Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Healing Diet

Many years ago, I used to get migraine headaches almost weekly.  The medication that was prescribed worked most of the time if I took it before the migraine was in full force. I would get an aversion to light and begin to lose my peripheral vision prior to the onset of the head pain. As soon as that occurred, if I took the medication, I would be able to prevent the head pain from fully materializing. But if I didn’t have the medication before the head pain began, then I’d have a migraine for about three days.

I decided in 2005  that I didn’t want to deal with this any longer and I started to log into a journal everything I ate as well as everything I did so that I could identify what, if anything, was triggering these migraines. Once I could identify what was triggering the migraines, I could then eliminate whatever it was from my life in order to prevent them forever. It took only about two months to determine that there was something in my protein drink that I took every morning that was triggering my migraines. There were too many ingredients in the protein drink to identify what it was within the drink that was the cause, so I just eliminated the drink entirely from my diet. I had thought it was the bananas that I also included in the drink that was the trigger, but later found out that was not the case.

In six years I’ve only had one migraine. I unfortunately don’t know what triggered it, but I must have consumed one of the ingredients that used to be in my protein drink that day. Nevertheless, I basically cured my migraines through diet.

With Crohn’s, I’ve learned that the medication prescribed to me and to others suffering from most anything, simply reduce the symptoms; it doesn’t cure what is causing the symptoms. Meaning the ulcers are still active most of the time. And if by chance they do heal, which is unlikely on the standard American diet, the scar tissue makes the area highly vulnerable to ulcers reoccurring.

What I wanted to do was to find what was causing the ulcers so that I could eliminate the cause, just like I did with my migraines. According to Dr. Sigmon, one of his patients did the same with Crohn’s, so I should be able to do so as well.

Therefore, I began searching on the Internet diets for people with Crohn’s. Although I found many ideas about what aggravated Crohn’s, nothing I found talked about the cause of Crohn’s and what needed to be eliminated to CURE Crohn’s with one exception. Self Healing Crohn’s and Colitis by David Klein was the only source I could find on the Internet that talked about healing Crohn’s. Every other source I found on the Internet, including all medical sources, refers to Crohn’s as a chronic issue that could not be healed, and remission was the best case scenario.

I downloaded the book immediately and read it in four days between my naps;) From a big picture perspective it claimed that with diet you could not only heal the ulcers but prevent reoccurrence forever. Since this book was the only source that suggested anything of the sort, I decided to follow the advice given in the book immediately. I still was feeling quite miserable, and a restrictive diet would be better than feeling so fatigued with an upset gut all of the time.

The diet had a few objectives in order to heal the ulcers so I could become healthy again:

  • Eat easily digested foods so that the body doesn’t have to work very hard to digest what is ingested.
  • Eat raw foods so that the maximum amounts of nutrients from the food could be digested.
  • Eat plant based whole foods only.
  • Eat only alkaline based foods.
  • Do not eat foods high in fat.

When I went to Europe in June, on the flight to England I began reading a book called The China Study. My friend Phillip Smith suggested it a few months prior, and then a friend and business associate that merchandises my model homes, Kay Green, also mentioned that I would likely be interested in the book.

I had already been living a Vegetarian lifestyle. I technically was a Lacto Vegetarian, which means that the only animal foods I consumed included milk. The China Study was touted for being the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease. Particularly, it details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Even colon cancer.

At the time I began reading The China Study, I had no idea that I had Crohn’s. Candidly, the book was a tough read, but it convinced me that cow’s milk and any other animal milk was not good for us. It praised the benefits of a plant based whole foods diet. So ironically, just days before beginning to experience Crohn’s symptoms, I began reading a book that praised almost the exact diet that now David Klein was suggesting for healing Crohn’s. Ironic???

David’s book suggests a different diet for the healing phase than after healing. Meaning, as long as there are active ulcers, the diet was more restrictive than after the ulcers are healed. The diet for the healing phase meets the rules above, but the post healing diet is introduced many more foods. The healing diet is actually a cleansing diet. The book also has a juice diet noted for extreme cleansing.

Once the healing is complete then the diet is very much like that Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the author of The China Study suggests, but it includes more uncooked foods, which makes sense and we’ll go into that in more detail later. I don’t think it’s coincidental that within two months of beginning to read The China Study, I was faced with the decision to find a diet that heals Crohn’s or take costly, dangerous medication the rest of my life.

Let’s go back in time for a moment... When my fatigue grew and I was having diarrhea all the time, I began a juice diet immediately. I had learned to do this in the past to help cleanse away any illnesses. During this time, I drank orange, apple, grape, and cranberry juice. I stopped eating solid foods so I could cleanse and also because having a bowel movement hurt my hemorrhoid too much. I thought if I just drank my nutrients, it would reduce my bowel movements and therefore reduce my pain. Ultimately, this action began my cleansing process as described in David Klein’s book, before I even read his book. But this extreme detoxification made me feel even worse at the time.

In any regard, because of my Vegetarian diet, and the cleansing I had already begun, I suspect the medication that I received the day of my colonoscopy was more effective than it may have been if I had a lot of toxemia within my body. I was fortunate to have a jump start on cleansing my body as well as a jump start in my knowledge of diet and disease from The China Study. I was unknowingly preparing in advance for what I was about to endure. I was a Vegetarian that was considering a whole foods plant based diet and was already cleansing. I don’t believe all of this was a coincidence, but instead, I believe I was meant to heal my Crohn’s.

Now let’s discuss what types of foods comply with the objectives above. Plant based whole foods means no processed foods. The food had to be whole and plant based. This means grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables only. But the food also must be easy to digest, and grains, nuts and seeds are not easy to digest, not to mention that most are high in fat. So that basically means I could eat fruits and vegetables only.

Most vegetables are not so easy to digest due to their roughage. Therefore, they needed to be steamed or juiced. Juicing vegetables are better because enzymes aren’t altered. Food cooked at over 118° F quickly break down, just like our bodies would if we had a fever that high. The cooked food loses its enzyme effectiveness and the enzymes are what help in digestion. One of the objectives noted was that food needed to be easily digested, and therefore, they should have their enzyme composition intact. So lightly steaming vegetables would make them more digestible without losing all of the benefits of the vegetables. But juicing vegetables would be even better.

Most fruits are already partially digested and they are wonderful for the healing diet. Bananas and melons in particular. But many fruits are not alkaline based. They are acidic and acidic foods will not help cure the ulcers.

David Klein’s book lists all of the fruits and vegetables that I could eat that would meet the objectives in order to heal my Crohn’s ulcers and I began following it exactly. Within days I began feeling better. It was amazing actually. Although it was very restrictive, the way I began to feel was well worth it. I felt more healthy in the first week, than I had for months. I mostly ate the following for breakfast and lunch, and I ate as much as I wanted:

  • Bananas
  • All melons
  • Pears
  • Raisins (soaked)
  • Dates (soaked)
  • Apples (peeled)
  • Grapes

The following were my predominant dinner items. The leafy items were juiced only due to their roughage. Otherwise, I would juice them or steam them:

  • Romaine
  • Bok Choy
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Celery
  • Sweet peppers
  • Cucumbers

On this diet I felt great and was able to wean off of the medication within 2 months. I’ll explain this further in the next blog….

You must get Self Healing Crohn’s and Colitis if you are a sufferer of either disease. I would suggest that you do not read the entire book at first, but go immediately to The Healing Diet on page 155 and begin following it immediately. Then read the entire book. Just don’t delay even a day starting the diet. Just give it a try for a month and see how you feel. 

1 comment:

  1. The same ironic thing happened to me. I started reading 80:10:10 and began to follow it relatively closely, it was then that I had my first flare up. And what do you know, a high carb raw vegan diet is exactly what Dr. Klein recommends! Isn't that interesting?