My Secret Vanilla Life

My Secret Vanilla Life: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Ulcerative Colitis can kiss my ass

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis at age 31, but I'm pretty sure I've had it since I was born. Frequent tummy aches made me a "faker" as a child. Weekly shit-flares would ruin my plans with friends during the teenage years. As an adult, the all too frequent, time-consuming flares would keep me from getting things done and taking care of my twin babies.
I was taking NINE Asacol tablets a day. NINE. The docs also wanted me to try daily suppositories and enemas. Seriously? How on Earth could that possibly make my life better? Things had to change and I wasn't willing to accept the bags of drugs, procedures and extra colonoscopies in addition to my already, uncomfortable daily life.

I decided to change my diet. A year later: No more Asacol (NONE) and I haven't had a flare in over 6 months. No drugs, no procedures. I went into for a check up adn the docs said, "You don't have to have a colonoscopy this year. You're doing so well, let's wait 2 more years!" BOOM! I beat it, my way and it was better than what the docs wanted me to do. They NEVER even hinted at changing my diet. Not even a suggestion. It really bothers me that they were ok with the idea of me having to do daily suppositiories and enemas when I could have just stop eating certain things. Jerks!

So, Here's how I did it:
I said Good-Bye to caffeine (with the exception of the occasional piece of chocolate), Gluten (Wheat), Lactose, Soy (except for in Miso Soup. That's the ONLY Soy I allow, since I rarely eat it.), artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners, GMO foods, "farmed" fish, and anything that includes the words "Spices" or "Natural Flavors" on the ingredients list.

What Do You Eat?

I still eat plenty! My rule is; "If you can grow it, then you can eat." In other words, I couldn't possibly grow "Red 40", "Maltodextrin", or "Sodium Benzoate". But, it IS possible to get milk from a cow to make cheese or ice cream. You can buy local (or organic) milk. You can buy soy-free chocolate. They came from natural stuff that is grown on Earth, not in a lab. Shop local, eat seasonal, make stuff from scratch. You can do it! Yeah, it's hard. REALLY hard. I have to go to like, 3 different grocery stores sometimes just to find the ingredients I need, that are organic and not filled with chemicals. But, Is it more of a pain in the ass than daily suppositories? No way!

Farmer's Market:
If you haven't been to your local farmer's market- you must check it out. I think you'll be surprised at how much they have. This is a great chance to break out and try new recipes and enjoy making your own food. You may even have a local crop share group that is awesome for getting the whole bag of groceries all at once.

The Challenge:
I challenge you to try cutting out the junk for 30 days. I guarantee you will feel results.  This means that you have to read the ingredients on literally everything that you eat. EVERYTHING. So, think twice before you go to a restaurant, because they might not have a list of ingredients for you to see- and that means you can't eat it.
Those cute little "yogurt" shops? That's not yogurt. I've looked at the ingredients and they are filled with chemicals that you wouldn't believe! What's worse is finding out how they make it. I had visions of them churning milk and cooking it in a special low-temp yogurt machine to get it just right... NOPE! The franchises receive their products in powdered-chemical form and mix it with water! Then, they dump it in the fancy soft-serve machines to make it squirt out all pretty-like. 

No more fast food. The only place I allow is Moes. I don't get the tortilla, queso or cookies. So far, I haven't had any reactions to their food and their ingredients list is pretty good.

Grocery shopping takes longer because you have to look at the ingredients of EVERY SINGLE THING that goes into your cart. Yes, even on meats. You may notice that many brands will add crap to what looks like a "regular chicken breast" or hamburger meat.

Pinterest has SO many recipes for "clean eating" and copy-cat recipes for things you can't live without. Just this week, I made a copy-cat, homemade version of "Lawry's Seasoning salt."

Subscribe to the Food Babe blog. Silly name, but she knows her stuff about food and what's in it. I'll try to remeber to post my favorite substitutes here and keep you up to date on my journey.
I want to hear how this works for you!