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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Episode 49: Michael Simmons, Crohn's Warrior and Food Challenge Competitor

In today’s episode, Crohn’s Warrior and food challenge competitor, Michael Simmons, shares his IBD story. From his first Crohn’s symptoms in 2008 to his ileostomy surgery in 2017, he’s now not only raising awareness for ostomy patients, but also raising the bar for eating without a colon.

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Part 1: Vacation dining, holiday binge eating, and fasting (my secret weapon and saving grace!)

Steph and Jeff on the Island of Kauai while visiting Hawaii

For the few weeks leading up to our Hawaiian vacation this past November, I was cautiously working on adding more foods back into my diet. Common sense was telling me that with my kidneys functioning at lower than what they should be (most likely due to IgA Nephropathy) and hovering in stage 3 of chronic kidney disease, I should eat more than just meat. So, goodbye carnivore/zero carb diet. Slow and steady, I was trying a wider variety of foods to see if I could tolerate them without causing a flare up of my Crohn’s Disease. (Now, remember, it was just a few months prior, during the summer, that I failed in my attempts to add food back into my diet–bringing on a mini flare in early August). So, I’m not exactly sure why, but when we got to Hawaii, I decided to throw caution to the wind and ate ALL the food. 

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Episode 48: Renee Taylor balances western and holistic medicine in her Crohn’s journey

Crohn's Fitness Food podcast cover with Renee Taylor

Describing her Instagram page as “a young gal’s adventures with Crohn’s Disease & other chronic illnesses,” Renee Taylor continues her IBD advocacy on today’s podcast where she shares her Crohn’s journey and how she’s seeking to find the balance between western and holistic medicine.

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Episode 47: Stella Rose Carr shares her Crohn’s journey and positive outlook

Crohn's Fitness Food podcast cover with Stella Rose Carr

In today’s episode, Stella Rose Carr shares how she’s managed to keep a positive outlook and a good sense of humor while battling Crohn’s Disease for most of her life. Officially diagnosed at eight years old, she recalls what it was like to face her first colonoscopy as a child and how IBD impacted her life from elementary school through college.

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Episode 46: Stephanie Gish on the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast with Gin Stephens

Stephanie Gish on the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast with Gin Stephens

I recently had the pleasure and honor of being interviewed on the Intermittent Fasting Stories Podcast with Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. Fasting has been one of the things that has truly been life changing in my never-ending quest to manage Crohn’s Disease. Practicing it gives my gut time to rest; allows my body to heal and repair itself; has given me a better relationship with food; and–in an unexpected twist–it has also taught me patience, appreciation for quality, and a desire to remove more clutter (emotional and physical) from my life. It’s a mindset and a lifestyle.

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Episode 45: Sylvia Tam, Ulcerative Colitis Warrior and Founder of Beviva Foods

In today’s episode, Sylvia Tam shares her journey with Ulcerative Colitis and how it led her to starting Beviva Foods, a gut-friendly snack company centered around IBD patients. She spoke about her decision, after a colonoscopy in 2011 confirmed Ulcerative Colitis, to focus on her mindset, dietary changes, and family traditions in Chinese medicine that has allowed her to avoid medications in the management of her IBD.

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Episode 44: Kiersten Thomson (@theformerfoodie) leverages the power of food to battle Crohn’s

In today’s episode, Kiersten Thomson shares her journey with Crohn’s Disease and how she leans on the power of food to help manage her symptoms. Not willing to accept the idea that food didn’t matter, she sought the help of a functional medicine doctor. For the next year, she did well. She cut out inflammatory foods like sugar and gluten and kept to a strict diet. But despite her best efforts, in late 2018, she developed a microtear in her colon. The intense pain sent her to the hospital and she was informed she would need immediate surgery.

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Forgetting Crohn’s (almost…)

Some days, I almost forget that I have Crohn’s Disease. Honestly, I don’t think there’s been a single day since my diagnosis 13 years ago–or even since my first symptoms 17 years ago–that I haven’t thought about Crohn’s or digestive issues. But for the most part, my day-to-day life with Crohn’s is well managed…and although I do think about Crohn’s on a daily basis, there are moments during the day when I really do forget that I am battling a chronic illness, and always will be. Which is why this most recent appointment with my gastroenterologist was a bit of a shock back into reality for me. 

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