Bec Simson: Family, IBD, and Rugby (E59)

In today’s episode on the Crohn’s Fitness Food podcast, Bec Simpson shares her journey with Crohn’s Disease and how she balances life, competitive sports, work, and family. Her journey began almost a decade ago when she struggled with symptoms that she thought were due to IBS, which was common in her family. But in 2011, after running out from the class she was teaching with an urgent need for the restroom, she knew she needed to see a gastroenterologist. 

Her initial colonoscopy, however, didn’t show anything and she continued to struggle and manage her symptoms for another five years. Finally in 2016, she had another colonoscopy and Crohn’s Disease was confirmed. After that, she quickly went through a number of medications, from Prednisone, Pentasa, Methotrexate, and Humira (from which she suffered side effects) to now, finally seeing results after just one infusion of Stelara. Bec shares what it was like to go through the different medications and how grateful she is to have a gastroenterologist who provided her with a lot of information, but ultimately left the decision up to her. 

During all this time, Bec continued (and still does) to play competitive sports. She plays in the Touch Rugby League in Australia and has learned to balance her passion for fitness and rugby while managing IBD. Realizing that she was able to get away with pushing her body harder and past its limits when she was younger, she knows now that rest and listening to her body is key for staying healthy and managing symptoms. She’s also learned to change her mindset and rather than getting upset at the limitations Crohn’s may have placed on her, she focuses on doing the best she can and being grateful for that. 

Outside of sports, Bec relies on her strong support network, made up of her family and partner, that allows her to balance life and continue with her passions. Recently, her gastroenterologist also sent her to see a psychologist who works with patients with chronic illnesses. While simply being able to talk and vent about the disease was beneficial, the psychologist also gave Bec a number of different strategies to help manage stress in her life, which is the main trigger for her symptoms and flare ups, including mindfulness and not being afraid to take a step back to rest. 

Bec is now sharing her journey with Crohn’s on social media and raising awareness. She encourages others who are also fighting IBD to take it easy – still work hard to achieve your goals, she says, but listen to your body. You can follow her on Instagram at @becs_ibd_journey

New fave food: Gut Happy Cookies

Steph with Gut Happy Cookies

I’m always on the hunt for gut-friendly foods made with high-quality ingredients…and even more so when they’re low carb and keto friendly 🙂 A couple of weeks ago, I took an honest look at what I’ve been eating for the past 6-9 months. And the truth is, when I’m following an alternate day fasting schedule, I can tolerate a much wider variety of foods than I ever could before (excluding my pre-Crohn’s days…I could eat anything before IBD came into my life!). 

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Crohn’s Fitness…Fasting!

Crohn’s Fitness Food…it’s how you know me on my blog, Instagram, Facebook, and podcast…but sometimes, I feel like it should be Crohn’s Fitness Fasting. It’s been almost two months since I switched back to an alternate day fasting (ADF) schedule and I wanted to share some of the positives that have happened since then and why I continue to love and promote the benefits of fasting for better health. 

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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. 

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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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