Thursday, June 6, 2013


Organic Vegetables at my local Whole Foods.
Aren't they beautiful?

Since it's looking like vegetables (especially raw) are going to be a problem for me to eat, Greg & I decided that we should investigate juicing.  The idea behind juicing is that the nutrients get absorbed quicker and more effectively because they don't have to travel through the intestines.  

One of my good friends, Jackie (hi, Jackie!), recently got a juicer, and she has noticed a huge jump in her energy levels since adding more healthy fresh nutrients to her life.  She recommended it because of my long-term fatigue.  Then we found out that I have inflammatory bowel disease, probably Crohn's (still haven't heard results from the blood test - but I called today to give the doctor a little nudge), and it made even more sense to give it a try.  Greg has been more interested on my behalf than I have been . . . I think because people who juice seem to be part of a cult.  They REALLY love juicing.  And I am not a joiner.  I don't join clubs, I don't like fads, I don't want to be part of anything that is temporarily popular.

This last weekend, we hung out with friends of ours, Joe & Laurie, and they made some carrot-cucumber-apple juice for us (they have a super high-end, extremely expensive, best in the business juicer).  It was delicious and it seemed to fill a hole inside me that I didn't know was there.  I just wanted to keep drinking more.  And, as Greg so wisely said, "How could it HURT to have better nutrition from raw vegetables and fruits?"

Here are some of the reasons it seems wise to us:

1.  Juicing removes fiber and residue
People with Crohn's Disease (or inflammatory bowel diseases in general) have difficulty processing the fiber in raw vegetables (and often cooked ones, too - plus, cooking loses many of the nutrients that make vegetables helpful).

Even without taking Crohn's into account, it has become obvious that the things causing me the most trouble are foods with high fiber and high "residue" (high residue foods = things that have a lot of non-digestible parts like husks or seeds or fibrous strings = corn, lettuces, celery, beans, many meats, and lots of other things I always thought were "good for me"!)  Juicing allows me to get the nutrients from the vegetables and fruit without the fiber or residue.  Smoothies are not the same as juice because smoothies are made in a blender and they retain all the fiber and residue of the items blended. 

I have already noticed a difference in how I feel/digest by replacing 1-2 meals per day with liquid nutrition (mostly protein shakes made by me with added vitamins + minerals).  But they are not fresh food and don't contain all the natural "medicine" that God created to keep us healthy.  

2.  Liquid is better for people with Crohn's
In people with Crohn's, it is proven that the digestive system can heal itself into remission when allowed to "rest" (i.e. drinking nutrients rather than eating them).  I think I mentioned before that liquid diets show results equal to the results shown by drug therapy at inducing remission for patients with Crohn's - without any of the side effects!  Statistics say that I will probably have relapses sometimes no matter what, because that's the nature of the disease, but I have hope because I know what to do if that happens.  And who knows? - perhaps with great nutrition from fresh organic vegetables and fruit I won't have any disease progression at all!

Here is a statement from the article above:

"The clinical response to an enteral diet has been associated with a reduction in disease activity scores and in inflammatory markers. Decreased intestinal permeability, histological healing, and downregulation of mucosal proinflammatory cytokines have also been reported. To date, the mechanisms underlying this therapeutic response remain unclear."

Here is my translation:
An enteral (= liquid) diet 

1. decreases disease activity
2. decreases inflammation
3. decreases intestinal permeability 
(keeps things in that need to be in and keeps things out that need to be out!)
4. decreases histamines (cause inflammation)
5. decreases the mechanism in the mucous membranes that leads to more inflammation

They don't know why it works.  It made me laugh to read the authors of the study say that (my translation/paraphrase) in a modern age with all sorts of fancy medication and immuno-suppressant drugs, treating a disease with diet/nutrition seems "mundane."  As far as I am concerned, a "mundane" treatment that works and makes me healthier in the process without side effects is wonderful!  That is what "medicine" would be in the ideal world.

I am convinced that FOOD is medicine 
and how and what we choose to eat can heal us or hurt us.

The Organic Vegetable selection at my local Sprout's store
(love you, Sprout's!)

Did you know about the ANDI score?
I learned about this today for the first time!

Kale wins first prize!

So we bought this:
Breville - 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor
available from Amazon

It's scheduled to arrive tomorrow!
I will take video of my first juicing experience.  My first juice is going to be carrot-apple-ginger root.
Carrot is good for decreasing inflammation.
Ginger root helps digestion.

Click here if you are interested in juice recipes.
Click here for information about how individual vegetables and fruits can help your body.

********************** Topic Shift! ******************

Bjarne & Stephen looking adorable

Bjarne sitting FUNNY with his knees poking out!

Juvy enjoying the cool inside
(look under the white blankie to the right of the photo -
do you see a little Allistair nosey?!)

Stepen in bird-watching position

Though watching birdies is a tough business -
sometimes a cat just gets tired!

Allistiar has an extra cute way of taking a bath:

Also, in a fit of energy (hooray!), I cleaned out our pantry and fridge!

Now I just need to shift things around a bit to be ready for all the lovely fresh organic vegetables and fruits!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be posting a juicing video for you . . . 

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME plan...I thought the mundane comment was typical of what doctors now days would say. Excited to see how that juicer works.