3 Steps To A Healing Diet
Many of us who suffer from Crohn’s & UC have tried a variety of diets to heal our system from IBD but rarely with much success.
Is it about being Gluten Free? Dairy Free? Vegan? Paleo? Alkalizing? Raw?
With so many options available, we need a guideline to not only what we eat; but also a guideline on how to eat it. Our goals should be to eliminate not just unhealthy foods but also foods that don’t work for our personal systems.
Our bodies are all unique and react to foods differently but there are common “rules of thumb” we can implement to start healing the gut, reducing daily bowel movements, bleeding, bloating, pain, indigestion, etc…
3 steps you can take to increase healing are:
- Elimination Diet
- Food Preparation
- Semi -Elemental Diet
These steps are not meant to complicate our lives but simplify them and help free us from the symptoms of Crohn’s & Colitis.
- We start with an elimination diet to get an idea of what foods are causing damage and start removing them from our diet.
- We prepare our foods in a manner that increases absorbability, lowers risk of reaction, taste good, and nourishes our systems.
- We then can use a semi-elemental diet to satisfy the elimination diet and food preparation. These meals tend to be extremely healing and a “go to” for optimal results.
“a diet regimen aimed at identifying foods or additives that may be causing an allergy or symptom usually involving the removal of suspected foodstuffs from the diet then adding them back one at a time to see which ones make the symptoms recur.” (dictionary.com)
It’s not just about what you eat but what you DON’T eat. What you don’t eat could be considered even more important than what you do eat, especially when you’re health is in critical condition. Our goal is to create an environment in your G.I. that stops damage and allows your body the chance to start healing.
Imagine a scratch on your arm….the more anything comes in contact with it the more irritated, infected, and inflamed,it will become. The digestive tissues in the G.I. work much the same. All body needs a consistent amount of uninterrupted time to heal. In some cases, foods which are considered “healthy” can hurt our stomachs even more than the “unhealthy” foods. Does this mean you should eat Mcdonalds Burgers & Saltine Crackers because you don’t seem to get a belly ache?
But it does give us an idea of how we can create a win/win/win scenario with our diet.
- Doesn’t cause further damage
- Is nutritious to our personal systems
- Taste good!
Implementing an elimination diet can be the very thing our bodies need to restore health. In many cases, people suffering from Crohn’s/Colitis see a dramatic difference from consistently practicing an elimination diet.
How to Start an Elimination Diet –
It’s best to start with complete elimination of commonly known aggravators from your diet.
Some examples could be:
- Refined Sugars
- Lectins (Grains, Beans, Nuts, etc..) Better if sprouted
Once you find what the base foods of your diet will be, start with a food which you believe gives you the least amount of issues and build 4-5 different meals around it.
Example Meal 1:
- Organic Skinless Chicken Breast no seasoning (base) or Avocado (vegan base)
- Steamed Zucchini, Carrots, and Squash
- Boiled White Potato
Example Meal 2:
- Organic Skinless Chicken Breast w/ marination (base)
- Steamed Broccoli, Beets, Diced Onion
- Boiled Sweet Potato
Example Meal 3:
- Organic Skinless Chicken Breast w/ Salt, Garlic, Lemon Pepper (base)
- Stir-fried Asparagus, Cucumber, butternut squash
- Sprouted Brown Rice
And so forth…
This will give you an idea of how you handle a variety of items and give you some staple meals and foods you can get when you’re traveling, at work or at restaurants. It’s not just about the healing effect but also the knowledge to handle stressful moments outside of your house.
These meals are not forever, they are more about giving the G.I. tract time to heal and learning the avenues you can take to live life on your terms.
This can also be done with the elemental shake (seen later in this blog)
Have you ever noticed that sometimes you can eat a certain food but then other time you can’t?
Was it the way you cooked it? The spices? The stress you were under when you ate it? Hormones? How intense of a flare you were in?
The answer is all the above
During a flare we need to take many aspects into consideration. Our bodies are in a weak state that cannot handle the stress of most foods so we need to prepare our meals and our system to give us the best chance of healing.We can do this by making sure are nervous systems are in a parasympathetic state and our foods are cooked for optimal absorption.
Here are some methods that could help:
- Chew your foods at least 30 times
- Make sure your salivating before you eat (parasympathetic state)
- Drink no more that 4oz of liquid while eating – preferably drink nothing until 30 minutes after eating
- Use a steamer to cook your foods when possible – highly steamed is better
- Use a oven to bake your foods
- Don’t eat raw vegetables unless you know you handle them
- Eat Organic Use an oil with a high smoke point when cooking (Ex: Coconut Oil)
- Play peaceful music throughout the day
- Enjoy the meal with loved ones
- Eat outside
Give some of these ideas a try and see if you notice a difference.
In the beginning you may only feel a small difference but a strong house is built one brick at a time! If we combine these daily actions into our eating regimen we can see a dramatic difference without actually changing the type of food we’re eating.
It’s not just what we’re eating it but how we are eating it. Which foods and how we consume them are both very important for healing. To start try adding 4 of the top examples to your daily regimen. After 1-2 weeks add 1 more, then 1 more 1-2 weeks later, and so forth…
Feels Good to Feel Good!
If we can practice the majority of the above options we start changing our lifestyle in a way that promotes gut health. Soon it won’t be work at all, just lifestyle choices that make you feel good.
It’s not necessarily “work” to stop things that make us feel bad, we just know better over time. This is a principle many of us take up as get older anyways…
For example, chewing your food 30 times, drinking less that 4oz of water with your meal, salivating when eating, and eating outside are easy daily actions with minimal effort. It’s important to note we rarely find one method that dramatically heals our system. It’s the daily cumulative actions we take that create an overall difference in our health
Semi – Elemental Diet
“contains nutrients as small molecular weight compounds, i.e. proteins as amino acids or peptides, carbohydrates as oligosaccharides or monosaccharides, and fats as medium-chain triglycerides. Used in the treatment of gastrointestinal disease. Called also monomeric diet.” (ListenToYourGut.com)
In short, an elemental meal is when the nutrients is broken down into more absorbable matter.
Think of a smoothie, shake, or pureed food…
Depending on your personal situation, an elemental or semi-elemental diet may be a fantastic healing meal in your regimen.
A semi-elemental diet is when a certain amount of meals are in liquid form. Meaning not all of our meals are elemental only some of them. This protects us from the possible issues of having a fully liquid diet while maintaining our lifestyle and stressors.
We can add nutritious foods and supplements into an elemental shake that can help:
- lower inflammation
- make a vegan meal
- heal ulcers
- regulate the immune system
- massage the gut lining, counteract anemia
- add bulk to BM’s
- proper absorption
- revitalize the human body.
A full elemental diet is very healing and can be done for 1-2 days (or much longer) when you have downtime, but a semi-elemental diet is easier to sustain in the long run.I suggest you work with a physician before trying a full on elemental diet for a long period of time. These meals allow our bodies to soak up an abundance of nutrients while using a quarter of the energy to do so.
Elemental meals are easily made free of dairy, gluten, refined sugars, and lectins. This make is much easier is to follow the rules of the elimination diet and food preparation. In under 5 minutes we can make a raw, vegan, nutritious, organic, great tasting, and easily absorbable meal that is healing on our system.
A win/win/win under 10 bucks!
Elemental Shake –
If you experience any adverse effects, chances are you added something your body cannot take, you drank it too fast, you were in a stressed state, or you needed to add healing ingredients like Grounded Psyllium Husk or Grounded Slippery Elm.
Digestive Healing Shake (organic) –
- Vegan Protein (optional – Nano Vegan Pro – Link)
Coupon Code: “Dane20″ for 20% off
- Handful of spinach (baby spinach preferred)
- 1 Medium Avocado
- 1-2 Frozen & very Ripe Banana
- 1-2 cups Frozen Strawberry/Blueberry
- 1 oz. lemon Juice
- 1-2 tablespoons each of finely grounded Psyllium Husk & Slippery Elm
- 16-24 oz. water (alkaline water preferred)
Let us acknowledge that none of this is easy, self discipline is heavily weighted on faith and persistence.
There is great opportunity in our adversities. Self empowerment is priceless and where we overcome, we also become stronger. Focus on where you want to be and simple solutions that bring peace & freedom to your life – these methods are not chains but wings!
Please email us at Info@CrohnsColitisLifestyle with further questions or to set up a consultation. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to helping you achieve your remission!
Holistic Nutritionist specializing in the natural healing of Crohns Disease & Ulcerative Colitis.