Dogmatic Diets…When to Break the Rules

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No matter what way of eating you follow, chances are there will be a few rules you must abide by. Avoid dairy; no processed foods, refined oils, or gluten; refrain from drinking alcohol; use this sweetener but not that one; and the list goes on…

Reflecting back on my own journey, and thinking about all the different diets I’ve tried–whether they were for bodybuilding or Crohn’s management–I think I can say without a doubt, that I fall into the category of “chronic dieter.” Over the past 20 years, I’ve read and followed so many diet books, programs, and articles, that I lost count a long time ago. From the Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution to The Maker’s Diet, I’ve tested the dieting spectrum from plant-centered to all meat (although, I’ve never gone vegetarian…if you can’t tell by now, I love steak too much to do that). But, no matter how different all these diets might appear to be, when you break them down, they all really center around the same basic principles of eating real, unprocessed food and cutting out both sugar and highly refined seed/vegetable oils. And (in my humble opinion) it really doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.

But, there are two things that I really don’t quite understand about dieting:

  1. Why people become so dogmatic about the way they are eating, and
  2. the amount of hate that people will shout from behind a computer screen to others who don’t eat what they do.

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I’m a podcast special guest!

A couple of months ago, I was asked to be on the Run Eat And Lift podcast hosted by Anthoney (@thelabstrength) and Lindsey (@ontherunfit). We covered a lot of health and nutrition topics from sourdough and ketosis to uBiome and Crohn’s. This was really fun to be a part of and I think you’ll enjoy the episode. As I mentioned, we actually recorded it a couple months ago, before I went carnivore, so we definitely talk about more than just meat! The episode went live and aired for the first time yesterday.

Run eat and lift
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Not ready for all meat? Add these healing foods instead.

For those who have been following my blogging journey or just watching me over the last few years, you know my diet has progressively evolved and is, what some would call, quite radical now (although extremely delicious and satisfying…you should hear the whimpering of my dogs every night as I fry up bacon and sear my daily ribeye…). What can I say though, I do rather enjoy experimenting and researching food and fitness. That said, as you may remember, one of my earlier posts to this blog outlined what I called “My Crohn’s 1.0” diet, it was what I started eating immediately after I made the decision to stop taking my immunosuppressant and immune-modulating drugs.


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Easy diet hack: Eat more coconut oil

Spoiler alert: I came across an article the other day about a scientific study that was published this past June that looked at coconut oil and its benefits for reducing inflammation in Crohn’s Disease…

Our bodies are massively complex, beautifully-orchestrated machines. Some people say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, my digestive and immune systems are broke and because I’ll never know a fraction of everything there is to know about either system or Crohn’s Disease, it’s important to me to always keep searching and experimenting with ways I can further enhance my life, improve my health, and hopefully keep Crohn’s in remission. So far, the list includes diet, fermented foods, exercise, rebounding, yoga, essential oils, and wine–I have to have one vice 😉


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Next on the menu, raw milk

A couple months ago, I posted about the benefits of sauerkraut, my most beloved food. So, enter stage left, my second most favorite food (it might actually surpass sauerkraut and become top on my list), to which I attribute much of my new-found health to: raw milk.

Unless you have a story about how your grandmother used to serve you fresh milk on her farm with chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven or surprisingly already fall into the roughly 3% of the population who drinks raw milk…you’re probably giving me a weird look right now. You might be thinking, “isn’t that dangerous?” or “I was told to avoid dairy, isn’t milk bad for you and hard to digest?”


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Let the fermentation begin! Sauerkraut 101

After a lot of tinkering over the past year, I have found the Fido jar fermentation method to be an easy and consistent way to make crunchy, delicious sauerkraut every time. The Fido jars clamp down and seal to provide an anaerobic environment for the cabbage to ferment in, yet still allows for a small amount of gasses to escape without letting air back in.

Ingredients
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My Love of Sauerkraut

mysauerkrautUp until a year and a half ago, I never gave a second thought to sauerkraut…and I’d just assumed I didn’t like it–of course I’d never even tried it. The only acknowledgement I ever gave to sauerkraut was during any sort of German festival, even then I always considered it to be merely a condiment of which I didn’t need. It doesn’t necessarily look appealing and it always seemed like it would be a distraction from the food I actually wanted to eat (meat).
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My Crohn’s Diet 1.0

After starting this blog last week and quickly realizing how many Crohn’s sufferers are in my immediate network, I wanted to cut to the chase and jump right into my diet. It is currently working for me and helping me to feel better than I have in a long time, so I want to share it in case someone else may find hope, inspiration, or benefit from some of the things that are working for me.

As I’ve said before, I’ve tried a number of different diets and lifestyle tricks in trying to control my Crohn’s naturally over the last 10 years. Early on, I tried to follow recommendations to eat low fiber, easy-to-digest foods like white rice, white bread, pasta, and bananas that are commonly recommended to those with IBD…but that actually made things worse. After trying to eat “easy-to-digest” foods, I then tried to follow a FODMAP diet at the suggestion of my doctor. But it was difficult to stay on the protocol that required I cut everything out and reintroduce every food, one by one, back into my diet in an attempt to try and figure out what foods I could handle and what I couldn’t (I didn’t have the patience for that at the time).

At one point I even stumbled across Jini Patel Thompson’s Listen to Your Gut e-book and tried to create my own elemental diet shakes, but I craved real food and the shakes tasted awful. At one point I even attempted intermittent fasting because of all the amazing health benefits associated with it, but I don’t like to go without food and only made it a day. (Interestingly enough, however, I now follow the Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting regimen, which I will write about in another post.)
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