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!