“This Is An Opportunity, Not A Punishment”

Date: April 4, 2013 at 7:16 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 85

Hi.

I’m alive.

And I’m doing OK.

The Remicade, as suspected, never worked. The hospital visit was worth it for the fluid IV alone — my fever has been down since Monday and I’m not as deathly exhausted as I was for that miserable week — but those liters of toxic Remicade I let them pump into my veins? Worthless. (And yet, so expensive. Thanks for getting that one, insurance.)

SO BEAUTIFUL. Come on, Ali. At least try.

SO BEAUTIFUL. Come on, Ali. At least try.

So the hospital didn’t really help, and my doctor is away healing all the people of India until the end of next week.

I learned last week that it was time to take control of my health.

And by that I mean I got the tough-loving pep talk of the century from Brian on Monday night and it was just the aggressive kick in the butt I needed.

Today begins Day 3 of my 10-day juice cleanse.

My Easter juice. I tried to pose everything all festive-like, but...I don't think it really worked.

My Easter juice. I tried to pose everything all festive-like, but…I don’t think it really worked.

Last week, I started using the juicer more and was mostly having juice at breakfast and dinner, but I would eat solid foods in between. Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t seeing much improvement in my stomach issues. I was still in constant pain or discomfort, and when I made my mad dash for the bathroom, things weren’t exactly…happening. It was incredibly painful and I couldn’t get much relief.

When I wasn’t feeling any better by Monday, Brian arrived home with stuff. Tons and tons of stuff.

Oils and vitamins and tea, oh friggin’ my.

And that’s when I got the pep talk.

Dr. “I’m obsessed with learning about health and the digestive system” Brian encouraged me to try something different: a 10-day total hardcore juice cleanse. As a lover of all the foods, this is not something that appealed to me.

But as someone who, as Brian reminded me, has been sick for “most of our relationship,” it’s something I’m finally willing to try and attempt full-out.

You can drink a beet juice at breakfast, sure...and then you will be traumatized every time you go to the bathroom throughout the day. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.

You can drink a beet juice at breakfast, sure…and then you will be traumatized every time you go to the bathroom throughout the day. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.

I think the kicker in the conversation was when, after I kept being bratty and resisting, Brian said, “This is an opportunity, not a punishment.”

And damn him, he’s right.

To me, a juice fast is a nightmare. It’s days and days without food and it is, seemingly, a punishment.

But Brian, Mr. Eternal Optimism, changed my perspective so fast.

This is a chance for me to completely clear out my body. Juicing fruits and vegetables breaks down the fiber content, so it’s going to give my digestive system the break it obviously needs. It won’t have to work hard to process complex ingredients. Instead, the juice will just, well, flow through me. Lovely!

From there, this is a chance to learn what my body can and cannot tolerate. The idea is that by the end of the 10 days, my digestive system will have healed itself, and then I can start adding simple foods to my diet.

If you can't eat it, juice it!

If you can’t eat it, juice it!

It sounded terrible at first.

But after more than a year of nonstop flare-ups and then reaching my lowest point while traveling in L.A., I’m ready to accept that this is something I need to suck up and do.

The doctors all swear that food doesn’t affect your disease. I always loved when they said that — “eat whatever you can tolerate and enjoy!” — because it was an excuse to keep stuffing my face with crap. After all, the doctor said it didn’t matter!

I just can’t believe that anymore. I don’t think it’s possible that what you put into your body doesn’t affect your debilitating digestive disease. Sorry, docs. (Still think you’re cute, though.)

So today is Day 3.

The first day was hard for me because I’m mentally weak. I got through a homemade juice for breakfast and had a Cooler Cleanse juice at the office. By dinnertime, all I wanted was to lick a jar of peanut butter. I wanted to have something with texture and couldn’t fathom the idea of more liquid.

On Day 1, Brian probably should have abandoned this relationship, but he didn’t.

A sample of a long chain of Day 1 emails. Girlfriend of the Year, as usual!

A sample of a long chain of Day 1 emails. Girlfriend of the Year, as usual!

But I stuck it out — and Brian stuck with me, like a sweet, sweet fool — and Day 2 was actually much easier.

The whole thing requires a lot of planning.

You know I like my lists...this is my least favorite list.

You know I like my lists…this is my least favorite list.

I’m lucky to have a juicer at the apartment, so breakfast and dinner juices are homemade and delicious. At the office, I bring a bunch of pre-made juices with me. So far my favorites are the Cooler Cleanse juices and the “Green Aphrodite” juice a coworker so generously brought me from Magic Mix Juicery downtown.

Magic Mix Juicery juice, hanging out with my rhinestoned mouse.

Magic Mix Juicery juice, hanging out with my rhinestoned mouse.

This weekend will prove to be the true challenge: I’m traveling to Boston which is going to be amazing because Tyler!!! But I am also attending a friend’s bridal shower, and you know those things revolve around delicious foods and treats. So that will be the true test of my resilience.

One thing that has made this easier so far (my god, I’m on Day 3…I act like I’ve been fasting for a month) is telling as many people as possible what I’m doing. Most people are surprisingly supportive, like the coworker who brought me juices and my long-lost roommate who moved to L.A. and arranged for Organic Avenue to hand-deliver juices to my front door. People want to help, and it’s amazing.

And then there’s that Brian guy.

He’s constantly researching this stuff and finding ways to help me get better. It’s kind of mind-blowing. We’ve been watching lots of documentaries together — surely you’ve seen Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead by now, about the guy with the autoimmune disorder who’s on steroids but they’re not working so he ditches the drugs in favor of juicing and completely heals himself — and he’s not eating steaks by my side while I’m guzzling liquid cucumber.

He’s doing the cleanse with me. Solidarity, man!

BRIAN, POSE WITH ME FOR THIS PICTURE. HOLD UP YOUR JUICE.

BRIAN, POSE WITH ME FOR THIS PICTURE. HOLD UP YOUR JUICE.

When I really want a heaping bowl of macaroni and cheese (because that’ll help my problems…), I remind myself that I’m doing this to finally feel better. I remind myself that on Day 10, even if this hasn’t worked, I’m going to be able to pat myself on the back (you can please pat my back, too, and maybe massage it) and say that I got through a 10-day juice-fest. Because that’s a huge life accomplishment. I’ll put my Juice Cleanse Survivor trophy next to my Pulitzer and my Tony Award.

I’m hopeful, clearly, that this is going to work.

After just a few days, I’m already seeing signs of improvement. I still have the stomach cramping and pain, but when I go to the bathroom, things are happening easier and in a less painful way. That relief right now is huge.

I also feel better knowing I’m finally getting nutrients in my body instead of just filling it with chemicals. The side effects of juicing are so much better than the side of effects of Prednisone (steroids).

This was the first day of school in second grade. All the coolest kids wear matching outfits...I'm the porky-faced one on the right. Thank you, Prednisone!

This was the first day of school in second grade. All the coolest kids wear matching outfits…I’m the porky-faced one on the right. Thank you, Prednisone!

And last night, Brian looked at me and said, “You look better!” In other words, “Babe, you were so sexy-hot before, and now you look even more amazing. I love what you’ve done with those dark circles underneath your eyes, and it’s cute the way all your muscles have disappeared so quickly.”

Muscles. Yes. That’s the other thing.

Absolutely no exercise.

As mandated, again, by “Dr.” Brian.

I’m not doing anything to add stress to my body. So no running. No spinning. No biking. Nothing requiring a high-impact sports bra. I have been given permission to do yoga if I’m up for it, so I did that last night and it was nice. It felt good to move my body, though all the twisting poses make me a little uncomfortable.

At first, I was furious at the thought of not being able to spin when I’m up for it. Exercise makes me feel better! Endorphins! Sweat! Loud music!

But now, every time I leave the office and don’t go to the gym, I look at it as a different kind of training. I’m training my body to get healthy and helping it recover. Every workout I don’t do is one step closer to my body getting strong again. I’m getting ample sleep and I’m not cramming my life with to-do lists. I’m coming home after work, laying down on the couch and relaxing until I go to bed.

I used to relax by going for a run. Now I relax by taking off my bra and drinking tea.

I used to relax by going for a run. Now I relax by taking off my bra and drinking tea.

If nothing else, this juice cleanse has helped me feel somewhat optimistic again.

The doctors couldn’t fix me, so I’m letting someone else try. There are skeptics who think I need medicine and need to be on all the drugs to get better. Then there are people who respect what I’m doing and support it (for the record, my doctor is one of them — I ran this whole plan by him before he left and while it wasn’t what he would have prescribed himself, he did say he’s fine with me giving it a shot). Those are the people I like best!

I trust that this will help. I’ve read so much research now about people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis who have gone hardcore on the juicing and I have yet to read a testimonial from someone saying it made them worse.

So until there’s a miracle cure for this thing, I’m taking control. And avoiding solid foods.

OK. Last liquid picture. Promise.

OK. Last liquid picture. Promise.

I’m looking forward to a weekend with Tyler, because if the juice can’t cure me, I’m pretty sure he can. I’ll also get to see my parents for a bit while I’m up in Boston, and their hugs tend to help.

My mom asked if she could bring me anything “from home” when she sees me this weekend.

Yes, mom, you can.

My mango soap collection.

I think I’ll be ready for it someday soon.

How’s that for optimism?

YOUR TURN TO BE THANKFUL: I took a different route today. It’s allowed. I’m thankful I’m hopefully on the road to health, one sip of spinach at a time. What are you grateful for today?

 

85 Responses to "“This Is An Opportunity, Not A Punishment”"

This is a great post! I’m a faithful reader but rarely comment. This post is really inspiring and I’m so glad I read this first thing this (very, very early) morning! I’m a firm believer in the power of good food for healing all kinds of problems and I hope this works!!

Michelle says: April 4, 2013 at 8:05 am

Hi! Not sure where in Boston you’ll be this weekend but they opened a juice bar in back bay station that, while expensive, shouldn’t totally make you broke. (in case shower food isn’t working for you or you don’t have juicer access!)

That’s super helpful and good to know, thank you!!

wow, you’ve got a keeper eh?!! That’s so awesome that you guys are doing that together. I feel really, really hopeful for you. Doctor’s love telling you all the things that won’t work or help, but I agree, why not give it a shot!?

Good luck!

have you seen fat, sick and nearly dead the documentary? it’s on netflix about this guy who has an extreme autoimmune disease and ends up doing a month long juice cleanse and basically cures himself of all of his symptoms. it’s really good–if you haven’t seen it, i think you will enjoy! hope you feel better soon..

Haha yup, wrote about it in the post above! That was a big reason I started juicing!

I’m so proud of you! Juice fasts are NOT easy (I’m on day 3 of one now too and it’s my last day and I am so impressed with you for committing to 10) and I know if nothing else you will at least have some relief for these 10 days. Hopefully you’ll feel a lot better once it’s over and be OK for a long time. You’re doing something great for yourself. And doctors, especially in NYC, aren’t trained to understand the relationship between food and illness. I learned that one the hard way too. Stick with it and keep feeling better!

OH ALSO – I am in love with Sweet Greens from Cooler Cleanse. SO GOOD.

I hope this works and you get some relief very soon! Brian sounds like a great guy, how wonderful to have someone in your corner fighting for you!

That Brian guy seems like a bit of a keeper 😉
I’m happy you’re doing this… Like happy dance happy!
Look into a supplement called Curcumin, it comes from turmeric and its great for inflammation… There’s one from new chapter and also one from natural factors… Both are great!
I manage a health food store so if you have any supplement questions let me know 🙂

You’ve got a good one there, Ali. So glad you’re giving this a try—hope it works out for you!

Great Post. I hope this works. I have been debating doing a very similar thing. I have had Crohns issues for a while now that wont go away. I get blood tests and colonoscopies and the doctors say that there is inflamation and uclerations, but that we shouldnt change anything. WHAT?! they also keep telling me diet doesnt matter, but then perscribe me a low-reidue diet. What?! I have thought about a juice cleanse for a while now and even tried to do just a day of it yesterday. When I got home from work I sat on the couch and ate a huge easter cookie in like a minute! This post was just the inspiration I needed. Thank you and thank you Brian. Good luck to you. I think you have been though enough and now the universe should just heal your gut.

So happy to see you back (on my computer screen ;-)). I was worried.
In my opinion, you are TOTALLY right to try something new. I think that, even for people without digestive issues, juicing is good once in a while to give a break to the digestive system. So, I guess that in your case, it worths a try. And, as you said, if no one complained about feeling worse after it…
And concerning medicines… well, you know your body, you have this disease for a while, you tried lots of them… it is not as if you decided to stop forever and ever. They don’t work right now, so, you try a different approach. That is totally understandable. And, I say : YOU GO, GIRL ! Pat in the back 😉

Also, is this “Mister Optimism”/”Solution Finder”/”Supportive Guy”/”Great Pep Talker” Brian is for hire ? I would certainly need someone like that on my side 🙂
It seems you are a good team together. It is great you have someone like him with you.

I drink beet juice every morning and I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN! So Scary, esp the first time.
Keep on keepin on. The juice cleanse might ‘reset’ you! and I hope you feel better.

In yoga we learned that being still is one of the hardest things to do. But learning to be still is just as important as being able to spin, run, jump and lift lots of heavy weights. Hoping the juicing is the answer. Feel better!

1. I don’t even know him, but am pretty sure that Brian rocks.

2. That beet comment was hilarious. I ate beets for the first time as a 29-year-old, and had a brief panic attack at the…results. Thankfully, I’m a biologist and figured it out, before heading to the ER.

3. Please post as many juice pics as you want.

4. At least you like juice….?

Good luck. If I thought they’d survive the trip, I’d send you lots of tropical fruits to juice, to mix things up a bit (but not any acidic ones)… I wonder how starfruit and longans juice? 😉

Yay! This is exciting! I hope this works for you. I dated a guy for several years with severe Crohns and this worked for him after all the steroid drugs failed. I don’t know if the juice fast worked so much as reducing his diet to the basics and then adding back in foods over time.. It helped him figure out what he could and couldn’t tolerate.

I hope it works the same way for you!

p.s. Thanks for sharing all of this.. I enjoy reading your blog and am sure it’s helping lots of people out!

Jasmine says: April 4, 2013 at 9:50 am

So good to see you back and posting Ali!
Thank you thank you thank you thank you for your inspiring Thursday post. I’ve been struggling with bowel issues for years and the past year has been horrible. I show all the symptoms of crohn’s yet when they do the scopes they don’t find anything. They’ve pretty much given up yet I still am in pain, running to the bathroom all the time, and having at least 4 episodes a night of night sweats. The latest thing they’ve told me to try is this crazy paleo/fodmap diet where I really can’t eat anything no diary, gluten, soy, and only a handful of certain types of fruits and veggies. Basically I’m starving and cranky and don’t see it making any difference. They tested for celiac and i’m negative. Was wondering if anyone out there has had this happen or tried this diet. I’m scared to go off it even though I’m miserable because it’s “what the Dr told me to do”.

Comiserating with you and also very inspired!

Jasmine, my boyfriend has Crohns and is unable to have any of the Humira’s, or Remicade type drugs, so he’s limited to steroids. He ended up doing a lot of research and has been on the SCD diet for over two years now, with a ton of success, completely off steroids and bathroom trips have totally decreased. I now eat this way as well, as I figure it’s healthy for me as well and we have fun making all different sorts of recipes. Nutrition can be WAY overwhelming and you always hear contradictions, so I found I needed to do lots of reading and research and figure out what works for me and him. My bf can eat nuts all day, me not so much.

Ali, so happy to hear Brian is supporting and researching!! Makes it so much easier when your partner is supportive!! 🙂 And as a nurse I can tell you how frustrating it is when I see docs dealing with IBD and all they say is “low residue diet”. I did go to a IBD conference a few years back and they did briefly touch on the SCD diet as it’s been around for 10+ years, but they’re all about the meds.

Jasmine, I have been dealing with the same thing. All tests negative, but awful stomach issues over the past year and a half now. I’ve been on the FODMAP diet and I follow it mildly because when I followed it completely I was cranky and just wanted real bread! Plus I didn’t see any huge results. No fun at all…

Wow, Brian is definitely a keeper! I hope that the cleanse gives your body the help it needs and that you start to feel better soon.

I give you so much credit for the 10-day cleanse. Maybe if you buy a bunch of vegetables from the same farmer’s market purveyor, they’ll cut you a break for buying in bulk! I watched “FSAND” and understand it can be quite expensive, but you can’t put a price on health (right, Ali’s insurance!?!)
Also, Dig Inn delivers their raw juices, not sure if that’s the kind of juice you need but they’re $9.25 and they deliver for free!

If what you have been doing isn’t working, then try something new. And at least you ran it by your doc. It seems he would think it is worth a shot and at the very least, won’t make you worse. So it worth trying.

The Kidless Kronicles

You should check out the Food Hospital on the cooking channel. It’s all about how they heal a wide variety of problems through food, it’s pretty cool actually. I’m a big proponent of the food you eat affects your body so I’ll keep my fingers crossed this does the trick for you!

What a great guy you have! Hope the juice cleanse helps and you are feeling better soon!

I totally think you should make yourself a juicing trophy for the end of this. That would be amazing. Or a medal … 🙂

I came across this recently & thought of you:
http://cuteroulette.com/#/
You just click … and you get a video of animals being adorable. 🙂 I watched baby sloths being snuggly.

You can do it! I hope the juice cleanse works wonders for you. Also, Brian is amazing. Are there more of him?
I’m thankful that it’s light out now when I leave work – it makes such a big difference in my level of optimism!

I hope the juicing works for you and that you feel better soon!

I love reading your blog and can’t wait to see all the adorable Tyler pictures from your trip to Boston. Have fun! 🙂

Courtney says: April 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

I’m glad you’re starting to feel better! I think there is a strong correlation between what you eat and how you feel. I discovered this summer that I have a slight intolerance of cow’s milk. Sheep’s milk seems to be fine, but I switched over to almond/soy milk and lo and behold I stopped being so bloated. On the rare nights I eat pizza, I’m reminded that my body just can’t handle the refined carbs and dairy. And I don’t even have a digestive disease! I feel 1000x better when I eat “clean.” I think this juice cleanse is a great way to reset your system and slowly reintroduce foods to figure out triggers. I mean, hey, it can’t hurt, right?

And I’m thankful for puppies.

Jennifer says: April 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

Props to you for trying the juice fast! I know it is extremely hard. I sincerely hope you can feel some positive results. I am a total believer that food and health have a very strong relationship. I so want this to work for you and I look forward to hearing about how good you are feeling very soon!!!

Yay for Brian being so supportive. Good luck with the cleanse. You can do it! For a little bit of texture in your food, maybe you can make the juice and ice it and then shave the ice. It’ll be a little different and with the warmer weather we’re supposed to be getting, it should be a nice treat.

I have a beet salad every once in a while and sometimes I forget that I had it and the bathroom trip is a little jarring, but then I remember I had the beet salad and my blood is not bright pink.

🙂

Ali, I am SO EXCITED for you. I have chronic inflammation too and have recently started using food as medicine and I’m feeling so much better – so I have IMMENSE AMOUNTS OF HOPE that your juice fast will help you. We’re all rooting for you! xox, Ella

Oh, Tyler will for sure cure you! Whenever I have a hangover and I see Elliot (aunt of the year here!) he makes me feel better. AND I am thankful that I am going to Georgia in 4 days to see my bestie, watch the Master and drink wine in the SUN. I am NOT thankful for this never ending winter.

Western medicine has failed you this time. Hopefully the homeopathic route works out for you.

Longtime reader, infrequent commenter, but I wanted to chime in and say, you can do it! You’re such a champion. It’s inspiring to see you persevere through all of this, even though it’s obviously very difficult.

I’m just an internet stranger, but I’m in Boston and you’re welcome to come use my juicer! I think most whole foods locations have juice bars too, and there’s a few of those scattered around the city. It bums me out that Boston has less juice bars than NYC, that’s why I ended up shelling out a bunch of cash for a professional type juicer for home.

I accidently came across your blog 2 days ago and literally started crying . YOU are me!. lol. I was diagnose with Crohns 15 yrs ago …I have had 2 surgeries and am currently on Remicade…that is not working. At my last check up 5 mths ago ( 9 mths after my second surgery) the specialist informed me that my bowel was strictured badly again and would do another surgery immediately but if I could live with it , wanted me to try Remicade for 6 mths first. Well …it is not working. Everyday is just surviving. Thank God I have the most loving family . My sweet hubby works 2 jobs so that I can stay home ( and I have been home for 20 yrs raising our beautiful daughters) They love their Momma as they are always looking out for me and helping me. We are a very close family. But for the past couple of years they have hidden well they’re worry for me…and I am the type of stay at home Mom that lives to take care of her family…so honestly…I really don’t look after my self all that well.
I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!!!
So finding your blog has been like my AHA moment. I have a love affair with food…and trying to go full liquid has been just killing me. I mean…how do you take care of and cook/feed your family when you can’t have any of it!!!
Well Ali…YOU have inspired me!!! Just reading what you write …we seem to have similar senses of humor and similar in how I have been living my life with Crohns. I eat and pay for it later….
So …tomorrow…I am going to start juicing and taking care of ME…..you have inspired me and if I can follow along…I won’t feel so alone on this adventure.
There is so so so much more I want (need) to say but my hubby just got back to the hotel to pick me up as he is on a business trip. ( I have been to sick to leave the hotel to go shopping for my babygirls upcoming graduation) So I will be back tomorrow to see how you are doing. Have an awesome day and stay strong. 🙂

Can you juice Cadbury Mini Eggs?

Haha I wish. Not sure of the nutritional value there. But I have a huge stash just in case! Lucky me 😉

When you figure out how, let me know!! 🙂

So happy for you! 🙂 get well soon!

Jennifer says: April 4, 2013 at 11:57 am

Good for you Ali. You can do this juice cleanse. I’ve been juicing for a year now and it is amazing what it can do. I hope you start feeling better fast. If you need some more juice recipes Jason Vale at juicemaster.com has a ton of them for free! Enjoy!

Good for you!! I can’t wait to hear how and if it helps.

You can do it, Ali! And what an amazing man you’ve got by your side. Don’t let him get away. <3

So sorry that you are going through this! But I hope you stay strong and hopefully the juicing will help make you 100% better.

Also, I can’t help but really admire you and be inspired. I know sometimes people don’t like to hear that because sometimes to them, it’s something they have to just live with and do, but it really is amazing.

i am definitely sending good vibes your way from CA.

I hope this works for you! My opinion of the medical establishment is super low, so I am glad you are taking matters into your own hands. There is NO WAY that nutrition is not involved even if this particular juice fast doesn’t work. Doctors just don’t want to admit it bc it would topple the whole medical establishment and to a large part too their patients demand the medicines rather than change their diet bc really who wants to give up delicious things like pizza or mini eggs? Did you ever get the results back for the celiac test you took? If you ever want to hear I have some good stories where nutrition healed either 1) what doctors could not figure out was wrong or 2 )cancer.

Exactly! They WANT people to get sick so they can prescribe stuff and make money off it! It frustrates me so much. (Obviously there are great doctors out there who truly want to help and cure, but as an industry, this is my current perspective and opinion. So discouraging and disappointing.) And yes, the CELIAc (get it? I’m hilarious?) test came back negative. So I may have a gluten intolerance, like most people apparently, but I don’t have a gluten allergy.

Ok that’s good that at least you don’t have a fullblown case of celiac that the tests were able to pick up although I think their accuracy is not the best. That is what ended up being wrong with my dad after we traveled to two of the world’s best hospitals who didn’t diagnose it and could not say what was wrong although he was almost on his deathbed, but this was before it was really acknowledged by the medical community. I guess now it has become sort of trendy. Or something. Yea I think the hybridization of wheat has made it so that most people are sort of intolerant. What people choose to do with that information is up to them…I think it may even be ok in smaller amounts we just eat so much of it too. I am glad you have Brian looking out for you. Keep an open mind and I hope you figure out what works for you!!

And yes the CELIAc joke! Sort of funny, sort of not. 😛

Courtney says: April 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm

The blogger over at Healthy Tipping Point had some sort of test done (Adrenal Stress Index, it seems) which actually showed her that she was gluten sensitive. Not that you want to undergo any further medical testing at this point, but figured I’d share the link if you are interested: http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2011/06/caitlingf.html

That’s a pretty special man you have there Ali! Today I’m grateful for my own amazing partner who has been with me through six years of chronic health issues. Take good care of yourselves and be proud of yourself for taking the juice fast on – I really hope it provides relief for you x

I so admire you for taking a situation where you could easily choose to just mope around (we would all understand!) and instead decide to take control and try something that’s hard, but might really help. My mom is an acupuncturist, so I grew up in a natural health environment and have learned that some doctors don’t know EVERYthing. It’s great that your doc supports this plan, but also great that you recognize it’s a little silly the profession doesn’t see a connection between what we put in our bodies and the physical ailments we experience. I can’t wait to see how you’re feeling on the other side of these 10 days!

Good luck with the rest of the fast. I’m glad your doctor is on board with trying something other than just more meds. I think that’s pretty rare these days.

Long time reader, just usually not one to leave comments. I love this post, Brian sounds like a keeper for sure. Way to go you for taking your health into your own hands! I do believe in healing yourself with foods, I’vd done it myself. My good friend who is a physician informed me that they only are required to take one course on nutrition in school. So keep that in mind.

I just love “Dr.” Brian.!

He adores you and I hope this makes you feel even a little bit better!

Glad to read your feeling a bit better! If your going the a la natural route, there is a book called “Never Be Sick Again.” I am hesitant to recommend it because it is VERY EXTREME. You have to take some of it with a grain of salt, but it is quite informative and the author’s story is very interesting, he was extremely sick and western medicine wasn’t helping him-only repressing his symptoms, not actually healing them- so he put his own knowledge to work and completely healed himself. I love the book, it really opened my eyes to alot of things. Again-it is very extreme, but then again so is western medicine at times;)

Great post! I hope the juicing helps! I love how you and Brian have thoroughly researched this cleans (and that you ran it by your doctor!). I feel like often people go on cleanses because it’s trendy and they might not actually research if it’s good for them. I hope you continue to feel better! It sounds like a good idea for you!!

Good for you!!!! You are on the right track! You are your own best health care advocate. I have ulcerative colitis, and although not as severe as crohn’s, no less frustrating! I am interested in cleansing, but it sure where to start – what does Brian recommend?

Brian is such a great guy! I hope this is just what you and I can go back to playing I spy Ali while running in CP.

I’m so impressed by your juice cleanse! I’m a nurse, and I have to say, not many MDs no much about nutrition. I agree with you– the food you eat MUST impact your Chron’s. I’ve talked to so many people with autoimmune conditions that have gone into remission from diet changes. I really hope this helps you (and think it will)! Also, kudos to Brian 🙂

Hang in there, you are lucky to have Brian by your side.

Have you read “It All Starts With Food”? It’s about using food to heal all kinds of things, including autoimmune issues. I highly recommend it. It will truly change your relationship with food and your body. Look up the book or google the Whole30. Love it!

Ok…so I have to admit, I have been reading your blog for months and never comment…but couldn’t help myself here- I am Brian! I just read your blog to my boyfriend out loud and we laughed…sounds so much like us! In our case, I am the doctor and actually came across your blog in my Crohn’s research. I’m actually in the middle of trying to transition my boyfriend to a grain-free diet…but he’s really putting up a fight! ha ha He has felt much better since giving up gluten and dairy and we juice every day…but the grains have been a challenge…Anyways, all this to say that I completely relate and I am sure that focusing on your diet will provide at least some relief. Hope you feel better soon!!!

Both your doctors sound great….the one in India and the one in your apartment.

That Brian sounds like a keeper! I loved this post and I’m so full of optimism for you! I really like the post title too – I’m going to write that down and use it to remind me to persevere every now and then when I need a “come to Jesus” moment. Hope you get the relief you need and start healing soon 🙂

At least you know he has your very best interest at heart, and talk about love..so sweet. I like Brian. I am so glad you have him.

Try the Ripe Cleanse in Boston! I love it. I am keeping a juice cleanse in mind for my next flare up – or just when things feel out of whack.

Brian is amazing – I can’t believe he’s joining you in the juice cleanse. That’s more of a big deal than doing all the research! What a star!

Well…I really hope this helps. I can’t believe that whatever you eat doesn’t really matter to your disease. Some food triggers gut reactions in the most gut-neutral person! Try me and curried lentil soup, for example. I also believe that food can heal (or improve) so do it, Ali! Say no to the delicious treats and the champagne (agh) and the cake at the weekend and give this a shot! Excited.

BRT (bra removal time)= one of the highlights of my day
Have you tried Naked Green juice- it tastes awesome. Good luck on the rest of your cleanse!

Jeanine says: April 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I would love to know what your favorite homemade juices are and if you have to make them all at the time you’re drinking them or if they keep in the fridge.

Lauren W. says: April 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm

That’s so awesome Ali!! I did a juice cleanse last year when I was just feeling…blah…and it rocked my world. I felt totally different at the end than I did in the beginning. Love that you and Brian are doing it together…too cute! Hang in there, juice it up, and cheers to healing!

Hi Ali!
Have you ever read about the Tone it up girls! They have this amazing nutrition plan and they’re also fitness coaches. But they have really tasty and easy recipes to try. Take a look at it in their site http://www.toneitup.com

I have Colitis and am on day 3 of the Cooler Cleanse to kind of “reset” my system. Was a bit nervous it would affect my disease, but luckily it had not. I am thankful I am currently healthy (thanks to Remicade) because if I was flaring, the outcome of the beet juice I have drank the last three days would have me running to the hospital.

This post really hit home for me about 400 times. Toxic Remicade: fail. Beets: traumatizing. Doctor: cute. Cramping: painful and bathroom: unsuccesful (story of my life). Dark undereye circles: sexy. Exercise: stress. Fevers: fun. Night sweats: gross. Solid food: bite me.

That’s all! Inspired, as always. A juice fast may be in my future and if I show my boyfriend this post and how awesome Brian is, maybe he’ll do it with me.

This post really hit home for me about 400 times. Toxic Remicade: fail. Beets: traumatizing. Doctor: cute. Cramping: painful and bathroom: unsuccesful (story of my life). Dark undereye circles: sexy. Exercise: stress. Fevers: fun. Night sweats: gross. Solid food: bite me.

That’s all! Inspired, as always. A juice fast may be in my future and if I show my boyfriend this post and how awesome Brian is, maybe he’ll do it with me.

I don’t care what the medical professionals say, I’m pretty sure what you ingest on a daily basis impacts your health in a significant way. You eat crap, you are going to feel like crap (side note: I’m not suggesting you ate crap). I know changing our view on nutrition and how we eat pretty much cured my Hubby’s health problems. While he didn’t have Chrohn’s, I’m really hoping this helps you in some way. It can’t hurt right.
P.S. I’m pretty sure you already know this, but Brian’s a keeper. You too for that matter.

Girl, you seriously have one of the most positive outlooks I’ve ever encountered, and you somehow never lose your sense of humor — even when you’re going through really tough stuff. You’re an incredibly strong person.
I don’t know if this would interest you AT ALL, but my naturopath recommended a product called MediClear to me. It was developed for people with Chrohn’s and it’s got rice and pea proteins plus a ton of vitamins and anti-inflammatory minerals. It’s supposed to be good to drink during flare-ups, but she’s had me drinking it to ward off IT band inflammation, and it’s actually worked so far… just in case you’re interested in more substantive beverages post-juice cleanse!
Keep on keeping on, and know we’re all rooting for you.

Yay! So glad you’re feeling better 🙂
I’ve been juicing too, for two weeks now. But it’s not a cleanse, I do it to get the extra vitamins and minerals I can’t get via food (Crohnie myself). Keep at it 🙂

OH. . . my husband did almost this exact same thing when I got my first major flare up two years ago (and now with any subsequent flare up.)
Brian and him would be BFF, I suspect.

Hi Ali.
I found your page last year and since that I follow you here…I really admire you, how hard you are trying to beat your disease.
I´m a med student and I´ve already met some patients with Crohn.
I know, it´s idiopathic, but from my opinion, the BIG role has your psyche/mind. You don´t get rid of that fact you have disease, now you don ´t sport although you like it a lot, you have a bit stressful work etc.
So maybe you could watch on this disease also from this “psyche side”.
Anyway, wish you quick healing process, no other flare-ups and running time again 😉
Simona

The doctors at my work are all talking about the “Wheat Belly” book… thought I’d pass along in case it would help!

Oh wow, this is great to read. I just left that long ass comment on your post from March. Please tell Brian to buy “The Immune System Recovery Plan” and read it for you 🙂

It may not be your thing, but if it is, the physician who wrote it has a center in NY: http://www.blumcenterforhealth.com/

Hey, Love ur story, very inspiring.

I lived through the hell U are currently experienceing. I’m from Australia and western Med also Failed me. I can relate to the juice fast, the MSM, the Turmeric (Get the vitacost turmeric with Meriva – most Bioavailable 🙂 )

I had my illness for 10 years and though I had good days, they were followed by days and weeks of hell.

SO how did I stop it? MMJ – if you make fresh juice from the leaves of MMJ (Cannabis) it isn’t possible to get a high . I’ll write that again – fresh leaves juiced have almost no Pshycoactive effect and massive medicinal benefit.

I found that by smoking weed (it made me anxious to begin with this was due to the pain… weed is funny that way) and by lying own and massaging I improved the muscle tone and this permanently improves the blood flow – and this is the primary problem for you

Low blod flow = Inflammation (and vice versa) and this leads to Hypoxia and ulceration – beleive me Cannabinoids are meant for the human body – just like all the other molecules you can harness from other plants – e.g. carotenoids from beetroot etc

Anyhow I’ll leave ur post now, but my heart goes out to you, and so many of my friends who are falsley imprisoned by sickness, because mankind took away cannabinoids to replace them with drugs that pail in comparison like Remicade.

I hope I sparked some kind of interest into research

God Bless