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

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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

A new way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day!

For me, St. Patrick’s Day was always about parades of kilted men blasting “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes, green beer, and McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes.  I have a proposal for a new way for us to observe the 17th of March in a celebration of something else that is green – vegetables!

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We can all agree that eating more vegetables is beneficial.  In this article I posted on our Facebook page earlier this week, Dr. Mark Hyman states, “With the greater emphasis on vegetables we’re more apt to actually meet our nutritional needs and prevent illness and inflammation.”  For most people, adding more vegetables to their diet is a big drag.  But, it doesn’t have to be.  If you make it creative and a celebration, it can be fun!

This year for St. Patty’s Day, I’ve planned a menu for the entire day of entirely green fare.  From breakfast to dinner’s dessert, everything will be green!

Here is the menu with recipe links:

Breakfast

Coconut Lime Green Smoothie

Lunch

Pea and Rocket Soup

Brussels Sprout Salad

Matcha Green Tea Cookies

Snack

Kale Chips

Dinner

Zoodles with pesto sauce

Green Apple Fennel Salad

And, the finale…Grasshopper Pie!

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I invite you to join me in celebrating all the goodness of green vegetables!  You can join me in making these recipes next Tuesday!  I tend to stick to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to control my Crohn’s Disease, so if you are following other restrictions, please share your recipe creativity with us!

I’ll post an update after St. Patrick’s Day, but you can follow the day as it progresses on Facebook and Instagram.

Until then, we leave you with this Irish blessing:

For each petal on the shamrock.
This brings a wish your way
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

-LE

Embarking on a Food Journey

Last week we were excited for the chance to meet Mickey Trescott (photographer, chef, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and blogger extraordinaire). She is author of the blog Autoimmune Paleo and also of the recently released book of the same title. She has an incredible story of self-healing through diet. I highly recommend checking out her blog for that story as well as some of her delicious recipes.

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We had some great conversation, which not surprisingly focused around diet and health. One point that we discussed was the question of whether our film would focus on a particular diet as the path towards good health. This is an interesting question as there are so many particular protocols and diets available with various health claims. What you will notice when you read any person’s health story is that they didn’t just identify some magic diet, follow it to the tee and then suddenly they were cured. Each person who has really truly healed themselves has had to go on a journey. There wasn’t a magical answer. Looking at Mickey, myself and others who have healed through diet it has been a process of elimination and addition that never looks identical. The journey is also full of the frustrations of two steps forward and one step back, it is rarely a linear process.

So, in answer to Mickey’s question, no, we won’t be preaching the power of any particular diet. We will be encouraging  people to view diet as a means to heal and to embark on their own journey. The journey with diet is almost as much about empowering yourself as it is about the actual food. I believe that to passively follow a diet without tuning in to your own body or realizing the power you have to heal yourself would be missing the point.

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That being said in my research of various healing protocols I do notice many similar themes. All of the diets encourage the elimination of processed foods and refined sugars while emphasizing the importance of eating whole foods dense in nutrients and sourced from quality producers. Many of the protocols also emphasize practices such as fermentation and sprouting for easier digestion and access to nutrients. The word diet often has negative connotations in our society but these diets are about more than simply changing what you feed yourself, it’s about a whole lifestyle. There are many interesting approaches out there, and I encourage you to do some research as a first step on your own food journey. I also encourage you to be skeptical of any diet that bills itself as one size fits all magic bullet solution for all your problems. See my list below for some helpful websites.

The Autoimmune Protocol http://www.thepaleomom.com/autoimmunity/the-autoimmune-protocol

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet http://www.gapsdiet.com/

The Wahls Protocol http://terrywahls.com/about-the-wahls-protocol/

Raw food diet http://www.thebestofrawfood.com/

Ketogenic Diet http://www.charliefoundation.org/explore-ketogenic-diet/explore-1/introducing-the-diet

Weston A. Price http://www.westonaprice.org/

Vegan and Vegetarian http://www.vrg.org