You guys remember Kyle right?
He’s the UC’er (yes we’re still going to call him that even though his diagnosis was recently changed to Crohn’s which is the big cousin of UC in the IBD family of fun) who’s living up in Washington state with his wife. And, most importantly, he’s gone from healthy to sick, then to several different medications, and now he’s predominantly treating his IBD with diet. The SCD diet. (Kyle’s previous stories can be found here if you want to start reading his stories from the very beginning)
He done real well with it, but like many people, he still has a few hurdles he needs to overcome to be feeling how he wants to feel. There’s this cramping feeling that just won’t seem to go away, and basically, as you might guess….he’s sick and tired of it.
So, I asked him to follow up with me from his previous post, with a detailed summary of exactly what he’s eating and drinking. And, in true Kyle fashion, he took the next several days and put it all down in his journal. And he’s doing us all a pretty big favor by allowing everyone to see what it is he’s doing, and now maybe we can give him some pointers.
I told Kyle I’d go through his food journal and post my ideas/feedback for him and for anyone else. So, read on to what Kyle wrote, and if you have any input or ideas, please let your ideas be known as Kyle is almost there in feeling 100%. For more information on the SCD diet, you can read the SCD diet basics post, I wrote several years ago with my take on how eating can calm and eventually eliminate the digestive disruptions that lead to UC symptoms.
Kyle wrote to me the below text via email two days ago:
I notice the cramping at all times, it usually gets more intense as the day wears on, could be because I am eating throughout the day and food passing through brings about the cramping. But who really knows? Below is a list of the meals that I ate throughout the weekend.
The cramping for me isn’t a new thing, it has been going on throughout the entirety of my walk with Colitis and then now into Crohn’s. It has been less severe and obviously during flares it has been more, but I really have never been without it in the two years I have been walking with IBD. If you have any insight or ideas I am open to things.
I started the SCD fully back in November and have been strict to it ever since. I followed the phase list that Jordan and Steve put together on SCDlifestyle.com, waiting 3-4 days when introducing each food. The hard part for me is the cramping has been with me the whole time so it is hard to figure out what could cause what, because I have always had the same feeling. None the less, I feel it gave me gut full healing time. Thanks so much for being will to help. I appreciate it very much. Chat with you very soon!
Kyle’s Food Journal Log
(No illegals in any of the supplements)
Morning: two eggs with small pieces of yellow pepper cooked in organic coconut oil with a ripe banana (Yellow with brown spots) and a glass of apple juice (not from concentrate, half water and juice)
Snack: Grapes and Strawberries
Lunch: Stir Fry – Cooked carrots, broccoli, onion, and peppers and pan cooked chicken – cooked in Extra Virgin Olive Oil seasoned with Cumin, Salt and Pepper – Water to Drink
Snack: Cherry Pie LARA Bar
Dinner: Grilled Rainbow Trout seasoned with salt and pepper; grilled green beans topped with fresh basil – Water to Drink
Snack: ripe banana (Yellow with brown spots)
Morning: two eggs with small pieces of red onion cooked in organic coconut oil with a ripe banana (Yellow with brown spots) and four strawberries and a glass of apple juice (not from concentrate, half water and juice)
Snack: Grapes and Watermelon; handful of almonds
Lunch: Leftovers from yesterdays lunch; Stir Fry – Cooked carrots, broccoli, onion, and peppers and pan cooked chicken – cooked in Extra Virgin Olive Oil seasoned with Cumin, Salt and Pepper – glass of apple juice (not from concentrate, half water and juice)
Snack: Bare Fruit Apple Chips
Dinner: Grilled Chicken, salad with cucumbers and tomatoes, watermelon – water to drink
Snack: Ripe Banana with almond butter
Breakfast: 3 pieces of legal crisp bacon, blueberries, 1 piece of watermelon and a ripe banana – glass of apple juice (not from concentrate, half water and juice)
Snack: Traders Joe’s unsweetened & unsalted dried apples, baby carrots, watermelon
Late Lunch/Early Dinner: Lettuce tacos – ground turkey seasoned with cilantro, cumin and salt ;cooked with jalapenos, red onion, yellow pepper, and garlic; topped with an avocado and homemade cabbage salsa – honey, salt, tomatoes, cabbage, red onion, jalapeno cilantro, squeezed lime and lemon juice – glass of apple juice (not from concentrate, half water and juice)
Breakfast: Morning: three eggs with small pieces of red onion cooked in organic coconut oil with a handful of blue berries and a glass of apple juice (not from concentrate, half water and juice)
Meal Plan Review
Kyle, thanks again for sharing everything, and I have a few ideas on what I would do if I was in your shoes. There’s a few different routes you could take, so look them over and see what sounds the best, or try them all out. Everyone’s body is different at the end of the day, and there’s no silver bullet that is a one size fits all when it comes to diet control of UC (or Crohn’s), so seeing what works for you is key.
- Eliminate the Apple Juice and substitute for water. (Yes this is going to drop your calorie intake, and I’m sure the apple juice tastes great, but I would give that a try. I for example can tolerate orange juice much much better than apple juice, and I learned this early on with a juicer, juicing my own apples.
- I would also eliminate the apple chips for the time being and change out to watermelon to eliminate them completely from your diet in this testing phase
- Eliminate the eggs from your diet completely. There is a decent size group of people who have trouble digesting eggs, and this is by no means limited to people with IBD, it spans across the globe for that matter IBD or not. So, if that is an issue for your system, by eliminating that, and I would recommend swapping them out with some other protein like chicken fillets (for example) or maybe a fillet of fish for the time being, that may also be an easy way to determine if you are having negative reactions to eggs. I know this may sound like no way to start the morning, with chicken or fish, but you for sure wouldn’t be the first to give this a try, and if you can get closer to figuring out what is troubling you on the cramping side of things, I think it’s well worth it.
- I would also remove the nut butters/nuts from your diet completely until you have removed the cramping feelings. Whatever you lose in terms of calories from that I would make up with an increase in protein some other way from your other meals(i.e. more chicken/fish).
- As for drinks, if you can stick with just water while figuring things out, great. I would add a squeeze of lemon into your morning water. Lots of good stuff in lemon that I think too many people forget about (and heck, there’s a UC’ers daughter in San Fran who absolutely swears by it for his daily morning drink along with apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon) and teaspoon of baking soda…:) But in the end, I think there is nearly zero chance of lemon juice in the water hurting you, I am yet to hear from someone who has been certain it was a negative…
Overall, I think you must be real close to having a happy digestive system, and I can for sure why you’re frustrated since you do follow the rules of SCD eating to a very high degree.
I realize you are taking some supplements (and a pred taper at the moment) and probiotics as well. You might also want to consider some raw sauerkraut which is packed full of probiotics (you can even just drink about a shots worth of the brine to get your fix), and that may also benefit you like it has many others.
There are my ideas, and these are the things I’d be thinking about if I was in your shoes. One thing for sure, don’t lose hope that you’ll get your body figured out. Awesome success is always just around the corner when things aren’t going well. And for sure please realize that I’m writing you today on my 5th anniversary of controlling my UC with diet, as I’ve been following the SCD diet for a full on five years now this August. Don’t get me wrong, it has not always been a super smooth battle, I’ve had some ups and downs. But I’ve learned along the way the limits of my body, and I’m so confident that many others can do the same if this type of IBD management is what they/you are looking for.
Best of luck Kyle,