Hubs has a disease called Crohn’s. For those of you have no heard of this, it is similar to Ulceritive Colitis. These diseases mean that there are ulcers present in the small or large intestine. In Hubs’ case, they are present in his Ilium – the connector of the two intestines. Hubs was diagnosed when he was in his senior year of high school. By the time I met him, he had decided to stop with medication because it didn’t make him better it just delayed the inevitable relapse days. He slept a lot because he felt bad but he was sure he was on the right path.
When we had been together about 3 months, I was studying in Mexico. He called me one day to tell me he had seen a naturopath chiropractor who had recommended he give up milk products to see if it would improve his Crohn’s.
And from that point on, he has been all in.
Let’s rewind a minute and say that I have had psoriasis since I was 14. The doctor gave me steroids which made me gain 40lbs in about 2 months. (That’s pleasant in Jr High). Then I ran the gamut of creams and ointments.
When I was 17 I asked for the new injection. They claim, by the way, to improve your psoriasis by 60% (on average). I never saw improvement. In fact, I think it got worse. By the time college rolled around, I didn’t even like to wear skirts in front of people because I was tired of answering the 5 or 6 rude questions every person I met felt the need to ask.
So when Matt told me that he was going to quit dairy, I thought about how hard it would be (it’s not that bad really). His next comment? That he wanted to me to see the Dr. too.
So in the fall when I came back to school, I too went to the Dr. He gave me a bunch of supplements and talked to me about eating more veggies (trust me when I say that for a college student living on my own, I did pretty stinkin’ well but once a day still isn’t a lot). I saw some improvement, but mostly I felt better on the inside. Hubs was feeling better too.
When we relocated after college, we were unable to find a doctor who did the same thing, so we kept on through research. The first year was a lot of trial and error and no improvement. Then Hubs read about juicing, so we juiced everything. And you know what? My psoriasis was GONE. Seriously, I have never been more busy or stressed in my whole life and it was gone. I didn’t even notice it. Hubs was doing better, but not great.
We got involved with the Weston A Price foundation and read Nourishing Traditions (ok I didn’t read it but I used it as a cook book). Later, we got into a raw milk herd share, thinking that the pasteurization process was the problem for Hubs (it’s not). Hubs was doing a lot better, but we weren’t there yet. For one, he still had problems (trust me you don’t want Crohn’s details).
Then we got pregnant! We did more research on healthy pregnancy. We took fermented cod liver oil, and looked into GAPS but it requires a system reboot and we knew pregnancy wasn’t the time to do that and Hubs couldn’t do something that demanding all on his own.
Then Hubs stumbled onto the Primal movement from Mark Scisson. He was sold. He explained it to me (another book I didn’t read all the way through…no wonder he won’t read Harry Potter when I ask….) and I agreed. So we brought Lemonade home to a now Primal (Paleo) household.
So what are the finer points? Lots of vegetables. Real vegetables. Not what has been touted to us all as veggies but are sometimes empty carbs, or legumes, or whatever. Good veggies. Some fruit. Nuts. Good meat. Minimal dairy. No grain.
Yup, I said it. We don’t eat grain. Mr Scisson suggests an 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you are strict and 20% of the time you don’t have to worry so much. I follow this pretty closely. Hubs does more like 99/1 because it makes him feel so much better.
So we don’t eat a lot of grain. We didn’t give the baby any grain and we thought we’d try it when she was around 1 but then I noticed that when I ate wheat, she got a rash, and we discovered she has a wheat sensitivity, so no wheat for her. No big. The only way we use it is to make Kvass anyways and on rare occasions, I make sourdough bread or pizza crust (sourdough helps pre-digest the grain for your body). When we do have grain, we tend toward the heritage grains like spelt, quinoa, steel cut oats, and kulmat.
Please understand that I’m not always good at this for myself. But for Hubs and Lemonade it’s imperative for their health, so I try really hard.
People think we are crazy. They aren’t afraid to ask what we eat if we don’t eat grains or ask if we miss it.
And we do. I do. I know I miss cookies a LOT. They are my favorite. I love lasagna and other pasta. So I find new ways of doing it. Zucchini is wonderful for pasta-y things. Almond meal/flour is great for baking (as is coconut if you are a coconut lover, which I am not but Hubs is).
Anyways, I wrote this so that tomorrow I can tell you about our sweet girl’s first birthday party which we celebrated grain free! No cake, no sandwiches. We decided to “drink the kool-aid” as Hubs like to say and we wanted to show our family and friends how yummy it can be.
I’m not preaching the grain-free lifestyle, although if you research you will see that people have had miraculous heath turn-arounds because of it. I am telling you that while it’s counter-cultural, it’s not horribly hard.
And P.S. If you want to see a little about Hubs health journey, he has a blog too.