Archives: yoga and ibd

IBD Meetup Group

IBD Meetup Group

Last week was my monthly IBD Meetup group. 5 of us came together to tell our stories, stretch, laugh, breathe, meditate and most importantly share knowledge together. I feel blessed that this group of people can come together each month and feel comfortable enough to talk about their bowels… that’s something that takes most people quite some time to open up about but not IBD folks! We’re ready, willing and able to talk about it any time of the day – in fact, we want you to ask us about our bowels, especially if it’s been a good day! We’re proud when it’s good – however when it’s a bad, flare up kind of day that’s not the time to be asking. A note to IBD significant others – make sure to be really excited for us when it’s a good bathroom day because they might not be so often and we need you to be happy for us! My next Meetup group is on March 26th will I see you there? Class is limited to 6 students so please make sure to RSVP HERE if you’d like to join us.

Be well!

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Beautiful snow filled NYC trees

Last week was a stressful week for me and in my case that means my stomach gets off balance, which could potentially throw me into a colitis flare up. Yep, it sucks and it’s totally happening right now… Yuck!

Here’s what I’m NOT doing –

- Sitting around feeling sorry for myself

- Racking my brain trying to figure out exactly what threw me off

- Getting depressed

- Eating crap because I feel like crap

Here are the top 5 most important things that I AM doing for myself during this time:

1) Exercise. Get to the gym! if that’s not possible because you’re snowbound then do 100 jumping jacks right now to sweat and get your blood flowing. The worst thing you can do is sit or lie down all day.

- If you can get to the gym use that large ball in the stretching area to roll and stretch out your body – it also gives you an inversion, which is gentle, feels great and again gets the blood flowing. OR use the body foam roller and roll your whole body out. I’ll post pictures of both of these exercises in a future post – stay tuned.

2) Go to the steam room and sweat it out. I like steam especially in the winter  time since it’s so dry out. The steam brings moisture and helps open the pores – this is also another way to help you sweat.

3) Try a soft food cleanse. What does that mean? Any food that’s safe for a baby to eat is good for you to eat, ie: steamed or boiled golden beets, potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, yam, carrot, etc. Eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for one whole day. This will help your system take a break and allows the body to heal.

*** While in a flare up watch everything that you put into your mouth. You should be eating cooked foods that are warming and easy to digest. Foods that are slow cooked are usually a great option, ie: soups and stews in a crock-pot that don’t have many spices – keep it plain and simple for now.

4) Take it easy and relax. If you can get yourself to a restorative yoga class try it. If you’re in NYC here’s a restorative yoga class that I absolutely LOVE! Her name is Laura Wooton and it’s Tuesday’s at 8:15pm at Pure Yoga West. Get there.

5) Practice breathing exercises such as alternate nostril breathing, shown in this clip below:

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Click the photo to watch the video

BONUS) DE-STRESS! I’m not yelling here… I’m just trying to explain the urgency of this disease and if you don’t de-stress, let go, breathe, practice yoga, meditate, eat properly then there will be many negative consequences. Take care of yourself. When you feel it coming, (we all know the signs) then boost up your de-stressing techniques. Try this voice recording that I created below:

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Click the photo to listen to voice recording

I know you know how to take care of yourself – but when you’re in a flare, or period of stress, the body feels it in a bad way. You MUST balance it out. Try acupuncture, meditation, qi gong – anything to take you out of your stressed state. The whole idea here is to break the pattern – if you can do that, then you’re golden.

Listen to your body – it absolutely, 100% knows what you need – just open your ears and listen carefully.

Just because I’m feeling crappy this week doesn’t mean I get to complain about it. Instead I’m taking action and being proactive – that’s what you should be doing too!

Rock on!

I’ve been dealing with ulcerative colitis since I was 12 years old and I’ve got some great tips to share with you. The tips below come from my book called The Fix Your Belly Blues Program. It’s a 21-day program created to help you find the right diet that works for you, learn how to cleanse properly and connect the mind/body. Here are my top 10 tips to get you moving and motivated to kick your health into shape. Remember, you are in control of your health – let your body do the healing.

1)     Find practitioners who you feel a connection with – whether it’s acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic, kinesiology, massage etc. It’s so important to be able to talk with them, vent, and relax all at the same time – what an incredible release that is.

2)     Find a wonderful, supportive therapist

3)     Take probiotics everyday (especially while traveling). Megafoods is a great brand – although pricey, it’s the best.

4)     Eat fermented foods ie: raw sauerkraut, (the brand Real Pickles sauerkraut is delicious). Lactose free yogurt by the brand Green Valley Organics is awesome. It’s yogurt w/ probiotics, organic and lactose free!! Amazing! The same brand also makes kefir, which is also a fermented product that I recommend. Raw kombucha is GREAT for us IBDers – It’s a probiotic drink. I like GT’s brand original flavor since it’s low in sugar.

5)     Stay away from white sugar, brown sugar, any sugar substitutes (equal, splenda etc.) instead use honey, agave, maple syrup. Watch your sugar intake in general, it causes inflammation

6)      Steer clear of caffeine – it also causes inflammation

7)     Eat as many whole foods as you can. Soup with tons of soft veggies, well-blended smoothies, fresh green juices, etc.

8)     Create a meditation practice and maintain a regular workout at the gym.

9)     Take a good brand of cod liver oil. I like Green Pastures Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Since it’s fermented, it’s easier to digest and doesn’t come up on me throughout the day.

10)   I recommend a gluten free diet. Be careful with soy sauce and salad dressing as they contain gluten and you may not have realized that. Stay away from too much soy – it’s in everything. Eat clean, nutrient packed foods and you’re half way there – then add in the mind/body aspect and you’re on your way!

Bonus tip: Educate yourself. I’d say that’s the most important tip I can give you. Read, surf the web, talk to people who have the same disease and ask tons of questions.

Even though doctors are very smart, they do not know everything. I hate to say this but most GI doctors know the bare minimum about diet. In fact they will tell you to eat whatever you want with IBD and that diet has nothing to do with it. I don’t believe that for one second because food is half the battle.

There will be times when you’ll be completely stumped about what to eat because everything you put into your mouth makes you feel terrible. Well, it’s time to take action. Start with soft cooked root veggies and work your way up from there. Don’t forget about the yoga/meditation aspect of the work. It’s not a one size fits all type of thing here – you have to find what foods work for you. What yoga poses feel good for you, which meditation practices work for you. You get the idea? I can’t do the work for you but I can explain what needs to be done to get you on the right track. Ultimately your in control. Stand in your confident shoes and get moving. Don’t feel helpless, you are what you eat. Start taking responsibility for your actions. This is your life, so start living it.

Check out my book where you can find more step-by- step instructions to guide you along your path to health. I will show you a yoga and meditation practice that I feel works well for IBDers. Ultimately you decide which poses to keep and which to take out. The Fix Your Belly Blues Program is now available!

Cheers to you and this lifetime of health and happiness.