3 Years on this Journey

About this time 3 years ago, I started my journey to heal Crohn’s Disease with food.  It was sometime after Thanksgiving and before the December holidays that I was into my second month of experiencing a flare when my husband found some information for a diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for people with Crohn’s, colitis, celiac disease, and other gastrointestinal diseases.

I wished I would have recorded that date, but to be honest, I didn’t think that the diet would work, and I didn’t think it would ever change me as much as it has.  I had tried going gluten-free for a month prior with no improvement in my symptoms.  I had already been vegetarian for 10 years, so I thought I was eating pretty healthy to begin with.  Plus, I was living in Los Angeles at that time, and I didn’t want to be yet another person on a crazy diet.

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Three years ago, mourning the loss of traditional foods that come with this time of year.  We kept laughing to keep me from crying.

However, my husband pushed me to give it one month.  And, I couldn’t say no because he was going to join me on the diet.  I’ll say that month was not graceful.  At my lowest point, I was laying in front of the refrigerator crying my eyes out because I was too tired and too hungry to make anything and my usual solution of running to the burger joint across the street to grab a grilled cheese was crushed.  I made it through my one month trial, and I was actually seeing improvement.  By the time I had my scheduled colonoscopy, the results came back clean!

 

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My journey will always continue, but now I have the strength, knowledge and rhythm to make sure I’m always on the right path.

Although I didn’t film any of my journey, I owe a lot of gratitude to the 3 people I have been following since the beginning of their journeys for this documentary.  From behind the camera, I sympathize with their frustrations when they fall of their protocols, busy schedules that leave no time to cook, and isolation felt from social gatherings around food.  Through this year, I have admired their persistence and strength to keep battling forward, which I don’t think they know how much that has inspired me.  I feel truly honored to be part of their triumphs as they have been reclaiming their health, victory by victory.

Healing is a journey.  When you look back at one month, 3 years or 50 years, the reflection of how far you come is a reward as sweet as good health!

-Lenore

So much to celebrate on National Kale Day!

Happy National Kale Day, everybody!  We are celebrating so many things today.  In addition to celebrating a favorite of the cruciferous family, we are celebrating passing the 75% point in our Kickstarter campaign!  We are thrilled to know that so many others believe in the healing effect of food and think it’s a message worth spreading!  Thank you all for the support and sharing.

I’m also celebrating my sister’s wedding anniversary.  15 years ago today, she was holding my hand as I cried and told me how beautiful I was.  I was 3 months into my diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease and on a high dosage of Prednisone.  The bridesmaid dress we picked out 6 months before no longer fit as one of the many side effects of this medication was water retention, which made me go up many dress sizes.  As my mom lovingly sewed up the zipper closure and wrapped me in a sweater, my sister told me how much she loved me and wanted me by her side as she said her wedding vows.

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Through the years, my sister has supported me on all my adventures – food and non-food related, alike.  When I told her I was starting an unfamiliar (to anyone in our family, at least) diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to manage my flare-up, she didn’t pass so much as a blink of judgement.  She may not fully understand what I’m doing, but she’s been my #1 cheerleader to get the word out about this film I’m working on, posting on social media more than I have.  With love, encouragement, and support, she’s sent me this “complete guide to the world’s most powerful superfood” today.  Thank you, Jen, for being an amazing big sister!  Happy anniversary!  I love you!

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We wish all of you a happy, healthy, and fun National Kale Day!!

-Lenore

The Campaign for Food As Medicine is on! You can help!

Healing is a journey.  As you get ready to embark on your way to better health, you arm yourself with as much information as you can and stock up on food staples that will nourish you.  When you begin down the path, the adventures are full of new discoveries and beautiful scenery.  But, things are not easy on this trail.  You might experience a setback when you realized you went down the wrong route and you have to start over.  Or, the process might take longer than you expected.  Hopefully, you meet many others on the way who are also taking this journey that will give you support.  This journey to heal will change you.

The process of making a documentary is another kind of journey.  We have met some amazing people along the way who are healing themselves and working to heal their communities.  We have put together a team to carry the message over the distance.  At this point in our process, we need your support to get us there.

Please support us on Kickstarter, if you can!  You can also help us by sharing the campaign with your friends.  You can even share it with your doctor!  Thank you for all of your continued support!

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Low income patients access nutritious food by way of trolley

There are a lot of topics that surround the matter of treating chronic disease with nutrition that go way beyond the simplicity of what we put into our bellies.  This week we are interested in food access.  What do you do when you can only afford the very foods that are keeping you from good health?

Tuesday, we visited the Good Samaritan Clinic in Portland, Oregon to find out how they are making access to fresh and organic produce and food staples a reality for many of their low income patients.  Every Tuesday, My Street Grocery of Whole Foods Market rolls in the clinic’s parking lot where patients can spend vouchers that have been prescribed to them through the Food Rx Program.

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The idea came about when registered nurse, Debbie Mckissack was counseling a diabetic patient.  The patient responded to Debbie’s nutritional counseling by saying, “that’s a rich man’s diet.  I can’t eat those things and pay for them.”  Around that same time, Debbie had been introduced to Amelia Pape with My Street Grocery.  The concept of connecting her patients to My Street Grocery led Debbie to apply for a grant, which has led to the weekly market day.

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Amelia told us how the collaboration has not only brought access to a population that needs it, but the relationships between patient and provider alongside the staff at My Street Grocery has created a community spirit around food, which has made the program truly successful.  Social worker, Scott Dillinger said that along with improvement with several health markers, depression decreased among participants in the program.  “A lot of people who use our market are socially isolated, and just getting out and coming here every week has built this sense of community and has helped perk people’s spirits up.”

The Food Rx Program has been successfully funded by grants for 3 years now.

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-LE