The beginning of my food & wellness journey started long ago but the beginning of my sharing it with you starts here.
I’ve been semi silent for long time on this aspect of my life. It’s very personal and I was always embarrassed to admit I have a fairly serious disease; I suffer from Crohn’s disease. I never wanted anyone to think I couldn’t do something because of it. As I have struggled with it, I’ve learned that it’s given me a great wealth of knowledge about wellness & nutrition and what it means to truly take care of myself. I hope that as I start to share this part of me that someone out there will benefit from my experience. I want to prevent others from the suffering I went through and the surgery as well. I hope I can guide others with digestive disorders.
I would like to call myself a foodie although I am not a foodie in the way that most millennials are. I am interested in food in a different way. I am obsessed with nutrition. I am incredibly interested in its healing abilities. I am interested in how to eat healthily and still have it taste good. I haven’t always eaten the way my body needed me to eat. It’s hard to make good choices when there is so much delicious unhealthy food to eat all over the place. Once my diagnosis of Crohn’s came in January of 2009, I began to explore better ways to eat for my disease.
The best I have felt is doing a form the SCD Diet for 2 years in 2012-2014 and now in 2016-2017 after finding the LEAP program. I found LEAP with the help of a local dietician, Erica Julson. Post my intestinal surgery in October of 2016 to remove 1 1/2 feet of my diseased intestines; I detoxed and modified my diet by eliminating foods that were causing me inflammation and ultimately the Crohn’s symptoms. LEAP is different for everyone as it relies on individual blood test results to identify what foods you should and shouldn’t be eating. I highly recommend that you go through the program on an individual level to see what foods are right for you. Now I follow a modified LEAP program, that incorporates all the foods that my body needs. My allergies got better, I get less headaches, I have more energy, and I even lost a little weight. The benefits of this program have helped me tremendously and they outweigh the downsides, which are mainly that you have to cook all the time and eating out can be incredibly challenging. It’s this degree of carefulness that I wasn’t prepared for until now in my adult years as it takes discipline. Some days I am better than others and I do my best to make time to indulge when and where I can.
My recipes that I am sharing here are tailored for me specifically through this new exploration of optimizing what goes into my body. The good news is that they can be made by people who have gluten, dairy, soy, and egg sensitivities. Those are my main sensitivities and some of the most common allergens that people suffer from. PS- these things are in most foods!
Meditation and breathwork also really help me. I tend to be an anxious person and Crohn’s is aggravated by stress and anxiety. My favorite time to meditate is in the morning. I use the Oprah & Deepak Chopra program as well as the Insight Timer app. They make it easy! Breathwork is a little bit more intensive and involves being a part of a group or a workshop. It can be done on your own but because it tends to be difficult to move through; I find it helpful to have a guide. The teacher I worked with is Michelle D’Avella and you can learn more about her here.
Exercise is also great and helps relieve my stress. It takes me out of my mind. I try not to do it too intensely though so as not to stress my body. My favorites are Pilates, Barre, walking, hiking, and swimming.
Keep checking back for updated recipes and more weekly as I’ll be working on it! It’s a work in progress, as all wellness regimens are. I’d love suggestions from you too on what’s helped you in your journey to health. Please share!