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All posts by Karyn Haley

Ep 18: What Death Taught Me About IBD

When your time on this earth comes to an end, where do you want your IBD to be? Will it be a life of continued strife and struggle with this illness or will it be many, many years of quiet, calm, and health? This episode helps us figure out the most useful mindset hacks we need to say we did everything humanly possible to take control of our IBD now, when it matters the most.

In this episode, I’m reflecting on the 3 things the death of my mom taught me about living your best life with IBD.

We’re talking about:

  • The power of living well now
  • Creating a “family” of supporters
  • The roll of willpower, fight, and determination in an IBD treatment strategy

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll have the mindset tools you need to help you spend the next 20, 30, 40, 50 plus years living the life you deserve. One that doesn’t have you chained to the pain of IBD in your life.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [03:15] What living well has the power to look like in the face of adverse challenges like Crohn’s and colitis.
  • [07:45] When your bloodline doesn’t give you a family that supports you, you can still create a family of supporters around you.
  • [10:05] Finding a supportive possie that has your back and what that can do for your health
  • [10:50] The roll of willpower, fight and determination in keeping IBD at bay.
  • [14:36] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

If this video is speaking directly to you, why not take that relationship to the next level. The Gut Love Community is the place to be for moms with IBD. We’re waiting to welcome you!

Want to get to the root cause of your IBD and start your healing journey today?

Schedule your FREE 1 on 1 troubleshooting consultation with me.

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 there dear one and welcome to another episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD. Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you and how much I enjoy spending this time with you each week? How cool is it that we get to connect with each other every Wednesday over our shared journey of healing our Crohn’s and colitis? I don’t know about you, but I think that’s rare and awesome. Thanks for joining me on the journey mama.

Today is going to be a shorter than normal podcast. It’s been a roller coaster of a week for me and honestly, I’m just hanging on by a thread at this point. I told my husband the other day that I was afraid that if he blew on me, I think I’d fall over and wouldn’t be able to get up again. But at the same time, I’ve got these thoughts on my brain. They’ve been running over and over in my mind since my mom died last week and I have to share them with you because I think it’s helping me and I really they it’s going to help you on your IBD healing journey too.

Over the last few months, I watched as my mom’s battle with liver cancer winded down after the most valiant fight I’ve ever witnessed and during this time, these words and thoughts about what dying taught me about Crohn’s and colitis kept going through my mind. They would wake me up in the middle of the night and they would stay with me as I moved through my day.

Over and over… and I thought to myself, I’ve got to share this with you.

I really think these epiphanies I had during the process of my mom dying are going to serve you too, so today, I want to tell you what death taught me about healing IBD.

There’s 3 things:

[03:15] #1: Now is the time to live well.

Emphasis on NOW and WELL.

IS YOUR IBD PREVENTING YOU FROM LIVING WELL, RIGHT NOW?

You’ve got an incurable, chronic illness and that sucks. It brings your mood down, it slows you down from the things you need to do, it might even keep you from saying “yes” to activities you know you would enjoy. Today, you might be 25, or 47, or 63 years old. And I used to hate it when people my parent’s age would tell me, your life will pass you by in the blink of an eye. But it’s just so freakin’ true. In my mind, I’m perpetually 27 years old and I’m newly married, and the world is before me waiting to be conquered.

I swear, all I did was blink and now I have a 19-year-old son. How the hell did that happen? When you blink, just like I did, and many years have gone by, did you struggle with IBD that entire time? Can you imagine 20 more years of what you’re going through right now? On your death bed, will you say I did all that I could to live well now and could you say, I slayed that IBD monster?

5 years ago, when my mom was diagnosed with the dreaded C word, her doctor gave her 3-6 months to live. My mom told me that whether she had 3 months or 10 years, she was going to make sure that whatever time she had, she was going to live it to the fullest. Just like we go to gastroenterologist visits and take supplements or meds or change our diet to help our IBD, my mom did all of those types of things too. We can still do all of these essentials AND keep living our best life.

My mom continued playing bridge. After her diagnosis, she moved to a new community to be closer to me. There was no bridge group there, so she started one. She learned how to play mahjong, she sat on the community council, she headed up the hospitality committee, she sang with the community choir, she did water aerobics, she played poker with her friends every Wednesday night.

During the last 5 years, I kept asking her if she was doing too much. Heck, her schedule was more packed than mine!

She kept living.

She made a choice to suck all the marrow out of life and she did just that.

Even though we have a chronic illness, maybe even because we have a chronic illness, we must find ways to live… now. For you, it might be a book club or a new course about a topic you’ve wanted to learn about, it could be prioritizing date night with your partner, or learning to cook gourmet cuisine, or in a Covid world, finding time to binge watch Bridgerton or Schitt’s Creek.

IF IT BRINGS YOU JOY IT’S WORTH YOUR TIME.

I know on my mom’s death bed, she wasn’t saying, “Gosh, I wish I would have lived.” Don’t let IBD be the reason you don’t live.

[07:45] #2 The second thing I learn about IBD while in the midst of the death of my mom is that family is at the root of lasting healing. Physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental healing.

And that family word means “family” however that looks for you. Family is not always the blood we are born into. Family is the people we choose, the people we are there for, the people who are there for us in times of anxiety, stress, depression, pain, vulnerability… the people who tell us to take action when we are stuck in fear. The people who don’t take our crap and tell us we are out of line. The people who we cry in front of without fear they will hold it against us.

For some, that support is found in their bloodline. For others, it’s found piece by piece. For my mom, it was the latter. She had a very rocky childhood, born legally blind in one eye, enduring countless eye surgeries to try and fix the defect before she was even 2 years old. She endured physical abuse and became a mother to her brother at a very young age. It wasn’t until I witnessed the outpouring of support that came my mom’s way during her last few months that I realized, over the years, from her college days to her nursing career, to her days with young children, to her retirement years in Florida to her last years living in a senior community with my dad—all the while, my mom was collecting a possie of support—a family of sorts— people whose back she had and people who had her back.

Do you have a family like this?

If you found it in your birth family, that’s awesome and something to be treasured. But if you didn’t, don’t wait any longer to find your tribe. And never underestimate the power they can have in your life to help you heal your IBD.

Support is HUGE.

Being able to talk to someone about the difficulties of IBD and celebrate the triumphs too… that’s HUGE. We can have all the medicine or natural remedies in the world, but if we don’t have gal pals to cry and laugh with, the health isn’t as meaningful, and the pain is twice as deep.

AND THERE’S ONE MORE THING DEATH TAUGHT ME ABOUT IBD.

[10:50] And that’s that emotions like willpower, fight, attitude, and a belief in your healing plan do make all the different in the world.

When my mom was given 3-6 months to live, she told me it’s not my time to die. Even though the odds with liver cancer are pretty grim and she was diagnosed with end stage cancer, she just knew 3-6 months was not going to contain her fight.

In the beginning, I thought, “Oh bless her heart. Isn’t that courageous.” As we went on one last trip, celebrated one last birthday, enjoyed one last moment… those moments just kept coming and coming. One year turned into another, and another, and another… and 5 ½ years later.

It wasn’t until the end that I realized… the treatments she was getting were helping, but it was her sheer willpower, her sheer determination to live, to fight, that kept her going all this time. Her doctors were dumbfounded by her, they even created a research study behind what was keeping her going so long, they marveled at her positive outlook on life.

Through bearing witness to this strength, I realized that when it comes to IBD, a belief that you can heal is just as important as what method you choose to heal. Emotions like a positive attitude and finding gratitude in the smallest of moments makes a massive difference for your health.

Your willpower and belief in the healing journey you take can move IBD sized mountains. It doesn’t mean you won’t falter along the way—and of course, when you do, you can always go back to the second thing I learned. Family and support is everything—but even when you falter, keep going, don’t stop, keep the belief in your journey strong. It will get you through the dark days of this illness.

[13:20] So, that’s what death taught me about IBD. It taught me that now is the time to live well. It taught me that family is everything, and it taught me that willpower is just as much a treatment as medicine or natural remedies.

Do you have these beliefs in place? Is there one or two you’re still working on? Well, if my mom’s death has taught me anything it’s that there’s no time like the present. What are you waiting for dear one? Remember, you’ll blink, and 20 years will have gone by. How will you look back on those years? With regret or with pride?

WHAT WILL THE NEXT 20 YEARS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

Let’s make the next 20 years a healthy 20 years, no matter what age you are right now. Years you’ll look back on knowing you did everything in your power to keep IBD in the shadows.

I know that’s what I’m going to do. Work in progress, here I come.

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.

[14:36] 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.

Ep 17: No More Resolutions: The Real 3-Step Solution to Put Crohn’s and Colitis in its Place in 2021

If you’re ready to make lasting, impactful change when it comes to your Inflammatory Bowel Disease in 2021, this is the episode for you. Today we’re dishing on why it’s time to ditch that New Year’s Resolution (before it fails you) and swap it out with my simple 3-Step Solution to finally get a handle on the real action steps that can put Crohn’s and colitis on the back burner for good.

In this episode, we’re taking a deep dive into what it actually takes to make lasting positive changes to bust your IBD challenges wide open and finally find peace and health in the new year (trust me, it isn’t what you think)…

We’re talking about:

  • The reason why New Year’s Resolutions always fail
  • Why creating a goal of “I want to feel better” will sabotage you every time
  • My 3 Step-Solution to finally map out a gut healing plan that actually works

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll be saying goodbye to any New Year’s Resolutions you reluctantly made regarding your Crohn’s or colitis and hello to a real step-by-step plan that actually works when gut healing is your goal.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [04:49] The reason why your New Year’s Resolution will fail you every time.
  • [07:16] There’s actually 365 January 1st’s in the year and how waiting until you’re ready for change is much better for your IBD health.
  • [10:30] The three non-negotiables that you must adopt to accomplish your IBD goals.
  • [14:30] Why the statement, “I want to feel better” is a goal that actually keeps you stuck in quicksand, unable to move towards healing.
  • [15:55] A real life client case study to help you narrow down, plan, and implement your own health goals.
  • [24:24] The best ideas to track your gut health progress that work with your mom life.
  • [27:51] How to make simple tweaks to help your IBD dreams come true.
  • [34:37] The best way to embrace your baby step goals when you “Do it Like a Mom.”

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Our free and fabulous tribe for IBD Mamas:

The Gut Love Community for Moms

Book your FREE 30-Minute IBD Troubleshooting Session with me HERE.

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 there dear one, we’re back!!! Feels good to be back with you in a new year. And to 2020 all I have to say is… so long, farewell, don’t let the door hit you in the uh-hmm on the way out… If you’re in the Gut Love Community, our free tribe for moms with IBD, you already know that December was a very difficult month for me with my mom and best friend being put on hospice. I took time off last month to be 100% with her during this time and it was the best decision for me. I talk about my mom a lot here on the podcast and I feel like you know her so just a quick update that she’s still hanging in there, ever the fighter that I’ve know her to be my whole life. I wouldn’t expect any less from the tough as nails lady she it. I so appreciate all your kind shout outs and emails throughout last month. Your support has gotten me through some really difficult days.

But since I’m a woman and we’re known for our complex emotional range, I’m also finding myself feeling so blessed and thrilled to be back with you again. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in 2021—taking a huge bite out of this crap illness we’ve been saddled with—and I don’t know about you, but I feel like 2021 is your year to crumble the walls of the cruelty on this illness and demolish it once and for all.

Can I get an Amen? 

Let’s start this year right by ditching any New Year’s resolutions that are probably already letting you down. As we all know, that’s the thing about resolutions, on Jan 1 we feel like even though we know that historically resolutions fail for everyone, we’re going to be the special one, the one who succeeds above all the odds, above a Vegas sized deck of cards that’s stacked in the dealer’s favor.

What if I told you that you don’t have to hold up that resolution anymore? What if I told you, you can go ahead and let go of it today? What if I told you that it would actually serve you better to drop that resolution like a hot potato right now?

Go ahead, do it. I dare you! Picture yourself dropping that damn potato. Awesome. You go girl.

Did you do it? Good, now that we’ve taken care of that, the real work, the work that’s actually going to move the needle can begin. Today on the podcast, we’re diving into the myth of the New Year’s resolution and what is so much more beneficial to do instead. We’ll start our conversation with why New Year’s Resolutions always fail you (yep, that’s right, they fail you, not the other way around), then we’ll move into what would be a much better use of your time if your ready to make big and lasting IBD strides in 2021, and finally I’ll set you up with my 3-Step Solution to put IBD in its place in 2021.

Let’s do it!

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FAILURE

[04:49] First, let’s dive into the psychology of the resolution and why they are destined to fail you. There’s so much weight put on resolutions, isn’t there. It’s this big process full of pomp and circumstance. People all around you asking, “What’s your New Year’s Resolution?” Man, that’s a lot of pressure. Not only do you have the pressure to pick the best thing to change about yourself, but then you have to live up to the change 24/7, and if you don’t, it’s because you didn’t have enough willpower. Resolutions are all about setting yourself up for a failure due to everyone’s high expectations. They needlessly create a platform with a long way to fall, so when we don’t accomplish our goal, we feel like a failure and or course we never want to repeat that again.

If we think about the psychology of how human mind and how the brain actually operates, we realize that resolutions are not actually in line with how our brain functions. The human brain is much more designed for baby step, incremental change, and big, bold, New Year’s Resolutions never allow for baby steps or failure. It’s all about December 31st—no exercise, bump on the log watching Netflix all day in your pajamas to Jan 1st—I’ll work out 7 days a week, 30 minutes minimum and I’ll stop binge watch so much streaming content—and get out of those pj’s!!! No plan, no step by step, but I sure do have the willpower! Actually, we don’t. Humans don’t. We are wired that way.

Here’s my “instead of a resolution” proposal for you to mull over.

[07:16] If, when January 1st rolls around every year, and you feel like you HAVE to instead of WANT to make a change, it’s not your time. Don’t push it. Just think of there being 365 January 1st’s in the year. And each one of those days is just as good as the next. And in all honesty, who would blame you for not feeling it in the New Year’s Resolution department coming out of the 2020 we’ve had. It’s hard enough to get out of our pajamas every day. Who can think about long term goal anyway?

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO INSTEAD?

So now that we’ve absolutely ditched the New Year’s Resolution and we know why we’re doing it, the question becomes what should we do instead? Instead of making big bold declarations about what you’ll change, I want you to spend your time daydreaming. Yep, allow yourself to just daydream in whatever form that takes for you. It could be journaling about your hopes and dreams, and of course you can use the method I’m describing for anything you want to change, but for this podcast, we’re focusing on Crohn’s and colitis, of course! So, in your daydreaming about your gut health, some questions you might want to ponder might include: What are you hopeful will happen with your IBD? What are you most scared of? What’s giving you the most trouble right now? Or it might be that every time a thought pops into your head about a supplement you’ve heard of or a food or a diet you want to know more about, you just put it in the notes section of your phone. Daydreaming could also take the form of a conversation with your spouse, or your best friend, or your mom—whoever you confide in about the realities of your illness. In this conversation, you get real about what’s working and what’s not and where you are hoping to make lasting change. Remember though, this part is just about dreaming, not doing.

See how lose this can be? It’s about appreciating the things that are going well in the world of your IBD and dreaming about the positive changes you want to make on an ongoing basis so when the time is right you, you have everything you need to get started. And doing all of this in a way that works for your life.

KEEP IT LOSE, BUT STICK WITH THESE NON-NEGOTIABLES

[10:30] There’s no timetable here. No pressure to come up with the best solution or resolution. Just a belief in 3 non-negotiables– #1: The change or changes you want to make are about the journey, not the destination. And if you’re uncertain or annoyed with this statement, stay tuned, I promise, I’ll convince you that that attitude will actually get you more results. #2: Trust the process. Don’t push this to happen, like a January 1st resolution might do to you. No pressure. The goals you want to set for yourself or the changes you’re thinking of making, they will come to light when you’re ready for change. And lastly #3: Accept failure and missteps. This is harder than it sounds for most IBD mamas I know. Failure and missteps are part of the journey towards positive change. Just know that you will take detours and not all will pan out in the moment, even with the best intensions. But when we stick with our non-negotiables and stay true to our personal journey, we know we are on the right path.

OK, now that we have our non-negotiables straight, it’s time to decide how all that daydreaming will work best for you. Are you already a journal gal? Do you have a hubby with an ear that bends easily? Are you attached to your phone all the time, making notes about everything? As we move on the actual 3-step solution to make 2021 the year you get control over your Crohn’s and colitis, let the gears start turning. Are they turning for you? Great, now put that thought in the back of your mind to marinate, while I fill you in on your 3-Step Solution.

Remember I mentioned earlier when we were talking about the psychology of resolutions and making change that our human brains don’t work the way New Year’s tells us to do it? That our brains aren’t designed superhuman massive all at once changes, but more for baby step solutions? Well, the beauty of those baby step solutions is that they can lead to monster results when done properly and my 3-Step Solution to put IBD in its place in 2021 is all you need to turn targeted baby steps into huge leaps that positively impact your health this year.

Time for the awesome sauce mama. Let’s dive into the best, most actional part to make change you’ll stick with and be invested in to help your IBD heal. Got a pen and paper? Good cause you’re going to love this 3-Step mindset hack.

YOUR’RE GOING TO LOVE HOW SIMPLE THIS PLAN IS

Step # 1: Get crystal clear on the right baby step to take.

[14:01] This step all goes back to your daydreaming about what’s working and what you want to change about your gut health. You know, when I ask moms I work with, “What are your goals with regard to your Crohn’s or colitis?”– The thing I hear from most moms is “I want to feel better” Although this is a true statement for all of us IBD moms, it doesn’t really get you anywhere. Because this statement alone is absolutely all encompassing and overwhelming—FEEL better could mean a lot–physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally—maybe even all of the above. And tackling all of these desires all at once is an insanely daunting task, isn’t it? There’s just so much to fix before you get to “feeling better”.

Instead of spinning your wheels and failing at tackling “I want to feel better”, I challenge you to go further by asking, “What would that look like to you?” What would feeling better actually look like for you? And once you figure out exactly what that means to you, I want you to embrace digging deep into the baby steps for what would make that happen change happen.

A CASE STUDY YOU CAN USE TO CREATE YOUR OWN HEALING PLAN

[15:55] I don’t want to move on from step #1 until I really show you what it looks like because skipping this step will keep everything from working when it comes to healing your IBD. Let me really paint the picture of what this would look like for you with a client story- Mikaela, not her real name to protect her privacy, was a 32-year-old who came to work with me after being diagnosed with Crohn’s. When I asked her what her goals were for healing her IBD she told me “I want to feel better.” But when we took that thought a bit further with, “What does feel better look like for you?”, Mikaela decided it meant achieving health in 3 areas– #1 she wanted to stop feeling so bloated, gassy, and crampy in her belly after she ate, #2 she wanted to stop being so tired all the time, and #3 she wanted to put an end to the back and forth between diarrhea and constipation she kept experiencing. All good ideas. Each much more specific than “I want to feel better” right?

Now, while these are all fantastic health goals, they are quite mammoth when you think of tackling them all at once. Instead of stopping here and potentially going nowhere trying to accomplish all of these goals at once (talk about overwhelm and the possibility of inaction), Michaela and I spent time talking about each of these difficulties and sus’d out which challenge to focus on first– the one that was giving her the most trouble right now. For many moms, the answer is all of the above and if that’s the case, I encourage you to always pick the baby step that’s the low hanging fruit—the one easiest to fix.

Mikaela, she decided for her, the worst challenge at the moment was #1. She was sick and tired of feeling awful every time she ate—it was leading to her skipping meals, a very limited diet, and weight loss. She wanted to address that first. To be really clear here, know that the other problems bothered her too, but knowing that we’d get to those too, and that we’d have a much bigger shot at tackling them successfully if we took them at one baby bite at a time, she went with it, she wasn’t so overwhelmed ,and  she felt more hopeful for success in diving in to this one issue.

Mikaela and I spoke about some of the things that can be helpful when IBDer’s have bloating, gas, and a cramping feeling after meals—remember my role as coach isn’t to prescribe, I leave that to the doctor, but instead I offer suggestions on well researched things I see working right now in the realm of Crohn’s and colitis.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT BLOATING, GAS, AND CRAMPING AFTER YOU EAT

In the case of bloating, gas and cramping after meals, there are several things I’ve seen work in research studies as well as with actual IBDer’s . Things like taking digestive enzymes (which are a supplement that helps break down the fat, protein, and carbohydrates in your food so you digest and absorb more nutrients) AND with your food digesting better, you then have less bloating, gas, and cramping after meals.

Other things that can work for this common IBD challenge are sipping peppermint tea after meals to relax the digestive system as it digests, making dietary changes to stay away from food sensitivities or common allergens in our foods that can cause bloating and gas after eating. Also being very conscious about not just what you eat, but HOW you eat. Chewing your food 30-40 times in your mouth before you swallow. I promise, it doesn’t take as long as it sounds, but it can big a huge factor in proper digestion. Digestion and food breakdown begins in the mouth and you can help your inflamed gut digest and absorb nutrients better by breaking them down where you have more control—with your teeth. Further broken down food particles means less gas and bloating after meals. Also in the HOW to eat realm, eating at the table with others in community with conversation and not in the car or at your desk or watching TV can be helpful. Enjoying the company of others while you eat even if it’s on zoom can help reduce gas and bloating after meals as well.

With all these ideas in mind, it was time for Mikaela to narrow down her goal into even smaller baby steps. I mentioned a lot of ideas and there’s no need to try them all for you or for Mikaela. Pick the ones that call to you first and don’t overthink it. Mikaela chose digestive enzymes and staying away from gluten and dairy. She was ready for the immediate relief enzymes can provide and she also felt strongly that foods with gluten and dairy had a negative impact on her as well, so she started there.

For you, this baby step might look completely different, even if you have the same symptoms as Mikaela. Her choice might seem too small or too big for you. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 10 years coaching, it’s that everyone with IBD is truly different and what helps one mama heal is completely different than another mama- even ones with similar symptoms.

And while we’re talking about digestive enzymes, I want to mention that this supplement is not for everyone so I’m not necessarily recommending them for you—especially if you have gastritis (an inflammation of the stomach lining)—but for Mikaela this was the right first step.

Step #1, check. And if you’re following along on your journey too, you’ve already completed the most difficult of the 3 steps. You’ve whittled down, and refined, and choose a baby step, knowing you’ll come back for the rest due time. You’ve set yourself up for success!

[24:24] In Step # 2, we embrace your choice, get started on the journey, and keep track of your progress. We don’t need to do this for very long because we’ve chose the baby step approach and when we do this, patterns and changes will start to emerge quickly. In step #2, we look for patterns for about 1-3 weeks depending on the change. For the change Mikaela was making, 1 week was enough as enzymes tend to work right away if they’re going to work. The removal of dairy and gluten took a little longer for her to track, closer to the 3-week mark.

For you to successfully complete step #2, it’s important to know how to track your progress. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it’s actually really simple. Once we get started with our baby step, we track our progress in whatever way works for us in our mom life. We can journal- free hand—in a notebook for this specific purpose. I personally love this type of tracking because I’m a sucker for a cute journal. But you could also tap into the power of your phone, in the notes section, or in a notes app like Evernote, or you can get saucy and leave yourself a video selfie to tract how the change is going.

My job as a coach is being a partner with my clients to help them stay top of this tracking and to help them see patterns in the results. With Mikaela, I helped by checking her journal weekly and pointing out patterns I saw like the enzymes working well in general, but especially on days when she ate with her family as opposed to on the go when she was cooking dinner standing in the kitchen and also noticing that on mornings when she took time for her morning routine of a 10 minute deep breathing and grounding session, she had less bloating and gas after meals. This was a massive ah-a for Mikaela to see that what she ate was just as important as HOW she ate.

The bottom line in this step is to track your baby step and look for the patterns to decide how that step is working for you.

IS IT WORKING? IF NOT, IT’S TIME FOR SOME TWEAKS.

[27:51] Step #1 and 2, check. Time for Step 3—The Tweaks.

No matter what baby step you decide to make, there’s always going to be tweaks involved, after a short period of time and over the long haul too. For Mikaela in the short term, she ended up realizing that how she ate actually mattered as much as what she ate. Mikaela is a new mom and as we know, life is stressful in the early days of motherhood. When Mikaela stopped eating at the kitchen counter for her meals and instead ate when her baby ate, it was a huge shift for her. Also, and this is a fantastic part of this, overtime Mikaela was able to get off the enzymes long term when she learned more about how her body reacts with the food she was eating. Removing gluten and dairy from her diet had massive results. And when this change became more long term, she realized she didn’t even need to take the enzymes anymore.

So there you have it, you’re Simple 3-Step Solution complete. No more resolutions, no more drastic steps you don’t stick with. A simple baby step process you can use for any change you want to make but especially for changes that impact your IBD in a positive way.

LET’S REVIEW YOUR 3 STEPS

Step #1: Break down your daydreams into smaller baby steps and once you do that, break those steps down into baby step actions you can start right away.

Step #2: Find a way to track what you’re doing. A way that works for you. Journaling, short video clips, using a notes app… whatever works for you. You can’t know for sure how your change is going if you don’t track at. What patterns are emerging here? What do you notice working and what’s not working?

Step #3: Time for tweaks. Keep the good and ditch the rest. Trial and error is your best friend and tweaking allows you do just that. Embrace the journey instead of the end result and you will be rewarded with lasting progress that sticks.

After the first round of 3-Steps in complete, now, it’s time to move on to your next goal with the same method, and interestingly, when you pick the most pressing concern first, you might notice that other challenges you used to have, have, poof, vanished as well. For Michaela, goal #3 disappeared while she was working on goal #1. She didn’t have the back-and-forth diarrhea one day constipation the next poop problems anymore. Her stool firmed up and she had less frequent poops too. With that taken care of, we were able to move on to her goal # 2: The fatigue she was still feeling.

EMBRACE THE JOURNEY FOR YOUR BIGGEST HEALTH CHANGES

Through it all, and I think the reason why Michaela was so successful, is that she made these 3 steps all about the journey, not the end result. When she embraced the day to day, the journey, no matter what, she was able to learn about how her body worked along the way—the good, the bad, the ugly.

If there’s one thing that’s been the most beneficial for me in the 12 years since I made a conscious choice to choose food, lifestyle and mindset for my IBD before reaching for medicine to help my Crohn’s, it’s that I’ve learned all about how my body works. I know exactly what foods bother me. It used to be a guessing game for me. And I know that how food affects me isn’t always the same day to day. It depends on the amount of sleep I get and how stressful a period I’m in in my life. I know that I just function better throughout the day if I start with my morning meditation and yoga. I know that I have to be strict with my kids and my hubs to not use my pans or utensils, and no double dipping in the peanut butter for their pb and j sandwiches. Just that little bit of leftover crumbs in the nut butter can give me diarrhea.

These are just a few of the things I’ve learned about how my body works in the last 12 years of embracing the journey instead of the destination. I listened when my body spoke to me, I took notes and went back to look for patterns. I embraced the power of cumulative baby steps instead of big resolutions, but most importantly, I made the process about the journey and not the end result. I still have missteps and bad days with my IBD. But now, I know what to do about it and it’s all because I know my body so damn well, because I relaxed, embraced my inner tortoise, and let it flow. You can do this too. You can be the tortoise and let big results slowly flow your way.

Don’t listen to the snake oil salesman who tells you they have the “cure” for IBD. Trust me, they don’t. It takes time to really get a handle on your IBD, embrace the many ups and downs, but when you commit to the journey, the results will be even better than the promise of a quick fix.

Are you thinking about your biggest struggles and how this 3-Step Solution might work for you? I know that the regular IBD mom might listen to this episode and say, huh, interesting and move on. But not you, not you, because you are not going to let this information lie here.

[34:37] You’re going to do it like a mom.

No matter if you’re listening to this episode when it airs in January or you’re listening another month of the year, don’t leave this episode without planting the seed in your head. Remember that thought of “I want to feel better.” What does “feeling better” look like for you? Let’s concretely define it together, right now. Is it less trips to the bathroom, no more blood in the toilet, or are you like Michaela, enduring bloating, gas and cramping after every meal? There’s bound to be more than one issue you’re experiencing too. With IBD, there always is. Remember, when Michaela thought about her challenges, she had 3 main challenges she wanted to tackle.

Do you have your thoughts in your head on what feeling better means to you specifically? Good, you are off to an amazing start. And I commend you because you can’t believe how hard that is for most mamas. And if you’re still thinking on it, that’s ok too. Just don’t let the thought go completely. Keep it in the back of your mind as you take care of the kids today. Sometimes we need to consciously move thoughts to our unconscious mind for a little while and let them marinate. You never know when an answer will pop into your head. For me, the place where thoughts seem to solidify is in the shower, but for you it might be in the middle of the night or while doing the dishes. Trust in the knowledge that when the time is right, the answer will come to the surface. Once it does, you’ll be ready for it with your 3-Step Solution.

So, if nothing else today, promise me something. No more New Year’s Resolutions that are destined to bring you failure. No more big leaps into the unknown and thinking there’s something wrong with you when you don’t succeed.

Baby steps my love.

Baby steps turn into giant leaps and giant leaps turn into success stories.  You’ve got this and I’m here for you as a mentor and a friend whenever you need me. hello@karynhaley.com

Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD healing journey.  And there’s that journey word again. It’s all about the journey.

Be well!

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.

[38:48] 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.

Ep 16: 5 Myths About IBD Debunked

Myths. Urban legends. We all know them. Don’t walk under a ladder or you’ll have 7 years of bad luck! Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back! My kids love to tease me with that one. Usually we laugh at myths like this, but when it comes to Crohn’s and colitis these myths are anything but funny. They control how we treat our disease, keep us stuck when we’re trying to heal, and make us feel incompetent when it comes to knowing what’s best for our own bodies. 

Come with me on a journey in this episode as we bust these destructive myths once and for all…

We’re talking about:

  • The reason why IBD and mixed messages go hand in hand
  • The natural approach vs medicine (what’s better?)
  • The worst foods to eat during a flare-up
  • The latest research on what causes IBD

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll be empowered to tackle your IBD from your own perspective, rather than relying on destructive myths that try to tell you what’s best for you. 

Episode at a Glance:

  • [01:28] The reason why we get so many mixed messages about Crohn’s and colitis.
  • [04:02] Which way of treating your IBD is better? The natural approach or the medicine approach?
  • [08:27] How the “food has nothing to do with your illness” myth got started.
  • [12:05] The extra problem we suffer through when we have an invisible, taboo illness.
  • [17:29] The worst foods you can eat in a flare (and what you should be eating instead)
  • [28:45] The three-legged stool approach to how you got Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the first place
  • [32:25] A few more honorable mention myths worth, well, mentioning
  • [37:00] 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 Stress Management Toolbelt

Episode #10: How to Find a Doctor You’ll Rave About

Book your FREE 30-Minute IBD Troubleshooting Session with me HERE.

Links for More Information:

Does the gut microbiome play a role in autoimmune disease?

Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health

Institute of Functional Medicine bio for Alessio Fasano, MD

Psychological stress in IBD: new insights into pathogenic and therapeutic applications

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]

Hey there mama, it’s Karyn here with you. I’m hoping you are having a day filled with loads of gut love, and if you’re not, I’m here with a positive and hopefully enlightening message today that you can take with you to help you on your IBD journey.

When it comes to Crohn’s and colitis, I just can’t believe how much misinformation there is out there, which makes it so challenging for us, the patient, to get reliable, accurate details about our illness. I think one of the reasons we get so many mixed messages about how best to address our symptoms is because there is no cookie cutter one size fits all approach to treating our illness. I’ve personally seen different woman with seemingly the same symptoms respond in completely opposite ways. And at first, it seems like a head scratcher. How can that be?

Not knowing what advice to take and what to throw away creates a daunting task with the weight of a statement like “when I went to school, we had to walk 20 miles to and from, in freezing cold blizzard-like conditions, uphill both ways.” I’m sure you’ve heard a statement like that from an elderly relative before. But since I try to be a glass is half full kind of gal, I prefer to look at the challenge of knowing what message is true and honest for you as a choose your own adventure novel, where instead of someone else being in charge of what you do and how you do it, you’re in charge of every IBD decision and you’re responsible for how the journey turns out. Sure, there might be some missteps along the way, but at least with a choose your own IBD adventure, you can go back and have a do over with a completely different experience.

Today, in the spirit of those choose your own adventure novels your kids are probably into (and if not yet, they will be), this episode can serve as a reminder that just like our kids who control the narrative in those books, when we have IBD, we have the power and we are in control or our IBD destiny. Today, I’m sharing 5 common, and not too talked about pitfalls, I see moms with IBD making. Fortunately, these pitfalls or myths as I call them, are just like a choose your own adventure book. When you’ve experienced a not so happy ending on one path because you were led to believe a myth, it’s not the end of the line for you. Instead, it’s just an opportunity for you to go back and try again. Only this time, you’re armed with more information and with you at the helm of your IBD decisions, your journey is bound to have a happier ending.

Let’s dive in with IBD Myth # 1.

WHAT’S BETTER, THE NATURAL CAMP OR THE MEDICINE CAMP?

When it comes to treating IBD, you have to be either in the medical camp or the natural camp. There’s no in between.

This myth, honestly, drives me crazy. People love to pigeonhole you into one camp or the other. And each camp is so judgey of the other. The natural camp thinks medicine is the work of the devil and MD’s will lead us to cancer causing medications and western medicine will never help us. And the medication camp believes that people who prefer natural remedies are just tree hugging, granola loving hippies who don’t have a clue about what it takes to actually feel better.

Now, if I’m being 100% honest with you, I fall more into the natural camp. I’ll always pick a non-toxic approach that gets to the root cause of IBD before I choose symptom management for my illness. But sometimes IBDer’s (me included) need doctors and medication, and hospitals, and surgeries. I’m so grateful those options are available for us. Lord knows doctors have saved my life a time or two on my 30-year Crohn’s journey.

The myth busting approach to managing your IBD that I’m advocating for you with this myth is a way of thinking that excludes the idea of only medicine or only natural, and instead incorporates what I call your Wheel of Wellness. I’ve talked about your Wheel of Wellness before on a previous episode, but it’s about never relying on just one thing to help you, but remembering that healing takes a village, a plethora of wellness tools to help you heal. These are the kinds of wellness tools that include having a really solid and honest relationship with your gastroenterologist, using meds when you need them, getting labs and procedures when they are warranted, BUT also knowing the value at the same time of healing foods, restorative exercise like yoga or walking in nature, meditation, acupuncture, sleep hygiene, supplements, stress relief, and therapy. This way of helping your IBD gives you the best wheel of wellness and it’s personalized just for you. And when you put in the time to build an amazing wheel of wellness, one that’s built just for you, it will be at your disposal whenever and wherever you need it.

This approach to healing is what’s termed integrative medicine—it uses the best methods to heal from the western and eastern perspectives. When you choose an integrative approach to manage your IBD, you embrace health and everything it takes to make health happen for your body as a whole.

Ignore the nay sayers who tell you your integrative approach is wrong. Just because it’s wrong for them doesn’t mean it’s wrong for you. Remember, Crohn’s and colitis are not diseases with a road map, where there’s only one way to get to your destination or the end of a linear book. They are about taking a detour, taking the road less traveled, taking a different way to get to your destination, a different way than anyone else… When it comes to IBD, make your own integrative road map and make health about the amazing journey you’ll take to get there.

DOES WHAT I EAT MATTER?

Myth # 2

It doesn’t matter what I eat. Food has nothing to do with Crohn’s or colitis.

Now, I’m never one to contradict a doctor, after all, they went to medical school, but I’ve got to say, how is it possible that an illness that affects our whole digestive tract, how is it possible that the food you eat doesn’t impact your gut? Now does that make any sense to you?

It’s just common sense.

The thing though is, it’s not the doctor’s fault here. The food you eat impacting your IBD is just not something that they are trained in. Doctors are trained in disease management, not nutrition. I’ve heard that medical school training only involves a very quick blip in nutrition, like 3 hours… I pray that’s not true, but whatever the number of hours, it’s small,  so it’s no wonder that nutrition and the food you eat is rarely brought up in a visit with your IBD doctor beyond saying something like, “don’t eat the things that bother you” or “eat bland.”

Thankfully, I’m seeing ideas about the effects of IBD and the food we eat shift, if ever so slightly, and that’s thanks to research that’s become mainstream in the last few years regarding our microbiome—the community of bacteria that lives inside and outside our body. This microbiome research is what all of us with IBD need to make sure we’re paying close attention to because it’s likely to be the key to finally making large leaps in putting IBD behind us for good. I love perusing IBD/microbiome research because it’s so promising and exciting. I think it’s going to lead to some tremendous breakthroughs in how Crohn’s and colitis are treated and eventually eradicated in the next several years.

This microbiome research brings attention to how the bacteria in our gut can be positively and negatively impacted by the food we eat. By adding in foods rich in beneficial bacteria and taking away foods that promote bacterial dysbiosis (that bacterial imbalance), we can see how our IBD can improve and how we can thrive.

If there’s one thing that doctors love, it’s empirical evidence produced by research. So stay tuned on the “food has nothing to do with your illness” front because as IBD and the microbiome continues to be studied and research studies are published, you’re going to see a shift happen here when you ask the question to your doctor—”does what I eat matter?”

I’ll link one of my favorite microbiome studies in the show notes about how IBD and the microbiome interact, in case you’re curious on the latest advances in that front.

THE RISK OF HAVING AN INVISIBLE AND TABOO DISEASE

Myth # 3

If it isn’t visible, it isn’t so bad.

Of course, this myth is referring to IBD being an invisible illness because what’s going on on the outside of our body’s isn’t what’s going on beneath the surface. This is a different kind of myth because it’s not one we believe in, but it’s one believed by those around us. And what I think makes this one even worse for us with IBD (and why I feel like it has to debunked) is that opposed to other invisible illnesses, our disease isn’t only invisible, it’s taboo too. The taboo part has a lot to do with a subject that affects us greatly, but no one wants to talk about—and that’s poop.

So having an invisible illness is bad enough. It forces us to have to constantly remind our friends and loved ones that even though we look like we’re OK, often times we aren’t. And often times as moms, we move in the opposite direction. We try our hardest to ignore the pain, ignore all the bathroom trips, ignore our other symptoms because we don’t have time for it and we don’t want to burden others. We constantly get people saying things to us like, “huh, you don’t look sick?” I don’t even know how to respond to that. Plus, because talking about poop is a taboo topic, we never get recognition for how challenging this illness is for us.

Let me let you in on a little poorly kept secret… everyone poops. Some have more poops than others, but everyone poops. Your partner, your kids, your boss, your neighbor, even the hot celebrity you swoon over poops… everyone poops!

When it comes to those who perpetuate the myth that our illness isn’t as bad as other chronic illnesses because it’s invisible and it doesn’t show up outside our bodies and we don’t have a right to talk about it because some of the symptoms have to do with the P word, I say that’s their problem.

We don’t have to buy into the myth that we are less than or not worthy because we have a digestive illness. All the IBD moms I know are amazingly strong, resilient, smart as hell, gutsy as all get out, and capitol B, Beautiful. So no more hiding in the shadows mama because someone else is uncomfortable with you. It took me way too many years to realize for myself and I’m hoping you never go through the shame and embarrassment of our invisible and taboo illness.

Hold your head high my love, you are a warrior and a goddess!

I CAN’T EAT FRUITS AND VEGGIES BECAUSE THEY GO RIGHT THROUGH ME… OR CAN YOU?

Myth # 4

I can’t eat fruits and vegetables because they go right through me.

First of all, I know that fruits and veggies can be challenging for IBD’ers. I’ve experienced those challenges myself, especially in a flare. It’s not unusual for me to hear from a client that the food that went in looks much the same when it ends up in the toilet. Undigested carrots, pieces of lettuce, and skins of tomatoes, blueberries or peas are common foods I hear about going straight through without digesting So, it’s only natural to think you can’t eat any fruit of veggies at all.

And unfortunately, when this happens, many IBDer’s reach for “comfort food” (and I’m saying that in quotes) in the form of mashed potatoes and mac and cheese with the belief that they are easier to digest. OK, it’s time for me to give it to you straight, with love of course. These foods are actually the worst things you can have during a flare. Complex carb rich starches like white potatoes, pasta and white bread are only going to feed the bad bacteria in your gut and make your IBD troubles worse in the long run. Don’t fall for the comfort food that makes you feel comforted for the moment. Instead, let’s bust this myth by figuring out ways to incorporate nutrient dense fruits and especially veggies into your diet, even when you are having a Crohn’s or colitis flare-up. It’s all about figuring out how make these foods easier for your body to digest and absorb.

Meaning not only in a way that your body can breakdown the particles of the food, but then, also in a way your body can absorb the nutrients to bust that flare.

Let’s take lettuce for example. During an IBD flare, raw salads are usually out because you can’t digest them, but that doesn’t mean all greens should be avoided. With greens, I highly encourage you to experiment with spinach or beet greens, completely pulverized in a smoothie. Greens are a great way to get healthy vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, and antioxidants and when we blend them in a high-speed blender, we create a form of veggie that our body can digest and absorb. Now, if this is too much for your sensitive gut, and I’ve seen this too in severe flares, think about adding greens to a stew or a soup that’s cooked longer than normal to help break down the fibers in the greens. This makes them easier to digest.

One of my favorite ways to get veggies, even during a flare up and struggling to digest food is with my 15-veggie soup. I start with a base of bone broth (homemade is best), and to that I add all my favorite veggies—whatever I have on hand—my 15 are usually carrots, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, onions, peas, cauliflower, tomatoes, beans, peas, yellow squash, spinach, mushrooms, scallions, and celery—those are my go to 15. I add some salt and pepper, oregano and thyme, bring it all to a boil, and simmer the soup with the lid on the pot until the veggies are very soft… we’re talking mushy soft. You might think that’s where this soup story ends, but if you’re struggling to digest your food breaking down food into it’s simplest easiest to digest form is the goal. Now, this lovely soup goes in the blender and when it’s done, you’re left with a creamy, delicious, nutrient dense, easy to digest and absorb healthy meal your gut will love.

The bottom line here is get in your nutrients, however you can. Just because you can’t eat a salad doesn’t mean you can’t eat greens. Just because regular cooked carrots go right through you doesn’t mean you have to give up carrots all together. It’s about putting them in a form that works for the current state of your body. There’s so many ways to do this and if you’re struggling with how to get your fruit and veggies in, I want you to get in touch. I’m happy to help you with this. Maybe it deserves it’s own podcast episode because it’s a big topic. You can reach me at hello@karynhaley.com

But when you do this, when you put your nutrients in a form that your body can digest and absorb, you give your digestive system a chance to calm down and repair with foods that heal, not supposed comfort foods that hurt in the long run. Once your gut has time to rest and reset, you can then start moving back into eating the soup without pureeing it, then eating cooked veggies, moving into lightly steamed veggies and finally into raw.

Can you imagine that for yourself?

It’s a beautiful thing to see what’s possible when we give the gut the time it needs to heal, instead of immediately going to the comfort food that doesn’t really give any comfort at all.

Just a couple more quick thoughts on this myth before we move on. When it comes to fruit, you may not be able to eat an apple or blueberries raw, but how about cooking that down too? I love making a blueberry compote, which is just blueberries heated like your making jam (I like to add a little vanilla so the blueberry flavor pops, but nothing else), then I puree the blueberries into a digestible form that can then be stored in the frig as a topper for my yogurt or grain free pancakes or scones.

All the health of a blueberry without the difficulty digesting it in its raw form.

Another idea for your consideration is juicing. Juicing is another way to get nutrient dense fruits and veggies into your diet. Juicing removes the skin, seeds and fiber so it’s easier to digest. Gut healing nutrients without the harsh digestion.

Remember, the ultimate goal here is to be eating a combination of both raw and lightly cooked fruits and vegetables in their whole, natural state, but most of us with IBD can’t start there. We have to give our intestinal wall time to repair and eating fruit and veggies in a more digestible way is the best way to start.

IT’S NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD!

Myth # 5

I have IBD because I’m a perfectionist who can’t handle stress, anxiety, and pressure.

Hell to the no. First of all, you’re an awesome mama who juggles more things in a day than anyone can imagine, and I could just leave it at that, because let’s face it, enough said. But I will say just a bit more on this topic cause I’m here, you’re here, so why not thoroughly bust this myth.

You didn’t get IBD because you can’t cope with stress, although the prevailing view in the 1950’s was just that. IBD was thought of as more of a psychiatric diagnosis. Thankfully, research has come a long way with theories about the causes of IBD. In fact, we know a lot more about the reason for autoimmune disorders, like IBD, thanks for the work of Dr. Alesseo Fasano, medical doctor, gastroenterologist, and researcher in the area of autoimmunity. Dr. Fasano describes autoimmune diseases with a 3-legged stool analogy. Can you picture a stool like this. If it lost even one of it’s legs, it wouldn’t really function anymore would it? Dr. Fasano’s research shows that for autoimmunity to occur, 3 criteria (or 3 legs of the stool) must be in place. #1- genetics: certain genes we have make us more susceptible to IBD. We’re born with this, #2- a trigger: although the exact trigger for IBD is unknown, there is some sort of trigger that causes the body to attack itself, and #3 (the third leg in the stool)- intestinal permeability: or leaky gut as it is often called where the intestines get weak and leaky and protein from food particles and bacteria are able to enter into our bloodstream. Definitely not a good thing.

This whole autoimmune process could create other autoimmune diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis. For us, the 3-legged stool of autoimmunity created Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Possibly you have other autoimmune diseases as well. Once you have one, you may find that others pop into the mix. But the bottom line here is that rest assured, you didn’t get IBD because you’re a perfectionistic stress monster.

It is interesting to note though that while stress didn’t cause your illness, research does show that stress does affect our illness. It’s a subtle difference in words there, but a huge difference in meaning. So stress didn’t cause IBD, but it can most certainly make it worse.

I’m sure you’ve had stressful moments in your life, especially moments of chronic or more long-term stress where you noticed your Crohn’s or colitis suffered because of it. Covid-19 is a perfect example of a chronic stressful life event that can negatively impact your IBD. Any long-term stressor can do this.

The key to busting this type of impact, is to have stress busting tools at your fingertips, for when life stress gets tangled up in your IBD struggles. If stress is a big part of your life right now and you’re looking for ways to manage it, you can get a copy of my stress management toolbelt at karynhaley.com/stress. That’s k-a-r-y-n-h-a-l-e-y.com/stress. It’s filled with easy, mom-centered suggestions to help you manage the stress that’s most definitely in your life right now and it’s there for you when you need it.

Well mama, we’ve made it to the end of our 5 IBD myths and we’ve busted each and everyone. But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t leave you with a few honorable mentions for this myth bebunking episode so you can Do myth Busting Like the Mom I know you are.

Here’s just a few more quick hit myths that deserve a quick mention:

  1. IBD only affects your intestines. Myth: IBD is an autoimmune disorder with inflammation at its core so that inflammation and immune dysfunction can show up anywhere in your body including places like your joints, skin, and eyes. It’s important to know this when other seemingly non-gut related symptoms creep up for you. You’ll want to mention those to your IBD doctor as well.
  2. I’ll never find a doctor who understands me. Myth: While I will say it’s hard to find a good doctor who listens, understands, and supports your healing journey in the way you need them to, it is possible. Check out episode #10 to help you find the doctor you’ll rave about to all your friends. I’ll link to it in the show notes.
  3. There’s ONE diet out there that cures IBD. Nope, this is a myth too and don’t let anyone tell you different. First of all, I’m not a fan of the word cure, and secondly, there’s actually lots more than one special diet that works to help diminish your IBD symptoms. Picking the diet that fits your own personal needs and then making it your own is what this part of healing is all about. I get really revved up about this topic of Eating for IBD and finding the best diet for you to follow. So revved up that I’m actually in the middle of creating a training all about how to find the best diet when it comes to IBD. Stay tuned for that. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready for you to check out.

Well, we’ve made it to the end of another episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD. I’m so happy you joined me today. Debunking IBD myths is fun and I hope this information sparked an “ah-ha” for you today. Now, go run with it and start chipping away at the IBD in your life. You’ve got this mama. I’m just your weekly reminder that all is possible and a healthy life with IBD is in your sites if you keep rocking those baby steps.  Go for it! You’ve got this.

Remember if you’re enjoying the podcast, now’s the perfect time to leave a rating and review on itunes—a 5 star rating for good karma. Ratings and reviews help us reach more IBD moms and that’s a beautiful thing.

Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey. Chat soon!

[46:47] 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.

Ep 15: Seven Healing Gems Every IBD Moms Needs to Know About

When it comes to natural remedies to help your IBD symptoms, we’re used to feeling overwhelmed. As busy moms, we don’t have the time to figure out what’s worth trying vs what’s overhyped crap. We’re also afraid we’ll pick the wrong natural remedy and get even worse. And we’re even more afraid that our doctor won’t approve of anything labeled “natural.”

These are all real fears and challenges for us.

I happy to say that it’s time for you to stop searching in internet for answers and it’s time to stop looking over your shoulder in fear that others won’t approve.

In my 30 + years with IBD and 10 years coaching moms with IBD, I’ve combed through all the research, looked at case reviews, used my own experiences and those of my client’s, and I’ve come up with 7 of the best healing gems for Crohn’s and colitis that are actually worth your time and effort.

These are healing gems that actually lead to massive transformation when it comes to IBD.

No more wasted time, confusion, and anxiety over trying to figure out what’s worth your effort when it comes to treating IBD naturally.

In this episode, I’m breaking down the best healing gems that are worth checking out.

We’re talking about:

  • The mother of all gut healing honeys
  • The truth about coconut oil (healthy oil or too much fat?)
  • The best morning drink recipe that gets your digestive juices ready to digest food better
  • The difference between meat stock and bone broth (and which one’s better)

And so much more!

After the episode, be ready to stock up on healing gems that actually help your quiet your IBD symptoms.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [01:42] We talk about why all honey is not created equal and the one type of honey that the mother of all gut healing.
  • [07:06] Coconut oil—good for you or too much fat?
  • [11:28] Can you get the same gut healing benefit by cooking with turmeric or do you need to take a curcumin supplement?
  • [14:56] Seven adaptogenic teas help with your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms.
  • [26:39] My recipe for the best morning drink that gets your digestive juices flowing and helps you release toxins that have built up in your body
  • [22:19] What’s the difference between bone broth and meat stock and which one is better?
  • [33:34] The ultimate balancer for our gut bacteria.
  • [43:00] It’s time to Do it Like a Mom– do these 7 healing gems with motherhood in mind
  • [35:07] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Book your FREE 30-Minute IBD Troubleshooting Session with me HERE.

Episode #12 Your Top 10 SCD Yogurt Making Questions Answered

Episode # 9 How to Cope with IBD, Motherhood, and Covid Stress

Links for More Information:

Antibacterial Activity of Manuka Honey

The Effects of Adaptogens on the CNS

VSL #3 Probiotic for Patients with Active Ulcerative Colitis

Curcuminoids: New Adjuvants for the Treatment of Crohn’s or Colitis

Bone Broth Benefits

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

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] Welcome to the show mama. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, and whether it’s your fifteenth time with me or your first, I’m so honored you’re sharing this moment with me. Let’s make it count, shall we?

If you’re ready to take big leaps and make big strides on your IBD healing journey, this is the episode for you because I’m covering 7 healing gems that are going to transform the way you look at your IBD and your healing journey. These 7 gems are the stuff life transformation is made of. There’s lots of info here so if you don’t’ have something to write with, press pause and come straight back. I want to make sure you get everything down that I’m about to share. And I can’t wait to share these babies with you so what do you say we just dive it.

Let’s go for it!

[01:42] Healing Gem # 1: is the Mother of all honey’s: Manuka Honey.

Did you know that it’s not just a coincidence that many of the best gut healing diets, including the SCD and GAPS include honey on its approved list of sweeteners? And honey isn’t just a way to add sweetness to your food. REAL honey, especially raw honey, actually has medicinal properties—properties that help your gut to calm inflammation, improve immune function and increase diverse bacteria in your gut—all of the things we need to do to calm our Crohn’s and colitis. I love this about honey!

Everything about honey sounds promising right? It sounds like a no brainers, but before you run out a shop for honey, there’s a one thing I want you to be aware of. It’s important to know that most grocery store honey is pretty crappy. According to food safety news, about ¾ of the honey we buy in the American grocery store isn’t exactly what the bees produce.  Due to the ultra-pasteurization with commercial honey, most honey gets heated, it removes contaminants and other particles.

But for gut healing, we need honey in its most natural, unheated state so the pollen and enzymes remain intact.  And that’s where this most special type of honey called Manuka honey comes in.

Let’s go over just a quick background on Manuka honey. It’s produced in New Zealand and it get’s its name from where the bees pollenate—the manuka bush. And a while back, researchers discovered that manuka honey has considerably higher levels on enzymes that other honeys. 

Here’s the key part: These enzymes work as a natural antibacterial agent—and these are the words that are music to our gut and our ears. Remember, when it comes to gut healing, it’s all about the bacteria in our gut and this honey is one way we can help to rebalance that bacteria.

And by the way, I know we’re talking about gut health here but it’s fun fact to know that manuka honey is also helpful for acne, eczema, burns, sore throats, coughs and allergies.

These days, you might even be able to buy manuka honey in your regular grocery store. It’s available in my beloved Wegmans grocery store. It should be stocked at your local health food store or, of course, online.

My favorite brand of manuka honey is Manuka Doctor, but there’s other good quality options out there.

Let’s wrap up our healing gem # 1 with how to use it to impart its healing properties for your gut.

First of all, it works best when you consume it daily. Just a tiny bit and thank goodness because it’s not the cheapest of products. Like ½ tsp. A little goes a long way with manuka. It also isn’t a panacea that’s going to be a like a miracle pill that works like magic the first time you use it. It works in conjunction with the other healing gems I’m mentioning today, and it works best when used over time. Remember it’s giving you healing enzymes and helping build beneficial bacteria in your gut. It’s a slow process, but it does work.

So, how to do use it daily? Well, you can eat it straight, stir it into your homemade fermented yogurt (and in case you’re new to gut healing yogurt there’s more on that in episode 12- l’ll link it in the show notes), in smoothies, in a morning detox drink that I’ll give you a recipe for in a few minutes, in tea… pretty much anywhere you put honey.

[07:06] Healing Gem # 2: Coconut Oil

I’m sure you’ve heard of this one.  But I bet you’ve also heard mixed reviews.  It’s a saturated fat, so gasp, many people talk about the horrors of these kind of fats. 

Well, coconut oil is a saturated fat but it’s in a category all it’s own. It’s in a category of fats call medium chain triglycerides and they’re processed different that other fats. It’s really a true superfood and there’s about a bazillion (yep, I’m getting technical here with that number) a bazillion uses and health benefits for coconut oil.

Coconut oil actually has a number of benefits that have nothing to do with the gut (just like manuka honey), including brain health and energy production, it can help with fat burning and raise your good cholesterol (that HDL), it’s great for your skin and hair, but my favorite benefit of coconut oil is that it kills micro-organisms because this is how it positively impacts our gut.

Coconut oil is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral… serious help for an IBD gal.

Just like with manuka and it’s got those natural antibacterial agents. These healing gems we’re talking about today are full of them!

When you’re purchasing coconut oil, you’ll probably see it labeled refined and unrefined. Have you seen these distinctions for coconut oil?

Refined coconut oil is a more processed coconut oil. It’s gone through a cleaning process to remove any impurities. The result is a much milder tasting oil so if you don’t like the coconut flavor and I know a lot of people don’t, this is your better option. My kids don’t really like the coconut flavor so the refined is a good option for them.  I use refined coconut oil when I’m cooking.  It has a higher smoke point than unrefined so that means that you can heat it up and not destroy its health properties.

Unrefined is coconut oil in a more untouched state.  You might see it in the store as labeled virgin or pure. There’s definitely a bolder coco nutty taste with unrefined.  The gut healing factor is greater here.  It has more anti-inflammatory properties and more antioxidants.  I like to use it in raw foods like smoothies, in a frothy topping for my chai tea. My hubby makes his own bullet proof coffee with unrefined coconut oil. As long as you’re not heating it, there’s lots of options for unrefined coconut oil.

[11:28] #3 Healing Gem: Curcumin

Curcumin is the active anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric, a root that looks quite similar to ginger root if you’ve ever bought that at the grocery store. Except turmeric root is orange on the inside. You can buy turmeric in it’s powered form and many people cook with it. I primarily use it in curry cooking and in this delish mango chutney that I love to make. It’s the base of my mulligatawny soup.

Many people think that to get enough curcumin to help the inflammatory aspects of their IBD, they just need to cook with turmeric, but the problem with this is that you have to eat so much turmeric that I don’t think you’d have room to eat anything else in your day. Research studies show that you need high amounts of curcumin to help conditions like IBD. You are never going to get enough in food form, although I’d use it in food too because it adds so much flavor to a dish. Most curcumin used to help Crohn’s and colitis is in supplement form. And in supplement form, curcumin has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant as it reduces free-radical damage, which increases immune function and lowers inflammation. Now that’s just a recipe for awesome sauce for healing IBD.

There’s so much positive research out there on curcumin supplements and their anti-inflammatory effects for IBD. I’ll link to a couple of the studies in the show notes for you if you’re a research geek like me. The most promising studies regarding curcumin and IBD suggest dosing anywhere from 1-5 grams a day and that’s a wide range. Since everyone has different needs and limitations, so it’s important with a supplement like this that you check you’re your doctor first. I just want you to be armed with all the information you need to take it to your provider.

One last thing I want to mention about turmeric and curcumin is that curcumin, the compound we are trying to get high quantities of to help our IBD, is difficult to absorb into our bloodstream.  But, when we add black pepper to the turmeric for cooking or curcumin for supplementing, it increases the absorption from the intestine into the bloodstream.  Cool little fact, right? In cooking form, just add black pepper when you use turmeric. In supplement form, look for a label that includes piperine. It’s the bioactive compound in black pepper.

[14:56] Healing Gem # 4: Therapeutic and Adaptogenic Teas

I’m not just talking about your average black tea or green tea, although they also have wonderful antioxidant benefits, but I’m actually talking about herbal teas with healing properties.

Tea in general is just calming and soothing and that’s what we want for your gut too, calm waters and soothing vibes.  But the cool thing about herbal tea is that you can match the plant to your gut symptoms, Herbal tea is actually not tea at all.  It’s herb plants and they actually work to help quiet your gut struggles, both in the moment and over time when used regularly.

Many of the healing gems I’m talking about today work when you use them over time.  That’s the cool thing about therapeutic and adaptogenic herbal teas, they don’t have to be in your system for days to take effect.

Now, with this healing gem as well, keep in mind that herbal tea is an herb.  Generally herbal tea is safe, but there are some herbs that interact with medications you may be taking or even interact with certain medical conditions so it’s always best to consult with your doctor before trying the teas I’m about to mention.

Here’s just a small sampling of the amazing benefits of therapeutic and adaptogenic tea:

Ginger- many are familiar with ginger tea for morning sickness and nausea, but ginger tea can also help stimulate digestive juices and help with bloating and gas. Ginger tea is also anti-inflammatory.

Peppermint- my favorite- for indigestion and to relax the muscles of the digestive tract, peppermint is my go to.

Chamomile helps to reduce stress and anxiety—something we get a quadruple whammy in—having IBD is stressful enough, but add in kids and Covid-19, and the holidays, and we’re going to stress city. Chamomile is great in the evening to help wind down.

Fennel tea- great for gas, bloating, also it’s anti-inflammatory and is a good source of vitamin C which is great for boosting the immune system.

Licorice root tea helps heal the lining of the intestine and keep cortisol in balance. Remember we talked all about cortisol and stress in episode 9 so jump back to that if you want more info about stress and IBD. I’ll link it in the show notes for you.

Nettle tea is wonderful— and yes it is made from the stinging nettle leaves and the root of the plant for those who may have had to endure a painful sting from this plant while you were out gardening or in the woods. But in tea form, it’s quite different. It helps with inflammation and helps prevent or treat diarrhea.

Dandelion root- I know, that horrible weed you want out of your yard, but dandelion root has fantastic healing properties, this root is known as a bitter, like other greens like kale and beat greens.  In tea form it can help breakdown food in your system (something challenging for IBDer’s) and stimulate digestive juices.

OK, I could go on and on about using herbal tea therapeutically, but that’s a good place for you to get started.  These are my favorites, and these herbs can be combined in many ways to make tea blends that not only taste great, but work in multiple ways at the same time.

Herbal tea is a fantastic healing gem and one you can get started with right away. Check with your doctor about any concerns with conditions or medications, but if you are good to go, this is one you can do today.

[21:21] # 5 Healing Gem: Bone Broth

Oh, the power of bone broth and meat stock. It just can’t be underestimated when it comes to these healing gems.

When I first started my natural gut healing journey back in 2008, bone broth was not a household name.  Well, fast forward to today and not only do we have recipes to make this fabulous gut soothing broth, but we’ve got store bought options as well.

Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to bone broth and meat stock.  What are we talking about exactly and what are the benefits for your Crohn’s or colitis?

First, why do I mention meat stock and bone broth? Are they different or are they the same thing? Meat stock is actually a little bit different than bone broth. Meat stock uses less water than a traditional bone broth with the water only going just above the meat. It’s also cooked a shorter amount of time than bone broth. Meat stock is cooked for 3 hours or less and bone broth is cooked 8-24 hours.

So, when should you use meat stock and when should you use bone broth? Well, you’ll definitely here different theories about this and honestly, I’ve seen both work for gut healing, but technically, the best way to do this to use meat stock when you are gut healing mode because it’s nutrients are more concentrated and save bone broth for maintenance and remission.

Now that we know what to drink when it comes to bone broth and meat stock, let’s touch on why this is such an important healing gem. It’s all about the collagen and gelatin that’s formed when we create a broth from animal bones.

There’s Huge Benefits in Meat Stock and Bone Broth

Collagen is a protein and a nutrient naturally occurring in our body.  Collagen is also found in beef, chicken and fish.  As collagen from these bones is cooked for a long period of time, it forms a natural gelatin (and if you’re thinking jello, you’re on the right track) and gelatin has some outstanding benefits for everyone, but especially those with gut challenges. Now, don’t run out and buy a box of jello flavored gelatin or even unflavored Knox gelatin, because that’s not what I’m talking about here.  This gelatin is much richer and much more nutritious.

Gelatin from high quality bone broth has been shown to help with restoring the gut lining, fighting food sensitivities, growing probiotics in your gut and helping to reduce general inflammation.  All that in one healing gem?  Yep!

I can’t stress this enough. It’s time to jump on the meat stock/bone broth healing train! If you only try one healing gem from today, make it this one. Try for 1-5 cups of stock a day. Work your way up and move on to bone broth when you’re ready. Many of these healing gems I’m mentioning today have a learning curve. If you’re stuck, or if you don’t know how to add any of these into your daily routine, don’t hesitate to get in touch. And if you need a recipe for meat stock or bone broth, feel free to email me at hello@karynhaley.com. I’m happy to share my recipes with you.

[26:39] # 6 Healing Gem: Your Morning Detox

Remember the turmeric and manuka honey we talked about earlier?  It’s time to start bringing these healing gems together.

Enter: The morning detox drink. 

Now, for the most part, I’m not a fan of detoxing, cleansing or fasting for mamas with Crohn’s or colitis is just too disrupting.  Our guts are screwed up enough, especially when we’re in a flare.  The benefit just doesn’t outweigh the risk. Cleanses and detoxes can be beneficial when you are in remission, but not during a flare.

But, in one area, I’m a huge fan of a so-called detox because it’s not really a detox like most of us think of. It’s more of a daily toxin releasing ritual that will benefit you, gently, every day.

And why do we do this in the morning?  Well, during the night as we sleep, toxins build up in our body and in our bones.  The morning is the perfect time to flush these suckers away for good.  Releasing toxins in this small but mighty way is good for your gut and good for your entire healing pathway.

The ingredients in your morning detox are key:

You’ll start with 1 glass of room temp to lukewarm water (no cold water here, you want it the temp of your body). Drink this and the ingredients I’m going to tell you to put in it after waking in the morning.  Before you put anything else in your body.

What you personally add might vary depending on your immune function and your level of inflammation.  Here’s some options.  You’ll want to work up to adding all of them and we’ll talk about how to do that.

The main ingredients in your morning detox drink:

1 glass room temperature water

¼-1/2 juice of a fresh squeezed lemon

¼ tsp ground turmeric

1 pinch of black pepper (do you remember why we’d add that? It enhances the absorption of the turmeric)

1 tbsp quality apple cider vinegar (with the mother) like the Bragg brand

1/2 tsp manuka honey

You already know the benefits of turmeric and manuka honey.  Let’s talk about the other key ingredient: Apple cider vinegar or ACV. 

Now ACV is not something I recommend to anyone in a bad flare or if you have ulcers in your mouth.  It’s an acid so it’s just too harsh on your system. Wait until the ulcers and inflammation calm down (and bone broth is a great way to do that) and then move into the ACV. You may need to start your morning detox with just water, lemon, and manuka honey.  Maybe when you begin you even just start with water.  Seriously.  Just drinking a glass of room temperature water upon waking gets your detoxification pathways moving and gets your body ready for proper digestion and absorption.

When you’re ready for it, ACV is going to be a God send for you. It’s amazing benefits include being antiviral, antibacterial (there’s that word again), antifungal and antiparasitic.  Bam!  Drop the mic. Talk about a healing gem!!!

ACV helps resolve low stomach acid and goes straight to the heart of your detoxification process. In a word, ACV is awesome.

Lemon is also a fantastic addition to this morning drink, #1 because of the flavor it adds and #2 because it is high in vitamin C so it helps boost your immune system.

So, how does this morning concoction taste?  Well, I love it!  But people tell me I’m weird.  I think it takes like a tart lemonade.  It’s different and it’s possible that in the beginning, you’ll more than likely tolerate it.  But I’m willing to bet that over time, you grow to love it just as much as I do.

Remember, take your time with this one.  Add in one ingredient at a time and do it when you don’t have mouth ulcers and are so inflamed that you ach all over. In cases like this, start with just water or water and manuka honey. That’s absolutely fine. You’ll move forward with more additions when you’re ready.

[33:34] Healing Gem # 7

We’ve made it and I saved the best healing gem for last.  It all goes back to that gut bacteria again. Healing gem # 7 is the ultimate gut balancer—it’s probiotics.  In capsule form, in yogurt, in other fermented foods, probiotics are vital for bacterial balancing and gut health.

When it comes to quieting our Crohn’s and colitis symptoms, we have to talk about your microbiome. According to the global healing center, the microbiome is “The collection of microbes that live in and on the human body.”  Our microbiome influences everything from our thoughts to our behaviors, to how our gut performs.  In fact, research shows that our microbial genes outnumber our human genes by a factor of 100:1.  Crazy right to think about all the critters (good and bad) just hanging out in our body.

In Crohn’s and colitis, one things for sure, our microbiome is out of wack and yes that’s the technical term. Probiotics in supplement and food form, can help to bring your own personal ecosystem back in balance.

Getting Your Probiotics from Food

Let’s talk about probiotic rich food first because ultimately, this is the place I want you to get all your probiotics from. Food, glorious food!!! Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh (fermented soy), kombucha (fermented tea), yogurt, sour cream, and other fermented veggies like carrots or pickles, beans or any veggie you can think of in fermented form are the perfect sources for probiotic rich foods.

These foods are fantastic sources of rich bacteria to promote balance in your digestive system, but with the exception of yogurt, they may be a little too strong as a starting place for you. Sometimes we need to take a step back from probiotic food sources and start with probiotics in supplement form.

I have to go back to the doctor warning here.  I’m not a doctor, so it’s up to you and your doctor to figure out the best brand and dosing for you, but I do want you to go into your next doctor’s appointment armed with this information so here’s the deal.

Getting your Probiotics in Supplement Form

The two probiotics that have been researched the most when it comes to IBD are VSL #3 and Visbiome.  Both are very similar, and both are very potent. 

Let’s take a look at each one separately.

First up VSL #3. It comes in capsule and sachet form (which is just a packet with a powdered probiotic in it) dosing is exceptionally high ranging from 112.5 billion CFU’s (that stands for colony forming units, all the way to 900 billion CFU.

And let’s put this into perspective here. When you consider that most drug store probiotics are set at about 1 billion CFU’s, it just kind of blows your mind doesn’t it?

VSL#3 does have some added ingredients you’ll want to keep in mind if you are sensitive.  The main ingredient that can be bothersome is corn starch. There’s only minimal amounts, but if you are sensitive to corn, this isn’t the probiotic for you. 

Visbiome is again, very similar.  The dosing is the same.  The questionable ingredient in Visbiome is dairy.  Both sachet form and capsule form contain dairy and the sachets contain “natural flavors”.  These are two words, natural flavors, I really dislike in the ingredient world.  The ingredient natural flavors is not regulated by the FDA and therefore could mean anything.

If you are on the SCD, neither of these probiotics are legal so you’ll want to decide if taking them is right for you.

By and large though, these are the best offerings for probiotics if you’re intestinal flora is in a state of dysbiosis. And if you’ve got IBD, you better believe this is something for you to think about.

The 900 billion dose is prescription only so definitely talk to your doctor before you order any of this type.  These probiotics are potent, but sometimes they are the exact thing you need to get your IBD flare under control.

Other Probiotics Worth Considering

Lastly, I just want to mention a few other brands of probiotics that my clients have had success on.  These are not as potent, with CFU ranges in the 10-25 range, but they are also less expensive. Klaire Labs, Pure Encapsulations and for SCD mamas

Kirkman labs has SCD legal probiotics.

[42:23] So there you have it.

Seven amazingly healing gems every IBD mama needs to know about. Although there’s more to IBD healing than these 7, and that may include medication, other supplements, and lifestyle and dietary changes too, these 7 gems are crucial in getting you where you want to go with IBD remission.

Before we wrap up, let me tell you how you’re going to Do it Like a Mom with these 7 gems.

#1- start small, you don’t need to start all 7 tomorrow. Pick one or two that are calling to you. Start there. Gut healing is never a sprint, it’s a marathon and the one who finishes last is just a much a winner.

#2- with most of these gems, you’ll never start out with the full recommendation all at once. Our guts are extra sensitive, and we need to treat them that way. It’s not unusual to have a reaction when you start any of these, even though over time they may prove to be beneficial. Start at low amount and work your way up. Take meat stock for example. I mentioned that you can drink up to 5 cups a day, but I’d never tell a client to start there. We have to let our body get used to anything new. Remember the slow marathon and be the tortoise, never the hare.

#3- Because of this fantastic longer form show that a podcast gives (and I love that because I can’t ever seem to stop talking) I was able to go into more detail than I normally about each of these healing gems. But believe it or not, there’s even more to cover on each one. If you want guidance on how to best implement these gems, I’m here for you with my free 30 minute 1 on 1 consultation sessions. If you’re looking to find out more and want to hear how we can work with a step by step plan to put all these healing gems into practice in your life, go to the show notes, click on the link, and schedule a session with me today. I can’t wait to connect with you.

Alright mama, that’s a wrap on these 7 healing gems. You’ve got the info. What you do with it is up to you. I know you can do this. You’re already a rock star mama. Who better to take control, take the reins on your IBD than you? Keep me posted on how it’s going. I love connecting with you.

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

[46:47] 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.

Ep 14: The IBD Mom Gift Guide for This Holiday Season

What’s on your wish list this holiday season?

Do you even have a wish list yet?

Or is it more of the same this year—find out what your kids want, find out what your spouse wants, find out what your parents, grandparents, cousins, friends, neighbors and co-workers want—and oh, it’s December 23rd, what about me?

2020 has been a rough year, dear one. You deserve pampering just as much as everyone else.

And since we know that time is never on our side, I’ve curated the whole holiday wish list for you. I’ve got 23 “must have” holiday presents for you to choose from. And yes, you can ask for all 23 if you want!

In this episode, we’re taking a giant leap into the holidays. It’s just the inspiration you need to help remind you that the holidays are about you too..

We’re talking about:

  • Gifts that pamper, relax, and rejuvenate
  • Gifts created with gut health in mind, but still give you what you want without compromising the fun of the holidays
  • Splurge gifts every mom deserves

And so much more!

After the episode, your holiday list will be complete. No need to put yourself last this year. YOU—DONE. Now all you need is a clever way to slip the list to your partner!

Episode at a Glance:

  • [04:32] Get your hands on my complete IBD Mom Gift Guide with 23 “must have” wish list items for this holiday season
  • [05:03] Two amazing holiday gifts that will pamper your mind and your body and help you rejuvenate your soul
  • [09:22] Gut friendly goodness that’s good enough eat this holiday season and year-round
  • [17:42] A selection of gift ideas the whole family will enjoy
  • [22:10] Your worth a splurge! Hot gifts that bring out the ultimate in IBD decadence
  • [27:58] Healthy gifts that are full of year-round fun and function for helping your Crohn’s or colitis
  • [33:05] It’s time to Do it Like a Mom– do the holidays like only an IBD mom can
  • [35:07] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Get my free IBD Mom Gift Guide for the 2020 Holiday Season

Links for More Information:

The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Yogurt on IBD

Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency with UV Light

Far-Infrared Therapy for Autoimmune Disorders

Electric and Magnetic Fields

Enhancing Indoor Air Quality with Air Filters

Berkey Water Filters Reviewed

The Effects of Adaptogens on the CNS

How Can Reusable Produce Bags Help the Environment?

Vitamin D and IBD

Vitamin D and Covid-19

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]

Welcome to the podcast my friend, I’m your host Karyn Haley and it’s time for The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD.

[01:01] The holidays are upon us dear one. Did you think they’d ever arrive this year? In some ways, it seems like it was just March and I blinked out of a sweat pant induced coma and now it’s December and in other ways, it feels like March and the beginning of Coronavirus’ lockdowns in my area of the world happened 5 years ago. In any case, the holidays are here, time for decorating, gift giving, enjoying as much good cheer as you can muster, eating festive holiday food (gut friendly holiday food of course)… we all know the December drill. The holidays are about giving, but today, just for today, I’m going to ask you to think about you. Yes, you, you, you. Who deserves spectacular presents more than you?

OK, maybe a few people, but you rock mama. You’ve been through a lot this year, and before you get busy with what Santa is bringing for the kiddos, holiday cards sent to loved ones, and figuring out just how your socially distant and virtual family gatherings will work for your family this year, I want you to take a moment with me today and fantasize about just what might be in your stocking this holiday season.

It’s time to put YOU first mama!

As moms, we’re always last on the list to figure out what we want this special time of year, but today, I’m hoping I’ll get those wheels turning just for you mama. Take just a few minutes and allow me to make it as easier than ever to figure out what you want to be gifted this holiday with my IBD Mom Gift Guide to the 2020 Holiday Season. I’ve scoured the internet, scoured my cabinets for my favorite things, asked other IBD mom friends what they can’t live without and came up with a list of 23 gift items to pick from and put on your holiday list. You don’t even have to worry that you don’t have the time to think about what you want because I’ve got you covered. This list of 23 IBD mom holiday must have’s is broken up into 5 categories: Products that Pamper, Gut Friendly Gifts You’ll Love, Gifts for the Whole Family (see, we can at least give them a moment’s thought), Gifts Worth the Splurge, and Health and Wellness Presents.

In the interest of time, ‘cause describing just how wonderful each and every one of the gifts is, it would keep you here too long on a day when I’m sure you busy rushing in the holiday hustle and bustle, today on the podcast, I’ll be sharing my top 11 favorites. If you want to find out about the rest and get my complete IBD Mom Gift Guide to the 2020 Holiday Season, you can find it in the show notes or by going to karynhaley.com/gifts. That’s k-a-r-y-n-h-a-l-e-y.com/gifts

Are you ready to find out about some absolutely life changing fabulous gifts selected with you in mind mama?

Let’s dive in.

Products That Pamper

[05:03] First up is the category: Products that Pamper. I’ll be sharing two gifts in this category.

One of the best ways to pamper your mind and your body is by taking a relaxing, soothing bath. There’s nothing like a bath to calm your mind and help ease any aches and pains in your belly and other parts of your body. It’s a de-stress paradise. Now, baths are great all by themselves, but when you add just a couple pampering products to your bath, you take it to the experience to the next level.

IBD Mom Gift # 1

How about a bamboo bath caddy to house your essential de-stressors like candles, a book, maybe a kindle, a magazine, a luffa or a bath sponge, a cup of tea or a glass of wine. A bath caddy sits right over top your bath and puts everything you might need for the ultimate pampering bath, right at your fingertips. My hubby gave me my bath caddy for my last birthday and I now, I won’t take a bath without it. I’m addicted and you will be too. Depending on the bath caddy, you can expect to pay $30-60. I searched the internet and found a great deal for a gorgeous bamboo bath caddy from Wayfair. At the time of this recording, it’s on sale for $25.95. There’s a direct link to the caddy in your complete 2020 gift guide so go check it out there.

IBD Mom Gift # 2

Now, no ultimate pampering bath is complete without bath balms. Bath balms incite the senses with the way they fizz up and melt into the hot water, if you pick a good quality balm, they smell lovely and feel silky and smooth on your skin. Of course, many bath balms are filled with dyes, chemicals, and harsh perfumes. You know I would never recommend that to you. A while back, I was looking for welcome gifts to send to a new client I was working with and I came across this awesome set of organic bath balms made with essential oils, shea butter, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil. I knew if I was going to send it to someone, I had to try it out first (of course, right? Just doing my due diligence) so I bought the balms with a healthy dose of skepticism since I knew that not all products live up to the hype.

Well, these organic bath balms did more than deliver. They were pleasant smelling without being overpowering, they were silky without making my skin feel slimy—in fact—my skin felt smooth for the rest of the day after using these. I loved these bath balms so much and felt confident enough with the ingredients that I even let my 10-year-old use them in the bath. With bright, colorful swirls all over the balms, they were a hit with the kid set too. You’re going to love these organic, hand-made bath balms too. You can get them right at Amazon (easy peasy). When I looked over the weekend, six bath balms were only $11.99. With scents like Rainforest, Summer Dream, and Good Night… you are going to be hooked on these too. They’re the perfect gift from your kids or your spouse this holiday season. The link for these bath balms, of course is in your 2020 gift guide.

Gut Friendly Gifts You’ll Love

[09:22] Our next 2020 gift guide category is probably my favorite. It’s the Gut Friendly Gifts You’ll Love category. I’ll be highlighting 3 gifts in this category, but there’s lots more in your complete guide.

IBD Mom Gift # 3

Let’s start with the stuffer every mama will want in her stocking. Hu Chocolate. Have you heard of this company? The Hu in the brand’s name stands for human and that’s a great way to think of these chocolate makers. This company prides themselves on making the highest quality chocolate with the absolute best taste. The easiest way to describe their philosophy is by telling you what’s not in their products. There’s no gluten, no refined sugar, no dairy, no emulsifiers, no soy lecithin (something that’s in most candy bars on the market). It’s just filled with pure, no bull, real ingredients we can all pronounce.

Now, if you are on the SCD or the GAPS diet to help control your IBD, this a probably not the gift for you this holiday season, but make a note because as soon as your up ready, you’re going to want this delicious treat. If you are helping to control your IBD symptoms with a gluten or dairy free diet, even paleo, this is the ultimate treat for your holiday wish list. Although there are many types of chocolate that Hu sells like salty dark chocolate and hazelnut butter, I think my favorite flavor is their cashew butter. It’s rich and creamy and oh so scrumptious. Hu chocolate, the link to the website where you can get more information is in your 2020 gift guide.

IBD Mom Gift # 4

Next up, under the Gut Friendly Gifts category is a cookbook. Danielle Walker’s Eat What You Love: Everyday Comfort Food You Crave: Gluten Free, Dairy Free Recipes Cookbook. Now there’s loads of gut friendly cookbooks I could recommend. I love cookbooks and I have a massive collection of gut friendly options. One day, I’ll do a podcast on all the incredible one’s out there, and when I do, you can be sure that any of Danielle’s cookbooks will be on that list. This year, in the challenging year that has been 2020, there’s no better gut friendly cookbook to jump start your IBD healing than this cookbook with its focus on what we all need right now, comfort food. Even if you’re not a cookbook junkie like me, you’re going to love trying the recipes in this gem of a cookbook. I’ve enjoyed most of them, but if I had to pick a few of my fav’s, I think they would be the Chicken ‘N’ Dumplings Soup, Thai Yellow Curry, Everything Bagels, and Banana Chocolate-Hazelnut French Toast. Mmm, mmm. Who knew you could still eat delectable comfort food like this and heal your gut at the same time? When it came to reviewing this cookbook, Hannah J., a mom in our Gut Love Community told me, and I quote, “this cookbook changed my life.” Put this cookbook on your wish list, you won’t regret it. Links and details for the book are in your 2020 gift guide. Right now, Amazon is selling it for $21.97 (hardcover).

IBD Mom Gift # 5

Finishing up the highlights in our Gut Friendly Gifts You’ll Love category is a tea company like no other. Arbor Teas. If you haven’t incorporated tea into your gut healing plan, what are you waiting for? Tea (warm or cold) is an amazing addition to help when you are in gut healing mode, especially a certain type of teas known as adaptogens. These herbal teas not only taste great, but they have healing properties that can help your gut and other parts of your body. Herbal teas like holy basil, licorice root, peppermint, lemongrass, chaga, chamomile, and dandelion root can be woven in with other herbal blends at Arbor Teas and the result is a soothing, fantastic tasting tea that aids with healing. Arbor tea is all about organic, fair-trade, and flava. Selections of their teas (and they even have sample sizes) are a great addition to your holiday list. Since different teas have different prices, I can’t give you an exact price for the tea on their site, but a quick search of their prices showed teas starting at about 20 cents a cup. Definitely check out their website. Wait until you see how beautiful tea can be. The link for Arbor Teas is in your holiday gift guide or you can search them on the web.

There’s so many other Gut Friendly gifts You’ll Love in my 2020 holiday gift guide. I can’t wait for you to check out this category when you get your holiday gift guide at karynhaley.com/gifts

Gifts for the Whole Family

IBD Mom Gift # 6

[17:42] Moving on to the gift guide category, Gifts for the Whole Family, we have some great options here for when your whole fam deserves the best. Sure, you’ll benefit the most, by why not share the gut love with your family too. The first on my Gifts for the Whole Family category is the Instant Pot. If you haven’t purchased one of these yet, now is the time. There’s sales everywhere you look. I found a great deal on an I.P. at Target—this one has the all important yogurt making feature—regular price $99.99, now on sale for $45.99. Awesome deal right?

Just in case the I.P. is new to you, it’s essentially a pressure cooker with amazing features that allow you to cook flavorful meals (just like you would in your mama’s crockpot), but with the I.P. they cook in about 30 minutes, instead of 6-8 hours in the crockpot. Our family uses our I.P. several times a week for chicken dishes, tacos, soups, hard-boiled eggs, stews, and even gluten free oatmeal. I don’t eat the oatmeal because I’m grain free, but my family does and they rave about it in the Instant Pot.

There’s no better time to buy an I.P.—it’s a gift for the whole family.

IBD Mom Gift # 7

What else can you cook in your I.P.? How about our next Gift for the Whole Family from a company called Butcher Box. This truly is a gift for everyone in your clan and you can definitely cook the meat from Butcher Box in your new I.P. Often times, I work with clients who don’t have access to a quality farm where they can get grass-fed beef, heritage-bred pork, or free range organic chicken. Just a few weeks ago I was talking to my client Cassie. She was trying to find gut healthy, quality sources of protein, but she doesn’t live near a farm where she can buy these things and her nearest health food store is 45 minutes away. I mentioned Butcher Box to Cassie and she went straight to the internet to check them out.

Cassie ordered her first Butcher Box, selecting their mixed box so she could try all the different cuts of meat. Last time we chatted, she told me, “Karyn, my whole family loved all the meat from Butcher Box. My kids said they had the best burgers they’ve ever had before.” That’s awesome. My family has a Butcher Box subscription too and something my hubby loves is their wild-caught salmon. He says it’s the best he’s ever had.

Butcher Box, another gift the whole family will not only enjoy, but benefit from in terms of their health as well. Love it! Butcher Box has different plans depending on what cuts of meat you’re interested in so check their website or your 2020 gift guide for more details.

Holiday Gifts Worth the Splurge

[22:10] Ok, it’s time to get decadent mama. What would you wish for this holiday season if the sky was the limit? What would you splurge for? Now don’t get worried, we’re not talking about a new car of even one of those fancy $10,000 toilet that come with a heated seat, water sprayer, motorized automatic lid, UV light integrated to break down dirt, this one is self-cleaning, and deodorizing… have you seen these? One day, I’m getting one. Doesn’t our IBD bum deserve it? Anyway, I’m not talking splurges like these. I’m talking just a little over the types of gifts we’ve been chatting about so far and here’s a couple examples to get you thinking about how you can indulge just a bit this holiday season.

IBD Mom Gift # 8

Splurge #1 has to do with green cookware. We all want to cook healthy. We don’t want cookware with chemicals or toxins that leach into our food. Plus, when you’re on a gut healing diet like Paleo, gluten free, SCD, or GAPS, it’s not a good idea to share pots and pans with the rest of your family members. You can only get them so clean. I’ve seen many an IBD mama still have symptoms after continuing to use the same kitchen tools as her non-IBD family members. When it comes to gut healing diets, especially SCD or GAPS, I highly recommend your own cookware.

Over the years, I’ve been through more green cookware than I can count. I’ve bought green pans at target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Kolh’s… they’ve looked great in the store, but they never last long. Within a month, the “green” coating on the pan starts to chip and I’m back to square one, never saving any money because I’m always buying more pans. About a month ago, I finally decided I was done with this constant revolving door of green pans that don’t work and so this holiday, I did my research and due diligence until I found a green set of cookware I think I’m really going to love. It’s from a company called Caraway. Not only are these pots and pans green and durable, they come in super cute colors. I dare you to not find a color of this brand that matches your kitchen. I’ve done some asking around in the Gut Love Community and found a few of our moms who swear by this company and their cookware. Here’s hoping Santa remembers my Caraway cookware wish this Christmas. Right now, a set of Caraway cookware which includes a frying pan, sauté pan, saucepan, and dutch oven is on sale for $395. Not a bad price for a whole set of cookware. Links for the Caraway cookware sale are in your 2020 gift guide. Remember, that’s the guide with 23 suggestions for holiday gifts that are perfect for you, IBD mama. You can get the guide by going to the show notes, or karynhaley.com/gifts

IBD Mom Gift # 9

What’s another splurge you should ask for? It’s gotta be the smart mug by Ember. A smart mug is a tea or coffee cup that keeps your morning (or afternoon or evening) beverage warm at the temperature of your choosing, for up to 90 minutes, all with the touch of your smart device. Love that! How often has your coffee or tea gotten cold because you had to deal with the kids, or work, or had to go to the bathroom. The Smart Mug alleviates all this trouble. It comes in some really cute colors—I think the copper color is my favorite and right now, it’s on sale at Best Buy for $99.99. That’s a deep discount from the $130 I’ve seen it for before. Definitely a splurge worth asking for.

Gifts with Health and Wellness in Mind

[27:58] It’s time for our last category today, the Health and Wellness category. Our IBD is always with us, even in the holiday season. Why not ask for one of the Health and Wellness gadgets you’ve been hoping for. It’s a treat for your holiday that can help you all year round too.

One of the things IBD doctors usually pay close attention to is our vitamin D levels. It’s definitely a matter of concern since low levels of vitamin D have been linked to everything from colds to cancer. Vitamin D is especially important for IBDer’s because our levels are notoriously low. I even read a recent study with 216 participants with Covid-19, showing that 80% of these cases didn’t have adequate levels of vitamin D in their body. We’ve got to get our vitamin D levels up. I’ve definitely struggled in this area myself. I remember one lab study years ago finding my D level at 7. Just incase you aren’t familiar with number on D levels, you don’t even start to get into normal range until 30, and most functional medicine doctors like it to be more like 45. So 7, that’s drastically low.

IBD Mom Gift # 10

With vitamin D levels being so important, supplementation is something many IBDer’s do. One thing I’ve gotten into lately as well as supplementing is Light Therapy. A Light Therapy Lamp is another way to help increase your vitamin D levels and it can also help with seasonal affective disorder which is a mood disorder that affects many in the winter months when we get less sunlight. I love my Light Therapy Lamp. I use it daily and it has been fantastic for my D levels. Of course, this is one of those gifts you’ll want to check with your doctor about first, but if you get the go ahead from your doc, check out the one I’m sharing in your 2020 gift guide. It’s the same one I have, and the price is right for this holiday season.

IBD Mom Gift # 11

We’ve made it to our last IBD Mom gift suggestion for today and it’s another one for the health and wellness mama in all of us. Our last gift idea is a Far-Infrared Light. Have you heard of the healing benefits of an infrared sauna? They are fantastic to help promote a good night’s sleep, release toxins from your body, improve circulation, relaxation, and lowering inflammation. Ding, ding, ding… lowering inflammation and removing toxins sounds perfect for us IBD mamas doesn’t it?

The unfortunate thing about infrared saunas is their cost—like in the thousands. Definitely another option on my bucket list of “one day.” But while we’re waiting for the infrared sauna, we can still reap it’s benefits with a far-infrared lamp. They’re much more affordable and you can use your lamp to directly target the area where you need it most. I’ve used the very lamp I’m sharing with you in your 2020 gift guide for years and it’s been really helpful for me. Again, since this is in the health and wellness space, you’ll want to check with your doctor first, but if it’s a go, add this one to your Christmas list. It’s a winner.

That’s a wrap on your IBD Mom Gift Guide for the 2020 Holiday Season. Today we focused on 11 of the gifts from the list, but there’s 23 of them waiting for you, all at the click of your mouse. Head on over to karynhaley.com/gifts to get the complete list with links to all the best prices I found as of today. You can also grab that list by going to the show notes.

And now, let’s do it like a mom.

[33:05] This is the most important piece of information I want to leave you with today. No matter what’s on your holiday gift list, make sure you have one. Not just one for the kids, the cousins, your spouse, friends, and parents… Your list! You are deserving too and you don’t need to come last on the list. Mama needs some pampering too. Hopefully, some of the ideas we talked about today will get your gears turning on what’s possible for you. Make those wishes known to your family—drop a little note in your spouse’s hand or leave your holiday list on the refrigerator. And, of course, let me know what you ask for will ya? Email me at hello@karynhaley.com and tell me what’s on your holiday gift list. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey!

[34:30] 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.

Ep 13: Is Gratitude Dead in 2020? Six Gratitude Guideposts for Moms with Crohn’s and Colitis

Are you finding 2020 as challenging as I am?

Covid-19, racial injustices exposed, a chaotic presidential electioneach one of these crazy events would be enough to shake you to the core, but we experienced all three of these sucky life events this year.

How do we find hope, optimism, and gratitude in challenging times?

This episode explores several ideas about gratitude with the hope that these gratitude guideposts will help you find your center and your peace and help to heal your IBD in these unprecedented times.

We’re talking about:

  • The reason why IBD flare-ups are at an all-time high right now
  • The six gratitude guideposts that will keep you calm, centered, and healthy during these uncertain times
  • Giving yourself a chance to create your own thankful moment with the small daily experiences of life

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll feel grateful for the positive aspects in your life (big and small) and use this information to calm your IBD in a time of chaos and uncertainty.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [01:36] Have you downloaded your IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook yet? It’s free and you can get it at karynhaley.com/thanksgiving
  • [08:29] Research on gratitude is promising, especially for those of us with IBD.
  • [11:28] The one small thing you must do before you go to bed that will change your life.
  • [13:38] The power of the written word when it comes to gratitude, and it doesn’t have to be in a gratitude journal.
  • [15:57] The meditation app that will help you quiet your mom brain.
  • [19:02] The “Do it Like a Mom” Gratitude and Gripes practice that will get the kids into the attitude of gratitude too.
  • [21:56] The gratitude list that keeps me going during this sucky 2020—and you’re on it!
  • [24:54] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Episode Links:

Get my free IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook with celebration foods for any holiday you celebrate.

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]

Did you get your free IBD Thanksgiving Table Cookbook yet?

[01:25] Hey there my dear one, welcome, welcome. It’s Karyn with you today and welcome to the Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD. I know this is a busy week for you if you live in the U.S.  And if you’re listening to this episode when it comes out, it’s actually the day before Thanksgiving. You might be working in the kitchen, making pies, stuffing the Turkey, listening and sharing this time with me as you bake or cook… and by the way, if you’re still struggling to figure out what to make that’s super tasty and awesomely good for your gut, be sure to download my free IBD Thanksgiving Table Cookbook. There’s still time to do that. It’s packed with recipes that have a gut healing twist on your traditional holiday favorites. I’ll put a link for the cookbook is in the show notes but you can also grab it at karynhaley.com/thanksgiving.

But, like I said, if your listening to this episode at the time it airs, I know this is a busy week for you so I’m here today with a shorter than normal episode to break into the mom craze of your week with a quick message of hope and gratitude in trying times my friend. Man, this has been a horrible year hasn’t it? 2020… it sounded so promising. Double 2-0’s… 2020, it’s got alliteration, it’s got a groovy cadence, it just sounded like it was for the cool people didn’t it? Who knew 2020 was going to suck? The uncertainty and the chaos of it all has walloped all of us over the head with a big old “HA, TAKE THAT! Thought IBD was enough for you to handle? Well, take this and that and let’s heap on some more! And this constant hammering into our soul has left us stunned and reeling, and pretty much walking around, although not too far from home and not too close to anyone we love and all masked up, in a daily fog of “is this really my life?”

What a horrible year 2020 has been!

From Covid-19, to opening our eyes to racial injustices, to the mayhem that was the presidential election this year. It doesn’t matter where you stand on any of the issues or where you fall politically. This election season had us all on edge—especially in my family where we politically debate for sport. Whoo-wee it got fiery.

[4:23] Each one of these events would be enough by themselves, right, they would be major life events by themselves, but we’ve dealt with all of these major life stressors in 2020. And we did it all with IBD on our back… or should I say IBD on our gut. IBD flares are at an all-time high for moms this year. The gut brain connection is strong. You’d have to be Wonder Woman to not feel this level of stress and rancor in your gut.

It’s times like this when my first instinct is to pull my covers over my head and hibernate like a bear… not come out until spring. Will it all be over then?

But it’s also times like these that thankfully my eternal optimist peeks its little head out too and asks, “what can I do?” And if you’re struggling to find your eternal optimist, let me carry you just a bit dear one. Let me carry you over the hump until you find yours. She’s in there. I promise, she’s in all of us. She’s quiet at times and in those quiet times we struggle to hear her, but she never leaves us because she knows there’s always hope. There’s always light. Sometimes we just need to ask little miss optimist to turn up the volume and speak a little louder.

Where is your optimism and hope in this moment?

Can you find her with me now mama? Can you see her and feel her around you in this moment? Everyone feels little miss optimism differently. Maybe for you she’s an external warm feeling like a warm blanket that’s wrapped around your shoulders on a cold day. Maybe she’s a gush of calm and peace in your belly. Maybe you hear her whispering in your ear, telling you in her soft melodic voice, everything is going to be OK. Possibly you see her, actually see her, in ethereal robes as an angel or spirit looking out for you. For me, optimism is a light source, a bright goldeny white light that shines through the top of my head and pours through my whole being—always stopping for an moment at my gut to give me extra love and support. But then she continues her light flow through me into my toes and she grounds me and comforts me in times of stress. She reminds me that even in the darkest moments, what I need most is to give gratitude out into the world. For those I know and for those I don’t… gratitude is the road home. The road to peace in these uncertain and complicated times.

[08:29] And it’s not just me saying this about gratitude. I just read an article from Harvard Health, which is a publication from Harvard Medical School, talking about a recent study where this very thought I have about gratitude also played out. Researchers took a group of people and separated them into 3 groups. Each group was asked to complete a weekly writing assignment, but group 1 was told, write about anything that affected you this week, while group 2 was told to write about their gripes of the week, and group 3? Well, they were told to write about something they were grateful for. For 10 weeks, each of these people wrote weekly. I’m sure you are not going to be surprised at the findings.

There’s one finding in the research that might surprise you.

The researchers found that Group #3, the gratitude group, they left the ten weeks feeling more optimistic and better about their life in general. Not only that, but here’s the really cool part, this group also reported exercising more AND they had fewer trips to the doctor during this time. That’s incredible for us isn’t it? If we extrapolate this research just a bit and think about how this affects us, IBD moms, we see that gratitude not only affects our outlook on life, but it can also have an impact on our health in a positive direction. When we find a way to feel gratitude, even in sucky circumstances, it will actually affect our health (and hopefully your Crohn’s or colitis) for the better.

Yes, I love that. I hope it feels just as powerful for you to. Helping you’re IBD is reason enough to try to bring a gratitude practice into your life.

Whether you have an attitude of gratitude (as the cool kids like to say) or you’re feeling a little skeptical at this point (and I know I used to feel this was all woo-woo too), I want to share with you a few thoughts I’ve learned along the way when it comes to gratitude. Hopefully these gratitude guide points will get your juices flowing or spark some new ideas if your gratitude practice needs a little refresher.

[11:28] Here’s 6 ways you can make gratitude work for you even in times that suck:

#1- Schedule your gratitude

Just like anything else in your mom life, it doesn’t happen if you don’t schedule it. My favorite time for gratitude is at the end of the day as I get into bed. Thinking about 3 things I’m grateful for from that particular day gives me a feeling of calm and peace before I drift off to slumber. Some people have a gratitude journal they like to write in, that works too. For me, it’s about giving each thought of gratitude a moment to resonate and create a happy memory for me.

Moving on to gratitude idea #2

Gratitude doesn’t have to be about big moments, the small ones might be even better.

I love being thankful for the smallest of pleasures in life, especially in the current moment we’re living in. The teenier the better. Like last night, one of the 3 things I was grateful for was a smile my hubby gave me as we passed each other in the hall—we like to call each other “ship” because in our busy lives we always feel like we’re like that saying “two ships passing in the night.” Have you heard that expression? So, yesterday he walked by me, smiled and said hey ship. The moment lasted about 1.5 seconds, but it gave me happiness and peace as I remembered this moment at the end of a difficult day.

Gratitude idea #3

[13:38] The power of the written word creates gratitude.

This idea goes back to writing your gratitude. Some like to do this with a gratitude journal. Truth be told, I’m not much of a gratitude journal writer. I’ve heard from lots of moms in our Gut Love Community talking about the benefit of the gratitude journal. I wish I was good at this. I’ve even purchased beautiful “made for gratitude” journals and never committed to them. Maybe your different. Maybe the written gratitude journal is the right path for you. If it is, go for it.

The way that I use the power of the written word with gratitude is by writing handwritten letters. Short ones. Handwriting letters is a dying art, isn’t it? How often do you get a handwritten thank you note from anyone anymore? I love to write a good thank you note or a note to a friend saying, “hey, I’m thinking of you or hey, I’m sorry you’re going through a rough time, or hey, that small thing you did really made my day.” I have cute little stationary I bought especially for my short notes of gratitude too. They’re never long, just a few sentences, but when I’m saying thanks or I’m thinking of you to someone else, it makes me happy and thankful they’re in my life.

We’re making our way through 6 ideas about gratitude and we’ve made it to # 4.

#4 Gratitude is more powerful in the form of prayer or mediation

Whether you’re religious or spiritual or grounded in philosophy, using some form of daily prayer or meditation can help you feel connected to something bigger than what’s going on in your world. It helps you reach outside your universe, think of others and their needs, and think of your connection to all beings everywhere.  I often recommend a free app to IBD mamas called Insight Timer. It’s got great meditations for those of us who can’t quite quiet are mom brain. They’re active and engaging meditations with a theme like healing, grief, grounding, or gratitude. I remember Jill, an IBD Mom in our Gut Love Community who had just given birth to twins. She told me that she loved Insight Timer. Jill told me that spending 10 minutes in the morning with one of their gratitude meditations helped her be more compassionate to her older child and more forgiving of herself throughout the day. I love that story.

#5 Be gentle with your soul

This tags on with what Jill was saying about forgiving herself when she wasn’t as stellar a mom as she wanted to be. Gratitude is never about perfection. It’s not only OK to faulter when it comes to being grateful, it’s expected. It’s OK if you have one day when you can’t muster any gratitude. We all have down days. We all have days that are just crappy.

 Enough with the mom guilt over this. Sometimes we need to have a pity party for ourselves and be ok with that too. I remember when I was a teen dealing with IBD and I’d say to my mom, why did this happen to me or uggghhh, I feel awful… my mom would always remind me that I should be grateful because there are those who have it worse than me. While that may be absolutely true, I learned over the years that it shouldn’t take away my pain. My pain was real and some days it was intense. It’s OK to feel sad for what’s going on in your life. There are times that it does suck. It’s OK if we’re not jumping on the gratitude train every day. As long as you’re living, trust that you will find those small moments of gratitude around you on most days.

Lastly, it’s time for idea #6.

[19:02] #6 is my Do it Like a Mom tip for today

You can do gratitude like the badass mama that you are by sharing gratitude with your kids. Maybe they have their own gratitude journal. Maybe they mediate with you or say their prayers at night. One way I like to share in gratitude with my kids is to have a gratitude and gripes moment at the dinner table each night. Each of us goes around the table and says one thing that happened to us that day that we’re grateful for. I love this moment of the day because each person’s moment usually starts a conversation and as each person tells their moment of gratitude, it fosters a happy feeling lasts for the entire dinner and beyond. I can even see it in the kids after dinner. They’re nicer to each other, if only for a moment…

Gratitude and Grips is for kids too.

You probably noticed I said gratitude and gripes, and yes, at the dinner table, we do gripes too. Like I mentioned with idea # 5, no one should be expected to pull off gratitude all the time. Sometimes a little venting or talking about something that’s not going so well can be beneficial. We use gripes as a way of getting the kids talk about something that’s not going so well too. We can then all show our support and lift that family member up with their struggle. We’ve added on this part to our gratitude practice after the first quarantine and it’s become a safe and supportive place for us to vent. Sometimes we need a place to vent and supportive people to listen.

So there’s my 6 thoughts on gratitude. I hope these ideas get your wheels turning, whether you’re looking for more ways to add gratitude into 2020 or your thinking about adding in a new spark to your already existing gratitude practice.

What are you thankful for today?

Today, as we are so close to Thanksgiving, the official day of thanks, I hope you are able to find some peace and thankful moments to celebrate with your family this year. I’d like to close this episode by telling you what I’m most thankful for right now. The things I’m thinking about today during this sucky time in life for most people of the world.

[21:56] I’m thankful for Zoom dates with my besties who inspire me to be a better wife, mom and friend.

I’m thankful for star gazing night walks with my hubby.

I’m thankful for movie nights with the kids- something we never had time for before Covid.

I’m thankful for every day I have with my mom. Her time on this Earth may be fleeting, but her spirt will go on for eternity.

I’m thankful for warm cups of fall soup—especially my 15-veggie hot soup smoothie.

I’m thankful that 2020 gave me a break from my role as the constant mom chauffer shuttling kids to soccer, piano, dance, clubs, and playdates, and taking teenagers who don’t have a drivers license to work…

I’m thankful for my dog who gives the best hugs on the planet.

I’m thankful for our selfless and dedicated first line workers, nurses and doctors who are doing all the heavy lifting for our country during this pandemic.

I’m thankful for you dear one, for all you’re doing on your IBD healing journey and for joining me each week on the Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD.

And maybe most of all, I’m thankful 2020 is almost over. Now that I think about it, 2021 might just have an even better ring to it. Time will tell.

Just saying my thankful list out loud made me feel gratitude today. It lifts my spirits and makes me happy for the goodness in my life. What would you put on your thankful list today? Take time to think about it before the moment passes. Think about what your thankful for right in this moment. Whether it’s a handwritten list, a memo on your phone, or just a thought in your head. Go for it, I know it will make you smile today.

Happy Thanksgiving dear mama. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.

Chat soon!

[24:54] 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.

Ep 12: Your Top 10 SCD Yogurt Questions Answered

SCD Yogurt.

It’s the crux of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which might just be at the heart of unlocking your IBD healing potential. SCD yogurt is full of beneficial bacteria to help balance your gut flora and bring your IBD into remission.

And when it comes to this homemade fermented yogurt, you know that learning how to make it is only half the battle. Questions about how long to ferment it, how best to store it and for how long, how much to eat, which yogurt maker is best, etc… these questions come up as soon as we hear about it.

Today, on the podcast, we’re tackling your most asked SCD yogurt questions so you can eat this creamy and delicious gut rebuilder with the confidence of an IBD mama who knows she’s doing everything right.

We’re talking about:

  • What to do if you leave your yogurt on too long or forget to put it in the frig from the Instant Pot (it happens to all of us!)
  • How much yogurt should you be eating every day
  • The one IBD ailment that should have you stepping away from yogurt

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to be sure that the next time you make SCD yogurt, it’ll be as easy as 1-2-3.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [07:21] Your free bonus: The SCD Yogurt Recipe Collection with Most Asked FAQ’s  is waiting for you at karynhaley.com/yogurt
  • [10:52] Which yogurt makers I recommend over all others.
  • [12:20] Your options for making non-dairy yogurt.
  • [14:18] I left my yogurt on too long. What do I do?
  • [21:59] How much yogurt should you eat?
  • [28:11] I started the yogurt and now I don’t feel well. What happened?
  • [36:26] Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level? Schedule your free IBD Root Cause Troubleshooting Session with me today.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Episode Links:

Get my free SCD Yogurt Recipe Collection to help you get stared making your own yogurt (dairy and non-dairy) right away

Also Mentioned in the Episode:

How to Make SCD Yogurt Video

Yogourmet Yogurt Maker

Luvele Yogurt Maker

Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker

Euro Cuisine Yogurt Strainer

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] Hello my friend, it’s Karyn here and welcome to the podcast. How’s it going for you today? Has it been a challenging day for you with your IBD or are you feeling well? Lots of ups and downs with IBD, right? Either way, know that I’m thinking of you, sending positive vibes and gratitude your way. I’m excited to have a conversation with you on this episode on an important topic within Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Some of my favorite conversations start with, “On the SCD…” this diet is near and dear to my heart because it’s the diet I started twelve years ago that finally made a difference for my Crohn’s and allowed me to reach remission.

Since then, the SCD has been my place of grounding and centering, every time I need an IBD tune up. I still follow the principles of the diet even today, although now I’m able to tolerate foods outside the plan. But for 2 years, SCD and fanatical adherence was my life. I never purposely strayed, and it served me well. On the SCD, I was able to get off all my Crohn’s medicines, I was able to really be there for my kids in a way I hadn’t been before, and I was able to eat things most people without IBD take for granted. The first time I ate a strawberry without any negative impact, I swear I heard birds singing. Whole raw nuts, pumpkin seeds, leafy green salads, an apple with the skin on… most people take these foods for granted, but not us. And on the SCD, my life opened, transformed, and gave me a new lease on life.

It’s because of the SCD that I do the work I do today, helping moms like you find your best life with IBD. I did learn early on that the SCD doesn’t work for everyone with Crohn’s and colitis, either because it doesn’t fit their lifestyle (it does have a lot of rules and there’s a lot more cooking at home) or because it just doesn’t work for their body. But it does work for the majority of my clients who try it out and when it comes to the SCD, if there’s one thing that stumps IBD moms out there more than anything else, it’s the SCD yogurt. For most moms, it’s different than anything they’ve ever tried before. It has several steps, and you feel like if you make one misstep, you’ll ruin everything. Once you learn to make it though, I swear, it’s like riding a bike. You never forget. At this point, I’ll sometimes go years without having it and then decide it’s time to make some SCD yogurt again. The recipe never leaves me. Once you try it out a couple times, you’ll see how easy it can be. It looks more complicated than it is, just like riding a bike.

Are you wondering how to make SCD yogurt?

[04:49] Now, I know for some of you, you don’t have questions about the process of making the SCD yogurt. You’re just wondering what the heck I’m even talking about, will it benefit you, and how to you make it? If you’re at this stage in your healing journey, I’ve got you covered mama—in two ways. #1 I’ve got a collection of step by step, hold you by the hand, recipes for SCD yogurt. There’s four recipes in total in this collection. One is for dairy yogurt in a yogurt maker. The second is for diary yogurt in an instant pot because I know many people have seen the yogurt function on your I.P. and you’ve wondered, could I make my SCD yogurt in that? Yes, you can! And because I know you’ve asked for it for a while now, I’ve recently added a recipe for non-dairy yogurt with a yogurt maker and non-dairy yogurt with an I.P.

I told you I’ve got you covered mama, any which way you want to make it. If you’re completely new to the world of SCD or GAPS legal yogurt, I’ve got you covered. And if you’re more of a visual person like me, I’ve got you covered there as well. You can check out my SCD Yogurt Making video on YouTube right now on my YouTube channel IBD Health Coach. Long ago in a galaxy way far away (can you tell I’ve been watching Star Wars lately), I think this video was made when I didn’t even know how to video horizontally,(I think it’s vertical- I haven’t watched it in a while), but I made a video about making SCD yogurt for my YouTube channel. While the video structure is a bit dated, the content is still good.

I’ve got an SCD yogurt making tutorial with your name on it.

[07:21] So, if you want a recipe for SCD yogurt (made any way you want to make it) in paper form or in video form, go to the show notes. There’s links there for whichever method works best for you. Heck, feel free to take advantage of both the paper and the video. That’s what they’re there for. If you want to skip the show notes and go straight to the SCD yogurt recipes, you can get them by going to karynhaley.com/yogurt. That’s k-a-r-y-n-h-a-l-e-y.com/yogurt.

Since I already have recipes out in the eithers for SCD legal and GAPS compliant yogurt (BTW, those are both IBD healing diets you should check out and you can by going to Episode 7: 7 Gut Healing Diets for IBD. I’ll link that in the show notes as well) I thought today’s focus on SCD yogurt would be best if I answered your most asked questions. I get tons of questions about SCD yogurt, probably on a daily basis, so today, we’re going to address the ones I get most often.

These questions will be great for you if you’re in the beginning stages of SCD making and you’re struggling to find answers to your most pressing yogurt making questions or before you’ve decided to dive into yogurt. This is a great time because we’ll get all your questions out of the way before you even begin.

And BTW, whether you’re on SCD, or GAPS, or just eating for IBD healing in general, I highly recommend eating homemade fermented yogurt. It’s just about the best source to improve the quality of the bacteria in your microbiome, and give you relief from your IBD symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea… even IBD related conditions like arthritis and skin rashes. Balancing the flora in your gut is key to healing IBD so whether you’re on a SCD or not, this yogurt (dairy or non-dairy) is crucial for when you use food on your healing journey.

There’s only one type of IBD ailment that I don’t recommend yogurt for and wait and see, because I’ll talk about that later in this episode.

So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Your Top 10 SCD Yogurt Making Stumpers I get asked all the time starts here.

[10:52] #1 Do you recommend one yogurt maker over another?

Yes, I do. I have 3 favorites. The Yogourmet is the one I use. I’ve had it forever with no problems. There’s a link for it in the show notes. Also, there’s a newer, top of the line yogurt maker called the Luvele. It’s supposed to be really great too. I haven’t used it myself, but I’ve recommended it to several clients who love it. The Luvele even has an automatic shut off feature, something the older yogurt makers don’t have. For an economy option, I like the Euro Cuisine yogurt maker. It’s less money, but not less on functionality. These yogurt makers are also linked in the show notes so you can check them out.

[12:20] #2 Is it possible to make a non-dairy yogurt (meaning no lactose- the milk sugar and no casein- the protein found in dairy) and will I still get the same probiotic benefit?

Yes, it is possible to make SCD legal or GAPS friendly yogurt that’s dairy free. My favorite option for non-dairy yogurt is using coconut milk, but you can also make yogurt with almond milk (though I think this one takes patience and practice to perfect). If you have had has success with almond or cashew milk yogurt, please let me know. I’ll share your suggestions with our Gut Love Community of IBD Mamas.

Remember I’ve got recipes for non-dairy yogurt in the show notes or at karynhaley.com/yogurt if you need a good recipe. And yes, to answer the other part of the question about the probiotic benefit, yes, the probiotic benefits will still be intact. Making yogurt dairy free is a great way to get the same benefit from the SCD yogurt without the dairy that may increase your inflammation in your body.

[14:18] #3 I stated making my yogurt and didn’t realize I wouldn’t be home when my 24 hours were up. What can I do?

Most yogurt makers do not have automatic shut off options. As far as I know, the only option that has an automatic shut off is the Luvele yogurt maker. You do have a fairly large window of time for fermenting though (24-30 hours). As long as you put the yogurt in the frig to “set” during that timeframe, you should be fine leaving it on a bit longer than planned.  According to Elaine Gottschall, the author of Breaking the Vicious Cycle, and ultimate SCD mama herself, fermented yogurt for up to 29 hours is fine. After 30 it starts to kill the good bacteria. After 36 hours and it will not last for you in the frig as long as it normally would. Plus, the longer it goes the more tart it tastes.

There’s also a very similar question I get is from Instant Potters.

[16:07] #4 I made my yogurt in the Instant Pot. It turned off after 24 hours (while I was sleeping). Can I still put it in the refrigerator in the morning and eat it?

For moms who use the I.P. to make their yogurt, I hear this question all the time. So, just to give you an example of how this might play out: let’s say there’s an IBD mama who left her yogurt in the instant pot overnight, and it turned off at 11pm) but she forgot to put it in the frig. She’s wondering: can I still use it? The answer is usually yes, but follow the rules above for best results. So, up to 30 hours is fine. When you get above that (because remember it still ferments at room temp) so you will start killing off some of the beneficial bacteria. In my opinion, if you get over 32 hours, it’s probably best to discard it and start again.

Bottom line here, no matter which device you use: a yogurt maker that doesn’t have auto shut off, and yogurt maker with auto shut off, an instant pot or even a crockpot…  accidents happen to us all. Give yourself a break knowing we are all human and make mistakes and move on with confidence that the next batch will turn out better.

[18:15] #5 What is yogurt dripping and do I have to drip my yogurt?

Regular SCD yogurt is not as thick as commercial yogurt. If you like a thicker, creamier, Greek style yogurt, you can “drip” it to remove the whey and make it thicker. The whey is the whitish, watery substance that rises to the top of the yogurt and makes the milk less creamy.

There’s several methods to drip your yogurt. The easiest involves a tool called the Euro Cuisine Yogurt Strainer. I’ll link to it in the show notes so you can check it out. It’s so simple to use. Just add your yogurt to the top of the container, place it in the refrigerator and let the magic happen. The whey will drip to the bottom, leaving a creamy yogurt at the top. You can then place the yogurt in a glass container and put it in your refrigerator.

You can drip anywhere from 3-24 hours. At the 3-hour mark, it will be like the yogurt you get in the grocery store. At the 24 mark, it will be drier and thicker like cream cheese. In fact, you can use it as a cream cheese replacement in recipes quite nicely. Feel free to play around the amount of time you drip and use your dripped yogurt in recipes in place of anything from Greek yogurt to cream cheese.

So, let’s say you don’t have a Euro Cuisine? You can also drip your yogurt with a cheese cloth and a strainer or use coffee filters.

Unless I’m making my yogurt for a particular recipe, I don’t usually drip it at all. I’ve been making yogurt so long that I came up in a generation of non-drippers, but it seems like now that there are appliances for “dripping” yogurt, it’s all the range. Use your personal preference as your guide.

[21:59] #6 How much yogurt should I eat?

Most people can eat up to 2 cups of yogurt a day. You can divide this into 2 portions or eat it at once. Let your symptoms and your intuition be your guide. For some people ½ a cup of yogurt is enough to bring their digestive challenges into balance. Some people find that more yogurt than even ½ a cup gives them constipation. Elaine said that a person could go up to 3 cups a day, but more than that would be detrimental to their health.

A follow up question I get to this question is: So, can I then start with my recommended amount?

No, I would not start with, let’s say, 1 cup of yogurt a day. I would start with just a spoonful a day and work your way up. Most of my clients can start with a spoonful and tolerate it well. Keep in mind, you are adding in loads of beneficial bacteria and there is bound to be some “die off” here. Die off is what happens when we add in beneficial bacteria to help the gut heal. During the early stages of this, the body releases toxins due to a flushing out of the old to make room for a new, healthier system. Symptoms like diarrhea, stomach cramping, bloating, gas, brain fog, poor concentration, irritation, anxiety, etc… are all normal when adding any type of probiotic into your body. The yogurt as you’ll see when you look at the recipe, is a probiotic at its core. Be patient, but persistent. The symptoms should clear up in a few days to a couple weeks.

Occasionally, I have worked with clients whose bodies are so sensitive that they cannot tolerate even a spoonful of yogurt a day. Moms with super sensitive guts should not give up. I have had clients that start by just putting the yogurt to the tip of their tongue and working their way up from there.

The key is to listen to your body. It will tell you all you need to know.

[26:03] #7 How long will my yogurt keep in the frig?

The probiotic benefit will usually last about 2 weeks, though you can keep eating the yogurt if it’s still fresh.

[26:25] #8 If I use my yogurt in baking or cooking, will I still get the probiotic benefit?

No, you will not. Heating up the yogurt diminishes the probiotic benefit, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your yogurt in baking or cooking. I use mine all the time in homemade salad dressings, sauces, cookies, pancakes, breads, etc… It’s a great way to add “milk” to a recipe without the lactose or dairy if you make the non-dairy version.

[27:22] #9 Can I freeze my yogurt?

Yes, you can freeze your yogurt when it’s done and you can also freeze the milk and starter before you use them. However, do not eat it frozen if you want to get a probiotic benefit from it. You will need to thaw it back to refrigerator temperature. You may also lose a bit of the probiotic if you freeze it.

[28:11] #10 I’m having digestive troubles after starting the yogurt. What should I do?

What we have to do here is figure out if you are having a “die-off” reaction or a true food sensitivity.

#1- if you think you are sensitive to dairy (all dairy, not just the lactose in dairy), it’s best to hold off on adding dairy into your SCD diet for about a month after starting the SCD.

#2- When you do introduce yogurt, whenever the time is right, do it very slowly. Never start with a whole cup. It’s likely you’ll experience the die off symptoms I mentioned before. Remember, start with about 1 tsp, do that for a few days, then increase to a tbsp, and so on until you reach your desired amount. If that is too much for you, you can even start with just the whey of the yogurt (the watery part of the yogurt). My client Leslie was so sensitive to the yogurt that she started with a tiny drop of whey in a full glass of water. She kept increasing the whey and lessening the water. Over time, she was able to move into yogurt. This can take time, but trust me, it’s worth all the effort. Balancing the bacteria in your microbiome is a key step to healing your IBD.

What if dairy doesn’t work for me?

[30:46] #3- Please know that you never have to have dairy yogurt. If you know without a shadow of a doubt that dairy yogurt doesn’t work for you, don’t make it. Make diary free yogurt instead. You may be able to avoid digestive symptoms all together if you avoid dairy.

Everyone is different. I see some clients who thrive on diary yogurt and some who do horribly on it. Everyone is unique. Spend the time finding the right yogurt for you to help balance your gut bacteria.

Yogurt may not be the answer for you at all if you have constipation.

[31:49] Lastly, yogurt isn’t for everyone, especially if you tend more toward constipation. And here we are at the one case where I don’t recommend yogurt. In cases like these, I often recommend sauerkraut instead of yogurt. Sauerkraut is also fermented, it’s alot like yogurt and full of beneficial gut bacteria. This fermented cabbage is an awesome probiotic for the system and a great way for you to get into other fermented veggies, which is really the ultimate goal as your digestive tract heals. Most IBD guts are not ready for this in the beginning, so we work our way to up it with homemade fermented yogurt first.

See how the bottom line here is, no matter how you do it, with dairy yogurt, with non-dairy yogurt or with fermented vegetables– find a way to balance the bacteria in your gut. It’s crucial and it’s key. The way you do this will differ from one IBD mom to the next because our digestive symptoms are all different.

Well, that’s a wrap on my Top 10 SCD Yogurt Making Stumpers I Get Asked All the Time. These are my most frequently asked questions. I know there’s more questions out there and in all four of your SCD yogurt making recipes, the ones you can download at karynhaley.com/yogurt, you’ll see even more of these yogurt making questions answered. There’s a pretty extensive FAQ section there with even more common questions that come up for IBD mamas.

[34:14] How can you Do it Like a Mom when it comes to SCD yogurt?

  1. Get really comfortable with the yogurt making steps before you start. If you need to listen to this episode again and take notes, do it.
  2. Ask questions when you don’t understand something. There’s bound to be a part of the process that confuses you. Get the facts before you try it out.
  3. Know that you will make missteps with yogurt. It’s OK, we all do it. Try to laugh it out and know that you’re in good company. bbb
  4. Go slow, slow, slow. This isn’t a race to the finish line. Go slow with yogurt and it will serve you well.

Remember, I love connecting with you. If questions come up that I haven’t answered for you, please reach out. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll definitely have fun finding it out for you. I geek out on IBD healing foods like SCD yogurt and I love finding out more facts about this IBD miracle food every day.

As we wrap up, know that I’m thinking of you as you move along on your IBD journey. We’re in this together mom friend. No matter where we are in the world, we’re in this together, supporting each other as we do our best to heal our IBD every day.

Sending you love and support and cheeky mama healing vibes.

Chat soon!

[36:26] 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.

Ep 11: An IBD Friendly Thanksgiving: Delish Traditional Recipes with a Crohn’s and Colitis Gut Friendly Twist

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to serve up for this holiday of thanks.

Will you be serving the same old Thanksgiving food that makes you feel bloated and gassy? The kind of foods that cause you to loosen your pants after the meal (even when they’re elastic) with achy gut pain and a quick trip to the bathroom…  maybe multiple trips?

2020 has been awful enough!

It’s time to Do it Like a Mom and take the reins on a gut lovin’ holiday meal that won’t leave your IBD in the toilet. The simple act of tweaking your holiday favorites into something more Crohn’s and colitis friendly (yet still makes your taste buds happy) is something you have control over in this time of chaos.

In this episode, I’m giving you my entire IBD Foodie Thanksgiving menu, complete with all the fixings and recipes you need, so you can make this Thanksgiving meal your best one yet.

We’re talking about:

  • How this IBD friendly Thanksgiving will be so delish that you’ll want to bring out these recipes more than once a year
  • The best gut friendly recipe tweaks for all your Thanksgiving favorites like the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and many more traditional eats. You won’t miss those old standards at all.
  • Thanksgiving desserts that won’t leave you with what I like to call “soccer ball belly” (when your belly is so bloated, it feels like your carrying around a soccer ball in your stomach)

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll have everything you need to whip up an absolutely memorable Thanksgiving Day feast for your taste buds and your belly. Isn’t it time you took control of the Thanksgiving narrative and heard your belly say “thanks” on Thanksgiving?  You’ve got this mama! And I’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [7:16] The reason why I celebrate Thanksgiving two times a year and the reason you might want to too.
  • [12:14] The problem with the Standard American Thanksgiving and how we can tweak it just a bit to make it much healthier for our Crohn’s and colitis belly.
  • [14:30] From turkey to stuffing, mashed potatoes to sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole… we go through all your Thanksgiving favorites and twist the recipe just a bit to make it gut friendly, healthy, and tasty for the whole family.
  • [25:26] We chat about a few more gut friendly side dishes you’ll love, plus we can’t forget dessert. Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and nut butter kiss cookies—yep, we talk about those recipes as well.
  • [28:43] Eating Thanksgiving at home this year? Follow these tips to make your holiday memorial, tasty, and a meal you don’t have to run to the bathroom after.
  • [30:03] Eating Thanksgiving at a friend or family member’s house? Follow these tips as your guide for a safe and healthy, memorable meal this year.

[35:10] Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level? Schedule your free IBD Root Cause Troubleshooting Session with me today.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Episode Links:

Get Your IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook Right Here. It will give you access to all the mouth watering and gut friendly recipes that were mentioned in this episode.

An IBD Friendly Thanksgiving: Delish Traditional Recipes with a Crohn’s and Colitis Gut Friendly Twist

Episode Transcript:

Win a copy of my cold and flu buster recipe guide (you’ve got the ingredients right in your kitchen). Details below…

[00:01] Hey there, Karyn here. Before we dive into the episode today, I wanted to take a quick moment to say thank you. Thanks for hanging out with me for the last couple months, and for your emails and texts with positive feedback for the show. Being here with you every Wednesday is something I really look forward to as we share our IBD mom journey together. It’s a dream come true to connect with you. I’m especially thankful to those who have taken the time to leave a positive review of the podcast on iTunes—like soccermom814 who wrote: “This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for! The focus on moms is perfect for me. I was diagnosed with IBD last year and I just can’t get information like this from my doctor. Thanks Karen!” That’s awesome soccermom814. Soccer moms unite! We’re in this together mama and I’m so glad you’re enjoying the show.

I know it takes time out of your busy day to leave a rating and review, and I appreciate it when you do. It helps other moms find the podcast so we can support each other on our IBD journey. And to say thank you for you for leaving a rating and review, I’m currently giving away my Kitchen Arsenal Cure guide just in time for cold and flu season, and of course coronavirus, although that’s more like an always thing for the moment. Keeping your immune system healthy is more important than ever. If you want to get your hands on my kitchen arsenal cure with 2 recipes to boost your immune system with ingredients you already have in your house, leave me a rating and review (a positive one I hope) on iTunes. Once you do, take a screen shot of it and email it to me with the subject line podcast review. I’ll immediately send my kitchen arsenal Cure recipe guide your way to say thanks for spreading the love and joy. Whether you leave a review or not, know that I appreciate you and thank you for listening to the show. Now let’s get to 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]

[03:07] Welcome, welcome dear listener. Karyn here and I’m so happy and grateful to be with you on another episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD. I love our topic today. It’s probably my favorite conversation of the whole year, and every year at this time. We’re talking Thanksgiving Food!!! And I know this is an American holiday so my friends in Belgium, Denmark, Argentina, the UK… and the amazing ladies in the wonderful countries you tune in from. I see you, and I appreciate you. To you mamas outside the US specifically, I promise, even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, you’re still going to love this episode and these recipes we’re talking about because they’re absolutely tasty enough to use them for any holiday, even for everyday cooking if you choose.

Finally, an answer to the question: What can I make for Thanksgiving that’s healthy for my belly and makes my taste buds happy?

Before we dive into the meat of our convo today, I’m so excited about something that I can’t wait any longer. I have to tell you upfront that there’s an awesome bonus waiting for you at karynhaley.com/thanksgiving. It’s my best, most comprehensive Thanksgiving cookbook to date. It’s got all the recipes we’re talking about in today’s episode, it’s going to cut your Thanksgiving stress of what should I make in half, and it’s going to give you peace of mind this year knowing you are eating tasty AND gut healthy food to help your IBD heal. Love it! If you want my recently updated Thanksgiving cookbook: The IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table, all you have to do to grab it head on over the show notes to grab it or go to karynhaley.com/thanksgiving

OK, on with the show.

[05:27] Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. It didn’t used to be. Truthfully, I’ve never really been a fan of turkey.  But after I started eating IBD healing foods, all that changed. Thanksgiving soon became by favorite holiday of the year and all because of the food—these IBD friendly recipes we’re talking about today, I experimented with and honed over my years of eating to heal IBD instead of eating food that fought against it… I learned to make it the most delicious, yet gut friendly meal I have, and my family has and my extended family and friends have when we’re not in quarantine. And now, today I the episode, I’m sharing these menu ideas with you so you can have the same delicious, gut loving experience at your holiday table.

The weird, but true story of why I celebrate Thanksgiving twice a year. And why you can too!

Truth be told, I actually have Thanksgiving twice a year at my house—sort of. You see, I have another date built on gratitude that I celebrate every year. My own day of thanks—just like thanksgiving—only this date is my personal Independence Day of gratitude and love to commemorate and celebrate when I found a way out of my complicated and often agonizing relationship with IBD. For me, that other day of thanks is July 4th, yes, Independence Day for those of us the United States. While, of course, I do celebrate the birth of the United States on that day with fireworks and friends, I also celebrate how far I’ve come on that day too.

[07:16] Travel back in time with me for just a brief moment and I promise I’ll bring this story back around to juicy Thanksgiving food. The year is 2008, twelve years ago, and the month is January. January, a time of new beginnings, hope, and resolutions. After 5 years of contemplating the Specific Carbohydrate Diet—yes, 5 years and that’s a whole nother story for a whole nother episode. But there I am, contemplating where my life is going like many of us do this time of year, thinking nothing I’ve tried medically has worked for my Crohn’s in 20 years. I’ve been on every medication available, I’ve had 2 bowel resections, in total almost 10 feet of bowel removed, and, where am I? Am I any closer to remission? Not even close. Not one pain free day, not one day away from wondering when I’d have to rush to the bathroom next, not one day feeling more than “other” in the world.

So, by January of 2008, after 20 years suffering with Crohn’s, I finally thought to myself, it’s time to go back to this SCD thing, this Breaking the Vicious Cycle book that when I read it the first time, it looked like it was written in Greek, but instinctively, I knew it was time to go back to it. I remember saying to myself, this is your time, you’re ready, this time you’ll understand what you read. So, I did it. It took me a few months to get it, to contemplate and make a plan, but finally I picked a date. A date where I would declare my independence from the chains of IBD. I was going in with knowledge and power, I would strike out on my own, start the SCD no matter who did or did not support me (and there were many on both sides), but I would finally take the reins on my own healing journey.

Well, that day turned out to be July 4th, 2008 and every year on that day since, along with the birth of the good ole US of A, I also celebrate my independence day with a massive party, serving my favorite food of all. And as I bring this story back around in a full circle moment (too late), I’m sure you can guess what my favorite food of all the food in the whole world is? The food I serve not only on this Independence Day celebration of mine…you guessed it. It’s my Thanksgiving menu. The menu very menu I’m going to share with you today.  So, while I love this gut healing Thanksgiving food so much and it holds a sacred space for my Thanksgiving dinner, know that it also holds the record of being the food I love so much, that I also serve it up on my very own independence day, every year.

That’s how much I know you are going to love the food we are talking about today and if Thanksgiving wasn’t your favorite holiday just like it didn’t used to be mine, you better believe it’s going to be now. You’re going to love Thanksgiving so much that you’ll find another time of year to eat this food too!

Let’s dive in!

So, what’s typically on an American Thanksgiving table?

It might vary just a bit depending on where you live in the country—my husband is from the south and I’m from the north so when we got married and went to each other’s families for Thanksgiving, it was fun to see the cultural differences in the food. What you serve might also depend on what your family traditions are, but I bet for the most part, it resembles something like this:

Thanksgiving means a turkey, stuffing (as it’s called in the north) or dressing (in my hubby’s southern family), mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, bread like yeasty rolls or corn bread, and of course pumpkin pie for dessert.

Is your mouth watering yet? And how’d I do? Pretty close to the typical thanksgiving, right?

[12:14] It’s definitely tasty, but is there anything about the Thanksgiving I just described that’s gut friendly? I honestly can’t think of a single thing on that list that checks the gut friendly box. It’s loaded with complex carbohydrates and those carbs turn into sugar and that equals a plethora of pathogenic bacteria in our gut, which is IBD kryptonite and leads to that lovely gut disruption like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It’s also full of gluten… that gluey protein that’s also a gut disruptor and causes intestinal permeability for many of us, it’s that leaky gut problem that leads to undigested food particles that enter our blood stream. Thanksgiving food is also full of unhealthy fats, loads of sugar, processed ingredients, chemicals, and artificial flavorings… not a good look for your gut, or your blood pressure or your heart either.

Before I figured out how to eat to support my IBD, I was always sick after Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe you can relate to this– Lots of time in the bathroom after the meal, lots of time spent with a heating pad on my belly to sooth my aching gut, lots of time wondering what I did wrong…

No more. No more of that for me and no more of that for you. It’s time to turn Thanksgiving upside down. And before you start thinking, I’m turning your beloved holiday into something you’ll no longer recognize with roots, berries, kale, and quinoa… I promise, I can give you a similar, but healthy gut loving substitute for every single menu item I just mentioned. A menu item I personally think is much tastier than its standard American counterpart. And as the added bonus, all of us mamas want, your family will love it too.

[14:30] Let’ start with the star of our Thanksgiving dinner: Tom the Turkey.

With Tom, there’s actually not too many problems here, unless you’re a vegetarian of course. And no worries if you are because most everything else for Thanksgiving can be made vegan or vegetarian. But turkey’s, for the most part, are gut healthy. I just want you to keep a few things in mind when it comes to your bird.

First of all, try to get the best quality bird you can afford. Many people with IBD are sensitive to hormones added to poultry so definitely try to find a turkey that’s free of hormones. And sensitivity is really just the start of the problems we experience with added hormones. Hormones added to meat disrupt your entire endocrine system so stay away from meat with hormones. The absolute best place to get your turkey is a pasture raised turkey from a local farm. Fresh, quality meat, delicious… I know not everyone lives in an area with a local farm close by, but local farms like this are growing in popularity so get your bird from a local farmer if you can. If a farm isn’t an option, how about a health food store? They also have really high quality options when it comes to turkey. Again, this may not be an option for you, so in that case, head to your local grocery store and see if they have an organic bird, if not, make sure it’s free of hormones, and flavorings and seasonings.

We already talked about the danger of hormones, but flavorings and seasons are problematic too. Flavorings usually contain gluten, a known gut disruptor, and as well as artificial ingredients you may not even know you’re sensitive to.

There’s so much more we could talk about when it comes to selecting your turkey, cooking times and temps for your turkey, how to easily season your turkey since you’re buying it plain now… and thankfully you’ll get all that and more in your IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook when you download it at karynhaley.com/thanksgiving. There’s a whole page dedicated to turkey cooking info so I feel comfortable leaving Tom here as you are in good hands with the cookbook, I promise.

The gut healthy version of mashed potatoes.

Next on the thanksgiving table is the mashed potatoes. Yes, mashed potatoes are gluten free so know that you are good there, but remember the complex carb factor I mentioned earlier. Potatoes are loaded with gut disrupting complex carbohydrates—ones that make it difficult to digest and absorb. When we’ve got IBD, we want to stay away from complex carbohydrates and instead focus on the carbs we can digest- simple carbohydrates.

Fortunately, there’s an absolutely delicious mashed potato alternative you can have at Thanksgiving and year round if you choose. It’s a really ugly, but don’t judge a book by its cover, vegetable called celery root. Have you ever seen celery root before? Before it was recommended to me, I had never heard of it. Celery root, or celeriac as it’s sometimes called is a cousin of celery and it does have a green stalk at the top of it, and it also does smell a little like celery. But that’s where the similarity ends because instead of eating the green stalky part, you’re actually eating the root, which looks a lot like a hairy potato. Can you imagine a large hairy potato? Yep, you’ve got it, ugly!

When I first started eating celery root, I used to have to go to the health food store to find it. Now, I see it everywhere where I live in Maryland. Safeway, Food Lion, Giant, Wegmans… they all have it. You may never have seen it, but look for it in the produce section. I bet you’ll find it. Ask your produce helper if you don’t see it.

So, how do we get this brown hairy thing looking and tasting like mashed  potatoes? We start by peeling it, just like a potato, then chopping it just like a potato, and then we cook it in water or broth, just like a potato. Unlike using a masher though, I recommend putting your cooked celery root in the blender and blending it until smooth. There’s a great recipe for you to check out in your Thanksgiving cookbook for mashed celery root. It’s delish plain, but feel free to add gravy to it if you want.

Let’s not forget the gravy!

And speaking of gravy… should you eat that on Thanksgiving Day? Probably not. Most store bought gravy is full of chemicals, preservatives and gluten—not IBD friendly. There are some store bought gluten free gravies that aren’t so bad like the one from Simply organic (it’s a powder) or Imagine brand makes a ready to serve gluten free gravy that you just heat up. If you’re looking to take a baby step in the realm of IBD foodie land, I recommend this option.

If you’re ready to go all in on gut healing, I recommend you make your own gravy at home. You still make it from the turkey drippings, just like your grandmama does, but your thickener is a healthier flour like coconut flour. If you want a little trick to give your gravy a nice dark, rich color, I know it might sound crazy, but you add just a bit of almond butter. Just try it. I remember hearing about it, thinking it wouldn’t work and would just taste like almonds, but it doesn’t. It just gives your gravy a beautiful golden color.

Of course, there’s other ways to make gut friendly gravy too and one of those ways uses a cooked onion as a thickener. There’s a recipe for that in your cookbook as well.

Did you think I forgot about the stuffing as my family calls it? Heck no. My gluten and grain free stuffing is the highlight of our Thanksgiving table. My whole family loves it. On this one, I’m gonna come right out and tell you, it’s different than stove top or even homemade stuffing. It’s not light, fluffy, and bready. It’s more of a delicious casserole with ingredients like ground sausage, cranberries, onions and celery. But it is truly worth an open mind because everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving at my house always asks if I’m making my famous stuffing. The recipe for my sweet and savory stuffing is in your IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook and so is a more gourmet version as well if you’re feeling a little fancy for the occasion.

The sweet potato casserole substitute your whole family will love.

Now, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the sweet potato casserole would it? Brown sugar, flour, marshmallows? Definitely tasty, but also definitely a one-way trip down a mineshaft for IBDer’s. There’s just too unhealthy ingredients in there for us to tolerate.

Now, one option for you to consider is a healthier sweet potato option. Lots of mamas with IBD tolerate sweet potatoes just fine. Moms on a whole food, gluten free, or paleo approach eat sweet potatoes. If that’s you, go for it with the sweet potatoes. Maybe a whole baked sweet potato or sweet potato mash topped with cinnamon, butter and honey or maple syrup. That would be delish.

If you’re like me and sweet potatoes are a little too starchy for your digestion or if you’re on the SCD, GAPS, or Autoimmune Paleo eating plan, I’ve got a sweet potato substitute you’re going to love! And it’s star ingredient is butternut squash. Oh yes, don’t poo poo it if you’ve never had it. I definitely did before I ate it in this recipe. My candied butternut squash will blow your mind and you’ll never miss the sweet potato casserole again. Of course, the recipe is in the IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook so it’s all yours when you download your copy.

One word of caution about this recipe, the candied part is a sweet and nutty topping. If you are sensitive to nuts, I’d omit this part. The butternut squash is still sweet and tangy and delicious on its own too.

Is your mouth watering yet? Oh yeah, mine is too.

Even more Thanksgiving recipes await, including dessert!

[25:26] As we wrap up this Thanksgiving feast chat, I do want to mention a few more side dishes you won’t want and you won’t have to go without. These side dishes are all in my Thanksgiving cookbook as well. I think you’ll love my green bean casserole substitute. It’s a recipe for green beans almandine and a little tip to make this recipe super special is to use fresh green beans. Most grocers carry them this time of year. It really brings the dish up a notch from good to yum. And let’s not forget the dinner biscuits or rolls. It’s just not a Thanksgiving feast without bread and butter. Even on a an IBD foodie diet, whether it’s gluten free, paleo, SCD or any of the others, there’s scrumptious dinner roll recipes you can make. I’ve included my favorite dinner biscuits in your Thanksgiving cookbook. And there’s even a recipe for Spiced Apple Cider in there. Your family will rave about it. Every year on Thanksgiving, I get this recipe going in the crockpot, bright and early. With the cinnamon sticks and fresh cranberries in the mix, the whole house starts to smell like heaven before I even put the turkey in the oven. Trust me, your kids are gonna love this festive soda substitute too.

One last Thanksgiving note that we can’t forget about… dessert! Of course, dessert! Thanksgiving and dessert. They go hand and hand and even an IBD Foodie doesn’t have to skip dessert on Thanksgiving. Whether you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or cookies, there’s a gut friendly recipe out there for you. Check out the internet, of course recipes abound there. Or you can check out the recipes for pumpkin pie and peanut butter kiss cookies in your IBD Foodie Thanksgiving cookbook. These are both Thanksgiving staples in my house. Everyone loves these desserts, kids and adults alike, and best of all, we now get to partake in dessert knowing it won’t upset our gut. You gotta love that.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I want to leave you with some quick general Thanksgiving eating tips I know will serve you no matter what you decide to eat.

Where are you eating your turkey dinner this year?

[28:43] Are you eating at home this year? Remember:

  • This is the perfect time to experiment and try something new. With Covid and staying at home more, chances are there’s less family and friends around the table to impress. Why not use this opportunity to try something new?
  • If foods like I mentioned in this episode are completely new for you, don’t feel like you need to follow my recipes to a T. Just try swapping out a couple items or think about the ingredients I mentioned that are most disruptive to your gut—the complex carbs, the sugars, and gluten. How can you lesson these ingredients from what you’re already making? Baby steps.
  • Or do like I do for some dishes, I make both versions. Like mashed potatoes for example. I don’t ditch them for the whole family. They love them too much. I make celery root mash and mashed potatoes. Most everyone in my family takes both.

[30:03] Are you eating at a family member or friends house this year?

  • #1, please be safe. Many countries around the world, and especially in the United States, we are in hard times with Covid. I want you to be safe, healthy and happy this holiday.
  • If you’re worried about what’s going to be served, bring a dish or two to share with the group. You know it’s something you can eat and I bet the others will love it too.
  • Don’t trust family or friends with your food. Many a helpful family tries to make things out of love. No one is questioning the good intentions here. Please be careful. I’ve seen this backfire for clients over and over again. Well-meaning family and friends want to be helpful and make something for you. Better to bring your own food to ensure you stay out of the bathroom after the meal.
  • And if you’re on diets like SCD, GAPS, or Autoimmune Paleo, I say bring your own food 100%. To be a polite and generous guest, you can also bring a couple dishes for you, but also to share with everyone else too. Maybe the candied butternut squash or the stuffing. Don’t take a chance. It’s just not worth it. And I know from experience in situations like this, not every family member or friend is understanding. They might get annoyed or confused when you don’t eat their food. Trust me though, when they see how well you’re doing and how well you feel, they’ll come around. And even if they don’t, they’ll get used to it. You’re health isn’t worth jeopardizing to saves someone else’s feelings.

OK, there you have it. You have the tools to make this your best Thanksgiving yet, at least foodwise if only I had a recipe to whip up so you could safely be with everyone you love this holiday. I’ll keep wishing for that.

Don’t forget to grab your free cookbook.

Don’t forget to grab your very own copy of The IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook by going to the show notes or by going to karynhaley.com/thanksgiving. All the recipes we talked about today are waiting for you there. Remember, we are all different when it comes to IBD and the foods we tolerate. If you’re looking for a substitution, give me a shout. I’m here to help. You can get in touch at hello@karynhaley.com I love it when you reach out. It makes my day to connect with you.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I want Thanksgiving to be tomorrow. I can’t wait! And truth be told, it’s all about the food. Lots of gratitude and thanks, but also the FOOD. The delicious, nutritious, gut loving food that’s waiting for us to dive into on this special day of thanks and gratitude. I’ll be thinking of you dear one on Thanksgiving, wishing and hoping your day is filled with IBD foodie comfort food, the love of your family around you, and a safe and healthy place to enjoy it all.

Chat soon!

[34:33] 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.

Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level?

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.

Ep 10: How to Find an IBD Doctor You’ll Rave About

On a 1-5 rating scale, how would you rate your IBD doctor?

If you said a 2 or a 3 (or yikes, a 1), you’d be right in line with most of the Crohn’s and colitis mamas I talk to.

Why is it that we just can’t find a gastroenterologist we have confidence in?

Having searched for many doctors, both gastro and all kinds of other providers in my lifetime, I know there’s good ones out there. Doctors who become partners in our care, who see us as equals who bring value to our IBD journey.

Having a doctor who helps you feel empowered, confident, and courageous is what I want for you dear one. It can be the difference between constant flare-ups and finding remission. And that’s not an exaggeration.

It’s not a privilege to have a doctor who’s in your corner, it’s your right as a patient with Crohn’s or colitis.

In this episode, we’ll investigate how you can find a doctor you’ll actually rave about. I’m giving you the very tips I use to find excellent doctors who appreciate the value I bring to the doctor patient relationship. Plus, I’ll give you the exact questions to ask before you even step foot in the doctor’s office. These questions will ensure you get exactly what you need from your doctor.

We’ll talk about:

  • Why it’s so frustrating and challenging every time we go to our doctor’s appointments
  • The Top 5 high milage questions to ask before you go to any new doctor
  • 8 amazing tips to build a great rapport with a new doc or build a better relationship with the doctor you currently have
  • The 15 minute phone call that will change the way you see your doctor

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll be in the driver’s seat to find the doctor you deserve to help you kick IBD to the curb or transform the relationship you have with your current provider in one with collaboration, connection, and compassion. No more dreading your IBD doctor’s appointments. Hello doctor patient bliss!

Episode at a Glance:

  • [04;16] The frustration, annoyance and hopelessness you feel trying to find a doctor who’s a good fit for you.
  • [08:16] All the traits doctors have that disrupt your IBD care.
  • [12:02] How you can get a copy of my Top 5 Questions to Ask to Pick a Doctor You’ll Rave About so you can easily find the best doctor for you. No prep needed, just these questions and an inquisitive mind.
  • [15:41] How going to the bathroom at your doctor’s office is the key to your confidence in the exam room and in conversations with your doctor.
  • [19:54] How to make sure you’re in partnership with your doctor instead of putting up with a doctor who talks down to you or over your head.
  • [23:16] How to develop your very own Wheel of Wellness so you have the knowledge and power of multiple providers and ways to heal.
  • [27:08] How being anxious or nervous before a doctor’s appointment is actually a good sign.
  • [32:16] The power of a 15-minute pre-doctor visit doctor to find out if this provider is a good fit for you.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Episode Links:

Get my FREE pdf resource guide: The Top 5 Questions to Ask to Find a Doctor You’ll Rave About

How to Find an IBD Doctor You’ll Rave About (and get what you need from the doc you already have)

Win a copy of my cold and flu buster recipe guide (you’ve got the ingredients right in your kitchen).

[00:01] Hey there, Karyn here. Before we dive into the episode today, I wanted to take a quick moment to say thank you. Thanks for hanging out with me for the last couple months, and for your emails and texts with positive feedback for the show. Being here with you every Wednesday is something I really look forward to as we share our IBD mom journey together. It’s been even better than I dreamed it would be. I’m especially thankful to those who have taken the time to leave a positive review of the podcast on iTunes—like DeviaLea who writes: “I love her! Karyn I love how your get right to it and share your know how with us all!! I am so excited for this podcast!! Thank you girl!!!” Aww, right back attcha, DeviaLea. Thank you girll!!! That made my day when I read it so thank you for that.

I know it takes time out of your busy day to leave a rating and review, and I appreciate it when you do. It helps other moms find the podcast so we can support each other on our IBD journey. And to say thank you for you for leaving a rating and review, I’m currently giving away my Kitchen Arsenal Cure recipe guide just in time for cold and flu season, and of course coronavirus immune boosting as well. Keeping your immune system healthy is more important than ever. If you want to get your hands on my kitchen arsenal cure with 2 recipes to boost your immune system with ingredients you already have in your kitchen. Leave me a rating and review (a positive one I hope) on iTunes. Once you do, take a screen shot of it and email it to me with the subject line podcast review. I’ll immediately send my kitchen arsenal Cure recipe guide your way to say thanks for spreading the love and joy. Whether you leave a review or not, know that I appreciate you and thank you for listening to the show. Now let’s get to 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]

Hey there my love, welcome to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD. It’s episode 10! We’re in double digits now!!!!  Whoop whoop! I don’t know about you but I can wait to keep this gut healing party going. I just mapped out the episodes through the end of the year, and let me tell you, we are in for some juicy IBD information.

Today’s episode is no exception.

Today, we’re highlighting our relationship with our doctors. This relationship always seems to be a tricky one to navigate for IBD mamas. Dare I say it might be more complicated that the one you have with your spouse!

[03:35] Let me ask you a question. Do you like your gastroenterologist? Do you even have a gastroenterologist, or did you stop going because he or she annoyed you so much?  Pretend you’re on health grades, and your giving your IBD doc a rating—what would it be? From my experience chatting with IBD moms, the likelihood of it being a five-star review is almost 0%. If you already have all your doctors (gastro and others) all of them in the five plus zone, this is probably not the episode for you. Go forth, enjoy your awesome doctor/patient relationships and thank your lucky stars for what you have.

[04:16] But if you’re finding yourself frustrated, annoyed, or anxious about your gastro visits like so many of the clients I see, this episode is going to give you so much clarity and so much power to take with you into your doctor’s office. And it’s also going to give you all the tools you need if you’re ready to take a bold leap and finally find the doctor of your dreams. He or she is out there, waiting for you to come knocking. I promise.

I certainly know a thing or two about hunting down a good gastroenterologist. I’ve done it several times in my 30 + year journey with Crohn’s. When I was first having digestive symptoms, I was young, only 14 years old. I had no clue what Crohn’s was, I had never heard of it. I don’t think I even knew what a gastroenterologist was. As one does at 14, I just went to the doc my mom took me to. Luckily, I had a health savvy nurse of a mama and she not only set me up with a caring gastro where I lived in Buffalo New York Dr. Jan Novak, but she also brought me to a specialist 3 hours from our home, shout out to Dr. Aaron Brezinski, at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

Now, these docs were way western, medication only approaches all the way and at the time, I didn’t know anything about how food, lifestyle, and mindset factors could also be used to treat my disease. This was the late 80’s—it’s amazing how far we’ve come since then. But in their own western medicine way, they were both caring and kind, amazingly knowledgeable, especially Dr. Brezinski at the Cleveland Clinic. Even though I’ve since left the Cleveland area, that hospital will always hold a special place in my heart.

These two doctors, they saw me through the worst of my disease in my teens and into my early 20’s. I didn’t know how lucky I was at the time. I just thought all docs were like that. But then I married my hubby, and we started a whirlwind tour of the world for ten years, going from military base to military base. Sometimes we moved every year, and with each town and each move, it involved finding a new gastro, with them never living up to my first experience.

These ten years, when we moved around a lot with the military, where I never found a doc I felt comfortable with, and really they never even helped me at all, let’s just call it for what it was, it sucked. I felt alone in a sea of pain, diarrhea, despair, and hopelessness.

To anyone outside of the chronic illness world, this might seem quite dramatic, but I know you get it. I know you know this feeling all too well. You know just how alone you feel when you don’t really have someone in the medical profession who’s in your corner. You can have all the family and friend support in the world, and that’s great. But it’s not the same as someone who gets it, who gets you and everything you’re going through medically.

Not having the right doctor can do this to you. It can make you feel anxious, frustrated, depressed, and hopeless… and I’m not just talking about at the doctor’s office, but long after, and on a day to day basis.

Does this sound like your doctor?

[08:16] Doctors who:

  • Don’t listen to things from your point of view
  • Treat you like a number
  • Don’t make eye contact because they’ve stuck their head in the computer or in their notes
  • Talk down to you like they are the guru on high and you’re the lowly patient
  • Rush you out of the office
  • Don’t explain medications, or their decisions or your options for you as the patient
  • Doctor who tell you what to do. Period. No room for discussion.
  • Or give harsh examinations- which is a big deal as we are often getting our achy belly poked and our rectum prodded

These are the kinds of doctors I bet we’ve all dealt with from time to time. And it’s not ok. And more importantly, you don’t have to settle for it. Please, I implore you. Don’t settle for it. There is better care out there. And in this episode, I’m going to tell you how to get exactly what YOU need, from your doctor.

Now, before we go any further, please know that this is not a doctor bashing episode. That is not my intention at all. I’m not down on all doctors. Doctors have saved my life, my kids life and my mom’s life. The surgeon who did my first bowel resection, Dr. Jeffery Milson… outstanding! The doctor who diagnosed my son with Neurocardiogenic Syncope, Dr. De La Uz, fantastic. Whole team of oncology doctors who have kept my mom going an unheard of amount of time—5 years– with liver cancer- I could just hug each of them.  Lord knows I’ve known some great ones. And I bet you have too. Currently have several doctors I love. But it was work to find them, let me tell you. I never took the easy road to find them, I never settled like I might have years ago. Finding the right doctor involved knowing exactly what I needed from a doctor whether it was for me or my family members and then, ASKING them it they were able to deliver on what I needed.

There are many ways you can get the most out of your relationship with your doctor, but one of the best things you can do is make sure you have the right doctor for you. The right doctor for you may not be the right doctor for me. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder with life partners and with doctors too.

If you’re goal is to work with the right doctor that fits your needs, especially when it comes to your gastroenterologist, then the best thing to do is start by picking the right gastro right from the start. Sure, if you’re already in a relationship with a doctor you don’t care for, but switching isn’t an option, there are things you can do to improve the relationship (and we’ll get to those ways in just a minute), but it’s much easier to develop the best relationship you can with your medical provider if you start from scratch. I want you to be equipped with the tools you need to do just that. Picking a great gastro, and YES you can, starts with knowing what questions to ask, either before you ever go (which is my preference) or asking those questions at your first appointment (keeping in mind, you never have to go back if you have a bad experience).

[12:02] I’ve created a guide to help you with this whole process. My Top 5 Questions to Ask to Pick a Doctor You’ll Rave About. It’s a pdf guide available to you right now. Over the years, with lots of failed and finally successful attempts at finding the gastro for me, I’ve learned that these 5 questions are the key to helping you feeling empowered, educated, and on an equal playing field with any doctor you choose to allow into your sacred health space.

Trust me, this guide is fabulous. You’re going to want to have it and keep it on hand. You can get my guide by going directly to the shown notes for episode 10 or by going to karynhaley.com/doctor Whether you need it now or not, I would go ahead and get it. And this guide will work for any practitioner, not just gastros. If you want to get this guide: My Top 5 Questions to Ask to Pick a Doctor You’ll Rave About, go to karynhaley.com/doctor—that’s k-a-r-y-n-h-a-l-e-y.com/doctor and it will come straight to your inbox.

Now, if you’re at that point where you know it’s not a good fit with your doctor and you’re going doctor shopping, these 5 questions are all you need to set up a safe doctor-patient space you can growth with, feel nurtured and educated with.

But what if you have a doctor already and you’re not thrilled with your choice, but you see potential there. You’re not ready to kick them to the curb just yet.

There’s always ways you can improve your relationship with your partner, right? Just like partners have to work at a relationship, so do doctors and their patients. Besides having these 5 questions on hand for picking the right doctor for you, I also want you to have my best tips for molding your relationship with your gastro, or any other provider you have, into the one you want it to be. Even if you are just starting out with a new doctor, and especially in this case, these tips I’m about to give you will set the stage for positivity and collaboration right from the start.

It’s so much easier, in any relationship, when we start it off on a supportive and collaborative foot. But know that it’s OK if you didn’t. It might take a little more time and effort, but if you think there’s hope, it’s always a good idea to stick with it and try to make the changes you want to see. If you truly give it a good try and you know you’ve given it your all, at least you will have learned a ton for your next doctor patient relationship.

OK- here are my 8 must do tips you can use to make sure that when you talk, your doctor will listen. If you follow these tips, you will have a relationship with your doctor where you look forward to office visits (imagine that?), you’ll feel valued within your partnership, and best of all, because of this relationship, your health will move in a positive direction.

[15:41] Tip # 1

Go into your next doctor’s appointment with confidence.

Seems simple right? You know you’re in charge. You’re not a wallflower, waiting to be bestowed with powerful wisdom. You’re a mom in charge, a go-getter in the workforce, a partner in crime with your spouse… I know you already know this about other areas of your life, but something seems to happen to us between our head and what comes out of our mouth in the doctor’s exam room. Our thoughts which were crystal clear at home, become mush in the doctor’s office, and furthermore, what we verbalize to our doctor is often a curated version of what’s actually going on in our head.

One of the best ways to make sure that the confidence you have in your heart when you leave the house, sticks with you during the long wait in the waiting room is to plan a trip to the bathroom once you get checked in. Stick with me here, because this will make sense in a sec. When you go to the bathroom, feel free to go if you need to, but the real reason you’re there is to look yourself in the mirror, and remind yourself you are a strong confident woman—sorry I just lost myself in Chandelier from that old episode of friends—but unlike Chandelier, you actually are a strong, confident, woman so this type of positive self-talk will work better on you.

Yes, your doctor went to medical school, so yes, they do have medical knowledge we may not have, but that doesn’t mean what you bring to the table is any less important. Go in with the confidence of knowing that no one knows your body better than you, that you set the tone and flow of the appointment and you know that you will walk away feeling just as empowered, confident, and self-assured as when you came in. You’ve got this girlfriend. Go in with power.

Tip # 2

Go to your doctor’s appointment educated.

Think your doc might be ready for a talk about biologics, or scheduling you for a colonoscopy, or even a surgery? Read up on your options before your appointment. The internet is a beautiful thing my friend. Podcasts like this one, YouTube, research studies… you never know where you’re going to find valuable information about your IBD options. Sure, some of the information may not be so accurate. We know that for all the good information out there, there’s also a lot of bogus info too. But if you choose your sources wisely and are a savvy and skeptical consumer of info like I know you are, you’ll be able to sift through the nonsense and get straight to the credible. Plus, once you’re armed with this knowledge ahead of your appointment, you’re ready to ask the right questions of your medical provider.

Which brings us to tip #3

Always go into your appointment with a list of questions

—hand or phone written, not in your head. Trust me on this mama, you’ll never remember them, even the most seasoned IBDer’s. Once that exam gets started, the poking and prodding, once you hear bad news, or heck even good news… those questions rush right out of your head.

Go with questions and focus on the high milage questions first. You never know when you’ll be shuffled out. Ask the important ones first.

[19:54] Tip # 4

Never let your provider talk over you or down to you

Remember I mentioned that your doctor is smart? They went to medical school and learned all kinds of technical, medical language. Sometimes they just aren’t able to bring all that terminology and medical smarts down to our level and sometimes it’s almost like they are patting us on the head, saying OK little girl, now go do what you’re told.

Hopefully you’ve never had to experience a condescending doctor. Thankfully they are few and far between, but I remember one I had to deal with when my hubby and I had been trying to get pregnant for 2 years with no success and were seeing a fertility specialist. This doctor literally patted me on the head, told me all our fertility issues were most likely in my head. Furthermore, he informed me I probably wasn’t getting pregnant because I didn’t weigh enough and asked if I had an eating disorder. This was all after I explained to him that I had Crohn’s and had trouble keeping weight on. I’ve never wanted to smack a doctor more than in that moment. I immediately left, and never went back again.

I cried all the way home, feeling so humiliated. He took and already emotionally fraught experience, that of a couple experiencing infertility, and made me feel shameful and guilty for my role in it. Shame on him and any doctor who deliberately talks down to their patient. You don’t need to put up with treatment like this. If it ever happens, remember, there’s lots of other fish in the sea. Take my fertility example. I quickly made an appointment with a sane fertility specialist who was kind, compassionate, and understanding. After meeting her, we were pregnant within 3 months.

Tip # 5

Don’t stay if you’re unhappy

This one ties in nicely with the tip was just talked about, tip # 4. If you are unhappy with your gastro for whatever the reason… you don’t like the office staff, you don’t like the options the doc has laid out for you, you don’t like the energy of the office… whatever you’re reason. It doesn’t have to be a tangible reason.  Don’t stay if you’re unhappy.

How likely do you think it is that you’ll comply with a doctor or a practice you just don’t get good vibes from?

In cases like this, is there another doctor you might try in the same practice? How about a town over—or 4 towns over? Be willing to go that extra mile (sometimes literally) to find the doctor you mesh with. Trust me, there’s an amazing doctor waiting to serve you. Keep looking. You will find them.

[23;16] Tip # 6

Have your very own Wheel of Wellness

Ok, I have to confess, this is my top favorite tip. My clients hear about the wheel of wellness all the time. So here’s the deal. I said it before and I’ll say it again, if you’ve got Crohn’s or colitis, you need a gastroenterologist. You never know when you’ll need one. Whether you visit once a month or one every couple years, have a contact you can call on just in case.

Having a gastro is important, but what’s that saying about eggs and baskets. Oh, right. Never put all your eggs in one basket. In the world of health, this means that you don’t leave all your care to one person. Healing from Crohn’s and colitis works best when you diversify. Your wheel of wellness might include doctors like your gastro, a PCM, a gynecologist. But it might also include other practitioner areas like a naturopath, a functional medicine provider, an acupuncturist, a health coach like me or a nutritionist. Your wheel of wellness should also include some form of movement like restorative yoga or Pilates, swimming or walking as well as a spiritual practice like prayer or meditation, art therapy, dance therapy or straight up talk therapy as well.

What’s in your current wheel of wellness? Are you diversified enough? It’s unlikely that you’ll find lasting healing from just one expert. Build a team around you, to guide and support you, with all your needs being met. Healing takes a village. Start to create your village today. Remember, you’re at the heart of the village, you’re the leader, and the   community needs a leader to lead. Create your own team and you’ll be happier and healthier for it.

Tip # 7

Go in on a level playing field

Instead of going to the doctor’s office, expecting your physician to solve all your problems, go into your appointments armed with all that information you gathered back in tip #2 when you got yourself educated. Go into that appointment, seeing you and your provider as partners—partners on your healing journey. Partners who communicate, collaborate, and consider all the options together.

How awesome would that be? It’s possible and it’s a beautiful thing to experience. Remember though, equals doesn’t mean you both bring the same thing to the table. Your doctor has expertise and great knowledge, hopefully in IBD specifically. This wisdom is of great value and should be appreciated for all it offers.

That doesn’t mean you don’t bring just as much value to your doctor’s appointment. No one, I mean absolutely no one knows you better than you. That’s valuable information. Using information like this to partner with your doctor on an even playing field can only benefit your care.

Think of your doctor as a wise mentor, guiding you, giving you sage advice. And the key piece here is ADVICE. Not the law of the land… advice that you then have a wonderfully collaborative conversation about to make the best decision for you.

[28:07] Tip # 8

It’s OK to be anxious

It’s normal to be nervous when you go to any doctor’s appointment, even with a doctor you truly like and trust. You’re going to see that doctor about something near and dear to your heart- your IBD. It’s upended your life, it’s changed everything… of course you are going to be anxious when you see the doctor.

This completely makes sense. The doctor’s office is also often the place where you’re sitting when you get bad news. It’s often the place where you get poked and prodded by the doctor and that can be uncomfortable and sometimes hurt.

And guess what? You can still have confidence, be educated about your illness, have good questions for the doc, and be anxious at the same time. Being anxious or feeling stressed when you go to the doctor’s office just means you care and you want the best for your health.

So next time you find yourself feeling that way, I say go with it. Don’t fight it. Go with it. The anxiety in this particular moment might actually serve you will.

So there you have it- my top 8 must do tips you can use to make sure that when you talk, your doctor will listen. Let’s do a quick recap:

Here they are:

  1. Go into your doctor’s appointment with confidence
  2. Go into the office educated about your options
  3. Go with a list of questions
  4. Never let your doctor talk down to you
  5. Don’t stay if you’re unhappy
  6. Develop your very own wheel of wellness
  7. Keep a level playing field
  8. It’s OK to be anxious

Use these tips as your guide, whether you’re on the hunt for a new doctor or repairing a relationship with an old one. They will serve you well, no matter what kind of doctor you’re seeing.

And just because I always want you to be fully armed and ready for anything, I’ve got just a few bonus thoughts for you on this subject. Just a couple honorable mentions that I’d be remiss if I didn’t, well, mention…

A few more bonus tips for your consideration

Here they are:

Know when to get a second opinion. It’s not distrust in your doctor, it’s just good health sense. Also, always be honest with your doctor, lying about how you feel or your compliance with a medication always leads to disaster. And lastly, even though I’ve been talking non-stop here about always having a good rapport with your doctor, there are times when there’s more important things than a good rapport. For example, a surgeon doesn’t have to hold your hand, your partner can do that. A surgeon just needs to be a good surgeon. Now I’ve met some truly wonderful surgeons in my life, like Dr. Milsom whom I mentioned earlier, but if someone is cutting me open, I care more about their skill in the operating room than their bedside manner.

OK, some final thoughts before we wrap up.

Have you ever picked a worker or contractor for a home improvement project? How about a babysitter for your kids? Would you hire them sight unseen? Not likely. You would never trust a huge house project or the care of your kids to a stranger.

[32:16] Why are we asked to do this when it comes to our gastroenterologist or any other doctor we see? The truth is, we aren’t. Most people just don’t know that they can actually interview a potential doctor before ever going to the first appointment. Just think, for just a little bit of time up front, how much time you’ll save going to doctor’s appointments with doctors who are actually a good fit for you.

Most doctor’s offices allow you a quick 15 minute meet and greet (over the phone) with the provider to see if they are a good match. Of course, most don’t advertise it, but if you call and ask, they’ll make it happen.

When searching for a doctor in a particular specialty, I’d pick about three options to start. You can find these doctors through internet searchs, other doctor’s, but the best referral of all is usually from a friend you trust. Once you have your doctor’s in mind, and you’ve secured a 15 minute phone call, remember to make your questions succient and be ready for rapid fire. Doctors don’t have a lot of time so make the most of the time you have. And if the doctor absolutely doesn’t have time for a quick 15 minute chat, I’d also accept a chat with his or her nurse. They can usually answer many of your initial questions and you can decide if you want to give the doctor a trial run with your first appointment.  If the office won’t even make time for that, I say so long Charlie—definitely not my kind of practice.

Remember, during this 15-minute potential doctor call, you don’t even have to wonder about what questions you’re going to ask. It’s all covered for you with my pdf guide: The Top 5 Questions to Ask to Pick a Doctor You’ll Rave About. It gives you the best, most high milage questions to ask on your call. After these A’s to your Q’s, you’ll feel more confident in your choice of provider and go into your first appointment ready to crush those 8 doctor patient tips we went over today.

Grab your FREE pdf guide below

If you want to be ready for your next potential doctor interview get the guide: My Top 5 Questions to Ask to Pick a Doctor You’ll Rave About. Go directly to the episode 10 show notes or get the guide at karynhaley.com/doctor.

I can’t wait to hear how this goes for you. Let me know will ya? Email me at hello@karynhaley.com and let me know how this episode landed for you. Does it sound crazy? Are you already doing this and want to share another tip with our mom tribe. Let me know where you’re with finding a provider you rave about to your friends and family. I can’t wait to hear from you.

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.

[35:49] 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.

Ep. 9 How to Cope with IBD, Motherhood, and Covid Stress

There’s never been a more stressful time for us.

Dealing with IBD is challenging enough, but now we are dealing with more demands on us from our kids at home more than usual and the stress of living in a world with coronavirus. Has your IBD taken a hit during this crazy time?

You are not alone.

In this episode, we get real about the unavoidable stress we can’t get rid of. But that doesn’t mean have to accept all the negatives that come with stress like this. We discuss how the stress response affects our IBD and how, if we have the right tools, we can overcome this challenge. I also introduce you to my 3-Step Stress Management System that gives you the tools you need to keep your IBD flare at bay and your stress at a level you can live with.

We talk about:

  • How our stress is at an all-time high right now
  • Our physiological response to stress and why it makes our IBD flare
  • The difference between acute stress vs chronic stress and which one has a greater impact on our IBD
  • The 3-Step Stress Management System to help you get through these stressful days

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll be more in control of the chaos around you with clinically proven stress management tools you can use right at home. Listen in to help release the pressure you’re feeling from having Crohn’s and colitis, along with the added demands of motherhood, and the fear of Covid that’s affecting us all.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [02:37] We start with the role stress plays in our life when we are dealing with the mega triple threat of stress from IBD, Motherhood, and Covid.
  • [12:30] We learn all about the stress response at the physiological level, from the first twinges in the gut, to the recognition in the brain, to the nervous system cascade, and the ravages of the hormone release of cortisol when our stress never gets a break.
  • [18:16] We talk about the difference between acute stress and chronic stress and how these two types of stress will impact your IBD, each in different ways.
  • [20:43] We explore how subjective vs objective experiences are at the core of how we engage with the stress in our body.
  • [25:16] We detail the 3-step process to turn your unbearable stress into manageable stress. It starts with recognizing your stress, then seeing your stress as subjective, and finally, making friends with your stress.
  • [29:24] We put our newfound stress management toolbelt to the test by going through an example of how we can use the 3-step stress management system in a real life acute stressful situation.
  • [35:45] We look at a real life example of my client, Abby, when she used the 3-step stress management system for chronic stress from colitis symptoms, a family member with Covid, and homeschooling her children stress.
  • [40:51] You can take this episode to the next level by downloading my free resource guide: Your Stress Management Toolbelt by going to karynhaley.com/stress

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Episode Links:

Get my FREE Stress Management Toolbelt mentioned in the episode

Covid-19 Demands Forcing Parents to Take Time Off

Psychological Stress and IBD: New Insights Into Pathogenic and Therapeutic Implications

The Mega Triple Stress Threat: Crohn’s and Colitis, IBD, and Motherhood

Win a copy of my cold and flu buster recipe (you’ve got the ingredients right in your kitchen)

[00:04] Welcome to the episode dear listener. Before we get started today. I want to let you know that you can win a copy of my Kitchen Arsenal Preventive and Kitchen Arsenal Cure Recipe Guide to kick that cold or flu right to the curve before it even starts or before it gets nasty. I love this guide because it’s so important as we head into cold and flu season with the added pandemic at our hands, we just can’t boost our immune system enough right now. These rescue remedies are full of ingredients you already have in your kitchen, but they are usually reserved just for my clients. I’m sharing them with you today so if you want to get your hands on these must have sickness buster recipes, all you have to do is leave a written review on The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD on itunes, and take a screen shot of your review. Email it to hello@karynhaley.com with the subject line: podcast review, and I will send you your Kitchen Arsenal Preventive and Kitchen Arsenal Cure Recipe Guide as my way of saying thank you for listening and reviewing the show. My email again is hello@ k-a-r-y-n-h-a-l-e-y.com and I can’t wait to reward you for leaving a review. Alright, let’s get into the episode.

[music]

INTRO You’re listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis to 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 of 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 into it, like only a mom can. Let’s do this.

[music]

Has Stress Taken Over Your Life?

Let me ask you a question. Are you feeling stressed? On a scale of 1-10, where are you at?

Stress just comes with being human, right? Maybe a little more for us.

[02:37] We’ve got IBD and all the lovely symptoms that come with that- abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, rectal fissures, or fistulas, weight loss, fatigue… sometimes heartburn or acid reflux, ulcers in your mouth, possibly joint pain or skin rashes… the challenges with crohn’s and colitis abound.

Then, there’s motherhood and don’t get me started on the stress that creates. I’ve been a mom for almost 19 years, YIKES! Oh the stressful moments that have come up through my kids lifespan. Yes, there have been some crazy stressful, out there moments you can never plan for when my then 2 year old wandered off at one of those big, crowded craft fairs (thankfully he saw his dad in the distance and hopped out of the stroller to run to him, but I didn’t know that and it was a stressful few minutes screaming his name), or when one of my kids accidentally shot the other one with a bee bee gun or when my then 8 year old got a concussion because his brother dared him to take a steep jump on his bike (thank god he was wearing a helmet. I don’t even want to think of how bad that could have been). We all have crazy motherhood moments. But it’s not just about the crazy moments. Those day to day moments create stress too. If you’re in the baby and toddler phase, wow the stress of sleep deprivation. With school aged kids, keeping up with their activities is a nightmare, and with teenagers and hormones, all that need to separate and spread their wings, the mental stress and worry you have for them is so intense. 

Apparently, motherhood and IBD isn’t enough, now we’ve got coronavirus to contend with.  Many of our kids are schooling at home, spending hours and hours each day on a computer trying to learn, social distance and deal with how crazy it is that they can’t hug or hang out with their friend. How do you explain that to a 5-year-old? Maybe you’ve had to leave your job during all this to care for your kids. According to census.gov 1 in 5 parents left jobs to provide childcare for their kids and in women 25-44 years old, they are 3 times more likely to leave their jobs than men. And since we have IBD with a diminished immune function and increased inflammation, especially if we’re on biologics or steroids, we’re worried about contracting Covid. And what’s our prognosis if we do get it…

Just mentioning all the stress we are under right now makes my heart beat a little faster. It makes me feel for YOU dear one. How are you doing right now? Has your Crohn’s or colitis suffered because of it? Mine definitely has. You are under more stress than is reasonable. We both are. This is tough. There’s no denying it.

Feeling overwhelmed with stress makes me wonder- what effect does all this stress have on IBD. When it comes to all the things I can think of that negatively impact our Crohn’s and colitis, what we might eat, the quality of our sleep, and our stress levels, something I’ve learned from clients and in my own experience is that stress has a huge a bigger impact on our IBD than we might initially realize.

[06:59] Many stress gurus out there tell you that all you have to do is reduce levels. Stop feeling stress, ignore the stress, put on the right armor and stress won’t bring you down. Just have less stress.

I’m sorry, but I’ve got to call B.S. on that.

We’re moms. We have a chronic illness. Now we have to deal with coronavirus and quarantining. We can’t harry potter this whole thing away. Stress doesn’t work like that.

Studies show that adverse life events like a pandemic, chronic stress, depression (which I’d argue are all stress related), each one of these increases the likelihood of an IBD flare-up.

How can we navigate everything that’s going on in our life right now, with a positive attitude and without letting stress get so impactful that it brings our Crohn’s and colitis right into the toilet.

[08:04] Like every good mystery tv show, we love it when the detective has that a-ha moment that changes the course of everything. And within our stress mystery, our a-ha moment starts with a little thing called insight. Insight into what’s going on behind the scenes, within our body. Today, we’ll start our stress and IBD conversation by unraveling this stress mystery at its most basic level, the a-ha moment level. At this first moment we might not initially recognize, but if we do recognize it at this point and we do start to be conscious of what’s going on, we can use this inside our body knowledge, not to our detriment, but to our advantage.

What’s coming up on today’s episode?

Today on the podcast, We’ll uncover the hormone that controls all this stress and wreaks havoc on our gut health if we don’t stop the vicious cycle. We’ll talk about what objective and subjective stress is and what it has to do with our IBD stress response, we’ll get into the difference between acute stress and chronic stress, again focusing on how that impacts our Crohn’s and colitis and finally we’ll talk about the 3 step stress busing process you can use to do it like a mom and ensure your stress won’t bring your IBD down with it.

Let’s start with the stress mystery, the would-be a-ha moment if we’re aware of it. The insight piece into what’s going on inside our body when we first experience stress. This is the knowledge we all need to get started really understanding our stress and how it affects all the systems in our body, and our gut the most. If we don’t have that a-ha insight early on, stress will start to impact us in negative ways.

[10:16] To say that our bodies are complicated is the understatement of the year, especially when it comes to the stress response. I get kind of geek out excited at this whole process, and I could go on about it for far too long, but for the sake of time in our episode today, I’ll give you the highlights. If you’re like me and you want to know this stress response, nervous system reaction inside and out, you can check out my stress management toolbelt pdf guide. It’s a resource I created just for you, if you want to take today’s conversation deeper. Your stress management toolbelt will walk you through the whole body’s response to stress at the nervous system level, definitely cool information to have because when you have that a-ha moment of “I think I’m getting stressed” early, you can nip it in the bud before it starts to harm your gut. My stress management toolbelt will also guide you through acute stress vs chronic stress in more detail than we’re talking about today, and also give you 11 stress busting techniques that you can hold in your imaginary toolbelt and whip out at a moment’s notice—whenever you need them.

I’ve got a FREE resource I think you are going to LOVE.

If you want to get your hands on this new, free resource, just go to karynhaley.com/stress or find the link in the show notes. That’s k-a-r-y-n-h-a-l-e-y.com/stress

OK, how about a quick highlight into our stress response at the nervous system level? Remember, if you can catch your stress here and have that a-ha moment, you’ll be world’s ahead of all the stressed out, fatigued mamas out there. You’ll know exactly what to do about it. And we’ll talk about how you can do just that, in a moment.

When you think about stress, you might think you would feel it in your head first with your thoughts, but nope, even at the nerve ending level in our body, it starts in our gut. And of course, if you listened to episode 6, use the gut brain connection to your IBD advantage, you know that this makes complete sense. Can you catch your stress here with the first twinges or gurgles in your belly, if you can you might be able to ward off a full blown stress meltdown or an anxiety attack. As you might expect, because of that awesome gut brain connection we have, our stressful feeling continues to rise as it moves up the vagus nerve into places in the brain like the amygdala and the hypothalamus. If the stress continues to build, our amazing body that it is, knows it’s time to alert the whole body through the sympathetic nervous system. And if we aren’t in a true fight or flight scenario, the good news is that our nervous system has this great shut off system called the parasympathetic nervous system.

It’s so cool how our body has all the warning systems built in. This is the reason I get so geeked out over this. Our body’s want to be in balance and they have truly ingenious systems to help that happen. We just have to listen when they talk. Usually, we just aren’t in tuned enough to notice the tingles and the twinges when our body is talking to us. If the parasympathetic nervous system, our fail safe to get the body back on track fails to turn off quickly, here’s where the trouble begins. That amazing body, who’s systems are always in constant communication with each other, signals energy bursts of hormones like adrenaline. Now if you’ve been multi-tasking during this stress response within the body explanation, here’s where I want you to come back to me because here’s where you have the power to affect change in your body.

A constant energy surge of adrenaline, when we never allow the body to calm down, creates the release of another hormone, cortisol. And whoa, let me tell you about the ravages of bursts of cortisol that never go down because we’re experiencing constant stress. Cortisol is like a wildfire in your body. Tiny little firefighters are in there trying their hardest to make a dent, but the fire keeps burning and burning. This is the place where your IBD is going to take a hit, every time.

Can you imagine a constant stress fire in your body, one that never goes out. Of course it makes our gut disorder worse. An internal wildfire and IBD don’t mix.

[16:25] With all the stress we are feeling right now, between IBD, motherhood, and Covid, can you imagine how the nervous system reactions and our hormones like cortisol and adrenal levels are wacking out our health. These systems and chemicals have direct links to our immune function and our inflammatory response.

We know Crohn’s and colitis are autoimmune diseases (the immune system literally attacking the body) and we know this illness involves inflammation throughout the body. It’s no wonder we are so impacted by stress.

Now, some people might give up here. Some might say, there’s nothing I can do about it. And to that I say hell to the no. Fear not, awesome mama, because this insight will set you free when it comes to stress. The good news is that the age-old wisdom that says knowledge is power, really is true. Insight about what’s going on with this stress inside your body, can really be the difference from, same old flare-up to thriving with IBD.

The impact stress will have on you depends on two things- how long does the stress last and what level of intensity is the stress at.

When it comes to how long we’ve had the stress, we’re talking about the difference between acute and chronic stress. With acute stress, the stress is short lived. It comes when you least expect it, out of the blue. One minute your fine and the next- wham! It’s the slamming on the breaks when a car pulls out in front of you, it’s the call in the middle of the night telling you a loved one is in the hospital. It could even be an unexpected argument with your spouse when things heat up quickly. With acute stress, we usually feel it physically, whether we recognize it or not. Butterflies in your stomach, heart pounding, sweat forming on your brow. You know the feeling.

Acute and chronic stress affect your IBD in different ways.

With chronic stress, we’ve been dealing with it for a long time. It’s that chronic level of cortisol surge that makes us feel fatigued, depressed, chronically anxious, and physically sick. Chronic stress like homeschooling your kids when you never did that before, leaving your job because your family needs you at home, living in a world of fear thinking you’ll contract Covid at every corner. That’s chronic stress. It’s all about the cortisol. Research shows that high levels of stress in this sustained state is associated with immune suppression, low levels of constant inflammation, grief, sadness, and marital challenges.

Are any of these scenarios familiar to you? If they are, what role does stress play here? And what can we do about it? Do we have any control when it comes to stress? Is there anything we can do about it?

Well, remember, I’ll never be fan of the just don’t feel the stress mentality. That’s just nonsense. But if psychology has taught me anything it’s that while we can’t control what life throws at us, we can control our reaction to it.

[20:43] Have you ever heard of a objective vs subjective experience? Objective experiences are factual, there’s no denying the facts. Subjective experiences are those where matters are more gray. It involves thoughts and feelings and everyone has a different reaction.  I’m a teacher at heart, so when I think of objective vs subjective, I always think of a test. There’s the objective kind with only one right answer, like a multiple choice test, or there’s the subjective test, like the essay portion. I’m always more partial to the essay type, because I like to live in the gray.

The subjective part of stress, our thoughts and feelings behind it, that’s what we can control. It’s not the stress itself that kicks our IBD in the butt. It’s our reaction to it.

Why is it that the exact same experience, like an argument with a friend, can be perceived by one friend as not a big deal, a blip, while the other friend might have a searing, burning memory of what happened.

When we learn to see stress as subjective, we have the power to set stress free.

Experiences are subjective. They’re all about our perception. Stress is subjective too. And how we experience the stress in our life will determine how it impacts our Crohn’s and colitis. I don’t know about you, but that’s enough to make me want to work harder at my reaction to the stress in my life. Because there’s actually a piece of it that I can control. Why do you think I work every day to lessen my type A tendencies? It’s a constant battle, but I work at it every day because I know it’s within my power. Maybe you can relate?

Knowing that we have the power to frame our stress to our own subjective experience is a powerful tool. It can take some of the pressure off our initial reaction.

Take our acute stress reaction for example—remember that’s the in the moment, unexpected type of stress. We might feel like we want to explode when a co-worker challenges us on a project we thought was great or when we get into an argument with our partner, or when our kids are trying our patience with sassy remarks. Knowing that stress is subjective, we know that we don’t have to settle for our first reaction. We can take a deep breath and change the course of our response, and thus, reduce our body’s stress response to what’s going on. It’s a win for us, and whoever is annoying us too. Because engaging in petty fights like that is never going to get you the desired result you’re looking for. Both parties just walk away angry and annoyed—and stressed!

And if you’re saying, well all of this sounds wonderful in a perfect world, right? If you’re thinking you could never manage your stress in this subjective way, I get it. I used to think of myself in that way too. The truth is that anyone can do this. We just have to start small, be ok with imperfect baby step action, and celebrate the small wins. I’m a work in progress with this type of stress response too. I’m definitely getting better, but I work at it everyday. And you can to.

I know you can do this mama. You can have a positive impact on your stress and use it to keep your IBD in check.

This 3-Step Stress Management System will give you the tools you need to get started on stress busting today.

[25:16] Let’s talk about the three-step process, you can use when it comes to putting on your stress management toolbelt. We’ll start with the steps and then I’ll give you a real life scenario you can relate to so we can try this out in real time.

#1- When it comes to stress, we recognize it, as early as possible. If we can recognize it at that physiological level, the level I talked about earlier where the feelings start in your gut, move up through your brain and then out into the entire nervous system and into a hormonal chemical reaction where cortisol gets released—if we can notice our stress here first, with the sweaty palms, tingles in the armpits, racing heart, queasy feeling in the gut, etc… we have a chance to put a halt to the stress response before it gets out of control.

Recognize it early.

#2- Whenever we recognize it, we make stress a subjective experience. We address our own thoughts and feelings behind the stress. Why are we reacting this way? What about this moment is particularly triggering? Can you take a step back and let what’s going on marinate for a beat before you react? When stress is at play, taking a beat is always wise. If I have to respond in this moment, how can I reframe what your feeling and let it guide your response? What if the other person’s negative emotions have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them? Does knowing this change your response?

Stress is subjective. Reframe it and make it work for you.

#3- I know you’re going to think this is crazy, but we have to make friends with your stress. Yep, I said it. Make friends with your stress. Let it be your best girlfriend, who talks to you, gives you signals to help you be your best self, gives you warnings when something is off. Isn’t that just the best girlfriend in the world? Who has your back more than stress? When you make friends with stress, you see it in a whole new light. A light that can guide you to positively impact your Crohn’s and colitis instead of letting it bringing you down.

Make friends with your stress.

[28:57] So, there you have it. That’s your 3 step stress response. Recognize it early, reframe it if possible, and make friends with your stress. Let’s put these steps into practice for both acute in the moment stress and more long term stress so you can do it like a mom and rock your stress management toolbelt.

Let’s take this plan to the next level with a real life acute stress example.

Ok, let’s take an acute problem that all moms encounter, like the demands on a mom’s time. We all experience this daily. When we have kids, our time is never our own. Kids need help with schoolwork, kids need to go to dance or football practice, kids wanting a snack, or to be read a bedtime story, or if you have kids like mine, their favorite time to get your attention is when you’re in the bathroom. With 3 energetic boys, any given day in my house is enough to give me stress that raises my blood pressure and my heart rate. Since this used to be a daily pitfall for me where I would end up being at best annoyed mom and on my worst day, yelly mom, I knew I had to get a hold of this before it ruined my relationship with my kids.

I used this very 3 step stress busting plan I just outlined to get this acute stress under control.

Step 1- Whenever this happened, I started to recognize it at the cellular level. For me, if I caught it early, I could feel a tightness in my belly. If it was later on in the stress journey, I had an anxious feeling, almost like I was on hyper alert when the kids started to constantly vie for my time and attention.

Step 2- Now that I recognize it, it’s time for the reframe. How could I see this differently? What could I compromise on and what was set in stone? In a moment of reflection about this stressor, I realized that I was actually the culprit and most of the problem. I wasn’t setting enough boundaries with my kids so they thought I was always in mom mode. I work from home, I homeschool my kids, I take them to activities and break up the arguments, and make sure they’re fed. Too much! I needed to realize my limitations and set a schedule for when I’m in mom mode and when I’m in work mode. Once I set a schedule, I stuck to it. And it was hard- especially when my kids wanted to do fun stuff while I was in work mode. But little by little, (imperfect baby steps right?) they got used to it, I got used to it and I began to feel the stress of always being pulled in different directions melt away.

Step 3- I made friends with this stressor.  I’d be lying if I said this process always works. It doesn’t, but because I’ve made friends with this stressor, because I know my own personal pitfalls with this, I can recognize and course correct quickly when I feel myself getting sucked back into old habits.  Being flexible and open to trying new things has actually made this stressor a confidence booster for me because I realized I had control over it. My kids still haven’t learned not to bother me when I go to the bathroom, but I handled that too by locking on the bathroom door. Bathroom time is my time, no exceptions.

With this stressor, I mainly used the reframe technique, but there are 4 other acute stress busting techniques I mention in your stress management toolbelt- that free resource I mentioned at the top of the podcast. I love the other techniques too. You can check them out when you download my free resource guide at karynhaley.com/stress.

Now, this process I just described for dealing with the acute stress, when as moms our time is not our own, it may or may not work for you. Either your situation is different or you have younger kids. If this is the case, I know there’s still a solution for you. It just might take some brainstorming on your part. How can your partner help out, what about a babysitter, family member or friend? Who can help you lighten your load so you don’t constantly feel the stress on being pulled in a million directions?

How does this process work for chronic stress?

[35:45] Let’s look at the more devastating type of stress chronic, ongoing stress. The kind that will definitely impact your IBD in negative ways. For this kind of stress, I want to introduce you to my client, Abby. Abby has had just about as much stress as she can take. Since coronavirus, Abby has had to quit her part-time job to stay home with her kids, she started homeschooling them and she felt lost, her dad was diagnosed with covid-19 and he lives a plane ride away, she couldn’t see him or help with his care and Abby’s colitis started to suffer.

In step 1 of our 3-step stress management plan:

#1- Recognize. Abby recognized her thoughts and feelings for what they were, chronic stress brought on by sucky life events that were largely out of control. Remember the a-ha moment of insight is key. Abby had been in overdrive so long, she didn’t even know she wasn’t in normal mode. I remember when she had this a-ha moment with me in a session, I literally heard her sigh. I could almost see a weight being dropped from her shoulders.

#2- The reframe. Was there a possibility of a reframe here? There’s so much going on. What could be done? After processing this with Abby, she realized that she was taking all of this on and not accepting help from people in her life who were offering it. Abby was understandably lost in grief, stress, and a need to seem perfect and in control for her kids and family. For Abby, the reframe was in admitting she needed help. Abby’s in-laws who are healthy kept offering to help with the kids, but she kept telling them she had it all under control. When Abby and I chatted, she made the decision that she would take her family up on their offer to help. Abby and I also discussed some dietary changes that might help strengthen her digestive system at this time and she decided to make an appointment with her gastroenterologist to see if he had anything ideas for her as well.

#3- Step 3, make friends with stress. Abby is still working through making friends with her stress. She’s been through a lot, like all of us IBD moms living in the time of Covid, but she’s adapted a few of the chronic stress busting techniques from my stress management toolbelt and she’s working on it every day. Abby loves to dance and sing so she’s taking time to do that every day, whether it’s in the shower, in her car or in her kitchen as she cooks dinner. Abby has started a 10-minute meditation practice daily with grounding meditations in the morning before getting out of bed and gratitude meditations before she goes to bed a night.  These small imperfect steps are making Abby feel a bit lighter already.

I’m so proud of her and I know you can do this too. Remember this concept about stress management is never about getting rid of stress completely, or at all really. And it’s never about perfection. It’s about seeing stress as subjective and knowing we can have power over it. It doesn’t have to make our IBD worse. When we commit to making stress busing a practice that we work at, little by little, tweaking as we go, we are already making massive steps in the right direction.

[40:51] You can take this episode to the next level by downloading my free resource guide: Your stress management toolbelt by going to karynhaley.com/stress. And as always, if you get stuck, reach out. I’m always happy to help. Hello@karynhaley.com

May your gut healing journey be full of a-ha moments and may you always wear your imaginary stress management toolbelt because you never know when that acute or chronic stress might come into your life and try to derail you from the incredible place you know you deserve to be.

Wishing you a cheeky and healthy journey. Bye for now!

Ready to take your gut healing to the next level?

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, spell my name with a Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N-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 gut 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 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 root cause troubleshooting session 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, 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.

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