For over a decade, I suffered with Ulcerative Colitis (UC for short). It was a few weeks after my first Honolulu marathon when I became ill. “Stomach flu” my then-Doc preached:
“Take some Pepto and Immodium. Call me after a few days if it doesn’t let up.”
I can laugh at the ordeal today. Stomach flu I wish! Turns out a sinister son-of-a-bitch lurked in my genes (thanks Grandpa Hernandez). After suffering 10 undiagnosable days, my then-GI (not by my own choosing) called it. I had Ulcerative Colitis; an inflammatory bowel DISEASE not IBS, (another I wish) that is the result of an abnormal response by my immune system.
My life involved ignorant GI Doctors, steroids, food restriction and bathrooms, not to mention having to compete in my love of triathlon, pretty much in a fasted state (not by choice but dictated by my disease).
I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars trying holistic/naturopathic/eastern/not-covered-by-health-insurance concoctions.
I’ve tried every diet, juice, supplement, enema, pill, shot, patch, IV therapy, on and on and on. And then one quiet, cool and crisp fall day while at the The Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic, it was clear that I needed surgery.
My battle left me exhausted, depressed, hopeless and defeated. If UC didn’t kill me, my soul would. Mayo’s recommendation solidified a decision that I had put off for far too long.
Fast forward to today. I literally do not have guts , but I am far from gutless. And now that I have been reborn, I am enjoying the ability to eat a balanced diet allowing everything in moderation. I go by the 80-20 rule. And I don’t judge others and their habits. I support the belief that we are all different and we all need to find the path that works best for us.
I limit (NOT ELIMINATE) my fast food. I enjoy a good drive thru every once in a great while (mainly after a night out on the town with way too much alcohol involved)
I work out every day; every single day. My exercise is long and intense, more days than not.
I try to make smart choices when I can. I mostly shop organic. I LIMIT (NOT ELIMINATE) my gluten. I do a few real deal juices or smoothies each week. I LIMIT (not ELIMINATE) my processed food and sugar and I drink alcohol in moderation.
My meals are home-cooked Monday through Friday and I really, really enjoy gourmet takeout on the weekends.
I do not eat cookies or candy or sweets every day. I enjoy these treats a few times per week.
I do not follow a particular style of eating such as Vegetarianism, Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Blood Type…but rather, I go by how my body feels. Sometimes, I crave meat. Sometimes I crave more veggies. I listen to the signals my body sends me and adjust my plan accordingly.
I abide by intermittent fasting. I regularly eat during a specific time period usually from noon-8 PM . On some days, dependent upon how I feel and what workouts I plan to do, I’ll decrease that time frame, choosing to eat in a 6-hour window, or even a 4-hour window.
And some days, all above goes to shit. I throw out my mental food checklist and I enjoy celebrations with family and friends. And usually, my splurge is planned so I’ll be sure to get in lots of high intensity exercise before and especially the day after my outing.
On that wave length, here’s a pretty darn good zucchini “crab” cake recipe I came across as I was feeling in a veggie mood. My only critique is that it isn’t as firm as a regular crab cake. We’ll see if it passes the husband test… I used coconut flour instead of regular flour and garbanzo “bread” crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs to keep my version Gluten Free. Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a whirl!