The response to my most recent post: My Health Transformation about my battle with ulcerative colitis and journey to finding health has been overwhelming and I am so blessed to have been able to share my story with you all. Your overflowing affirmation that my story is shining rays of hope for those experiencing chronic ailments has been so encouraging.
I appreciate and read each and every email that comes in, but cannot address each personal health concern 1:1 unfortunately. Mostly because I simply do not have the time I need to respond in a timely and detailed enough manor, but also because I am not an expert.
I got to where I am with the help of a naturopath and listening to what my own body needed and addressing those finite details individually. The only thing I can stress is to follow whatever dietary regimen are you are following loosely enough to be able to tell when something may or may not be working for you. When I first started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), I followed it like it was the bible and didn’t deviate at all. It turns out that I was being greatly affected by legumes and dairy and the grain-fed/GMO meats that I was consuming, but could not pin-point it because I had my blinders on to only follow what the book stated.
Be it SCD or Paleo – be aware that there may be foods within these parameters that your particular body cannot tolerate. If you don’t find the full healing that you are looking for, continue to dig and continue to test foods by taking them out of your diet for a period of time and seeing how your body reacts.
I am frequently asked about the supplements I take and whether I am on medication. I cannot legally give medical or supplement advice, so please take a look at this guest-post from my naturopath where she lists many of the items that I take on a regular basis towards the bottom of the post. Again, this is what has been working for me and she designed a protocol for dosage and duration, so please consult a professional if you plan to add new supplements to your routine. I do believe that when someone has been experiencing trauma to their gut (ie Crohn’s, UC, Celiac etc.), they will likely need some supplementation to aid in the healing of the gut lining and replenishing the beneficial gut flora that has been compromised with years of being ill.
I started weaning off of the Prednisone, under the care of my GI and naturopath after about 6 months of experiencing no symptoms. I started reducing my mesalamine, which is an anti-inflammatory (Lialda in my case) after being well for two years. Because of a lot of stress due to a family tragedy, and not taking care of myself while traveling for a hectic book tour, I saw a slight regression and went back on it as a precaution. I have since gone back off of it and am praying that I continue to stay well. My take on the situation is that the medication alone wasn't keeping me well for the last 7 years, but the diet whether in conjunction with it or solely on its own is what made the difference. I also am so grateful that through diet, I was able to avoid Remicade, a harsh immunosuppressant, or having a portion of my colon surgically removed. I believe that diet and western medicine can work hand-in-hand for some people, and suggest talking with your healthcare professional and a naturopath to design the right program for you. I do not suggest cutting all medications cold-turkey, as our bodies become dependent on them and need to reduce slowly if you plan to wean off. That being said, I know a lot of people that are still on a reduced version of their medications and I think that if they've found wellness and are not experiencing side effects from them, that may be their particular best route.
Each day is a new day and I am thankful for my health with every sunrise!
Here are some fantastic resources for further reading and listening. Never stop researching the ways you can take your health into your own hands!
The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body by Sarah Ballantyne
The Paleo Solution by Rob Wolff : Robb also struggled with ulcerative colitis and is considered a Paleo ‘guru' in the industry.
Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall: This was the book that started it all for me before transitioning to a Paleo diet. It will explain a lot for those that have IBD or IBS and is a great starting point.
You probably know but there is a fabulous book called “it starts with food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. I was referred this book by a physician when we started to realize I was having “food” issues.
I’ve never commented before, but follow you on Facebook. I was intruiged when I read that you have Ulcerative Colitis – so do I. I’m on 3 tablets of Asacol per day (mesalamine). When I’m on my meds, I usually do fine. However, it wasn’t until I started Paleo last August as a “cleanse” that I realized how much better I could feel when I changed my diet. I just wanted to do a “cleanse” of eating only whole, real foods for days. That was it…but I felt so great, that I went on to be mostly 80/20 Paleo for a few months. I found out I was pregnant in January of this year, and had hypermesis. I couldn’t keep anything down! I totally hopped off the Paleo bandwagon and ate anything I could – saltine crackers, chips, whatever. Since then, I’ve been struggling to get back to Paleo but now I’m addicted to sugar again and bring pregnant with a 4 year old and working full time just makes it REALLY HARD to prep meals and cook like I should. Your post is definitely inspiring me to get back to a healthy place! Can’t wait to buy and read your book – my UC has never been as bad as yours (knock on wood), but that doesn’t mean that I can’t or shouldn’t get back to that Paleo lifestyle. Thanks for your blog!
Hi Danielle! My name is Alessandra and I’ve been in the same boat since I was 12 years old, which is two years ago now. I started going Paleo in February and just like you, my life has changed. Thank you for your continuous inspiration!
I am so thrilled for your book to come out and reach others! Your website is a blessing. Very good to know that things like SCD, which I have pretty much followed, might be adding too much dairy, etc…listen to your own body is great advice, and something we don’t often do enough of!
Wish you would have a book signing in the NYC area! Please let me know if you’d like help with that, I would be happy to host/help set something up for you (was in publishing myself in past life – before I was a full-time mommy!)
I like you was diagnosed with UC (mine when I was 21) . I had it mostly under control for the past 8 years by taking relatively small amounts Asacol and an immunospressant, however I had a bad flare this year that ended up with my doctor starting me on Remicade. After reading some about how I might be able to help control my disease through diet I started on SCD a few weeks ago. I came across your website and story a few days ago and have already made several of your recipes (all delicious I might add). I’m hoping that if I continue on a Paleo/SCD diet, adjusting for what works/doesn’t work for me by keeping a food journal, that I’ll be able to get myself off of Remicade by next Spring/Summer. I also want to thank you for sharing your story and showing me that it’s possible to have a serious, healthy relationship with UC. Thanks again and keep up the phenomenal work!
I’ve been following you ever since I was diagnosed 3yrs ago crohns colitis. Following a paleo diet has been so beneficial and I love all your cookbooks and delicious recipes. I glad God gave you this special gift. I take the melasmine orally which has helped with every time I’ve had a flare but I’m currently in a flare and this one has been worse than before which I am trying to avoid having to get iv medications because I’m terrified of having to go on those. I read your book about having to go on Enytivo. My Dr has mentioned those type drugs and I am just so terrified of using them. Reading that chapter has helped me. I just don’t know if I do have to revert to these meds will they have to be long term or possibly I can wean off of them. I feel this flare I’m in now was from Covid. I had it at the beginning of January and after twos getting over it is when my symptoms started. I can’t wait for your new cookbook to come out. Thanks again for all of your knowledge of how good can help and heal!