For those of you that follow me on Instagram or are my friend on Facebook, you know that this compliments the series of videos that I posted regarding how I have successfully come off all my medication for Crohn’s disease, thyroid disease, adrenal fatigue, etc…naturally through diet, supplementation, and lifestyle changes! This article is a review of the videos I posted yesterday regarding healing foods and nutrition to combat disease.
I decided to talk about diet/nutrition first because I know that’s what most people are curious about. BUT I do not feel that diet is the MOST important aspect of healing. What do you think it is????
Kelly Turner, author of Radical Remission: The Nine Key Factors That Can Make A Real Difference, is an amazing female and researcher who has traveled the world studying cancer patients who have achieved radical remission from cancer totally through diet and lifestyle changes. Even stage 4 cancer you guys…isn’t that phenomenal!! Of the thousands she has interviewed, she came up with 9 common traits among all of them that are key factors for healing. I’m not going to list all of those factors here, you can look them up! But she discovered that only TWO are physical…radically changing your diet AND using herbs/supplements. The other SEVEN are all mental, emotional, or spiritual. Surprised by that???
I have studied and researched MANY people over the past 4-5 years. Unfortunately, most conventional medicine doctors do not educate patients on the importance of nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes in healing disease. Maybe due to ignorance and not being taught in medical school or the focus on prescription drugs to “cure” although they really just band-aid the problem and cause new problems. Maybe due to demand to see a growing number of patients and monetary reasons. I don’t know but it’s sad. So I’ve been left to my own devices to learn how to heal myself. Here are just a few of the people I have researched and admire:
- Anthony William
- Chris Wark (radical remission from cancer)
- Terry Wahls (radical remission from MS)
- Kelly Turner
- Josh Axe
- Kris Carr (radical remission from cancer)
- Amy Myers (thyroid guru)
- Elaine Gottschall (autoimmune guru)
- Alan Christianson
- Mark Hyman
- Thomas Rau
- Steven Gundry
And MANY more! But these are the few whose principles I have adopted in my own diet and lifestyle. And through my research, I have tried just about every diet/nutrition plan imaginable to treat disease, including but not limited to:
- Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
- GAPS Diet
- Paleo and Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) Protocol
- Wahls Protocol
- Chris Wark Cancer Diet
- Medical Medium Nutrition Principles and Cleanses
- Rau Diet
- Adrenal Reset Diet
- Blood Type Diet
- Gundry Protocol
And guess which one worked for me??? NOT A SINGLE ONE!!! It has been a combination of principles from every single diet/nutrition plan that I have researched. You see, not one plan will work for everybody. It’s not intended to. We are all unique and different so why would one standard protocol work for everyone? So I have, through trial and error, discovered what works for me. And I’ve made A LOT of mistakes along the way and I am still learning. But I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do to continue my healing journey. I am going to share some of that with you BUT just remember, what works for me may not 100% work for you!
What has worked for me:
80-90% plant-based diet – LOTS of fruits and vegetables, minimal healthy fats and moderate protein, all from plant sources EXCEPT protein (see below) – I am not 100% vegan or vegetarian although I eat the majority of food that fits into those lifestyles.
100% organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO – let me stress the organic here. I know not everyone can afford organic BUT do you realize all the hazardous chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers that are put on conventional produce?? It is sickening and all of these chemicals are SO harmful and detrimental to our health…proven to cause cancer and a whole host of other diseases. I would STRONGLY recommend buying organic and washing your produce thoroughly!
Mainly cooked vegetables – I cannot do a lot of raw veggies, causes me too much digestive distress. I know raw is best because the food retains all of it’s nutrients and you lose some of the nutrients through the cooking process, but I absolutely cannot do it. So I lightly steam or sauté my vegetables and am careful to not overcook them.
No beans/peas/lentils – I do not digest them well. I am actually highly intolerant and allergic to green peas, kidney beans, and soybeans, as discovered by a recent food intolerance/allergy test.
I need a little more protein than what is provided in just fruits and vegetables – And this is true of most with digestive disorders or those who have had portions of your intestines removed due to absorption issues. So here is where I have some animal sources of protein since I cannot eat many of the plant-based sources. I will have salmon (not everyday), marine collagen, and bone broth, which is SUPER healing. So I drink 1-2 servings of bone broth a day.
Avoid most grains – I have found that I personally do better eliminating most grains from my diet, particularly rice and rice products (which I ate A TON of while competing!). I will regularly eat gluten free organic oats and quinoa and do just fine with those!
Minimal but enough of the right kinds of fats – You may not be aware but people who have had any kind of abdominal surgery do not process/digest fats well. So I have learned the hard way that I MUST keep my fats minimal. I make sure I get all the essential fatty acids (omegas) daily from salmon, fish oil supplements, flax meal, hemp oil, and CLA (rotate this one in and out of my diet)
Rotate my food sources – Through the food intolerance/allergy test that I mentioned above, I discovered that because I was eating the same foods every single day and my intestines were still permeable, I had developed an intolerance or allergy to pretty much everything I was eating! Isn’t that wild??? Spinach, coconut, almonds, bananas, avocado to name a few. So I now rotate all my food every 3 days or so to make sure I do not develop an intolerance.
Daily goal of 9-10 cups of fruits and vegetables – I am for 3 cups of leafy greens, 3 cups of sulfur rich vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, etc.), and 3 cups of vividly colored fruits/vegetables (carrots, beets, berries, etc.) This is a Terry Wahls principle and it has helped me get all the vitamins and nutrients that I need.
Include probiotic rich foods daily – I supplement with a powerful probiotics (VSL #3) BUT your body much more readily absorbs vitamins, minerals, etc. through food. So I drink kombucha and eat sauerkraut or kimchi every day as well.
Include a lot of fresh herbs daily – Fresh will always trump dried of powered. So I put fresh thyme, oregano, basil, sage, dill, rosemary, cilantro, parsley on all of my meals. I also chop up fresh turmeric root and toss it in my meals as well. All of these are powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory!
Include iodine rich products daily – This is super important in thyroid health. And I am not talking about iodized table salt! This is horrible for you! I use dulse (seaweed) flakes and Celtic sea salt with sea vegetables…just sprinkle it on my food!
Include salt daily – Your adrenals NEED the right amount of salt in order to function properly. So I use pink Himalayan sea salt only and sprinkle it on all my meals. I aim for 2500-3000mg daily, which is fine for me because I do not have any heart issues.
Include 1-2 Brazil nuts daily – Brazil nuts are the richest food source of selenium. And selenium is super important in thyroid health. It is one of the key factors responsible for the conversion of T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (active thyroid hormone) on a cellular level. If this conversion doesn’t happen, you do not utilize thyroid hormone. Period. And as I mentioned above, getting vitamins and mineral through a food source will always trump a supplement. Selenium is also super important in breast health.
Drink lemon water and celery juice daily – For the past 6 months at least, I have started my day with 16-24oz celery juice and/or 16-24oz lemon water, fasted first thing in the morning after I wake up. And then wait about 30 minutes before I eat or drink anything else. Both of these are super hydrating and detoxifying for your liver. I will drink lemon water throughout the day as well. The majority of my fluids come from PURE WATER but I also drink matcha green tea and other herbal teas daily as well as kombucha, which I make myself!
And that’s about it! There are many other things I do as well but this sums up the most important dietary habits. I am not rigidly tracking my macronutrients right now which is super difficult for me since that is something that has been ingrained in me for the past 9 years while competing. BUT I do practice awareness and intuitive eating, making sure I eat when I’m hungry and eat until I’m full but not overly stuffed. Remember I’m missing over half of my large intestine so if I eat too much, where is all that food stored for elimination? And I absolutely will not absorb all the nutrients if I eat too much. So I makes sure I eat smaller meals and I eat every 2-3 hours to keep my adrenals and thyroid happy and to keep my blood sugar steady since I’ve been know to have low blood sugar issues.
That about wraps it up for today! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about YOUR healing journey! 😊