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Ep 33: 5 {More} Healthy Fats You Need to Heal Your IBD (Part II)

Ditch those preconceived notions you’ve been bombarded with about how all fat is bad for you and come with me on Part II of our journey to discover more of the best, high quality fats that help heal your IBD.

Last week (in Episode 32 and Part I), we uncovered the first 5 healthy fats that will make a big difference for your IBD healing and recovery.

This week, we investigate 5 more healthy fats that play a key role when we’re trying to calm down the bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other gut challenges that plague us when we’re struggling to get control of our Crohn’s and colitis.

When we add eating healthy fats to our IBD eating plan, we add the ultimate in healing power to boost our immune function, lower our inflammation, and diversify our gut bacteria.

And these are the 3 keys to successfully combating our Crohn’s and colitis.

Episode 33 is a continuation of the juicy goodness from Episode 32, so for the full fat experience ; ) don’t forget to check out that episode too!

We’re talking about:

  • Why you shouldn’t give up on all eggs, even if you think you’re egg sensitive
  • The only type of salmon you can trust
  • The gut healing way to get quality fats from nuts and seeds, even if you’re in an IBD flare

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll be armed and dangerous with all the information you need to enter the grocery store, ready to shop for high quality foods that will actually move the needle toward IBD remission and IBD freedom!

Episode at a Glance:

  • [09:34] Why you shouldn’t give up on all eggs, even if you think you’re egg sensitive
  • [15:50] The way to use eggs to add the extra gut healing factor to bone broth
  • [17:42] The 3-fold benefit of full fat yogurt
  • [19:40] The healthiest non-dairy, gut healing options for yogurt (definitely not soy)
  • [29:20] The only type of salmon you can trust
  • [32:40] The gut healing way to get quality fats from nuts and seeds, even if you’re in an IBD flare
  • [36:45] The ultimate healthy fat, and gut healing food that boosts your immune system, diversifies your gut bacteria, and lowers your inflammation, all in one beverage
  • [39:58] The best store-bought bone broth companies that are worth their weight in gold
  • [44:45] The most comprehensive (and FREE) healthy oils guide you’ll want to get your hands on today
  • [55:58] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Your FREE Healthy Oils Guide 101 &102

The Gut Love Community

Ep 32: 5 Health Fats You Need in Your Diet to Heal Your IBD (Part I)

Ep 12: Your Top 10 SCD Yogurt Questions Answered

Ep 15: 7 Healing Gems Every IBD Mom Needs to Know About

Additional Resources from the Episode:

Egg Nutrition and Health Benefits Explain Why It’s a Superior Food

Yogurt: The Nutrition Source

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Depression

The 6 Best Seeds to Eat

18 Amazing Health Benefits of Bone Broth

Salmon Nutrition: Wild Caught Salmon Protects the Brain, Bones, Eyes, Skin, and More

3 Healthiest (and worst) Fish for Your Health

Episode Transcript:

[Music]

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

[music]

[00:50] Welcome dear one, I am so happy and excited to share this moment with you today.

If you’re listening to this around the time of its release, it was just Mother’s Day last weekend. How was your day mama? I hope you got all the pampering and love you so richly deserve. I hope your IBD didn’t get in the way of enjoying the one day of the year that’s all yours.

MOTHERHOOD.

Even with all the crap we have to put up with (figuratively and literally), even with kids who talk back, and teenagers who break the rules, and hectic schedules and multitasking that would make a man’s head spin, I’d still take motherhood over every job in the world.

I bet you feel the same way too.

Motherhood is an honor to be cherished. And it is so important to me that you get everything you can get out of motherhood. That you suck the marrow out of motherhood. And at the end of your life, you can say that motherhood was a joy and a privilege and something you were so completely present for.

I’m so passionate about helping you heal your IBD, because I want you to be the mom and the woman you were destined to be. The one you were before Crohn’s or colitis came crashing in to change everything. So even though Mother’s Day has passed, in the United States at least, I want you to know that I know how hard you work each day. And I know you are the unsung hero, not just of your household, but for the world. Dramatic, yes, but no less true in my mind. Those of us with Crohn’s and colitis have to work extra hard at motherhood. We work extra hard because it’s challenging to be a mom with IBD.

CATCH ME UP ON PART I.

Speaking of motherhood, we had a great episode last week, just for you mama. Last week’s episode was part of one in our two-part series, 10 Healthy Fats You Need in Your Diet to Heal Your IBD. Last week, we went over the first five of those fats. I’ll give you a super quick recap, but if you haven’t heard Part I yet, episode 32, do me a favor and go back and take a listen when you have time. These 2 episodes all about the power of high-quality fat can stand alone, but they can be used together to make an even bigger impact for your gut health, and your mom life as well.

We started the episode talking about the importance of fat and how scientists and the medical community have gotten fat wrong for so many years. We talked about how fat can actually set your IBD free. Good fats can help heal inflammation, boost your immune system, and benefit your digestive bacteria to ultimately help heal your disease. So, get on the fat train mama. Don’t be afraid of fat, good fat that is. In episode 32, we talked about five healthy fats that also help heal your digestive system. Today we’re going to finish talking about 5 more healthy fats that should be part of your diet, healthy fats 6 through 10.

TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL.

So, last week, when I emailed our gut love community, the GLC for those in the know, all about this latest podcast with fat as our star, I asked our GLCer’s to reach out and tell me what you thought. What fat that we talked about last week interested you the most? Which one were you going to try to get more of in your life?

I love your responses so much that I thought I’d read a couple responses for you.

Sherry said, “I love your story about avocados Karyn. I always thought I hated avocados too. This week I tried guacamole for the first time and it was delicious. I bought it at the grocery store, but next time I’m going to try my own. Can you send your guacamole recipe my way?”

I already sent Sherry my fabulous guacamole recipe, but if you would like the recipe too, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can email me at hello@karynhaley.com.

Tayell also reached out and said, “That was a juicy podcast. I can’t wait for part two. I’ve always been a milk chocolate lover but I’m guessing that is not the kind of chocolate you’re talking about. I found Hu chocolate at Thrive Market online and just ordered it. They have so many delicious flavors. I got cashew butter. Can’t wait to try it. I’ll let you know how it tastes.”

Tayell, cashew butter is my favorite too! And now you are combining goods fats with the chocolate and the nut butter. Bam, Tayell is slaying it! Let me know how it goes, Tayell.

DID YOU GET YOUR HEALTHY OILS PDF SERIES YET?

I love it ladies, I love that the episode inspired you to eat some fat and not be afraid of it.  Don’t forget, last week I mentioned that I also have a freebie going on right now to help you pick out your healthy oils at the grocery store. No more standing in the oil section wondering what’s good for baking, good for cooking, which ones should you not cook at all, what’s healthy and what’s not. I’ve got you covered with two of my favorite resources, Healthy Fats 101: Not Your Mama’s Oil and Healthy Fats 102: Smoke Point.

If you want to get your hot little hands on these resources, all you have to do is look in the show notes. There’s a link there. Or you can always just type the link into your browser– karynhaley.com/oil

[08:10] Now that you’re up-to-date on everything Part I, let’s go ahead and dive in and finish this two-parter episode with Part II. Let’s talk about 5 more good fats. Remember these are the fats you want more in your life when you’re trying to bring your IBD into remission. We need good fat in our diet. Each of the fats we’re talking about today, and the ones we talked about last week, behave a little bit differently. They all have a different nutrient profiles. We went into depth on these nutrient profiles in the last episode and we’ll be going into that for today’s fats as well so you know exactly what you’re getting everything you use these foods. But just know that the bottom line here is that these fats are healthy for your whole body and they are also an important part of your Crohn’s or colitis healing regime.

Let’s get to it. Let’s talk about gut healing healthy fat #6.

THE EGGSTRAORDINARY SUPERPOWER OF EGGS.

Healthy fat # 6 is one of my favorite foods, eggs. Super versatile, super healthy eggs.

Before we get into talking about all the health properties of eggs, and there are many, I want to speak directly to you mama if you are egg sensitive. Before you go ahead and tune out this part or a fast forward the episode, I want to tell you what I tell all my clients who can’t tolerate chicken eggs. It’s worth giving duck eggs a try before you decide to ditch all eggs.  Eggs from different animals have different properties and sometimes you may be sensitive one bird’s eggs, but not another’s. See if you can find duck eggs first before you give up all eggs. Of course, there’s other types of birds that lay eggs like turkey, quail, and goose, but I prefer to recommend duck eggs because they are very easy to find, even in your regular grocery store.

OK, so let’s talk about eggs, whatever eggs work for you. The key to getting the most gut healing benefit from eggs is all about buying high quality eggs. By the best eggs that you can afford to get all the benefits eggs have to offer. When buying eggs at the grocery store, you want to look for free range eggs because they contain lower amounts of cholesterol, more vitamin A, more omega-3’s, more vitamin D, and more beta carotene.

Pasture raised eggs and organic eggs are even better. When purchasing eggs, it’s great if you can buy from a friend who has a farm or if you have the space for it and no HOA standing in your way, possibly have your own chickens to get your eggs from. Knowing your egg source can really be helpful. Many companies claim their eggs are free range but only let the chickens out for a few minutes a day. This is not a free range chicken. That’s a jailed chicken with a visitor’s pass, at best. You should definitely be mindful of the conditions the chickens that lay your eggs are living in. You want to look for chickens who have full access to the outdoors, access to grub’s and other insects, chickens who are not given hormones or antibiotics, not chickens that are placed indoors and fed grains all day.

Whether you buy your eggs at the grocery store, from a farmer, or you have a few of your own, there is no truth to the color of the egg determining how healthy they are. Different breeds of chickens just create different color eggs. These different colors like blue and brown definitely look cool, but don’t think that they are healthier, because they’re not. Also don’t be swayed by the words natural or fresh on the egg carton. Neither of these made up words have anything to do with the health of the egg.

THAT YOLK IS THERE FOR A REASON.

When you eat your eggs, try not to skip the yolk. It’s got a much broader nutrient profile than the white of the egg. The yolk has loads of vitamins and minerals that are so crucial for your gut health and healing. Vitamins and minerals like B12, phosphorus, riboflavin and selenium. Eggs are a wonderfully healthy good fat that can help you heal, but eggs are also a great source of protein, the other building block of gut healing.

And I love that eggs are not just good for your digestive healing, they also have a multitude of health benefits including keeping your heart and eyes healthy, improving liver and brain function, and giving you healthy, glowing skin. Gotta love a food with all those health benefits, right?

Besides all of the wonderful benefits of eggs, what’s even better about this high quality fat is just how many things you can do with them. Let your imagination run wild when it comes to eggs. Eggs are not just for breakfast with scrambled, poached, fried, hard-boiled, or deviled. Eggs make awesome salad toppers, they make tasty little bites of heaven wrapped in bacon when you bake them in a muffin pan, they are delicious in an avocado boat and if you haven’t seen an avocado boat google it. You’re gonna love it. If you are grain free like me, you can make tortillas with eggs using them as your roll up filled with anything your imagination can think of.

When you’re in the beginning stages of gut healing, I highly recommend you crack open an egg into steaming hot meat stock or bone broth. The hot soup will cook the egg just enough and the nutrients will still be well intact for you to benefit from. Or how about a soft boiled egg as a topper for a beef or turkey burger. I bet you’ve seen these at a restaurant before. When you cut into the burger, the yolk of the egg spills out. It’s so healthy for healing your gut. And I’m giving you bonus points if you top the egg burger with sliced avocados. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!

DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET SAUCY WITH YOUR EGGS.

With every amazing way you can serve an egg, there’s probably nothing more wonderful than a Sicilian egg. In my Italian family, hard boiled eggs are always a part of the spaghetti sauce. The egg goes in with the meatballs, sausage, and spareribs and simmer within the homemade tomato sauce. And this all gets served over your spaghetti noodles for a delicious, mouthwatering Sicilian meal. Trust me, everyone I’ve ever served it to thought it was weird at first but is instantly converted the moment they try it. It’s like, what have I been missing this entire time. Hard-boiled eggs in my sauce? Of course, it makes sense! And these days, my spaghetti noodles are spaghetti squash or zoodle’s instead of pasta noodles, but the sauce still remains the same and it always includes hard-boiled eggs.

STOP BUYING LOW FAT/NO FAT YOGURT.

[17:42] Healthy fat #7 is full fat yogurt.

The gut healing benefits of full fat yogurt are 3-fold. First, it’s fat content, second the protein each serving contains, and lastly, the rich, gut healing probiotics in each bite. We all know how important probiotics are for the health of our gut and the bacterial balance of our microbiome. When we have Crohn’s and colitis, we can have a digestive system riddled with dysbiosis. The probiotics in the full fat yogurt are a great way to help balance that gut flora so you feel better, have less stomach gurgle and stomach aches, and less problems in the bathroom.

And when your yogurt comes from grass fed cows, you get your biggest nutritional benefit. When grass fed cows make grass fed milk, and that grass fed milk makes grass fed yogurt, it’s  full of omega-3’s, whey protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D, K2, and of course gut healthy enzymes and probiotics. Wow, can you imagine just how gut healing those nutrients can be for your IBD, all in just one amazing serving of full fat yogurt.

Just like eggs can come from different birds, yogurt doesn’t always have to come from a cow. If you are sensitive to cow’s milk due to either the lactose which is the milk sugar in dairy products (and a common sensitivity for those of use with IBD) or casein the protein found in dairy products, know that other options are available for you and you can still get many of the benefits of yogurt. Goat or sheep’s milk yogurt are two options, coconut milk is another great option for yogurt, and almond milk yogurt is also a possibility, as long as it contains the beneficial bacteria needed to help our gut.

Like so many of these quality fats I’ve been mentioning in this 2-part episode, there’s amazing health benefits that move beyond the gut. Studies have shown that yogurt can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, it can be a protective factor against colon cancer, it can increase bone density and support a healthy weight when we choose full fat. Yogurt can help boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, can even help regulate our mood due to the gut brain connection.

Yep, I know you are feeling it too. Yogurt is a powerhouse.

When it comes to yogurt, the keywords to look for are organic and grass fed. These two options will give you your best gut healing benefit. Whenever I’m recommending yogurt to a client, I always give a good, better, best scenario for which yogurt to choose.

THE YOGURT LOWDOWN.

#1- When it comes to yogurt, your #1 best option is to make your own at home. And if you’ve never done this before, it might seem overwhelming, but trust me it is so stinking simple. It’s also like riding a bike. Once you know the simple few steps, you never forget how to make homemade yogurt. Making your own SCD or GAPS legal yogurt was the star of episode 12: Your Top 10 SCD Yogurt Questions Answered. If you are new to making your own yogurt at home, I highly recommend you check out Episode 12 to give you all the information you need to get started.

The reason I’m so partial to making your own yogurt at home is two-fold. #1- when you make it at home, you control the ingredients. And #2- because of the fermentation. Homemade yogurt can be fermented for 24 hours at home to reduce virtually all of the lactose in the milk. No more gurgle belly, bloating, and diarrhea after you eat yogurt. This can be very helpful for those of us with IBD who have trouble digesting the lactose in dairy.

#2- Let’s say that homemade yogurt isn’t an option for you, for now. Maybe you just want to dip a toe in. Maybe you just want to check out this full fat yogurt gut healing tool. If that’s the case, go with option #2- non-dairy commercial yogurt bought at the grocery store. These are options completely lactose and casein free like almond milk yogurt and coconut milk yogurt. Skip soy yogurt though as many people with Crohn’s and colitis find soy to be challenging to digest. Unless it’s organic, it’s often genetically modified in the United States so that’s another reason to skip the soy yogurt.

When buying commercial non-dairy yogurt, be sure to take a close look at the ingredients and make sure it contains active probiotic cultures and that it has no or very limited additional ingredients. Some yogurts are so high in added ingredients, including sugar, that you’d be better off having a can of soda. Those high sugar yogurts with additives and preservatives are definitely not a good choice.

#3- Lastly, my least favorite option when it comes to buying yogurt for someone who’s on a mission to put their IBD in remission, is dairy made, commercial yogurt. The regular yogurt you buy at the grocery store. Although this type of yogurt probably contains probiotic benefits, it’s not fermented for 24 hours like your homemade yogurt.

Like I mentioned earlier, many people with IBD have challenges with lactose. Commercial brand yogurts are usually fermented for eight hours which is not enough fermentation time to get rid of the lactose. This is where the 24-hour yogurt will benefit you more. If this is your only option, it still may be of benefit to you. Just make sure you choose plain yogurt, and add your own berries or honey (in small amounts) when you get home. Again, this can be a place where manufactures love to add sugar. Eating all that sugar with your yogurt will defeat the purpose of those gut healing and balancing bacteria that are the most important part of the yogurt.

[27:09] OK, just to recap yogurt, your best option is making your own homemade yogurt at home. I can help you get started with that at Episode 12. I’ll leave a link for it in the show notes. Second option if homemade isn’t possible, is to choose non-dairy yogurt at the grocery store. And last but not least when it comes to yogurt, the last option is buying commercial yogurt made from dairy. Whenever you buy yogurt at the grocery store, look for plain yogurt and add your yogurt toppers when you get home.

ARE YOU MAKING THIS MISTAKE WHEN IT COMES TO BUYING SALMON?

Healthy fat #8 is Fatty Fish.

When it comes to gut healing fish, we are looking for the oily fish. Sounds appetizing, right? Salmon, mackerel, sardines. These particular fish varieties have a multitude of gut healing benefits by helping you fight inflammation with their high levels of omega 3’s.

Let’s talk salmon first. Salmon is full of protein, selenium, niacin, B12, and vitamin D. The fat content and salmon boosts brain function and the anti-inflammatory properties help heal your gut. With salmon, of course, we want to purchase wild-caught. But be careful with the labeling of salmon. Some salmon is labeled wild caught even though it was raised in a hatchery and then relocated to the wild. Some salmon may even be genetically modified and unfortunately the FDA does not require that it states GMO on the label. In the research I did on how to find quality salmon, I found that your best chance of getting high quality salmon is by looking for Alaskan wild salmon. This type of salmon seems to be the least contaminated so look for that on the label when you are purchasing.

Because mackerel and sardines are also oily fish, they boast many of the same nutrient dense properties as salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and of course these nutrients make these fatty fish options anti-inflammatory too.

Just a gentle reminder, we do need to be careful with fish as it can contain mercury. Most sources I found recommend eating fish no more than 1 to 2 times per week, and that maybe less if you are pregnant. Definitely check with your doctor and get more individual recommendations on that if you are pregnant or planning for a pregnancy.

Just like with eggs, let your imagination run wild when you’re thinking about what to do with your salmon, mackerel or sardines. All three of these fish can be grilled, roasted, or baked with your favorite seasonings. So what do you think? How about making it a fish night tonight!

Between last week and today, we have made it through 8 healthy fats every IBDer needs to heal. Let’s round out our healthy fat conversation with the last two of our gut healing healthy fats.

[30:29] Healthy Fat #9 is actually two similar high quality fats—nuts and seeds.

I know you’re not happy about this one, I can see you yelling at me now through your phone right now. What are you talking about Karyn? I can’t have nuts, I can’t have seeds. I can’t digest those. I get you, I get it. Stick with me though I’m going to share with you how you can have these Super amazing gut healing fats, even if you aren’t in remission just yet.

First of all, let’s start with nuts and seeds in their whole, raw, natural state. These are definitely your healthiest option and best if you are in remission. We don’t want any of these harder to digest foods getting stuck in your digestive tract before enough healing has taken place. But, that doesn’t mean nuts and seeds are completely off the table for you. Nuts make wonderful nut butters and if you have a high-speed blender, seeds can easily be blended into a smoothie so you don’t even know they’re there anymore. Their just part of the rich and creamy smoothie.

Nuts and seeds, whole or ground up, are jam packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as anti-inflammatory omega-3’s. Remember though with nuts, a little really goes a long away. It doesn’t take very many nuts to get the amount of fat you’re looking for to reap the gut healing benefits your looking for.

With so many nuts on the market, you might be wondering where you should be putting the effort. There really are so many and most of them do have high quality health benefits, but I do have a few favorites for those with Crohn’s and colitis.

THE BEST NUTS FOR YOUR GUT HEALTH.

Almonds are fantastic because they’re high in fiber, protein, and vitamin E. Cashews are full of antioxidants, and if you’re concerned about fat because either you’re watching your weight or you struggle to digest fat due to your illness, cashews are the perfect option for you. They are lower in fat than other nuts, but still give you amazing gut healing benefits.

What other nuts are worth trying out? Well, walnuts rock for sure. They are super anti-inflammatory because they’re full of omega-3’s and they’re also high in protein and minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. I’m also a huge fan of Brazil nuts. They have serious amounts of selenium which helps fight against cell damage. That’s a huge help for those of us with IBD.

If you’re at a place where your Crohn’s and colitis is healed enough or you are in remission, my favorite way to eat nuts is in a trail mix or chopped as a salad topper or as a topper on a lettuce wrap. I’m also a huge fan of pecans in roasted brussels sprouts, but nuts can also be a topper for any cooked veggie. Maybe a green beans almondine.

If you’re in gut healing mode, and I’m betting you are because that’s why you’re listening to this podcast, save the whole or chopped nuts for a little waze down the road. Use your nuts as a nut butter. Almond, cashew, and walnut butter are your best options. Seeds like pumpkin, flax, chia, sunflower, and hemp are perfect for blending into a smoothie. They will give you that added health factor, but if you use a high-speed blender like a Ninja, Blendtec, or a Vitamix, you will not have any trouble digesting them. Seeds like these are high in magnesium, iron, calcium, and phosphorus, but because of their omega-3’s, they are also high in anti-inflammatory properties.

THE ABSOLUTE ULTIMATE GUT HEALING FAT.

[36:45] Healthy fat #10

I saved the ultimate gut healing fat for number 10. Thinking about all the ones we talked about so far, can you guess which one I saved for #10? It’s a gut healer I talk about all the time on the podcast. The ultimate good fat is bone broth. An absolutely critical must do when you’re in gut healing mode. Talk about a powerhouse of health. Bone broth increases your immune function with amino acids like L glutamine and it also decreases your inflammation with its gelatin and collagen properties that help to heal leaky gut. I think the best thing about bone broth or meat stock (like I like to make) is the way that it is able to help diversify the bacteria in our digestive tract. This is the ultimate key to healing our gut troubles.

When it comes to bone broth, I’d love for you to make your own. It’s really so simple and only requires a few ingredients. If you want more information on the bone broth, I definitely talked about it on several episodes, but I think the one that probably has the most information is episode 15: the popular 7 Healing Gems Every IBD Mom Needs to Know About. This one, still continues to get downloaded multiple times a day because it’s power packed with good into. And one of those healing gems, of course, is bone broth. If you’re ready for bone broth, it’s super high-quality fat that helps with gut healing, go check out that episode and get started today. I’ll link it up in the show notes so it’s easy for you to find.

Because I know that making your own bone broth isn’t in the cards for everyone, I’d like to just give you a few options to buy. I’m hoping that these will get you started and get you excited about bone broth, enough that you will look into making your own. It’s so simple. And if you don’t have a recipe of your own, get in touch with me. I’ll send you out a bone broth (or as I do it, meat stock) recipe right away.

OK, so if you want to just dip your toe in and start by buying bone broth, which company can you trust? There are so many on the market today and trust me when I tell you, most are not good. When it comes to buying store-bought bone broth, my favorite companies are Kettle and Fire, Bare Bones, and Bonafide Provisions. You can probably find all three of these at your regular grocery store, but you can also find them at health food stores everywhere, and of course, online.

So, how are you going to use your bone broth or your meat stock, you’re going to drink the broth straight. And drink it like it’s a party and you’re partying like it’s 1999 and it’s the last drink on the planet. Drink it every day while you’re in gut healing mode and very soon you will start to see that it will benefit your gut.

So there you have it, between the 10 healthy fats episodes Part I and Part II, you now know the 10 healthy fats that should be part of your diet if you want to heal your Crohn’s or colitis. These healthy fats will help reduce inflammation throughout your body, they will help boost your immune system so that your immune system is not attacking itself, and most importantly they will help to balance your bacterial load throughout your digestive tract.

Good quality, healthy fats.

Our heart needs them, our liver needs them, our brain needs them, and especially our gut needs them. So, no more being afraid of fat mama. Bad fat, absolutely. Stay away from nachos and French fries and processed foods and potato chips. Good fat? No way. Eat it like your health depends on it, because it actually does.

THE DO IT LIKE A MOM, RECAP.

[42:10] Let’s recap on those 10 healthy fats you need, the 5 we talked about last week in Part I and the 5 healthy fats from today, Part II. These the 10 best fats to help heal your IBD. Of course, I’m sure it goes without saying, eating quality fats isn’t the only thing you need to heal because there’s definitely a well proven combination of approaches that help to heal your IBD, but when it comes to eating for IBD, the big take away here is that fat is a crucial component.

Here’s the 10 good fats we talked about:

#1 Coconut oil

#2 Butter and ghee

#3Avocados and avocado oil

#4 Extra virgin olive oil

#5Dark chocolate

#6 Eggs

#7 Full fat yogurt

#8 Fatty fish

#9 Nuts and seeds

#10 Bone broth or meat stock

Get that shopping list ready mama, it’s time to buy some healthy fat. What are you already doing when it comes to good fats? What did this episode and the last episode help you with when it comes to quality fats and inflammatory bowel disease? As always, I want to hear from you. Let me know how old this information landed for you. Let me know what you are going to try when it comes to high quality gut healing healthy fats.

[44:45] Also, a quick remember that if you’re feeling confused about which healthy fats to stock in your pantry, which ones are best for cooking, which ones shouldn’t be heated, and if you can heat it, what temperature is it best on… then you definitely want your two healthy oils guides, Healthy Oils 101: Not Your Mama’s Oils and Healthy Oils 201: Smoke Point, you can get both of these free resources by clicking the link in the show notes or by going directly to karynhaley.com/oil

Healthy, gut healing fats, out.

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

Chat soon!

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

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

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

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

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

Ep: 32: 5 Healthy Fats You Need in Your Diet to Heal IBD (Part I)

What comes to mind when I say the word, fat?

Nothing positive, right? Society has conditioned us to believe that fat and everything that has to do with it, is bad.

Fat is bad.

But what if I told you that everyone needs fat to be healthy?

What if I told you that those of us with IBD need fat even more than most people.

Sure, many of us with Crohn’s and colitis are underweight and wouldn’t mind gaining a few pounds, but quality fat that comes from food is about so much more than gaining a few pounds.

Health fats in the food we eat is about healing inflammation. It’s about boosting our immune system. And most importantly, healthy fats have the power to transform our digestive system into a balanced, happy belly.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Stick with me for this special 2-part episode of The Cheeky Podcast as we explore the 10 best, healthiest fats we can eat to transform our gut junk into gut love.

Today, we’ll focus on healthy fats #’s 1-5.

We’re talking about:

  • What went terribly wrong with the 80’s low fat/fat free craze (and why it should never be repeated again)
  • The no-holds-barred truth on what are the healthiest and unhealthiest oils so you can stop your “say what?” expression every time you go down the oils aisle at the grocery store
  • The would-be healthy fat that’s actually watered down with other ingredients 70% of the time (and how you can play detective to get the real deal)
  • The decadent recipe for avocado chocolate mousse that’s delish and gut healing at the same time.

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll be ready to ditch the fats that are bringing your gut health down and welcome in the healthy fats and oils that are the key to healthy gut repair and maintenance.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [07:06] What went terribly wrong with the 80’s low fat/fat free craze (and why it should never be repeated again).
  • [10:45] The 3 reasons why fat is the key to healing our gut troubles.
  • [12:15] The no-holds-barred truth on what are the healthiest and unhealthiest oils so you can stop your “say what?” expression every time you go down the oils aisle at the grocery store
  • [18:40] The “drop the mic” unrefined oil that’s anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory (the bam you need to heal your IBD).
  • [20:55] The good fat that protects not only our gut health, but also lubricates your joints too (goodbye IBD arthritis).
  • [23:20] The problem ghee can solve for those of us who are sensitive to lactose and casein.
  • [28:30] The fruit that’s high in healthy gut healing fat and also several nutrients like omega 3’s, choline, calcium, and selenium.
  • [34:30] The healthy fat that’s the heart of the Mediterranean diet and is also a gut healing super star.
  • [36:06] The would-be healthy fat that actually watered down with other ingredients 70% of the time (and how you can play detective to get the real deal)
  • [40:50] The polyphenols and flavonoids in this gut healing high-quality fat help decrease inflammation in our body.
  • [43:09] The decadent recipe for avocado chocolate mousse, that’s delish and gut healing at the same time.
  • [50:08] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Your FREE Healthy Oils Guide 101 &102

The Gut Love Community

Ep 30: You’re Doing Everything Right—How Come Your IBD Isn’t Getting Any Better

Additional Resources from the Episode:

Hu Chocolate

Equal Exchange Chocolate

So, This is Exactly How Sugar Makes Us Fat

Why Fats Matter to Your Gut and Your General Health

All About Fats and Why We Need Them in Are Life

What are the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?

20 Coconut Oil Benefits for Your Brain, Heart, Joints, and More

The Top 20 Health Benefits of Real Butter

Ghee Benefits: Are They Better Than Butter?

Episode Transcript:

[Music]

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

[music]

[00:51] Well, hello there fellow IBD mama. If this is your first time listening, welcome, I’m so happy you found The Cheeky Podcast and I’m honored to have you here as we tackle IBD together. If you’re a long time listener, welcome back dear one. If you’ve been around for a while and if you are loving what I’m dishing out here each week, definitely consider subscribing to the podcast so you never miss an episode. It’s been an exhilarating ride so far, and I am so happy to be on this IBD journey right by your side.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SAY “FAT?”

I’ve got a great episode for you today. And it’s all about a word that nobody likes saying— FAT. As women especially, we hate that word. But today we’re talking a fat, mama. I dare you to say it out loud with me. Fat! How about this one– Fat is good. Especially for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis.

Today, I’m taking you through the first 5 of the 10 healthy fats you need in your diet to help your IBD heal. There’s a lot to get to through when we’re talking about healthy fats and I want to give each gut healing, healthy fat the time it deserves. That’s why we’re making this episode a two-parter. So today we’re talking about the first five of the 10 healthy fats, next week we’ll tackle the last five. So, if you want to know about all of them, you definitely have to tune in next week as well.

For today, as we discuss the first 5 on our healthy fats list, we’re going to start by touching on the time not that long ago in our history when fat was a toxic word, next we’ll get into why fat is not something to be feared, but instead, a food group to be revered, and so important for your gut health and lastly will dive into the healthy fats 1-5 that every IBDer needs in their diet to heal. One of the fats I’ll be talking about in this 2-part episode is positively decadent and another is truly the ultimate goddess of good fat.

Are you ready for some fat loving, gut healing goodness? Let’s get to it.

WHERE DID THE 80’S GO WRONG?

So if you’re an old woman like me, I bet you remember the low fat craze of the 80s. Snackwell’s, Tab, fat free salad dressing, fat free Pringles and Wow chips. And the bulk of doctors, scientists, and the food industry telling us all fat was akin to the devil. Candy sales surged because it was easy to make tasty low-fat or no fat versions of these sweet treats. All you had to do was add in extra sugar.

I remember my best friend in high school eating huge bags of Twizzlers every day because the bag said low fat… practically like eating air. They didn’t count. I, myself, was a Snackwell junkie.  

Guess what happened? Everybody got fat!

Why? Well, to figure out why this happened we have to understand the power of a hormone called leptin. Leptin is a hormone that is made of a fat cells. It regulates your metabolism and the rate of fat breakdown in the body. Higher rates of Leptin equal higher metabolism, and a higher rate of fat breakdown in the body, while lower rates of Leptin equal a slower metabolism and a lower rate of fat breakdown for the body.

Leptin has the power to tell your brain that it’s energy thermostat is working and all systems are go, according to leptin hormone expert, Dr. Robert Lustig. But when we diet, or eat less fat, and instead, eat large amounts of sugar, leptin doesn’t have enough energy to tell your brain that you are full.

And when we overwhelm our body, and especially our liver with extra sugar, like all that high sugar, fat free food, the extra sugar gets turned into liver fat. The insulin spike that all of this sugar creates, can stop leptin from doing its job of keeping us feeling hungry when we are actually full.

Now we’ve got a problem because even though we were eating low fat foods, we were overeating on unhealthy, high sugar foods, which put us at risk of high triglycerides, heart disease, obesity, and fatty liver disease.

[07:06] So that low fat 80’s craze with high sugar to make everything fat free taste OK was a recipe for disaster.

Thankfully we are no longer in the high sugar/low fat phase, but I still hear negative comments about fat all the time. I still see fat free and low fat on the shelves, and it makes me want to gag. What a money-making scam! Why hasn’t the food industry changed to keep up with modern scientific discoveries?

THE TRUTH ABOUT FAT.

All fat is not bad. Bad that is bad. Fats you find in fast food, potato chips, nachos, cheeseburgers, packaged, boxed, and canned food… these are examples of foods that usually contain trans fats—fats that are not good for you.  But there’s many fats that actually are good for you and these are the kinds of fats that we called “good fats.” And it turns out these fats are particularly helpful when it comes to healing Crohn’s and colitis.

As IBDers, we need fat to be successful healers. I’m going to say that one more time just to make sure we’re all on the same page mom friend. We need good fat to help us heal. It’s that important. And not all fat is created equal, some fats are better than others when it comes to gut healing.

Good quality fats can help us absorb vitamins which is so crucial for gut healing. Fat soluble vitamins (which means that are absorbed better in fat) like vitamins A, E, D, K– these vitamins are necessary for healing. Quality fat in the foods we eat increases satiety– that feeling of fullness we get so we don’t overeat.

When my newbie SCDer’s come to me and say, “Karyn, I am so hungry.” I always tell them to load up on good fat. Keep the fats we’re talking about today and next week on hand while you’re in the early stages of any gut healing diet like SCD. It will help you feel fuller, longer. Plus, good fats help us reduce the glycemic index spike we can have when we eat too much sugar. So, no blood sugar crashes, and we especially don’t want those when we are new to an IBD healing diet.

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR GUT HEALTH?

And let’s not leave this idea, here, with this general information. I want to get really specific about how eating quality fat is going to help your gut heal. Because for us, that’s what it’s all about. Many of the fats we’ll be talking about today and in part-2, next week, are anti-inflammatory. This is definitely a good reason to consume quality fats because we are trying to lower our inflammation levels when it comes to Crohn’s and colitis.

Fats are also the building blocks of all your membranes, and cell regeneration for gut healing is dependent on fat cells. Fat helps support and helps grow our gut flora through the same anti-inflammatory properties. Fats support healthy immune function, and nutrient absorption. Our gut flora—those awesome gut bugs that, when balanced, help our IBD remain in remission—actually communicate with the fat in the foods we eat. Research has been conducted on people who are classified as obese. And it’s been found that people who are obese have a greater proportion of bad bacteria than those who are of normal weight. Eating healthy fat, on the other hand, promotes the health of your gut bacteria, and a stable weight too.

Now, today with the first 5 of these 10 healthy fats you need have in your diet to help heal your IBD, we’ll be talking about a mixture of cooking fats and oils as well as foods that are high in gut healing fat.

GIVE ME THE LOWDOWN ON COOKING OILS. I’M CONFUSED.

But before we get started, because I know that so many of you have questions about which cooking oils are healthiest for you and the ones you should stay away from, let me give you a quick list of those first. We all know the feeling of standing in the grocery store oils section, just standing there, feeling overwhelmed, wondering which oils are healthy and which we should never put in our shopping cart.

Do you have something to write with, or an app on your phone open? OK, here’s the list.

Your best, healthiest cooking oils, the ones that are best for gut health are a butter, ghee, tallow (which is beef fat), lard (which is pork fat), chicken, duck, and goose fat, avocado and coconut oil.

Less healthy fats, ones you want to avoid when you are cooking are safflower, sunflower, vegetable, corn, canola, peanut, and soybean oil. And trans fats like margarine and shortening are never a good option.

I’VE GOT YOU COVERED WITH YOUR HEALTHY OILS 101 & 102 PDF.

[14:10] I have a great healthy oils series of pdf guides if you’re interested. It’s called Healthy Oils 101 and Healthy Oils 102. If healthy oils have been a mystery for you, if you’ve been that confused shopper at the grocery store, and if you want to dive deeper into which healthy oils you should buy and how to cook with them, this is the pdf series for you. Healthy Oils 101: Not Your Mamas Oils, is a great starter resource, and the follow up Healthy Oils 102: Smoke Point, gives you all the information you need to know about oils and the temperature they are best at. Some oils should never be heated, some only up to medium, and some can get cranked up to high without deteriorating. This guide will help you figure all that out.

You can get both of these healthy oils resources by going to karynhaley.com/oil.  That’s karynhaley.com/oil

I just know when it comes to cooking with high quality fats, oils can be of the hardest things to master. There’s just so many options and we’re given very little honest direction with what’s healthy and what’s not. If you’d like a little help in this area, definitely check out this Healthy Oils resource. I’ll also link to it in the show notes so you can just click on it there.

OK, let’s go ahead and dive into the best gut healing, healthy fats #’s 1-5 (out of 10- remember I’m saving the last 5 for next week’s part-2 episode). These are the fats you need to eat to help heal your IBD.

DROP THE MIC ON COCONUT OIL. WHAT A HEALTH BUILDER!

[16:30] #1 Coconut Oil

And yes, it is a saturated fat. Gasp, this is the reason why many believe it to be unhealthy. The American Heart Association focuses on how saturated fats may increase your LDL (and that’s our bad cholesterol), but it misses out on coconut oil’s benefit as being anti-inflammatory. It also supports brain health and gives us energy. Super important benefits.

Coconut oil’s health factor comes from its medium chain triglycerides. It includes compounds like caprylic acid, which is helpful for those with Candida. This is what makes coconut oil antibacterial, anti-viral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. And speaking of Candida, we just touched on this IBD related challenge a couple episodes ago—episode 30. So, if you think that you might have Candida, which is an overgrowth of yeast in the gastrointestinal tract, you might want to check out episode 30. I’ll link to it in the show notes. Coconut oil also boasts of having lauric acid, which is great as an anti-microbial, so it helps fight off viruses and bacteria.

When it comes to your gut, coconut oil helps you absorb your fat soluble vitamins and helps improve bacterial balance as well as helps to lower gut inflammation.

Talk about a healthy fat!

2 TYPES OF COCONUT OIL

There’s two types of coconut oil you’ll definitely want to be familiar with, unrefined and refined. Although one is touted as being healthier than the other, they both have their benefits. Personally, I have both in my house. Unrefined coconut oil is minimally processed so it does have more health benefits. Use this one with raw food, uncooked food, like when you make those cute little energy bites, or put unrefined coconut oil in a smoothie. You’ll never know it’s there, but you’ll still get the health benefits. Unrefined, or sometimes called virgin coconut oil, has a stronger coconuty taste. Coconut lovers love it, coconut haters, not so much because of its stronger flavor.

Refined coconut oil is great for cooking. It’s not as healthy as unrefined coconut oil because it’s more processed, but it also doesn’t have a big coconut taste, something that non-coconut lovers appreciate. Refined coconut oil is great for anything you cook.

Lastly, I just want to mention that coconut oil is just one healthy coconut product when it comes to healthy fats. Full fat coconut milk as well as coconut water are also fantastic coconut products that can help your digestive tract function at its best.

DITCH THAT MARGARINE MAMA!

#2 Butter and Ghee

Butter is another excellent high-quality fat. When you’re at the grocery store, skip the partially hydrogenated margarine and go straight for the real butter. Butter also contains lauric acid so it is antimicrobial just like coconut oil. Butter is a great source of vitamins E and K, and it helps prevent calcification of your joints–those stiff joints we can often get when we have crohn’s or colitis. Because of its high fat content, butter is also a great source of energy. It’s a great pick me up in the morning, even in your morning coffee or tea.

When you’re looking for a butter at the grocery store, it’s best to buy organic and grass fed. Grass fed (vs grain fed) cows make a butter that’s significantly richer in fatty acids as well as fat soluble vitamins. Grass fed butter is also higher in conjugated linoleic acid. It’s a fatty acid compound found in higher amounts in grass fed butter, which is great for immune system boosting and disease fighting.

Butter can be used to sauté anything, you can put a pat on top of your veggies, spread it on gluten or grain free bread, or even make avocado butter with it. There’s so many uses for butter both raw, as well as in cooking, frying, or baking.

WHAT IF I CAN’T EAT BUTTER?

And it’s good to know that if you have trouble tolerating butter, there’s another option available. Ghee, similar to clarified butter, has no lactose and no casein in it. Just like with butter, when it comes to ghee, choose grass fed and organic for the same reasons I already mentioned. It helps with better digestion and inflammation. Ghee is great for those of us with leaky gut or IBD because it helps digest the fat soluble vitamins we might have difficulty digesting due to deficiencies in our digestive tract.

Ghee is loaded with butyrate which is a fatty acid and important for gut health. Studies show butyrate can be helpful for lowering inflammation levels in Crohn’s and colitis specifically. Ghee also helps increase our gut flora and therefore gives us a healthier microbiome.

Ghee can be used very much like butter, in cooking, frying, or sautéing. It has a high smoke point so you can cook without worrying that it will burn a turn into a trans fat. You can put ghee on your veggies, spread it on a slice of gluten-free or grain free bread, and when it comes to ghee, you can even make your own from butter at home. I’ve done it and had clients do it occasionally. It’s actually fun!

IF YOU’VE NEVER GIVEN AVOCADO’S A TRY, IT’S TIME FOR A SECOND LOOK.

[25:20] #3 Avocados and Avocado Oil

In a word, avocados are awesome. I know people seem to either love avo’s or hate them. I’m in the love category. It’s up there in my top 5 favorite foods. But I didn’t always love avocados. They were green and slimy looking, they browned so easily.

I still remember the day I ate my first avocado. I’ve probably mentioned this before to the moms in the GLC, but I used to live in England. As you might expect from my accent (or as we so egotistically see ourselves in the US, non-accent) I live in America. But for 4 years, I got to live in one of the most special places on the planet, England. I had 2 tiny tikes at the time who’s favorite thing to do was visit Father Christmas (aka Santa Claus) at Harrod’s Department Store in London every year during the holidays.

If you think taking your kid to see Santa at the mall is a big deal, holy cow, this department store takes it to a new level at Harrod’s in London. One year, during our annual Harrod’s visit, we stopped in at the department store café for a quick bite after our Santa visit and I accidentally forgot to ask the server to remove sliced avocados from my sandwich. So when it came with avocados, I thought what the heck, I’ll take a bite. Well, as you might expect, this story has the happiest of endings. It was love at first bite, and avocados and I have been inseparable ever since.

Truthfully, I always felt kind of sinful eating an avocado, it couldn’t be good for me. It tastes too rich, too creamy to be healthy. Imagine my surprise, almost 10 years later when I realized these delightful fruits (yep, not a veggie), are actually not just delish, but are quite healthy too.

[28:30] Avocados are full of omega-3’s, choline, calcium, and selenium. They even have more potassium than a banana. Avocados are high in antioxidants and they’re also a great source of fiber, which helps grow healthy bacteria in your gut. Avocados also help give some bulk to your stool, so if you’re struggling with oatmeal or soft serve poops, regular eating of avocados might help to firm things up for you a little bit. Avocados are a great source of quality fat, the monounsaturated kind and they are also high in oleic fatty acid so they can help decrease inflammation.

HOW ABOUT AVOCADO OIL? IS THAT HEALTHY TOO?

Avocado oil is also an amazing high-quality fat to use in your cooking and uncooked as well. It’s detoxifying because it contains chlorophyll. And as a side benefit, avocado oil is wonderful for your skin and nails and your hair. Which by the way, while I’m thinking of it, coconut oil is too. I love a good coconut oil moisture hair bath—something us curly girls need lots of.

Back to avocados, now if you’ve never had an avocado before and you’re thinking what could I possibly do with it besides eat it straight, I’ve got you covered there. First of all, eating an avocado straight, with a spoon is delicious, but if you’re new to this healthy fruit you might want to start with avo toast, which is just a mashed-up avocado on bread. Bonus points if you make it gluten or grain free bread. You can chop up avocados and use them as a salad topper, you can put avocados in a smoothie to make it super creamy. Avocados can also be used to make deliciously creamy and healthy brownies or raw cacao pudding. Am I making your mouth water? Chopped avocados are an awesome topper for any stew or chili. And, of course, the most common use of the avocado is to make guacamole. Of course, you can buy that at the grocery store too. Just be sure to check the ingredients first to make sure it’s not full of crappy preservatives or additives.

Avocado oil also has a multitude of uses. My favorite is to put it in my homemade salad dressing. There’s actually a recipe for that dressing in that pdf I mentioned earlier, Healthy Oils 101: Not Your Mama’s Oils. The healthy oils info and the salad dressing recipe is yours if you go to karynhaley.com/oil. Remember, even if you are not eating salad because you’re in a flare or it upsets your stomach too much, you can still use salad dressing to add some healthy fat on cooked veggies or as a cooked veggie dipper. I like my avocado oil straight as a drizzle on veggies, and it’s also delicious as a drizzle on top of a puréed soup. Would it be weird to put avocado oil on my new favorite avocado soup? OK, maybe that would be just a bit too much avocado, even for me.

THE WONDER FAT THAT’S MISLEADING YOU AT THE GROCERY STORE.

#4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

EVOO, as my gal Rachel Ray calls it. You knew this one was coming. Just about everyone knows of the health benefits of this healthy fat. It’s been well-researched and it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have been reported on in mainstream medicine and throughout media. EVOO is at the center of the heart and gut healing Mediterranean diet.

[34:34] EVOO is a monounsaturated fat that contains oleic acid, so it fights free radicals and is full of antioxidants. A 2019 research review found that the phenol compounds in EVOO, which make it an abundant source of antioxidants, help to boost intestinal immunity and gut health of the microbiome for those with IBD.

And besides gut health, EVOO has many other benefits. It’s even been found to aid with lowering depression and anxiety levels, fighting cancer, dementia, and obesity. Talk about a wonder fat!

The one problem with EVOO is not in the rich quality fat itself, but in purchasing this healthy oil. With EVOO, it’s all about finding a quality brand that is reputable. A recent CBS report found that up to 70% of EVOO sold in stores is actually watered down with other ingredients, including canola oil.

To make sure that you get what you are paying for and the health benefits it touts, look for EVOO that is cold pressed or expeller pressed. Some bottles even have an IOC seal, that’s the Olive Oil Counsel seal that certifies that it is actually olive oil in the bottle.

Olive oil should be purchased in dark green glass bottles. That’s best for packaging because it protects the delicate oil from the light coming in and damaging its properties due to oxidation. Olive oil does become rancid quickly so the dark green glass helps protect its quality.

Don’t buy olive oil in those large plastic jugs, especially if you don’t use it very often. Olive oil, once opened, should be used within a few months. And because it’s so delicate of an oil, it’s not the best oil for cooking. Olive oil is best used as a drizzle on veggies, in salad dressings, sprinkled on toast or rolls. I love to mix EVOO with balsamic vinegar and use it as a finishing sauce for chicken. It’s also great in pesto, hummus, or drizzled over your soup like avocado oil.

THE DECADANT DESSERT YOU DON’T HAVE TO DESSERT.

#5 Dark Chocolate

Let’s end our conversation today with the most decadent fat of all, dark chocolate. Aaaahhhhh, dark chocolate. Delightful, sinful, almost made for a private, uninterrupted moment with yourself, dark chocolate.

Remember, I’ll be back next week with #s 6-10 on our list of the 10 healthiest fats you need in your diet to heal your IBD. But let’s wrap up today and with my personal favorite, dark chocolate.

Now when you think about dark chocolate, fat might not be the first thing that comes to your mind, but the fat in dark chocolate comes from the healthy and healing fat in the cocoa butter used to make it. Dark chocolate is rich in minerals like magnesium, iron, and zinc. All super powerful for us IBDer’s to help us relax, give us energy, as well as the ability to fight off infections. It has so many benefits, even non-gut healing benefits, like lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and helping brain function and heart health. Dark chocolate has even been linked to helping fighting cancer.

But when it comes to gut health, dark chocolates’ properties are just as outstanding. Chocolate is anti-inflammatory because it contains high amounts of antioxidants. It releases polyphenols in flavonoids which then help to decrease inflammation in our body.

70% CACAO IS WHAT YOU WANT. AND 1 TO 2 SQUARES IS ALL YOU NEED.

Are you ready to go out and buy some dark chocolate? I definitely am. Try to choose at least 70% cacao to get your biggest health benefits from dark chocolate. And eating dark chocolate doesn’t mean to eat a candy bar a day. You can get beneficial health benefits from 1 to 2 ounces per day. That’s 1 to 2 squares. One more thing about dark chocolate is that it does contain caffeine. If you’re sensitive to even small doses of caffeine, you’ll want to skip this healthy fat.

I think I’m going to wrap this episode up so I can go grab me some dark chocolate. I’m a huge fan of the dark chocolate from a company called Hu. I also love the dark chocolate made by Equal Exchange. Forget an apple a day, I’m all for a square a day keeps the doctor away. I’ll link to Hu and Equal Exchange in the show notes so you can check them out.

So thankful that dark chocolate is healthy! Not sure if I’d choose avocado’s over dark chocolate. Thankfully, I don’t have to choose. Avocado chocolate mousse anyone? There’s a great recipe I’ve made several times for avocado chocolate mousse from Feel Good Foodie. I’ll link to in the show notes. Feel free to check it out and let me know how it goes for you. FYI, I usually sub out the maple syrup and use honey, but whatever floats your gut boat, go for it.

LET’S DO THE MOM-SIZED RECAP.

OK my love, let’s do a quick recap of the 5 healthy fats we talked about today. We started with the mother of all healthy oils, coconut oil. Remember to use refined for baking and cooking and unrefined for anything raw or uncooked and you’ll be set with that.

Next up was butter and ghee. Don’t be afraid of real butter darling. It’s antimicrobial and high in vitamins that support your digestive tract. And if you are super sensitive to lactose (butter only has small amounts) or casein (higher amounts) choose ghee. It’s the perfect butter substitute. No matter which one you pick, make it organic and grass fed to reap as many gut health benefits as you can. I buy mine from an Amish farmer who makes it himself. You can’t get much better than that.

High quality fat #3 was avocados and avocado oil. You know I passionately love this healthy fat. And don’t be afraid to experiment with this gut healthy gem. Avocado brownies, avocado egg boats—google them if you don’t know what I’m referring to. Delish. Avocado oil is fantastic too! It’s great for salad dressings and remember salad dressing isn’t just for salad.

An absolutely delish salad dressing is included in your free healthy oils pdf series. The one with Healthy Oils 101: Not Your Mama’s Oils and Healthy Oils 102: Smoke Point. You’ll learn all about the best oils for your health, how to use them, what states their best in, and how high you can heat them and have them still be safe. Get your free pdf at karynhaley.com/oil or just click the link in the show notes.

Healthy fat #4 was EVOO- extra virgin olive oil. Can I get an Amen for this gem of a gut healthy fat? Amen! Check your pantry today. What’s your EVOO situation like? Do you have a fake that’s been laced with canola oil, or is it pure EVOO goodness? I once went to an EVOO tasting in Italy. Holy moly, it was green and had almost a bite to it. Super fresh and really delicious. Nothing like I’ve tasted in the states, but you can find quality EVOO here. You just have to look for it—and in all honesty, be willing to pay a little more for it. Just use it sparingly.

Lastly, we dove into guilt free decadence with our last healthy fat for the day, healthy fat #5, dark chocolate. Don’t be afraid of good quality dark chocolate. Choose 70% cacao and you are good to go. Reap the benefits of dark chocolate for your gut and many other parts of your body too. Not to mention all the goodness it does for your mental health. It just makes you smile when you eat it, doesn’t it? Gotta love a snack that’s good for your mind and body!

WHICH OF THESE HEALTHY FATS ARE YOU READY TO TRY?

So, which of these good healthy fats do you currently have in your kitchen? Which ones are you going to go out and buy? Let me know. Give me a shout at hello@karynhaley.com. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on healthy fats!

Remember mom friend, I’m here if you need help getting over your IBD challenges. I coach clients in my private practice, so reach out if you need me, and we’ll figure out how we can best work together to help you find remission and get your friggin’ life back, cause you deserve it mama. No more wasting time. It’s time to heal today.

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

Chat soon!

[49:34] Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ep: 31: You’ve Got IBD. Will Your Kids Get It Too?

You’ve got IBD. Will your kids get it too? We know that there’s a hereditary and a genetic link for IBD. Does that mean that your kids are destined to get the dreaded and often complicated Crohn’s or colitis too?

As moms, we all worry about what our IBD will mean for our kids. And these worries might even cause you to get stressed, anxious, or even have a freak out moment every time your kiddos get a stomach bug. Is that Crohn’s creeping up? Maybe it’s not just a virus… maybe it’s colitis. I’ve definitely had those moments as a mom with IBD.

Scary, consuming stuff!

After experiencing way too much mom guilt about the possibility of putting this “curse” on my kids, and my clients telling me they’ve had similar freak outs, I decided it was time to stop my negative future casting and actually learn the truth.

So, what’s the deal with our kids and IBD? Are they destined to get it? That’s what we’re going to find out together on this week’s podcast.

We’re talking about:

  • The flaw in the 20th century discovery of “biological determination and the problem it causes for IBDer’s
  • What Epigenetics has to do with the development and the progression of IBD.
  • Why mud pies, gardens, and something called “Earthing” really are the best way to diversify your kid’s microbiome
  • The 4 specific, non-genetic factors that will have a strong influence over your child’s gut health and overall well-being

And so much more!

After the episode, I hope you’ll leave behind the stress and anxiety we often feel about our kid’s future and instead feel hope and positivity, when it comes to your kid’s gut health and overall health as well.  

Episode at a Glance:

  • [02:08] Is Crohn’s and colitis hereditary? I’ll give you the latest data.
  • [07:03] The flaw in the 20th century discovery of “biological determination” and the problem it caused for those of us with IBD.
  • [10:45] What’s even more important than genetics when it comes to our kid’s risk of IBD.
  • [11:20] What is the Exposome and how can it positively change our health trajectory.
  • [13:04] What Epigenetics has to do with the development and the progression of IBD.
  • [21:45] The 4 specific, non-genetic factors that will have a strong influence over your child’s gut health and overall well-being
  • [26:02] Why mud pies, gardens, and something called “Earthing” really are the best way to diversify your kid’s microbiome
  • [27:25] The impact of sleep deprivation on your kid’s gut health
  • [33:25] The 3 best stress resilience tools to introduce your kids to at a young age (and they are capital “F” Fun too)
  • [39:24] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

The Gut Love Community

The Cheeky Podcast Episode 8: The IBD Sleep Connection

Additional Resources from the Episode:

The Big Life Journal

Insight Timer Meditation App with Stories for Kids

Dr. Andrew Weil Teaches the 4-7-8 Breath

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Genetics, Epigenetics, and Pathogenesis

What is Epigenetics?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Prevalence in the United States

Breastfeeding and Genetic Factors in the Etiology of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Children

Why Your Genes Aren’t Your Destiny

Exposome and Exposomics

The Importance of Sleep for Kids

Sleep Dysfunction and Gastrointestinal Disease

How Stress Affects Toddlers and Their Digestion

Eight Ways to Help Your Child Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Episode Transcript:

[Music]

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

[music]

[00:51] Hey dear listener, how are doing you today? We’ve got so much to get to on the podcast. So many juicy nuggets I know you’re going to love, so let’s dive in.

First off, I have to say that the thing that I love most about my health and nutrition consulting practice is that about 95% of my clients are moms. I set up my practice that way on purpose. I’m a mom of three and everything I do in my life is from the lens of a mom. My family life, my friendships, my work, how I handle my disease … No matter what I do, where I go, all of my thoughts, they come from the bent of being a mom, first and foremost. Can you relate to that?

So, when I set up my practice, I knew I wanted to help moms. And since mostly I work with moms who have IBD, one of the biggest questions I get asked from those moms is will my child get Crohn’s or colitis?

GIVE IT TO ME STRAIGHT. WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?

Of course, we know I don’t have a crystal ball and I can’t see into the future, so I don’t have the definitive answer to that question. But what I do know about Crohn’s and colitis is that they both have a hereditary and genetic link. About 15% of people who have Crohn’s also have a family member who also has Crohn’s. And when scientists look at twin studies, they see that when one twin has Crohn’s, 50% of identical twins will also have Crohn’s. Interestingly, with fraternal (non-identical) twins that number goes down to less than 10%. With ulcerative colitis, somewhere between 10 to 25% of people with UC have a relative who also has colitis. Twin studies for colitis show that 16% of identical twins also have a twin with colitis. With fraternal twins that number goes down to 4%.  

So, when it comes to inheritability, the research is clear. There is a familial link. There is a possibility that our children will develop Crohn’s or colitis. But what my clients are really asking when they ask this question is, does this have to happen? Is it inevitable? Does everything I go through, the abdominal pain, the multiple trips the bathroom, the embarrassment, the challenges of everyday life with a chronic illness, everything we go through on a daily basis, does that have to be my child’s reality?

I know when I was thinking about having children, and in fact I gave it a ton of thought, because I even resorted to fertility treatments to conceive my first child. I know that my doctor said that the risk of my children getting Crohn’s or colitis wasn’t worth me not having children. Your doctor probably told you something similar. Yes, there is a hereditary link, but it’s not strong enough to not have children. But we can’t ignore that there is a risk factor here. The research is clear on that. There is a possibility of you passing Crohn’s or colitis to your child. So, the question that I keep getting over an over from mom clients, will my child end up getting diagnosed with Crohn’s or colitis is very understandable and very valid.

I DON’T KNOW, ISN’T A GOOD RESPONSE.

Beyond the statistics I just shared with you, I didn’t really know the answer to this question, but I really wanted to figure it out. I was getting it so often that I felt like I don’t know wasn’t an OK response. And if you listen to this podcast regularly, you know I’m a research gal, and I knew there had to be research and enlightened wisdom out there tackling this very topic. I knew that I could at least I could do some digging and have more information to give you.

So that’s what I set out to do. And this episode of The Cheeky Podcast is the culmination of all of my research pertaining to your kids and IBD. Are they destined to get it, or are there things we can do to lower our kids’ risk?

[05:26] The first thing I found out about IBD that I thought was really interesting is that the prevalence of IBD is growing throughout the world. According to the CDC, in 1999 .09% of Americans and that’s about 2 million, were diagnosed with IBD. By 2015, the percentage of adults with IBD was 1.3%, that’s about 3 million Americans. In Europe, the prevalence of IBD is anywhere from .5 to 1% of its population, a number that’s gone up in recent years as well. It used to be that cases of Crohn’s and colitis were found mostly in the developed world—countries who were highly industrial, with modern agriculture. Now, IBD is growing in the developing world as well. It doesn’t matter where you live, the prevalence of IBD is not declining, it is increasing.  

And it seems that many people who I meet with Crohn’s and colitis also know a relative who has IBD too. Personally, I have a third and fourth cousin with Crohn’s. Although my kids, and two of my brothers and my dad have never been diagnosed with IBD, they all have some sort of G.I. issue, whether it’s gluten sensitivity or dairy intolerance, or some form of IBS.

20TH CENTURY MEDICAL WISDOM PAVES A CHALLENGING PATH FORWARD.

Now, the really cool thing in my opinion about the 20th century is that it meant an explosion of medical and scientific exploration. The 20th century found genetics and DNA research at the forefront of discovering the causes of many diseases.  Scientists discovered the helix structure of DNA and the complete sequence of the human genome. While this research and these findings were extraordinary, they also left medical practitioners and scientists with the belief in biological determination—the thought that we are controlled by our genes, period.

BUT THAT WAS ONLY ONE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE.

What scientist didn’t realize at the time, is that genetic factors are only one piece of the puzzle. I want to say that one more time for you mama, if you are out there worried and stressed every day that your child is going to develop inflammatory bowel disease. Genetic factors are only one piece of the puzzle. We know this now. And this is the information that can help us sleep better at night. Help us stress less about our children developing Crohn’s or colitis.

Today, we look at other factors besides genes to determine our risk for disease. We look at the microbes or the bacteria throughout our body, and we look how genes and the microbiome interact with our environment around us. We know that it isn’t just genes that control whether we get Crohn’s or colitis. There’s many other factors that come into play as well and some of these factors we have control over.

SO, WHAT ARE THOSE NON-GENETIC FACTORS?

Scientist have discovered several non-genetic risk factors for developing IBD. Factors that include environmental and lifestyle choices. Factors like smoking and the use of oral contraceptives, factors like the health of your diet and the overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS.

When it comes to diet, and you know I’m super passionate about the power of a healthy diet, a Japanese study found an increase in ulcerative colitis in people who consumed a Western diet. And we all know what that term western diet means. We’re talking about a diet high in processed food, chemicals, lots of canned, packaged, and processed foods, fast food, etc.… another study found an increased risk in developing IBD with the consumption of sucrose, animal fat, high cholesterol, and soft drinks. Sounds like a Western diet to me!   

So, genes are not the only factor at play. There is more going on and that more going on, we have some control over. As a mom who has IBD, we have some control over these additional factors and that helps me breathe a sigh of relief.

THE SURPRISING FACT ABOUT HOW MUCH OUR GENES ACTUALLY CONTROL OUR RISK OF DISEASE.

More modern, 21st-century research shows that our genes account for only about 10% of human disease. And those extra factors that I just mentioned, factors like lifestyle and environment have led scientists to begin new research in fascinating fields of medicine. This is where, in my IBD and kids research, I really began to geek out and I hope this fascinates you as much as it does me.

2 SCIENTIFIC THEORIES THAT MIGHT JUST CHANGE YOUR KID’S LIFE.

[11:10] Have you heard about the study of Epigenetic’s? How about the concept of the Exposome?  This is where our thoughts about our children’s determined disease truly goes out the window. In 2005, a doctor named Dr. Christopher Wilde coined the concept of the Exposome as the primary reason for health as well as the primary reason for disease.  The Exposome is the total of all non-genetic exposures that impact health, and this exposure starts at conception. Cool, right? It includes everything we eat, drink, our air, or social interactions, our lifestyle, even the health of our parents at conception. If genetics play only 10% of the role in human disease, this is the other 90%. And this is the part that we have control over when it comes to raising healthy kids.

Besides the Exposome, I also mentioned the concept of Epigenetics. According to the CDC, Epigenetics is the study of how our behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way genes work. These changes don’t affect our DNA sequencing, but it’s more like the changes in how your body reads that information. I just have to say wow, mind blown. Our behaviors and the environment around us can actually change how our body reads our DNA. And when it comes to IBD, the thought here when we take this idea of Epigenetics a step further because it appears that it can mediate factors between our environment and our genome particularly what our IBD genes are saying. Epigenetics says we can affect the development and the progression of IBD.

Can our kids benefit from these new ideas about the Exosome and Epigenetics? You bet they can.

HOW YOU CAN RAISE A HEALTHY KID, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE THROWS AT THEM.

[14:01] Even though your child, because they are your child, has a hereditary linked to inflammatory bowel disease, how can we help to positively impact their health? And that’s the way that I think of it. I don’t think about it in terms of how can I prevent my child from having Crohn’s or colitis? I think of it more in terms of how can I help my child be as healthy as humanly possible? Because it isn’t just about protecting them from Crohn’s or colitis. It’s about raising a healthy child. The healthiest child that they can be. How can we as parents do that knowing that their genes are actually only 10% of the picture?

Environmental factors in that 90% include things like a healthy diet, physical activity, the products you bring into your home, the lifestyle choices that you and your child child make regarding not smoking, the chemicals in your food, getting as healthy as you possibly can before you even have children—and dad too because his health matters as well. Children born vaginally get a built-in dose of bacterial benefit by passing through the birth canal, children who bond with their parents and their siblings are healthier, children with healthy social interactions, children who are psychologically well-adjusted, children who have lower stress levels, higher levels of education, and children who get quality sleep are all healthier for it.

We know that breast-feeding also matters. We know that human breast milk contains substances that may influence the growth and development as well as the function of the gastrointestinal tract. There is a difference in colonic flora (those healthy gut bugs) between breast-fed and bottle-fed babies. Several studies also show breast-feeding to be a protective factor in developing inflammatory bowel disease.  

I absolutely love how Dr. Chris Kresser, if you’re familiar with him, he is a functional medicine expert, talks about this topic of genetics, Epigenetics, and the Exposome and how they come together. He has a great analogy to help us understand this. He says that genes are like a script, a script for a film or a theater performance. Your genes are the words and what’s on the page. The Exposome and the epigenome are the performance which changes depending on who’s in the cast, who is directing, who is producing… So good, right? It just helps the complicated concept make more sense.

Or more simply put, as Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health says, “genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger.”

And that’s what these positivity factors I mentioned are about. They are the environmental mitigating factors that can jump in and change the genes at any given moment.

WHAT IF I CAN’T BREASTFEED OR BREASTFEEDING IS CUT SHORT?

And what I really love about this list of factors that I just dished out is that there’s so many of them. You may not be able to do all of these. They may not fit for your health or your lifestyle, but there are so many that we can choose from. It’s not about perfection here, it’s about doing the best we can as moms.

Let’s take breast-feeding for example. Already having IBD, breast-feeding may be challenging for you. Breast-feeding was definitely a challenge for me. With my first two children I was not in a good place with my Crohn’s disease. I was able to nurse both of them, but not nearly as long as I wanted to. With my first child, I had to have bowel surgery four months after he was born and had to stop breast-feeding. With my second child, I wasn’t able to produce enough milk to sustain breast-feeding while I was going through a flare after giving birth to him.

So, for me, breast-feeding didn’t go as I would have liked it too, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t able to do other things for my kids. This is a list of positive things you can do for your kids to improve their overall health, it isn’t about shaming you or making you feel guilty for the things you didn’t do. It’s about giving you tools so that you can complete as many as possible. As many as work for you without feeling guilty because there’s something you didn’t do.

THROW AWAY YOUR MOM GUILT!

So, throw away that mom guilt my friend. We are focusing on what we can do today, not what we can’t or what we didn’t already do.

I know, I just basically threw up a ton of information on you today. It’s a lot, and it can be overwhelming. What do you do with all of this? How can you actually put this information into practice in your own life? What can you specifically do today mama?

I’m so glad you asked because I have you specifically covered. I’m going to tell you right now where to start with your kids. If you want to, not only try to help with their best chance at not getting Crohn’s and colitis, but if you’re like me and you just want to help them to be overall healthy, as healthy as they can possibly be whether they develop IBD or not, what do you do? Where is your starting place?

LET’S BRING IT HOME, MAMA. WHAT CAN YOU DO?

I’m going to propose 4 areas, 4 areas that are most important, not just to decrease your kid’s risk of getting IBD, but to also increase their overall health. And that’s how I’d love for you to look at this opportunity too.

Sure, you might end up being the reason that your child is gluten sensitive or dairy sensitive, but that doesn’t mean they have to get IBD. And whether they do or not, your goal can still be to raise them as healthy as they possibly can be, in all areas of their life. Like I always say when my kids complain about a consequence or doing a chore they deem unfair: I don’t care about fair, my job is to raise you as a fully functioning, independent, productive member of society. And to me, that fully functioning part doesn’t just include academics. It includes health– healthy mind, healthy body, healthy soul.

[21:45] Using these 4 factors that stem from the Exosome and Epigenetic ideas we talked about today, these 90% non-genetic factors that influence our well-being, can ensure that you raise healthy kids, no matter what life throws at them.

THE ROLE OF DIET IN CREATING A WHOLE, HEALTHY CHILD.

Factor #1- Diet

Always first in for most, and especially for moms with IBD. We must teach our kids the importance of finding the best diet for their body type. And that diet may be different for all your kids, but at the heart of it, it should include whole foods in their natural state. Whole fruits, whole vegetables, unprocessed food that doesn’t come in a can, a box, or a package.

Strive for 80% of your kid’s diet that comes from a healthy food, a healthy microbiome, healthy immune system, and low inflammation in the body approach. When it comes to diet, the biggest disruptors to our gut and overall health are sugar and high levels of carbohydrates. Limit the starches and the processed sugar and you will ensure a healthy child.

DOES IT HAVE TO BE EXERCISE, OR IS ANY MOVEMENT OK?

Factor #2- Movement

And just like diet, this works best if it’s tailored to the child’s best interests. Notice I didn’t say exercise and that is purposeful. Some kids are born athletes and they love organized sports, teams, clubs, competitions. Other kids prefer less organized movement, running outside, playing with friends, biking, hiking, or walking. Some kids like weightlifting or yoga. There is no one movement that’s better in my opinion. Just get them off their devices and moving.

And remember their interests might change over time. Be as supportive as you can of that change. I remember my middle son loving soccer from the time he was three years old. He grew into an incredible soccer player and flourished there. By high school, he was the captain of his soccer team. But in his senior year, without much warning, he gave it up. He had gotten burnt out. Soccer had been his life for so long and that Division I college soccer dream that had been his life, disappeared. I admit, it still makes me a little sad because I had this trajectory in my mind for him, but that wasn’t his dream anymore and so I supported him as he moved into other movement passions that fed his soul.

[25:01] No matter what they do, and especially when your kids are young, there’s nothing better than getting them outside in nature, with fresh air. It nourishes a child’s spirit. I always encourage my kids to practice something called earthing. It’s where you take off your shoes and socks and walk around outside connecting with the natural ground and the Earth’s energy. It’s very powerful energetically, but it’s also a great way to get organisms that are in the soil of the grass into your body. Dirt has wonderful bacterial properties that diversify the microbiome, it’s so, so, so important for those of us with IBD to help our kids diversify their microbiome. Mud pies, encouraging them to grow a garden and get their hands dirty in the soil, and earthing. Great for overall health.  

THE SLEEP FACTOR: THERE’S ACTUALLY LOTS GOING ON WHILE WE SHUT DOWN FOR THE NIGHT.

Factor #3- Sleep

Adequate sleep is a huge factor for overall health. There’s so much going on when we sleep. It’s not a shut down for our body and our organs. It’s a necessary time for a body to repair and reset. If kids don’t have enough sleep, they can’t repair and reset.

We know that kids who get enough sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, increased mental and physical health, decreased blood pressure, less obesity, anxiety and depression. We also know that sleep deprivation leads to an increase in microscopic inflammation of the bowel and overtime this can lead to more serious gastrointestinal challenges.

According to Johns Hopkins sleep specialists, infants less than one year need 12 to 16 hours of sleep a night, 1 to 2-year-olds need 11 to 14 hours, 3 to 5-year-olds need 10 to 13 hours, 6 to 12-year-olds need 9 to 12 hours, and 13 to 18-year-old need 8 to 10 hours of sleep at night.

How are your kids doing with their sleep? Are they getting enough?  

Back in episode 8 of the podcast, we talked all about sleep hygiene. If getting enough sleep is an issue for you or for your kids, you might find it helpful to go back and listen to that episode. I’ll leave a link for it in the show notes. I‘ll also link to a great article in the show notes from the Stanford Children’s Health Center where they recommend eight ways to help your child sleep better. This is a really great article if you’re finding it challenging to stick to a bedtime routine or your child or if they are having any sleep difficulties. I found this article helpful and I hope you will too.

IT’S NOT ABOUT STRESS BUSTING, IT’S ABOUT STRESS RESILIENCY.

Factor #4- Stress Management

Of course, we all want our kids to have less stress, from the emotional to the physical effects of stress. But stress, as it turns out, actually has a specific impact on the digestive system.

When we are stressed, our body prioritizes getting rid of the stress over proper digestion. Stomach and intestinal activity is reduced and the body decreases blood flow to our gut to give more blood flow to our stress hormones. Peristalsis, the moving of food along the G.I. tract, is stalled. That’s why when a child is stressed, it’s not uncommon for them to have digestive troubles. It creates the perfect storm for G.I. challenges. Stomach aches, constipation, even diarrhea is common. Chronic stress creates a chronic strain on the G.I. tract and the chronic strain on the G.I. tract causes dysbiosis and inflammation in the gut—the perfect breeding ground for a G.I. disorder.

[31:22] So, what can we do? What can we do to help not reduce stress because sometimes that’s an impossibility, but we want to do is help our kids learn how to manage the stress in their life? The #1 thing we can do goes back to diet. Eating food that’s fresh and whole gives our body the right nutrients to keep our digestive tract strong and healthy. Another thing we can do as parents to help our kids manage stress at the emotional level is to help them build emotional resilience. This is a huge health factor for our kids. Helping them to combat stress with resilience as a child helps them be set up for lifelong success when stress hits in adulthood.

Children who have an opportunity to vent frustration in a healthy way, end up dealing with life stressors better. Children who exercise or move on a regular basis release more endorphins in the brain. Endorphins have a tranquilizing effect and increased feelings of pleasure. This equals less stressful feelings for our kiddos. See how all of these factors are inter-related. The diet we talked about and the movement or exercise we talked about as being factors come back into play when we talk about helping our children manage stress. It’s all a part of the circle of health.

When talking about helping our children to manage the stress in their lives, there’s three tools that I love using with kids the most. The first tool is a book called The Big Life Journal. I’ve mentioned this before in the Gut Love Community so it might sound familiar to you. The Big Life Journal is a fabulous addition to your kid’s book collection. It takes them through imaginary exercises to help build their strength and character.

Another stress tool I love for kids is Insight Timer. Insight Timer is an app with the most wonderful visualizations and meditations for kids. These fun and engaging story sessions are wonderful at calming for kids when they are anxious. They also help kids with sleep troubles to sleep at night. Lastly, and probably my most favorite stress buster tool for kids is the 4-7-8 breath. You’ve probably heard me talk about this technique before because it’s great for IBDer’s too. Ask your child to breathing through the nose for 4 seconds, hold their breath for 7 seconds, and then breathe out through their mouth for 8 seconds. They can repeat this as many times as they need to help them feel centered, grounded, and help them calm down in difficult situations.

These three tools are all about teaching your child to be mindful and about the mind body connection. They are some of the best tools around to raise resilient, strong, and thoughtful kids. I’ll provide links for all of these resources in the show notes.

So, there you have the 4 factors that can help you create healthy kids: mind, body, and spirit.

THE MOM-SIZED RECAP IF YOU ONLY HAVE 5 MINUTES.

We started out this episode talking about the genetic and hereditary link between you, your IBD and your child. And yes, the hereditary link is real. When you have IBD, there is a risk that your child may develop Crohn’s or colitis too. But it isn’t a foregone conclusion. There’s so much that we can do as parents to raise healthy children. Remember genetics only plays a 10% role. To look at the complete picture, we must look at environmental and lifestyle factors as well.

As moms, there’s so much we can do to raise kids who put their health first, so that no matter what life throws at them, IBD or any other challenge (physical or emotional), they have the skills and the tools they need to overcome. In my mind, that’s the best thing we can do for our kids.

From teaching our kids to eat healthy, to showing them the power of movement, exercise and being outside in nature, to encouraging them to have healthy sleep habits and finding ways to manage challenges with stress, there’s a lot we can do to raise kids who are not only healthy in childhood, but healthy throughout life. Even if they do step away from it a bit in the teen years, take it from me, it’s in there.

Thanks so much for sharing this time with me today. I hope this topic was helpful for you to hear about today. If it’s something that you’ve been wondering about like I know so many of my clients have, I hope it answered at least some questions you have about how to raise healthy kids when you’re a mom with IBD.

If this information fascinates you like it does me and you want to know more, you’ll definitely want to check out the show notes for this episode. There are several links to scholarly articles and research studies so you can learn more. And if your IBD has really become a challenge in your life, if you’re finding it difficult to be the mom you know that you deserve to be, I want you to get in touch. There’s so much we can do when we work together to help you find IBD remission. Email me at hello@karynhaley.com Let’s get you started on a path to recovery. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Until we meet again and wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD healing journey.

Chat soon!

[38:46] Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.

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

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

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

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

Ep 30: You’re Doing Everything Right — How Come Your IBD Isn’t Getting Better?

You’re eating right, you found a diet that works best to help manage your Crohn’s and colitis, you take gut healing supplements and medications when you need them.

You’ve even found the best mindfulness practices to help reduce your stress and anxiety around your illness.

You’re doing everything right.

Why aren’t you feeling better? Today on the podcast, we discuss the three hidden conditions that may be holding you back from full IBD remission.

We’re talking about:

  • What is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and why don’t you know you have it?
  • The connection between Candida and anxiety
  • 4 reasons why your IBD might be creating a dysfunctional thyroid
  • The hidden problem with traditional thyroid testing

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll have the knowledge you need to take to your doctor to get proper testing and treatment for these hidden conditions that might just be keeping you from reaching full IBD remission.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [04:40] What is SIBO and why don’t you know you have it?
  • [07:24] The gold standard in SIBO testing.
  • [13:35] What you should do if you suspect you are suffering with SIBO.
  • [17:12] Who’s at the greatest risk of developing Candida.
  • [19:13] The connection between candida and anxiety.
  • [20:30] The gold standard in Candida testing.
  • [22:48] You have Candida, now what?
  • [25:49] Why you shouldn’t get rid of all sugar if you have Candida.
  • [28:15] 4 reasons why your IBD might be creating a dysfunctional thyroid.
  • [32:45] The hidden problem with traditional thyroid testing.
  • [37:00] Supplements that help your thyroid function better.
  • [42:45] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

The Gut Love Community

Additional Resources from the Episode:

What is SIBO?

Overcome Candida

The Gluten-Thyroid Connection

Your Functional Medicine Guide to Underlying Thyroid Dysfunctions and How to Heal

Monash University FODMAPS

Episode Transcript:

[Music]

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

[music]

[00:52] You’re eating right, you found a diet that works best to help manage your Crohn’s and colitis, you take gut healing supplements and medications when you need them, you’ve even found the best mindfulness practices to help reduce your stress and anxiety around your illness. You’re doing everything right. Why aren’t you feeling better?

Unfortunately for IBDers, this experience is all too common. It’s so frustrating when you know you’re doing everything right, but you’re still not getting any better. It’s such a head scratcher because there’s no one to turn to figure out why this might be happening to you.

I’ve literally sat across from dozens of clients who are part crying, and part pulling their hair out because they just don’t know what to do. What do you do when you’ve tried everything, when you’ve done everything right and you still don’t feel better? What is the magic secret that it seems so many people have and why don’t you have it too?

I really get this because not only have I seen it with fellow IBD mom friends and clients, but this has happened to me as well. For me, it happened when everything was going along swimmingly, in remission, everything seemed great one moment. And the next moment, without warning for any reason, it seemed like everything went to Crohn’s hell. Excessive bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain… and it took me a moment to figure out what was going wrong.

Now listen, there are so many reasons why things might not be going your way with your IBD, even when you are doing everything right. There’s way too many factors to go into or even fathom for this podcast. When this happens to you, I want you to go see your doctor. I want you to turn over every rock and devour all the information you can gather to help yourself.

But I also have this episode of The Cheeky Podcast to also offer to help you on your journey figuring out what might be going wrong.  When I work with clients, there’s often three reasons why they’re doing everything right but they are still not in complete remission.

3 CONDITIONS THAT MIGHT BE KEEPING YOU FROM 100% IBD HEALING

So here we go with my 3 hidden conditions that might be keeping your IBD and your total health down.  These are little known conditions that for the most part, are not being talked about in mainstream medicine. And that’s why you may not know that you have fallen prey to them.  This is one of those action packed, step by step episodes where you’ll want to have a pen and paper handy. So if you don’t have one, quickly pause and come right back with something to write with.

Let’s start with Hidden Condition #1- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or SIBO

What is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?

[04:40] Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is exactly what it sounds like, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Most of our microbial bacteria actually resides in our colon. There are small amounts of bacteria in the small intestine but too much there, is not a good thing. It makes digestion and absorption of our food challenging and it damages the lining of the small intestine.

Why don’t I know I have SIBO?

Two reasons really. #1: traditional gastroenterologists and doctors aren’t taught about small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It’s very unusual to find a G.I. doc that talks about it as a possibility when you go for an office visit. And #2: we don’t know that we have SIBO because it’s symptoms are so similar to IBD.

What are the symptoms of SIBO?

Let’s talk symptoms so you can see just how similar SIBO and Crohn’s and colitis really are. Common symptoms of SIBO include gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, sometimes going back-and-forth between diarrhea and constipation. Of course, if you have IBD, you already have an in balance in your digestive system which puts you at greater risk for getting SIBO in the first place.

SIBO symptoms can also include non-gut challenges like fatigue, joint pain, headaches, moodiness, skin rashes and respiratory symptoms.

There are several conditions besides IBD that have been linked to being at increased risk for SIBO and they include IBS, GERD, leaky gut, Hashimoto’s, Lyme Disease… and the list goes on and on. And even though some of these conditions seem to have nothing to do with your digestive system, this really makes sense because all roads lead back to the gut. Hippocrates and his wisdom, all disease begins in the gut.

Many people with IBD have no idea that they also have SIBO because the symptoms are just so similar. It’s hard to distinguish between the two. So how do you know? How do you know if you have SIBO?

How do we test for SIBO?

It is of the utmost importance that you get a proper SIBO test. I mentioned earlier that many doctors don’t recognize SIBO as a condition at all. Many G.I. doctors who are familiar with this condition are still not doing proper testing. So, you may be left taking a test, getting negative results. When in reality you just didn’t get proper testing.

According to Dr. Allison Siebecker, SIBO expert extraordinaire, the gold standard in SIBO testing is a 3-hour lactulose breath test. Or, and this just came out very recently, a new test that seems to be even better than a traditional 3-hour breath test, and this is the lactulose 3-gas test. The 3-hour lactulose breath test that I mentioned first, tests for two gases present in the gastrointestinal tract when SIBO is high and those are hydrogen and methane levels. These levels are tested after drinking lactulose, which is a synthetic sugar, sometimes used to treat constipation, but in this test, your body will react to it by increasing these gas levels if you have SIBO. This new test that came out recently looks even better as it looks at hydrogen, methane, as well as hydrogen sulfide in the gastrointestinal tract. This test gives even more information to help with a proper SIBO diagnosis.

Depending on the results of your SIBO test, and which gases are present, this gives your doctor a good indication of which SIBO treatment protocol will work best for you. Methane dominate SIBO has a different protocol than hydrogen dominant.

A SIBO Case Study

[09:15] Let me make this really tangible for you with this case of my client Ginger. She was doing everything right.  Ginger had Crohn’s and had started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, she was on a strong gut healing supplement regime, she was still on 6MP (a medication to help her IBD). Ginger practiced yoga, she walked in nature daily. She had a strong support group of friends to lean on, she was active in her church community… Ginger was doing everything right, but Ginger was still having gut problems. She was feeling gassy and bloated after her meals. She couldn’t find consistency in her poops. She’d have diarrhea for a few days and then constipation for a few, back and forth the cycle went. Ginger was feeling very discouraged when she came to see me. If the SCD and everything she was doing wasn’t working, what could she do? Her doctor was pushing biologics. Should she give up?

In coaching Ginger through her next steps, we talked about some reasons why even though on paper, it looks like she’s doing everything right, there still might be some deeper lingering issues going on. Ones that aren’t often tested for. Of course, SIBO was one of the things we considered. I encouraged Ginger to talk to her doctor about getting proper SIBO testing. Ginger ended up with seriously off the chart hydrogen gas levels from her breath test.

And with this powerful information we realized that there were several foods on Ginger’s SCD diet that were not working for her. Super healthy foods like avocados, ripe bananas, apples, onions, and garlic that are SCD legal, but they just weren’t working for Ginger in this moment due to her SIBO challenges. These are just a few of the food changes I helped Ginger make. When Ginger tweaked her diet, and moved a diet called the SIBO Specific Diet, similar to SCD, but with modifications for those with SIBO, everything turned around for her.

There were other herbals and supplements that Ginger’s doctor added too. But it was game changing for Ginger. Back when she first came to see me, she was ready to throw in the towel. She was down on herself, frustrated, and angry because she was doing everything right. See how just a small tweak can make all the difference in your world?

SIBO. One of those hidden conditions that might be holding you back from those last 40 yards of healing.

What can you do if you suspect SIBO might be holding you back?

[13:35] Start by going to Dr. Siebecker’s website. There, you’ll get up to date, researched back information on SIBO. If you think SIBO might be a culprit for you and you want to know more about it, SIBO symptoms, testing, treatment, etc… that’s the place to start.

Next, talk to the doctor you currently have an ask them to order a SIBO test for you. If your doctor is not open or recommends just a 2-hour test or doesn’t know what you’re talking about, find a nutritionist or functional medicine provider who knows about SIBO and proper testing. I’ll leave a link in the show notes for a functional medicine provider database to find a doctor around the globe. And if all else fails, there are a couple direct to consumer companies you can order a test kit from. One is Direct Labs. I’ve seen people order and test successfully with this company. Reading the test is in an important step and one that all practitioners seem to have their own way for interpreting the results, so it really is your best option to find a provider that can help you with this.

OK, so that’s how come your IBD’s not getting better with hidden condition #1. Let’s talk about hidden condition #2. And that’s Candida. Candida is another digestive ailment that can plague those with IBD, but it’s not talked about in traditional medical circles. Your doctor is not testing for it, and it may be hindering your recovery, even if you’re doing everything right.

What is Candida?

[16:01] Candida is a condition where there’s too much yeast in your digestive tract. This is different from SIBO where it’s a case of too much bacteria in the small intestine. Symptom differences might be subtle in these two conditions, but treatment options are different so it’s important to distinguish between the two before your doctor decides what to do about it.

Candida is short for candida albicans fungus. It’s the most common yeast found in the digestive tract. The yeast can grow out of control, especially when there isn’t enough good bacteria in the G.I. tract. The yeast grows and creates dysbiosis (or an imbalance) in the intestine.  

Many people can be at risk for Candida. People who overuse of antibiotics, people with diabetes, people with autoimmune conditions (especially gastrointestinal like Crohn’s or colitis), people who are on a high sugar or high carbohydrate diet, and people with chronic high stress.

Any of this sounding like you? Candida is much more common than we realize. And it may be the underlying condition that’s keeping you from IBD remission even though you’re doing everything right.

What are the symptoms of Candida?

There are several signs that you may have candida, or an overgrowth of yeast, in your digestive system. I’ll tell you about the ones that I see most often for those with Crohn’s and colitis: Oral thrush or a white spotted coating on your tongue, those with recurrent yeast infections might have Candida, people who experience strong sugar cravings, brain fog, digestive challenges like bloating, diarrhea or constipation, those with fungal infections on their nails or their toenails might have Candida, as well as people who have excessive anxiety or panic attacks. Of course, just because you have anxiety doesn’t mean you have Candida. It’s when we put the whole picture together that the anxiety may be a part of the puzzle.

Why don’t I know I have Candida?

And of course, you don’t know you have it because of the same reasons you don’t know you have a SIBO. They are just way too similar to our Crohn’s and colitis symptoms. Doctors are just not looking for it And if we are following a path of proper eating, proper supplementation and taking our medication’s, and following mindfulness practices that work to reduce our stress and help with the demands on our life and we’re still not getting any better, it can leave us feeling very defeated and uncertain about our future. This is why I’m so passionate about making sure you know about these conditions. Knowledge is key here.

How do we test for Candida?

Practitioners who test for candida will often start with symptoms. When a combination of symptoms like I’ve mentioned comes up to a knowledgeable Candida practitioner, they might decide to dive deeper with testing. The gold standard of candida testing is a 2 to 3 day stool test that looks at the DNA of the pathogens in your poop.

And although I know it’s controversial and this is clearly anecdotal and doesn’t have scientific evidence behind it, I’ve seen people start with a simple at home spit test. The spit test involves spitting into a cup of water first thing in the morning. Often times, people start here because they don’t have a provider that they can go to who knows about candida. So, although I don’t have the research to back up the validity of the spit test, I have seen clients try this first with the spit test coming up positive and then later have stool testing that also comes up positive for Candida. It’s about putting all of the pieces together when it comes to Candida. Looking at your symptoms, getting a stool test if possible, and talking to a doctor who is knowledgeable about the condition is key.

What can you do if you suspect Candida is holding you back?

The best place to start is always by talking to your doctor. You never know unless you bring it up whether they’re willing to talk about Candida and these other conditions we’re talking about today. If you don’t find satisfaction there, remember that there are nutritionists and functional medicine providers who do know about Candida. Don’t stop your search just because the first place you go doesn’t give you satisfaction. Continue searching for someone who can help you. When you do get proper testing for Candida, you may also want to get tested for SIBO at the same time since both of these conditions present so similarly.

Now I know I have Candida. What do I do?

Every provider’s approach to treating Candida is different. But I can give you some general guidelines and what I see most practitioners doing. There are several supplements that can be helpful to get rid of the extra yeast. Antifungals like oil of oregano, caprylic acid, and allicin (from garlic). There are combination antifungal supplements that might be a part of your healing regime. Some people with Crohn’s and colitis tend to be sensitive to multi-strain antifungals so be careful there. Probiotics are also used for Candida after some healing has taken place, but none of these supplements are helpful unless they are combined with diet change. If you’re in the category of doing everything right for your IBD, you’ve probably already changed your diet, but your diet may need some tweaking to make sure it’s tailored to getting rid of your Candida. The low FODMAP diet is really good for this condition. I’ll link to my favorite low FODMAP website in the show notes.

Generally speaking though, a diet that’s low in sugar, low in carbohydrates and that doesn’t include gluten or dairy is preferred when Candida is present. And bone broth or as you know if you listen to this podcast, meat stock is my preference, can be really helpful. As well as including high-quality fats in your diet, especially coconut oil which has that caprylic acid that I mentioned earlier as a supplement, because it helps with Candida overgrowth. Other oils that are good fats and also helpful with candida are extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil, and avocado oil. Drinking herbal tea like ginger, peppermint and pau d’ arco tea are also helpful as well as drinking black tea because the tannins in the tea help control the Candida overgrowth.

[25:49] When it comes to candida and diet, I just want to mention one last thing about sugar. We want to limit sugar, but we don’t want to get rid of it completely because getting rid of sugar completely can exacerbate Candida. It’s important to focus on small amounts of natural sugars when Candida is present like honey or maple syrup.

Ok, that’s Candida, hidden condition #2 and hopefully some information to get the wheels turning for you to think about and get you moving down the right path if you are doing everything right, and still not feeling better.

Let’s move on and talk about our last hidden condition, condition #3 and that’s thyroid issues. Challenges with your thyroid often times get misdiagnosed, and definitely underdiagnosed. We may be moving along on our IBD healing journey and not feeling as good as we know we should. Thyroid challenges could be at the heart of keeping you from where you deserve to be with your health. Let’s dive into this problem a little deeper.

What are thyroid issues?

Let’s start by talking about what your thyroid is and what can go wrong with it. Your thyroid is a gland, it’s butterfly shaped, and it’s located at the base of your throat. It produces several hormones that have an impact on your total health. Your thyroid gland regulates your body temperature, slows or speeds up your heartbeat, and most importantly for us with IBD, it controls the rate that we digest our food. Unfortunately, this gland malfunctions and sometimes causes thyroid challenges like hypothyroidism (which is low thyroid hormone function or Hashimoto’s disease (where too much thyroid hormone is produced).

Why our thyroid function matter to our IBD?

[28:15] Four reasons really. Let’s talking about reason #1. I already mentioned this when talking about the functions of our thyroid gland, your thyroid hormones control your digestion. Of course, this gives it an immediate and forever connection with our Crohn’s and colitis as proper digestion is the key to helping our disease. Reason #2- Poor thyroid function affects our ability to absorb the nutrients in our food. Ding ding ding, another connection with our Crohn’s and colitis. Reason #3- a poor functioning thyroid also leads to a condition known as a leaky gut, literally the lining of your gut opening small holes where undigested food heads into the bloodstream.

And reason #4- a reason that typically hits very close to home for those of us with IBD and why we might miss the thyroid issue has to do with gluten intolerance that many of us with IBD face. The molecular structure of gliadin, and that’s the protein found in gluten, is almost identical to the molecular structure of the thyroid gland so when gliadin, that gluten protein, moves into the bloodstream because we’re sensitive to it and it causes that leaky gut I was talking about, our immune system says whoa, what is going on here? This is a foreign invader that shouldn’t be here. Our immune system, which is programmed to remove foreign invaders moves to strike down the gliadin. Because the gliadin and thyroid tissue are so similar, the immune system attacks the thyroid too.

Now we have a problem. We have a problem with our thyroid and all because we are sensitive to gluten. Does this make sense? I know it’s a little bit of a convoluted process, but the bottom line is that reason #4 why people with IBD might be impacted with unrecognized thyroid issues is because of our likely sensitivity to gluten.

And because gluten, when we eat it, can last up to six months in our body, and during all this time it can wreak a lot of havoc on our thyroid, it’s yet another reason to not eat gluten if we have IBD.

What are the symptoms of thyroid problems?

[31:45] And what are the symptoms here? What are we looking for to know if we have an undiagnosed thyroid challenge. Well, there’s lots of symptoms that could be an indication of a thyroid condition. Let me tell you about a few of the ones that I see most commonly. When it comes to thyroid challenges, I see things like lack of energy, trouble losing weight, hair loss, low sex drive, a number of gut challenges that we may mistake for our IBD because remember the thyroid controls our digestion. I also see mental health challenges and neurological challenges like depression and brain fog. The symptoms of a thyroid disorder really run the gamut which is why it’s one of those hidden conditions that we don’t know we have. And when it’s left unchecked, it can really cause difficulties for us down the line.

What do I do if I think my thyroid might be the issue?

So, what are you going to do if these symptoms resonate with you? What are you going to do if you think you have thyroid issues? Well, the first thing you’re going to do is get proper testing. And this is a tough one. Because you go to your doctor and many doctors test your thyroid. It’s a very common test during your annual exam at the gynecologist. But unfortunately, many doctors are only testing one thyroid level, your TSH. And if they find that your TSH is normal, they declare your thyroid function fine. We have to get better thyroid testing. We have to dig deeper when we suspect a thyroid challenge. We have to go to our doctor’s appointments armed and dangerous.

When it comes to proper thyroid testing, functional medicine doctors recommend these tests. I want you to write these down so that you can go to your doctor’s appointment ready to request these specific tests. Go ahead and pause the podcast if you need to get a pen and paper. If you’re driving just remind yourself where we’re at in the podcast so you can go back later. Proper thyroid testing should include a TSH, T4, T3, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. These are just the names of the tests but if you want to know more and exactly what these are looking for, I want you to check out the thyroid link in the show notes. There’s a great article by Dr. Will Cole that I’m going to link to. You can find out more about thyroid function as well as proper thyroid testing there.

This is crucial ladies. We all need to be getting proper thyroid testing. I know for me, I go to my yearly physical and gynecology screening with a piece of paper that has these tests on it. I want to make sure that I am getting my thyroid properly tested at least yearly. The earlier you detect a thyroid problem, the sooner you can begin taking measures to treat it. Please ladies, if you only listen to one thing from this episode please make sure you do this. Get proper thyroid testing. It’s done with a simple blood test. This is something that every doctor can do. Sometimes they just need a little direction from you.

How are thyroid issues treated?

If you go through this testing and you find out that you do have a thyroid challenge, there’s a lot that can be done. Talk to your doctor about eating right for your thyroid. Guess what? Eating for your gut and eating for your thyroid are very similar. You’ll strengthen both at the same time.

There’s a medication that can help with your thyroid as well, both synthetic and natural thyroid replacement hormones. There’s also supplements that can strengthen your thyroid hormones like zinc and magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin D.

Make a plan with your doctor that’s tailored to your needs. Make sure that they know you have Crohn’s or colitis because that will need to be taken into account when deciding on the best treatment plan for you. Everyone’s thyroid needs are different depending on the severity of their challenge. Make a plan together and make sure it includes all facets of help for you. Definitely diet should be in there as well. There’s a lot you can do to help your thyroid with diet alone.

LET’S RECAP THOSE 3 HIDDEN CONDITIONS ONE MORE TIME.

OK my dear, those are the three hidden conditions that may be impacting your ability to feel completely well when you know you’re doing everything right to help heal your IBD. Let’s go ahead and recap the 3 hidden conditions one more time. Hidden condition #1 was small intestinal bacterial overgrowth – SIBO for short. SIBO is an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine, and it often mimics your IBD symptoms and makes it difficult for you to know you have this condition. Proper testing is a must. Follow the steps outlined in the episode and you will be on track for SIBO busting success.

Hidden pitfall #2- Hidden condition #2 was Candida. Candida is another condition where the symptoms mimic your Crohn’s or colitis. This makes it really difficult to know if you have it and may be the hidden problem you didn’t know you have. It might be the difference between 80% remission and full remission from your IBD challenges. Again, like SIBO, you want to see a very qualified medical provider to help diagnose and help you with treatment of this condition. Know that it is treatable and that you can get over it. You don’t have to suffer with Candida your whole life.

The last condition we talked about was hidden condition #3- thyroid challenges. Thyroid challenges are notorious for laying low and getting undiagnosed, especially for those of us with Crohn’s or colitis. Thyroid conditions have a very strong gluten connection which makes it even more important for us to avoid gluten when we have IBD. The sooner your thyroid condition is diagnosed and treated, and that’s with a multipronged approach that includes food, the better your overall health will be.

Remember the thyroid controls many functions in your body including your digestion, so we all want the healthiest thyroid possible. Research the testing I mentioned in this episode, don’t be afraid to take this information directly to your doctor to ensure that you get a full range of thyroid testing. Thyroid health can be complicated, but when we put all the pieces together with proper testing, we get a really good picture of what’s going on with our thyroid.

DO IT LIKE A MOM.

Bottom line here, when it comes to issues that might be holding you back from feeling as good as you can with IBD, I want you to do it like a mom. I want you to know just how fierce and strong you are. I want you to know that you are in charge of your medical care. You are in charge of your total health. Don’t let the challenges we talked about today, the ones that aren’t talked about in mainstream medicine stop you from feeling 100% better. You deserve 100% health. You deserve to be there, 100%, first and foremost for you, for your partner, and for your kids.  

Keep striving for health. Keep striving to feel better. I know that I am with you every step of the way. Together, we are stronger. Together, we’ve got this. If you have any questions about this episode or about IBD in general, please get in touch. I’m always available to chat. Reach out at karynhaley.com Let’s bust your IBD together.

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

Chat soon!

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

[42:45] One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

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

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

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

Ep 29: Opening Up the Gut Love Email Bag {leftover almond pulp, mouth sores, healthy sweeteners & what counts as water}

Ever wonder what tasty treat you can make with your leftover almond pulp when you make nut milk? How about a home remedy for those pesky mouth ulcers we tend to get when our disease is active?

Are there any healthy sweeteners that don’t upset our gut balance? And can I count any other beverage as water when I’m trying to increase my fluid intake?

We’re opening the Gut Love Community email bag and I’m dishing on the juiciest questions you’ve been sending my way lately. I can’t wait to share the answers to your 5-star questions.

We’re talking about:

  • Why you should never buy your non-dairy milk at the grocery store
  • We answer the question, do the words healthy and sweetener belong in the same sentence
  • The problem black and green tea has that herbal tea doesn’t

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll be feeling more confident and prepared about dealing with life’s IBD challenges—big and small.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [03:45] Why you should never buy your non-dairy milk at the grocery store
  • [06:07] All the ingredients you need to make your own almond pulp treats
  • [10:33] The little-known way we know that our disease is active, and inflammation is present
  • [11:20] The 3-ingredient remedy you need to help when mouth ulcers strike (and you already have these ingredients in your home)
  • [13:20] We answer the question, do the words healthy and sweetener belong in the same sentence?
  • [14:20] The 5 natural sweeteners you don’t have to dessert, even when you’re trying to cut down on sugar
  • [15:27] The natural sweetener that low on the glycemic index and low in fructose
  • [17:30] The hidden sugar you may not know to avoid
  • [18:25] Why black and green tea may not provide the same benefits as herbal tea
  • [35:22] 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 your FREE Almond Pulp Treats Recipe

The Gut Love Community

Additional Resources from the Episode:

Mountain Rose Herbs

Arbor Teas

Starwest Botanicals

Traditional Medicinals

How to Make Nut Milk at Home Video

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] I feel like Santa Claus today, maybe Mrs. Claus. I’m more partial to her, girl power and all, because today I’m opening up the sack, the email sack that is, to answer the questions I’ve been getting most from you. Have I told you lately how much I absolutely love connecting with you? The best thing this podcast has brought to my life is a bunch of new IBD mom friends who I’ve been able to connect with, learn from, and support over these last months that The Cheeky Podcast has been live.

And I feel like, if there’s a question that I hear from different ladies’ multiple times, it’s got to be a question that many of us with IBD have.

JOIN US FOR IBD MOM SUPPORT IN THE GUT LOVE COMMUNITY

So today, I’m sharing with you the answers to those very questions. But before we get to the Q and A, I want to ask you if you’re a member of our Gut Love Community yet? The GLC is our free and fabulous community of fellow IBD mamas all trying to heal in whatever way works for us. The GLC is the place for weekly emails with tips and tricks to help you think outside the box when it comes to healing your IBD. And it’s full of freebies like gut healing recipes, and resources that I only share with our mom group. If you’re looking for more Crohn’s and colitis support, join us in the Gut Love Community. I’ll leave a link in the show notes for you to hop on the Gut Love train, but you can also join us at karynhaley.com/community.  

Are you ready to dive into my most asked questions, the one’s that are coming up the most in your emails? OK, let’s do this.

[03:05] QUESTION #1

I NEVER KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY ALMOND MILK PULP LEFTOVERS.

Is there anything I can do with the leftover almond pulp when I make homemade almond milk? I feel really bad throwing it away.

Yes, in fact there is. And I totally get your negative thoughts about throwing it away because we are a community of super healthy eaters who are also thoughtful about not wanting to be wasteful. OK, so let me go ahead and start the beginning here. For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of making nut milk, and you should because it’s really healthy, it’s gut healing and delightful tasting. And best of all, when you make your own nut milk, it isn’t full of the crappy ingredients you find a nut milks at the grocery store.

Nut milks like almond milk and cashew milk are made from nuts that are soaked first. Then the nuts are blended into a milky liquid with lots of grit in it (and that grit is the nut pulp we’re talking about here). We want our milk to be as smooth and grit free as possible, no one wants to drink all that pulp with their milk, so after blending, we drain the milk through a nut milk bag. This is really the most fun part of making the nut milk, especially for kids. They love it because it’s almost like they’re milking a cow. I call it milking a herd of nuts. Once you have your smooth and creamy nut milk, and for this example, let’s say we’re making almond milk, there will be some almond pulp left in the nut milk bag. It’s actually quite a bit.

I USED TO THROW IT AWAY!

For a long time when I started making nut milk, I would just throw this part away. It wasn’t part of the finished product, so I just discarded it. Then, I started thinking that there’s no reason why I can’t use this part of the nut. There’s nothing wrong with it at all. At that same time, I was really into making these date balls. Dates mixed in a food processor with other ingredients like nuts and coconut and vanilla to form a really nice, sweet treat after a meal.  I wondered if there might be some sort of treat I could make with the leftover almond pulp and hence my almond pulp treats were born.

So now, as soon as I’m done making my almond milk, I take the pulp and put it into a bowl. To that, I add in cashew butter, a little bit of honey, raw cacao powder… so this is not an SCD legal item, but it’s a great one if you are just starting to branch out from the SCD or you are not on it at all.  I also add in a little bit of vanilla and a pinch of salt. 

That’s it, those are the ingredients. Then I give the mix a little stir to incorporate all the ingredients and then roll it into tiny, about 2-inch size, round balls. Then, for an extra special touch, like to coat my almond pulp treats in either finely chopped nuts like pecans or cashews or sometimes I roll them in unsweetened shredded coconut flakes.

BEST OF ALL, THEY’RE KID-APPROVED.

Little, tiny, delightful, pop in your mouth, treats with a touch of sweetness that are gut healthy and give you something to do with your almond pulp. I love these little cuties after a meal. My kids even eat them. They keep their shape best when I store them in the fridge so I would keep them there, and they’ll last you about one week.

SOUNDS DELISH, GIVE ME THE RECIPE.

If you want my full almond pulp treats recipe with ingredient amounts, I will leave a link for it in the show notes. You can also go to karynhaley.com/almondpulp to get the complete recipe.

So that’s what I do with the almond pulp. What do you do with your almond pulp? Let me know I’d love to hear some other options. I know there’s other ideas out there.

[09:03] QUESTION #2

IBD MOUTH SORES SUCK!

Sores in my mouth are driving me crazy. They are so annoying and painful. What can I do to get rid of them quickly?

Everyone gets ulcers or canker sores in their mouth, but for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis, these mouth sores can be really debilitating. I’ve had lots of first-hand experience with ulcers in my mouth. In my late teens it wasn’t unusual for me to have 20 or 30 of them at a time. I know that’s a lot, and it really, really sucked. I remember when they were at their worst not being able to eat, or talk, and just felt awful. They would be all over my mouth, the roof of my mouth, on top of my tongue, the bottom of my tongue, on the inside my cheeks, even in the back of my throat. I remember trying to drink lots of milkshakes to sooth them… Smoothies weren’t a thing back in the late 80’s.

THE IBD SIGNAL WE SHOULD ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO.

These mouth ulcers are very common with Crohn’s. As we know with Crohn’s, we can have symptoms anywhere that we have a digestive tract, from the mouth all the way to the anus. These mouth symptoms are an indication that disease is active, and that inflammation is present. In the long run, we need to treat the larger issue and get to the root cause of the active disease and inflammation with gut healing food and supplements and possibly medication, and even stress management techniques, but in the meantime you need to feel relief. Luckily, I have a home remedy you can try to ease the pain of your mouth ulcers, and it’s made with ingredients I’m sure you already have in your house.

ARE YOU READY FOR A HOME REMEDY?

This two ingredient, well three ingredients including water, remedy for mouth ulcers is hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and warm water. Now, I am not much of a measurer, but I’d say that I probably add about 1-2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide, with a quarter teaspoon of baking soda to a small disposable Dixie cup. Then, I add a little bit of warm water, maybe ½ way up the cup. I swish this mixture all around my mouth for 30 seconds to a minute and then spit it out. Repeat this about four times a day while you are experiencing the mouth ulcers.

The hydrogen peroxide kills bad bacteria in your mouth and the baking soda neutralizes any acid that’s present and keeping your mouth inflamed. This technique has worked for me with a mouth full of canker sores, for my clients who experience mouth sores, and for my family when they end up with one canker sore. Just be consistent and patient with it. It can take a few days to work. Also, I find it’s best to do your mouth swish before eating. It really seems to calm things down so that eating isn’t so painful.

[13:20] QUESTION #3

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A “HEALTHY” SWEETENER?

I’m trying to cut down on sugar to help my IBD. Are there any sweeteners that are healthy?

This is such a good question, but first I have to just say that it’s awesome that you’re trying to cut down on sugar. Take it from an ex-sugar addict, it’s hard and I commend your efforts. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut and weakens your digestive tract. To be really blunt, sugar and IBD just do not mix.

While I do recommend keeping your sugar intake quite low, it would be very hard to go without any sugar in your life. The sugars I see my clients tolerating best are natural sweeteners like honey (and raw and manuka honey seem to be particularly good sources when it comes to honey and getting beneficial gut healing properties from the enzymes in those honey), pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, date sugar, and sugar from fruit, especially berries.

SO WHICH OF THESE SWEETENERS ARE BEST?

Let me explain the why behind each of these naturally sweet options to give you just a little more context on each individual option.

Honey is a great sweetener. It’s an immune booster, it’s antiviral, antimicrobial, and it’s full of antioxidants. Maple syrup is a great source of minerals like zinc and magnesium. It helps fight inflammation and improves your immune system and is also a great source of antioxidants. Coconut sugar is great because it has a low glycemic index and is also low in fructose. I’ve seen lot’s of mama with IBD struggle with fructose intolerance so coconut sugar is a better option if that’s the case. It’s also got trace amounts of minerals like zinc and magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium. And it’s another sweetener that is full of antioxidants. Date sugar is also low on the glycemic index, as well as a quality source of antioxidants and fiber. And what’s a better sweetener than natures candy, fruit. My favorite type of fruit sweetener is berries because they are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Berries are high in fiber and vitamin C. They even help fight inflammation.

So there’s actually lots of options when it comes to healthier sugars and sweeteners. Using these sweeteners in moderation instead of table sugar will definitely benefit your IBD in general.

THE HIDDEN SUGAR THAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT.

When it comes to sugars though, there is one last thought that’s worth mentioning and that’s to be careful of the hidden sugars found in carbohydrates. When we think of sugar, we often think of candy and soda, but there’s other ways we can get too much sugar in our sensitive system. High starch foods like white potatoes, pasta, and bread will also increase the amount of sugar in your body. When we are thinking about lowering our sugar intake to help our IBD, don’t forget about lowering your carb intake as well, especially those white starches. When you do both, your gut will really reap the benefits.

[18:16] QUESTION #4

WHEN YOU CRAVE MORE THAN JUST WATER.

I’m trying to drink more water. Can I count tea in my water total for the day?

Another fantastic question and I’m so glad that you are drinking more water. It’s the healthiest beverage you can possibly drink. The answer to this question is yes and no from my perspective. Yes, I typically count tea for water but not all tea. Black tea and green tea have wonderful benefits and they are worth drinking, but I would not count them in your water consumption for the day. I would however count herbal tea. Peppermint tea, ginger tea, chamomile tea, lemongrass tea… as long as the only ingredient in the tea that’s in the name of the tea (like just peppermint or just ginger) and no artificial flavors or even natural flavors or other ingredients are added to the tea, I would include herbal tea in your water intake for the day.

WHERE DO I FIND QUALITY TEAS?

Some of my favorite places to buy high-quality loose leaf tea include Internet sources like Rose Mountain Herbs, Arbor Tea, and Starwest Botanicals. And loose leaf teas are always the best option for the best benefit from your tea. But that’s not always an option. So when it comes to bag teas, I really like Traditional Medicinals. Their ingredients tend to be very clean and what the box states is in the teabag is actually in the tea bag.

DO YOU HAVE AN IBD QUESTION YOU’RE LOOKING TO ANSWER?

So that’s a wrap on the Gut Love Community e-mail bag. Your answers to the questions that are being asked most often. Like I said at the top of this episode, one of the things I love most about doing this podcast is connecting with you. Thanks so much for reaching out with your questions about IDB and with your positive thoughts about the show. You inspire me to keep doing the work that I do. So, thank you for that. Continue sending your questions and comments my way at hello@karynhaley.com. I can’t wait to hear from you.

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

Chat soon!

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.

[21:05] One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

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

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

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

Ep 28: Must Have SCD Kitchen Gadgets You Can’t Live Without

Starting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is one of the hardest things a mom with Crohn’s or colitis can do. The diet is so different from anything you’ve tried before and the kitchen can quickly become the place you spend all of your time.

In my almost 13 years on this diet, I’ve definitely taken great pleasure in hacking all the cooking and baking parts of the diet to make your kitchen life easier and more fun! Finding kitchen gadgets that simplify your SCD life is right up there with my favorite things to do (I’m SCD nerdy like that ; )

I can’t wait to share my latest SCD finds with you. Whether you’re an SCD beginner, SCD intermediate, or SCD pro, you are going to love these kitchen gadget finds that make your SCD life 10 times easier.  

We’re talking about:

  • Your best weapon kitchen gadget antidote for the hangries when you’re just getting started on the SCD
  • The most important SCD legal food you’ll want to make in your Instant Pot
  • Why almond flour never tasted so good with this kitchen gadget

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll be running out to the store (or at least hoping on your computer) to buy these must have SCD lifesaving kitchen gadgets.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [02:24] Why you don’t need every SCD kitchen gadget the moment you start
  • [05:00] The gadgets you do need to get started on SCD when you are a beginner (plus a bonus splurge that will make your SCD life even better)
  • [09:41] The kitchen gadget antidote for the SCD hangries when you’re in the early stages of eating the SCD
  • [13:15] The beginning SCD stages splurge and health saver you’re going to want to get
  • [16:10] My top 3 SCD kitchen gadgets that are the perfect fit when you are in the intermediate stages of SCD
  • [21:01] The most important SCD food you’ll want to make in your instant pot
  • [23:15] When you become and SCD pro, there’s still these kitchen gadgets that can open your SCD world up to a whole new level
  • [27:50] The must have kitchen gadget that makes your SCD on-the-go life easy as pie (grain free pie of course ; )
  • [29:45] Almond flour never tasted so sweet (and this gadget is the reason)
  • [34:05] A free resource checklist to get all your SCD kitchen gadgets is yours at karynhaley.com/gadgets
  • [35:22] 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 your FREE SCD/GAPS Kitchen Gadget Checklist

The Gut Love Community

Additional Resources from the Episode:

The Cheeky Podcast Episode 22: Juicing vs Smoothies

The Cheeky Podcast Episode 20: Q and A IBD Giveaway Part II with SCD vs GAPS

How to Make Nut Milk at Home Video

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] Hey dear one, hope I am finding you feeling happy today. I hope I can bring a smile to your face when I tell you that today, I’m feeling gratitude for you and for your lovely messages in support of the show that you keep sending my way. I’m so glad this podcast is bringing you some hope and inspiration. Thank you for listening and telling your fellow IBD mamas about the show. Let’s keep spreading hope to all the moms with IBD. There’s a lot of us in the world and we are stronger when we unite.

We’ve got a special SCD show coming your way today. You know the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is right up there with my favorite topics in the world to discuss, so let just dive in. Today, I’m going to make your existing experience on this diet or your move to starting the diet ten times easier.  The SCD is hard enough. Let’s not make it harder when we don’t have the right kitchen tools to help get us started and stay committed as we go.

THE SCD IS HARD, LET’S NOT MAKE IT HARDER THAN IT HAS TO BE

So here’s the thing about the SCD. Even though there’s lots of people who will tell you need these 20 kitchen tools right away if your on SCD, the truth is some of them you need now, and some can wait a little while. That’s why I’ve designed this episode into three sections: must have beginner SCD kitchen gadgets (these are the ones you’ll definitely want before you get started), must have intermediate SCD kitchen gadgets (these are the ones you’ll need probably in a couple months’ time if all goes well), and must have advanced SCD kitchen gadgets you can wait for until well down the road when you are smooth sailing in SCD land.

I hope this list and breaking it up by where you’re at in SCD will give you less stress when you get started, save you from spending all your money at one time, and help you know what’s really important to purchase to make SCD work best for you.

One last note I want to mention. Every kitchen gadget on this list is also interchangeable with the GAPS diet. These kitchen tools are must have’s for either diet. And both of these diets have their strengths and both can be equally amazing when it comes to healing your Crohn’s or colitis.

We wont’ be delving into the in’s and out’s of what these diets entail on this episode so if you’re new to the world of SCD and GAPS and you’re wondering how they might be able to help you, you definitely want to check out episode 20 of The Cheeky Podcast. I’ll link to it in the show notes. It will give you everything you need to know when it comes to deciding which diet is best for you.

So, you know where to go to get more information on what the diets entail, how they can help your IBD, and where to find help on which one is best for you. And you’re set with the fact that although I’ll be mostly mentioned SCD in this episode, all of these gadgets work for GAPS too.

Fantastic, OK let’s dive in.

[05:00] So, you’re toying with the idea of getting started on the SCD diet or you know it’s imminent, you are starting ASAP. What do you need right away to get yourself started with less stress and more confidence?

YOUR SCD KITCHEN GADGETS MUST HAVE’S RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING

Three Things.

There’s three kitchen gadgets that will make your early SCD life 10 times easier and then there’s one bonus splurge gadget to purchase if you can swing it.

OK #1, the number one kitchen gadget you’ve got to have when you’re just starting out the SCD is a yogurt maker. The crux of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, that crucial component that helps you balance your gut flora—the bacteria in your gut. Now listen, we can get into a huge debate about whether you should start with the yogurt right away, wait until some intestinal healing has taken place and whether you start with dairy or non-dairy yogurt. But unless you are going to skip the yogurt piece all together, you will need a yogurt maker and pretty quickly.

Over the course of my close to 13 years on the SCD, yogurt makers have come and gone, but right now, there’s no better yogurt maker than the Louvele. This is a great machine, dedicated to making SCD/GAPS yogurt. Go to their website, I’ll link to it in the show notes. Check out their yogurt making tutorials and buy the yogurt maker on their site. You won’t be sorry you did. And by the way, the Louvele yogurt maker makes dairy and non-dairy yogurt. Both have the probiotic properties you need to heal your IBD.

Moving on to your #2 must have kitchen gadget when you’re an SCD beginner. It’s large, glass mason jars. These are the best place to store your chicken stock, your premade snack foods, even leftovers can be stored in glass mason jars. These jars and seriously the best for broth. When I make my homemade stock, I always know to get out three large mason jars. That’s what it takes to store my stock. Then, I place these in the frig to use throughout the week. Easy to store, easy to find when I’m ready for some gut healing broth.

YOUR ANTIDOTE FOR THE EARLY SCD HANGRIES

[09:41] In the beginning days of SCD, when you are hangry and going through carbohydrate withdrawal (yes, it’s a real thing), having snacks at the ready is a must. I love using mason jars for pureed carrots and other veggies, or apple and pear sauce. If you have a few of the smaller, medium sized mason jars, they are perfect for this, but if not, the larger ones will do as well. 

I remember my client Olivia telling me she was really struggling in the middle of the second week of the SCD. She was beyond the intro diet and moving into well-cooked fruits and veggies and Olivia was hangry all the time. In her pre-SCD days, she was a self-described carb-a-holic. Pasta, white bread, rice, mashed potatoes… those were all her meals of choice.  When Olivia started SCD, she essentially went cold turkey off these foods. That’s bound to create some carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms where you just feel hungry and jittery all the time. The antidote to the hangries is having food on hand at all times.

And as I told Olivia, you never want to have to hunt and peck for food. The temptation to stray becomes just too great. There’s just something about having snacks right in the frig, where you don’t even have to open the container to know what’s in it. Keeping your early days of SCD snacking food in clear glass containers is genius. It worked for me when I was going through it, it worked for Olivia when she was going through it, and it will work for you.

Glass mason jars, a beginner SCD must have.

AVOIDING SCD CROSS CONTAMINATION CAN BE THE KEY TO IBD REMISSION

OK, let’s finish up our SCD beginner must have kitchen gadgets list with kitchen gadget #3: your own dedicated kitchen pieces. The cutting board, pots, pans, utensils… all the places where cross contamination can occur. While it may not be practical to get all your own individual kitchen gadgets, I highly recommend you focus on the ones you can get. And that starts with the cutting board, where small particles of food can get stuck and negatively impact your health. Those little crumbs might seem like a small thing, but to a new SCDer, they can have huge negative results.

I remember when I started out on the SCD I didn’t have my own pots and pans. I quickly learned that I was so sensitive to the leftover remnants of food (even those you can’t see) on the pan and ended up buying a couple pieces dedicated just to me. It was the difference between feeling almost well and getting all the way to IBD remission.

The other place to watch for cross contamination when it comes to the SCD, by the way, is the nut butter jar (peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter) and also the regular butter. These are places that often get contaminated with bread because the knife goes in the jar, onto the bread, and back into the jar again. Same with butter, whether its in a tube or a stick of butter. Do yourself a favor and buy your own. And if your kids are anything like mine, label whatever is yours so little hands don’t end up taking your SCD goodies.

THE SCD SPLURGE YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS

Just one last thing before we move on from must have kitchen gadgets for beginners. There’s one last item that I consider a splurge, but still a very worthwhile purchase in the beginning stages of SCD. And that’s a high-quality juicer. Juicing can be hugely beneficial and healing for your digestive system, especially in the beginning stages when you really need to get your vitamins and minerals into the body to help lower your inflammation and boost your immune. But at this time, it’s also likely you can’t tolerate many of these nutrient dense foods in their natural whole state.

Juicing gives you the opportunity to put vegetables and fruits in a state you can easily digest and absorb. Those two words, digest and absorb, are music to your inflamed intestinal system. Listen, there’s so much I could tell you about juicing, it’s a big topic. But the good news is that we already tackled everything you need to know about juicing in episode 22: Juicing vs Smoothies: What’s Better for Gut Healing? Go check that out. It will give you everything you need to know about juicing as well as give you some options if you are ready to purchase a juicer to help you with your beginner SCD and healing needs.

A FREE RESOURCE TO MAKE YOUR SCD LIFE EASIER AND CONVENIENT

Ok, 3 must have kitchen gadgets to begin SCD with a bonus thrown in so you have everything you need for early days on the diet. These kitchen supplies are most of what you need when you’re just getting started, but there are most definitely a few more items you’ll want to consider to make your SCD life quick and convenient. For all of those items, you’ll want to download My Best and Most Comprehensive Kitchen Equipment List for the SCD & GAPS Diets. It’s the most extensive list I’ve ever created for everything you need, no matter what stage you’re in. It’s for every stage of SCD in and it’s yours absolutely free when you click the link in the show notes or go to karynhaley.com/gadgets to grab your copy of this very valuable checklist.

ALREADY PAST THE SCD INTRO STAGES? CHECK OUT THESE MUST HAVE INTERMEDIATE STAGES MUST HAVE’S

[16:10] Ok, we covered some must have’s that you need to get started on SCD. Now, let’s move on to the intermediate phase, when you’re adding in more food like additional fruits and vegetables and nut milks.  These are the top three must have gadgets to get you through this period on your healing journey.

What’s #1 on your list? It’s a nut milk bag. Literally a bag that helps you make your own nut milk. Almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk… all of these milks are welcome on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Just not in the manner that you typically buy non-dairy milk at the grocery store. These seemingly “healthy” nut milks are full of additives, preservatives, and gut disruptors that will hinder your healing progress. Plus, and most importantly, making your own nut milk is so freakin’ simple you won’t believe it and it’s totally fun, especially for your kiddos. It’s like milking your own herd of nuts to get delicious tasting, gut healing milk.

You’re going to love it when you’re ready for this stage of the SCD because it opens your food world up to a larger playing field and it helps you enjoy more variety in what you put in your body. The nut milk bag is your gateway to get there.

Nut milk bags are available all over the internet. There’s a link to my favorite one in your SCD/GAPS kitchen equipment checklist so when you grab it I the show notes, check out the one I recommend.

If you’re thinking about trying nut milk for yourself, I’ll also link to my oldie but goodie instructional nut milk video in the show notes. I promise I’ll put a podcast together all about the latest in nut milk in the near future, but for now, there’s that good (but dated) video to get you started in the show notes.

Let’s move on to talk about your SCD kitchen gadget must have #2 in the intermediate stage and it’s a crockpot or an instant pot. When it comes to the crockpot or an instant pot, I’ve got 2 words for you—game changer. Both free up so much of your time spent in the kitchen. It’s truly a game changer.

Crockpots are fantastic. I’ve had mine for years. They slow cook soups, stews, your chicken stock that you’re eating or drinking a ton of on the diet at this point and they take the flavor factor of everything you make up a notch because they let everything marinate and simmer for hours. The beauty of the crockpot is that you can put all the food in in the morning and it’s ready for you by dinnertime. No extra work or labor intensive meal. Just done.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU’LL WANT TO MAKE IN YOUR INSTANT POT

Now, in recent years, the instant pot has exploded all over the world. It’s just like a crockpot in it’s ability to create super rich, flavorful food that you don’t have to be chained to the kitchen to make. But the instant pot adds an additional benefit. Your food is cooked in an instant—well almost. I’ve made a complete, delicious meals for my family, SCD legal of course, in 30 minutes flat. Garlic Chicken, turkey tacos, lemon dill salmon, sweet and spicy chicken stew, pot roast… all in 30 minutes. It’s truly a wonder. But the most important thing I make in my instant pot is my chicken stock. It’s rich and full of gut healing gelatin and collagen without having to spend hours cooking it.  

You’re spending so much time in the kitchen making your own food on the SCD. I don’t know about you, but I’d buy any kitchen gadget that saved me time. The crockpot and the instant pot do just that. Do yourself a favor, SCD or not, and get one of these must have kitchen favorites.

And by the way, instant pots aren’t just for dinner. Many of my clients make their homemade fermented yogurt in the instant pot and swear by it. Just a thought.

OK, there’s one last must have kitchen gadget I want to share with you for when you’re in the intermediate stages of the SCD. Kitchen gadget #3 is a high-speed blender. Oh the power of a high speed blender. Soups, smoothies, sauces, salad dressings, nut butter, nut milk… I think I use my blender at least once a day, and that’s not counting the times my kids use it either. We are definitely a high-speed blending family.

I have a link to my favorite high-speed blender in your SCD/GAPS Kitchen Equipment Check List, but just know that it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to buy a high quality high-speed blender. There are several available on the market today. I also talk about my favorite blender brands in episode 22, the one where I compare juicing and smoothies so if you’re in the market to upgrade your old-fashioned blender, check it out. Either way, I’ll get you steered in the right direction.

ARE YOU AN SCD PRO? CONSIDER THESE KITCHEN GADGETS TO TAKE YOUR COOKING AND BAKING LIFE TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL

Well, we’ve made it to our last category of must have SCD kitchen gadgets. These are the gadgets you’ll need when you get to more advanced stages on your gut healing journey. Isn’t it cool that you don’t need all of these gadgets at once? You can buy them a little at a time, when you’re ready for them.

[21:01] Now gadget #1 isn’t technically a gadget, it’s more of an accompaniment to your kitchen supplies. But it’s a must have for SCDer’s once you’ve started to incorporated nut flours into your diet. And nut flours are a beautiful thing. We always celebrate this moment when a client is able to tolerate nut flours.

Gadget #1 (not really a gadget technically) is baking cups. You know those paper cups you use when making muffins or cupcakes. Yep, baking cups. I know it’s a small purchase, but trust me, baking cups are vital. In your life prior to SCD, you probably were used to breaking out the baking spray (like Pam) and adding your baking batters directly to the muffin pan. This is just not going to work when it comes to nut flours. First of all, they’ll stick and you’ll be lucky to get any of your baked good out of the pan. And secondly, Pam type sprays are not allowed on the SCD due to their gut disrupting ingredient like soy lecithin and dimethyl silicone. Do yourself a favor and stock up on baking cups when you’re ready for nut flours. And, actually, they’re more versatile than you think. I’ve used them for egg-straordinary breakfasts and meatball creations for dinner. Baking cups are a must have addition to your SCD kitchen gadget supplies.

THE MUST HAVE SCD GADGET TO KEEP EVERYTHING FROM STICKING TO THE PAN

Along the same lines as baking cups, when it comes to SCD baking, you’ll want to purchase for advanced SCD mode is kitchen gadget #2- a silpat mat or parchment paper. Just like muffins will stick to your cupcake pan, everything else you bake with nut flour will too. Cookies, pizza, bread, biscuits… you get the picture… all of these delicious foodie items will stick to your sheet pan, pizza stone, loaf pan, or 9 X 13 pan. You’ll need some sort of nonstick surface and toxic baking spray isn’t the answer.

A silpat mat is a more permanent and environmentally friendly option. You can reuse this kitchen gadget over and over. Parchment paper on the other hand is also non-stick, but it will need to be recycled after using. In my kitchen, I use both. When I’m using a sheet pan, the silpat mat is the perfect choice. For breads I make in a loaf pan, the parchment paper does the trick every time.

THE MUST HAVE KITCHEN GADGET THAT MAKE YOUR SCD ON-THE-GO LIFE HAPPEN

[27:50] Alright, let’s talk about one last advanced stage must have SCD kitchen gadget. Gadget #3 in the advanced category is something called a hot logic mini. Words can’t describe just how much I love and appreciate this invention. It’s another SCD game changer.

By the time you’ve moved into advanced SCD stages, you’re gaining more confidence in your eating away from home. You’re taking your food on the go and this is where the hot logic mini comes into play. This must have kitchen gadget is a portable food carrier and heater for all your SCD on-the-go food. Before Covid, I used my hot logic mini practically every day. It allowed me to take my food wherever I went. It kept it cold and fresh, and then at lunchtime I could heat it up as long as I had access to an outlet.

I’d also take it on every road trip we took as a family.  I’d plug it in to our car’s outlet and my food would keep warm and be ready for me wherever and whenever I was ready. Think of it like a small portable crockpot on the warm setting. It keeps your food warm for as long as you need it to, but never burns it because it’s at a warmer setting, never high heat. I haven’t used my hot logic mini in ages because I’ve been so close to home during the pandemic. I can’t wait until I get to use it again. We are getting there. I feel it! The hot logic mini. It’s like having your own portable oven with you everywhere you go. Fantastic for SCDer’s.

ALMOND FLOUR NEVER TASTED SO SWEET (AND THIS GADGET IS THE REASON)

I’ve got to leave you with one more bonus kitchen gadget. Not a necessity, but a splurge that will make your nut flour eating SCD life that much sweeter. And that last bonus item is a toaster oven. If there’s one thing I know about almond and coconut flour goodies, it’s that they always taste better when their warm.

The toaster oven allows you to warm everything directly from the freezer without heating up an entire oven. My family has gotten so into the toaster oven (for everything) that I don’t think we ever use the microwave anymore. And to that, I say good riddance to that kitchen gadget happily.

THE RECAP

[30:54] So there you have it, my complete list, every must have SCD kitchen gadget you’ve got to have to make sure you have the best and easiest SCD journey possible. Let’s recap that list one more time.

In the category of SCD beginner must have kitchen gadgets we’ve got:

  • A yogurt maker (will need that very soon)
  • Large glass mason jars (great for chicken stock and all your snacky goodies)
  • Your own kitchen pieces (cutting board, possibly pots, pans, cooking utensils…)
  • Bonus: a juicer (no better way to make sure you digest and absorb your nutrients)

In the category of SCD intermediate must have kitchen gadgets, we’ve got:

  • The nut milk bag (don’t want to be buying grocery store nut milk)
  • The crockpot or instant pot (perfect for making your cooking life easier)
  • A high-speed blender (for soups, sauces, and everything in between)

In the category of SCD advanced must have kitchen gadgets, we’ve got:

  • Baking cups (for non-stick nut flour goodness)
  • A silpat mat or parchment paper (both if you bake a variety of things)
  • The hot logic mini (game changer for SCD on the go)
  • Bonus: a toaster oven (because it’s makes nut flour taste delish)

ARE YOU READY TO START OR ACCELERATE YOUR SCD JOURNEY?

I know you can do it. Don’t be deterred. The SCD is possible and having some extra help from some SCD lovin’ kitchen gadgets is the key.  

Remember there’s nothing I like talking about more than the Specific Carbohydrate Diet so hit me up with your Q’s about kitchen gadgets or other SCD topics anytime. That’s what I’m here for.

Don’t forget to grab your copy of My Best and Most Comprehensive Kitchen Equipment Check List for the SCD & GAPS Diets. It’s got all of the kitchen gadgets I mentioned today, plus tons more to make your SCD or GAPS life as easy a pie (grain free pie that is). Just head to the show notes and click the link to download the checklist or head over to karynhaley.com/gadgets. Either way, I’ve got you covered.

Until the next episode, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD healing journey.

Chat soon!

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

[35:22] One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

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

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

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

Ep 27: Behind-the-Scenes of My 5-Step IBD Healing Morning Start

Last week, after finishing my IBD healing morning start for the umpteenth time, I had a realization of just how powerful these 5 gut healing steps have been in my life.

And once that hit me, the power of setting yourself up for the day (mind, body, and soul), I realized I had to share my powerful morning start with you.

I hope this behind-the-scenes look at what I do to engage IBD healing and keep it going all day long sparks an “a-ha” or a “hmm…” moment for you to create your own IBD healing rituals, no matter what time of day you do them.

We’re talking about:

  • How to make sure your IBD healing morning start that stays with you all day long
  • The #1 mindfulness app made with IBDer’s in mind
  • Why “the year of ME” is the most selfless thing you can do for your whole family

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll be ready to put your very own IBD healing morning start into practice in the way that best fits your symptoms and your lifestyle.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [08:52] The reason why a far infrared heat lamp is a must for your IBD healing morning start
  • [10:30] The digestive benefits of herbal tea for your gut health
  • [12:23] The perfect Mother’s Day gift you have to ask for
  • [16:51] The free mindfulness app you have to get to help your Crohn’s or colitis
  • [22:44] What I put in my morning pages and what you might want to write about too
  • [26:50] The free and fabulous YouTube yoga sesh for beginners that you’re going to love
  • [28:40] The way we fit our IBD healing into our family life too
  • [31:10] The recipe for the morning detox drink that’s the perfect finish for your IBD healing morning start
  • [38:18] How to bring your morning start into the rest of your day so you feel the best you can all day long
  • [41:40] What putting YOU first can do for healing your IBD
  • [43:20] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Get your FREE Morning Detox Recipes

The Gut Love Community

Additional Resources from the Episode:

Far Infrared Mineral Heat Lamp

Breville Automatic Tea Maker

Insight Timer App

The Effect of Breathing, Movement, and Meditation on Psychological and Physical Symptoms and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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 dear one and welcome to the podcast. How’s your day going? I want to take just a moment to send out some healing energy your way, especially if you’re struggling today. I feel you mama. I’ve had those lots of those days myself. I have to say though, for me, today is going pretty well, considering a lot of chaos that’s out of my control going on around me and I know that’s because I started my day in the best possible way for my IBD. I started today with my 5 step IBD Healing Morning Start. I’ve been starting my day this way for a while now, not really absorbing just how important it was for my health, and one day last week it hit me just how crucial my morning start was and when I realized that, I knew I had to share it with you. If the behind-the-scenes of how I start my day with my IBD in mind can help you move the needle in a positive direction, even just a little, I knew I had to share.

So today, like I said, I’m sharing the behind-the-scenes of what my typical morning looks like, my 5 step IBD Healing Morning Process, but I have to start by saying that sharing my 5 steps is not about you copying the way I do it. It’s about sparking a-ha’s and hmm’s for you so that you can create your own IBD healing rituals.

And my rituals take place first thing in the morning. I’m at a place in my mom life where that works best for me. My youngest is 10 and I’ve got two late in teenage years adults still living at home who love to stay up past midnight every night. My nighttime of putting the kids to bed early and enjoying some quiet time with myself or my hubby are definitely a thing of the past. These days, if I want quiet ME time, it’s got to be when the kids are still asleep in the morning.

When you’re listening to my 5 Step IBD Healing Morning Start, instead of thinking “I can’t” or tuning it out because this time of day doesn’t work for you, I challenge you instead to think about, where could I fit that in for me?

WHERE CAN I PRIORITIZE ME TO HELP MY IBD?

If you have nappers, could you commit to this during naptime, or maybe schedule it with your partner when you’re both at home with the kids? If you’re kiddos are older than nap age, but still go to bed relatively early, could you squeeze it in after their bedtime? And if you have kids my age, trust me, they are fine on their own for a bit. I promise, they won’t burn down the house—most likely. And if you’re like lots of mamas and you feel like your whole day is a zoo and 1 hour all 5 steps takes isn’t possible—what about some 20 minute chunks of time where you break up the 5 steps?

Bottom line, let my behind-the-scenes be the catalyst for you to create your own IBD healing rituals that you can do daily. And if you can’t do all 5, which 1 or 2 can you do?

THIS ISN’T AN ALL OR NONE APPROACH, IT’S ABOUT FIGURING OUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

You do you mama! But I’m not buying, I don’t have any time. Like a wise professor told me once when I told her I don’t have time… she said we all have time and we make the choice what we do with it. Right now, healing your IBD needs to be right up there with your top priorities like keeping your kids alive. If you stick with this, it’s not your forever, it’s your now. And when you feel better, you’ll pour all that love back into time with the ones you love.

You deserve this time mama. You deserve health mama.  Make this your priority and you will reap the rewards with IBD health.

And at the end, we’ll recap the steps and I’ll show you how to make each of these steps your own when you Do it Like a Mom.

[06:10] It’s time to dive into my 5-step morning start. For this part, I’m going to give it to your straight. How the 5 steps work for me. And at the end, we’ll recap the steps and I’ll show you how to make each of these steps your own when you Do it Like a Mom.

STEP #1: WAKE UP EARLY AND GET SET UP FOR AN IBD HEALING MORNING

This is the most important step even though there’s not much in terms of helping your IBD because if you wake up late and get a late start, whatever time late means for you—for some mamas 5:30am is a late start, for others 9am is. So, whatever early is for you, try for that if you’re planning on doing all 5 steps IBD Healing Morning Start. The whole healing journey takes about 1 hour. To make sure I get up on time, I try (notice the word try there cause I’m far from perfect) to get a good night’s sleep. For me, that’s 8-9 hours. Ever since I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, (and that was over 30 years ago) I’ve noticed that I need more sleep than some people. I just know that my body needs it. My hubby seems to thrive on 6 hours. Everyone is different.

So, once I walk up early, I immediately turn on my far infrared lamp.  What’s a far infrared lamp and how does it help IBD? That’s a whole other conversation and one we had back in the last episode of The Cheeky Podcast. Episode #26: Far Infrared Light Therapy: A Hidden Gem for IBD. If you didn’t listen to that episode yet, it’s OK, you can go back and take a listen after this one. I go into everything you need to know about infrared light therapy and how it can help if you have Crohn’s or colitis.

In the meantime, just know that for IBDer’s, far infrared light therapy in the cliff notes version (if cliff notes are still a thing) is all about detoxifying your body, decreasing inflammation, increasing your immune function, and balancing your gut flora. Really important stuff for us IBD moms.

So, I turn on my far infrared heat lamp first thing because it takes 10-15 minutes to heat up so I want to get it started right away. And if I’m being complete in my behind the scenes take, next up is a quick trip to the bathroom for a #1. Normally, I wouldn’t classify that to just anyone, but in IBD land, the difference between #1 and #2 land is a big deal. We’re always keeping track aren’t we?

[10:15] I grab a cup of herbal tea that’s already brewed, waiting for me, from a little nook in by bedroom. Weird that I brew tea in my bedroom, I know. Well, it’s the perfect place that’s close by to pick up my tea before heading back into bed. Tea is a huge part of my healing regime. Herbal tea boasts gut healing benefits ranging from decreasing inflammation, to helping with bloating, gas, nausea, aiding in digestion, energy, immune function, depending on the type of herbal tea, it can provide us with antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C and iron… and so many more crazy cool benefits. And my herbal tea is waiting for me to wake up because in my bedroom is one of my absolute favorite things in the whole world. An automatic, programable tea brewer.

Trust me, I know it’s the absolute definition of a true want and not a necessity, and I thank my lucky stars every time I sip tea made from it. One of the only perks of having IBD (and we deserve some perks with all we go through) is truly appreciating everything we put in our body that supports health and healing. Most people mindlessly eat without thinking about what it’s doing to their body. We, on the other hand eat and drink with intention because we know just how powerful it can be on our healing journey.

And getting that tea brewer, if I’m being really honest with you, had a lot to do with feeling jealous of coffee drinkers who could set their coffee maker at night and have perfectly brewed hot coffee waiting for them in them in the morning. So, I searched far and wide, for years really, for a tea maker that did the same thing. Finally, last year I found it. An automatic, ready for you in the morning, tea brewer by Breville and I asked my family to get it for me for Mother’s Day. Next to my Vitamix, my fantastic high-speed blender that I’ve had for 10 years, it’s probably my most favorite small kitchen appliance. I’ll link to my tea brewer in the show notes in case you’re a tea fanatic like me and want to indulge in this fancy newfangled contraption. Mother’s Day is coming up again you know.

So, I quickly grab my cup of herbal tea and settle back in bed where my infrared red heat lamp is heating up and sip my tea while I read the morning news on my phone. Gasp, phone by my bed? Yep, guilty. Well, actually, I don’t feel so guilty. Right now, I’m kind of feeling unapologetic about my phone being next to me while I sleep. Maybe I’ll feel differently a month from now, but today I like it there. It’s on do not disturb all night, I turn the wi-fi off at night so I’m not using it, but I like my morning news emails when I wake up. Katie Couric and The Skimm. Two quick email recaps of the what’s going on in the news with a little light and fluffy thrown in. Perfect to get my morning news fix.

Now, I have to give you a word of caution here, and this is definitely from personal experience. Try your hardest not to get sucked into your other emails. That’s a rabbit hole that will suck you in and never let you out. It’s into the news update emails and right back out again for me. Just some friendly advice from an ex-email addict. News fix done and my infrared heat lamp is ready to go. So how it always takes me exactly the right amount of time to finish with the news for my news fix lamp to be ready for me.

IT’S TIME FOR STEP #2 AND STEP #3

[15:06] Great, now it’s time for Step #2, where the real IBD healing power begins—mind, body, and soul. Step 2 begins with the infrared heat lamp that’s now all warm and ready for some gut love. I focus the heat lamp 12 inches above my belly, make sure the timer is set for thirty minutes. With step 2 happening in the background, I can quickly move on the step #3.  And step #3 begins with either Option A: My Long Visualization Plan, or Option B: My Short Visualization Plan.

Neither plan is better than the other, they’re just slightly different, depending on my mood and what I want to accomplish with my IBD healing start that day. Both plans do involve some sort of visualization. If this word is new to you, you can think of it like a meditation, but this meditation is specifically designed for moms with IBD who want all the gut healing benefits meditation can bring without the fear or annoyance some moms get from the complete stillness of meditation. I see it like this: meditation is about quieting the mind. Visualization is about focusing your mind on healing.

In option A: my long visualization, I spend about 20-25 minutes in a guided visualization through a free app called Insight Timer. Have you ever used this app? It’s truly incredible- just in the sheer volume of visualization/meditation options available. There’s visualizations based on time from 5 min to 60 minutes and longer. There’s visualizations based on the benefit you are looking for like pain management, healing, relaxation, anxiety, sleep and motherhood. There’s filters by type of practice like guided imagery, mindfulness, or grounding.

There’s even a parent section you can use with your kids. Visualizations for relaxation and sleep, all packaged in a perfect kid sized box. My 10-year-old loves Insight Timer!

I’m not even scratching the surface here of all that Insight Timer offers. And did I mention it’s free? You just have to check it out. I’ll leave the link to Insight Timer in the show notes.

For my option A long form visualization, I pick a 20-25 minute session from my book marked visualization list based on my gut healing needs of the day. There’s several Insight Timer contributors to Insight Timer you might want to check out are Sarah Blondin and Davidji, but my favorites are the gut directed contributors like Michelle White and Ruthie Hanan. Ruthie even has visualization sessions specific for all of us with Crohn’s and colitis. How cool is that?

This 20-25 minutes of focused energy on the health of my gut, my entire body, and my mind are more powerful than anything else I do for my gut health through the day. These moments set me up with the right mindset to move through my day with confidence and clarity. Visualizations like the ones in Insight Timer have lots of relaxing breathing built in. And studies show this specific type of meditation has great benefit for IBD sufferers. One study I’ll link to in the show notes showed outcomes of those with IBD who had a mindfulness practice had lower CRP or C-reactive protein and lower calprotectin levels—both measures of inflammation and active disease in those with Crohn’s and colitis.

Super powerful stuff.

TIME FOR THE KEGELS!!!

With my infrared lamp still gently warming and soothing my abdomen, and my visualization complete, I spend my last 5-10 minutes with a round of kegel exercises—we can’t neglect our kegel muscles mama! It might just come back to haunt us in our old age. I remember my mom needing surgery on her pelvic floor later in life after, well let’s just say things were hanging out where they shouldn’t be, and since I know this can genetic, I’m not taking any chances. The more babies you have vaginally, the more you need those kegels my friend.

Kegel exercises complete, it’s time for a prayer of hope for my family, my loved ones, our Gut Love Community moms, our world and for all I want to conquer for that day. Your prayer or offering to the world can take whatever form prayer takes for you.

And that’s option A: the long visualization plan.

SOMETIMES OPTION B IS JUST AS GOOD AS OPTION A

On an option B day, my short visualization plan, it starts very similar to option A, but I choose a much shorter visualization on Insight Timer—5-10 minutes. I follow that with 20 minutes of my morning pages. This is a free form of journaling that just helps me feel centered, grounded, ready to give my all to the day ahead.

Have you ever tried journaling before? People either love it or hate it. Before I started this practice I used to think I would hate it. But now that I’ve made it a priority, I really have taken to my morning pages. Morning pages, for me, might be a brain dump of whatever is in my head that morning, it might be a brainstorm of ideas for the podcast, it might be a rant about one of my teenagers… right now, it’s been about my mom who passed away a couple months ago. I’m writing down lots of stories about her life. Stories I want to remember from her final days, stories I want the kids to know about her after I’m long gone. It’s been really cathartic.

I like to journal in the morning, but I find that lots of my clients like to do this at night. They might have trouble sleeping and free flow journaling helps them get everything out, and literally then set aside their worries for the night so they can sleep. You pick the way that works for you. Try it, even if you go into it like me thinking you’re going to hate it. I bet you’ll like it more that you think.

Option B ends just like option A with some kegels and a prayer of hope.

Mind, body, spirit energized and ready to start the day.  Almost.

With the relaxing, introspective part of my day behind me and my morning herbal tea drank, it’s time to get the energy and juices flowing.

[24:24] STEP #4: 15 MINUTES OF MOVEMENT

What type of movement speaks to you? Is it CrossFit and kettlebells, jazzercise, or is it yoga, Pilates, or walking in nature? Whatever type of movement calls to you, do it, especially while you’re in IBD healing mode. And while you’re healing and not feeling well, it might be just going outside and breathing the fresh air. I have a client who does this. Right now for her, movement is just getting outside and getting sunshine on her face. Thankfully she lives in the part of the country where it’s sunny most of the year and walking in the sun, feeling it on her face, is reenergizing and it sets her up for a positive day. I have another client who’s a weightlifter and if she doesn’t get her reps in in the morning, she just doesn’t feel ready to start the day.

When it comes to IBD we’re all different. Find the movement routine that works for you.

For me, right now, my movement routine is a combination of yoga and light aerobics with weights. Several months ago it was Pilates. It’s also been barre class, before that just getting outside and walking my dog. Some days I don’t want to do it at all, but 6 days a week I commit. Even when I don’t want to because I know in the end, I’ll be happy that I did. And more importantly, I’ll have a better IBD day when I get my bodily energy flowing.

COMMIT TO 15 MINUTES EVERY DAY

Some days I even have more time and I’ll get in a longer workout, but I always commit to a minimum of 15 minutes.

And let me also give you a couple recommendations when it comes to movement. #1- when it comes to yoga at home, there’s no better yoga instructor than Leslie Fightmaster. Her free YouTube videos are stellar and for every level of yogi. I am not skilled at yogi by any means and I love her 30 day beginners yoga sessions. She’s got 2 complete 30-day programs for beginners that take you from never doing yoga to feeling like you could hold your own in an in person class. Sadly, Leslie recently passed away. I’ve been told that her family plans to keep her yoga videos up on YouTube so please check her out. She’s awesome!

SHOUT OUT TO MY FAVORITE FITNESS APP

Also, I want to give a shout out to my fitness app called Workout for Women. Best $9.99 I spend every month. 100’s of workouts to choose from. So many, I’d never complete them all. From catchy workout titles like Lazy Girl, Couch to Fit, Pelvic Rehab, Office Collection, Night Stretch, Ab Shred, Summer Butt, and even F is for Family workouts like HITT with Kids and Fam Jam, this app is well worth the price.

[28:40] Around this time of the morning, my youngest usually wakes up and strolls into my bedroom and I usually can get him to join me for a workout. Remember, we have to figure out how to fit this into our family’s life. We have to prioritize ourself and our health while we are in healing mode and make time for IBD Healing, but we also have to work within the parameters and constraints of our life.

I often got the kids to workout or do meditation with me when they were younger. I opened their world up to meditation and visualization so it would benefit them and so that they would understood when I needed 10 minutes to give that time to my mindful practice. And if you can get them involved too, even better.

Even teatime has rubbed off on my kids. Every Saturday morning, I brew an extra big pot of my bedroom tea and a couple of my kids will wander in an grab a cup. On days like this, I might skip my morning start in favor of a cup of tea and some connection with them. This IBD morning start isn’t about being militant with your time. It’s about setting you up for IBD success in whatever way works best for you. That tea and chatting time with my kids, especially with my usually not so chatty teenagers, it’s precious time and it’s good for my IBD too.

THE LAST STEP, STEP #5

OK, we’re in the how stretch of my IBD morning start. Step #5. The last step. And that step is heading into the kitchen and making my morning detox drink. After all that I’ve done to support my body, getting enough sleep, my far infrared lamp, my morning visualization, morning pages, my kegels, my prayer time, my movement time… it’s time to get my digestive juices flowing and detoxing any toxins that have built up during the night. My detox drink is full of immune boosting, inflammation busting nutrients. And it’s just what my body needs to get ready for breakfast.

My morning detox drink starts with room temp or warm purified water, and adds in gut loving fresh squeezed lemon, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, black pepper, manuka honey, and MCT oil. Now when I was just starting out with this morning detox drink, I didn’t include all of these ingredients. I started out slow with just water and worked my way up adding in one more ingredient at a time. Even water, first thing in the morning, before you eat breakfast, as simple as that sounds, is incredibly helpful for your digestion. If you are able to tolerate water, it’s time to add the fresh squeezed lemon, then the manuka honey, and so on. The last thing to add is the apple cider vinegar. I don’t recommend it to those in an active flare or those with ulcers in their mouth. It’s just too acidic. Add it when you’re ready no rush.

WANT THE FULL RECIPE FOR MY MORNING DETOX DRINK?

If you want the full recipe for my morning detox, you can get it by going to karynhaley.com/detox or by looking for the link in the show notes. I’m happy to share my recipe with you. In fact, there’s a recipe for normal healthy mornings and a different recipe if you’re feeling like a bug is coming on. Both morning detoxes will give your whole body support as you start the day.

So there you have it, 5 steps to build your own IBD gut healing morning start. It can set you up for a day that supports healing, strength, and confidence that you are on the right path.

Let’s quickly recap while I tell you how you can do it like a mom when it comes to these 5 steps. Hopefully, this will give you some last thoughts on how you can adapt any of these techniques to fit your lifestyle and your symptoms.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DO THIS LIKE THE BADASS MOM YOU ARE?

[34:28] Step #1- Wake up, turn on my infrared heat lamp, and grab a cup of herbal tea.

Ready to do step 1 like a mom?

  • Go to bed on time so you can wake up early, but be flexible with what your body needs. Occasionally, when I’m really tired or I know my body needs more rest, I only wake up long enough to turn on the heat lamp and dose again with a visualization playing for my unconscious mind while I catch up on more Zzz’s. If this is where you’re at on your healing journey, and we all are sometimes, embrace it. Trust your body. You will still get great benefit from this approach.
  • And if you want your own automatic tea brewer to join you in step #1, Mother’s Day is coming up dear one. See the link in the show notes.

Step #2- Position the heat lamp, relax and let the infrared healing wash over you.

Ready to do step 2 like a mom?

  • Remember that the infrared lamp isn’t a quick fix for your IBD symptoms. It’s not like you’ll do it for 30 days and feel healed. It is however an important add-on to your current healing regime. When you combine the infrared heat lamp or a sauna with everything you’re already doing in terms of your lifestyle, mindfulness practice, food, and supplements/medication… you’ve got a fantastic healing plan in place.
  • Remember morning isn’t the only time of day for the heat lamp. While the kids nap… While you’re on a mom break… Even at night when you go to bed. The heat lamp I’m sharing in the show notes has an automatic shut off so no worries about it staying on too long.

Step #3– Doing some form of visualization, deep breathing, morning pages, kegels, and positive thoughts or prayer

Ready to do step 3 like a mom?

  • Forget what you thought you knew about meditation in stillness, this isn’t that.
  • Remember your journaling, your visualizations, your breathing from earlier that morning, and go back to this feeling anytime your unsteady, stressed, or untethered throughout the day

Step #4- Movement

Ready to do step 4 like a mom?

  • There will be days when every fiber in your being says no, no, no to exercise. This is me on most days. Don’t give in to the no monster. Every time I go into movement and exercise, even when I don’t want to, I always feel grateful and energized when I’m done.
  • Also, it doesn’t matter what you do—from crossfit or couch to fit, be where you’re at mama. Movement is movement.

And lastly step #5- Your morning detox drink

Ready to that like a mom?

  • First, download my morning detox recipes so you know the ingredients. Go to karynhaley.com/detox and get started.
  • After that, just like with movement, be where you’re at. You don’t need to add all ingredients at once. Play around with what works for your body and what doesn’t. Add in healing ingredients that work for you. It’s your detox drink. Make it your own.
  • Even morning water is a great starting place.

PUT YOURSELF FIRST AND COMMIT TO GETTING STARTED

Well, where are you going to start mama? The infrared heat lamp? Are you going to download Insight Timer? What will you do today to set yourself up for IBD healing success?

I understand how difficult it can be to put yourself first when you’re a mom. We never allow ourselves to do that. We’re taught that it’s selfish. We feel guilty when we do it.

As a recovering guilt addict, I gotta call nonsense on that!

Twelve years ago, when I first started to take control and take the reins on my IBD healing journey, I made a conscious choice to put myself first. I declared it the healing year of ME. I really did. Of course, it didn’t mean that I neglected my kids, but I put everyone on notice, I’m going to do what I need to heal so I can be a better mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, aunt, worker, teacher…

I fully committed to ME.

Commit to yourself now my friend. Find a morning or an afternoon or an evening routine that sets you up for success. 100% swipe my IBD Healing Morning Start and use it to your fullest advantage.

You’ve got this mama. Let me know how it goes for you.

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

[43:20] One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

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

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

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

Ep 26: Far Infrared Light Therapy: A Hidden Gem for IBD

Far infrared light therapy (FIR) is a hidden gem of a tool that can be used to help alleviate some of your worst IBD challenges.

You definitely won’t hear your doctor prescribing this underutilized treasure to support your health, but the benefits of FIR therapy can be felt in many areas that impact your digestive system including bacterial balance, immune response, inflammation, and detoxification.

This episode explores how anyone with Crohn’s or colitis, with any budget, can experience the benefits of FIR therapy, even in your own home.

We’re talking about:

  • The eight areas of health that FIR therapy can benefit (and the 3 you should focus on the most)
  • Why you should ditch your electric heating pad today (and what to use instead)
  • The difference between infrared vs traditional saunas
  • Why infrared saunas and FIR lights will leave you cool as a cucumber

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll be ready go out and confidently buy your first FIR machine to help you detoxify, boost your immune system, decrease your pain and inflammation, and balance your bacterial load—all music to an IBD mama’s ears!

Episode at a Glance:

  • [05:10] Why far infrared light doesn’t make you sweat
  • [07:29] The 8 areas of health that FIR therapy can benefit (and the 3 you’ll want to focus on
  • [10:15] The biggest toxin upset for all of us with Crohn’s and colitis
  • [12:00] The link between your inflammatory CRP marker and far infrared therapy
  • [14:40] The difference between traditional vs infrared saunas
  • [17:01] The affordable far infrared therapy you can use in your own home
  • [21:35] The problem with using electric heating pads to help our IBD symptoms
  • [26:41] The best infrared heating pad you are going to want to buy today
  • [30:10] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

The Gut Love Community

UTK Jade Far Infrared Heating Pad

Far Infrared Mineral Heat Lamp

The 3 Best Far Infrared Heating Pads

Far Infrared Heating Pad (small one)

Additional Resources from the Episode:

Far Infrared Saunas Detoxification Benefits

Far Infrared Radiation (FIR): Its Biological Effects and Medical Implications

National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project

Environmental Determinants of Chronic Disease and Medical Approaches: Recognition, Avoidance, Supportive Therapy, and Detoxification

Far Infrared radiation induces changes in gut microbiota and activates GPCRs in mice

Can Heating Pads Cause Cancer? Ask Dr. Weil

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] Hey there mama, welcome to the podcast and thanks for sharing this time and this space with me today. And I’ve gotta start this episode with a question. Because I’m wondering if we have this in common. Have you ever had a work project or a project you’re working on with the kids at home where you start in one direction and then partway through the project, it becomes something completely different, equally wonderful, but in a whole different direction? One you never could have expected?

I think this happens a lot with us unbound creative types. We see so many possible directions and we feel compelled to move in new directions all the time.

Some would call us flighty. I prefer unbound creative.

Well, this episode is a case of exactly that. My unbound creativity sending me in a new direction. What started out as me thinking about a behind the scenes episode that I was so excited to share with you took off on a whole new, but equally beautiful direction. After having Crohn’s for as long as I have, I’ve realized that sometimes when life changes course, the best thing to do is just go with it.

So, this behind the scenes episode I was planning for today was about my IBD Healing Morning Start. I’ve personally been doing this health focused way to start my day forever, and I’ve have had so much success with it and have seen my clients have amazing results with it too, but instead of this week’s topic, I promise to bring it back next week. I don’t know about you, but I love a good behind the scenes. Sneak peaks into the real-life way that something gets done is always fascinating to me, and I definitely still want to share it with you. You’ll just have to come back and join me next week for that.

THE BEST PART OF MY MORNING START

But within my morning routine is this mechanism called a far infrared light therapy. It’s so important to my daily life and the more I thought about what to share with you, I felt like I needed to explain its benefits, why I use it and how I use it, different types that benefit IBD… that I just started thinking about everything I had to share with you just on this topic alone. So just know that we’ll get back my IBD morning start next week, and this week, I’ve just got to tell you about far infrared light and what it could mean for your IBD healing regime.

WHAT CAN FAR INFRARED LIGHT DO FOR YOUR IBD?

When it comes to far infrared light, we’ve got to start at the beginning. If you’ve been around The Cheeky Podcast for a while, you know that I’m incapable of glossing over things. It’s probably a strength and a weakness of mine (in an argument my husband would definitely say a weakness), but the way I see it, if you’re going to heal from this complicated chronic illness, you’ve got to have all the facts. So let’s dive into all the facts about far infrared light and hopefully by the end of this episode, you’ll see exactly how it could be a huge benefit for you.

[05:10] Sometimes shortened to FIR- far infrared light at its most basic form is the frequency of invisible light that’s generated naturally by the sun. Using FIR therapy means that you use the low energy heat that comes from the far end of the infrared spectrum. With me so far? Cool.

FIR can be a completely safe and natural addition to your IBD wheel of wellness. I definitely want to make it clear right from the start that I’m not saying FIR is a cure-all for IBD. As far as I’m concerned with all the information scientists, doctors, and researchers have on Crohn’s and colitis at this point, there is no cure-all for IBD. But when we add FIR to our healing regime of food, lifestyle modifications, mindset techniques, supplements and/or medications when we need them, and we add in FIR, it makes our IBD wheel of wellness, that imaginary and multi-pronged healing wheel we all keep close to fight IBD, it makes that wheel even stronger.

If this sounds intriguing to you, I want you to delve a bit deeper with me to find out what types of challenges and conditions can be benefited from using far infrared light. This is where the rabbit hole of preparing for the episode took over my brain because the research really fascinated me. You know I’m an evidenced-based research girl. I geek out over scientific research, and when I started looking at all the ailments that are research-backed in favor of far infrared light, I was amazed.

For our podcast, of course, since we are IBDer’s, I want to focus on the benefits for the digestive system, but I also know that we don’t live in an IBD bubble and you might be experiencing other challenges as well, so let me tell you about some of the conditions I read promising research studies about when it comes to FIR therapy. I’ll link to these studies in the show notes in case you want to dig deeper with me.

THE 8 AREAS OF HEALTH THAT CAN BENEFIT FROM FAR INFRARED LIGHT

So, I found research backing the benefits of FIR in eight areas. Those areas are: detoxification, cardiovascular issues, metabolism and fitness, decreasing both inflammation and pain, increasing longevity, neurological benefits (specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia), boosting immune function and decreasing infections, and lastly skin and aging (mostly with wound healing and circulation).

Three of these areas are of particular benefit for us with IBD: detoxification, lowering inflammation/pain, and increasing our immune function because these are the areas that can have a big impact on our digestive system. I want to tell you a little bit more about how the studies I found talked about these three areas because this is where the healing magic can happen for us specifically.

THE BIGGEST TOXIN UPSET FOR IBDer’s

I found the most research on FIR being used as a detoxifier. This could be of large benefit for us. We all know that everyone, no matter who they are, gets exposed to toxins on a daily basis. Toxins in our environment can cause cellular and even DNA damage. Toxins can build up in our system and create oxidative stress, endocrine disruption (so disruption at the hormone level). Toxins can create carcinogenesis (or the development of cancers), toxins can create enzyme inhibition (like we were talking about on the podcast last week with foods like nuts and grains), but when it comes to toxins, the one that impacts us IBDer’s the most is that this buildup of toxins can create bacterial imbalance in our gut.

According to a study by the Human Microbiome Project, toxins and heavy metals have the potential to alter our gut flora—that’s all those little bugs and critters roaming around in our gut. Appetizing, I know! In a healthy gut, there’s a balance between the good bugs and the bag bugs, but in an IBD gut, the bug balance moves to an out of control state. When this happens, according to the study, our digestive tract starts having problems with the absorption of nutrients, with elimination of waste, with immune function. All of these digestive symptoms can be impacted when our toxic load gets too high.

All of this toxin/gut disruption is bad enough, but these effects that stem from our gut can also become more systemic, affecting our whole body system with increased inflammation.

When we’ve got IBD, we know gut disruption and inflammation all too well. FIR therapy research shows that it can be used as a detoxifier for this gut dysbiosis and the inflammation affecting the entire body. 

I also mentioned finding research on FIR helping to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. In one study that I’ll link in the show notes, FIR therapy was able to lower blood serum levels of C-reactive protein or your CRP level. You might recognize from your bloodwork that your doctor ordered as it’s a really common marker for gastroenterologists to check to look at your inflammation levels. Lowering our CRP through FIR therapy can mean big things for us.

In terms of pain relief, I’ve seen FIR therapy work personally for myself, my hubby and my kids when they have sports related strains, sprains, or muscle pain. For me, I’ve had it help my osteoarthritis that’s creeped up after years of using prednisone back 20 years ago in my doctor prescribed steroid days.

Far infrared light has also been shown to increase cellular resistance to stress and viruses as it boosts the immune system. These are both huge wins for us.

So, lots of well-researched, scientifically proven benefits, the big bonuses for us being that FIR therapy can help with detoxification, the reduction of pain and inflammation, and boosting of the immune system.

Win. Win. Win.

[13:37] Now that you’ve heard about the benefits, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get some far infrared light into your life. As I teased at the top of the show, I get my FIR therapy in the morning. Let’s figure out how you can get yours.

THE MACK DADDY OF INFRARED THERAPY

When it comes to FIR therapy, the mack daddy of all sources is the infrared sauna. If you’ve been in a sauna before, you can picture what I’m talking about. It’s a large wooden box with a door. You enter and either heat sweat or heat steam to feel the health benefits. An infrared sauna is similar but not as hot. Remember this is low heat we’re talking about, but because it literally penetrates under the skin, it can be just as healing and powerful.

So, where a traditional sauna heats the air around you and then in turn heats your body, the infrared heat is using invisible light at low levels. Like I said, this type of heat is able to penetrate the skin, and it penetrates at a depth of 1.5 inches. So instead of feeling all sweaty and uncomfortable (like in a traditional sauna), we feel more of a gentle, relaxing heat.

And by the way, just to give you all the scoop on infrared saunas, just know that within the world of infrared, there are actually three different types of infrared saunas to choose from. There’s far infrared, which is the type of light we’re focused on today, there’s near infrared, and full spectrum infrared light. If you decided to try out an infrared sauna or buy one for your home, it’s definitely a good idea to research the different types so you can pick the best one for you. I just wanted you to know these terms before you start your search. Most people recommend anywhere from 15-20 minute sessions in infrared saunas.

HOW MUCH DOES THE INFRARED SAUNA COST?

If you have anywhere from $2,000 to 7,000 to spend, you can have one of these babies installed right in your home. I don’t have one but it’s definitely a dream of mine. You can also search for an infrared sauna in your neighborhood by looking online. Some functional medicine providers or spas have them to be rented for use.

THE AFFORDABLE OPTION FOR FAR INFRARED LIGHT AT HOME

If the sauna isn’t an option for you, you can still get an affordable far infrared light option in your own home with a FIR lamp. Picture a smallish, four wheeled contraption with a metal long poll, bendy arm, and a heat lamp at the top. I think it looks a lot like an IV stand—you know the stand that holds an IV bag. You might have seen this if you’ve ever spent some time in the hospital. The top of the wheely stand holds a heat lamp instead of the IV bag.

This is one of the types of far infrared light that I use in my home. My acupuncturist recommended to me it a while back. She used it in our sessions and thought that I would benefit from at home use as well. I love it because it’s convenient. I keep it next to my bed so I can use it while laying down. It’s definitely become a big part of my morning routine.

The FIR lamp can be positioned anywhere on your body that you need it. Your back, your arm, your belly… You position the metal poll with the heat lamp on it about 12 inches above the part of your body you want it to focus on and heat for about 30 minutes. The lamp takes a little while to warm up (10-15 minutes) so plan for that warm up time. I’ll tell you what I do in those 10-15 minutes in my behind the scenes IBD healing morning routine episode next week. There’s not a wasted moment as I focus on morning healing to start and take through my whole day in my best health possible. The FIR lamp also has an auto shut off feature so it will automatically turn off if you decide to do it at bedtime instead of in the morning. Just in case you fall asleep.

The FIR lamp works best when it come in contact with your bare skin so just be sure to pull up your sleeve or shirt or pant leg before using it. When I use it on my belly, I pull my shirt up a bit and lower my pants to hip level. That way the lamp can focus on my small and large intestine. I’ll link to the FIR lamp I have in the show notes if you want to check it out. It’s the one that my acupuncturist has in her office. It runs about $140 on Amazon—lots cheaper than the infrared sauna.

THE FAR INFRARED SOURCE WE ALL NEED

There’s one more source of the far infrared light that we have to talk about because it’s particularly useful for us with Crohn’s and colitis. And that’s a far infrared heating pad. Shout a hell yes if ever used an electric heating pad or a hot water bottle when your abdomen becomes achy, swollen, bloated, or gassy. We’ve all done that from time to time. I’ve definitely had periods on my Crohn’s journey where my heating pad felt like my best, inseparable friend.

[21:35] Well, the problem with heating pads is that there is some preliminary evidence that repeated use may be harmful for you. Electric heating pads emit EMF’s—electromagnetic frequencies or electromagnetic radiation. One study published in the British Journal of Cancer revealed an increased risk of leukemia in children after too much exposure to EMF’s.  Most of the research studies surrounding EMF’s focuses on cell phone and wi-fi exposure, so it’s tough to find heating pad specific research. But Dr. Andrew Weil, the father of modern integrative medicine, speaks directly about heating pad risk, and I quote: Because I can’t say for sure that EMF’s pose no risks, I would advise you to use a non-electric heating pad.

Well, if electric heating pads aren’t advisable to sooth our aching bellies, what are we left with? Enter the far infrared heating pad. I seriously love this invention. Are you familiar with these? Healing, soothing heat therapy to help us get rid of the pain, the bloating, and gas, without high levels of EMF exposure.

THE POWER OF 126 NATURAL JADE STONES

I love far infrared heating pads so much that I have two of them at my house (actually 3, but I ended up giving 1 away to my younger son) so in my personal possession, there’s two. One of my two is large and heavy. It’s made by the company UTK. It’s made with 126 natural and certified jade stones that emit negative ions when they heat up. These stones promote oxygenation, detoxification, and lower inflammation throughout the whole body.

I’ll link to my large heating pad in the show notes so you can check it out. It costs about $159 on Amazon. I love that it has multiple temperature settings, and not just low, medium, and high like on a regular electric heating pad. It has actual temperature settings that go from 103 degrees to 159 degrees. It has a timer that goes up to 2 hours and an auto shut off feature. This FIR heating pad even has a memory function that remembers my time and temperature from its last use.  I love this heating pad.

THE PROBLEM WITH THE 126 JADE STONES

Now, truth be told, I bought this heating pad for my belly. I was dealing with some adhesions in my small intestine from past small bowel resections and it was causing pain and bloating after eating in my belly. I really didn’t want to use a an electric heating pad while I was working hard to try to solve this problem without surgery. I knew it was a long haul issue and I didn’t want to use expose myself to high levels of EMF’s straight to my belly every time I ate.

I was really excited to find this heating pad. But what I didn’t realize is that 126 jade stones are freakin’ heavy. And all that heaviness, for me at least, didn’t feel that great on my achy belly. It was just too heavy. But what I did realize is that this mat is the perfect cure for when my back, or arm, or leg aches. I also loved using it when for gallbladder used to act up. And I mention it here because I just want to give you all the facts. Maybe you won’t have the same problem with it. We’re all different, right? Maybe the weight on your belly feels soothing to you. This is a great FIR heating pad and I love using it for everything except my belly. Definitely worth checking out.

GOLDIE LOCKS FINDS THE INFRARED HEATING PAD THAT FITS JUST RIGHT

Now after my experience with the too heavy for my belly FIR pad, I did a little more research and found another FIR heating pad that was just right for my belly. It’s lighter, it’s very plush, and it’s the perfect fit for me. It still has auto shut off, and multiple temperature options from 113-149 degrees. Plus it’s smaller than my other one so it’s more portable and I can take it with me wherever I go. I’ll link to this lighter weight pad in the show notes so you can check it out. The lightweight pad costs about $80.

[27:05] So there you have it… far infrared devices— from high end saunas to in the home heat lamps and heating pads. These helpful additions to your gut healing regime (your wheel of wellness as I call it) are worth a first or a second look for their detoxification, inflammation, and immune benefits. Check out all the information and research studies I’m posting in the show notes and you can judge for yourself. In my extensive search to find out all the nitty gritty about how FIR works and who it works best for, I didn’t come across any studies showing a negative impact or side effects of these devices if used properly, but if you have any reason to believe that you might have a bad reaction or maybe you have super sensitive skin, or heart problems (especially with regard to the saunas), consult your doctor and see if there’s any contraindication for you.

I can’t wait to hear from you about which FIR method you choose. Let me know. Shoot me an email at hello@karynhaley.com and let’s continue the FIR conversation.

Remember next week, we’re back with another The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD episode—long title right? I’m thinking of starting to refer to it as TCP as all the cool kids have an acronym for their podcast. OK, let me try it out—Next week on TCP, it’s a behind the scenes of my IBD healing morning routine. What do you think? A bit cheesy, right? The jury is still out on that. Maybe I just need to lose the announcer voice. Let me know what you think.

Anyhoo, I can’t wait to share my first behind the scenes episode with you next week. Until then, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD healing journey.

Chat soon!

[29:33] 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.

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

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

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

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

Ep 25: Coconut Flour 101: A Superfood Flour for Super IBD Healing

Oh, the mysterious coconut flour. It can be a great addition to your gut healing diet because it’s anti-inflammatory, it’s high in protein and fiber, and it gives those of us on a gut healing diet a healthy way to eat baked goods like cookies and muffins.

Unfortunately, I see moms with Crohn’s and colitis try it and quickly give up. Truth be told, it’s tricky to use and it just doesn’t bake like other flours. But before you give up on coconut flour after one attempt, listen to this episode of The Cheeky Mom.

It’s going to help you look at coconut flour in a whole new way. And before it’s done, you’ll have everything you need to be a coconut flour baking pro!

We’re talking about:

  • Why coconut flour is a superfood flour for those with Crohn’s and colitis
  • How to not let the coconut flour learning curve deter you when it comes to figuring out how to bake with it
  • 11 amazing ways to use coconut flour in your cooking and baking
  • The foolproof way to get started with coconut flour if you want to try it out today

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll be ready to start dive into coconut flour with confidence and excitement as you add this superfood to your gut healing tool belt.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [04:50] What coconut flour and Duncan Hines cake mix has in common
  • [06:21] Why moms with IBD are the perfect group to use coconut flour
  • [09:21] If you can’t use coconut flour as a substitute in a 1 to 1 ratio, how can you use it?
  • [12:55] The top 3 egg substitutes if you want to use coconut flour but can have eggs.
  • [18:30] The best coconut flour cookbook to help you get stared with coconut flour
  • [20:10] 3 situations where coconut flour may not be the best approach for you
  • [23:20] The best places to buy the best quality coconut flour
  • [26:49] 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 your Coconut Flour Beginner’s Recipe Collection FREE Today

The Gut Love Community

Additional Resources from the Episode:

The Healthy Coconut Flour Cookbook by Erica Kerwien

Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Flour

Nuts.com Organic Coconut Flour

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] Hello and welcome to our little slice of heaven, The Cheeky Podcast. Did you know this is our 25th episode? Yes it is. I can’t believe it. Time has flown by and I’m still loving sharing this space with you. Thank you dear listener for spending this time with me each week. I so appreciate you for being on this IBD healing journey with me.

Let’s keep the journey going, shall we?

This week, I’m loving our topic. It’s one of my favorite IBD foodie topics. We’re talking all things coconut flour. What is it, Why you should use it, how to use it, what IBD healing diets use coconut flour, and the best places to get your hands on it.

Now, how familiar are you with coconut flour? Have you heard of it before? It’s risen in popularity in recent years, especially since grain free diets have made their way onto the gut healing stage. It often gets lumped in with almond flour, but actually it’s quite different in many respects. Let’s find out more about this amazing superfood flour so that if you want to try it out for your own gut healing (and in my opinion flavorful) journey, you’ll be able to get started today.

GET YOUR OWN COCONUT FLOUR RECIPES TO HELP YOU GET STARTED

In fact, if you’re really excited by the end of this episode, I suggest you download a copy of my coconut flour for beginner’s recipe collection. It’s three recipes with coconut flour as the star ingredient and I created these recipes specifically made with beginners in mind. You can grab your copy of my coconut flour for beginner’s recipe collection by looking in the show notes or by going to karynhaley.com/coconut

For all my coconut flour newbies out there, let’s start at the very beginning.

COCONUT FLOUR… WHAT IS IT?

Coconut flour is made from the meat that’s on the inside of the coconut. When coconut milk is made, there’s a natural byproduct of that production. These leftovers are little bits of coconut meat. They get dried and ground, and that becomes coconut flour.

[03:55] When I recommend coconut flour to clients, I often get asked about the taste. Everyone knows that coconuts themselves, shredded coconut, even coconut oil and coconut milk have a distinct coconutty taste. Some people love that taste, like me, and others, like my son who’s got the nose of a black bear when it comes to coconut, detests it. The good news about coconut flour, whether you like traditional coconuts or not, is that coconut flour doesn’t really have that strong coconut smell or taste. When you bake with coconut flour, it almost takes like Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker yellow cake mix. You know, yellow cake? Not white cake, not lemon cake… yellow cake. Oh yeah, that’s gotta be good for you! Chemicals, preservatives, added sugar… Well, this “yellow cake” is good for you.

Coconut flour is denser than traditional flour and it definitely bakes differently. It’s not a 1 to 1 flour so you can’t just swap it out for any other flour. We’ll talk more about how to use it in just a bit, but for now, know that coconut flour is highly absorbent so it increases the amount of liquid you use when baking with it.

Coconut flour is highly nutritious. It’s high in fiber, high in good quality fats that are good for your brain, your heart and your gut. It’s low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and high in minerals like manganese, selenium, iron, and potassium. It’s also high in antioxidants and it’s anti-inflammatory.

I love it when something that tastes great is also great for me.

[06:21] Besides what I’ve just mentioned, why would you, IBD mama, want to start using coconut flour?

Well, for starters, coconut flour is naturally gluten and grain free. This is music to our IBD mom ears. Both gluten and grains can be challenging to digest when we have Crohn’s or colitis. It’s nice to know that there’s a flour we can use to still make the baked goods we crave and love.

Coconut flour is great because you can still use it even if you’re allergic or sensitive to tree nuts because coconuts are actually considered a seed, not a nut. Weird, but true. And even if you don’t have an allergy, it’s still a better option than almond flour because nuts and nut flours can be quite inflammatory. That’s why several gut healing diets have you wait to use them until enough healing has taken place.

Coconut flour doesn’t have this problem.

In fact, most nuts and nut flours contain enzyme inhibitors that can do a number on your digestive system and your small intestine. If you’ve ever heard about soaking nuts before eating them, this is the reason why. We have to remove as much of these inhibitors as possible before we eat them so they don’t negatively impact our digestive tract. And when we look at other grain flours, even gluten free flours, they contain phytic acid, another gut disruptor. Phytic acid gloms onto foods and prevents our body from getting the nutritional benefit we’re looking for. Coconut flour only contains small amounts of enzyme inhibitors so it’s much gentler on our digestive tract, without preventing us from benefiting from its nutritional value.

Coconut flour is probably the healthiest flour around. It actually lowers the glycemic index of the baked good it’s in. So no sugar rush. How cool is that?

I use it for all of these reasons, but mostly I use it for how it tastes in my baked goods. Rich, almost buttery, like how real baked goods should taste.

Now that we know what it is, how do we use it?

Coconut flour, as great as it tastes and as healthy as it is, is not like any other flour you’ve ever worked with. Using coconut flour takes practice because it’s just so different that other flours.

[09:25] It’s not a grain flour or even a nut flour, so you can’t use it in a 1 to 1 ratio for baking. In fact, it’s more like a 1 to ¼ ratio. So, that means for every 1 cup of traditional flour you use (gluten free or not), you’ll use ¼ cup of coconut flour. And because it’s so absorbent, you’ll also use a lot more liquid with it. Plan on about 2 Tbsp of liquid for every 2 tbsp of coconut flour you use.

I mentioned before that coconut flour is dense, so when you’re measuring it for a recipe, there’s no need to pack in down. The lighter the better. Before you measure this type of flour, I recommend that you give it a quick whisk or a fluff with a fork. This aerates the flour a bit and makes sure there’s no clumps.

COCONUT FLOUR AND EGGS TO TOGETHER LIKE PB AND J

Eggs (lots of eggs) are a big part of baking with coconut flour. In most recipes, you’ll use about 1 egg per ¼ cup of coconut flour. So for example, it’s not that unusual for a coconut flour recipe to call for 6 eggs as opposed to 2 or maybe 3 eggs in other baked good recipes. The coconut flour just soaks those eggs right up.

Sometimes coconut flour recipes call for just the yolk or extra yolks. If I’m using coconut flour to make a special dessert, one I’m serving to friends or family and I really want a moist dessert, I’ll even separate my eggs out. Yolk in one bowl, whites in another. I’ll give the yolks a quick stir and drop them in with all the other ingredients. Then, in the egg white bowl, I’ll beat those up with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Then I’ll gently fold them into the mixed batter. It makes a light, but still rich and moist dessert every time.

WHAT IF I’M SENSITIVE TO EGGS?

Now, if you’re sensitive to eggs, you might be thinking, oh no! I don’t eat eggs, but know that even if you don’t do eggs, you can still use coconut flour. Just use the same kind of egg substitutes as you would normally use. When it comes to eggless coconut flour baking, I like to use Vital proteins gelatin if I’m substituting eggs. Some people substitute with agar-agar. You can also use a ¼ cup of applesauce per egg or ½ of a ripe banana per egg. There’s work arounds there.

So now we know what it is and why how to use it, the next question to answer is: What can you make with coconut flour?

OH THE PLACES COCONUT FLOUR CAN GO!

Oh so many, many things… my favorites are breads, biscuits, cookies, muffins, waffles, crepes, scones… to name some desserty foods. But coconut flour can also be used as a coating for chicken or fish fingers, you can fry with it, and it also thickens soups and stews.

Speaking of stew, my husband’s family, being from the south, has this passed down for generations this delicious gumbo recipe. This is some seriously delish gumbo. Although my hubby used to make it for me before we were married, he would never share the recipe with me. I guess it was kind of like my family’s secret Italian sauce recipe. My grandma wasn’t sharing that for anything in the world.

But finally, on our wedding day, at the reception, I was deemed worthy of the gumbo recipe and it got passed down to me. Guess I was finally in the gumbo club. We’ll, of course, this recipe has a roux—a stir continuously, never stopping for 30 min roux that’s the whole basis for the gumbo. If you don’t have a good roux, your gumbo falls flat. And just in case you’ve never cooked with a roux before, and I never had before I met my southern hubby, a roux is this paste (I’m sure every chef is cringing at the word paste, but that’s what it looks like to me) made with meat drippings, oil, and flour. The roux thickens the gumbo and if you stir it just right for exactly 30 minutes, and you also drink a beer while you stir it (at least that’s what my hubby’s family does). It also gives the gumbo its rich, golden brown color.

Once I started the SCD, I figured I’d seen my last days of gumbo, until one fateful day when my hubs said, I’d really like you to be able to eat this gumbo. What do you say we try making a coconut flour roux? And wouldn’t you know it (or this story would have a terrible ending), the coconut flour worked beautifully. The roux was thick and golden brown, and ever since, the coconut flour roux has been our go-to for gumbo night.

[16:55] Bottom line? Coconut flour is super versatile. It’s not just for baked goods. Oh no! Stews and soups and gravies too.  I should also mention that it works great as a combination flour too. I like to blend it with almond flour, but it can be blended with traditional or gluten free flours too.

THE BEST INFORMATION FOR COCONUT FLOUR NEWBIES

This is a wealth of great information and you’ll need all of it if you want to branch off into the wilds of experimenting with coconut flour. But truth be told, it’s a tricky one so if you’re ready to give it a go, but you’ve never tried it before, do yourself a favor, pick a tried and true coconut flour recipe. And there’s a lot of them out there. I have to give a plug for my favorite one. It’s called The Healthy Coconut Flour Cookbook and it’s by Erika Kerwien. I highly recommend her waffles. Yum! And also her popovers, delish! I’ll link the book in the show notes.

And of course there’s my coconut flour beginner’s collection recipes to get you started as well. They’re great for experimenting at first and if you love them, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Erica’s cookbook. Hopefully these recipes are just the nudge you need to get started. Of course, the internet is full of recipes too. So anyway you decide to go, you’ve got to start trying this wonderful flour.

Moving on to gut healing diets. What diets do we see this flour the most?

[19:28] All of the grain free diets. Specific Carbohydrate Diet, GAPS, Paleo, Keto… of course you can use it on any diet, even gluten free diets, but those are the diets who talk about coconut flour specifically.

A WORD OF CAUTION BEFORE YOU GET STARTED ON COCONUT FLOUR

Now, I want to mention just a couple notes of caution before you start using coconut flour:

[20:10] I don’t recommend coconut flour for anyone new to a gut healing diet like SCD or GAPS. Wait until all your symptoms clear up before getting started with any type of flour. Even though it isn’t as inflammatory as almond flour, there are still mild amount of those digestive inhibitors. Plus, you want this to be a small part of your diet, not the whole enchilada. So use the broth and the veggies and other gut healing foods first, before you get started with this. But if you are just dipping a toe in, or if you already follow a whole foods or a gluten free approach to help your Crohn’s or colitis, or you’ve been remission for a while, go for it. Try trying a few different recipes to see what you like. Go for it.

Also, just like you can overdo it with almond flour, you can overdo it with coconut flour. A treat is a treat, no matter which flour you use.

And there’s two cases where I see coconut flour not go over so well with IBD moms. #1 is with people who have active gallbladder challenges. Coconut flour is high in fat. Add in the eggs, and you’ve just added in more fat. Good fat, but more fat and the gallbladder doesn’t distinguish between the good and the bad fats. If your gallbladder is not functioning properly, coconut flour may not be for you.

And the other case where coconut flour might be not advised is if you are sensitive to salicylates. These are a natural chemicals made by plant products. This sensitivity can cause headaches, rashes, hyperactivity. You’ll want to stay away from coconut flour in that case as well.

But let’s say you’ve got no problems with coconut flour, your in the right place on your gut healing journey, and you’re ready to dive in. You’re ready to buy. Let me help you get started.

If you just want to check it out in one or two recipes, don’t bother with large bags or buying online. Just buy it at your local grocery store. Most sell it now, maybe on the health food isle, but they have it. Bob’s Red Mill or Arrowhead will do, but if you decide you like it and want to get bigger bags, I’d order it online. A company called nuts.com sells organic coconut flour in bulk at a good price and Tropical Traditions organic is also a really high-quality brand.

OK mama, today we answered several common questions about coconut flour to make sure you are ready to get started—today if you want to. We talked about what it is, why to use it, how to use it, we talked about what gut healing diets it’s used on and I gave you a few cautionary ideas to think about. Lastly, we talked about where to buy it when you’re ready to get started.

ARE YOU READY TO GET STARTED?

As always, I’m here if you have any questions at all. Coconut flour is different and it can be a challenge in the beginning. Stick with it though. It’s so work your time for nutrition as well as taste.

Happy coconut flour baking and cooking my friend.

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

[26:12] Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.

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

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

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

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

Ep: 24 Soup’s On: The Best Gut Repair Soups to Bust that IBD Flare Up (they’re great for remission too)

What comes to mind when I say the word soup? It seems like everyone has a relationship with soup, positive or negative.

For me, soup is full of warm, full, and rich childhood memories and also gut soothing and healing moments. If you already love soup or you’re open to using it to help fulfill your IBD flare-up busting and remission seeking goals, you’re going to love this episode.

We’re diving into the world of soup as a healing mechanism for Crohn’s and colitis. Of course, not all soup is created equal. We’re certainly not talking about the Campbell’s variety when it comes to gut healing. Find out the 3 components that must be part of your gut healing concoction and so much more in this episode.

We’re dishing on everything you need to make soup the star of your gut healing regime.

We’re talking about:

  • How to include gut healing veggies in your soup if you feel like everything you eat (including vegetables) makes you sick
  • The gut healing medicinal properties of herbs and spices (and which one to use for your specific IBD symptoms)
  • The key difference between gut repair soup and IBD maintenance soup (you won’t believe how similar they actually are)

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll be ready to start your own Soup’s On gut repair movement in your own home. And you’ll have all the recipes you need to get started today.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [05:45] The 3 must have components every gut repair soup must have
  • [09:30] Safe veggies to include in your soup, and ones you should definitely stay away from
  • [12:40] The gut healing medicinal properties of herbs and spices—you’re going to want to keep these on hand in your kitchen to help make your gut healing soup with your IBD symptoms in mind
  • [15:52] The spice to keep on hand to stop your kid’s vomiting in its tracks
  • [21:35] The power of putting vegetables you never thought you could eat into a digestible form
  • [25:25] What to do when there’s a soup ingredient you just don’t tolerate
  • [29:18] How to find the best time of day (when you feel well) to make your gut repair soup
  • [32:49] 3 best practice rules to using soup to keep you in remission longer
  • [36:20] My gut repair Soup’s On Recipe Booklet is waiting for you at karynhaley.com/soup
  • [38:16] 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 your Soup’s On Recipe Booklet (with 8 soup recipes) Free Today

Episode 15: Seven Healing Gems Every IBD Mom Needs to Know About

The Gut Love Community

Additional Resources from the Episode:

Super Herbs and Spices for Gut Health

5 Vegetable Broth Benefits

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] Well hey there my friend- it’s wonderful to connect with you again. Aren’t podcasts the best invention since almond flour? I’m sure if you listen to this podcast, you probably listen to at least 5 or 6, or 10 others if you’re like me. I’m a podcast junkie and my listening tastes are really eclectic. I love cooking breakfast with my news and politics podcast in my ear in the morning, there’s motivational and life affirming podcasts I might listen to during my workout, and then there’s light and easy podcasts I like to listen while I’m in my car. The other day, I was driving to my dad’s house while smiling and laughing to myself as Amy Poehler was interviewed by Dax Shepard on the Armchair Expert podcast. I’m sure you remember Amy from SNL and Parks and Rec. She’s hilarious!

Amy said something so laugh out loud funny to me, I thought about sharing it with you as soon as I heard it. And if you’re at least 40, like me, this will be particularly funny to you. Here’s what she said: She said anybody under 30 thinks everybody over 40 is 65. This was so funny to me because it’s exactly what my kids think of me. Like Amy said, stop calling me boomer! Sorry, sons, Gen Xer all the way! It’s so funny how are kids see us isn’t it? To them there’s just young and old. Wait til they reach parenthood, and we get to see their kids give them hell for stuff like this. I’ll try not to say I told you so.

Anyway, podcasts rock. Especially during a time when we need connection more than ever. Let’s connect, shall we? We’ve got a great topic to talk about today.

SOUP IS AWESOME FOR GUT REPAIR AND REMISSION MAINTENANCE

[03:00] Soup. You might think I’m being sarcastic about it being a great topic, but I’m so not. I love talking about the power of gut healing soup.

What’s your relationship with soup? Everybody has one, whether it’s positive or negative. It’s funny, sometimes I’ll work with clients who love soup. They’ll eat 2-3 bowls a day when they’re in gut healing mode. Other times I’ll hear from a client, anything but soup. Please no soup. I hate soup.

I’m in the love soup category. To me soup is comfort food. It’s memories of my childhood and my mom, her always making us homemade chicken soup when we were sick as kids and partly because it was the last thing I fed her before she passed away—that might sound morbid to you, but it’s comforting to me. So soup, it’s my past, it’s my present, and in my Crohnie world, it will always means healing, soothing, comfort.

I like soup so much. I even, feel free to gasp here, eat it in the summer. Maybe not as much as in the winter, but I don’t say eeewww or ick if I’m offered it in the summer. It still tastes great to me. I like soup, no matter what time of year it is. If that’s the way you feel about soup, even just in the winter, you’re going to love this episode. We’re breaking down how soup can be your best go-to gut repair food.

And we’ll do this by first, examining the three components that must be in every bowl of soup if you’re using it as a gut soother and healer, we’ll talk about the two different methods of soup making to use depending on if you’re in gut repair mode or trying to maintain remission, and lastly, I’ll tell you how you can get my recipes for the best tasting gut repair soups that use the very ingredients we’re talking about today. And by the way, there’s both vegetarian and omnivore soups in the mix to suite everyone’s tastebuds and dietary needs.

THE #1 INGREDIENT EVERY GUT REPAIR SOUP STARTS WITH

[05:45] Let’s start with the three components that must be in every bowl you make when it comes to your new gut repair and remission sustaining bestie, soup. Must have component #1 is the heart of your soup. The ingredient you just can’t skimp on, no matter what and that’s the bone broth or meat stock. Every gut repairing soup starts with high quality bone broth. Homemade is best—chicken broth, beef broth… if you are vegetarian, a high-quality homemade vegetable broth. It’s really a must for the ultimate gut healing.

I’ve talked about broth and meat stock in previous episodes, probably most recently on episode 16: The Seven Healing Gems episode. I’ll link to it in the show notes if you want more in depth info on the health benefits of bone broth, but just know that bone broth is wonderfully full of collagen and gelatin which help heal the mucosal lining of our intestines and seal the gut if any leakiness is present. Bone broth can also help calm food sensitivities, help grow bacterial balance in your gut, help decrease inflammation in your entire body and boost your immune system. This is why bone broth is the basic building block in any soup aimed at gut repair.

DON’T WORRY IF YOUR VEGETARIAN, I’VE GOT YOU COVERED TOO!

If you’re a vegetarian, you can still reap the benefits of a rich, homemade, vegetable stock. And even if you’re not a vegetarian, it’s a great idea to rotate your stock to a veggie variety too. Vegetable stock is high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, it’s very alkalizing for the body. With IBD, sometimes our bodies tend toward an acidic environment and vegetable broth can help bring our pH into balance.

Both vegetable and bone broth stock are hydrating and that’s something we really need too when we are healing our digestive system or trying to keep remission going. I’m including a recipe for meat broth and vegetable broth in your soup recipes incase this is your first foray into homemade stock. I want you to be able to have this all-important soup base so you can get started right away with using soup to heal and also, so you see just how easy it is to make at home. Trust me, it’s so much healthier than store bought. You can take a couple hours to make a couple batches (and most of that time is the cooking of the stock- not you doing anything) and then freeze them to have on hand for when it’s time to make soup or drink the broth straight.

YOU’RE MUST HAVE SOUP COMPONENT #2

[09:30] What’s the second component that’s a must when it comes to gut healing soup? It’s loads and loads of veggies. The more the better. Not just any veggies though. When it comes to IBD repair, we’re talking low carb veggies. Not the kind of veggies that are high in carbohydrates that turn into sugar in your digestive system and keep the bad bacteria safe and toasty while we suffer. No, to the heck no. With gut repair and remission-based soup, we stay away from the higher carb veggies like potatoes (white and sweet), yams, corn, and chickpeas.

There are loads of lower carb, but super satisfying veggies you’ll want to stock up on when you’re making your gut repair and remission loving soup. Veggies like spinach and other greens like kale, beet greens, dandelion greens, and swiss chard. Plus, other veggies like mushrooms, onion, tomato, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, all the squashes (butternut, acorn, spaghetti), zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, celery, carrot, leeks, cabbage… and if you’re thinking, she’s got to be kidding, I can’t digest any of those—I feel ya because I remember a time when I thought I couldn’t either. Hold that thought, I’m going to ask you to reserve judgement because in just a minute, I’m going to tell you how you can eat these vegetables, even in a flare.

I mentioned that these kinds of vegetables are lower in carbohydrates, but they aren’t low in nutrients. They have plenty of vitamin A and C, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and folate. All much needed nutrients for gut healing and repair. All in a form your body can digest and absorb—huge for busting that flare.

I promise, I’ll get back to how you’re going get all these nutritious veggies in, but stick with me as we round out the must have components of our soup. I will get to it. To recap, we started out our must have soup components with a rich, homemade meat or vegetable stock. We then talked about the repair power of vegetables (lots of veggies) and now we move on to gut repair component #3: herbs and spices.

IT’S TIME TO ADD SOME FLAVA-FLAV TO OUR GUT REPAIR SOUP

[12:40] Herbs and spices might just seem like a way to enliven your tastebuds and make vegetables tasty, but the cool thing about herbs is that they actually have medicinal and healing properties. So you can add a little flava flav to your gut healing soup while you make your digestive system happy. Love it when that happens. I mean, I’ll do anything to keep my gut happy, but when I get to do that and it tastes good, I’m so in.

There’s actually 10 herbs and spices I recommend you keep on hand, either as fresh herbs in a pot in your kitchen or from your garden if you’re into the fresh variety, or in a sacred spot in your kitchen in a small jar if you prefer the dried spice variety. And both are absolutely fine, and my spice cabinet is definitely a sacred, well-used spot. We all can’t have an herb garden sitting on our windowsill year-round so it’s nice to know dried spices are available at our local grocery store. And by the way, if you are using dried spices, I like to give them a little rub in the palm of my hand before adding them to the pot of soup. This re-releases the flavor in the herb and ensures you get a well flavored soup.

A TOP 10 LIST BETTER THAN DAVID LETTERMAN’S

So, here’s your Top 10 list of herbs and spices list. Move over David Letterman. Bet he never had herbs and spices on his famous top 10 lists. If you have a pen and paper handy, you might want to jot down some notes here. I’m not only going to give you the name of the herb, I’m also going to share with you the gut ailment it works best for. Personally, I keep all of these in stock in my kitchen, but it’s still nice to know which one works for which digestive symptom because then you’ll know what to grab as different challenges crop up and you’ll be all ready to make your gut loving soup when you don’t feel well, and you are in need of gut repair.

#1- Gingergreat for nausea, gas, bloating, general digestion needs

#2- Turmeric anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants, lowers free radicals, and oxidative damage to our cells with its active ingredient—curcumin

#3- Cinnamon- not a lot of people think about cinnamon when making soup but, taste wise, it’s a great ingredient to bring out the flavors in chili or a squash soup. Digestively, it eases nausea and upset stomach (remember that for your kids if they have a stomach bug and are vomiting, it helped my kiddos a time or two)

#4- Basil- gas, abdominal pain, lots of different types: sweet, lemon, Thai basil, and my favorite for stress reduction holy basil

#5- Bay leaves- detoxifying for the digestive system, soothing for an irritable bowel

#6- Cardamom- good for mucus build up, gas, bloating, heartburn (quick side note, I have a couple clients who chew on the cardamom pods to get relief from heartburn and it definitely helps their symptoms)

#7- Rosemary- balancing for the bacteria in the gut

#8- Cumin- anti-inflammatory

#9 & #10 both have the same benefit, so I’ll group them together: thyme and oregano- both antibacterial and antifungal.

So, there you have it, your top 10 herbs and spices list. Definitely keep these on hand for digestive health and making a gut repair soup.  Of course, you won’t use them all in one soup, but keep them on hand and rotate them with your different batches of your gut repair goodness.

JUST A FEW LAST NOTES ABOUT HERBS AND SPICES

Just a couple last notes on herbs and spices before we move on, when buying these at the store, try to buy the highest quality you can afford. Organic is best. And stand alone spices are preferred instead of spice mixes. Spice manufacturers may add in additional anti-caking ingredients to bottles like this and our sensitive guts don’t need that.

How are things looking in your kitchen? Are you already stocked with these spices? Now is the perfect time to stock up and make sure you have these on hand for your super healing soup recipes.

So far we’ve talked about three must have components for any gut healing soup: quality stock, quality veggies, and quality herbs or spices. With these three things, there isn’t an amazing gut healing soup you can’t make. But what if you’re in a flare up and you feel like you just can’t tolerate some of these vegetables I mentioned earlier? What if you’re intestines are so inflamed that the idea of anything solid going in congers up an image of a fiery inferno inside your gut?

The best thing about a well-made, nutrient dense soup is that it can heal and repair your gut just as well as it can help you maintain your IBD remission. It’s amazing in that way. It’s all about putting whatever soup you choose in the best digestible and absorbable form for where your gut is in that moment.

Let’s talk about how to best make the soups in your Soups On Recipe Booklet if you’re in flare up mode. When your disease is active, and you’re having lots of symptoms—abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloody poops, rectal fissures or hemorrhoids, heartburn, bloating, smelly or frequent gas… Or we’re also talking about IBD non-gut symptoms that also can creep up like arthritis, skin rashes, fatigue, brain fog or anxiety, eye inflammation, loss of appetite, or mouth sores… and of course with our lovely chronic illness, you know as well as I do that there can be other symptoms as well. So, the gut repair soup is for you if you have any active disease at all.

THE 3 RULES OF GUT REPAIR SOUP

[21:35] When we’re talking gut repair soup, there’s three important rules to follow:

#1- the most important rule- making your soup into a form you can easily digest and easily absorb. That means using an immersion blender or pureeing it in a high-speed blender. Pureeing it until it’s smooth and creamy. This puts the soup in an easy to digest form. Suddenly, veggies you thought you couldn’t tolerate become tolerable. Greens like spinach, fiberous veggies like celery… when we blend these veggies into a smooth and creamy, deliciously soothing soup, now we can digest and absorb the healing nutrients in the food and begin to give our digestive system the food it needs for fuel and to repair.

I’VE CREATED A 8 SOUP RECIPES WITH YOU IN MIND

Now, in your Soup’s On Recipe Booklet that you can get in the show notes or by going to karynhaley.com/soup, you’ll see all kinds of delish soups that are good for the health of your digestive system. Every single one of them is either already a creamy style soup or one that can be purred. Pretty much any kind of soup I’ve encountered over the years, I’ve been able to put it in a smooth and creamy form, while still enjoying the richness of the flavors. Vegetable soup, soup with meat in it like bacon, chicken or beef, all of these soups can and should be purred when you are in the initial stages of gut healing. If you’ve never done this before, I know it might seem different, but I’ve done this myself with each of the soups in your recipe booklet and they taste great. All the nutrients and health factors you need without the difficulty in digesting them. Give your body what it needs to heal with gut repairing, creamy, soothing soup.

For gut repair soup rule #2, I want you to only use ingredients you tolerate. This might mean scaling back on an ingredient or two in a recipe for a short time until enough healing has taken place. Sometimes, the reason we don’t tolerate a particular food is because of the form it’s in. When our G.I. tract is inflamed, we need food to be pre-digested or broken down for us to tolerate. Other times, even the ingredients in a pureed soup might bother us. Maybe you’re having a histamine intolerance that’s causing rashes, and itchy, flakey skin. You might need to make your broth differently until the reaction calms down. Maybe there’s an herb like garlic that gives you too much gas because you’re dealing with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, maybe you’re like me and you just have a true food sensitivity to a vegetable like peppers. And it doesn’t matter if the peppers you use are blended or not, you just don’t tolerate any pepper with skin on it—even if its blended.

Skip ingredients you don’t tolerate. Substitute them with another ingredient. For me with peppers, I always remove the skin (more like a roasted pepper) and then I can eat them. For you, it might be rosemary. Your just sensitive too it. Is there another herb you like that you could substitute? How about using thyme instead? I find it gives a great flavor to soups as well.

See what I’m saying here. No matter which soup recipe you try, if your intestines are irritated and inflamed, chances are there’s going to be an ingredient or two that doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t mean you need to scrap the idea of broth or veggies all together. It just means it’s time for some modifications and tweaks.

THE SOUP THAT WORKS FOR YOU, EVEN IF YOU’RE SENSITIVE TO ALL FOOD

I know this can be an overwhelming task if you’ve never experimented in this way before. I also know you can do it. It just takes a little bit of practice. My advice, if you don’t know what your food sensitivities are yet because right now, everything seems to bother you, start with just a very simple soup. One with very few ingredients. It might be just a vegetable broth with some carrot purred in it. I actually have a very simple soup like this in my Soup’s On Recipe Booklet. Start there, see how you do. If you need to pull back on some of the ingredients, go for it. Once some gut healing has taken place, you’ll be able to move on and add more ingredients and move on to other soups as well. The gut lining has an amazing capacity for quick healing when we give it the food it thrives on. And you never know, foods you thought you’d never be able to eat, may surprise you. I’ve personally experienced this with countless foods. It is such a beautiful thing.  

REACH OUT AND ASK YOUR QUESTION

And if you get stuck at all, know I’m here to help. I know this can be a daunting process in the beginning. Reach out and ask. I’m here to make this easy for you. Hello@karynhaley.com

So, when it comes to gut repair soup, with our 3 rules, just to remind us where we’re at, your #1 rule is blend your soup into a smooth and creamy concoction that’s easier to digest and absorb. Rule #2 is use only the ingredients you tolerate, and lastly, rule #3 when it comes to gut repair soup is: when you make it, make it count. If you’re going to all the trouble of making this healing liquid gold for your body when you don’t feel well, make a double batch to freeze the second one. The beauty of soups like this is that they freeze beautifully. In a leftover container, in mason jars, in silicon molds you can then remove and freeze for smaller portions… whatever works for you.

This will involve a little timing on your part. Something I’ve seen over and over with clients over the years is that when it comes to flares, there’s usually a time of day when we feel well and a time of day we feel worse. I wish there was a pattern to it, that everyone was the same… like everyone feels better in the morning and worse as the day goes on, but this isn’t the case. What I have seen is that many IBD mamas have patterns or cycles to their digestive symptoms. You might wake up in the morning and sit on the toilet off and on for a couple hours before things clear out and you feel well for the rest of the day. Things might flare up for you in the middle of the day where you get really fatigued and need to rest. For me, when I’m in a flare up, I always feel amazing in the morning. Before I would eat, I felt like I could conquer the world. After eating, I might feel crappy for the rest of the day.

So for me, I know that my best baking/cooking gut healing food time is right when I wake up. For you, it might be the middle of the day or at night. Find your time, and make your soup making count—make a double batch or two different soups and freeze one. I’m all about working smarter not harder so even if you don’t feel up to the double batch, never ever make a single serving. It takes just as much work to make that as a full batch of soup.

And even better still? Get your partner in on the soup making action. If you don’t feel well, it’s time for your partner to step up and help a mama out. Remember, when you feel better, you’ll pour all that love back into them.

Gut repair soup with 3 simple rules—done.

SHOULD I STILL EAT GUT REPAIR SOUP IF I’M IN REMISSION?

[31:50] OK, let’s say you’ve moved beyond the healing phase and you’re in remission. Can you imagine it mama? I want you to dare to dream my friend because it can be your reality. Once you are in remission, you want to stay that way. And it’s a tricky balance. Remission, especially in the beginning is like walking on a tight rope in the circus. One false move and splat, you’re back to ground zero. Trust me, I’ve walked this tight rope many times, it’s precarious and involves lots of maintenance and moving parts. It’s not the time to take your eye of the prize.

The same gut repair soup you’re making to heal your gut can be the same digestive remission soup you use to make sure you stay that way. It’s still full of the same nutrients and gut healing factors, but this time, you’re ready for more. Just like gut repair soup, remission soup has 3 rules or best practices too.

3 RULES FOR IBD REMISSION SOUP TO KEEP YOU HEALTHY LONGER

Rule #1- With maintenance soup, follow the recipe as is. There’s no need to puree or blend your veggies. Keep them chunky and hearty. If you’re feeling really well, you can even keep the veggies, as Italians say, al dente—with a little bite or crunch. Of course, if you prefer the smooth and creamy texture, that’s find too. Just know that when it comes to maintenance, you can branch out with your soup’s texture.

Rule #2- Now that you’re tolerating all the broths, the herbs/spices, and vegetables, it’s time to start branching out with ingredients that didn’t work for you before. Be careful not to go overboard here. We’re not talking about adding sugar or pasta noodles to your soup. We’re still talking low carb and low sugar to keep your inflammation down, and your immune system and bacterial balance in check.

Rule #3- Don’t get complacent and forget about your maintenance soup. I see this all the time. As time goes by, we feel well, we’ve got kids, responsibilities… we forget about our maintenance. There’s lots of work to be done to make sure we don’t flare and it’s easy to forget about the things you have in place that make remission possible. Your maintenance soup is a huge factor in keeping you feeling healthy.

During the early stages of gut repair soup, you’ll be consuming broth and soup 1-5 times a day. Once your symptoms resolve, it’s OK to back up on the soup, but not completely. I still have gut healing soup with the ingredients we’ve been talking about today regularly. It’s part of my healthy gut maintenance routine. And during times when I don’t feel like myself or I feel a flare up coming on, I hunker back down with gut repair soup, the flare up version.

Although homemade soup isn’t a cure all and there’s other healing options to put in place to but a flare up, when you have gut repairing soup with the quality ingredients we’ve been talking about today, it can be a hugely positive factor on your healing journey. And when it comes to remission, that is truly the most important time to keep those nutrients coming. For those of us with sensitive guts, the vigilance never stops.

ARE YOU READY TO START USING SOUP TO HELP REPAIR YOUR GUT?

Now, are you ready to start using soup for gut repair or maintenance? Let me help you get started with my Soup’s On Recipe Booklet.  I think I mentioned it earlier, but you can get my brand new Soup’s On Recipe Booklet right in the show notes, or you can get it by going to karynhaley.com/soup. This recipe guide has vegetarian and omnivore soups in it, it’s got two different stock recipes to be sure you have your must have components set before you begin, and it has several easy to make homemade soups that use the gut healing ingredients we’ve been talking about today. You’re going to love it! Head over to karynhaley.com/soup and it will be yours free now.

Can you tell how much I love talking about soup? Weird, right? This episode seriously lite me up! No matter where you’re at on your IBD healing journey, I hope you’ll start using soup to help you heal. It’s truly transformative. Happy soup making my friend.

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

Be well.

[37:42] Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.

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

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

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

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

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