Juicing – Good or Bad


Juicing

This morning I was looking at Twitter and I saw a tweet that said that juicing really isn’t good for you and lead me to this article.  I know many an IBD that swear to juicing so of course I had to take a look.

Of course like most click baits these days, the article wasn’t quite what was being described.  It goes on to say that juicing as a form of detoxing the body doesn’t really work.  Of course, this isn’t news to me because if you know anything about nutrition, fruits and vegetables while good for you, can actually be harmful in large quantities.  There is the sugar contents and carbs.  I very rarely touch any juice as it also doesn’t have as much vitamins or fiber then if you eat the actual fruit since most of the nutritional elements are in the skin and the skin a lot of times doesn’t make it into the juice.

The reason behind this post is because when I first saw the whole good or bad, I thought right away to all of my IBDers that juice and to them it is a life saver.  Many people can’t tolerate or digest whole foods.  Juicing is a big way for many of us with digestive issues to get our calories and vitamins.  Of course, those needing this make their own juice and usually will have the skin as apposed to the commercial juices that don’t have them.

I actually got angry over the tweet because it should have been said differently.  To just say it isn’t good is very misleading.  The tweet didn’t mention detoxing.  If it did, I would have ignored it.  Instead, it was something just put on the surface which will somehow eventually be taken out of context.  And then, this will lead to people thinking less of those of you that juice for your health.  And also, if you look really fast at the article, which I just did, the first thing you see is Juicing is Officially Dead.  Well, not for my IBDers, I can tell you that.

The one good thing that they do say in the article is this, and it comes at the very end,

Juice still has its benefits. Juice squeezed from fresh fruits and vegetables is more nutritious than sugary, whipped-cream-topped Frappuccinos. It’s also a convenient way to consume healthy foods on-the-go: I wouldn’t gnaw on a carrot or a beet on my morning commute to work, but I’d certainly sip them through a straw.”

So how many of you juice?  What has been your experience with it?  Why do you juice and what is your favorite recipe?  I would love to hear from you and hear about your experience.

juice

 

 

What’s Your Trigger


Lately I have been thinking about how lucky I am in the food categories, compared to many others with IBD.  I see people on TPN or liquid diets and think, “Well, at least I can eat solid food”.    Even though I have some restrictions, every day I feel like I am lucky to be in the position I am in.

But today, I really thought about it and I have started to question, “Am I really lucky”.  After my major flare, eggs which were a safe food for me became an enemy.  So did bananas.  I also realized that gluten products were not helping me to get well.  I went gluten-free and cut out eggs.  But, cravings would hit.  I found the egg issue was a big one.  After talking to others with digestive issues, I found out about Papaya Enzymes.  I started taking them every time I ate eggs and they really helped.  I would get no pain, wouldn’t have to rush to the bathroom 10 times a day and my outlook on food changed.

But now, there is a shift in my life.  I take 5 enzyme pills when I eat eggs (bottle recommends 2-3).  They used to help but now lately I have been getting some pains when I eat eggs.  I know that means my body is adjusting to the pills and the efficiency of them is diminishing.  Along with eggs, salad has now also become an issue.  I used to be fine with any leafy vegetable.  But now within less than an hour it runs its course and comes out almost as fast as it goes in.  Slowly, my dietary choices are getting slim.  I am back to trying to lose weight so I have to watch what I eat and my choices are shrinking.

So I was sitting here this morning, eating scrambled eggs and thinking, am I still lucky.  As many of you know, I love food.  I enjoy the flavors and smells.  I love the entire experience surrounding food.  I don’t feel I can survive on a very strict diet but that is where I am heading.  Things I onced love to indulge in I can no longer eat.  It has been almost 2 years since I had a slice of NY pizza or a bagel, chinese dumplings or pastries.  So many foods that I took for granted I might never eat again.  And that scares me.  I am trying not to feel depressed over this but it is hard.  I went to school originally to be a chef and I work in the hospitality industry.  I buy food every day for work.  It is my life.  To look at a bounty of great looking food and know that I can’t touch it really saddens me.

Some of you might think this is self pity, and part of it is.  I know there are others worse off than me.  But most people don’t realize just what food means to me.  It isn’t just a nutritional, life sustaining thing.  It is a way of life and is a part of mine.  I feel like today, a part of me has died. 

So where does this leave me know.  I am still struggling with my weight and trying to eat healthier.  I am trying to diet.  But this latest development hurt things.  But I can’t give in and I won’t.  I am done with excuses.  I will find a way to get to my goal and overcome my obstacle.  Hopefully, my passion for food will rise like the phoenix and renew itself.  There are so many new foods out there to try.  It might be time to explore options and see just what my diseased body can handle.

And worst case…as I am sure a friend of mine might suggest…there are always gummy bears to live off of.  But that, is another story.

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder


I want to start off by apologizing.  It has been over a month since I have posted and for anyone looking for a new posts to come here and find none I am sorry.  Life has been very busy and sadly I haven’t had the time to get online to write a post.

Now that the summer is winding down and autumn is on the horizon, things will start to slow down a little.  Work has been very very busy but after September all will quiet down there.  At home, I am still doing board of director stuff and again, in October that might slow down also.

One thing I want to talk about while I have the chance is diet.  As many of you know, weight has been an issue with me.  I have talked about my journey with weight loss and doing a diet through Weight Watchers.  This past year had me so busy that I stopped going to meetings and eventually stopped the program.  I had hoped that I would finally be ok and keep the weight off.  Sadly, I am now back in the boat of weight gain.  It is slowly coming back and like Crohn’s…it is annoying the F out of me.Weight

Like IBD which can flare up at any time, weight gain comes when it wants.  So I am back with my demons trying to figure out what to do.  I am still Gluten Free and that makes my diet issues even worse.  I feel so loss on what to eat and what to do.  As anyone knows, when you feel loss you feel stress.  Stress then causes me to eat and the vicious cycle starts.  Stress also makes IBD worse and causes flares.

Overall, I am still doing well with my CD.  I see my GI in just over a week and I know it will be an uneventful meeting.  He will probably won’t have me return for 6 months (I hope) which means my next visit after this could be the colonoscopy time.  Ugh!!  I am still on LDN though so I am curious how it is affecting my insides and if it has helped in the healing processes any.  I feel great so I hope there is some significant healing.

But back to the diet.  I went into a very big IBD chat group on Facebook to find out what other overweight IBDers have done as far as diets.  Sadly, I didn’t get the answers I was hoping for.  I did get some good advice, but overall it wasn’t what I was really looking for.  A big advice was to cut back on carbs, which I will try.  It isn’t easy as I have realized that I have an addiction to carbs.  The other big advice was to increase protein.  It was recommended that for breakfast, instead of cereal to eat leftover dinner protein.  Um….no.  That may be fine for some people and for some foods I can maybe do that…but overall, no.  When I eat breakfast, I am still half asleep and so are my taste buds.  They don’t need a shock of BBQ sauce or Teriyaki  in the morning.

What I am curious, and I hope some people will feel ok to open up, what do some of you with IBD do to lose weight.  I know most automatically lose weight, but for those of you that are like me and still have weight issues, what do you do.  What works and what doesn’t.  Feel free to leave a comment or even email me.  I would love help from everyone and I really could use some direction.

 

Recipe for Success – Repost


I was looking over past post’s and I saw this one  from August 2012 and thought I had to repost it.  I also thought that since I have lost some of my way in life, that rereading this would maybe help me get back on track.

 

“Two weeks ago at my Weight Watchers meeting we were talking about recipes.  We were encouraged to bring in a recipe to swap with everyone.  When it was my leaders turn, she gave us a recipe…but not for food.  I looked it over and thought, this isn’t just relevent to food…this is good for life.  So, I decided to share the wisdom of my leader and give you…The Recipe for Success

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Vision         1 Cup Commitment         1 Cup Discipline       1 Cup Self-Control    1 Cup Sacrifice   1 Cup Conviction              1 Cup Imagination

Directions:

In a large part of your life, add 1 cup of vision.  Make up your mind which direction to go and strive for it everyday.  Add 1 cup commitment.  Commit yourself every day to reaching your goal.    Add 1 cup discipline.  Discipline yourself to do what you must to keep the committment and hold on to the vision.  Add 1 cup of self-control.  No matter what temptation comes, remember you have a choice.  Add 1 cup of sacrifice.  Be willing to give up bad habits for good habits.  Add 1 cup conviction.

Have the courage to stand your ground knowing that you are mixing the right ingredients together in your life.  Add 1 cup of imagination.  Imagine what all this cooking will achieve in the end.  Bring all of these things to a boil.  Now pour it all into the rest of your life and you have the recipe for success.  Keep it always on simmer.

As I read this in the meeting, I was no longer thinking about food.  I know she gave this to us to help us stay on course and keep up with our weight loss.  But I saw a bigger picture.  Living with a chronic illness will do that to you.  I didn’t just see food…I saw a recipe to beat an illness.  I saw a recipe for me to get through life.

I know at times life with Crohn’s or Colitis can be hard.  Sometimes we want to just throw in the towel and say I quit.  But that is when we need this recipe.  Sometimes, we need to alter a recipe and add a little more spice to it.  There are days we might need 2 cups of self-control.  Maybe we need a gallon of vision because all we see is our blanket covering our eyes.  Whatever the day…keep this recipe close at hand.  Make it your first meal.  Make it your last.  Make a big batch of it on the weekend for the whole week.  Whatever you do…make sure to make it at least once a week.”

“Ah The Sweet Nectar of the Gods”


Every morning I think this as I take my first sip of coffee.  Ever since my days working in Starbucks I have had a love for coffee and I look forward to it every morning.

But this post is not about coffee.  Today, this phrase will be said about another liquid, a liquid that has been around for centuries.  This liquid is used in every culture in one form or another.  It is so old that it is even mentioned in the Bible, I believe starting with Noah.  He drank this after he found land when the flood receded.  This sweet nectar is of course wine.

A couple of months ago on Twitter someone wrote that wine seemed to help their Crohn’s.  For whatever reason, whenever they drank wine, they felt better.  Another person and I started joking about it but it got me thinking.  What if there is some connection between wine and IBD.  What if drinking a glass a day somehow could reduce symptoms and help.

By now most people know of the health benefits of wine.  We know they have tons of antioxidants. 

“Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. A polyphenol called resveratrol is one substance in red wine that’s gotten attention.  Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces “bad” cholesterol and prevents blood clots.” – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089

 

Lower Your Cholesterol

Alcohol also can have a very powerful effect and increase HDL “good” cholesterol by 20% if used moderately and in the context of a healthy diet along with regular physical activity, says Rimm. Higher HDL levels are linked to lower risks of heart disease.

“The research evidence points to ethanol, or the alcohol component, of beer, wine, or spirits as the substrate that can help lower cholesterol levels, increase ‘good’ HDL cholesterol,” he says.

Boost Your Brain

A recent study shows a boost in brain power for women who enjoy a little alcohol. The study, published in the Jan. 20 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, evaluated more than 12,000 women aged 70-81. Moderate drinkers scored better than teetotalers on tests of mental function. Researchers found a boost in brainpower with one drink a day. Moderate drinkers had a 23% reduced risk of mental decline compared with nondrinkers.

source – http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/wine-how-much-is-good-for-you

 

Now of course as you can see, none of these studies have anything to do with IBD…so I decided to do my own experiment.  I have never been a big wine drinker and when I do drink wine, it is usually white wine.  Over the years though I have wanted to get into red wine so now was a good time to start.  I have a bunch of reds just sitting in my apt.  Many were gifts that I received and of course never drank.  So I took one that was supposed to be really good and cracked it open. (Yes it was really good..best red wine I have ever had)  I limited my self to only one glass per sitting so it took about a week for me to finish it.  Funny thing happened…I started feeling better.  I had been having a flare and it was now going away.  My trips to the bathroom were slowing.  Could it be the wine was actually helping.  I decided to go a couple of days before my next bottle.  

In the non wine days, nothing bad happened but I didn’t feel like I was reaching some great breakthrough either.  So, crack open another bottle.  This time I started spacing out the days I was drinking it.  There were days I just wasn’t in the mood for it, other days I had work to do and didn’t want to drink that night.  So it started to become a rarity that I was drinking and I have to say, I have started to feel bad again.  The past couple of days I have had some depression.  My bowel movements have increased again.  I have been having some pain in the mornings.

So this up coming week, I will try to drink more wine again and see what happens.  It is hard to believe that something that is so simple can be a big help.  I will keep you updated on how the experiment is going.  If I start to feel better again, I might start actually keeping a journal to document this as it might be a real worth while experiment. 

Today is Friday.  It is snowing outside.  It is cold.  This week at work has not been good.  I can think of nothing better than ending the night and week with a little libation.  Let’s raise a glass of vino to our health and hope that maybe one day we can all literally drink our troubles away….or at least our diseases.

Gluten Free Rant


I went out to eat this weekend and something jumped into my head that really got me thinking.  Many restaurants are now serving gluten-free meals.  They recognize there is a big issue out there and they are now catering to the many people out there that can’t or won’t eat gluten.  I like that.  I am happy for that.

I work in the hospitality industry.  Maybe one day I will own my own restaurant.  What I know is that when you open a restaurant and create a menu, you can’t keep that same menu forever.  You have to change it over time to keep up with trends and what the customers want.  Many restaurants do this and are now moving to keep up with the gluten-free movement.  This is a good move on their part.  There are even gluten-free restaurants which I think is great.

Now, here is my rant.  I went into a big national chain restaurant (who will remain nameless) and they had a gluten free menu.  I loved it because items I thought had gluten in them on the regular menu turned out to be gluten-free.  I placed my order (my wife ordered from the regular menu) and then they brought out the bread.  Before I went GF I loved their bread.  Now, I looked at it and drooled knowing I can’t touch it.   On another day I was in a diner and again, the bread basket comes out with delicious looking items.

With this big push to be Gluten Free sensitive the one thing that hasn’t really changed is the bread basket.  As anyone on a GF diet knows, this item is a major no-no.   Bread is a big component of gluten.  So why isn’t anyone focusing on this item.  This is one item to change very easily.  There are tons of GF breads and rolls out there.  There are GF bread sticks and crackers.  Why can’t restaurants include these items for us GF customers.  Why are we forced to either drool over the regular bread baskets or sit there alone.    Now, I am not asking these restaurants to make their own.  I know there are many places that are real small and don’t have the kitchen space.  I am fine with that.  But you can buy them and put them in their own basket for us GF dieters.

What also gets me is in the chain restaurant they at least asked if we wanted the bread.  In many places they don’t ask. I know first hand bread costs have gone up.  If they would stop bringing out the bread automatically they would probably save money which they can spend on the GF bread.

Eating out in a restaurant should be an enjoyable experience.  I used to love going out to different places.  Since going GF I enjoy it less and my selection of restaurants have decreased.  Being teased at a restaurant makes the experience even worse.

Ok, rant over.  And now I want a slice of bread.

Gluten Free Beef Stew


It’s been awhile since I said I would post recipes so, here is another gluten-free recipe which is pretty IBD friendly..or at least for some IBDers.

Being that the temperature has been in the 20’s and I have been freezing my butt off lately, I wanted something that would be satisfying and warm me up.  I was getting tired of my usual weekly menu and needed a change.  When I was online one day, I saw a recipe for beef stew for a crock pot and I thought, I don’t have a crock pot but I can still make the stew.  So, I went out shopping, got the ingredients, and made way to much stew.  But is was so worth it because it was soooo good.  And the cold will be around for a while so I have meals for another day.

Now, for the recipe, I didn’t measure out anything and it made about 8 servings.  This is a dish that exact measurements aren’t needed and you can add whatever you want.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb cubed steak
  • 3 Carrots – peeled and rough chopped
  • 6 Celery Stalks – rough chopped
  • 1 Parsnip – peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 Large Potatoes – peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 Onion – peeled and rough chopped (pearl onions work well also and require no prep)
  • 1/2 Frozen Peas
  • 64 oz Beef Broth
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Gluten Free Flour or Corn Starch SAMSUNGSAMSUNG

Take your steak and coat in either the corn starch or flour.  I decided to use flour just out of personal preference.  Heat oil in a large stock pot and sear off meat.  You don’t want to cook the meat all the way through, just brown it.  You are sear it to seal in the juices.  Also, you can do this in batches if the pot isn’t large enough.

SAMSUNGSAMSUNGAfter the meat is browned and removed from pot, add onions and more oil if needed.  Saute the onions until soft and translucent.  If you are using pearl onions, do not do this step.  They will be added at the end.

SAMSUNGSAMSUNGWhen the onions are done, add some flour to make a roux.  Cook this for a couple of minutes until the roux starts to brown.  Add carrots, celery, parsnip, potatoes, beef, and stock.  Stir well.  Add any seasoning you like.  They can be fresh or dried.  I added some basil, oregano and salt.  Again this is to your preference.   Bring the stew to a boil.

SAMSUNGSAMSUNGWhen it boils, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for about 1 1/2 hours.  When the stew is done, add the canned tomatoes and peas.  If you are using pearl onions, add them also.  Bring back to a boil and remove from heat.  If the stew is still thin and not to your desired thickness, make a cornstarch slurry to add to it to thicken it up.  Serve with some nice crusty bread.

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