Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Crohn's Life

I've had the website and have unsuccessfully been able to renew it. When I started the blog, I secured the domain name from Google as the blog platform I use is, which is a Google app.

Google sent me notice about the domain registration expiring and the links they gave me to pay for the renewal wouldn't work. I had messaged the three times asking for help, and attempted to call them as well. Over a two month period I wasn't able to renew the domain name successfully. Crazy…

So I found out through GoDaddy that Google would charge $80 to restore the name and that they could help me get it restored. Then once restored, they could reassign it to themselves.  GoDaddy is who Blogger/Google used for domain names but since it was purchased through Google, they couldn't restore the name without going through Google.

Well, out of principle, I was not going to pay Google $80 to restore a name that should not have expired if they would have responded to any of my customer service requests. So, please make a note of the new domain name:

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm So Blessed!

This is not my typical post, but I will give a quick update. I feel great. Dr. Azar is a blessing! 

So… I was sitting on the hearth of my down stairs fireplace looking at how my home is shaping for the holidays, and as I began to think for how great it's looking, I also began to think of all my blessings, and I began to cry and cry. I think the tears are because I don't feel worthy, or maybe these really are tears of happiness…

I couldn't have imagined life to be this good. I'm not sure how it gets better than this. I wonder what I have done to deserve such a wonderful life. 

First came to mind my family. My son seems to finally be on the right path. He is going to school and following his passion, and he even has a job. He only has a couple more years and he'll finally have the education he needs to pursue his dream.

My brother has grown so much. I'm so proud of him. All my prayers for him seem to have come true. I love him so much. My mom and dad, in spite of their ups and downs with jobs and such, are financially stable and healthy. My sister, has such a beautiful family and they always seem to be stable and having great lives.

I found a wonderful man, that I think I've been needing in my life my entire life. Gosh, if I can't make things work with someone as wonderful as he, then I guess I'm destined to be single. But something tells me, that's not the case and that he'll be in my life for a very long time, if not forever.

Then, I reflected on an email I received today from one of my staff. How fortunate am I to have found something I love to do, that pays well, and where I get a chance to mentor young aspiring people. Jamie doesn't realize how nice her email was today.

I never seem to have to worry about finances these days. My bills are less than I earn, and I'm just preparing for the future. 

Then, of course, I have my health. I still have yet to hear of anyone that lives a life with Crohn's without hospitalization, medication, and a lot of pain. With one call to Dr. Azar, I'm back on the right track and am feeling great. How blessed am I to have her in my life. 

I love to ride motorcycles and snowboard, and a new passion of mine is tennis. I basically can do all of these things I want without any real challenges getting in my way.

I'm not really sure how life gets any better than this. Family, career, health, relationship…

Thank you Lord! You've touched me today like I haven't been touched in a while. I'm so grateful for all that you are and all that you've given me! I'm not sure how I'm worthy, but I will do my best for you. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Appointment with Dr. Azar. Very interesting… I always learn so much from her!

Very interesting…

I explained to Dr. Azar why I was so confused as to why I'm having a flare up. I cleansed for twelve days, just about a week ago and I was certain that my colon was in a very healthy condition. Within a week after finishing my cleanse, I'm having all of these Crohn's symptoms. Fatigue, joint pain, irregular bowel movements, mild fever, etc.

I continued to explain to her what I ate the day after returning to solid foods, and she simply explained very easily why I'm having these symptoms. Something I never considered…

Twelve days of cleansing put my body into a very deep cleanse. The cells in my body were working at dumping toxins into my blood stream so they could be carried to my kidneys, liver, and GI tract for elimination. All of the symptoms I'm describing are also symptoms of cleansing. Haha.

So I was in a deep cleansing state, and adding food to that state could easily create a reaction if  the body is not prepared. That really isn't too difficult to understand. A Crohn's flare up is just another way your body cleanses. Even for those without Crohn's or colitis, all of the symptoms I just described an occur in a deep cleanse.

When I explained to her the juice I was having, she confirmed that I put my body in a very deep detox state. Any one if not all of my symptoms could be considered the body's intelligent response ridding the body of toxins.

So when I came off the cleanse, my GI tract was not ready for food I gave it. It had been cleansed of the good bacteria needed to operate properly, so it responded as anyone's body would if not prepared for digesting food, not to mention the acidic food that I gave it.

Toxins that should have been eliminated by my GI tract settled in my joints and elsewhere in my body, and this creates joint pain, fatigue, fever, etc.

She coached me today as to what to do to gently introduce solid foods back into my system. My colon needs to begin to get used to doing its job again, and it needs to develop bacteria in order to do so.

Today for breakfast I had a banana, apple smoothie, with cinnamon and vanilla (tastes a little like apple pie filling), yum! For lunch I've had some mushroom soup and I have vegetable soup planned for this evening. I'll fill in the day with some of my miracle juice (see my juice recipes), and be hopeful that my body accepts this gentle food better than it did the acidic tomato sauce I had when I finished my cleanse the other week.

Another interesting fact we discussed, is that pectin, which is really very good for the colon and found in apples, carrots and bananas among other fruits, doesn't digest in the colon unless there is bacteria created by feces present. It needs the good bacteria to metabolize properly. So during a cleanse, all of the pectin I was drinking with juice, never got metabolized in the colon.

Ultimately, when I came of the cleanse and ate some inflammatory foods, my body continued to cleanse it out. I got scared and returned to juice, which ultimately continued the cleanse. Now I need to gently get off of this cleanse, which is what she has instructed me to do. Wish me luck. So far, so good :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Juice Recipes

I've posted some good juice recipes in the past, but I have more now! Here are the past recipes:

Bloody Mary Substitute: You may want to pass this through a cold press juicer a second time, or strain the pulp from the juice if you have a centrifugal juicer.

  • 2 Large very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 Large zucchinis
  • 1 clove of garlic 
  • 1 sprig of fresh basil 
  • a dash of cayenne pepper to taste 
  • a dash of Himalayan sale to taste 
  • 2 dashes of ground cumin to taste

Tomato Juice with a Twist:  I like to add a little sparkling water to this juice.
  • 2 Large tomatoes
  • Medium sized apple
  • Large cucumber
  • Clove of garlic
  • Cilantro to taste

Daily Veggies:  This is a recipe from Luna's Living Kitchen. Although mine tastes a little different, it is still delicious.  I believe this is around 170 calories. This is filled with iron, by the way.
  • 4 Medium carrots
  • Large zucchini
  • Large cucumber
  • Large tomato
  • 3 Celery stalks
  • 4 Large leaves of kale
  • 1/3 Clove of garlic
  • 1/8 Lemon
  • 4-6 Leaves of fresh basil
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Dash of Himalayan salt

My Daily Meds: As you know if you've been reading my blog, carrot and apple juice has been a major factor in healing my Crohn's due to the pectin in both that is digested in the colon and acts as a cleanser and protectant. Well, a small change to the ingredients zests up the tase for post healing. This is about 210 calories. Also, pectin is great for lowering cholesterol.

  • 3 Apples
  • 5 Carrots
  • 1/4 Orange including peel
  • 1/8 Lemon including peel
  • Cilantro to taste

Purple Pleasure:  This is amazingly delicious. It's about 300 calories.
  • Small head of red cabbage
  • Large bosc pear
  • 2 Stalks of mint

Here are some additional recipes I jotted down during my most recent cleanse. I'll have to figure out some names. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I intend to research the ingredients and nutrients of these juices and identify any illnesses or nutrient deficiencies that these juices can help with. 

If you're diabetic, too much sweet fruit juice is not recommended. Otherwise, please enjoy these recipes and let me know which is your favorite!

A Little Bit of Both: This has fruits and veggies. It's delicious. I haven't figured out calories on these yet.

  • 2 Mangos
  • Large cucumber
  • 2 Carrots
  • An apple
  • 2 Persimmons

Ki-berry-wi: Yum yum!
  • 1 Cup blackberries
  • 4 Kiwi
  • 1 Canteloupe
  • 1/4 Lime with peel

Good Luck with a Name for this One:
  • 1 Cup strawberry
  • 2 Mangos
  • 4 Persimmons
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1/4 Lime with peel

Refrigerator Leftovers:
  • 2 Mangos
  • 2 Persimmons
  • 1/2 Pear
  • 4 Apples
  • 1/4 Orange with peel
  • 2 Plums

Orange Delight!
  • 2 Mangos
  • 2 Persimmons
  • 1/2 Pear
  • 3 Apples
  • 6 Carrots
  • 2 Plums
  • 1/4 Lemon with peel

Grape Cuke Juice:
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 14 oz juice from white grapes
  • 1/4 orange with peel
  • Cilantro to taste

  • 1 Mango
  • Red delicious apples to fill 16 oz.
  • Cilantro to taste

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Joint Pain

I've been trying to figure out why my joints hurt so much when I have colon inflammation, and ultimately, I've learned that the GI tract is responsible for ridding the body of dangerous substances. If the colon is damaged and not doing its job, then toxic substances can enter the body and cause inflammation elsewhere. These toxins can collect in the fluid of the joints, which can cause inflammation of the joints.

This is called peripheral arthritis and is common among people who have ulcerative colitis or Crohn's of the colon. The level of inflammation in the joints generally mirrors the extent of inflammation in the colon. So to get rid of the joint pain, you have to reduce the colon inflammation.

Fortunately, from what I'm reading, IBD related peripheral arthritis usually does  not cause any permanent damage. Yay!

So i water fasted a day, then juiced, now water fasting again for a day and a half, and in those few days my joint pain has reduced to being very mild. And by no surprise, my gut feels a lot better too.

I have an appointment with Dr. Azar tomorrow. I'm excited to talk to her since I haven't done so in almost two years. I really need some advise as to how I can transition to food again because I obviously cannot stay on water and be healthy.

I assume she's going to suggest going to juice and smoothies, but we will see...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Flareup After Eighteen Months

Well, I'm officially having a flare up. I don't consider inflammation mitigation a flareup, which is what I regularly do, to avoid a flareup. What I mean, is if I ate something that caused a little inflammation, I would immediately juice for a day, or begin my healing diet, and things would get back to normal quickly. Unfortunately, however, that is not the case this time.

Since my diagnosis in September, 2011, I've really only had one flareup and that was in March, 2012. I remember March 17 as being the worst medical day of my life. I was in so much pain with my gut and my muscles and joints. I was throwing up and had diarrhea, and needed to sleep all the time if I could get past the pain. I vowed to do whatever I needed to do with my life and diet to ensure that I didn't feel like that again.

A couple of weeks ago, I knew that I had something more going on than a little inflammation when I decided to go on a water/juice fast. I water fasted for 3 days, then juiced for an additional 9 days. You would think that I would have gotten my colon back to normal by doing that, but no. Less than two weeks after the conclusion of the fast, here I am experiencing a full fledged flareup.

Yesterday, I could hardly walk. My joints are inflamed and the pain in my knees and heels, strangely enough, make it very difficult to get around. Twelve hours sleep wasn't nearly enough to give me the energy to work a full day. I ended up coming home early and napped between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. I still lacked energy, so I went to sleep around 9:00 p.m. and slept until about 9:30 a.m. this morning. It wasn't solid sleep as I got up about 5 times during the night due to cramps in my colon. 

I also had a fever last night, with the highest temperature at 102.5. It was clear based upon how I felt that I couldn't play tennis this morning, so I cancelled a doubles match that was scheduled for 11:00 a.m. That clearly was a wise decision.

I've gone back to water fasting since about 8:00 p.m. last night in hopes that the body inflammation will subside quickly. I've also messaged Dr. Azar, my holistic doctor, to get some advise. Twelve days of water and juice should have gotten my colon back to normal, so I'm hoping she can give me some suggestions that I haven't considered.

So ultimately, joint and muscle pain, fatigue, fever, cramping in my gut, and unusual bowel movements clearly means I'm having a flareup. I know water fasting for a day or two will make me feel better, but what to do after than is my concern. At present, I'm planning on water fasting for 2 days, then juicing for 3. Then I'll water fast for a day, then juice for 3, water for 1, juice for 3, and so on until I feel 100%. This may change once I hear from Dr. Azar…

When I feel 100% I'll juice for a few more days just to make sure everything is fine. I think this is going to be a long journey back :(

Monday, November 4, 2013

Juice Fast Conculsion…

Monday, November 4

I woke up is morning and decided I'd start a water fast immediately, instead of starting this evening. It wasn't in my plans when I went to sleep last night, but when I awoke, the thought crossed my mind since I had not eaten since 7 pm Sunday night.

It's now 5:01 pm and I'm almost 24 hours with nothing but water. I'm a little tired and have a mild headache. My gut, however, is feeling better than it has in weeks. I intend on water fasting through Wednesday evening, and then juicing. I'll update this blog entry each day with my diet and activity. Here's the plan:

Monday: Water fast
Tuesday: Water fast
Wednesday: Water fast through 6 pm. Then watermelon juice only
Thursday: Melon juice only
Friday:  Fruit juice
Saturday-Monday: Luna's 3-Day Cleanse
Tuesday and beyond: Fruit and vegetable juice

Tuesday, November 5

Today was amazing! I took the day off work since I didn't expect to have much energy without eating for over 24 hours. It's amazing how just two days of water makes the symptoms go away. I had more energy today than I've had in weeks. My joint and muscle pain is gone. Completely gone. Crazy actually.

Today at 7:00 p.m. it will be 3 full days on water. I'll introduce watermelon juice only with no pulp. Watermelon juice is extremely alkaline forming, so this will help heal any inflammation, and will be an easy transition for my GI tract to accept and digest.

I even had enough energy to play tennis this evening. That is absolutely crazy if you think about it. I had more energy with only water than I've had eating the last few weeks. Now, of course the body can't live this way long term, but it's a great way to give my GI tract a rest. Let's pray than when I begin juicing that my healing stays on tract.

Wednesday, November 6

Everything went well today. I slept quite a bit, then took my Thunderbird in to get a drive belt replaced (motorcycle, not the car). Water all day went well. All symptoms other than my bowel movements have disappeared. Yay!

On another note, my son turned 23 today. I don't feel old enough to have a 23 year old;)

Thursday, November 7

Today was an easy day up until when I arrived in Austin. I went there on M/I Homes business. I have traveled many many times with my juicer, but this time I forgot an important part to my juicer.
I traveled with a small watermelon, cantaloupe, apple, carrots and persimmons in my luggage. my small carry on luggage weighed a ton. Upon my arrival, I went to my room and  I began preparing my fruit for juicing. I cut the watermelon and cantaloupe in small pieces just to realize that my juicer wasn't going to work with the missing part.

Ultimately, I had the woman at the front desk of the hotel call me a cab and I went to Whole Foods for some juice. Fortunately, there was one less than 2 miles away. I found some cold press juice by Sujo. I was very thankful to find this because not only was it cold pressed, but it was free of pulp. Perfect!
When I returned to the hotel, I gave my cut up melon to the helpful front desk agent, and was set for juice for the night and for Friday. The only real issue with today was that it cost me $50 in juice and $20 in cab fare. Otherwise, all is well.

My energy levels are fine and body inflammation appears low. My colon is not normal yet, but I'm sure every day it is getting better :)

Friday, November 8

Today has been an easy day as well.  I had all of my juice from Whole Foods and the day was uneventful as it relates to Crohn's. no improvement in my bowels, however. From a business perspective, it was a wonderful day in Austin. I'm on the return flight at the moment, and should arrive around 8 pm.

Saturday, my sweetie and I were going to start Luna's Living Kitchen 3 Day cleanse, but we will have to delay that. When I called to order the cleanse today, I was informed that we had to make the order yesterday in order to have it for the weekend. So, I'm not quite sure what we are going to do. We may end up going to Luna's and buying juice by the jar, to get us through until Monday, or we will just make our own juice this weekend and maybe start with Luna's on Monday.
I thought it would be nice to take a break from having to spend an hour or more in front of a juicer this weekend, but plans evidently have changed…

On another note, this weekend I have two tennis matches: a singles match on Saturday at 5:00 pm, and a mixed doubles match Sunday at 3:00 pm with a partner I've never met. It's the Blakeney vs Weddinton club competition. This should be fun. I'm hopeful that my energy levels will be normal. The last few matches I've played, I was clearly fatigued. I play a really good woman on Saturday. i have no idea about the doubles team we play.

Saturday, November 9

Today was a relatively long day. I'm tired so I'm going to keep this short. In the scope of things, I had a reasonable amount of energy today, but I really didn't have much sleep last night. During a cleanse you should really get more sleep than usual and I likely only had about 6 hours sleep. 

I lost my singles match this afternoon against a very strong player. The first set she whooped me 6-2. The second set I was up 4-1, then got a charlie horse in my left calve. She ultimately beat m3 7-5. In looking at what causes charlie horses from a nutritional standpoint, a lack of calcium or potassium can cause it. Also, dehydration can cause it. So I've made juice with kiwi, which is him in potassium, and will have some almond milk this evening for calcium. I'm also going to make sure I'm fully hydrated.

I have a doubles match in the morning at 9:00 a.m. as well as one to 3:00 p.m. No more charlie horses please.

I'm a bit tired, so I'm off to sleep soon. Sweet dreams!

Sunday, November 10

I'm on my 10th day of no solid foods. I've had a major improvement in the last day. If you don't want to hear about bowel movements, then now is the time to stop reading.  Ultimately, I slept through the night last night without having a bowel movement. Better yet, is that today's stool was free of mucous. 

I've been having several bowel movements a day of not much other than mucous, but today was the first day that was not the case. So I am certain my inflammation has subsided and I'm on the way to eliminating the inflammation. Yay.

Also, I've been writing down some of the juice recipes. I will start a blog just with some of the recipes here in the near futures. Some times, I simply put things together of what I have left in my refrigerator, and duplicating it isn't likely. For example, if I have one pear, an apple, plum, peach, and cantaloupe, I may just put them all together without the thought of it becoming a recipe. Now and then I get a combination I really like.

So look for a blog on recipes soon.

Otherwise, my day was pretty good. When you're cleansing, your body is cleaning house and it uses more nerve energy than  when 100% healthy, so I'm a little more tired at the end of the day during this cleanse.

Monday, November 11

I'm so tired of juicing. Because my boyfriend is juicing too, we spend about 2 hours in front of the juicer each day. Arrrrgh....

Otherwise, all is well. I'm a little more tired at the end of the day, but that is expected while your body is cleansing. It is using much of its nerve energy cleaning house and there is not much left at the end of the day.

My gut doesn't seem to be improving much. It certainly has improved since when I started, but I've plateaued it seems...

Tuesday, November 12

Not sure why, but I am thinking of food way too much today. I'm not really hungry, but I'm missing the taste of food. Tonight we pick up Luna's Living Kitchen's 3 Day Cleanse. Yay. I get a break from the juice machine. Very cool. 

Wednesday, November 13

Today is my 10th day. I needed to start with Luna's cleanse. I'm needing a little motivation to continue and buying Luna's cleanse helps keep me vested in continuing. At least I know I'll stick it out until Friday since I've invested about $200 for the next three days of juices.

My bowel movements still don't show the improvement I would have like to have seen by now. I suspect I will discontinue the juice fast by Monday. I'll introduce blended bananas over the weekend and solid food on Monday. Depending upon how my body reacts to solid food, particularly, how my bowels react, I will decide whether or not to go back on the juice. 

I'm kind of over it at the moment, but I don't really know what alternative I have. I certainly don't want to have to go back on medication, so juice is my primary solution otherwise. Cross your fingers that the next few days brings healing to my gut.

Other than the bowel not being back to normal yet, I do feel substantially better. Fatigue is gone, and the pain in my joints and muscles are gone, meaning my body inflammation has subsided significantly. The only Crohn's symptom I'm showing of any sort is too much mucous in my bowel movements. Let's hope the next couple days fixes that :)

Thursday, November 14

Perfect timing. I think I'm ending this juice fast tomorrow or Sunday at the latest. If once on solid foods, it appears there has been not enough improvement, I'll very quickly return. However, some times it is hard to tell if bowel movements are normal when you're not eating normal. 

I will say that I believe the past day and a half have shown improvement. The Crohn's mucous is nonexistent today. Yay. 

I'm still a bit tired at the end of the day, which is normal when juicing. So I will need to go back to a plant based whole foods diet soon to see if my energy and bowel movements returns to normal. 

I have a mixed doubles tournament this weekend, so I'm not sure if we're going off the cleanse on Saturday morning, or if we're going to stick it out through the weekend, in spite of the tournament. 

Otherwise, I'm just missing the taste of food, and chewing. Haha. 

Friday, November 15

So today will be the last day of the juice cleanse. At about 7:00 p.m. this evening it will have been 12 days now. I feel great. I'll eat some type of fruits this evening and then see how things turn out in the morning. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 16

Yay. Bowel movement is normal. No hint of Crohn's. Inflammation evidently was handled. I'll transition and have some steamed squash tonight.

By the way, I have the playoffs for your mixed doubles Charlotte Tennis Association Ladder 8.0 mixed doubles today. I'm excited and feel great! We're going to do awesome :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013


So I'm feeling some Crohn's symptoms: fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and of course irregular bowel movements. I've immediately transitioned to a healing juice diet. You can check out this blog for a reminder:  My Water Fast and Juice Healing Retreat

Right now I'm just juicing. I'll water fast two days next week, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then revert to the balance of this fast.

My boyfriend is such a sweetie. He's going to cleanse with me. This way it will be easier since there won't be as many temptations having the person I spend most of my spare time with joining me.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Home Cooked (and uncooked) Meal

It's interesting how life has changed from two years ago. Saturday night I had and great whole foods plant based meal prepared with organic ingredients. It was absolutely delicious. It started out with a salad. Everything was fresh organic veggies and fruit. Two years ago, I wouldn't have considered such a meal...

Spiraled zucchini and carrots
Vegan rice (cauliflower)

Cashew Curry Dressing:
Soaked cashews
Curry powder
Clove of garlic
Himalayan Salt
Agave Syrup

I also had veggie fajitas. After steaming the veggies, I simply poured the sauce that had been warmed on top of the steamer over the veggies.:

Steamed veggies:
Crimini mushrooms
Red Onion
Serrano peppers
Red and yellow sweet peppers

Veggie Sauce:
Fresh tomato juice
Sesame seed oil
Himalayan salt
Cracked pepper

The sales and guacamole was also made from scratch:

Red Onion
Lime juice
Serrano pepper
Himalayan salt

Serano and poblano peppers
Lime juice
Garlic clove
Himalayan salt
Red Onion

Add all of this to some organic corn tortillas and you get an extremely healthy meal! The only ingredient that is acid forming is the corn tortillas. Otherwise, it's all alkaline forming, Who would have known you can eat healthy and delicious :)

For those with Crohn's or colitis, the onion and garlic can create inflammation; and the Serrano and jalapeno peppers, and tomatoes are irritants; so this is only for those in remission.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Why Do Doctors Give You Nutrition Through an IV?

How many of us with Crohn's or ulcerative colitis have found ourselves in the hospital, getting our nutrition through an IV because your GI tract doesn't absorb or digest properly?

It is a regular occurrence that when things get really bad, doctors do this so that we get the proper nutrients while giving our digestive system a rest. When things are this bad, we don't care that we don't get to eat our favorite foods. The only objective is to get the nutrients we need so that all of the cells of the body can be nourished, without having our digestive tract have to do any work so it can heal.

Well... with that in mind, doesn't it make sense that you can avoid a flare up the same way? If you got all of your nutrients through an IV you wouldn't have to ever worry about a flare up because your digestive system would have nothing to digest and nothing to irritate it, and therefore you don't get inflammation or ulcers. Right?

Sure, that makes sense! But...

It's not like you can be on an IV all your life. And you can't just stop eating and expect to be healthy. You have to have nutrients and good luck self administering an IV;)

So what do you do?

You can come close to accomplishing the same benefits by juicing.

There are two things juicing does that helps dramatically. First, raw fruits and vegetables are enzymatically alive, which means these foods have live enzymes within them to help digest 40-60% of that particular food.

Cooked and processed foods are enzymatically dead or denatured, which means there are no live enzymes within that food to help with digestion of that food. Your digestive system has to do all the work on its own. These dead foods will stress the entire body including the digestive system, the pancreas, the immune system, the body’s energy and the body’s enzyme reserves.

Easing our digestive functions by consuming enzymatically alive foods will help significantly.

Second, juice without fiber or pulp is the easiest way to get the nutrients we need. Fresh juice is not only full of enzymes, but it is already broken down and ready for absorption. Juicing gives us the nutrients without having our digestive system have to do much work. Removing the pulp from the juice helps reduce the amount of wast that the colon has to process. Your entire GI tract gets a rest.

There are only two basic rules to follow when juicing: the body needs to be slightly alkaline, so the fruits and vegetables juiced need to be alkaline forming, and you should not include foods that are irritants to the GI tract.

I use juice like medicine, but also as half my meals each day. Here's some things I suggest you include in your juice daily:
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Watermelon
  • Any other melon
Avoid adding any of these to your juice:
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Alternatives - FB Support Page

I'm excited because me and another Crohny have developed a new FB support page for those with Crohn's and colitis. This page is specifically for those seeking advise and support of how to manage symptoms without medication. Ultimately, medical therapy for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis becomes less effective with time. Up to 40% of us with UC will require surgery for complications at some point and nearly two thirds of us with Crohn's disease will require at least one surgery.

The longer we have Crohn's or UC, the more likely we are to develop complications that can be fatal. If you have UC for eight or more years, every year your chance of getting colorectal cancer increases, and cancer of the digestive tract is the leading cause of death for people with Crohn's.

Crohn's and Colitis Alternatives, my new FB page, is for people with an IBD that's fed up with their medical options and wants to improve their odds through natural holistic means.

Medicine is a therapeutic treatment in which an illness is treated by producing a second condition that is incompatible with the original condition. In other words, it creates another "illness" within the body that conflicts with the original illness, versus, removing the cause of the original illness.

Diet and nutrition, physical and mental health, and proper rest, as I have learned, can be ways to remove the causes of an IBD flare up and allow a C&C sufferer to learn how to live symptom free. This page was created for those who want support and want to exchange information that may help manage their disease in order to improve their odds and quality of life.

Whether the goal is to get completely off medication, extend the time between flare ups, or simply to be able to reduce the amount of meds taken. If you have C&C and this sounds good to you, or if you have a friend or family member with the disease, please pass on the page:

The page has been up for less than a day, and we have 30 "Likes" so far. Yay! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Prayer Request

I have such mixed emotions associated with something that happened Friday, and I'm having difficulty expressing it...

Let me first give a little background.  I'm pretty convinced that I'm supposed to help people with Crohn's or ulcerative colitis live a healthy life without medication. When I was diagnosed and Dr. Sigmon told me that chances are that I'd have to be on medication the rest of my life, I just somehow knew I'd find an alternative. I was diagnosed with severe advanced Crohn's colitis, and according to Dr. Sigmon, in his over approximate 30 years of being a gastroenterologist, only one person could he recall managed a life without medication, and her condition was not as bad as mine.

I figured if one person could figure a way to get of the meds, then there must be a way for me to do it too.  That became my mission.  I found Dr. David Klein's Self Healing book by searching for ways to cure Crohn's online. Within his book, I connected with my holistic doctor, Dr. Zarin Azar, and sure enough, within a year, I was off meds and have been able to manage Crohn's without meds ever since. 

This blog has been a way for me to remember everything that has occurred with my journey, all of the advice I received from Dr. Azar, and the detail of what I researched. I envisioned that part of my purpose for blogging all of this was to eventually write a book that could help others, as well as have a venue for those suffering from the diseases to get ideas of things they could try to improve their lives during this journey and this seemed like a logical approach.

On another note, I used to frequent a Crohn's and Colitis support FB page, and had used it regularly to give me the will power to continue on the holistic route. Often when I was feeling tempted to eat something I knew was bad for me, I'd visit this site and read about all of the people suffering with these diseases, that eat the standard American diet, and that was all I needed to give me the will power to stick with my healing diet, and my holistic path.

One time when I visited the site,, Aaron, the founder of the site, had a post indicating that they were looking for another administrator. I don't recall exactly how he said it, but he was looking for someone with a lot of education on the different treatments available. Well, that wasn't me. But because of this desire and belief that I am supposed to help others live a healthy life in spite of Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, I messaged him and basically asked if they were ever looking for an administrator that managed the disease holistically, I'd be interested

He had a few questions and we went back and forth a little, and the next thing you know, he asked me to join as the holistic admin. I've been doing this now for about a month.  Being an admin on this site was really my first attempt at helping others.
I visited my parents in Michigan last week. I left on Wednesday afternoon and took my motorcycle up to the Port Huron area for the extended weekend. I arrived on the 4th and returned on the 6th. So as you can see, I wasn't there very long at all.
Rich had one of his sons with him. The other wasn't in the best of health and didn't make it. Ironically, he was scheduled for a colonoscopy the following Monday and they suspected that he might have Crohn's. I was involved with a conversation with Jan, when this was discussed between my mother and Rich. My mother responded to Rich, "Tammy has Crohn's." and quickly the conversation changed to discussing what life is like if his son, Josh, at only 11 years old, was diagnosed with the disease.

I have known in my heart that the knowledge and experience I have with Crohn's must be used to help others, and based upon my past history with authoring a couple of books, I assumed this is the way I'm supposed to do it, but based upon what happened in the past couple of weeks, evidently there's also another way.

What was pretty cool, is that my mother reconnected with a family, the Hughes, that used to live a couple doors down from us when we lived in Warren. We lived there when I was 4 years old, through the age of 10 I believe. What I am certain of is that we moved away when I was 10. There were three children in this family. 

Well, timing would have it that Rich, one of the kids, was visiting his mother, Jan, for the holiday as well. I'm pretty certain that my mother just recently reconnected with Jan, and had yet to see any of the kids. But things worked out that we could stop by and visit with them Friday night, the 5th. We stopped by and it was very cool to see them, and also kind of amazing how they were still so familiar. 

As we were talking, I heard my mother say to Rich, "Tammy has Crohn's." So of course I entered their conversation and learned that his son, Josh, was having some medical issues and he was getting a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy the following week. This lead to a discussion about how it is to live with Crohn's.

Unfortunately, I received a message from Rich on this past Friday, and Josh was diagnosed with a severe advanced case of Crohn's, earlier that day. His Crohn's has affected his entire digestive system from his esophagus through this colon.

I don't know about any of you, but I consider this a request to me and Rich by God. Think about it? I reconnect with Rich after 39 years of no contact. My mother connects with his mother just recently, and Rich happens to be visiting Michigan when I'm visiting, and somehow we're able to see each other with such little time up there? I've been wanting to help others, and now I'm going to be given the chance. 

I must admit that I'm a little scared. I know I have been saying that I want to help people, but somehow I thought it would be indirectly by being the admin on the support site, and by writing a book. It didn't even cross my mind that the future of a young boy of a childhood friend may depend upon my support. I believe God hand selected me, which scares the bejesus out of me because I don't want to let Him down. Also, I never considered myself as someone God would call directly upon.

I can't imagine that we would be lead to each other after almost 40 years if Josh wasn't meant to have his condition improved due to my involvement. I ask you all for your prayers for this little boy and his family! Give his parents and brother the faith and commitment it is going to take in order for them to help him in this journey, and give Josh the wisdom needed to make good decisions for his long term health and happiness. And finally, give me the wisdom to advise the family in a manner that helps them the most.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Managing Fatigue

Fatigue! It's common with Crohn's and colitis sufferers, especially when they have a flare up since a significant amount of nerve energy is directed to healing, and often even when we're in remission we get fatigued for many reasons. Ultimately, anyone fighting illness or chronic diseases is more apt to fatigue and tiredness that a healthy person.  

So, what can we do to fight fatigue? Fatigue is often related to a lack of nerve energy, or lack of certain nutrients. 

Nerve energy is essential to our health and absolutely needed to fight illness, disease, and fatigue. With Crohn's and colitis, if you have a flare up, much or most of your nerve energy goes toward managing your symptoms, and sleep is the best cure for a lack of nerve energy. Sleep is the most effective way to replenish your nerve energy.

Stress management is crucial to nerve energy as well. If you're stressed, your solar plexus, which radiates nerve energy throughout your body, contracts, and you simply have less nerve energy. 

Also, because certain nutrients can be a factor associated with fatigue, a diet rich in vegetables is helpful. Vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables, have the majority of the nutrients that when lacking, contribute to fatigue: iron, magnesium, B12, folic acid (B-9), and potassium.

Iron is a mineral needed for hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen. When iron levels are low, red blood cells can't carry enough oxygen to the body's tissues, causing fatigue. So if you're iron deficient, a whole food supplement, or green leafy vegetables will help. I'm a big fan of juicing, so whenever I have any issues with my gut, juicing is better because the leafy veggies are a little tough on the GI tract, and the nutrients of juice is absorbed very quickly while giving the GI tract a rest.

Vitamins B12 and B-9 (folic acid) are needed for the production of red blood cells. B12 helps the body use iron and is also required for proper digestion, the absorption of food, the synthesis of protein and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. 

Also, B-12 is produced in the GI tract, and it is difficult to get enough B-12 from Crohn's and colitis sufferers because B-12 is typically in protein foods that are the longest to digest and are acid forming, which isn't good for our GI tract and often triggers a flare up. I eat only plant based whole foods, but they don't contain vitamin B-12, So I self administer vitamin B shots. 

If you add supplements to your diet, shots are the best to administer if possible because they're more immediate and bypass the GI tract. If you take oral supplements, try to get the type that dissolves in your mouth or drops if you have Crohns in the upper GI tract. I don't like taking pills of any sort, even supplements, as I believe they aren't the most gentle on your upper digestive system. If you have UC or Crohn's only in the colon or rectum, a whole food supplement is fine to take, however.

B9 is needed for the body to produce red blood cells. Because it's easily destroyed during cooking, it is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies. Eating raw vegetables, beans and nuts usually is sufficient for B-9.

Magnesium is needed for the production of ATP, Adenosine triphosphate, a coenzyme used as an energy carrier in our bodies' cells. It is the main energy producing molecule in the body. So, when magnesium is lacking our cells are less able to produce energy and this leads to fatigue and tiredness. Magnesium is easily obtained through fruits, vegetables and fish.

Finally, potassium is a mineral that is needed for organs to properly function. Low potassium is associated with cancer, digestive disorders, and chronic fatigue syndrome among others. Again potassium is found in fruits, vegetables and fish. 

Green leafy vegetables contain all of these nutrients other than B-12. No other food that I know of contain as many of the essential nutrients to fight fatigue as they do. But during a flare up, they are not gentle enough on the GI tract to eat, so consider adding a green juice to your daily routine. I drink about 16 oz a day of green juice that includes all of the required nutrients above, except B-12. It is my diet source for fighting anemia, fatigue and keeping my nerve energy strong.