Sunday, February 19, 2012

A New Week, A New Outlook, and a New Diet

My mom has been reading a book called "The Inside Tract, Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health" written by Dr. Gerard E. Mullin and nutrionist Kathie Swift.  It is my mom's goal in life to make me better so she recommended that I try a diet that was written specifically for people that are suffering from any form of IBS.

In the book you will find a Gastrointestinal Patient Symptom Assessment Tool, or GPS, that you use to figure out just how sick you feel on a daily basis.  The book offers three diets, one more restrictive then the next, and your score determines where to start.  I ended up with a very high score so off to The Specific Food Diet I went, also known as the most restrictive diet.  But guess what?  It's not bad at all!

In essence, all dairy and gluten have been omitted along with sugar, eggs, fiber, certain vegetables, raw fruits, and some herbs and spices.  I can still eat chicken, turkey, a variety of fish, spinach, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, and others.  These are things I already eat so I'm excited to try this diet.  I eat simply prepared foods made with fresh, organic ingredients. 

What encourages me about this diet is that I have been given a list of foods that I can eat instead of being told what NOT to eat.  If you tell me I can't eat something with no other guidelines then I lose all interest and don't make an effort.  I start with these specific foods for two weeks and depending on how I feel I can begin to introduce new foods on a weekly basis.

I am actually happy to have these foods to work with and am keeping positive that after one week I'll start to feel better.  I think that may actually be the light at the end of the tunnel that I'm looking at.  I have to start somewhere and this seems as good a point as any.

Tonight I'll be having Carrot Squash Soup with a nice salad of avocado and cucumber that will be dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice.   Not bad, huh?

For those of you with Crohn's or IBS, I highly encourage you to read this book.  Dr. Mullin is a practicing physician at Johns Hopkins that specializes in Crohn's and encourages holistic healing and a lifestyle change in which all processed foods are removed.  The more natural, the better. 

I would like to finish off today's post with some lyrics from the wonderful Natasha Bedingfield.  The song is, very aptly named, "Happy":

During my stressing I'm blinded to the lessons
That could be a blessing if I'd be confessing that the enemy
I'm trying to beat is hiding inside of me

Got my dreams, got my life, got my love
Got my friends, got the sunshine above
Why am I making this hard on myself
When there's so many beautiful reasons I have to be happy

And with that I wish you all good health and a great start to your week.


  1. Hi Rebeca,
    Sounds like a good book, and your menu last night sounds delicious.

  2. Very Cool. Sounds like a great starting point. I love those foods also. They just sound like a good idea in a general way. It does seem better to have a list of good stuff to work with. Enjoy whipping up some fab culinary creations. (I suffered IBS for years. It doesn't hit me so often anymore, but I used to not be able to even get through a meal without running for the john.)

    1. Hi MG,
      I had no idea you had IBS. Yet another reason as to why we get along so well! There's nothing like being able to share bathroom war/horror stories with someone that can laugh at them because they've been through it. I'm glad you aren't suffering as much from it.

  3. You've inspired me to change a few things on my grocery list. Well done.

    1. Hi Jen,
      Sweet! It is my goal to make my friends give up fast food, sugary foods, and eat all natural. I need to keep you guys around for inspiration.

  4. I am so proud of you, you go girl!! Don't know if we discussed this or not (my memory is shot lately!), but I have been gluten, dairy, caffeine free for almost a month. I also have eliminated fast food, a lot of processed foods, and a lot of sugar. Still eat meat but about 1/2 the time. I do not have Crohn's like you do or major stomach issues but I am starting to see some subtle results already and I was told it could take several months to see a full effect.

    My chronic allergies/sinus issues no longer exist. I have lost a little weight despite massive amounts of steroids for a neurological flare and I think I am handling med side effects better.

    Diet is one major factor we can control on our path to wellness. keep at it!

    1. Well, Christine, let me say it back to you, I'm proud of you!!! Good for you for making such great progress on your diet. I think diet is very important for all people but especially for auto-immune disease sufferers. I am finding caffeine a bit hard to give up though. I've cut down my coffee intake significantly and will indulge in mint tea with caffeine so overall, I'm doing better.
      I am so sorry to hear (and I've read on your blog) that you have been on steroids. There is nothing redeeming about them. I wonder if your change in diet is linked to your handling the side effects better. It must, right?
      And you are correct, we can control our diet in this crazy world where so much is out of our control. And when it comes to chronic illness, we'll take any contral we can grasp onto.
      Please know that my thoughts are with you and if you ever need to vent, I'm here!