need to get started.

The reason I’m so partial to making your own yogurt at home is two-fold. #1- when you make it at home, you control the ingredients. And #2- because of the fermentation. Homemade yogurt can be fermented for 24 hours at home to reduce virtually all of the lactose in the milk. No more gurgle belly, bloating, and diarrhea after you eat yogurt. This can be very helpful for those of us with IBD who have trouble digesting the lactose in dairy.

#2- Let’s say that homemade yogurt isn’t an option for you, for now. Maybe you just want to dip a toe in. Maybe you just want to check out this full fat yogurt gut healing tool. If that’s the case, go with option #2- non-dairy commercial yogurt bought at the grocery store. These are options completely lactose and casein free like almond milk yogurt and coconut milk yogurt. Skip soy yogurt though as many people with Crohn’s and colitis find soy to be challenging to digest. Unless it’s organic, it’s often genetically modified in the United States so that’s another reason to skip the soy yogurt.

When buying commercial non-dairy yogurt, be sure to take a close look at the ingredients and make sure it contains active probiotic cultures and that it has no or very limited additional ingredients. Some yogurts are so high in added ingredients, including sugar, that you’d be better off having a can of soda. Those high sugar yogurts with additives and preservatives are definitely not a good choice.

#3- Lastly, my least favorite option when it comes to buying yogurt for someone who’s on a mission to put their IBD in remission, is dairy made, commercial yogurt. The regular yogurt you buy at the grocery store. Although this type of yogurt probably contains probiotic benefits, it’s not fermented for 24 hours like your homemade yogurt.

Like I mentioned earlier, many people with IBD have challenges with lactose. Commercial brand yogurts are usually fermented for eight hours which is not enough fermentation time to get rid of the lactose. This is where the 24-hour yogurt will benefit you more. If this is your only option, it still may be of benefit to you. Just make sure you choose plain yogurt, and add your own berries or honey (in small amounts) when you get home. Again, this can be a place where manufactures love to add sugar. Eating all that sugar with your yogurt will defeat the purpose of those gut healing and balancing bacteria that are the most important part of the yogurt.

[27:09] OK, just to recap yogurt, your best option is making your own homemade yogurt at home. I can help you get started with that at Episode 12. I’ll leave a link for it in the show notes. Second option if homemade isn’t possible, is to choose non-dairy yogurt at the grocery store. And last but not least when it comes to yogurt, the last option is buying commercial yogurt made from dairy. Whenever you buy yogurt at the grocery store, look for plain yogurt and add your yogurt toppers when you get home.

ARE YOU MAKING THIS MISTAKE WHEN IT COMES TO BUYING SALMON?

Healthy fat #8 is Fatty Fish.

When it comes to gut healing fish, we are looking for the oily fish. Sounds appetizing, right? Salmon, mackerel, sardines. These particular fish varieties have a multitude of gut healing benefits by helping you fight inflammation with their high levels of omega 3’s.

Let’s talk salmon first. Salmon is full of protein, selenium, niacin, B12, and vitamin D. The fat content and salmon boosts brain function and the anti-inflammatory properties help heal your gut. With salmon, of course, we want to purchase wild-caught. But be careful with the labeling of salmon. Some salmon is labeled wild caught even though it was raised in a hatchery and then relocated to the wild. Some salmon may even be genetically modified and unfortunately the FDA does not require that it states GMO on the label. In the research I did on how to find quality salmon, I found that your best chance of getting high quality salmon is by looking for Alaskan wild salmon. This type of salmon seems to be the least contaminated so look for that on the label when you are purchasing.

Because mackerel and sardines are also oily fish, they boast many of the same nutrient dense properties as salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and of course these nutrients make these fatty fish options anti-inflammatory too.

Just a gentle reminder, we do need to be careful with fish as it can contain mercury. Most sources I found recommend eating fish no more than 1 to 2 times per week, and that maybe less if you are pregnant. Definitely check with your doctor and get more individual recommendations on that if you are pregnant or planning for a pregnancy.

Just like with eggs, let your imagination run wild when you’re thinking about what to do with your salmon, mackerel or sardines. All three of these fish can be grilled, roasted, or baked with your favorite seasonings. So what do you think? How about making it a fish night tonight!

Between last week and today, we have made it through 8 healthy fats every IBDer needs to heal. Let’s round out our healthy fat conversation with the last two of our gut healing healthy fats.

[30:29] Healthy Fat #9 is actually two similar high quality fats—nuts and seeds.

I know you’re not happy about this one, I can see you yelling at me now through your phone right now. What are you talking about Karyn? I can’t have nuts, I can’t have seeds. I can’t digest those. I get you, I get it. Stick with me though I’m going to share with you how you can have these Super amazing gut healing fats, even if you aren’t in remission just yet.

First of all, let’s start with nuts and seeds in their whole, raw, natural state. These are definitely your healthiest option and best if you are in remission. We don’t want any of these harder to digest foods getting stuck in your digestive tract before enough healing has taken place. But, that doesn’t mean nuts and seeds are completely off the table for you. Nuts make wonderful nut butters and if you have a high-speed blender, seeds can easily be blended into a smoothie so you don’t even know they’re there anymore. Their just part of the rich and creamy smoothie.

Nuts and seeds, whole or ground up, are jam packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as anti-inflammatory omega-3’s. Remember though with nuts, a little really goes a long away. It doesn’t take very many nuts to get the amount of fat you’re looking for to reap the gut healing benefits your looking for.

With so many nuts on the market, you might be wondering where you should be putting the effort. There really are so many and most of them do have high quality health benefits, but I do have a few favorites for those with Crohn’s and colitis.

THE BEST NUTS FOR YOUR GUT HEALTH.

Almonds are fantastic because they’re high in fiber, protein, and vitamin E. Cashews are full of antioxidants, and if you’re concerned about fat because either you’re watching your weight or you struggle to digest fat due to your illness, cashews are the perfect option for you. They are lower in fat than other nuts, but still give you amazing gut healing benefits.

What other nuts are worth trying out? Well, walnuts rock for sure. They are super anti-inflammatory because they’re full of omega-3’s and they’re also high in protein and minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. I’m also a huge fan of Brazil nuts. They have serious amounts of selenium which helps fight against cell damage. That’s a huge help for those of us with IBD.

If you’re at a place where your Crohn’s and colitis is healed enough or you are in remission, my favorite way to eat nuts is in a trail mix or chopped as a salad topper or as a topper on a lettuce wrap. I’m also a huge fan of pecans in roasted brussels sprouts, but nuts can also be a topper for any cooked veggie. Maybe a green beans almondine.

If you’re in gut healing mode, and I’m betting you are because that’s why you’re listening to this podcast, save the whole or chopped nuts for a little waze down the road. Use your nuts as a nut butter. Almond, cashew, and walnut butter are your best options. Seeds like pumpkin, flax, chia, sunflower, and hemp are perfect for blending into a smoothie. They will give you that added health factor, but if you use a high-speed blender like a Ninja, Blendtec, or a Vitamix, you will not have any trouble digesting them. Seeds like these are high in magnesium, iron, calcium, and phosphorus, but because of their omega-3’s, they are also high in anti-inflammatory properties.

THE ABSOLUTE ULTIMATE GUT HEALING FAT.

[36:45] Healthy fat #10

I saved the ultimate gut healing fat for number 10. Thinking about all the ones we talked about so far, can you guess which one I saved for #10? It’s a gut healer I talk about all the time on the podcast. The ultimate good fat is bone broth. An absolutely critical must do when you’re in gut healing mode. Talk about a powerhouse of health. Bone broth increases your immune function with amino acids like L glutamine and it also decreases your inflammation with its gelatin and collagen properties that help to heal leaky gut. I think the best thing about bone broth or meat stock (like I like to make) is the way that it is able to help diversify the bacteria in our digestive tract. This is the ultimate key to healing our gut troubles.

When it comes to bone broth, I’d love for you to make your own. It’s really so simple and only requires a few ingredients. If you want more information on the bone broth, I definitely talked about it on several episodes, but I think the one that probably has the most information is episode 15: the popular 7 Healing Gems Every IBD Mom Needs to Know About. This one, still continues to get downloaded multiple times a day because it’s power packed with good into. And one of those healing gems, of course, is bone broth. If you’re ready for bone broth, it’s super high-quality fat that helps with gut healing, go check out that episode and get started today. I’ll link it up in the show notes so it’s easy for you to find.

Because I know that making your own bone broth isn’t in the cards for everyone, I’d like to just give you a few options to buy. I’m hoping that these will get you started and get you excited about bone broth, enough that you will look into making your own. It’s so simple. And if you don’t have a recipe of your own, get in touch with me. I’ll send you out a bone broth (or as I do it, meat stock) recipe right away.

OK, so if you want to just dip your toe in and start by buying bone broth, which company can you trust? There are so many on the market today and trust me when I tell you, most are not good. When it comes to buying store-bought bone broth, my favorite companies are Kettle and Fire, Bare Bones, and Bonafide Provisions. You can probably find all three of these at your regular grocery store, but you can also find them at health food stores everywhere, and of course, online.

So, how are you going to use your bone broth or your meat stock, you’re going to drink the broth straight. And drink it like it’s a party and you’re partying like it’s 1999 and it’s the last drink on the planet. Drink it every day while you’re in gut healing mode and very soon you will start to see that it will benefit your gut.

So there you have it, between the 10 healthy fats episodes Part I and Part II, you now know the 10 healthy fats that should be part of your diet if you want to heal your Crohn’s or colitis. These healthy fats will help reduce inflammation throughout your body, they will help boost your immune system so that your immune system is not attacking itself, and most importantly they will help to balance your bacterial load throughout your digestive tract.

Good quality, healthy fats.

Our heart needs them, our liver needs them, our brain needs them, and especially our gut needs them. So, no more being afraid of fat mama. Bad fat, absolutely. Stay away from nachos and French fries and processed foods and potato chips. Good fat? No way. Eat it like your health depends on it, because it actually does.

THE DO IT LIKE A MOM, RECAP.

[42:10] Let’s recap on those 10 healthy fats you need, the 5 we talked about last week in Part I and the 5 healthy fats from today, Part II. These the 10 best fats to help heal your IBD. Of course, I’m sure it goes without saying, eating quality fats isn’t the only thing you need to heal because there’s definitely a well proven combination of approaches that help to heal your IBD, but when it comes to eating for IBD, the big take away here is that fat is a crucial component.

Here’s the 10 good fats we talked about:

#1 Coconut oil

#2 Butter and ghee

#3Avocados and avocado oil

#4 Extra virgin olive oil

#5Dark chocolate

#6 Eggs

#7 Full fat yogurt

#8 Fatty fish

#9 Nuts and seeds

#10 Bone broth or meat stock

Get that shopping list ready mama, it’s time to buy some healthy fat. What are you already doing when it comes to good fats? What did this episode and the last episode help you with when it comes to quality fats and inflammatory bowel disease? As always, I want to hear from you. Let me know how old this information landed for you. Let me know what you are going to try when it comes to high quality gut healing healthy fats.

[44:45] Also, a quick remember that if you’re feeling confused about which healthy fats to stock in your pantry, which ones are best for cooking, which ones shouldn’t be heated, and if you can heat it, what temperature is it best on… then you definitely want your two healthy oils guides, Healthy Oils 101: Not Your Mama’s Oils and Healthy Oils 201: Smoke Point, you can get both of these free resources by clicking the link in the show notes or by going directly to karynhaley.com/oil

Healthy, gut healing fats, out.

Until we meet again mom friend, 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.

Ep: 32: 5 Healthy Fats You Need in Your Diet to Heal IBD (Part I)

What comes to mind when I say the word, fat?

Nothing positive, right? Society has conditioned us to believe that fat and everything that has to do with it, is bad.

Fat is bad.

But what if I told you that everyone needs fat to be healthy?

What if I told you that those of us with IBD need fat even more than most people.

Sure, many of us with Crohn’s and colitis are underweight and wouldn’t mind gaining a few pounds, but quality fat that comes from food is about so much more than gaining a few pounds.

Health fats in the food we eat is about healing inflammation. It’s about boosting our immune system. And most importantly, healthy fats have the power to transform our digestive system into a balanced, happy belly.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Stick with me for this special 2-part episode of The Cheeky Podcast as we explore the 10 best, healthiest fats we can eat to transform our gut junk into gut love.

Today, we’ll focus on healthy fats #’s 1-5.

We’re talking about:

  • What went terribly wrong with the 80’s low fat/fat free craze (and why it should never be repeated again)
  • The no-holds-barred truth on what are the healthiest and unhealthiest oils so you can stop your “say what?” expression every time you go down the oils aisle at the grocery store
  • The would-be healthy fat that’s actually watered down with other ingredients 70% of the time (and how you can play detective to get the real deal)
  • The decadent recipe for avocado chocolate mousse that’s delish and gut healing at the same time.

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll be ready to ditch the fats that are bringing your gut health down and welcome in the healthy fats and oils that are the key to healthy gut repair and maintenance.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [07:06] What went terribly wrong with the 80’s low fat/fat free craze (and why it should never be repeated again).
  • [10:45] The 3 reasons why fat is the key to healing our gut troubles.
  • [12:15] The no-holds-barred truth on what are the healthiest and unhealthiest oils so you can stop your “say what?” expression every time you go down the oils aisle at the grocery store
  • [18:40] The “drop the mic” unrefined oil that’s anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory (the bam you need to heal your IBD).
  • [20:55] The good fat that protects not only our gut health, but also lubricates your joints too (goodbye IBD arthritis).
  • [23:20] The problem ghee can solve for those of us who are sensitive to lactose and casein.
  • [28:30] The fruit that’s high in healthy gut healing fat and also several nutrients like omega 3’s, choline, calcium, and selenium.
  • [34:30] The healthy fat that’s the heart of the Mediterranean diet and is also a gut healing super star.
  • [36:06] The would-be healthy fat that actually watered down with other ingredients 70% of the time (and how you can play detective to get the real deal)
  • [40:50] The polyphenols and flavonoids in this gut healing high-quality fat help decrease inflammation in our body.
  • [43:09] The decadent recipe for avocado chocolate mousse, that’s delish and gut healing at the same time.
  • [50:08] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Your FREE Healthy Oils Guide 101 &102

The Gut Love Community

Ep 30: You’re Doing Everything Right—How Come Your IBD Isn’t Getting Any Better

Additional Resources from the Episode:

Hu Chocolate

Equal Exchange Chocolate

So, This is Exactly How Sugar Makes Us Fat

Why Fats Matter to Your Gut and Your General Health

All About Fats and Why We Need Them in Are Life

What are the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?

20 Coconut Oil Benefits for Your Brain, Heart, Joints, and More

The Top 20 Health Benefits of Real Butter

Ghee Benefits: Are They Better Than Butter?

Episode Transcript:

[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]

[00:51] Well, hello there fellow IBD mama. If this is your first time listening, welcome, I’m so happy you found The Cheeky Podcast and I’m honored to have you here as we tackle IBD together. If you’re a long time listener, welcome back dear one. If you’ve been around for a while and if you are loving what I’m dishing out here each week, definitely consider subscribing to the podcast so you never miss an episode. It’s been an exhilarating ride so far, and I am so happy to be on this IBD journey right by your side.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SAY “FAT?”

I’ve got a great episode for you today. And it’s all about a word that nobody likes saying— FAT. As women especially, we hate that word. But today we’re talking a fat, mama. I dare you to say it out loud with me. Fat! How about this one– Fat is good. Especially for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis.

Today, I’m taking you through the first 5 of the 10 healthy fats you need in your diet to help your IBD heal. There’s a lot to get to through when we’re talking about healthy fats and I want to give each gut healing, healthy fat the time it deserves. That’s why we’re making this episode a two-parter. So today we’re talking about the first five of the 10 healthy fats, next week we’ll tackle the last five. So, if you want to know about all of them, you definitely have to tune in next week as well.

For today, as we discuss the first 5 on our healthy fats list, we’re going to start by touching on the time not that long ago in our history when fat was a toxic word, next we’ll get into why fat is not something to be feared, but instead, a food group to be revered, and so important for your gut health and lastly will dive into the healthy fats 1-5 that every IBDer needs in their diet to heal. One of the fats I’ll be talking about in this 2-part episode is positively decadent and another is truly the ultimate goddess of good fat.

Are you ready for some fat loving, gut healing goodness? Let’s get to it.

WHERE DID THE 80’S GO WRONG?

So if you’re an old woman like me, I bet you remember the low fat craze of the 80s. Snackwell’s, Tab, fat free salad dressing, fat free Pringles and Wow chips. And the bulk of doctors, scientists, and the food industry telling us all fat was akin to the devil. Candy sales surged because it was easy to make tasty low-fat or no fat versions of these sweet treats. All you had to do was add in extra sugar.

I remember my best friend in high school eating huge bags of Twizzlers every day because the bag said low fat… practically like eating air. They didn’t count. I, myself, was a Snackwell junkie.  

Guess what happened? Everybody got fat!

Why? Well, to figure out why this happened we have to understand the power of a hormone called leptin. Leptin is a hormone that is made of a fat cells. It regulates your metabolism and the rate of fat breakdown in the body. Higher rates of Leptin equal higher metabolism, and a higher rate of fat breakdown in the body, while lower rates of Leptin equal a slower metabolism and a lower rate of fat breakdown for the body.

Leptin has the power to tell your brain that it’s energy thermostat is working and all systems are go, according to leptin hormone expert, Dr. Robert Lustig. But when we diet, or eat less fat, and instead, eat large amounts of sugar, leptin doesn’t have enough energy to tell your brain that you are full.

And when we overwhelm our body, and especially our liver with extra sugar, like all that high sugar, fat free food, the extra sugar gets turned into liver fat. The insulin spike that all of this sugar creates, can stop leptin from doing its job of keeping us feeling hungry when we are actually full.

Now we’ve got a problem because even though we were eating low fat foods, we were overeating on unhealthy, high sugar foods, which put us at risk of high triglycerides, heart disease, obesity, and fatty liver disease.

[07:06] So that low fat 80’s craze with high sugar to make everything fat free taste OK was a recipe for disaster.

Thankfully we are no longer in the high sugar/low fat phase, but I still hear negative comments about fat all the time. I still see fat free and low fat on the shelves, and it makes me want to gag. What a money-making scam! Why hasn’t the food industry changed to keep up with modern scientific discoveries?

THE TRUTH ABOUT FAT.

All fat is not bad. Bad that is bad. Fats you find in fast food, potato chips, nachos, cheeseburgers, packaged, boxed, and canned food… these are examples of foods that usually contain trans fats—fats that are not good for you.  But there’s many fats that actually are good for you and these are the kinds of fats that we called “good fats.” And it turns out these fats are particularly helpful when it comes to healing Crohn’s and colitis.

As IBDers, we need fat to be successful healers. I’m going to say that one more time just to make sure we’re all on the same page mom friend. We need good fat to help us heal. It’s that important. And not all fat is created equal, some fats are better than others when it comes to gut healing.

Good quality fats can help us absorb vitamins which is so crucial for gut healing. Fat soluble vitamins (which means that are absorbed better in fat) like vitamins A, E, D, K– these vitamins are necessary for healing. Quality fat in the foods we eat increases satiety– that feeling of fullness we get so we don’t overeat.

When my newbie SCDer’s come to me and say, “Karyn, I am so hungry.” I always tell them to load up on good fat. Keep the fats we’re talking about today and next week on hand while you’re in the early stages of any gut healing diet like SCD. It will help you feel fuller, longer. Plus, good fats help us reduce the glycemic index spike we can have when we eat too much sugar. So, no blood sugar crashes, and we especially don’t want those when we are new to an IBD healing diet.

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR GUT HEALTH?

And let’s not leave this idea, here, with this general information. I want to get really specific about how eating quality fat is going to help your gut heal. Because for us, that’s what it’s all about. Many of the fats we’ll be talking about today and in part-2, next week, are anti-inflammatory. This is definitely a good reason to consume quality fats because we are trying to lower our inflammation levels when it comes to Crohn’s and colitis.

Fats are also the building blocks of all your membranes, and cell regeneration for gut healing is dependent on fat cells. Fat helps support and helps grow our gut flora through the same anti-inflammatory properties. Fats support healthy immune function, and nutrient absorption. Our gut flora—those awesome gut bugs that, when balanced, help our IBD remain in remission—actually communicate with the fat in the foods we eat. Research has been conducted on people who are classified as obese. And it’s been found that people who are obese have a greater proportion of bad bacteria than those who are of normal weight. Eating healthy fat, on the other hand, promotes the health of your gut bacteria, and a stable weight too.

Now, today with the first 5 of these 10 healthy fats you need have in your diet to help heal your IBD, we’ll be talking about a mixture of cooking fats and oils as well as foods that are high in gut healing fat.

GIVE ME THE LOWDOWN ON COOKING OILS. I’M CONFUSED.

But before we get started, because I know that so many of you have questions about which cooking oils are healthiest for you and the ones you should stay away from, let me give you a quick list of those first. We all know the feeling of standing in the grocery store oils section, just standing there, feeling overwhelmed, wondering which oils are healthy and which we should never put in our shopping cart.

Do you have something to write with, or an app on your phone open? OK, here’s the list.

Your best, healthiest cooking oils, the ones that are best for gut health are a butter, ghee, tallow (which is beef fat), lard (which is pork fat), chicken, duck, and goose fat, avocado and coconut oil.

Less healthy fats, ones you want to avoid when you are cooking are safflower, sunflower, vegetable, corn, canola, peanut, and soybean oil. And trans fats like margarine and shortening are never a good option.

I’VE GOT YOU COVERED WITH YOUR HEALTHY OILS 101 & 102 PDF.

[14:10] I have a great healthy oils series of pdf guides if you’re interested. It’s called Healthy Oils 101 and Healthy Oils 102. If healthy oils have been a mystery for you, if you’ve been that confused shopper at the grocery store, and if you want to dive deeper into which healthy oils you should buy and how to cook with them, this is the pdf series for you. Healthy Oils 101: Not Your Mamas Oils, is a great starter resource, and the follow up Healthy Oils 102: Smoke Point, gives you all the information you need to know about oils and the temperature they are best at. Some oils should never be heated, some only up to medium, and some can get cranked up to high without deteriorating. This guide will help you figure all that out.

You can get both of these healthy oils resources by going to karynhaley.com/oil.  That’s karynhaley.com/oil

I just know when it comes to cooking with high quality fats, oils can be of the hardest things to master. There’s just so many options and we’re given very little honest direction with what’s healthy and what’s not. If you’d like a little help in this area, definitely check out this Healthy Oils resource. I’ll also link to it in the show notes so you can just click on it there.

OK, let’s go ahead and dive into the best gut healing, healthy fats #’s 1-5 (out of 10- remember I’m saving the last 5 for next week’s part-2 episode). These are the fats you need to eat to help heal your IBD.

DROP THE MIC ON COCONUT OIL. WHAT A HEALTH BUILDER!

[16:30] #1 Coconut Oil

And yes, it is a saturated fat. Gasp, this is the reason why many believe it to be unhealthy. The American Heart Association focuses on how saturated fats may increase your LDL (and that’s our bad cholesterol), but it misses out on coconut oil’s benefit as being anti-inflammatory. It also supports brain health and gives us energy. Super important benefits.

Coconut oil’s health factor comes from its medium chain triglycerides. It includes compounds like caprylic acid, which is helpful for those with Candida. This is what makes coconut oil antibacterial, anti-viral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. And speaking of Candida, we just touched on this IBD related challenge a couple episodes ago—episode 30. So, if you think that you might have Candida, which is an overgrowth of yeast in the gastrointestinal tract, you might want to check out episode 30. I’ll link to it in the show notes. Coconut oil also boasts of having lauric acid, which is great as an anti-microbial, so it helps fight off viruses and bacteria.

When it comes to your gut, coconut oil helps you absorb your fat soluble vitamins and helps improve bacterial balance as well as helps to lower gut inflammation.

Talk about a healthy fat!

2 TYPES OF COCONUT OIL

There’s two types of coconut oil you’ll definitely want to be familiar with, unrefined and refined. Although one is touted as being healthier than the other, they both have their benefits. Personally, I have both in my house. Unrefined coconut oil is minimally processed so it does have more health benefits. Use this one with raw food, uncooked food, like when you make those cute little energy bites, or put unrefined coconut oil in a smoothie. You’ll never know it’s there, but you’ll still get the health benefits. Unrefined, or sometimes called virgin coconut oil, has a stronger coconuty taste. Coconut lovers love it, coconut haters, not so much because of its stronger flavor.

Refined coconut oil is great for cooking. It’s not as healthy as unrefined coconut oil because it’s more processed, but it also doesn’t have a big coconut taste, something that non-coconut lovers appreciate. Refined coconut oil is great for anything you cook.

Lastly, I just want to mention that coconut oil is just one healthy coconut product when it comes to healthy fats. Full fat coconut milk as well as coconut water are also fantastic coconut products that can help your digestive tract function at its best.

DITCH THAT MARGARINE MAMA!

#2 Butter and Ghee

Butter is another excellent high-quality fat. When you’re at the grocery store, skip the partially hydrogenated margarine and go straight for the real butter. Butter also contains lauric acid so it is antimicrobial just like coconut oil. Butter is a great source of vitamins E and K, and it helps prevent calcification of your joints–those stiff joints we can often get when we have crohn’s or colitis. Because of its high fat content, butter is also a great source of energy. It’s a great pick me up in the morning, even in your morning coffee or tea.

When you’re looking for a butter at the grocery store, it’s best to buy organic and grass fed. Grass fed (vs grain fed) cows make a butter that’s significantly richer in fatty acids as well as fat soluble vitamins. Grass fed butter is also higher in conjugated linoleic acid. It’s a fatty acid compound found in higher amounts in grass fed butter, which is great for immune system boosting and disease fighting.

Butter can be used to sauté anything, you can put a pat on top of your veggies, spread it on gluten or grain free bread, or even make avocado butter with it. There’s so many uses for butter both raw, as well as in cooking, frying, or baking.

WHAT IF I CAN’T EAT BUTTER?

And it’s good to know that if you have trouble tolerating butter, there’s another option available. Ghee, similar to clarified butter, has no lactose and no casein in it. Just like with butter, when it comes to ghee, choose grass fed and organic for the same reasons I already mentioned. It helps with better digestion and inflammation. Ghee is great for those of us with leaky gut or IBD because it helps digest the fat soluble vitamins we might have difficulty digesting due to deficiencies in our digestive tract.

Ghee is loaded with butyrate which is a fatty acid and important for gut health. Studies show butyrate can be helpful for lowering inflammation levels in Crohn’s and colitis specifically. Ghee also helps increase our gut flora and therefore gives us a healthier microbiome.

Ghee can be used very much like butter, in cooking, frying, or sautéing. It has a high smoke point so you can cook without worrying that it will burn a turn into a trans fat. You can put ghee on your veggies, spread it on a slice of gluten-free or grain free bread, and when it comes to ghee, you can even make your own from butter at home. I’ve done it and had clients do it occasionally. It’s actually fun!

IF YOU’VE NEVER GIVEN AVOCADO’S A TRY, IT’S TIME FOR A SECOND LOOK.

[25:20] #3 Avocados and Avocado Oil

In a word, avocados are awesome. I know people seem to either love avo’s or hate them. I’m in the love category. It’s up there in my top 5 favorite foods. But I didn’t always love avocados. They were green and slimy looking, they browned so easily.

I still remember the day I ate my first avocado. I’ve probably mentioned this before to the moms in the GLC, but I used to live in England. As you might expect from my accent (or as we so egotistically see ourselves in the US, non-accent) I live in America. But for 4 years, I got to live in one of the most special places on the planet, England. I had 2 tiny tikes at the time who’s favorite thing to do was visit Father Christmas (aka Santa Claus) at Harrod’s Department Store in London every year during the holidays.

If you think taking your kid to see Santa at the mall is a big deal, holy cow, this department store takes it to a new level at Harrod’s in London. One year, during our annual Harrod’s visit, we stopped in at the department store café for a quick bite after our Santa visit and I accidentally forgot to ask the server to remove sliced avocados from my sandwich. So when it came with avocados, I thought what the heck, I’ll take a bite. Well, as you might expect, this story has the happiest of endings. It was love at first bite, and avocados and I have been inseparable ever since.

Truthfully, I always felt kind of sinful eating an avocado, it couldn’t be good for me. It tastes too rich, too creamy to be healthy. Imagine my surprise, almost 10 years later when I realized these delightful fruits (yep, not a veggie), are actually not just delish, but are quite healthy too.

[28:30] Avocados are full of omega-3’s, choline, calcium, and selenium. They even have more potassium than a banana. Avocados are high in antioxidants and they’re also a great source of fiber, which helps grow healthy bacteria in your gut. Avocados also help give some bulk to your stool, so if you’re struggling with oatmeal or soft serve poops, regular eating of avocados might help to firm things up for you a little bit. Avocados are a great source of quality fat, the monounsaturated kind and they are also high in oleic fatty acid so they can help decrease inflammation.

HOW ABOUT AVOCADO OIL? IS THAT HEALTHY TOO?

Avocado oil is also an amazing high-quality fat to use in your cooking and uncooked as well. It’s detoxifying because it contains chlorophyll. And as a side benefit, avocado oil is wonderful for your skin and nails and your hair. Which by the way, while I’m thinking of it, coconut oil is too. I love a good coconut oil moisture hair bath—something us curly girls need lots of.

Back to avocados, now if you’ve never had an avocado before and you’re thinking what could I possibly do with it besides eat it straight, I’ve got you covered there. First of all, eating an avocado straight, with a spoon is delicious, but if you’re new to this healthy fruit you might want to start with avo toast, which is just a mashed-up avocado on bread. Bonus points if you make it gluten or grain free bread. You can chop up avocados and use them as a salad topper, you can put avocados in a smoothie to make it super creamy. Avocados can also be used to make deliciously creamy and healthy brownies or raw cacao pudding. Am I making your mouth water? Chopped avocados are an awesome topper for any stew or chili. And, of course, the most common use of the avocado is to make guacamole. Of course, you can buy that at the grocery store too. Just be sure to check the ingredients first to make sure it’s not full of crappy preservatives or additives.

Avocado oil also has a multitude of uses. My favorite is to put it in my homemade salad dressing. There’s actually a recipe for that dressing in that pdf I mentioned earlier, Healthy Oils 101: Not Your Mama’s Oils. The healthy oils info and the salad dressing recipe is yours if you go to karynhaley.com/oil. Remember, even if you are not eating salad because you’re in a flare or it upsets your stomach too much, you can still use salad dressing to add some healthy fat on cooked veggies or as a cooked veggie dipper. I like my avocado oil straight as a drizzle on veggies, and it’s also delicious as a drizzle on top of a puréed soup. Would it be weird to put avocado oil on my new favorite avocado soup? OK, maybe that would be just a bit too much avocado, even for me.

THE WONDER FAT THAT’S MISLEADING YOU AT THE GROCERY STORE.

#4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

EVOO, as my gal Rachel Ray calls it. You knew this one was coming. Just about everyone knows of the health benefits of this healthy fat. It’s been well-researched and it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have been reported on in mainstream medicine and throughout media. EVOO is at the center of the heart and gut healing Mediterranean diet.

[34:34] EVOO is a monounsaturated fat that contains oleic acid, so it fights free radicals and is full of antioxidants. A 2019 research review found that the phenol compounds in EVOO, which make it an abundant source of antioxidants, help to boost intestinal immunity and gut health of the microbiome for those with IBD.

And besides gut health, EVOO has many other benefits. It’s even been found to aid with lowering depression and anxiety levels, fighting cancer, dementia, and obesity. Talk about a wonder fat!

The one problem with EVOO is not in the rich quality fat itself, but in purchasing this healthy oil. With EVOO, it’s all about finding a quality brand that is reputable. A recent CBS report found that up to 70% of EVOO sold in stores is actually watered down with other ingredients, including canola oil.

To make sure that you get what you are paying for and the health benefits it touts, look for EVOO that is cold pressed or expeller pressed. Some bottles even have an IOC seal, that’s the Olive Oil Counsel seal that certifies that it is actually olive oil in the bottle.

Olive oil should be purchased in dark green glass bottles. That’s best for packaging because it protects the delicate oil from the light coming in and damaging its properties due to oxidation. Olive oil does become rancid quickly so the dark green glass helps protect its quality.

Don’t buy olive oil in those large plastic jugs, especially if you don’t use it very often. Olive oil, once opened, should be used within a few months. And because it’s so delicate of an oil, it’s not the best oil for cooking. Olive oil is best used as a drizzle on veggies, in salad dressings, sprinkled on toast or rolls. I love to mix EVOO with balsamic vinegar and use it as a finishing sauce for chicken. It’s also great in pesto, hummus, or drizzled over your soup like avocado oil.

THE DECADANT DESSERT YOU DON’T HAVE TO DESSERT.

#5 Dark Chocolate

Let’s end our conversation today with the most decadent fat of all, dark chocolate. Aaaahhhhh, dark chocolate. Delightful, sinful, almost made for a private, uninterrupted moment with yourself, dark chocolate.

Remember, I’ll be back next week with #s 6-10 on our list of the 10 healthiest fats you need in your diet to heal your IBD. But let’s wrap up today and with my personal favorite, dark chocolate.

Now when you think about dark chocolate, fat might not be the first thing that comes to your mind, but the fat in dark chocolate comes from the healthy and healing fat in the cocoa butter used to make it. Dark chocolate is rich in minerals like magnesium, iron, and zinc. All super powerful for us IBDer’s to help us relax, give us energy, as well as the ability to fight off infections. It has so many benefits, even non-gut healing benefits, like lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and helping brain function and heart health. Dark chocolate has even been linked to helping fighting cancer.

But when it comes to gut health, dark chocolates’ properties are just as outstanding. Chocolate is anti-inflammatory because it contains high amounts of antioxidants. It releases polyphenols in flavonoids which then help to decrease inflammation in our body.

70% CACAO IS WHAT YOU WANT. AND 1 TO 2 SQUARES IS ALL YOU NEED.

Are you ready to go out and buy some dark chocolate? I definitely am. Try to choose at least 70% cacao to get your biggest health benefits from dark chocolate. And eating dark chocolate doesn’t mean to eat a candy bar a day. You can get beneficial health benefits from 1 to 2 ounces per day. That’s 1 to 2 squares. One more thing about dark chocolate is that it does contain caffeine. If you’re sensitive to even small doses of caffeine, you’ll want to skip this healthy fat.

I think I’m going to wrap this episode up so I can go grab me some dark chocolate. I’m a huge fan of the dark chocolate from a company called Hu. I also love the dark chocolate made by Equal Exchange. Forget an apple a day, I’m all for a square a day keeps the doctor away. I’ll link to Hu and Equal Exchange in the show notes so you can check them out.

So thankful that dark chocolate is healthy! Not sure if I’d choose avocado’s over dark chocolate. Thankfully, I don’t have to choose. Avocado chocolate mousse anyone? There’s a great recipe I’ve made several times for avocado chocolate mousse from Feel Good Foodie. I’ll link to in the show notes. Feel free to check it out and let me know how it goes for you. FYI, I usually sub out the maple syrup and use honey, but whatever floats your gut boat, go for it.

LET’S DO THE MOM-SIZED RECAP.

OK my love, let’s do a quick recap of the 5 healthy fats we talked about today. We started with the mother of all healthy oils, coconut oil. Remember to use refined for baking and cooking and unrefined for anything raw or uncooked and you’ll be set with that.

Next up was butter and ghee. Don’t be afraid of real butter darling. It’s antimicrobial and high in vitamins that support your digestive tract. And if you are super sensitive to lactose (butter only has small amounts) or casein (higher amounts) choose ghee. It’s the perfect butter substitute. No matter which one you pick, make it organic and grass fed to reap as many gut health benefits as you can. I buy mine from an Amish farmer who makes it himself. You can’t get much better than that.

High quality fat #3 was avocados and avocado oil. You know I passionately love this healthy fat. And don’t be afraid to experiment with this gut healthy gem. Avocado brownies, avocado egg boats—google them if you don’t know what I’m referring to. Delish. Avocado oil is fantastic too! It’s great for salad dressings and remember salad dressing isn’t just for salad.

An absolutely delish salad dressing is included in your free healthy oils pdf series. The one with Healthy Oils 101: Not Your Mama’s Oils and Healthy Oils 102: Smoke Point. You’ll learn all about the best oils for your health, how to use them, what states their best in, and how high you can heat them and have them still be safe. Get your free pdf at karynhaley.com/oil or just click the link in the show notes.

Healthy fat #4 was EVOO- extra virgin olive oil. Can I get an Amen for this gem of a gut healthy fat? Amen! Check your pantry today. What’s your EVOO situation like? Do you have a fake that’s been laced with canola oil, or is it pure EVOO goodness? I once went to an EVOO tasting in Italy. Holy moly, it was green and had almost a bite to it. Super fresh and really delicious. Nothing like I’ve tasted in the states, but you can find quality EVOO here. You just have to look for it—and in all honesty, be willing to pay a little more for it. Just use it sparingly.

Lastly, we dove into guilt free decadence with our last healthy fat for the day, healthy fat #5, dark chocolate. Don’t be afraid of good quality dark chocolate. Choose 70% cacao and you are good to go. Reap the benefits of dark chocolate for your gut and many other parts of your body too. Not to mention all the goodness it does for your mental health. It just makes you smile when you eat it, doesn’t it? Gotta love a snack that’s good for your mind and body!

WHICH OF THESE HEALTHY FATS ARE YOU READY TO TRY?

So, which of these good healthy fats do you currently have in your kitchen? Which ones are you going to go out and buy? Let me know. Give me a shout at hello@karynhaley.com. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on healthy fats!

Remember mom friend, I’m here if you need help getting over your IBD challenges. I coach clients in my private practice, so reach out if you need me, and we’ll figure out how we can best work together to help you find remission and get your friggin’ life back, cause you deserve it mama. No more wasting time. It’s time to heal today.

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

Chat soon!

[49:34] 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.

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.

Ep: 31: You’ve Got IBD. Will Your Kids Get It Too?

You’ve got IBD. Will your kids get it too? We know that there’s a hereditary and a genetic link for IBD. Does that mean that your kids are destined to get the dreaded and often complicated Crohn’s or colitis too?

As moms, we all worry about what our IBD will mean for our kids. And these worries might even cause you to get stressed, anxious, or even have a freak out moment every time your kiddos get a stomach bug. Is that Crohn’s creeping up? Maybe it’s not just a virus… maybe it’s colitis. I’ve definitely had those moments as a mom with IBD.

Scary, consuming stuff!

After experiencing way too much mom guilt about the possibility of putting this “curse” on my kids, and my clients telling me they’ve had similar freak outs, I decided it was time to stop my negative future casting and actually learn the truth.

So, what’s the deal with our kids and IBD? Are they destined to get it? That’s what we’re going to find out together on this week’s podcast.

We’re talking about:

  • The flaw in the 20th century discovery of “biological determination and the problem it causes for IBDer’s
  • What Epigenetics has to do with the development and the progression of IBD.
  • Why mud pies, gardens, and something called “Earthing” really are the best way to diversify your kid’s microbiome
  • The 4 specific, non-genetic factors that will have a strong influence over your child’s gut health and overall well-being

And so much more!

After the episode, I hope you’ll leave behind the stress and anxiety we often feel about our kid’s future and instead feel hope and positivity, when it comes to your kid’s gut health and overall health as well.  

Episode at a Glance:

  • [02:08] Is Crohn’s and colitis hereditary? I’ll give you the latest data.
  • [07:03] The flaw in the 20th century discovery of “biological determination” and the problem it caused for those of us with IBD.
  • [10:45] What’s even more important than genetics when it comes to our kid’s risk of IBD.
  • [11:20] What is the Exposome and how can it positively change our health trajectory.
  • [13:04] What Epigenetics has to do with the development and the progression of IBD.
  • [21:45] The 4 specific, non-genetic factors that will have a strong influence over your child’s gut health and overall well-being
  • [26:02] Why mud pies, gardens, and something called “Earthing” really are the best way to diversify your kid’s microbiome
  • [27:25] The impact of sleep deprivation on your kid’s gut health
  • [33:25] The 3 best stress resilience tools to introduce your kids to at a young age (and they are capital “F” Fun too)
  • [39:24] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

The Gut Love Community

The Cheeky Podcast Episode 8: The IBD Sleep Connection

Additional Resources from the Episode:

The Big Life Journal

Insight Timer Meditation App with Stories for Kids

Dr. Andrew Weil Teaches the 4-7-8 Breath

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Genetics, Epigenetics, and Pathogenesis

What is Epigenetics?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Prevalence in the United States

Breastfeeding and Genetic Factors in the Etiology of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Children

Why Your Genes Aren’t Your Destiny

Exposome and Exposomics

The Importance of Sleep for Kids

Sleep Dysfunction and Gastrointestinal Disease

How Stress Affects Toddlers and Their Digestion

Eight Ways to Help Your Child Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Episode Transcript:

[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]

[00:51] Hey dear listener, how are doing you today? We’ve got so much to get to on the podcast. So many juicy nuggets I know you’re going to love, so let’s dive in.

First off, I have to say that the thing that I love most about my health and nutrition consulting practice is that about 95% of my clients are moms. I set up my practice that way on purpose. I’m a mom of three and everything I do in my life is from the lens of a mom. My family life, my friendships, my work, how I handle my disease … No matter what I do, where I go, all of my thoughts, they come from the bent of being a mom, first and foremost. Can you relate to that?

So, when I set up my practice, I knew I wanted to help moms. And since mostly I work with moms who have IBD, one of the biggest questions I get asked from those moms is will my child get Crohn’s or colitis?

GIVE IT TO ME STRAIGHT. WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?

Of course, we know I don’t have a crystal ball and I can’t see into the future, so I don’t have the definitive answer to that question. But what I do know about Crohn’s and colitis is that they both have a hereditary and genetic link. About 15% of people who have Crohn’s also have a family member who also has Crohn’s. And when scientists look at twin studies, they see that when one twin has Crohn’s, 50% of identical twins will also have Crohn’s. Interestingly, with fraternal (non-identical) twins that number goes down to less than 10%. With ulcerative colitis, somewhere between 10 to 25% of people with UC have a relative who also has colitis. Twin studies for colitis show that 16% of identical twins also have a twin with colitis. With fraternal twins that number goes down to 4%.  

So, when it comes to inheritability, the research is clear. There is a familial link. There is a possibility that our children will develop Crohn’s or colitis. But what my clients are really asking when they ask this question is, does this have to happen? Is it inevitable? Does everything I go through, the abdominal pain, the multiple trips the bathroom, the embarrassment, the challenges of everyday life with a chronic illness, everything we go through on a daily basis, does that have to be my child’s reality?

I know when I was thinking about having children, and in fact I gave it a ton of thought, because I even resorted to fertility treatments to conceive my first child. I know that my doctor said that the risk of my children getting Crohn’s or colitis wasn’t worth me not having children. Your doctor probably told you something similar. Yes, there is a hereditary link, but it’s not strong enough to not have children. But we can’t ignore that there is a risk factor here. The research is clear on that. There is a possibility of you passing Crohn’s or colitis to your child. So, the question that I keep getting over an over from mom clients, will my child end up getting diagnosed with Crohn’s or colitis is very understandable and very valid.

I DON’T KNOW, ISN’T A GOOD RESPONSE.

Beyond the statistics I just shared with you, I didn’t really know the answer to this question, but I really wanted to figure it out. I was getting it so often that I felt like I don’t know wasn’t an OK response. And if you listen to this podcast regularly, you know I’m a research gal, and I knew there had to be research and enlightened wisdom out there tackling this very topic. I knew that I could at least I could do some digging and have more information to give you.

So that’s what I set out to do. And this episode of The Cheeky Podcast is the culmination of all of my research pertaining to your kids and IBD. Are they destined to get it, or are there things we can do to lower our kids’ risk?

[05:26] The first thing I found out about IBD that I thought was really interesting is that the prevalence of IBD is growing throughout the world. According to the CDC, in 1999 .09% of Americans and that’s about 2 million, were diagnosed with IBD. By 2015, the percentage of adults with IBD was 1.3%, that’s about 3 million Americans. In Europe, the prevalence of IBD is anywhere from .5 to 1% of its population, a number that’s gone up in recent years as well. It used to be that cases of Crohn’s and colitis were found mostly in the developed world—countries who were highly industrial, with modern agriculture. Now, IBD is growing in the developing world as well. It doesn’t matter where you live, the prevalence of IBD is not declining, it is increasing.  

And it seems that many people who I meet with Crohn’s and colitis also know a relative who has IBD too. Personally, I have a third and fourth cousin with Crohn’s. Although my kids, and two of my brothers and my dad have never been diagnosed with IBD, they all have some sort of G.I. issue, whether it’s gluten sensitivity or dairy intolerance, or some form of IBS.

20TH CENTURY MEDICAL WISDOM PAVES A CHALLENGING PATH FORWARD.

Now, the really cool thing in my opinion about the 20th century is that it meant an explosion of medical and scientific exploration. The 20th century found genetics and DNA research at the forefront of discovering the causes of many diseases.  Scientists discovered the helix structure of DNA and the complete sequence of the human genome. While this research and these findings were extraordinary, they also left medical practitioners and scientists with the belief in biological determination—the thought that we are controlled by our genes, period.

BUT THAT WAS ONLY ONE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE.

What scientist didn’t realize at the time, is that genetic factors are only one piece of the puzzle. I want to say that one more time for you mama, if you are out there worried and stressed every day that your child is going to develop inflammatory bowel disease. Genetic factors are only one piece of the puzzle. We know this now. And this is the information that can help us sleep better at night. Help us stress less about our children developing Crohn’s or colitis.

Today, we look at other factors besides genes to determine our risk for disease. We look at the microbes or the bacteria throughout our body, and we look how genes and the microbiome interact with our environment around us. We know that it isn’t just genes that control whether we get Crohn’s or colitis. There’s many other factors that come into play as well and some of these factors we have control over.

SO, WHAT ARE THOSE NON-GENETIC FACTORS?

Scientist have discovered several non-genetic risk factors for developing IBD. Factors that include environmental and lifestyle choices. Factors like smoking and the use of oral contraceptives, factors like the health of your diet and the overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS.

When it comes to diet, and you know I’m super passionate about the power of a healthy diet, a Japanese study found an increase in ulcerative colitis in people who consumed a Western diet. And we all know what that term western diet means. We’re talking about a diet high in processed food, chemicals, lots of canned, packaged, and processed foods, fast food, etc.… another study found an increased risk in developing IBD with the consumption of sucrose, animal fat, high cholesterol, and soft drinks. Sounds like a Western diet to me!   

So, genes are not the only factor at play. There is more going on and that more going on, we have some control over. As a mom who has IBD, we have some control over these additional factors and that helps me breathe a sigh of relief.

THE SURPRISING FACT ABOUT HOW MUCH OUR GENES ACTUALLY CONTROL OUR RISK OF DISEASE.

More modern, 21st-century research shows that our genes account for only about 10% of human disease. And those extra factors that I just mentioned, factors like lifestyle and environment have led scientists to begin new research in fascinating fields of medicine. This is where, in my IBD and kids research, I really began to geek out and I hope this fascinates you as much as it does me.

2 SCIENTIFIC THEORIES THAT MIGHT JUST CHANGE YOUR KID’S LIFE.

[11:10] Have you heard about the study of Epigenetic’s? How about the concept of the Exposome?  This is where our thoughts about our children’s determined disease truly goes out the window. In 2005, a doctor named Dr. Christopher Wilde coined the concept of the Exposome as the primary reason for health as well as the primary reason for disease.  The Exposome is the total of all non-genetic exposures that impact health, and this exposure starts at conception. Cool, right? It includes everything we eat, drink, our air, or social interactions, our lifestyle, even the health of our parents at conception. If genetics play only 10% of the role in human disease, this is the other 90%. And this is the part that we have control over when it comes to raising healthy kids.

Besides the Exposome, I also mentioned the concept of Epigenetics. According to the CDC, Epigenetics is the study of how our behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way genes work. These changes don’t affect our DNA sequencing, but it’s more like the changes in how your body reads that information. I just have to say wow, mind blown. Our behaviors and the environment around us can actually change how our body reads our DNA. And when it comes to IBD, the thought here when we take this idea of Epigenetics a step further because it appears that it can mediate factors between our environment and our genome particularly what our IBD genes are saying. Epigenetics says we can affect the development and the progression of IBD.

Can our kids benefit from these new ideas about the Exosome and Epigenetics? You bet they can.

HOW YOU CAN RAISE A HEALTHY KID, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE THROWS AT THEM.

[14:01] Even though your child, because they are your child, has a hereditary linked to inflammatory bowel disease, how can we help to positively impact their health? And that’s the way that I think of it. I don’t think about it in terms of how can I prevent my child from having Crohn’s or colitis? I think of it more in terms of how can I help my child be as healthy as humanly possible? Because it isn’t just about protecting them from Crohn’s or colitis. It’s about raising a healthy child. The healthiest child that they can be. How can we as parents do that knowing that their genes are actually only 10% of the picture?

Environmental factors in that 90% include things like a healthy diet, physical activity, the products you bring into your home, the lifestyle choices that you and your child child make regarding not smoking, the chemicals in your food, getting as healthy as you possibly can before you even have children—and dad too because his health matters as well. Children born vaginally get a built-in dose of bacterial benefit by passing through the birth canal, children who bond with their parents and their siblings are healthier, children with healthy social interactions, children who are psychologically well-adjusted, children who have lower stress levels, higher levels of education, and children who get quality sleep are all healthier for it.

We know that breast-feeding also matters. We know that human breast milk contains substances that may influence the growth and development as well as the function of the gastrointestinal tract. There is a difference in colonic flora (those healthy gut bugs) between breast-fed and bottle-fed babies. Several studies also show breast-feeding to be a protective factor in developing inflammatory bowel disease.  

I absolutely love how Dr. Chris Kresser, if you’re familiar with him, he is a functional medicine expert, talks about this topic of genetics, Epigenetics, and the Exposome and how they come together. He has a great analogy to help us understand this. He says that genes are like a script, a script for a film or a theater performance. Your genes are the words and what’s on the page. The Exposome and the epigenome are the performance which changes depending on who’s in the cast, who is directing, who is producing… So good, right? It just helps the complicated concept make more sense.

Or more simply put, as Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health says, “genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger.”

And that’s what these positivity factors I mentioned are about. They are the environmental mitigating factors that can jump in and change the genes at any given moment.

WHAT IF I CAN’T BREASTFEED OR BREASTFEEDING IS CUT SHORT?

And what I really love about this list of factors that I just dished out is that there’s so many of them. You may not be able to do all of these. They may not fit for your health or your lifestyle, but there are so many that we can choose from. It’s not about perfection here, it’s about doing the best we can as moms.

Let’s take breast-feeding for example. Already having IBD, breast-feeding may be challenging for you. Breast-feeding was definitely a challenge for me. With my first two children I was not in a good place with my Crohn’s disease. I was able to nurse both of them, but not nearly as long as I wanted to. With my first child, I had to have bowel surgery four months after he was born and had to stop breast-feeding. With my second child, I wasn’t able to produce enough milk to sustain breast-feeding while I was going through a flare after giving birth to him.

So, for me, breast-feeding didn’t go as I would have liked it too, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t able to do other things for my kids. This is a list of positive things you can do for your kids to improve their overall health, it isn’t about shaming you or making you feel guilty for the things you didn’t do. It’s about giving you tools so that you can complete as many as possible. As many as work for you without feeling guilty because there’s something you didn’t do.

THROW AWAY YOUR MOM GUILT!

So, throw away that mom guilt my friend. We are focusing on what we can do today, not what we can’t or what we didn’t already do.

I know, I just basically threw up a ton of information on you today. It’s a lot, and it can be overwhelming. What do you do with all of this? How can you actually put this information into practice in your own life? What can you specifically do today mama?

I’m so glad you asked because I have you specifically covered. I’m going to tell you right now where to start with your kids. If you want to, not only try to help with their best chance at not getting Crohn’s and colitis, but if you’re like me and you just want to help them to be overall healthy, as healthy as they can possibly be whether they develop IBD or not, what do you do? Where is your starting place?

LET’S BRING IT HOME, MAMA. WHAT CAN YOU DO?

I’m going to propose 4 areas, 4 areas that are most important, not just to decrease your kid’s risk of getting IBD, but to also increase their overall health. And that’s how I’d love for you to look at this opportunity too.

Sure, you might end up being the reason that your child is gluten sensitive or dairy sensitive, but that doesn’t mean they have to get IBD. And whether they do or not, your goal can still be to raise them as healthy as they possibly can be, in all areas of their life. Like I always say when my kids complain about a consequence or doing a chore they deem unfair: I don’t care about fair, my job is to raise you as a fully functioning, independent, productive member of society. And to me, that fully functioning part doesn’t just include academics. It includes health– healthy mind, healthy body, healthy soul.

[21:45] Using these 4 factors that stem from the Exosome and Epigenetic ideas we talked about today, these 90% non-genetic factors that influence our well-being, can ensure that you raise healthy kids, no matter what life throws at them.

THE ROLE OF DIET IN CREATING A WHOLE, HEALTHY CHILD.

Factor #1- Diet

Always first in for most, and especially for moms with IBD. We must teach our kids the importance of finding the best diet for their body type. And that diet may be different for all your kids, but at the heart of it, it should include whole foods in their natural state. Whole fruits, whole vegetables, unprocessed food that doesn’t come in a can, a box, or a package.

Strive for 80% of your kid’s diet that comes from a healthy food, a healthy microbiome, healthy immune system, and low inflammation in the body approach. When it comes to diet, the biggest disruptors to our gut and overall health are sugar and high levels of carbohydrates. Limit the starches and the processed sugar and you will ensure a healthy child.

DOES IT HAVE TO BE EXERCISE, OR IS ANY MOVEMENT OK?

Factor #2- Movement

And just like diet, this works best if it’s tailored to the child’s best interests. Notice I didn’t say exercise and that is purposeful. Some kids are born athletes and they love organized sports, teams, clubs, competitions. Other kids prefer less organized movement, running outside, playing with friends, biking, hiking, or walking. Some kids like weightlifting or yoga. There is no one movement that’s better in my opinion. Just get them off their devices and moving.

And remember their interests might change over time. Be as supportive as you can of that change. I remember my middle son loving soccer from the time he was three years old. He grew into an incredible soccer player and flourished there. By high school, he was the captain of his soccer team. But in his senior year, without much warning, he gave it up. He had gotten burnt out. Soccer had been his life for so long and that Division I college soccer dream that had been his life, disappeared. I admit, it still makes me a little sad because I had this trajectory in my mind for him, but that wasn’t his dream anymore and so I supported him as he moved into other movement passions that fed his soul.

[25:01] No matter what they do, and especially when your kids are young, there’s nothing better than getting them outside in nature, with fresh air. It nourishes a child’s spirit. I always encourage my kids to practice something called earthing. It’s where you take off your shoes and socks and walk around outside connecting with the natural ground and the Earth’s energy. It’s very powerful energetically, but it’s also a great way to get organisms that are in the soil of the grass into your body. Dirt has wonderful bacterial properties that diversify the microbiome, it’s so, so, so important for those of us with IBD to help our kids diversify their microbiome. Mud pies, encouraging them to grow a garden and get their hands dirty in the soil, and earthing. Great for overall health.  

THE SLEEP FACTOR: THERE’S ACTUALLY LOTS GOING ON WHILE WE SHUT DOWN FOR THE NIGHT.

Factor #3- Sleep

Adequate sleep is a huge factor for overall health. There’s so much going on when we sleep. It’s not a shut down for our body and our organs. It’s a necessary time for a body to repair and reset. If kids don’t have enough sleep, they can’t repair and reset.

We know that kids who get enough sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, increased mental and physical health, decreased blood pressure, less obesity, anxiety and depression. We also know that sleep deprivation leads to an increase in microscopic inflammation of the bowel and overtime this can lead to more serious gastrointestinal challenges.

According to Johns Hopkins sleep specialists, infants less than one year need 12 to 16 hours of sleep a night, 1 to 2-year-olds need 11 to 14 hours, 3 to 5-year-olds need 10 to 13 hours, 6 to 12-year-olds need 9 to 12 hours, and 13 to 18-year-old need 8 to 10 hours of sleep at night.

How are your kids doing with their sleep? Are they getting enough?  

Back in episode 8 of the podcast, we talked all about sleep hygiene. If getting enough sleep is an issue for you or for your kids, you might find it helpful to go back and listen to that episode. I’ll leave a link for it in the show notes. I‘ll also link to a great article in the show notes from the Stanford Children’s Health Center where they recommend eight ways to help your child sleep better. This is a really great article if you’re finding it challenging to stick to a bedtime routine or your child or if they are having any sleep difficulties. I found this article helpful and I hope you will too.

IT’S NOT ABOUT STRESS BUSTING, IT’S ABOUT STRESS RESILIENCY.

Factor #4- Stress Management

Of course, we all want our kids to have less stress, from the emotional to the physical effects of stress. But stress, as it turns out, actually has a specific impact on the digestive system.

When we are stressed, our body prioritizes getting rid of the stress over proper digestion. Stomach and intestinal activity is reduced and the body decreases blood flow to our gut to give more blood flow to our stress hormones. Peristalsis, the moving of food along the G.I. tract, is stalled. That’s why when a child is stressed, it’s not uncommon for them to have digestive troubles. It creates the perfect storm for G.I. challenges. Stomach aches, constipation, even diarrhea is common. Chronic stress creates a chronic strain on the G.I. tract and the chronic strain on the G.I. tract causes dysbiosis and inflammation in the gut—the perfect breeding ground for a G.I. disorder.

[31:22] So, what can we do? What can we do to help not reduce stress because sometimes that’s an impossibility, but we want to do is help our kids learn how to manage the stress in their life? The #1 thing we can do goes back to diet. Eating food that’s fresh and whole gives our body the right nutrients to keep our digestive tract strong and healthy. Another thing we can do as parents to help our kids manage stress at the emotional level is to help them build emotional resilience. This is a huge health factor for our kids. Helping them to combat stress with resilience as a child helps them be set up for lifelong success when stress hits in adulthood.

Children who have an opportunity to vent frustration in a healthy way, end up dealing with life stressors better. Children who exercise or move on a regular basis release more endorphins in the brain. Endorphins have a tranquilizing effect and increased feelings of pleasure. This equals less stressful feelings for our kiddos. See how all of these factors are inter-related. The diet we talked about and the movement or exercise we talked about as being factors come back into play when we talk about helping our children manage stress. It’s all a part of the circle of health.

When talking about helping our children to manage the stress in their lives, there’s three tools that I love using with kids the most. The first tool is a book called The Big Life Journal. I’ve mentioned this before in the Gut Love Community so it might sound familiar to you. The Big Life Journal is a fabulous addition to your kid’s book collection. It takes them through imaginary exercises to help build their strength and character.

Another stress tool I love for kids is Insight Timer. Insight Timer is an app with the most wonderful visualizations and meditations for kids. These fun and engaging story sessions are wonderful at calming for kids when they are anxious. They also help kids with sleep troubles to sleep at night. Lastly, and probably my most favorite stress buster tool for kids is the 4-7-8 breath. You’ve probably heard me talk about this technique before because it’s great for IBDer’s too. Ask your child to breathing through the nose for 4 seconds, hold their breath for 7 seconds, and then breathe out through their mouth for 8 seconds. They can repeat this as many times as they need to help them feel centered, grounded, and help them calm down in difficult situations.

These three tools are all about teaching your child to be mindful and about the mind body connection. They are some of the best tools around to raise resilient, strong, and thoughtful kids. I’ll provide links for all of these resources in the show notes.

So, there you have the 4 factors that can help you create healthy kids: mind, body, and spirit.

THE MOM-SIZED RECAP IF YOU ONLY HAVE 5 MINUTES.

We started out this episode talking about the genetic and hereditary link between you, your IBD and your child. And yes, the hereditary link is real. When you have IBD, there is a risk that your child may develop Crohn’s or colitis too. But it isn’t a foregone conclusion. There’s so much that we can do as parents to raise healthy children. Remember genetics only plays a 10% role. To look at the complete picture, we must look at environmental and lifestyle factors as well.

As moms, there’s so much we can do to raise kids who put their health first, so that no matter what life throws at them, IBD or any other challenge (physical or emotional), they have the skills and the tools they need to overcome. In my mind, that’s the best thing we can do for our kids.

From teaching our kids to eat healthy, to showing them the power of movement, exercise and being outside in nature, to encouraging them to have healthy sleep habits and finding ways to manage challenges with stress, there’s a lot we can do to raise kids who are not only healthy in childhood, but healthy throughout life. Even if they do step away from it a bit in the teen years, take it from me, it’s in there.

Thanks so much for sharing this time with me today. I hope this topic was helpful for you to hear about today. If it’s something that you’ve been wondering about like I know so many of my clients have, I hope it answered at least some questions you have about how to raise healthy kids when you’re a mom with IBD.

If this information fascinates you like it does me and you want to know more, you’ll definitely want to check out the show notes for this episode. There are several links to scholarly articles and research studies so you can learn more. And if your IBD has really become a challenge in your life, if you’re finding it difficult to be the mom you know that you deserve to be, I want you to get in touch. There’s so much we can do when we work together to help you find IBD remission. Email me at hello@karynhaley.com Let’s get you started on a path to recovery. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Until we meet again and wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD healing journey.

Chat soon!

[38:46] 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.

Ep 30: You’re Doing Everything Right — How Come Your IBD Isn’t Getting Better?

You’re eating right, you found a diet that works best to help manage your Crohn’s and colitis, you take gut healing supplements and medications when you need them.

You’ve even found the best mindfulness practices to help reduce your stress and anxiety around your illness.

You’re doing everything right.

Why aren’t you feeling better? Today on the podcast, we discuss the three hidden conditions that may be holding you back from full IBD remission.

We’re talking about:

  • What is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and why don’t you know you have it?
  • The connection between Candida and anxiety
  • 4 reasons why your IBD might be creating a dysfunctional thyroid
  • The hidden problem with traditional thyroid testing

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll have the knowledge you need to take to your doctor to get proper testing and treatment for these hidden conditions that might just be keeping you from reaching full IBD remission.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [04:40] What is SIBO and why don’t you know you have it?
  • [07:24] The gold standard in SIBO testing.
  • [13:35] What you should do if you suspect you are suffering with SIBO.
  • [17:12] Who’s at the greatest risk of developing Candida.
  • [19:13] The connection between candida and anxiety.
  • [20:30] The gold standard in Candida testing.
  • [22:48] You have Candida, now what?
  • [25:49] Why you shouldn’t get rid of all sugar if you have Candida.
  • [28:15] 4 reasons why your IBD might be creating a dysfunctional thyroid.
  • [32:45] The hidden problem with traditional thyroid testing.
  • [37:00] Supplements that help your thyroid function better.
  • [42:45] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

The Gut Love Community

Additional Resources from the Episode:

What is SIBO?

Overcome Candida

The Gluten-Thyroid Connection

Your Functional Medicine Guide to Underlying Thyroid Dysfunctions and How to Heal

Monash University FODMAPS

Episode Transcript:

[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]

[00:52] You’re eating right, you found a diet that works best to help manage your Crohn’s and colitis, you take gut healing supplements and medications when you need them, you’ve even found the best mindfulness practices to help reduce your stress and anxiety around your illness. You’re doing everything right. Why aren’t you feeling better?

Unfortunately for IBDers, this experience is all too common. It’s so frustrating when you know you’re doing everything right, but you’re still not getting any better. It’s such a head scratcher because there’s no one to turn to figure out why this might be happening to you.

I’ve literally sat across from dozens of clients who are part crying, and part pulling their hair out because they just don’t know what to do. What do you do when you’ve tried everything, when you’ve done everything right and you still don’t feel better? What is the magic secret that it seems so many people have and why don’t you have it too?

I really get this because not only have I seen it with fellow IBD mom friends and clients, but this has happened to me as well. For me, it happened when everything was going along swimmingly, in remission, everything seemed great one moment. And the next moment, without warning for any reason, it seemed like everything went to Crohn’s hell. Excessive bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain… and it took me a moment to figure out what was going wrong.

Now listen, there are so many reasons why things might not be going your way with your IBD, even when you are doing everything right. There’s way too many factors to go into or even fathom for this podcast. When this happens to you, I want you to go see your doctor. I want you to turn over every rock and devour all the information you can gather to help yourself.

But I also have this episode of The Cheeky Podcast to also offer to help you on your journey figuring out what might be going wrong.  When I work with clients, there’s often three reasons why they’re doing everything right but they are still not in complete remission.

3 CONDITIONS THAT MIGHT BE KEEPING YOU FROM 100% IBD HEALING

So here we go with my 3 hidden conditions that might be keeping your IBD and your total health down.  These are little known conditions that for the most part, are not being talked about in mainstream medicine. And that’s why you may not know that you have fallen prey to them.  This is one of those action packed, step by step episodes where you’ll want to have a pen and paper handy. So if you don’t have one, quickly pause and come right back with something to write with.

Let’s start with Hidden Condition #1- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or SIBO

What is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?

[04:40] Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is exactly what it sounds like, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Most of our microbial bacteria actually resides in our colon. There are small amounts of bacteria in the small intestine but too much there, is not a good thing. It makes digestion and absorption of our food challenging and it damages the lining of the small intestine.

Why don’t I know I have SIBO?

Two reasons really. #1: traditional gastroenterologists and doctors aren’t taught about small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It’s very unusual to find a G.I. doc that talks about it as a possibility when you go for an office visit. And #2: we don’t know that we have SIBO because it’s symptoms are so similar to IBD.

What are the symptoms of SIBO?

Let’s talk symptoms so you can see just how similar SIBO and Crohn’s and colitis really are. Common symptoms of SIBO include gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, sometimes going back-and-forth between diarrhea and constipation. Of course, if you have IBD, you already have an in balance in your digestive system which puts you at greater risk for getting SIBO in the first place.

SIBO symptoms can also include non-gut challenges like fatigue, joint pain, headaches, moodiness, skin rashes and respiratory symptoms.

There are several conditions besides IBD that have been linked to being at increased risk for SIBO and they include IBS, GERD, leaky gut, Hashimoto’s, Lyme Disease… and the list goes on and on. And even though some of these conditions seem to have nothing to do with your digestive system, this really makes sense because all roads lead back to the gut. Hippocrates and his wisdom, all disease begins in the gut.

Many people with IBD have no idea that they also have SIBO because the symptoms are just so similar. It’s hard to distinguish between the two. So how do you know? How do you know if you have SIBO?

How do we test for SIBO?

It is of the utmost importance that you get a proper SIBO test. I mentioned earlier that many doctors don’t recognize SIBO as a condition at all. Many G.I. doctors who are familiar with this condition are still not doing proper testing. So, you may be left taking a test, getting negative results. When in reality you just didn’t get proper testing.

According to Dr. Allison Siebecker, SIBO expert extraordinaire, the gold standard in SIBO testing is a 3-hour lactulose breath test. Or, and this just came out very recently, a new test that seems to be even better than a traditional 3-hour breath test, and this is the lactulose 3-gas test. The 3-hour lactulose breath test that I mentioned first, tests for two gases present in the gastrointestinal tract when SIBO is high and those are hydrogen and methane levels. These levels are tested after drinking lactulose, which is a synthetic sugar, sometimes used to treat constipation, but in this test, your body will react to it by increasing these gas levels if you have SIBO. This new test that came out recently looks even better as it looks at hydrogen, methane, as well as hydrogen sulfide in the gastrointestinal tract. This test gives even more information to help with a proper SIBO diagnosis.

Depending on the results of your SIBO test, and which gases are present, this gives your doctor a good indication of which SIBO treatment protocol will work best for you. Methane dominate SIBO has a different protocol than hydrogen dominant.

A SIBO Case Study

[09:15] Let me make this really tangible for you with this case of my client Ginger. She was doing everything right.  Ginger had Crohn’s and had started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, she was on a strong gut healing supplement regime, she was still on 6MP (a medication to help her IBD). Ginger practiced yoga, she walked in nature daily. She had a strong support group of friends to lean on, she was active in her church community… Ginger was doing everything right, but Ginger was still having gut problems. She was feeling gassy and bloated after her meals. She couldn’t find consistency in her poops. She’d have diarrhea for a few days and then constipation for a few, back and forth the cycle went. Ginger was feeling very discouraged when she came to see me. If the SCD and everything she was doing wasn’t working, what could she do? Her doctor was pushing biologics. Should she give up?

In coaching Ginger through her next steps, we talked about some reasons why even though on paper, it looks like she’s doing everything right, there still might be some deeper lingering issues going on. Ones that aren’t often tested for. Of course, SIBO was one of the things we considered. I encouraged Ginger to talk to her doctor about getting proper SIBO testing. Ginger ended up with seriously off the chart hydrogen gas levels from her breath test.

And with this powerful information we realized that there were several foods on Ginger’s SCD diet that were not working for her. Super healthy foods like avocados, ripe bananas, apples, onions, and garlic that are SCD legal, but they just weren’t working for Ginger in this moment due to her SIBO challenges. These are just a few of the food changes I helped Ginger make. When Ginger tweaked her diet, and moved a diet called the SIBO Specific Diet, similar to SCD, but with modifications for those with SIBO, everything turned around for her.

There were other herbals and supplements that Ginger’s doctor added too. But it was game changing for Ginger. Back when she first came to see me, she was ready to throw in the towel. She was down on herself, frustrated, and angry because she was doing everything right. See how just a small tweak can make all the difference in your world?

SIBO. One of those hidden conditions that might be holding you back from those last 40 yards of healing.

What can you do if you suspect SIBO might be holding you back?

[13:35] Start by going to Dr. Siebecker’s website. There, you’ll get up to date, researched back information on SIBO. If you think SIBO might be a culprit for you and you want to know more about it, SIBO symptoms, testing, treatment, etc… that’s the place to start.

Next, talk to the doctor you currently have an ask them to order a SIBO test for you. If your doctor is not open or recommends just a 2-hour test or doesn’t know what you’re talking about, find a nutritionist or functional medicine provider who knows about SIBO and proper testing. I’ll leave a link in the show notes for a functional medicine provider database to find a doctor around the globe. And if all else fails, there are a couple direct to consumer companies you can order a test kit from. One is Direct Labs. I’ve seen people order and test successfully with this company. Reading the test is in an important step and one that all practitioners seem to have their own way for interpreting the results, so it really is your best option to find a provider that can help you with this.

OK, so that’s how come your IBD’s not getting better with hidden condition #1. Let’s talk about hidden condition #2. And that’s Candida. Candida is another digestive ailment that can plague those with IBD, but it’s not talked about in traditional medical circles. Your doctor is not testing for it, and it may be hindering your recovery, even if you’re doing everything right.

What is Candida?

[16:01] Candida is a condition whe