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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#CrohnsWarrior #CrohnsAwareness #ForDana

I’ve been sitting here contemplating Crohn’s Disease for the last few hours…breathing deeply from the new essential oil diffusing necklace I’m wearing that I infused with frankincense and lemongrass, having just finished eating a frozen glob of coconut oil mixed with a heaping teaspoon of glutamine and KetoBroth protein powder, and sipping wine–of course (hey, it’s fermented)–and wondering where I should start with this post.


Image: Semicolon; The Adventures of Ostomy Girl (2015)
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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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It is now safe to move about the cabin…tips for air travel with an ice chest full of food.

It’s late as I begin to write this post…tucked away in the corner seat of a Southwest Airlines flight on my way back to San Antonio. The fasten seatbelt sign is off and electronic devices and laptops are now allowed to be pulled out and used. So, I thought this would be a good opportunity to start jotting down a few notes to share my recently-acquired travel tips for checking a 45-quart ice chest full of food onto your next flight.

RTIC Cooler
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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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What came first, leaky gut or disease?

“All disease begins in the gut.”
– Hippocrates

Before I jump into my sauerkraut recipes (I promise the wait will be worth it 🙂 …and it will be my next post! I was up to my elbows in sauerkraut the other day taking pictures specifically for the upcoming recipe posting…but, I digress), I thought I would pause and talk a little more about the importance of gut health and why home-fermented sauerkraut is beneficial. Hopefully this post will shed a little more light onto my love for/obsession with sauerkraut and persuade you to jump on the bandwagon of incorporating fermented foods (i.e. sauerkraut) into your own diet.
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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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About This Blog

In the beginning… Well, let’s just start here for now.

I’m not sure if it’s the journalist in me or my hope that maybe my writings (a.k.a. ramblings) will help at least one person who is suffering from Crohn’s, chronic disease, or poor health to find inspiration and hope along their own journey. Either way, I’ve felt compelled to start this blog, “Crohn’s, fitness, food, and my rocky road to health.” Pun intended.

Where to begin…rather than making this first post as long as I possibly could, I thought I would start with a very brief introduction of who I am and why you may…or may not…want to follow me on this blogging journey; I really can’t promise where this will go, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if the risk of spending your time reading my blog is worth it. 😉
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Who I Am

Stephanie Gish

Fitness Fanatic, Wine Lover, and #CrohnsWarrior

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a suburb just outside of downtown. As a child, I was active with a competitive drive I couldn’t suppress. From about the age of 10, I was involved in the community gymnastics program that our city ran. I hated running (and still do), but that didn’t stop me from trying to win a turkey every year in my elementary school’s Thanksgiving Turkey Trot (I never won though) and when I finally got to high school, my tumbling served me well on the cheerleading squad.
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