Yogurt that hearts you

SCD/paleo/AIP coconut yogurt

SCD/paleo/AIP coconut yogurt – honey heart optional ūüėČ

Tonight when K offered me a snack, I asked her to bring me a bowl of my coconut yogurt with a drizzle of honey. I heard her dishing it up, and I heard her opening the cupboard where the honey is… and then I heard a lot of concentrating. Yes, I know K well enough to know the sound of her concentrating – even (and especially) when she’s being silent about it!

“You’re making a heart!” I shouted¬†from the lounge.

“What?! How did you know?”

Well, as I always like to remind K, I know everything ūüôā And I definitely know the sound of her turning my food into heart shapes.

And in case you were interested – yes, the yoghurt was especially delicious¬†because it takes about half a bottle of honey to make a heart ūüėČ

Here’s the recipe for my homemade coconut yogurt – SCD, paleo and AIP friendly. Honey-heart optional!

Shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash – paleo, SCD & autoimmune paleo

It’s the middle of winter in South Africa and it’s c-c-c-c-cold! Yesterday a gorgeous pink and orange sunrise warned us that there was foul weather afoot, and indeed, tonight the skies opened up and it’s¬†been bucketing down for hours here in Cape Town.

I wanted something hearty and filling for this chilly weather, and I also wanted to use what I had at home since pay day is only tomorrow ūüôā

I combined various recipes that I found for paleo shepherd’s pie, tweaking them based on the ingredients I had, and the result was deeeelicious! K wasn’t crazy about the cauliflower topping but that just meant more for me!

Oh, and apologies for the photo. We were so eager to tuck in that I only remembered to photograph it later… when this was¬†all that was left!

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Shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash – paleo, SCD & AIP

Paleo/SCD/AIP shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 medium or 3 thin sticks of celery, chopped
  • 400g mince (I used ostrich but you could use beef or any other)
  • 2/3 cup red wine or beef stock/broth
  • 1 heaped tsp tamarind paste (or 50g tomato paste if you’re not AIP)
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped finely
  • 250g button mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt & black pepper

Method

1. Place the cauliflower into a pot and boil until very soft, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, add onions, celery and carrots to a large pot with a knob of coconut oil. Fry on med-high heat, stirring often, until veg has softened – about 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Add mince and break up with a spoon. Add wine/stock and stir until evaporated/absorbed. Add tamarind paste/tomato paste and stir to incorporate.

3. Add rosemary, thyme, black pepper, salt and a good shake of cinnamon.

4. Add mushrooms and peas (from frozen is fine) and allow to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Add a dash of water if the mixture becomes too dry or catches on the bottom of the pot.

5. While the meat simmers, add salt, pepper and a knob of coconut oil to the cauliflower, and mash until soft.

6.  Transfer the meat to an oven proof dish and top with the cauliflower mash. Bake at 180C for 10 minutes and then grill until the mash browns on top, about 5 minutes. Tuck in!

The great thing about this recipe is that you can tweak it based on what you have at home and it’s still bound to be delicious. You can also use sweet potatoes for the mash instead of cauliflower. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

SCD & paleo: The good, the bad and the ugly (an honest post)

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Switching from a regular diet to SCD, paleo, autoimmune paleo (AIP) or any other healing diet is a massive¬†adjustment. Not only is it difficult to give up your favourite foods (or even just the foods that are quick and easy to prepare), but it’s also a huge psychological commitment too. In fact, if you don’t have a very clear goal in sight, it’s going to be almost impossible to stick to it.

Every couple of months, I’m hit by a fresh wave of how difficult this diet is. After 100 days on SCD¬†and just under¬†two months (so far) on¬†AIP, I’m mostly used to it. But every now and then, I snap and I’m like, ‘ARGH! I’m so OVER this diet!’. Like last night when I had an ‘egg meltdown’ in the kitchen, and threw a handful of boiled eggs around like a crazy person when I couldn’t peel them. “I’m SO OVER eating EGGGGGGGS!” I shrieked. “I’m so SICK OF THIS DIET! I want to be¬†NORMAL!!”

But after a couple of minutes I simmered down, pulled myself together, and went right back to eating the way I always do – and quite happily too. It got me thinking about all the difficult things about this diet – but also, the things that make it so very worthwhile too. Here’s my list, bearing in mind that’s it’s completely subjective and based on my own experiences.

The good

  • Your belly will feel better. Well, mostly. I still get bloated and uncomfortable from time to time, but I have no cramps or diarrhoea – a mercy! A week ago when I cheated, I was reminded of just why I’m on this incredibly wonderful, belly-loving diet.
  • Your skin may improve. Cutting out processed and sugar-laden foods can only be good for you. I’ve noticed that my skin is clearer and smoother, and other people have noticed too. It might also be thanks to the 2 litres of water I drink every¬†day ūüôā
  • You may lose weight. I lost a couple of kilograms while I was on SCD. They’ve come back due to the fact that I can’t seem to stop eating nuts and nut butters, but SCD is an excellent diet for anyone who has a few kilos to shift. By the same token, these diets can also help you to gain weight if you need to, thanks to the inclusion of healthy fats, eggs, nuts, etc.
  • You seldom¬†feel hungry. When I was on SCD, I found that I was eating all the time, not gaining weight (and losing in fact) and never feeling hungry.
  • The food can be delicious. This is not a diet of twigs and bits of bark. Sure, there’s no McDonald’s, but if you put a bit of thought and creativity into your cooking – especially when you’re eating paleo and have a bit more dietary freedom – you can create the most delicious meals that don’t taste like there’s anything ‘missing’ at all (and really, there isn’t).
  • Your bowel movements may improve.¬†This isn’t a given for everyone, especially those with IBD or other GI disorders. You’ll need to tweak your diet carefully to find the foods that promote good BMs for you, but cutting out the processed, unhealthy crap is an excellent place to start.
  • You save money. People often think that SCD or paleo can be more expensive than a regular diet. Admittedly, free range, grass-fed meat is more expensive and things like nuts, seeds and grain-free snacks don’t come cheap. But at the same time, you won’t be wasting money on fast food, cooldrinks, beer, chips, chocolate and any other junk you used to eat. Also, you’ll eat out less. Plus, all that fancy ‘superfood’ you find everywhere? The bars and snacks and ‘chocolates’ and other treats? Ignore them. They’re¬†overpriced and faddish. All you need is good, fresh fruit and vegetables, good quality meat and eggs, and raw seeds and nuts.
  • You’ll feel better psychologically.¬†I love knowing that I’m putting good, healing food into my body rather than food that’s further aggravating my damaged gut. Psychologically it’s really good for me, and anything that’s healthy for my mind is healthy for my body!

The bad

  • Goodbye to (many of) your fave foods. If you, like most people, enjoy a¬†good pizza or pasta, love to tuck into the occasional slice of cheesecake or feel soothed by¬†inhaling¬†three slabs of chocolate when you’re PMSing, this diet is going to be hard. There’s no way around it; there’s no substitute for gluten, dairy, processed sugar or¬†Cadbury’s. Accept it and say goodbye. Pizza, pasta, chocolate and fast food¬†– at least as you know them – are OUT.
  • Food boredom. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I don’t really get tired of eating the same old foods for weeks or months on end – well, I¬†rarely¬†do! But for some people, this is a real problem, especially if you’re used to eating a wide range of different food all the time.
  • Increased food prep time. On SCD especially, and especially in the early phases, you’ll be putting in hours of prep time each week. I used to spend my Sundays cooking up big batches of food for the week. As you progress on the diet, prep time decreases, and for paleo, you can learn to whip up amazing meals in minutes (especially if it’s steak and wilted spinach!).
  • Few ‘on the go’ snacks. On SCD and paleo, you always need to think ahead and carry food with you. There’s no more running into the shop¬†to grab a sandwich or a chocolate. It’s very difficult and sometimes impossible to find SCD legal or paleo sacks at convenience stores, so you’ll need to eat ahead or carry food with you.
  • It’s difficult to eat out. Whether at a restaurant or a friend’s house for dinner, dining away from home when you’re eating SCD or paleo is¬†hard. Personally, I hate being the person who asks what’s in every dish, or starts explaining my food intolerances to the waiters. I prefer to take my own food (if I go to friends for a meal) or to ‘pre-eat’ if we go to a restaurant that I know won’t serve SCD or paleo-friendly dishes.
  • Bye bye booze. Well, most of it anyway. Only dry wines, vodka and tequila are legal on SCD, and on AIP, it’s wine only (in fact, if you’re strictly SCD, paleo or AIP, you shouldn’t be drinking at¬†all).¬†
  • Socialising is harder. It’s only when you start eating strictly that you realise just how much of our daily lives involves food. When I walk around¬†markets, I have foods thrust under my nose to taste, and I find it hard to say no. When I meet new people in a setting where we’ll be eating, I inevitably have to explain my diet to them. At any kind of party, event or work function, you’re the one either not eating or having the host fuss around you, making sure there’s something for you to snack on. I know that for many people this isn’t an issue, but I hate being fussed over!
  • It’s almost impossible not to cheat. I’ve cheated a couple of times in the six months I’ve been eating SCD and paleo, and while I feel guilty about it, I realise that it was to be expected. Don’t give yourself permission to cheat – you need to commit to doing this properly – but if it happens unexpectedly, forgive yourself and move on. Strive to have longer and longer periods of clean eating between your cheats, until eventually you stop altogether.
  • Your energy levels may drop. Before I started the SCD diet, I used to do Jillian Michaels’ workouts about four times a week. I even had the beginnings of little biceps. After changing my diet, my strength plummeted. I couldn’t lift my dumbbells and I had zero energy for working out. Slowly over the months, my energy and strength have returned, and I’m actually, finally, able to complete a Jillian workout once again. I’ve read that it¬†can take up to a year for your former energy levels to return if you’re on SCD.

The ugly

  • Unpredictable bowel movements. On a diet like SCD or paleo, your bowel movements are most likely going to change, especially in the beginning. For me, it meant long stretches of constipation, strangely coloured excretions (yellowy-orange) and a lot of type 1s on the Bristol Stool Chart. For other people it could mean diarrhoea. It really depends on how your body handles the diet, but definitely expect a change in BMs. Also remember that if the diets don’t work for you, move on. The whole point of SCD and paleo is to try to heal your gut, so if they’re not working, find something else that will.
  • Bloating. GAH! My old frenemy. This is one of my biggest problems and the great thing about SCD is that it can help you to figure out what messes with your gut. Thanks to SCD, I realised that the only veg I can eat without bloating is butternut and gem squash! That’s all well and good, but I can’t go the rest of my life without greens. SCD in particular is very heavy on fruit and veg, and this can cause bloating, gas and discomfort. If you’re struggling with this, try limiting the amount of fruit, honey, eggs and nuts in your diet (or eliminate one at a time to try identify the culprit) – or give up the gas-producing veg for a while.
  • Samples. If you decide to enlist the help of a nutritionalist, you are going to be asked for blood and stool samples. No, it’s not fun or pleasant, but it’s necessary and yes, they’ve seen it all before!
  • YOU! Well,¬†me, at least – I can’t speak for you. On days when I’ve become fed up¬†with the diet, I’ve turned into a deranged¬†and ugly monster, sobbing in frustration or yelling about how restrictive ‘this stupid diet’ is. And, on days when I’ve cheated, I’ve spent more time in the loo than out of it, making life somewhat less fun for K, who shares this tiny flat with me! Food plays such an instrumental role in¬†the way we feel, so it’s only natural that a new diet could cause mood swings and a range of emotions.

The verdict

For me, despite the drawbacks, the good definitely outweighs the bad (and the ugly). I know my diet still isn’t perfect and my gut is far from healed, but I also know I’m making progress (another great reason to enlist the help of a nutritionalist), and that the way I’m eating can only be benefiting my body.

It’s super hard and frustrating a lot of the time, but there are definitely rewards too. Knowing why you’re following the¬†diet and reminding yourself of your goal every day will help you to stick with it. I don’t want to go back to being sick and chained to my toilet every day. And it’s also nice having my pants feeling looser ūüôā Overall, I’m extremely happy with my new way of eating, even if it’s difficult (and boring) at times. I’ve even stopped feeling jealous of people who indulge in junk food¬†because I know what terrible harm it causes.

If you’re following SCD, paleo or AIP, what are the good, the bad and they ugly for you?

 

Flu-fighting power smoothie

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K started with the sniffles last week… which meant that two days later, I had them too – the day we were leaving for our much-anticipated weekend away ūüė¶

Did you know that having an autoimmune disease makes you more susceptible to infections and illnesses in general? It explains why I’ve had more colds than usual over the past year or two – usually, I never, ever get sick. Aside from the colitis, of course, but I¬†don’t consider myself ‘sick’ because of it – at least, not ‘sick’ in the way that I am when my nose is stuffed up and my eyes are streaming!

Anyway, I wasn’t going to let a cold ruin my weekend, so I got to work whipping up this vitamin-packed, protein-boosted smoothie. It ended up being way too much for a single serving and I only had half of it. Also, the protein powder – the first time I’d used it in a smoothie – made the drink really grainy. Should one dissolve it in something before adding it to a drink? Let me know.

Flu-fighting fruit smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges (vitamic C and polyphenols protect against viruses)
  • a handful of ripe strawberries (vitamin C, fibre, calcium and iron, and they help to reduce¬†inflammation)
  • a handful of frozen blueberries (vitamin B complex, C, E and A, copper, zinc and iron – blueberries are loaded with antioxidants)
  • 1 ripe banana (vitamins B6 and C, potassium, protein and fibre)
  • +- 1 cup of yoghurt ¬†(I use home-made SCD/paleo coconut yoghurt coconut is a healthy fat that aids in reducing inflammation)
  • 1 serving pea protein powder (optional)

Method

Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into two glasses, wrap up warm and enjoy its flu-fighting power!

Flu-fighting fruit smoothie

Flu-fighting fruit smoothie

7 Good tips for when you’ve cheated bad

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K and I just got back from a weekend in the Cape Winelands, and boy was it awesome! We packed up the car and headed off with our good friends Gin and Tonic on Friday afternoon, bundled up against the chilly Stellenbosch weather and ready for some great food and wine.

See, Sellenbosch is one South Africa’s top wine-producing regions, and it’s also a famous university town where K studied. I knew this weekend was going to mean a little indulgence, but I had no idea how far I’d fall from the wagon.

My cheating confession

Between our pub crawl on Friday, Bastille Day celebrations in Franschhoek yesterday (Franschhoek – the ‘French Corner’ – being another renowned wine-producing area) and the fresh food fairs, wine farms, restaurants, fast food joints and craft markets we trawled, my GI system experienced¬†an onslaught bar (n)one.

NOT the kind of sheep you should be eating on SCD/AIP

NOT the kind of sheep you should be eating on SCD/AIP

Most of my cheating took the form of¬†copious amounts of booze – the ‘not allowed’ kinds like Jagermeister, sparkling and sweet¬†wines, energy drinks (to make Jagerbombs – Jagerbombs!!) and tequila (though I think tequila is actually ‘legal’, as it’s made from cacti). But there was also nightshade veg (tomatoes at breakfast and lunch, and some fries), as well as an embarrassingly large amount of chocolate, including a chocolate sheep. In fact, I pretty much ‘forgot’ that tomatoes were nightshades. Did I leave my AIP brain at home?? It felt like it.

A small selection of the booze we bought...

A small selection of the booze we bought…

... and consumed this weekend

… and consumed this weekend

My ‘tips’ for cheating

This weekend was a PROPER cheat. Two days of diet debauchery. I do NOT recommend you EVER cheat as severely as this. But, if you do go hurtling off the wagon head-first into a pile of cheese, here are a few tips that I can share, purely from my experience.

1. Avoid gluten, even when cheating. My nutritionalist explained to me that gluten can take up to six months to leave your system altogether. One cheat is NOT worth undoing all that work. Have a gluten-free pizza or pasta, or have cheese or any chocolate that doesn’t contain gluten. There are ‘safe’ cheat foods and naughtier cheat foods, and then there are the cheat foods that can set you back months in your healing. Try not to have those.

2. Realise that cheating is inevitable. I cheat about once every two months or so. That’s six times a year. It’s not great, it’s not something I’m proud of, and it’s something I’m hoping will continue to decline in frequency¬†over time. But it’s a FAR cry from where I was, and I’m making progress and trying my best. Just forgive yourself and move on (but don’t forget! And don’t eat gluten!).

3. Prepare for pain. There’s a reason you’re on the diet you’re on. Today, doubled over in pain as we drove home from Stellenbosch, I remembered just how great it feels to eat clean. Although the pain sucks, it’s also an effective way to keep the cheating to a minimum. Just remember how shit, literally, it feels to cheat. Remember this pain, nausea and desire to curl up and die.

4. Recognise when you’re in a ‘high risk’ situation. For me, it’s when my friends are buying rounds of drinks and the wine is flowing. I realise I can’t be in these kinds of situations without cheating, so I need to avoid them or keep them to an absolute minimum. It also helps to have people around you – for me, it’s K – who will remind you about your diet and castigate¬†you for cheating. It sounds horrible, but it’s necessary and it works!

5. Stop as soon as possible. Don’t think that just because you cheated on Friday night means you should just write off the whole weekend and keep cheating until Monday – because come Monday, you’ll have another excuse to keep cheating until Friday – and hey, then it’s the weekend again! Cheat, then stop, or you never will.

6. Cleanse. Don’t stop your meds or your supplements. Don’t stop drinking two litres of water a day. Treat your body as if it’s flaring, because that’s probably how it’s feeling – sore, bloated, gassy and uncomfortable. It’s already had to do enough work processing the bad stuff, so give it a break and go back to basics. Stick to plain veggies, plain¬†cooked meat, eggs (if you can tolerate them) and bananas. Even if you can tolerate dairy, it may be wise to cut it out for a bit – it’s known to aggravate a sensitive stomach. Also avoid coffee, alcohol and fruit juices, and stick with herbal teas and broths. You know what your body likes when it’s feeling bad, so feed it those things only.

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7. Don’t stress. You screwed up and you’ve already done damage to your body. Stressing about it will only make it worse – just think about how your stomach feels when you’re in a state of tension and anxiety. Stress will only exacerbate your symptoms and prolong your healing. Be kind to yourself.

Do you have any other tips for cheating? Or perhaps any tips to help me stop cheating?? As you can see, I could really use all the help I can get!

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Autoimmune paleo vs SCD: How I’m feeling after 3 weeks

Excellent advice - if I could follow it!

Excellent advice – if I could follow it!

It’s been just over three weeks since my nutritionalist recommended I start following the autoimmune paleo (AIP) protocol, and I’ve noticed many differences between this diet and SCD – some great, some not so great.

As a side-note, I’ve discovered through my research that you are only supposed to follow the AIP diet for 30 to 60 days. My nutritionalist hasn’t discussed this with me, but it’s certainly something I’ll chat to her about next week when I see her. If it’s only 30 days, I can definitely put my back into it a lot more than I have been! (keep reading to see how I’ve cheated…).

Here’s how I’m faring after three weeks on AIP.

The food

After SCD, you’d think I’d be pretty accustomed to cutting food out of my diet. However, the advantage of SCD was knowing that every few days, I was¬†adding to my¬†diet, so I¬†always had new foods to look forward to (bad gut reactions notwithstanding).

After 100 days on SCD (which I now realise is much too short), I had re-introduced all legal foods into my diet. But on AIP, I’ve had to cut many of them out again: the nightshades (peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, potato, etc), nuts, many spices and certain seeds. I must admit that a diet void of tomatoes, spices and nuts is very, very hard. Nuts are an amazing snack, and tomatoes are used in almost everything. I don’t mind cutting out spices so much, but it makes it exceptionally hard for others to cook for me.

I’ve been creating a lot of my own meals and really enjoying them, but I’m a nightmare when it comes to eating out. Like on SCD, I often take my own food with me. My nutritionalist has said that if I¬†must cheat, I can have some gluten-free pizza or pasta, which I’ve done once (and I gobbled that pizza down in about 5 minutes flat!).

I eat a lot of eggs, meat, vegetables and fruit. I’m trying not to eat so many dates and bananas, because they’re so loaded with sugar. I’m still wrapping my head around making my meals more protein-heavy because I usually bulk up with veg.

BMs

Prior to seeing the nutritionalist, the only thing regular about my BMs was constipation. This was an especially frequent complaint during my 100 SCD days. However, when my colon found out that I was about to pay thousands of rands to a nutritionalist for appointments, tests and pills, my BMs (miraculously) started normalising, about a day or two before my first appointment.

Since then, I’ve had very good daily BMs – often twice, three times or even four times a day. Generally, they’re a 3 or 4 on the Bristol chart, which is incredible¬†for me, because usually when I’m this regular, I’m at about a 7!

I do also attribute these improved BMs to the fact that I’m eating more. I seem to be consuming significantly more food than I did during the early phases of SCD, and I definitely think that makes a difference (as a note, I also experienced more frequent and regular BMs when I was overseas in May, which I too¬†attributed to a more substantial and lenient diet).

Bloating

Oh, bloat, my old frenemy. Sometimes I think that the only way to stop getting bloated would be to not eat at all Рeven a glass of water can cause my stomach to blow up like a balloon. I think that one day, when they lower me into the ground, I will be the first corpse to be buried with a bloated stomach.

So clearly, I’m bloated very often, and I do get gassy from time to time, the latter of which I usually attribute to cauliflower!¬†Interesting, my nutritionalist explained that when a person suffers from leaky gut (which she suspects I do), it’s not necessarily that a specific food – like cauliflower or tomatoes or cheese – causes bloating, but that the overall poor state of your gut causes a bloating reaction at random. This has been quite a revelation for me, and it would explain why I sometimes get bloated after eating eggs, or bananas, or meat, and other times I don’t.

Cheating

I’ve tried to be as fastidious as possible with this diet, but I have knowingly cheated on a couple of occasions. I have eaten food that was seasoned with potentially ‘illegal’ seasonings; I have had a bite or two of nightshades (ie, a pimento-stuffed olive) and I have, on one occasion, eaten raw chocolate. I have also, on several occasions, eaten nuts. This is proving to be my Achilles heel! I have not cut coffee or alcohol out of my diet.

However, I’ve only recently discovered that this diet is only supposed to be short-term. If that is the case, I definitely would like to start from scratch and do it 110% perfectly, like I did SCD.

Overall

It’s still very early days so I’m definitely not in a position to make a fully-formed opinion of autoimmune paleo. What I’d say is that I love the fact that my BMs have improved so markedly – no one likes feeling like an over-stuffed rubbish bin.

It’s difficult to snack without breaking the rules (I’m looking at you, nuts) or relying purely on sugar-laded foods. And it’s hard to cook full meals without so many ingredients I’ve come to rely upon. But I do love how healthy, clean and surprisingly tasty my meals are.

If I’m honest,¬†I’m so over it. I’m so over restricting what I eat all the time – and, more than that, having to pay so bloody much for foods that are now considered¬†‘cool’ to eat (thank¬†you, hipsters-who-aren’t-really-gluten-intolerant. Really, thank you). I’ve never been a particularly unhealthy eater and even if I could eat anything I liked, I wouldn’t be shoving McDonald’s burgers down my gullet every day. But being so restrictive is making me dream about chocolate¬†all the time.¬†And say what you will – not even the most delicious clean treat will ever taste like Nutella cheesecake.

The other thing that’s hard is¬†knowing that ¬†I can eat whatever the hell I like and my Asacol takes care of it.¬†Of course,¬†I don’t want to stay on Asacol forever, which is why the clean eating is essential. But it really is hard when you have this amazing suit of armour for your¬†colon, and you know that you could consume a three-ton cake made purely out of butter, gluten and Nutella and your body would process it like it was nothing, because of the Asacol.

Obviously, I don’t want to put that kind of food into my body, but the point is that it’s hard to keep depriving yourself of Kit Kats when the drugs make you feel completely normal and healthy, regardless of what you eat. It’s all about willpower for me, because unlike other people who have immediate, noticeable and unpleasant¬†reactions to¬†the foods they shouldn’t eat, I just have to trust that all these restrictions are going to help me heal.

Don’t worry, I’m sticking with it! And I’m going to keep reporting back. I’ve still got some ways to go with my nutritionalist, and I definitely want to see whether this diet could put me on a path to an Asacol-free existence.