Updated: Jan 23, 2019
March 18, 2017 | Jen Hartnett-Orser
So….it’s been awhile since my last post - I’ve been busy friends!!! Busy in a GREAT and beautiful way! Visiting a Naturopath and working on a major Gut overhaul/Cleanup was on my ‘Will Do’ list, so here’s how it all went down! (IS GOING down….as I’m still doing it!)
As you may know, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease a few years ago, and this was the catalyst for some huge changes in my life! When asked, my GI specialist said that I didn’t need to modify my diet in any way, just take my prescriptions. UGH!!! I’ve tried a number of different foods, adding and avoiding a multitude of things over the years with no tangible change. One of my Yoga students, and members of the Energy Exchange program at PYC was studying to be a Naturopathic Doctor, and kept telling me to do an Elimination Diet….LE. SIGH. it just seemed too daunting… and also….no fun at all!!
Fast Forward a few years...that student, is now ‘DR. Ashley Cassan, 4th year Resident and the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic….and I, am her patient! Ashley suggested an iGg Test to determine any food intolerance, which would give me a tangible starting point for an Elimination Diet, as well as a personalized plan for reintroducing foods one at a time, in order of intolerance severity. One major factor that was also a motivator is our youngest son, Jack. He seems to have a sensitivity to gluten, and possibly a few other items, but we were finding it daunting to know where to start with him as well!
We drove up to the clinic, and went through the initial intake appointment, my initial fears were that I would have to cut out my beloved Nightshades, (Peppers, tomatoes etc…) as well as COFFEE!!! Of course, Jack was worried he’d have to cut out Gluten. (spoiler alert….I was wrong….Jack was right!) After our appointment, we had blood work done. Jack was a CHAMP!!! Surely buoyed by the knowledge that IKEA was mere steps away (NOT!!!)
A few weeks later, our test results were in…. Third Year Resident Kris was bursting with excitement and practically sang out “Good news…..You can have COFFEEEEEEE!!!!!” Followed swiftly by ‘but not much else!’ LOL Kudos to Kris, and another colleague, Meghan (who saw me while Ashley was away out West) They had not only studied and memorized my list of foods, but they had so many suggestions for me!!! Shoutout to Meghan for suggesting Sweets & Beets, as they have been a saviour!!! Despite their incredible bedside manner, I still felt a little overwhelmed looking at that daunting list!!
So, in short….
There are also a few other little items, Peas, Corn, and a few types of fish. It doesn’t look like THAT big a list...and a simple meal of meat and veg with fruit for dessert will work well! AND...it is also extremely limiting when you try to figure things out for a longer period of time! Jacks list was quite similar, with a few exceptions! I had hoped we could have Rice, (rice, rice pasta, risotto, rice milk, rice pudding….I’m Forrest Gump’s Bubba about Rice!) but no dice!
NOW, here is the list of what I CAN have!!! (Just LOOK at all those Nightshades!!! And Coffeeeeeeee!!!!!)
So the minor exceptions to my above list for Grains and Dairy are Oats, and Whey Isolate (but not chocolate!)
I can have Lentil Pasta (which is actually quite decent!) As well as a TON of Meat, Fruit and Veg!
I will admit that both Jack and I needed a few days to come to grips with this, and make a plan of action!
The idea with this Elimination is that it is targeted, and complete...so we are checking ingredients, and making lots of homemade goodies!
I had to get a little more creative, but so far, I’m pretty happy with the results!! Here’s what I’ve been noshing on:
Coffee with Coconut Oil & Cinnamon
Steel Cut Oats with Maple Syrup and Bananas or Cherries!
Pork Carnitas (pork tenderloin cooked low and slow with Cumin, Garlic, and Lime Juice (usually Orange Juice, but had to swap in some Lime to keep it in the Green Light district!) With sauteed Peppers & Onions, add in Fresh Grape Tomatoes, and Tableside Organic Guacamole from Costco!! SOOO good!
Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato and Broccoli
Chicken Curry with Cauliflower, Butternut Squash and Green Beans
Turkey Meatballs (made with Nutritional Yeast) over Lentil Pasta & White Linen Marinara Sauce
Souvlaki Pork and Roasted Veggies
BLT Lettuce Wraps
Scallops & Green Beans
Dried Mangos (oooooohhh...soo good!)
Young Thai Coconut
Chad’s HomeBurgers with the Fixins (No bun)
Strawberries with Maple Syrup
‘Hot’ Spinach Salad with leftover Souvlaki and Veggies
‘Hot’ Spinach Salad with Asparagus, Kalamata Olives, Roasted Red Peppers, Sundried Tomatoes, Grape Tomatoes and Chicken! Tossed with Avocado Oil & Lemon Juice
Avocado and Tomato Salad dressed with Lime Juice and Sea Salt
Sounds pretty good, huh??? Thank goodness, for Pinterest!!!!! Meal planning has SAVED me through this. And being prepared for those ‘in a pinch’ times when you’re not prepared (shoutout to Sobeys for having a decent selection of cooked meat and Veg if you get caught short!)
I was also ½ way through a cleanse when this all started, and was using my beloved doTERRA Supplements! More details can be found at Hol:Fit Essential 30 Cleanse Since the majority of the supplements we use contain the ‘Tummy Tamer Blend’ which includes Ginger, I had to break up with them for the remainder of this phase. I am looking forward to the reintroduction phase, where Ginger is food #2 that comes back to me! ON a side note about this cleanse, I found a HUGE change in my digestive system within hours of using the GX Assist Supplement. It contains Caprylic Acid, which I’ve now discovered, has some pretty amazing benefits for Chronnies like me!! Win!
I DID continue on the protocol, but had to swap out my Lifelong Vitality Vitamins for the Children's Chewables, and a different OTC Digestive Enzyme.
As far as the Elimination Diet goes, I am happy to report that I am about to finish up week 2, and enter week 3 going strong!!!! So far, I’m feeling pretty incredible! I’m sleeping better, have more energy, and my GI system is happier than it’s been in YEARS!!! I’m attributing this to BOTH the dietary changes, and supplements...but either way, I’ll take it!!!!
After that, I begin to reintroduce all the foods in the Yellow, and ‘Red Light District’ to my diet one at a time, pausing to reflect for 1-3 days for each new food. The intention is that I will be able to identify which of these foods is causing a reaction, and then I guess, I weigh my feelings on the value of that….. Example - Cows Milk is Public Enemy #1 on my list...so if milk makes me feel bad, I cut it out permanently. Now…. you’ll notice I didn’t say if ‘Cheese’ makes me feel bad……. Let me show you some pics, and you tell me if you detect a theme:
Please keep my body’s acceptance of Cheese in your thoughts friends. And in the meantime….I hope you are reading this in good health! Also - Sweet Potato Kettle Chips….I think that’s a whole ‘nother blog post!!!!
Until next time.....