Thursday, October 17, 2013

ULCERATIVE COLITIS : CELIAC DISEASE, GLUTEN SENSITIVITY & INTOLERANCE














NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS HEALTHY FEELS!

For more ideas regarding IBD management, copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.pinterest.com/graybecker/IBD/


Remember to always talk to your doctor about any and all health related concerns. Remember to tell your doctor about any and all medications you may be taking.

Our current incarnation as human beings, also known as homo sapiens, arrived on this planet about 200,000 years ago. For about 190,000 of those years or so, humans were mostly nomadic wanderers, hunting and gathering from what their environment provided. All natural foods

Sometime around 10,000 years ago, humans invented farming. Instead of chasing food the way the wind blows, we planted grains, among them wheat, thereby creating a sense of security for our fragile human population. We also domesticated and herded animals. Providing a steady food supply enabled trade and the growth of civilizations. A surplus of food allowed people to have more time to diversify and to develop the skills of artisans, builders, and all sorts of jobs and professions.

As nomads, we hunted and gathered. We ate seeds, nuts, fruits, plants, roots, wild fish and game. When farming was invented, grains were what was planted first. With grains on the menu, we began eating more and more grains. And, then, with flour from these grains, we made other grain products.

"Let them eat cake!" someone said, and you could tell, things were tasting good! They may have been running to the bathroom, but things were tasting good!

WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE ?

CELIAC DISEASE, along with ULCERATIVE COLITIS, make up the top two diagnoses under the category of INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE, also known as IBD.

Scientists and doctors now know CELIAC DISEASE has an environmental precursor: GLUTEN. CELIAC DISEASE is a multi-system disorder affecting primarily the small intestine. A delayed diagnosis increases the risk of developing neurological problems, osteoporosis, infertility and, yes, even cancer.

DIAGNOSING CELIAC DISEASE is done with two tests: 1) Blood and 2) Biopsy.

Blood Test

a blood test is administered to determine the presence of specific antibodies being produced by your immune system. These can be seen as biological markers. If certain antibodies are detected, there's the mandatory biopsy.

Biopsy

A positive blood test must be followed by an intestinal biopsy, in which a thin tube is inserted down the throat of a sedated patient to extract tissue samples. A positive biopsy is the leading indicator of a CELIAC DISEASE diagnosis.

Fortunately for CELIAC DISEASE sufferers, once diagnosed, their solution is easy: Eliminate GLUTEN and symptoms subside.

Unfortunately for CELIAC DISEASE sufferers, like ULCERATIVE COLITIS, THIS IS a lifelong diagnosis. Don't ever believe you're "cured". You stray, you pay. You can never have GLUTEN again if you're to stay well.

WHAT IS GLUTEN AND GLUTEN INTOLERANCE?

GLUTEN is a protein found in certain grains including wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. Gluten is what gives baked goods that wonderful mouthfeel and taste. Soft wheat grain found in flour contains a higher percentage of gluten and helps give pastry and cake that great, springy, creamy mouthfeel. Thanks to modern science and bioengineering, today's wheat reportedly contains almost twice as much gluthen than the wheat just a century ago. For some, especially those diagnosed with Celiac disease (affecting an estimated 3 million Americans), gluten is ANTIGENIC, that is, it elicits inflammation in the small intestine, an adverse immune response, symptoms of an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, which Celiac Disease is.

Other people may have a NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY that causes digestive unrest. (Maybe just a sensitivity to too much dead food, methinks...I don't know.)

Those diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac Disease, or other inflammatory auto-immune diseases, and you know who you are yes you do, often benefit by eliminating all gluten products.

Some thoughts point specifically to GLIADIN, a substance found in GLUTEN, as the specific culprit. People allergic (gluten intolerant), when they eliminate wheat products in particular, symptoms they previously experienced, subside. It means giving up packaged, processed foods such as cereal, crackers, cookies, pasta, pizza, burritos, hamburger and hotdog buns, tacos, flour tortillas, bread of all kinds, bread sticks, churros, pastries, cupcakes, and, of course, cake.

And ditch all the fast food, of course. No more drive thru for a while. A LOOOONG while. I know. I've been through the drive thru many a time. I finally came to the realization that all I was giving up was the mega-size, mega-fat, mega-sugar, mega-wheat, megamega-salt, mega-carbolicious, corn-fed, antibiotic treated, hormone-injected, heartburn inducing, heart attack in the making, factory farms and slaughter houses. Like I said, it took me 20 years to fully unwind THAT clock. Pavlov's Dog, I was.

Regarding the antibiotic treatment that many farm factory animals undergo, meat producers are supposed to give the treated animal enough time to flush the antibiotics from their systems before they are slaughtered. Methinks that's probably not checked up on as closely as Id like as there are a lot of cattle being harvested and not enough government agricultural inspectors to oversee or even catch the offenders. This leaves open the possibility that the antibiotics are getting into our food supply and we're consuming the prescriptive medication unknowingly. All I know is, I got questions.

But, like I've said, if I'm good and 'eat clean' all of the time, well then when I go to Dodgers Stadium, I'm gonna have a Dodger Dog and slather it with mustard. No soda, though. Never again. Like drinking acid, for me. Bottled water. And two fishoil capsules. The fishoil and the hotdog together make for my smooth elimination later, with no constipation or bearing down intensely, ever. EVER. Smooth as a yogurt machine. I've said that before.

I'm simply not going to deny myself tastes every once in a while. I feel I can only do that because my immune system is no longer fighting me and I'm no longer fighting it. We're intimate partners and I'm going to do my best to protect my best friend, my immune system, from toxins and exacerbators. I'm worth the extra effort to do right for me.

UNLIKELY SOURCES OF WHEAT - REMEMBER TO READ ALL LABELS :

Processed meats, all snack foods, BEER (omg, did I say beer?? I did...!), soups and sauces, salad dressings, supplements, vitamins and - be aware of this one - IN MEDICATIONS! Some of the GLUTEN in medications comes in the form of disintegrating agents. I understand lists of these drugs have been compiled but but be aware that pharma formulas are subject to change. ALWAYS contact your doctor, pharmacist and the pharmaceutical company, if you have questions about GLUTEN SENSITIVITY and your medication.

THE IRONCLAD RULE : READ ALL PACKAGE LABELS

Ever notice a banana doesn't have a bar code? That's because it's naturally unprocessed. Fruits and veggies don't come with bar codes. Only processed foods have bar codes. Like everything that comes in a box or a can or shrink wrapped.

READ THE LABELS OF ALL PROCESSED FOODS ! Before you buy any processed food, any food that comes in a jar, can, plastic container, paper or shrink wrap packaging or a box. I was amazed at how wheat is in most everything I had been consuming outside of fresh, whole foods.

READ THE LABELS because your health depends on knowledge and knowledge is the power that makes change possible. Know the grains that carry gluten and avoid them. Once you discover the sources, it's a real eye-opener.

READ THE LABELS simply because it's what's about to be consumed, by you or someone you love.






GLUTEN FREE GRAINS

NON GMO, organic rice, corn, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, quinoa (pronounced: KEEN-wah), and amaranth.


THE CHALLENGE :

In learning the ingredients of many packaged products, guess what? Wheat is in so many processed foods, it's almost in everything that comes in a box or can. Once I started reading labels, I felt I could make an informed decision that was best for me.

I've come to believe that bread, much of it marketed with the 'whole-grain goodness' and heart-healthy seal, has ingredients (mostly gluten-rich, whole wheat flour) that have simply been over-processed to favor taste over nutrition. I believe our factory food processing ends up killing much of the nutritional value of the original ingredients leaving us with nutritionally shallow ingredients, ingredients that end up starving our cells if not kept in balance by real, whole foods. We cannot live on processed grains, injected with fat, salt and sugar or artificial sweeteners, without having the nutritionally dense counterpart of running the bad bacteria out of town with fresh whole foods. With many Americans getting 62% of their nutrition from processed foods and only 10% of their nutrition from fruits and veggies, the living content of our food is far outweighed by the nutrient shallow or dead nutrition of processed foods.

I believe, for all intents (taste and mouth-feel), a lot of processed food is dead food. Not simply 'junk food,' which leaves open the possibility that it's somehow still food. DEAD food. Food with no value except as taste and mouth-feel. And junk food is also, simply: dead food. I'm just saying it's my belief, you understand. It's because I was a zombie.

No surprise then, I'm not getting any calls to be an agribusiness marketing director. Probably because I have no credentials and I'm not a scientist or doctor and I don't eat their products all that much anymore. I get it. I'm not the mascot, ra ra cheerleader for factory processed food.

However, I AM the RAW RAW cheerleader for REAL food. My philosophy: My food choices should come as close to the earth with as little processing as possible.






So, modern American meals might look like this:

BREAKFAST (If eaten at all):

A $5 Coffee at the drive-thru, maybe an energy shot with a granola or protein bar

A breakfast of champions with milk, a slice of whole wheat buttered toast or maybe a bagel with cream cheese and a glass of orange juice. Add a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Take some coffee for the road, too.

LUNCH (Ofen grabbed, convenient, fast and tasty):

A sub sandwich, burger, burrito, or pizza and fries and a soda or energy shot

DINNER (rarely the same time each night) :

More bread, breaded chicken or fish, some burger/chicken creation with noodles or meatballs with spaghetti; chips, crackers, tortillas, stuffing, tacos, burritos, ramen noodles, dessert.

DESSERT (If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding, and you can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!

Some combination of sugar, more sugar, high-gluten pastry flour, butter or cream, milk chocolate and egg. In my mind, it's a lot of dead food. The bread, spaghetti, pasta, and cookies have been refined to where my body thinks it's just pure sugar; the dairy, ice cream, milk, cream cheese and orange juice has all been boiled to death - using a process called pasteurization - and then has had stuff injected back into the science experiment, like extra calcium and vitamin D.

When I eliminated wheat from my food choices, I eliminated two of my potential exacerbators at the same time: gluten and refined sugar. For me, these two are also two of the offenders in the accumulation of free radicals and oxidative stress.

When I eliminated concentrated fruit juice, coffee, and soda, I eliminated a lot of dead food choices as well as a considerable amount of acid. Concentrated juices, particularly orange juice, has a wallop or both acid and sugar, soda and coffee are also sugary and acidic. And my body runs smoothly without these personal exacerbators of mine.

Not to mention the perpetual confusion my body has had regarding dead food. My living cells continuously tell me, they love real living foods. Would I feed my dog dead food? How about my fish? Would I feed my plants acid? Of course I wouldn't. So, I should treat my body as good or better than my pets or plants. Certainly, it's a goal.

For me, knowledge is power. If the right answer is out there and I find it, I'm going to keep it. My tongue ain't gonna rule alone. My brain, and feeding it good ideas, is how I work best. My journey has allowed me to discover a lot about how our food is made and how it might be a clue to an environmental contributing factor to my dis-ease.

GLUTEN PLUS all the processed sugar PLUS the possibility that it truly is dead food, ADD UP to food choices guaranteed to screw up my digestive system. Like gifts of crap I don't know what do do with, guess what happens? My body reacts to white refined flour as if I was eating a bowl of ice cream. Over-processed, dead food that is mostly recognized as sugar by my body, is no longer welcome in my smorgasbord of real food choices.

I've concluded that, for myself, the substances marketed to me as bread, pasta, pastry, donuts, mac and cheese, and especially those floury confections large and small that have that wonderful mouth feel and deliciousness, are not only possible antigens contributing to my digestive distress, it helps me to view these items as dead food.

Grains pulverized beyond recognition, dairy and juices pasteurized so that anything good is killed by also being boiled to death, it's all, just sayin' now: DOA...Dead On Arrival.

ULCERATIVE COLITIS : PREBIOTICS & PROBIOTICS











PREBIOTICS, PROBIOTICS, AND GUT HEALTH



What do the terms PREBIOTICS and PROBIOTICS refer to?



The term PREBIOTICS refers to the good food for the good bacteria. Good bacteria like to multiply and the love PREBIOTICS (such as fructooligosacharides - pronounced: frookto-ahleego-sakarides) for food. Fortunately for us, we don't have to pronounce it, we just have to provide it. And where are all these fructoligosacharides lurking?

In all the plants we are capable of eating. PREBIOTICS are found in all fruits and vegetables.

PROBIOTICS love to reproduce in an environment loaded with PREBIOTICS and other PROBIOTICS for friends and lovers. Since they're the good bacteria, we want a fit family of friendly flora.

The bacteria that reside in our gut are, in effect, an organ of the body. Each of us has over three pounds of bacteria in our small intesting alone. Our conventianal high-carb diet in America, being heavy on sugars and processed foods, is a formula for digestive dis-ease, also known as DYSBIOSIS, or poor digestive function.

The term PROBIOTICS refers to the good bacteria, or probiotic organisms, that reside in a person's gut. PROBIOTICS help the digestive processes stay smooth and help support efficient overall digestion and utilization of the energy consumed. PROBIOTICS have a reputation of being able to help with one's ability to manage internal stressors and inflammation. Probiotics are happiest when there is more of them and fewer bad guys. When the bad bacteria overruns the good bacteria, that's when there's possible trouble brewing.

Like a volcano sometimes. Been there done that, thank you very much. Had to cool down the hot lava, if you know what I mean.

In addition to eating my fruits and veggies on a daily basis, with each meal, I have found a PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT that I also take.

I take a PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT that has been combined with a PREBIOTIC (fructooligosacharides) so as to help the probiotics on their way to the small and large intestine. Remember, they have to get through the bath of stomach acid, survive that, and then colonize in the lower intestines.

A CAUTIONARY NOTE ABOUT PROBIOTICS

Always consult your doctor before introducing any supplements into your food choices.
Supplements can have unpleasant side effects or conflicts with any medication you're now taking.






When I first started with PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION, I didn't know what to expect. What I discovered was that it's a delicate balance of bacteria in my gut. I noticed at first that there was extra activity in my gut. Noises, flatulence, gas. I learned that this is a common reaction in the first phase of PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION.

What I pictured was going on was something like this: There was inflammation and damage and there was a lot of work to do. Things down there had been badly connected. Things were shredded, inflamed and not able to do their job. Well, probiotics were the reinforcements, the cavalry so to speak, coming to the rescue of my poor depleted gut. And for the first week, it was farty party time.

My gut was overrun by bad bacteria. I sent in the good bacteria which went to work immediately at cleaning up the toxins and waste and bringing balance back to my gut. PROBIOTICS are extremely hardy and hard working. But to overcome the advantage that the bad bacteria had, the good bacteria had to both colonize and get rid of the bad bacteria. In the beginning this was a heavy lift.

I learned the extra gas and flatulence I was experiencing was a common reaction that many people have.

Good thing was, when the good bacteria got back into balance and took over ruling my gut, all the gas and flatulence went away. It was like the good guys, the good bacteria, was working in an immune system that had become a sewer of criminal bad bacteria guys. It took a while for the good guys to kick the bad guys out. That noisy gas and flatulence was only temporary, yet a logical consequence. For me, it lasted less than a week. I continue to take them regularly although not every day. Now that my system is built up again, fruits and veggies do a great job without PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION.

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

If I took an extra capsule (say I took two instead of one), it was like I put party hats on all my good bacteria. They worked TOO well to the point that they were causing me to have an extra urgency to go when I had to go. It was like they were so happy, they couldn't wait to get my ass to the bowl to show me.






So, because I'm always listening to my body, I cut my PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION down to just one pill (even though the dosage is for two). When I take my PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT of one capsule, I found that's just right for me. Presently, because I get most of my pre- and probiotics through the consumption of fermented dairy, fruits, nuts, and veggies, I now supplement with pre- and probiotics 4 days a week, average. It's all about balance. And it's an everyday process.

If you decide with your doctor that PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION is a course for you to take, be aware of these possible reactions. For me, the gas and flatulence was temporary and cleansing in the short run. I wasn't afraid of the gas knowing that it was the result of the PROBIOTICS doing their work.

And now you know why broccoli might give you gas: PROBIOTICS. You just can't stop them from doing their work unless they're overrun by the bad guys. Unless, of course, you followed your steak and broccoli with that hot lava cake ala mode.

FINAL NOTE OF CAUTION REGARDING PROBIOTICS

If you've never taken probiotics before, and your doctor has given you the ok, follow your doctor's orders.

Supplements can have powerful effects and you'll want to ease into them. No two of us respond the same way.

I found that, for myself, I go slowly at first with any new supplement I want to take. Whatever the bottle says, I cut the dose in half. I take this half-dose for about a week to see how my body responds. At that point, I usually know how well my body is tolerating the new addition.

So, for me and only me, a daily multi-strain probiotic is essential to me managing my inflammation and gut health. Doctors are slowly beginning to understand the benefits of taking PROBIOTICS after a dose of ANTIBIOTICS. When you have to take an antibiotic, many doctors are now advising their patients to follow your antibiotic 2 hours later with a quality, multistrain PROBIOTIC. It will help the good bacteria stay strong in spite of the onslaught of antibiotics.

Ask your doctor about all of this nonsense, of course.

REMEMBER, ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT ANY AND ALL OF YOUR HEALTH CONCERNS. I AM DEFINITELY NOT A DOCTOR OF ANYTHING. I MAY BE AN ALIEN FROM ANOTHER PLANET. I'VE BEEN ACCUSED.




Dr. John Bergman gives an overview of the prevalence of anti-bacterial agents in our environment and food and how to counteract the effects through avoidance as well as consuming probiotics through the foods we choose. Discusses the benefits of home-fermentation of veggies.  Imperative protocol in the search for gut healing.

ULCERATIVE COLITIS : SUPER FOODS TO FIGHT INFLAMMATION














NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS HEALTHY FEELS.

For more ideas regarding IBD management, copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.pinterest.com/graybecker/IBD/

Also check out: http://www.pinterest.com/graybecker/FoodforGoodHealth



Excellent overview of the power of Spirulina.  Add to smoothies!

ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE MAKING ANY CHANGES IN YOUR FOOD CHOICES. MAKE SURE YOU'RE NOT ALLERGIC TO FISH OR ANY OF THE FOODS MENTIONED IN THIS BLOG. BE AWARE THAT CERTAIN FOODS CAN AND WILL INTERFERE WITH YOUR MEDICAL TREATMENT. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR AND PHARMACIST ABOUT ALL POSSIBLE DRUG AND FOOD INTERACTIONS AND THEIR SIDE EFFECTS.


WHAT ARE SUPER FOODS?

SUPER FOODS are the foods many nutritionists recognize as having the best reputations for nutrition and ease of digestion. By their nature, SUPER FOODS have a nourishing, calming and soothing effect. SUPER FOODS in the plant family add vital MICRONUTRIENTS to the digestive process, leaving behind a healthy intestinal flora, also known as the good gut bacteria necessary for the immune system to manage inflammation caused by consuming processed foods. The more (organic) Super Foods I include in my daily energy consumption, the better my whole body seems to operate.

And my reward? I'm going to say it... there is nothing like a nice, daily, smooth as a yogurt machine, healthy bowel movement. Remember, it wasn't always like that for me. It took me a long time to learn about my body. I come from a meat and potatoes background: Cereal, eggs, bacon, hamburgers and fries, grilled steaks and potatoes, maybe a green bean or some iceberg lettuce with bottled dressing, Pizza and Pasta, all the tasty stuff. Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less? I was SO THERE. Change didn't come easy. It took me 20 years...

In the beginning stages after my IBD diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis, I didn't know there was so much more to possible food choices, choices that would be better for my condition. I had to open myself to new taste adventures.

I had to be open to the change so the change could open me. It wasn't easy getting used to having fish and some of these Super Foods on a regular basis. Some of them had a definite 'yuck' factor when I was growing up. Spinach and broccoli and Brussels sprouts? Uh, no thanks. Pass the mashed potatoes and gravy please. Ok, I'll put some peas in there and mix it up.

Here are the Super Foods I try to eat. Maybe not all of them, maybe some on occasion, some not at all. But if I eat from the list, pick and choose what I really like, I feel I'm doing my body good. Making a list of these items makes it a no-brainer when I get to the market.

FISH

I always buy wild caught fish. Farmed fishes are not the same as wild caught. There are lots of fish farms overseas and, quite frankly, I'm not clear about the way farmed fish are fed, how much room they have to swim around, if they've been treated with antibiotics, what kind of feed they're getting, and if they've been exposed to toxins or disease while being raised.

As a consequence, I only go for the wild caught fishes. I always ask my butcher about their recommendations, too.

Here are some of the fish with the best reputations. I got this list from AARP THE MAGAZINE / AARP.ORG. They had an article on nutrition written by Jessica Girdwain.

You can see, there's a lot to choose from.

Wild Caught: Salmon - Copper River Salmon (when in season) - Tuna (canned, dolphin-free label) - Rainbow Trout - Pollock - Catfish - Canned Sardines - Mackerel - and Barramundi.

All these fish are rich in EFA's, essential fatty acids, among them is probably the best known: Omega 3. Remember, we cannot synthesize EFA's on our own, we must consume EFA's from food sources. I take the word to heart: Essential, as in, gotta have.


SUPER FRUITS and VEGGIES -

Blueberries
Broccoli
Bananas
Brussels Sprouts
Dried Plums (prunes)






COOKING WITH SPICES

A COUNT-DOWN OF THE TOP TEN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SPICES - Gourmet Italian Spice, Thyme, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Apple Pie Spice and Ginger, Jacaican All-Spice, Cinnamon, Cloves, and, the number one anti-inflammatory spice....Turmeric.


There are abundant choices and variety all season, all year long. I've had to learn to cook a little bit. The great thing about fish is that you can use a similar recipe on each kind of fish you like. Soft, flakey goodness, every mouthful, soft and tender and delicious. Smooth and easy.


As much as possible, I go organic with all food items. Naturally, it's more difficult when eating out as the possibility of cross contamination in a high volume cooking environment, unless it's exclusively organic. I eat more plants than meat, a lot more plants. And I eat plants with my meat proteing. And the meat I buy is either cut, whole or ground free-range organic poultry, ground organic turkey and organic, grass-fed beef. When I buy my meat this way, I feel more confident that antibiotics, hormones, and corn-fed nonsense is not part of the life history of what I'm consuming. Here are the foods I eat, by category. If you see an asterisk after an item ( * ), it has been reported by others as an allergen/exacerbator.

MY ORGANIC PROTEIN SOURCES

ORGANIC EGGS* - I buy organic, large or extra large eggs. I eat the whole egg, one or two at a time, just as our ancestors did. Versatile preparation.

WILD CAUGHT FISH - Salmon (Copper River Salmon, when in season), sodium-free Yellowfin, albacore or chunky Tuna, Dover Sole, and Tilapia. All mild.

LEAN, ORGANIC, GRASS-FED, PASTURE-RAISED BEEF. Taste: Delicious. No more than 4-5 ounces at a sitting. A big dose of quality Omega 3's, too! Figure that!

ORGANIC VEGETARIAN FED FREE-RANGE POULTRY I prefer chicken and turkey. NATURADE SOY-FREE VEG PROTEIN BOOSTER in my Vegetable-Fruit-Nut Smoothies. The product I use is Naturade's Soy Free Veg Protein Booster

NUTS AND SEEDS * My probiotics, my good gut bacteria, love my daily consumption of nuts and seeds. Cholesterol free, good fats, quality plant protein. All in a little nut. And if you are what you eat, then I'm thoroughly nuts about nuts.

I eat the following combinations of nuts throughout the day. A little handful keeps the munchies away. This habit also allows me to control my blood sugar during the whole day. No spiking allowed. I fear not the fat because these nuts provide me with essential fats, fats that my body needs but doesn't produce on its own, fats that all my functions need to function. I am not fat-free. But the fats I consume have a good reputation. Fish provides those good fats, too. We'll get to fish in a moment, but they call fish brain food because the essential fatty acids provided by fish are necessary for healthy brain function. If your body doesn't produce something, like Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) or Vitamin C for example, and yet your body needs this in order to run like a smooth machine, where you gonna go? Of course, you're going to go to the sources so your body is happy. Nuts and fish and organic meat protein can be trusted sources.

Peanuts (really not a nut; technically a legume)(Allergen Alert: You probably already know if you're allergic)
Almonds
Cashews
Pistacios
Sunflower seeds

Other seeds I eat: Hemp seeds (probably the perfect food), Chia Seeds (excellent fiber and health and gut benefits) and Flax Seeds (healthy fat). I add the seeds mentioned to salads, tuna, baked or grilled fish, veggies, greek yogurt, and I add a bunch to my peanut and almond nut butters for additional nutrition.

FRUIT

I eat all my fruit as a meal or snack all by itself itself. I always add a variety of nuts and seeds to sliced bananas. I eat the whole fruit and make my own smoothies with the whole fruit.

Papaya - great for smooth digestion Bananas - probiotics, my good bacteria, love bananas. I will often have one or two a day.
Blueberries - Powerful Antioxidant reputation.
Antioxident Apples - gentle fibre, a sweet treat.
Cherries
Red and Black Berries
Grapes
Guava
Pineapple
Mango
Watermelon and all melons
Lemons and Limes, sparingly






DAIRY - I MAKE ONE EXCEPTION

Fermented foods, like yogurt and kefir, are food choices of mine. They come pre-packed with valuable probiotics, the good bacteria, for my gut. I don't overdo it, but I do enjoy a few dollops of Trader Joe's Organic, plain, Greek or fat-free yogurt as well as their Strawberry Kefir. I'll often place those dollops on bananas along with some nuts, cacao powder

I'll add it to my smoothies and I find it goes great with all fruit. I'll add a sprinkle of cinnamon and drizzle some honey on top of that. I will then top everything off with shavings of Trader Joe's 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate. The higher the cacao content, the better. Cacao is pronounced like the word "Kapow!" with the emphasis on the second syllable. I consume maybe an ounce of dark chocolate a day, so it takes me about two weeks to consume the huge, 17oz bar. That's over a pound of dark chocolate, about a half a pound a week. I could never feel deprived of chocolate.

And not only do I get my sweet tooth satisfied, my probiotics love the cacao content in dark chocolate, too. I've tried bars with up to 85% cacao, and I like the Trader Joe's 72% Dark Chocolate the best.

SUGAR DO'S AND DON'T'S


When I have a sugary treat or some fruit, I want to enjoy it. Getting a stomach ache and taking antacids to feel better doesn't make me feel better. As a consequence, I never combine fruit with beef or poultry protein. A little mango salsa might be the exception as a condiment that can be ok because the portion is small. With fish, because fish is a quick protein to digest, you can get away with a fruit condiment and not suffer any consequences. But when you have a big meat protein meal and polish it off with coffee with sugar and cream and a slice of pie with ice cream or some chocolate lava cake, you're asking for the double whammy. And if you've been nursing that fruity alcohol drink that you can drink all night long, well a special treat is in store for you.

Why? Because a meat meal takes longer to digest than (fruit) sugar and when the two are conbined, usually the sweets are last to enter the tummy, the result is fermentation, gas and flatulence. It would actually be better if dessert and all the sugary stuff was eaten first. That way, the quicker digesting sugar would have a headstart and not get plugged up by all that protein.

However, that's not what we like to do. We like to follow a nice, rich, salty, fatty meal, with s sugary dessert and drink. It's so much nicer to have a sweet taste in your mouth at the end of a delicious meal. Over and over, we pay for that in intestinal discomfort.

And don't tell me I can take an antacid or some other OTC (Over the Counter) pill or tablet for that. Why do you think they come with a two-week warning?

Because they're for emergencies only, not for everyday use. They're just an over the counter, stomach acid inhibitor. Antacids are not good for my condition except immediate relief once in a while. Like the ad says, don't get heartburn in the first place. Over time, it would only make me worse.

I tell you though, it does take all the fun out of gorging myself. I once ate like eight slices of cheesecake. I was so full, I nearly exploded. I was driving to Los Angeles from San Diego. My stomach kept honking the horn. My stomach was tight as a drum, it was so full. It was before I was diagnosed with UC.

VEGGIES

These are the real superstars and heroes in my arsenal. The good news, you can eat ALL YOU WANT! Steam or Cook veggies until they are soft for easier digestion. Veggies go with anything so explore and choose from the rainbow of colors and flavors.

In the beginning of my journey, I wouldn't eat the stalks of certain veggies like asparagus or broccoli, only the soft, flowering tops. Easy breezy.

Avocado - Awesome, simply awesome. Cut one in half, scoop into a bowl, smoosh together with a little lemon and powdered garlic. Add a hard boiled egg, lunch. Side of wild salmon, asparagus or broccoli, dinner.

Asparagus
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Carrots
Zuchini
Bell Peppers, Green, Red, Yellow, Orange
Celery, great with nut butters Onions Garlic Jalapenos (probiotics love peppers) Peas

ROOTS

I always wash thoroughly and buy organic whenever possible. I also eat the skins.

Sweet Potatoes
Yams
Parsnips
Beets - challenging to cook, but a real superstar

SPICES

Adds the flavor; again, try to go organic whenever you can.

Cinnamon - powerhouse anti-oxidant properties reported. Sprinkle and drizzle with honey on your favorite fruit.

Turmeric
Vegetable salt
Kosher Salt
Black or White Pepper
Chili Powder, for my organic turkey beef chili

SWEETENERS

Think: all natural, organic

Raw Honey
Stevia (no calorie, natural plant-based super sweetener) A couple of drops in a cup of tea is plenty. Experiment, it's potent
Coconut Crystals (a low-glycemic sugar alternative) Looks and satisfies like brown sugar.



Dr. Mercola talks about the benefits of coconut oil



Dr. Mercola talks about the benefits of coconut oil in his diet.