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!). 

So, for much of this past year, I’ve been enjoying more vegetables (things like potatoes and corn…I still find the starchy vegetables easier to digest), started reaching for crackers when I craved a snack or something crunchy, and even began baking my own bread. I’ve said before, I love food, so when I was able to expand my diet without suffering from Crohn’s symptoms, I did.

One thing that really made me look at what I was eating however, was how I’d been feeling for the past few months. I just couldn’t shake a certain level of fatigue and I was getting frustrated with myself that even after all these years, I still couldn’t stop myself from turning a few crackers with my cheese and wine into a whole box of crackers…

So, I went ahead and re-committed myself to a low-carb, ketogenic diet. Low carb is nothing new to me, I’ve been on some version of a low-carb diet for about 90% of the time since the late 1990s. I like having boundaries with food and I feel better overall, so it’s a win-win for me. One thing I tend to crave when I eat low carb, however, is the crunch and texture of certain foods.

This is where Uplift Food currently comes into the picture.

Uplift Food Gut Happy Cookies

A few weeks ago, Uplift Food reached out to me and asked me to try their Gut Happy Cookies in exchange for an honest review. After I went to their website and researched the product, I was definitely interested. For starters, I have a sweet tooth and I love foods that have a shortbread kind of flavor and texture, but then I saw the ingredients and was shocked and excited to see lupin flour as the first on the list. 

If you’ve never heard of lupin flour or lupin beans, you’re not alone…I only first heard about them myself just two months ago when I was trying to get creative and bake low-carb bread; that’s when I stumbled upon lupin flour. Low in carbs, I quickly learned that lupin beans are nutritious, devoid of starch, contain prebiotic fibers, and are even called the latest protein-rich superfood by some. The only problem I found with cooking with lupin flour, however, is that it has a strong nutty flavor and working it into recipes is a challenge. Needless to say, my bread didn’t turn out, but from then on, I’ve been on the lookout for products made with lupin flour; so the timing on discovering the Gut Happy Cookies seemed like it was meant to be!

Long story short, I love these cookies and I just placed an order yesterday to purchase two boxes (yes, the samples were sent to me with a request that I post an Instagram photo/review, but I bought two boxes because I really do love them). They also don’t upset my sensitive, Crohn’s-Diseased digestive system and they are filled with lots of gut-friendly ingredients. 👍

There are three flavors of the Gut Happy Cookies, but the sunflower butter with vanilla and chia are my favorite, followed by the salted almond butter with vanilla and chia. The cookies have a slightly sweet taste with a hint cinnamon and slight nutty flavor. Honestly, I think it’s the perfect level of sweetness because for me, whenever I eat something that is outright sweet, I just crave more of it and can’t bring myself to stop. So, this is the perfect amount of sweetness combined with a shortbread-like texture for the cookie and a nice Oreo-style cream filling that meets all my taste sensation needs.

The Gut Happy Cookies are made with high-quality, simple ingredients; are low in carbs (thank you lupin flour!); AND contain resistant starch along with four different prebiotic-rich plant-based ingredients (together with 1 Billion CFU (colony forming units) of effective probiotics) that support gut, digestive and immune health. 

So if your mouth has started watering by now, I definitely encourage you to go check them out and give them a try for yourself! There’s even a sample 3-pack if you’re not sure which one to try. Happy eating!

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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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.

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