Thank You, Jesus, for my Crohn’s Disease – Part 7


If you haven’t read my latest flair-up journey, you should start here to get the full picture.

Sometime during my flair-up, I told Brett, “Well, I better start praising Jesus for this Crohn’s attack because there has to be something he wants to teach me!” Here are a few things that He did show me through this experience, and I hope it blesses you too.

  1. I can be a better dietitian by experiencing different diets and digestive issues.

Let me be honest.  As a dietitian, I’m not a fan of fad diets, the newest diet book, whatever is being shared most on Facebook, etc.  If you want to know why, you can watch my video on why fad diets don’t work.  Therefore, I actually was against trying Whole30 at first.  No way, I’m not going to try something because everyone is doing it. And if you know me at all, I usually do the opposite of what everyone is doing. However, after listening to my sister-in-law, Ashley, tell me about the success she had with acid reflux, I knew it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

Why was I still resistant though? Jesus showed me that I had a pride issue.  Deep down, I struggle with people asking my opinion on a nutrition topic, yet, then say, “Well, I read…”  My pride says, “Then why did you ask my opinion? I guess that article on Facebook written by who knows who is more important than my Purdue University degree, plus continuing education on the most updated food and nutrition research?”  Ok, that sounds harsh, and that’s my pride talking, but I probably can get an AMEN from many of my dietitian colleagues. I mean…our competition is…Facebook?  Yeah, kinda a low blow. However, I do NOT know everything, and I’m not afraid to tell people that. But I also needed a reminder that just because I’m not familiar with something doesn’t mean it couldn’t work for people.

I had to let go of my pride, and once I did, I actually got excited for this experience and the possibility of my health improving through changing my diet. (Note: For those wondering what my diet was like before Whole 30, I was not perfect, but I aimed daily to live by the guidelines from MyPlate.)   Before starting, I came to the conclusion that whether Whole 30 worked or didn’t work, I knew that I would gain valuable insight.  If a client asks me my opinion on Whole 30 now, I can give them an honest review of my experience. If they choose to try it, I can understand their struggles, successes, and even give them recipe tips!

Further, not only can I relate to others but I can sympathize with other people with bowel disease, disorders, allergies, etc.  I’ve been on the patient end too many times, and knowing that my medical provider can actually understand what I’m going through?  That’s a win-win for provider-patient. I can provide not only my dietitian expertise but my personal experience with others who are struggling too.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10

I have realized that God gave me this “gift” of a bowel disease to serve others. My role is to be a faithful steward of showing people God’s grace in this various form of….well….poop.

2. What works for you, may not work for me. And what works for me, may not work for you.

Another reason why fad diets don’t work for everyone. Every body is different. There is no cookie cutter approach.  Whole 30 worked for my sister-in-law and a host of other people; it did not work for me.  And guess what? I’m OK with that!!  If you have truly put your effort into something to improve your health that you felt worked for “everyone else” and it didn’t work, don’t get discouraged.  Because honestly, it didn’t work for EVERYone else. Your body is unique and will respond differently depending on what’s going on.  Accept that and don’t give up trying something else or in my case, get medical help. Which leads me to….

3. There is a place for natural remedies AND medicine.

In the mommy world, I feel like this is a really hot topic.  There is a lot of guilt and finger pointing for not eating all organic, giving children vaccines, using essential oils vs. over-the-counter meds, and now that it’s summer, the TOXIC sunscreen issue. I skip over all the articles on these topics. I know my convictions and I’m not going to let someone’s convictions make me feel guilty.  I encourage you to do the same. If you feel so strongly about no medicine and using only natural remedies, good for you!  I commend you! I agree that we should use God’s resources that our at our disposable. I tried to go the natural route, and I really did not want to seek medical attention since the solution is always drugs. However, as you read in the previous post, I was getting so sick.  And since my body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit living inside me, I am responsible for taking care of it the best that I know how.

I have been on medication for about 3 weeks now, and I have seen great improvement with my symptoms.  I don’t have the urge to go as often, and when the urge comes, I don’t have to literally run. I can actually tell my children, “Mommy will be back. I have to go potty.” Rather than leaving them in the dust.  As far as my diet?  I’m eating similar to how I was before I tried Whole 30, except I do eat less grains and I don’t eat much dairy.   I may introduce dairy later to see if there is an effect, but for now, I am doing very well and want to keep up what I’m doing.

4. “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Honestly, I love blogging because the Lord teaches me as I write out my story, thoughts, and emotions. As I wrote the details of this journey in my previous post, I kept asking myself why I was in such denial of my condition?  Why did I keep saying, “NO!”, every time Brett told me to call my doctor? Now, I realize it was fear. I feared that I was out of remission, that I would have to be on drugs the rest of my life, that I will eventually be part of the 75% of bowel disease patients who will have surgery to remove diseased sections and yes, maybe the entire colon. Then, when my doctor took out 2 large polyps, I couldn’t help but fear the ugly c-word…cancer.  Praise Jesus they were benign, but now what?

Do I live in constant fear of the future? No, I choose not to because fear is not from God. I feared that God never really did heal me. But who am I to know the ways of God? I will trust that His ways are higher than my ways. And as I sit here writing this, I had 2 people message me regarding my previous post and share with me their struggles with ulcerative colitis. It is encouraging that I am not alone. If I can walk along someone else with this struggle, and even point them to the One who heals not only the body but more importantly our sick souls?  Then it will be worth every pill I take. Every bathroom run. Every procedure, and yes, even possibly surgery.  Will it be hard? Of course. I don’t know the future, but I know that Jesus is holding my hand and whispering, “watch what I can do again when you are weak, and I am strong.”


The 4-1-1 on 3-11


Today is 3-11. And if you know me, that means it’s my birthday!  But what is even more exciting is that this year, 3-11 is also National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day!  God knew that I’d be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist someday, so why not be born on the same day that RDN’s are recognized!?

rdnNote: National Registered Dietitian Day is always the 2nd Wednesday in the month of March, which is National Nutrition Month.  Therefore, it doesn’t always fall on my birthday. But 2015 is a good year!

I’ve been itching to write on my blog about nutrition topics. I haven’t been on here recently because….well…I have a 3 year old and a 10 month old….and who has the time for that? 😛

But to be honest. I’ve been slightly intimidated.  Why? First, there is a host of information and blogs and websites on nutrition, and who would read what I would have to say?  Second, well….let’s just face it. Nutrition can be controversial. Because it’s in the field of science, and this study says this…and that study says that…and this diet works…and this diet is old news…and this doctor said this…and don’t forget about what Dr. Oz says!!!

And I’ve had enough!   Every month there is a new study or new book on the best seller list of what to eat, what not to eat, how to lose weight, etc. No wonder everyone is confused!!!   My best friend has been encouraging me to write on my blog about nutrition. After all, I am supposed to be considered an expert since I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.  I say supposed to be because we do not always get credit for being the experts on nutrition. And here’s why:

In the past few years, the title Registered Dietitian (RD) has actually been changed to Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Either title is fine to use, but adding the word Nutritionist to Registered Dietitian sets us apart from someone who is just a nutritionist.  And someone who is a nutritionist can be legally….really….anyone.  Take a class in nutrition and all the sudden you are a nutritionist? Start selling “healthy” supplements or meal plans or meal replacements and suddenly you are a nutritionist?  Get your personal fitness trainer license and suddenly you are a nutritionist?   Sorry, but these are NOT the nutrition experts.  And may I add an even more controversial statement?  Even doctors do not receive the same education as RDN’s.   Again, sorry Dr. Oz.  I didn’t read anything in my textbooks or research that says that particular food or supplement is a miracle food.

RDN’s have to receive their B.S. in Dietetics at an accredited university.  For instance, in the state of Indiana, there are only 3: Purdue University (my alma mater – and one of the top nutrition programs in the nation), Indiana University, and Ball State University.  Then, we are required to do a 1200 hour internship in practical experience (which only 50% of students get matched to an internship depending on college grades and experience outside classroom…quite a competing field to start with), and then take the national RDN exam.  Also, in order to keep our license, we have to do continuing education yearly to stay on top of nutrition research and recommendations.   Expert? I believe so.  On that note, I want to send a big shout out today to all the RDN’s that are “the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and….for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.”

Yet, we still are not the first person that most run to when they are in need of nutrition and diet recommendations.  Brett gave me a perfect example.  Last winter after an ice storm, a car slid through a stop sign and hit the side of our car, denting and scratching the doors.  Would we take it to Mike’s Car Wash to get it fixed?  Of course not!  We would take it to a car shop that specializes in fixing damaged car parts (or as my dad found on Ebay…2 new doors to replace the old ones!)   They both work with cars, but they are experts in different services for your car.  Likewise, an RDN specializes in nutrition and what to eat.  So why go to someone else that may work with the physical body but is NOT the expert in nutrition?

I’m also tired of seeing all the junk information that’s out there.  And I truly am burdened and saddened by the marketing schemes that the food industry, manufacturers, oh and even doctors trying to sell their books, come up with to make $$$. Big. Fat. Cash. And lot’s of it. At the expense of people’s health.   I’m even more saddened when I see friends and family get swayed by all the gimmicks and fads because of lack of knowledge.  And if I didn’t have the nutrition knowledge that I do have, boy, I would be confused too!  Heck, I even stand in the aisle at the grocery store and spend a good amount of time reading this label and that label because even we RDN’s are overwhelmed with the products and choices!!! (Can I get an amen fellow RDN?)  Because of the internet, anyone can post anything and call it true. Because of our wonderful free enterprise in America that I’m forever grateful for, anyone can sell anything and somehow call it healthy. (What about the FDA regulations?! Ha…that’s a topic for another day..)

I hope as you are reading this you share my frustrations too.  And since you probably are not the nutrition expert, you have every reason to be frustrated. One decade it’s low fat, the next low carb, the next NO carb. For years it’s low saturated fat, then for like one day saturated is OK!, then back to low saturated fat because that study was fraud….. you get where I’m going at.

So now that my rant is over (at least for now on this topic!), what is my takeaway.  I want to leave you with some reputable, research-based, RDN recommended resources for nutrition and health.  If you have any nutrition related questions….go here.  If you want to see if what that celebrity did to lose weight and kept it off is research based and truly healthy, go here.   If you want to make sure that Dr. Oz isn’t just promoting that food product or supplement because he’s getting paid millions to, go here (or just turn off his show).

Academy_of_Nutrition_and_Dietetics_logoAcademy of Nutrition and Dietetics – The real nutrition experts live here.  There is even a link to search for RDN’s in your area!

thNational Nutrition Month Resources

CSPI-logoCenter for Science in the Public Interest – I subscribe to their Nutrition Action Healthletter and LOVE IT!  If you want to stay up-to-date with solid nutrition research recommendations, subscribe to this newsletter.

Heart-Association-Logo-American Heart Association – Heart disease is #1 killer and if everyone ate the diet recommendations listed, most all preventable diseases would disappear (heart disease, strokes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes).

Untitled-1Choose MyPlate


National Institutes of Health (NIH)

 In the future, I’ll blog about specific diet recommendations, but here is some info to get you started. My goal is to educate you on research based recommendations and debunk the diet and nutrition myths floating out there in the media.  If you have a specific topic you want to know more about, leave a comment!!!  I’ll do my best to blog consistently, but remember….I have a 3 1/2 year old and 10 month old! 😉

Again, Happy RDN Day! (and birthday to me!)