Designing a Healing Plan

I have been writing a series at SCDLifestyle on the necessity of looking at the big picture when healing from digestive illnesses like Crohn’s, colitis, IBS, celiac, and diverticulitis.  (Read Post One and Post Two here.)

In the first post, I discussed the value of a big picture outlook, and introduced the concepts of balance and prioritization as they relate to healing from digestive illness. In the second post, I expanded on those concepts, and walked through the first steps of developing a big picture-focused healing plan.

In this post, I deconstruct my healing pyramid, and guide you through inserting goals and using your visionary goal to produce a healing plan. At the end of each section, I will give an example of that portion of my healing plan.

Enjoy the post! It’s here:

Onward to Health,

Big Picture #2: Setting Healing Goals

My second post on Seeing the Big Picture is out on

I’ve clipped an excerpt here to get you started…

One of my personal goals for this series (and in writing and coaching in general) is to share some of the tools that I have developed over the years in the hope that they may speed your healing, and save you anguish along the way. Getting to the place where I could write a series like this has been a struggle. I have had some wonderful successes (like the SCD), and I have had some miserable failures. It has taken a tremendous amount of trial and error, of searching out experts, of reading books and studies, blogs and chat forums, to get my gut under control. Writing this series in hindsight, I hope, will help minimize some of that for you.

In my last post, I discussed the value of a big picture outlook and introduced the concepts of balance and prioritization as they relate to healing from digestive illness. In this post, I will expand on those concepts and walk you through the first steps of developing a big picture-focused healing plan. If you are using this series to its fullest, remember to get out a pen and paper, so you will be ready to jot down ideas and think about the questions and concepts along the way.

Read the rest of the post here.


Onward to Health,

Today I have a guest post on The post is a first in a series of posts designed to help folks think through the big picture of their healing and begin to make a plan. One of the most common issues I see when I talk with people, either through the blog or through coaching, is that the day-to-day difficulty of digestive illness can be so overwhelming that the big picture is lost. People end up treating their gut day-to-day. Of course, there can be value in taking our condition on a day-by-day basis, but the danger is that we then adopt and abandon treatments to whimsically never giving any one treatment enough time and/or attention. A big picture view also helps us in the rough times (Here’s where I was; look at where I am; here’s where I’m going).

Below is an excerpt from the beginning of the post. You can read the rest of the post, here, on SCDLifestyle’s website.

What is your ultimate health and healing goal? Pause for a moment and picture it. What is life like once this goal has been achieved? What are you doing? How do you feel? What have you learned along the way? Take some time to experience it…

That life you just experienced, those moments you just envisioned, that is the start of developing your big picture. Write it down in as clear a fashion as you can. You’ll need that for the rest of this series.

The goal of this big picture series is to help you see the value of being big picture focused. I will discuss how to develop your personal big picture, why you should keep it in front of you daily, and how a big picture focus can revolutionize your healing journey.

This series is designed to function as a guide; it is your own coach to help you develop a big picture healing plan. It is packed it full of information. Along the way, I have inserted questions to help you think through the concepts and practicalities of developing your personal big picture healing plan.


Read the rest of the post here.


Onward to Health,

Tracking your Symptoms with the MyIBD App

I cannot stress enough the value of tracking your symptoms, your diet, your medications, etc. On the sidebar of this blog are free tracking tools you can download and use. I saw this smart phone app tracking tool this morning and thought I’d share it with you.

The MyIBD app from the Collaborative Chronic Care Network (C3N) website reads:

“Track your pain, food, frequency of bathroom visits – and get access to educational tools to help you manage your symptoms. The myIBD mobile app helps teens and parents living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis manage their disease and get help more quickly.  This app was developed by the staff at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.”

No matter how you do it, with pen, with a computer, or with a phone. Tracking and journaling will be one of the most useful things you do in your healing journey.

Onward to Health.

Science Daily recently published a report showing the benefits of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in treating Crohn’s. Read the full story here.

Science Daily (Mar. 19, 2012) —

“The Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) research team at Virginia Tech has discovered important new information on the efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in treating Crohn’s disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). CLA is a naturally occurring acid found in meat and dairy products known for its anti-cancer and immune modulatory properties.”


CLA and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD):

CLA is found in grass-fed animal products: meat, bones (for broth), and butter, and cream. It is also found in mushrooms and is produced by beneficial bacteria in the gut. The SCD advocates for frequent consumption of bone broth, broiled meat, and fermented dairy. Buy these products from grass-fed (grazed, not given grain-based feed) sources, and increase your CLA intake. If you are regularly making bone broth, add mushrooms to the broth to increase the total CLA of the broth.

Probiotic bacteria also produce CLA. Regular intake of fermented foods like SCD-legal yogurt, and fermented vegetables are not only good for CLA production, but help to fight infection, which is a likely genesis of Crohn’s and Colitis, and could be at the root of certain irritable bowel disease (IBD) as well. High dose oral probiotic supplementation has been proven effective in healing Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and can be helpful with IBS.


Onward to Health,

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