Nicole Candelaria: IBD Journey Part 2 (E58)

Crohn's Fitness Food podcast cover with Nicole Candelaria part 2

In today’s episode, we continue Nicole Candelaria’s story from her decision to begin traveling to and from New York to see a gastroenterologist who specializes in IBD. Everything happened quickly as her new doctor was determined to not let her suffer any longer, but she quickly became weary of the travel and the reluctance of her doctors in Florida to cooperate. 

In New York, however, her doctor blew her away with the amount of information she knew about IBD and her willingness to explain and discuss in detail the answers to many of Nicole’s questions that her doctors in Florida were never able to give. From medications to surgical options, her new doctor shared the reasoning behind every step of her treatment plan. 

This past fall, Nicole went on short-term disability and began seeing her doctor in New York once a week. As she began healing, her visits dropped to every other week and then every few weeks. Using Methotrexate to help her transition from Remicade to Stelara, Nicole and her doctor finally started to see an improvement just this past February. 

It was then, after all the years battling IBD and only achieving remission for one brief period, Nicole finally had hope and she realized that in order to get better she needed to move to New York to be able to continue this journey with her new doctor. As the timing worked out, she was able to move and get settled into a place in New Jersey just before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. in March. 

Today, Nicole is vibrant, energetic, and thriving. Looking back, she realizes what a shell of her former self she had become – not realizing she was simply going through the motions day in and day out. Now, she’s happy, appreciating every moment of life, and sharing her story with the IBD community.

One of her biggest struggles throughout her journey, with all the highs and lows that IBD brings, was body image. Nicole often found herself hating her body for fighting against her, she was uncomfortable, and had no self love. Over the years, however, she gained a different outlook. Her experiences with IBD, she said, were humbling and she learned to love and be grateful for her body and everything it was doing to fight FOR her. With that new perspective, she created her Instagram handle, @crohnsically_beautiful, and began sharing her journey to help provide comfort and show others that they are not alone. 

To those who are newly diagnosed, Nicole gives a reminder that you will get through it, you’re not alone. For those who are currently battling flare ups, “you’ve got this!” And for family members, she shares the importance of reading up and becoming as informed as possible to help better understand the person in your life with IBD.

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Follow Nicole: www.instagram.com/crohnsically_beautiful

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Nicole Candelaria: Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Perianal Crohn’s (E57)

In today’s episode, Nicole Candelaria shares her IBD journey that began in 2007 during her first semester in college. After ignoring the symptoms for a few months–attributing them to stress–she finally went to the hospital and a colonoscopy revealed both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. From there, life became a roller coaster. 

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Coronavirus thoughts…and my quarantine look

Steph at home in her quarantine look
My quarantine look 🙂

I thought it was time that I sit down and write up my thoughts on the Coronavirus situation…not because I feel that I have some sort of great wisdom or knowledge, but simply because sometimes, it just helps to know that we’re not alone in how we’re feeling or what we’re facing.

More days than not, I feel good–strong, healthy, as if I didn’t have any chronic illnesses to battle. I prioritize my health and focus on avoiding processed foods, workout daily, and have been medication free for about four years now (though I do take a few supplements, including CBD, an anti-inflammatory, and a probiotic). When I’m thriving in my little bubble, not focused on things I can’t have and living pain free, I mostly forget that my immune system has gone awry–my kidneys needing to be watched and Crohn’s just waiting to rear its ugly head.

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Ryanne Sullivan, Crohn’s Warrior finding remission through diet and lifestyle (E56)

In today’s episode, Ryanne Sullivan, shares her 20-year journey with IBD. Diagnosed with both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, she’s learned to manage her symptoms and achieve remission through nutrition and lifestyle. At age 14, she started treatment with medications, like many others, using steroids and 6MP to try and control inflammation and symptoms. But, she often found the side effects of medications to be worse than the IBD itself. 

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Jackie Robbins, Ulcerative Colitis Warrior on a mission to help others become fearless! (E55)

Podcast cover of Jackie M Robbins for the Crohn's Fitness Food podcast

In today’s episode Jackie Robbins shares her 30 year IBD journey. Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at age 8, she spent most of her childhood feeling alone and angry. 

Once diagnosed, she was immediately started on prednisone that helped control her symptoms, but caused her to gain weight and eventually wreak havoc on her body image. Her symptoms never fully went away, however, and she spent her entire childhood going into flares. In 1998, at age 17, she had her colon removed and a temporary ileostomy made. Then in 1999 she had her reversal surgery, but things didn’t get better. 

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Episode 54: Yovani Gonzalez, Crohn’s Warrior and founder of Purple Roots Clothing

Crohn's Fitness Food podcast cover with Yovani Gonzalez

In today’s episode, Yovani Gonzalez shares his IBD journey from rapid onset and diagnosis to turning down surgery and finding the right balance of medication, diet, and lifestyle changes to take back his health.

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Episode 53: Sanaa Lynne, Crohn’s Warrior from bedridden to businesswoman, Part 2

Crohn's Fitness Food podcast cover for Sanaa Lynne Part 2

In today’s episode, we pick up where we left off last week in Sanaa Lynne’s IBD journey. She continues her story today with how she regained her quality of life through dietary and lifestyle changes. As her health slowly returned, she began focusing on her passions, flipped her negative mindset to a positive one, focused on relationships that brought peace–leaving behind the ones that didn’t, and began taking courses in Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and nutrition.

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Episode 52: Sanaa Lynne, Crohn’s Warrior from bedridden to businesswoman, Part 1

Cover of Crohn's Fitness Food podcast with Sanaa Lynne

In today’s episode, Sanaa Lynne takes us through her IBD journey–including how she went more than 10 years undiagnosed. She battled a number of different health issues growing up and over the years, her doctors suspected everything from endometriosis and Celiac Disease to Mediterranean Familial Fever.

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Episode 51: Solocast with Stephanie Gish (Meditation, Fasting, Supplements)

Cover of Crohn's Fitness Food Podcast with Stephanie Gish

In today’s episode, I’m sharing an update on what I’ve learned over the past few months about meditation, fasting, supplementation, and how it all affects my Crohn’s.

After our vacation in November, I went off the rails throughout the holiday season with regard to my diet and fitness routine…and I learned a few lessons in the process. Since then, I’ve been increasing the types of foods I eat, discovering what fasting window works best for me (alternate daily fasting vs. one meal a day), and started a daily meditation practice.

I talk about the benefits I’ve noticed from meditation and fasting; how a combination of fasting, CBD oil, and Intestinal Fortitude supplements have once again relieved my first signs of a flare up; I share a few of my favorite resources (from supplements to meditation); and extend an invitation to join us in the Vivante Health Community. 

Links & Resources from the episode:

Intestinal Fortitude Supplements (Anti-Inflammatory, Probiotic, Gut Lining Repair)  

Vivante Health Community (focused on gut health, lifestyle, and microbiome)

Heart Wisdom Podcast with Jack Kornfield

Joy On Demand by Chade-Meng Tan

Mind Hacking Happiness by Sean Webb

Episode 50: Aras Toker, Crohn’s Warrior and Vivante Health Community Host

Crohn's Fitness Food podcast cover with Aras Toker, Vivante Health Community

In today’s episode, Aras Toker shares his journey with Crohn’s Disease. For six years he battled flare ups with numerous medications and sought the help of three different doctors. But his symptoms only progressed. In 2014, he developed a fistula that connected to his sacrum and left him unable to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time due to the pain. The fistula required surgery, which included rerouting his intestines to give that portion of the bowel time to heal and an ostomy.

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