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May 30, 2013

Not So Good...

I have had an awful time since February with my colitis.  After being in remission for so long, I had almost forgotten how bad it was for me.  I accepted a new position with my company that was in Chicago.  My wife and I made the move to Chicago in mid March but that meant I had to travel the entire month of February.  

I didn't realize how much a routine and working in the office was so important to my colitis.  While living in Louisisana, my office was only 4 miles form our house.  This meant I could home for lunch everyday and eat a healthful, organic lunch with my wife everyday.  It also meant it only took me about 8 minutes to get back and forth to the office.  Now that is a commute I think everyone can live with!  Working in the office also meant I had access to the restroom at my convenience.  As you know, this is a big deal.  

So I accepted the job on January 28th which meant I had to travel until I made the move.  The next 5 weeks were spent on the road.  Flying, hotels and not having access to organic food and my signature juice drinks at all times brought me out of remission very quickly.  It wasn't too bad at first.  It started with soft stools again.  This doesn't worry me too much so I continued on my travels.  The second week on the road I started to have the urgency again.  I hate this the most.  We were in New York trying to enjoy peaceful walks around the city and I found my self trying to find restrooms in a not-so-friendly restroom kind of town.  

Upon gettting back home, I had to use some mesalamine enemas to get rid of the urgency.  That helped but I was still having the soft stools.  This has gone on until now, which is mid-May.

No I am at my all time worse.  My wife and I went for a week to the Dominican Republic.  We were at an all-inclusive!  I stupidly decided to go off diet for the week since I was on "vacation".  Of course nothing there was organic.  I really over did it by eating gluten, dairy and having drinks every night.  If you don't think diet has anything to do with colitis, this proves my point.

Upon return to the US, I got very sick.  The very next day I started to have diarreah.  I went so much over the next two days that by the third day, I was completely dehydrated.  I had to go to the hospital.

It took 6 liters of IV fluids to get me back to a normal color.  Since then, which that was May 14th, I still had the recurrent diarreah.  Over memorial day weekend, I started to get back to normal for a couple of days but then this lat Tuesday it all came roaring back.  

I have been going consistenly every 1-2 hours and even through the nigh it is waking me up.  This has been the worst I have ever dealt with this for the last 8 years.  I haven't juiced as much because I feel it may be too much when I am going so often like this.  We have been trying other natural rememdies with little success so far and I am concerned about what to do.  The good and bad about my new position is that it is field based which is bad if you are on the road with a team member and have to keep stopping to use the restroom.  The good is that I have some flexibility to work from home which is what I have been doing for a couple days.  

As I write this I am determined to get back to normal.  I will be trying some different approaches and see what works out.  I will keep you posted.... 

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Jan 24, 2013

Meghan Telpner Interview

I had the pleasure of speaking with Meghan Telpner about her road to remission after being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.   Meghan was extremely gracious and really opened about her journey to where she is today.

Meghan is releasing her first book UnDiet.  Although it has several recipes, it is more about healthy lifestyle design and helping each of us discover our own path to a healthful lifestyle.

In this video you will learn:

Meghan's 5 tips to get back to a healthy state.

Why you should spend more money on your personal fuel tank instead of your gas tank.

Why slimy foods are not that gross.

How quickly your digestivce tract regenerates new cells.

It is jam packed with information and you won't be disappointed! 

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Jan 18, 2013

Yummy Tuna Salad

Yummy Tuna Salad

Light, Tasty, and Healthy!

What You'll Need:

2 Cups Organic Greens ( I love arugula or spring mix)

1 Container Fresh Caught, Low Mercury, in Water or Olive Oil Tuna

2 Tbsp Organic Capers

1/2 Small Organic Yellow Onion - chopped

2 Tbsp Organic Red Onion - chopped

2 Tbsp Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Handful Organic Kalamata Olives - chopped

2 Organic Celery Stalks - diced

1 Clove Organic Garlic - minced

3-4 Organic Artichoke Hearts - chopped

Juice from 1/2 Organic Lemon

2 Tbsp Organic Vegan Mayo (you can easily make your own with some olive oil and fresh eggs)

Salt & Pepper to Taste

What You'll Do:

Plate the greens. Mix everything else up in a bowl. Then just drop scoops of the salad mixture on the greens.


Delicious!

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Jan 6, 2013

4 Reasons to try Psyllium Husk Fiber

4 Reasons to try Psyllium Husk Fiber

As I have mentioned in earlier post, psyllium husk fiber has been a key player in my road to remission with my UC.  After juicing my organic fruit and vegetable UC recipe for 3 months, the psyllium husk helped get me to 100% remission.  Below are 4 reasons why you may want to give it a try as well.


1.    Increase soluble fiber in your diet.  This is never a bad thing.  Fiber has been known for quite some time to help relieve issues such as diarrhea, constipation and other forms of IBS.


2.   Acts as a dietary supplement.  This means that it really helps out the GI tract.  As you know, our GI tracts could use some serious help.  With our intestinal system having so much trouble digesting and processing the food we eat, it does have the same effect on the fiber.  The husk helps keep a good amount of volume of solid material in your GI tract and it usually not affected by the condition your intestines are in at the time.


3.   May help reduce cholesterol and control diabetes.  This speaks for itself.  I don’t know many people with diabetes that have UC since we have a difficult time keeping weight on!  However, anything that can help reduce cholesterol is always good to give a try. 


4.   May be used for gluten free cooking.  My wife and I eat 99% gluten free.  When eating out, it is difficult to avoid gluten 100% since we are not aware how they prepare certain foods.  However, at home, we eat 100% gluten free.  Psyllium husk can help as a binding agent since that is all gluten is really good for.

 

I am sure everyone can find several more reasons to give husk fiber a try.  At first, I bought the powder and mixed it with 8 ounces of water and drank it every evening.  It thickens up quite a bit and makes it more like drinking a gel.  The taste to me is almost neutral but some people may not like it.  I usually drink mine after dinner and it takes about an hour to get through it.  It is not the most enjoyable thing I have done but it is worth not running to the restroom 4 times a day.


Recently I switched to capsules which work out to 6 pills a day.  I take 3 in the morning and 3 in the evening.  In the last couple of days, I don’t think the capsule have been working as well.  My wife doesn’t like me taking the capsule because there is a choking warning associated with them. 


Let me ask you; what is your experience with fiber?  Have you tried other fibers that have worked?

Yum!

CommentsCategories fiber natural success

Jan 2, 2013

Crohn's Interview:  Jeff LeVine of A Guy With Crohn's

Crohn's Interview: Jeff LeVine of A Guy With Crohn's

I had the priviledge to email some questions to Jeff LeVine from A Guy With Crohn's

As you can see, he is just a regular guy who has a random monkey sitting on his shoulder.  Please take a few moments to read through his interview below.

Spoiler Alert:  Jeff is working on a petition to have Port-a-Potties installed on the side of highways so people like us do not have to dread the ever so fun road trip!  Pretty cool!

Keep reading to find out if you have anything in common with Jeff.

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Please tell everyone your name and website if applicable:

My name is Jeffrey LeVine and my website is www.aguywithcrohns.com

How long have you had Crohn’s?

I have had Crohn’s Disease since 1988.

How long did you have symptoms before diagnosis?

Looking back I probably had symptoms all my life.  I would get really sick when I was young and always had what my parents called a nervous stomach.  When I was 15 I got really sick with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  After being sick for a week and losing a lot of weight, I went to a pediatric GI, got admitted to the hospital and had a diagnosis within a couple of days.

If there was a gap between symptoms and diagnosis, why did you wait to go to the doctor?

When I first got sick, we all just thought it was a stomach virus.  After I had problems getting out of bed and I wasn’t getting better, my parents realized it was probably something more and brought me to the doctor.  I am thankful that my parents didn’t wait weeks or months to help me.

What is the most frustrating aspect of dealing with your condition?

One of the most frustrating aspects of my condition is finding out how to control it.  Most people will take medicine and feel better within weeks.  For me, I have had adverse effects to almost every medicine out there for Crohn’s.  It is very disheartening to constantly try new meds to only have them fail.

How have you overcome this frustration?

I can’t really say I have overcome my frustration.  I recently went off Humira which was one of my last hopes.  I am now on Low Dose Naltrexone which isn’t an approved med for CD.  I am doing well on it but one day I may not and will have to switch again. 

What experiences have made you a better person from your dealing with IBD? 

One experience that has made me a better person was going through my last flare.  I was sure that I had gotten a1000% worse and was going to need surgery.  I started researching online and found so many people not only with IBD but many who were willing to share their experiences with no strings attached.  I found many inspiring people that helped me calm down, deal with my disease and realize that no matter what happens, my life will go on.  Before this, I had pretty much ignored that I had a chronic illness.  Now I embrace it and try to help out others in need.

What medications are taking?  How much?  How long?

I am currently on 4.5 mg of Naltrexone which is known as LDN or Low Dose Naltrexone.  I have been on this since late September 2012.

Are they working for you?

I can’t say if the medicine is helping but I am feeling the best then I have in years.  I don’t feel any adverse side effects from the medicine.

Have you tried any natural remedies?  If so, what?  If not, why not?

I have not tried any natural medicines.  I currently receive massages once a month but I can’t say that it is helping my CD.

Do you follow any special diet? 

I am currently on a gluten free diet.  I started this back in January 2012 while in my worst flare.  I feel this has helped in controlling my Crohn’s to date.

What are you working on right now to progress your fight against IBD?

Right now I mainly blog on my website to help others know that they are not alone.  I grew up with IBD, not knowing anyone with it, and not knowing just what the disease was.  I grew up alone and scared.  Things have changed over the years and now no one has to go at their disease alone.

Another thing I am working on is to get a petition together to get port a potty rest areas built on our interstates and thruways where there are many miles between rest stops and exits.

How can people get involved with you?

I like to conduct interviews with fellow IBDers and share their stories with others.  Another way is to sign my petition on http://www.change.org/petitions/us-dot-federal-highway-administration-create-port-a-potty-rest-stops-on-side-of-interstates-and-thruways-2 to help get port a potties put on our thruways and interstates where there are long stretches between exits and rest stops.

What changes have you seen in this arena in the last year and what do you think is changing for the upcoming year?

I have seen a lot of new medicines come out but unfortunately they have a lot of negative side effects.  I know of one study that shows great potential for a vaccine for IBD.  I am hoping that in the next year that this will go to human trials.  If we can get a vaccine, to me that is one step closer to a cure. 

Yum!

CommentsCategories interview crohns Tags interview crohns

Dec 31, 2012

Basil Stuffed Chicken w/ Butternut Squash Risotto

Basil Stuffed Chicken w/ Butternut Squash Risotto

Italian Food is one of my all-time favorites! However, the traditional recipes are not so great for ulceritive colitis or for gluten-free diets. Plus, Levi always claims that he hates italian food, even though he probably didn't know this was italian inspired and loved it! :)

The Goods:

Chicken

2 Fresh, Organic, No Hormones Chicken Breasts

1/3 Cup Organic Mozzerella

1 Small Container Fresh Organic Basil- chopped

1/2 Cup Organic Cherry Tomatoes - chopped

1 Clove Organic Garlic - minced

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Tbsp Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Organic Chicken Broth or Stock

Optional: 1/3 Cup Gluten Free Flour

Risotto:

1 Cup Organic Risotto

1/2 Small Organic Butternut Squash - Diced

1 Stick Organic Butter

2 Cloves Organic Garlic

1/4 Cup Organic Mascarpone Cheese

1/2 Cup Organic Unflavored Coconut or Almond Milk (home-made is best if you have time or think about it!)

3 Cups Organic Chicken or Veggie Broth


How it's Made:

Chicken Prep

Combine all the ingredients for chicken except for the chicken breasts and stock, in a bowl. Mix well.

Flatten the chicken breasts into thinner pieces, just as you would with chicken parmesiana. I place a sheet of parchment paper onto a large cutting board, then place the breasts on top, and use a meat mallot to pound.

Spoon the mozzerella mixture onto half of each chicken breast, then fold the uncovered portion over on top to encase the mixture.

Optional: Dip the chicken breasts into the Gluten-Free flour to give the outside a savory, crispy finish.

Set Chicken Aside as you prep the Risotto.

Risotto:

Brown the risotto and chopped squash in a medium sized pan on medium-high with the butter, garlic, and onions. Once the garlic is lightly browned and the onion is translucent, add 1 cup of the stock. Continue to stir and cook. When the stock is absorbed, add another cup of stock as well as the almond/coconut milk.

(In a second medium-sized pan or skillet, heat up your Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil until the oil splatters a bit and add your chicken. Cook the chicken while risotto is cooking up. Ensure you flip the chicken over once the first side is browned. Check your chicken with a meat thermometer or by cutting it open to see that the juices run clear to ensure it's cooked through.)

When second cup of stock is absorbed, add the remaining ingredients, continue to stir until everything is absorbed. The risotto is ready when it is rich and creamy and has movement as you pour it onto the plate.

Dinner's Ready!

Yum!

CommentsCategories chicken dinner gluten free recipe

Dec 24, 2012

Delightful Pecan & Goat Cheese Stuffed Pear

Delightful Pecan & Goat Cheese Stuffed Pear

This is also just in time for the holidays!!!

So easy and delicious! This can be made as an appetizer or as a sweet and savory dessert.

Ingredients:

2 Organic Pears (makes 4 servings)

1/3 Cup Organic Pecan pieces

1/3 Cup Organic Goat Cheese

2 Tbsp Organic Raw Honey

1 Organic Lemon for juice

How's it's Made:

Preheat Oven to 375.

Cut your pears in half vertically and cut out the middles - place onto a baking sheet with sides so the honey and juices won't drip to the bottom of your oven.

Squeeze the lemon juice onto the pears.

Mix Goat Cheese, 1 Tbsp Honey, and Pecans in a bowl - stuff the pear cavities with this filling.

Drizzle the remaining Honey over the pears.

Pop them into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the pears are soft and browned on the top.

Yum!

CommentsCategories dessert gluten free organic recipe Tags pear, organic, gluten free, dessert, fruit dessert

Dec 19, 2012

Raw Cabbage.  3 Benefits For People With Colitis/Crohns.

Raw Cabbage. 3 Benefits For People With Colitis/Crohns.

When you visit our You Tube page and watch the video on how juicing helped get me off my medication, you know that I emphasize the importance of raw cabbage in your diet.  Actually, I emphasize that all raw foods and vegetables should be a part of everyone’s diet that is suffering from IBD.  There are several fruits and vegetables that can help us all with our condition but we are going to focus in on cabbage for this post.

1.    It contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals.  Cabbage is packed with beta carotene, vitamin C, fiber, sulfer and possibly most important, glutamine.  If you buy organic cabbage, which is what I only recommend, you are getting the best of the best for your body.  Juicing is the best way to digest these nutrients.  The reason is that we already have a hard time digesting our food.  If your stomach has to break down the hard form, it may not do so all of the way.  Raw organic cabbage juice is automatically available for your body to absorb and your stomach will thank you for making it so easy to digest!



Glutamine is an essential amino acid that most of us with IBD are lacking.  It aids in maintenance of the gut barrier and cell differentiation.  This means that it may help with protection of the lining in the GI tract which we all know we all have sustained a fair amount of damage.    


2.   May prevent cancers.  Anyone with UC or Crohn’s knows that we are a higher risk the longer we are inflamed in our bowels.  If you are like me, I want nothing to do with cancer so I am going to continue to juice whether I am in remission or not.  I have had a lot of damage in my colon over the last 8 years so I will do whatever it takes to prevent future flares and the possibility of cancer.  Cabbage juice has been shown to possibly prevent cancers in people just like us and it is not that difficult to juice cabbage every day.

 

3.   It’s natural.  I can’t think of a better way to achieve remission than with something natural.  After taking medication for 4 years with no relief, I am thrilled to be off of medication and into remission.  I have read too many horror stories of long term medication affects on people and I was looking for a way out.  I believe everyone can find their natural way as well.  You just have to keep looking!

So there it is.  You have 3 simple facts about cabbage and the benefits to those that suffer with IBD.  It was a life saver with me and I am very happy with the results.  Don’t forget to read over the last blog post in regard to adding fiber to your diet as well.

Have you tried juicing raw fruits and vegetables?  If so, why?  What results have you seen?  If not, why not?

Yum!

CommentsCategories educational general organic Tags raw, cabbage, success, remission

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