Some Changes at the Kimball House

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I have some news.

I hope you won’t be disappointed about the delayed schedule, but I won’t be baking bread as often as I promised this fall.

And there’s a good reason for it.

Sandra's Bread (2) I know, I know, you’re all thinking there won’t be buns in my oven because there’s…you know…a bun in the oven.

I hope you’re not disappointed about THAT not being the case. I’ll be sure to let you know if number three blessing is on the way so you can all bring me meals when the baby is born. (I always think moms-to-be really need the meals during the first trimester, when looking at raw eggs and meat can make one run to the bathroom in horror…among other things. Don’t you think?)

Now I hope you’ll forgive my little tangent. I thought it would be fun to play a bit.

Are you having fun yet?

Okay, I know.

The news.

We’re going grain free at the Kimball house for a while.

So as much as I love the KS community and was really, really looking forward to finding the perfect whole grain bread recipe, we’re just going to have to wait. (UPDATE: The perfect whole wheat bread recipe series did begin!)

Life happens.

People get sick.

People who blog about food tend to help their sick husbands get well via food.

My husband, who will absolutely hate every second of this post, has Crohn’s Disease, an autoimmune condition of the small intestine that causes inflammation, poor absorption, pain, and bad digestion.

He was diagnosed in college, did the medication thing for a while and eventually was on steroids (not the big-muscle kind, the make-your-inflammation-stop-but-lots-of-side-effects kind). He managed to avoid most of the side effects, but just before graduating college landed in the hospital with a possible hole in his intestine.

They almost didn’t let him graduate. After donning cap and gown and receiving his diploma, the poor man had to eat jello and broth instead of celebrating with a steak and a beer. He was on a liquid diet for the surgery two days later, at which time he had 10 inches of small intestine removed.

That was eight years ago, and he’s experienced nary a symptom since.

It’s been wonderful.

When we pray at night, we often go weeks without remembering to thank God for its absence and beg for it never to return. Sometimes I am surprised that it’s still there, lurking in the darkness. When I do remember the disease, I worry and pray for my children.

You see, Crohn’s is chronic. It will always be there, even if masked. It’s also hereditary, one of those mystical diseases that no one understands completely, but there are both genetic and environmental factors.

I wonder about my children. Will the city water with fluoride and chlorine set off whatever gene they may or may not have inherited from their father? Is it chemicals in processed food? (His mother’s best dinner guests are Mr. Stouffer and Mrs. Sara Lee.) Could the way I serve them grains throw the switch one way or the other? Does my son’s tendency toward loose-goosey BMs, so different from my daughter’s occasional constipation, mean he’s got a tendency toward Crohn’s, too? Or will she be the one?

It makes my heart expand and tickle my face, crushing my lungs with the weight of the “What if?”

The Beast from the Deep

After eight years of freedom, the monster has surfaced again.

About four weeks ago, my husband starting experiencing symptoms of chronic diarrhea. Nothing fun or glamorous about that, and when you have Crohn’s, even though it didn’t feel “Crohnsy” (yes, we often make up words in our house), you worry. You wonder. You push on your stomach to see if it hurts. When it doesn’t, and the symptoms still won’t go away, you have to try to figure out what’s going on.

We still don’t know if he’s experiencing a Crohn’s flare-up, an anxiety issue, or just the result of a month of compromise eating more than usual, a fluke.

Regardless of the origin of the problem, with 80% of our immune system and as many nerve cells as the spinal cord, the gut is where we’re going to focus our efforts.

I got to hear Jordan Rubin, author of The Maker’s Diet and survivor of near-fatal Crohn’s Disease, speak last week right here in Grand Rapids. I don’t believe in coincidences.

I don’t believe it was a coincidence that Donielle and Kelly were there to support me in my questions. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that Donielle has been grain-free for two months and could lend me The Maker’s Diet and the GAPS book. (Check out her gluten/celiac series from earlier this month that started with Gluten: The Silent Cause of Infertility and went all week.) I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that I’m well acquainted through Twitter with Kat Garson who follows the SCD (specific carbohydrate) diet, often recommended for Crohn’s, as well as Stephanie Langford, who has a bunch of GAPS diet recipes on her site along with the story of her family’s experience.

The fact that I challenged you just days before hearing Jordan Rubin speak to “Test Your Grains,” including perhaps going grain-free? That I tried gluten-free during Holy Week and had some coconut flour hanging around? Coincidences, none of them.

I know that God is going to take care of us, and I really can’t wait to see what He’s going to do.

Really – I can’t wait. test your grains challenge

The last six days have been rough on my husband.

He misses his ice cream.

We’re not only cutting out all grains, including legumes (and that one is KILLING me, as a lover of beans), but my husband is cutting dairy as well.

We need to figure out what, if any, sensitivities he has, and these are the usual culprits. We also need to heal his gut, so I made a big pot of chicken stock last night, and I’m learning about the SCD Diet, the Maker’s Diet, and the GAPS diet to try to figure out which one is the right one to embark upon.

There won’t be much bread baking in the house this fall, but we’re still going to Test Our Grains. It’s a challenge, to be sure.

In the next week, I’ll share some of the grain-free meals and grain-free snacks we’ve been having and will give you a synopsis of Jordan Rubin’s talk as well.

Tomorrow, I will give you the information you need to embark on the Test Your Grains Challenge with us. You can sign up at that post and let us know what you’ll be trying, if you’ve decided. I’ll give you the observations you should take for a baseline (what’s “normal” for you) and then will continue to observe as you change your grains.

UPDATE: more thoughts on trying an elimination diet

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For tons o’ info on wheat, gluten free and grain free, visit Donielle’s carnival, Wheatless Wednesday. You’ll also love Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.

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95 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. Jamie says

    Hi! I just wanted to tell you that my hubby also has Crohn’s. He also has had a surgery and been on meds and he did a couple of Remicaid infusions… However the most healing he has seen has been with diet. One thing in particular does him wonders… maybe you can try this if you haven’t already. GREEN SMOOTHIES! We usually use organic raw spinach or some other organic greens, a nice ripe banana, some kind of berry or berry mix usually they are frozen… today I added 1/2 grapefruit… I also add some probiotic powder, 1-2 small scoops of chia seeds, flax oil, either almond milk + water or SO Delicious coconut milk + water, I also will toss in various other fruits if I have any on hand, a couple scoops of frozen OJ concentrate… and oh yes, bee pollen from our local area in Montana. This is like a miracle drink… seriously he has done so well on this. I am trying to also cut out grains and dairy… he loves cheese though, especially on burritos. I have taken ice cream and pizza away and that has been really good. Anyways, good for you guys and I hope this helps!!! Love your blog btw!

  2. Jamie says

    Oh, sorry I just wanted to add that I never buy the SO coconut milk or almond milk sweetened, I ALWAYS buy the unsweetened version, and I think this makes a big difference, limiting the sugar etc.

  3. Jamie says

    Ok, last comment, sorry :) I knew I was forgetting something… I really love the Daily Boost Herba-smoothie herb blend for smoothies that is sold at The Bulk Herb store. We add I teaspoon into the smoothie… and sometimes I toss in some dried elderberries and rose hips as well that I get from the same company. Here is the link to that:

    Sorry for bugging ya! Take care :)

    • Katie says

      You fit the whole kitchen sink into those smoothies! That’s awesome. I do some green smoothies, but I definitely don’t have the extras like that. We used pasteurized cheese for the first time this week, and although he did okay on raw cheese, either the store cheese or the nixtimalized corn chips made bad things happen. Time to take two steps back…


  4. says

    it is super easy to make homemade coconut milk. Just take 2 c. organic (unsweetened!) shredded coconut and soak it in 4 c. water. After soaking for about 2 hrs or so, blend in powerful blender such as a Vitamix and strain the coconut meal out with a nut milk bag. You can use the coconut meal in recipes to replace flour if you don’t want to throw it out and waste it. The milk tastes delicious and make it into kefir and put in our morning green smoothies. yum!

    • Katie says

      That’s awesome! I found a recipe for similar recently but hadn’t tried it yet. That would so much less expensive than the canned stuff, and no BPA or additives. Nice! I wonder if a weak blender does any good. ?

      Do you dehydrate the leftover meal to use as flour, or just put it in a recipe mushy?

      Thanks! :) Katie

      • says

        well, i don’t have a dehydrator so I just store the leftover meal in the frige and put it in as is. when i strain out the milk i can usually get most of the moisture out because it strains really easily. you can try a regular blender… but you may have to do 1/2 batch at a time. and when using the meal up in recipes, i don’t substitute all the nut or grain flour…just some of it and you don’t even know the coconut is there! you could also just use the meal in any recipe that calls for regular ol’ unsweetened coconut.

  5. Sheryl says

    I am reading that you are not having bread. I am on the SCD diet and I make bread with almond flour. It is wonderful. I can make all kinds of things—rye bread, cinnamon raisin, zucchini, banana, on and on. Have you tried the recipes?????

    • Katie says

      No, I haven’t tried grain-free bread as of yet, mostly because I’m hoping we can get back to grains pretty quickly here and didn’t want to learn something new that I wouldn’t have to continue using. I also don’t have a way to make homemade almond flour. If we need to do it, it’s good to know it is possible and yummy to make grain-free reads, so thank you! :) Katie

      • Merry Jo says

        I’ve heard you can make your own almond flour by using blanched almonds and grinding them in a coffee grinder. (Just don’t grind them too long or you’ll end up with almond butter! :) ) I just made a “legal” apple pie the other day using almond flour for the crust and it was so good! I’ve also made biscuits for my hubby. I’m using a couple cookbooks: “Grain Free Gourmet” and “Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet” that have helped me tremendously. I just purchased 5 lbs of almond flour on amazon for about $36, which is a good deal (much better than $12/lb at our health food store). It gives me enough to play around with. :) Oh, and I also have a recipe for coconut flour bread, but my hubby REALLY didn’t like that. Now, I somehow have to use up 6 lbs of coconut flour…

  6. Merry Jo says

    Hi, I don’t know if this has been said or not (I don’t have time to read 80 comments :) ), but we are following the SCD, and have been since April. My hubby has also had digestive issues, although thankfully it isn’t Crohn’s. You said your husband is cutting out all dairy, but he could probably have homemade yogurt. We allow ours to ferment for 24 hrs, which allows the bacteria time to break down all the lactose in the milk. Really easy and so yummy!

  7. Emily says

    hi! i know this post is from 6 months ago, but i wanted to encourage you in this effort. my dad has had Crohn’s for 25+ years, and his doctor (who has lots of Crohn’s patients) says he’s the healthiest of his patients. my mom puts a lot of effort into diet and he followed SCD for almost 5 years and got so much better! i hope your husband is doing better, too.

    • Katie says

      I really appreciate that! We’re again looking at the gluten issue, so GAPS or SCD might be in our real future sometime soon depending on what we learn. It’s amazing how many people don’t understand/believe that our diets can impact diseases like Crohn’s – diseases of the GUT of all things! Thank you for the encouragement!
      :) Katie

  8. Conny says

    Hi Katie,

    I’m almost wheat free since two weeks and love it. Right after I started my bread business….
    Try to read as much as you can about Paleo diet. There are lots of wonderful recipes out, online and in books. Even my kids love it!

  9. says

    Wow! It’s like I am reading my own husband’s story with Crohn’s. He has been in “remission” for about 9 years following his surgery. I am slowly gathering information (and courage!) to try GAPS for us. I have read The Maker’s Diet too. In any case, I think grains-free could really be good for both of us (I have endometriosis and am infertile) because God has been nudging me slowly in this direction for several years now. I am looking forward to following along with you as you try to heal with diet too. Good luck!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      This post was 2 years old – I linked to it on Facebook because my husband and I were reminded of how far we’d come in 2 years. Grain-free completely fixed his diarrhea in 2 days, and we’ve stayed “low gluten” ever since. It was obvious on re-introducing rice, then oats, then wheat, that it’s gluten that gets him. Good luck to you! :) Katie

  10. Leslie says

    I know this is 2 yrs old, but just in case someone reads this post again…..Just wanted to put another plug in for SCD. My husband was diagnosed with Crohn’s (10/09)which was precipitated by a cleanse of all things! We knew someone who was cured of Crohn’s by being on SCD. She was on it strictly for 3 years and still sticks to it pretty much. He’s been on it strictly since then. He has had 2 flares, both happening in the fall. We are praying he doesn’t get it this fall. So far so good. Last year’s flare was less serious than the year before, which he attributes to the diet. He does go on medication, but has been able to wean himself completely each time. I’ve been able to cook some really delicious meals on this diet. It’s helped us all to eat healthier! I’d be happy to help you too. BTW, I live in MI too.

  11. Vanica via Facebook says

    Similarly, within a week of going grain free my crohn’s symptoms drastically improved. There’s NO going back!

  12. Tawni via Facebook says

    With our priest’s blessing, we’re planning to go on GAPS during the Orthodox Nativity fast. I pray it makes such a quick and noticeable difference in my husband’s symptoms as grain-free did with yours!

  13. Jill Sims says

    OH MY we will be making a very similar change after our trip to MIN. We will be going Wheat free. It is very interesting that your kids are just like mine and I mean it. My daughter tends to be constipated while my son has very loose stooles. We started juicing at the begining of the summer and that has helped my daughter but there is no relief for my son. We just ordered a Vitamix so that we can make smoothes on a daily basis but my husband and I both believe that going wheat free will help not only the kids but him as well. I am very nervous about this but I know that it is what is best for my family

  14. says

    I have been grain free for close to 1 1/2 years. Now, I am not perfect, but after so long, I can afford to have some whole grain (though still and ALWAYS gluten free) grains here and there. Maybe twice a month. I, too, am dairy free and legume free. The beginning is tough, but you will get to where it is second nature :) You’ll become well acquainted with coconut milk and fruits and veggies! Have you listened to any of Robb Wolf’s podcasts? He just wrote The Paleo Solution (which I have not read), and I always find his podcasts helpful. Good luck!

  15. says

    I can totally empathize with you – my own husband has colitis, and while he occasionally has very mild flare-ups, it’s been in remission since before we were married. Early in our marriage I read Jordan Rubin’s book, and was all gung-ho to try it with him… he wasn’t! So I’ve compromised and have definitely made changes and improvements to our diet along the way, and like I said, he rarely has any issues with it, and the doctor has even reduced his meds (Asacol). I would love for him to be totally med-free and on a complete whole foods diet, but I cannot force him to be or do anything, a very hard lesson for me to learn. Anyway, I’m pleased with our progress and I hope you have great success in controlling your DH’s Crohns with diet alone, and that you can find the triggers. Two things we’ve learned (although colitis is different and every one has different triggers): acids REALLY upset my husband’s system (pineapples, tomatoes, onions, peppers) more than grains, and probiotics are a must (but you already know that;).

  16. Dawn says

    Good luck! My kids were both born allergic to dairy, then we thought my son had celiac at 18 mos, but it cleared up, so they decided it was a viral issue. During that time we were dairy free, grain free, I’m veg, and my husband isn’t a big veg eater. It was an adventure. Thankfully, the kids have grown out of the dairy issue, *mostly*, and of course the grain issue was a false alarm. Still, I know what life can be like during these transitions! I’m not sure I could keep up a blog, too! Good luck, and thanks for all the great information you share!

  17. says

    Yikes, Katie. Thank you for sharing this with us (and thank you to your Hubs for allowing you to share.) Your family will be in our prayers! (No cheese? No ice cream? No bread? God bless him for sure!)

    I’ve been just about as busy as I know you are – I’ll get you called sooner or later. :>) Off to pre-school co-op this morning!

  18. says

    Coincidentally, now that I’m *almost* done with the bread type recipes in Simply in Season, I plan to focus much more on vegetables and meat. Although I do need “carbs,” as in the kind in vegetables and fruit, I have found that I lose weight much easier when I skip the sugars and breads.

  19. says

    Katie, this is absolutely THE best thing you could do for your family. I am so glad you’ve decided to cut out dairy and legumes as well. You really can never know what the problem is until you start with a clean slate.

    We have done GAPS before and seen mysterious symptoms vanish. Tons of bone broths + probiotics + fats, meats, and veggies was the backbone of the diet and our four year old has finally gotten rid of candida symptoms. It is such a blessing.

  20. Lori H. says

    Thanks for this post and making people more aware of Crohn’s. My father was recently diagnosed with it after 25 years of misery. He has not made many changes to his diet (I’m trying to help him work on that, but people need to be ready to change by themselves, right?), but this diagnosis really changed my life, when I found out I too could have this disease. So far, no symptoms and I’ve decided to do everything I can to keep it that way!

    I really wish I could have convinced my parents to attend the Jordan Rubin seminar last week. I found it to be inspiring and motivating. Trying to tell my parents about it second hand just isn’t the same. Maybe I can convince them to actually read the book… they think it’s all just a bunch on mumbo-jumbo :)

  21. says

    Thanks so much for this post, and for your husband allowing you to share. My own husband has a history of a bleeding ulcer and every time he’s stressed out, a lot of the symptoms return. I’ve been trying to get him to try a gluten-free diet for a while to see if it would help, but he’s not exactly the most responsive. He also says he doesn’t eat much bread, but the man eats most carbs and sugar! I’m hoping to gradually shift the things I make at home and convince him. One of my struggles with grains and carbs is the cost. So many dollar stretching ingredients are the things we need to cut out, like bread and legumes! I can’t wait for some great recipes :) Thanks again.

  22. Emily says

    I hope this provides some relief for you guys! I’ll definitely be lurking around your site for information on those diets and recipes. 😉 I need some more info before I make the plunge but I’ve been thinking that I might have to do something like that too. . .

  23. says

    SO looking forward to learning more about this path, as it’s something I’ve been toying with. I’ll be keeping a file of book recommendations and recipes :)

    One thing I’d also love is some guidance about making bone broths. I really need a good, clear, step by step recipe. So I know I came to the right place! Will keep him and you all in prayer!

  24. says

    The GAPS diet did amazing things for our family. I do suggest straining your beef broth. My daughter’s asthma and my other daughter’s skin conditions improved within days. It was an incredibly difficult diet to stick with, but after we were on it for a while we added additional foods back in, and our kids’ had no additional problems. The hardest part was trying to keep the kids from eating foods that weren’t on their diet at church. I hope that it goes really well for you guys! Rene

  25. Katrina says

    I’m sorry to hear this!

    I was diagnosed with crohns disease just last fall. Since then the longest stretch of time I’ve been in remission is two months. So I understand.

    I find it ironic that you posted this today. After lots of debating, my husband and I agreed it was time to switch the approach to handling my crohns. Today I am switching doctors to one who will work with me on an elimination diet which also helps the digestive track rebuild good gut flora. It eliminates everything except a handful of vegetables. Its a bit hard to swallow (especially being the family cook and needing to prepare food for everyone else) but if it means better health I’ll try it. I wish you guys luck too! Let’s hope someday they can find a way to reset our immune systems!

  26. says

    Oh, thank you for sharing this! I have been researching the exact same things for the past few weeks. My children and I have been gluten free for two years. A little over a month ago, my daughter started developing an itchy tongue and swollen lips from eating raw fruits and veggies. We went to our herbalist and determined it was caused by leaky gut.

    I am seriously considering the GAPS diet. I am a little concerned about the evolutionary bias in the SCD, however one’s interpretation does not necessarily change the raw, clinical data. I appreciate that your posts are always very balanced, and I look forward to hearing your opinion on all of these diets. I don’t believe these things are a coincidence, either. We’ll be praying for you in your journey. It is nice to know we are not alone.

  27. says

    Our family goes on a grain-free/sugar-free diet at least once a year for a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks. This includes removing all grains, some fruits, and all sugars (natural or not) from your diet. We do this to remove any inflammation in our bodies and allow them to heal. As sugar causes inflammation, and inflammation can lead to any number of diseases/sicknesses.

    Actually our family is on this diet right now… we just started Monday (Sept. 20th). It is hard at first, but one gets used to it and even enjoys it.

    Wish you and your family well.

  28. says

    I had the pleasure of hearing Jordan Rubin speak in Birmingham, MI on Sunday morning. His story is simply amazing and he was so inspirational for me. I posted a quick run-down of what we heard about gut health on my blog. I’m excited to read your upcoming synopsis, too. Good luck on your journey and prayers to your family as you face this challenge head on!

  29. says

    My husband and I have been discussing this very thing, and will likely be going on GAPS soon. I am a fourth-generation sufferer of allergies and eczema, and he’s had some digestive issues over the years, and with wanting to try for kids next year we know we need to clear up those issues. I know this must be so hard for you to see your husband hurting, but know that we can all go through this together, praying and working towards healing.

  30. Amy Todd says

    Welcome to the grain free club! My daughter and I have been on the GAPS diet since the beginning of summer and it has really helped our IBS issues. I don’t believe in coincidence either and I know that God’s timing is perfect! Looking forward to hearing about you and your husbands progress! Blessings to you!

  31. Naomi H says

    Sorry it flared up. Hope all goes well. On the bright side, your readers will benefit from your experience. I’ve been considering GAPS for a while but haven’t gotton the gumption to follow it yet.

  32. says

    Hi Katie, Way to fight for your family! We went gluten free (as well as no additives/preservatives/artificial colors/artificial flavors?soy/HFCS). For a season we added, corn free and dairy free. It was very challenging to say the least. We have since added dairy back in as well as limited amounts of corn. A year later and we are now in the process of adding back in healthy whole grains (fresh ground and soaked). I have heard about the SCD diet, etc. but I don’t know many details. I wanted to direct you to my blog and its recipes for some very tried and true gf recipes. Many can be modified to be dairy free as well. I have 4 kids and they have all “tried” the recipes as well. My bread recipe (I did not create the recipe) is absolutely wonderful. Please take a moment to see if the ingredients are things your family can have. It is the best I have tasted gf. It even won a blue ribbon for a gf contest. =0) Praying for lots of grace for this time and healing! Kelly

  33. says

    How wonderful this will be for all of you! I’ve been considering going grain-free for quite a while, but I’ve been praying about my husband. He doesn’t really have any health issues (I have digestive issues like crazy), so he has no reason to do any “special diets”, so I’m praying he will be on board so I can go grain-free for a while. I can’t wait to see how your husband does!

  34. says

    welcome to the club! we’ve been on the GAPS diet for 3+ months now. too bad there’s not a forum where all us “gappies” can go post our fave grain free and/or egg and/or dairy free and lacto-fermented recipes! it’s quite the adventure :-) but we’re finding it to be a great blessing since we can finally enjoy a bit of eggs and even a little dairy now and then again! hopefully in the future, we’ll be able to expand our diet a bit more…

  35. says

    First of all — you had me excited for a minute that you WERE expecting! Hey! :)

    Second of all — You ARE a lifer on the sprouting grains stuff. :)

    Third — I hope this goes well for you! We have done GAPS/grain-free too (and dairy free, and legume free, and nut free…) and it really helped our family. I think Stephanie’s about to do GAPS again so you will be in good company. :)

  36. Margaux says

    Hi All, I have been researching getting rid of phytic acid which is the chemicle that prevents the minerals in the grains, legumes, nuts and seeds from being available.

    I see that farmers often add phytase, the enzyme that breaks down phytic acid, and warm water to their feed and let it soak a while which provides better nutrition. I was wondering if anyone had tried this. I’m going to.

    Otherwise what will I be able to eat?

    By the way I found out I was allergic to wheat a long time ago but I can eat the sprouted wheat bread that is just sprouts ground up.

    And sometimes the wheat berries and oat groats just won’t sprout and they turn into a mess. I was thinking of putting rooting hormone on them. I figure by the time they are ready to eat anything harmful will have been washed off. I am tired of being disappointed with no sprouts after all that waiting , attention and rinsing. Any one else tried this?

    (Sauerkraut makes me feel good too.)

  37. Rebecca says

    I follow a mostly grain free diet due to chronic health problems and look forward to your upcoming grain free posts! I love baking with almond and coconut flour. I finally gave up on wheat, as it seems to always cause trouble no matter how much I love it. I adore bread, but pain is a great motivator. It is truly not too difficult.

  38. says

    Good luck with the healing process. It’s amazing though what the right diet can do to heal the gut. My son was on an SCD type diet for his IBS, he is much better now and does not have to be strict about it all the time but I do much of my meals grain free, based on quality proteins, fats, and vegetables. Look forward to seeing your posts on this. It’s always great to get new ideas.

  39. says

    I don’t believe in coincidences either – isn’t it amazing how God provides? In the end, of course, I would always prefer not to go through the challenge, but it is awesome to have the confidence that come what may, He will provide us with what we need! I will look forward to reading your posts. I ate dairy-free, meat-free, yeast-free and sugar-free for a large number of years, but for some reason the idea of eating wheat-free (or worse yet, gluten-free) really freaks me out! Thanks for sharing with us!

  40. Rachel Wisdom says

    Wow! So many comments! Katie, would you (and your DH) be kind enough to chronicle what you are eating (as opposed to what you are avoiding) and their effects as you go along? My DH has crohn’s, was officially diagnosed in college and has never been in remission. We just recently read The Maker’s Diet, because after years of gentle pressure, he is finally coming around to realizing that he can probably do something for himself through dietary changes. He is very much a modern medicine guy. Anyway, I find that The Makers Diet gives very little in terms of practical guidance, as in – what to eat from day to day. The sample menus really didn’t give me much to go on!

  41. shelley davis says

    Oh…my heart goes out to you! My sister suffers with Ulcertive Colitus. My friends 2 sons both have Chrons. It can be so devistating. One has had a total colostomy. It is worth what ever changes you have to make. Blessings to you and your husband! Hang in there.


  42. stargirl says

    Make sure to look up recipes for Thai Coconut ice cream. My vegan friends eat it and I have had it at Thai restaurants but I haven’t made it myself. It is fabulous and tastes like it’s own fabulous thing rather than a pale imitation of the real thing, if that makes sense. A quick Google search yielded many recipes. Good luck!

  43. JenZ says

    Congratulations on the new baby!

    And I will be praying for your husband and for your whole family as you make these dietary changes. My family dealt with food allergies for years (not the same thing of course, but with lifechanging dietary changes anyway), so know it can sometimes be rough until you adjust.

    I skimmed through the above posts quickly, but I did see that at least one person mentioned coconut milk ice cream. That stuff is *awesome* and you can even make your own! I think it’s ok on GAPS – I know coconut flour is. You would just sweeten it with a little honey – not sure about what other flavorings you could add, but it sounds like you have already assembled a crack team of experts!

  44. Sheryl says

    I can’t wait to see what you share!! We are all going to learn due to your challenges!! Thanks for sharing!

    Have you read Elana’s Pantry blog? She uses almond flour and I have made her strawberry cherry ice cream for my GF/CF/peanut/egg free guy….yum!!

  45. says


    Thanks for sharing your story! I appreciate it. I hope that the dietary changes you make for your family’s sake improves things dramatically for you. :-) We did the GAPS diet for a month (I personally found that my body didn’t do well with it overall even though my digestion improved), and it was an interesting transition the first week or two! I just wanted to add a tip I learned from a paleo friend. She buys her beef off of Craig’s list from local farmers (local farmers she checks up on) and saves a lot of money! This has helped her be able to invest in more meat.

  46. Katie says

    Hi Katie,
    I’m a relatively new reader to your blog (also named Katie) but this post really hits home! I have ulcerative colitis and it started when I was in college and I had to drop out, and I ate more than my fair share of broth and jello. For a long time I was on a very restricted diet. We also have an extended family member with Crohn’s and celiac, and my husband has celiac disease. My son is also allergic to eggs and soy, so my kitchen requires much creativity.

    I don’t know if ever inflammatory bowel disease patient is different, but besides the gluten and dairy we found that fiberous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower) etc make it worse, and any type of fat (hard to digest).

    Anyway, good luck on your new diet journey, I’m excited to follow you along the way!

  47. Olivia Wasik says

    Wow! A ton of comments. I finished the GAPS book last month and we’ve been grain free (with the exception of rice with sushi last week) since. I was doing good with sugar and then fell off the wagon. Katie, I don’t know if you knew I had Crohn’s as well. Lots of detoxing and probiotics. The GAPS book hit home for me. I was on birth control and antibiotics for years to control acne. I believe that (and tons of sugar) caused my crohns, but it is so different and personal for everyone. I hope this heals not only your husband, but any unseen problems in the rest of the family’s guts. Caz has such a better demeanor when on a grain free diet. I liked an earlier post that mentioned a grain free / sugar free diet for a period every year. What a great idea!

  48. coleen says

    I only read the early comments, so if this was already said, please forgive its repetition. I was thinking about your post a lot last night and one thing kept running through my head: God is in control. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t cut grains and do research to do what’s best for your husband and family! What I am saying is that God is BIG and POWERFUL and, yes, in control. You might do everything “perfectly” and your kids might still end up with Crohns. You might do everything “wrong” and they might be fine. Again, as someone who leans toward the obsessive (I admit it!), I’m not implying you shouldn’t try to do the right thing, I think we are called to care for ourselves. But God carries our burdens and our yoke is supposed to be light. Maybe it was just how I read it, but it felt heavier than I wanted it to for you, especially with regard to your kids.

    I feel a bit awkward sending this via cyberspace, as I’m relatively new to the site and don’t have a (public) blog for you to meet me, but I woke up this morning still thinking of you, so I figured that was my nudge to do something about it. You’re welcome to contact me if you’d like.


  49. KathleenK says

    Praise God! I’m so thankful you are doing this! We too, will be going grain/dairy free in October up to about Thanksgiving. I’ve done it before so it isn’t new. But my list of meal suggestions were very limited, so I’m really eager to see what you have. Can I request you include some slow cooker recipes and easy packable meals as well, please?

  50. says

    I just wanted to offer my support if you need it.
    I “healed” myself of Crohn’s about 8 years ago by changing my diet.
    I personally still eat whole wheat and many other grains. I do sprout, soak or sourdough most of it. Probably about 90%.
    I also drink raw milk which made a huge difference in my health.
    I would be happy to support you in any way that I can. Feel free to email me anytime.
    Good luck!

  51. says

    Sorry, I keep adding more.
    I don’t eat sugar anymore either.
    I use raw honey for most of my sweets. Sometimes real maple syrup or rapadura for the rest.

  52. says

    You know what they say about the Lord working in mysterious ways … I just found out of the connection between gluten and autoimmune thyroiditis (which I have) and had started researching eating gluten free, and here’s one of my favorite bloggers going gluten free. I’m sorry about your husband’s symptoms, but thankful that you are sharing your journey with all of us. Hopefully we can all come through this stronger and healthier.

  53. says

    KS –
    I am so sorry to hear about your husband…but on the selfish side, I’m excited to hear what you learn from the makers diet. I’ve been tempted to go grain free as well….hard with the kiddos.

    Take Care…God’s plan is better than ours.

  54. says

    Hi Katie,
    I wanted to pass something along to you, but it is a little bit out there. It’s not really official medical advice, just something intriguing (to me) that might be worth looking into. Have you heard of the (negative) association between autoimmune diseases and hookworms, or “helminthic therapy”? It’s far from mainstream, but the science makes sense to me. Check out this article: Blessings!

  55. jean finch says

    Dear Anne,
    Chicken bone broth is just bones left over from any method of cooking your chicken! You add vinagar( 1 Tbls) and water–let set up for 1 hour-then bring to a boil and turn down heat to simmer for several hours–you can add onion garlic or carrots if you like. The longer you cook the more concentrated it will be! PS after you bring to a boil skim the scum off the top! After you get it condenced you can store it in ice cube trays in the freezer for instant broth!

  56. Katie says

    I hear you! The lack of cheap grains and legumes to stretch the foods is killing me. I spend what feels like a ton on vegs and meat, BUT when I think we already spent 2x$20 copay on dr. appts and 2x$10 on prescriptions, with no healing happening, I think I can spend $50 on meat for 1-2 weeks, you know? We also are eating less, because there aren’t so many options. Dinner prep is simpler. I have found THAT to be quite an added bonus.
    :) Katie

  57. Katie says

    Seriously, ice cream is about killing him, especially since he’s all stressed out and wants to eat his worries away! Every time I think of a meal I can cut the grains out of, I realize I can’t use cheese to make it better. It’s crazy, but it will be worth it.
    Looking forward to the sooner or later!
    :) Katie

  58. says

    I can totally relate to the husband not being on board thing. it took months upon months for mine to get on board with just the NT diet – Maker’s Diet was a no go. GAPS? ha! After enough years and me just doing what I could behind the scenes, he finally got to the point where he went gluten free and now we basically follow the primal diet (no grains or legumes) and he likes it!

    Only advice I have is …Patience and Prayer!

  59. says

    Try the banana ice cream, just frozen chunks of banana processed in a food processor. My bf loved it! Also coconut milk ice cream or cashew ice cream are pretty nice.

  60. Katie says

    Sorry I teased; we’re not expecting yet, but I thought it would be funny to play a little joke. Whoops! Didn’t mean to confuse you – Katie

  61. says

    Yep same experience in my house. My bf is still not completely grain-free but he is fairly healthy so I’m not pushing it. He has over time started eating more like I do, but with rice and oatmeal still in his diet, and anything goes when he’s at a restaurant. His ragweed allergies have gotten a bit better and he’s not sick often so I’m staying patient.

  62. coleen says

    and that should be a semicolon before “I think we are called to care for ourselves.” (I really meant take care of ourselves, but you get the idea. It’s still early on the West coast.)

  63. Katie says

    It was so sweet of you to add this comment – Perhaps I was writing a bit heavier than I really feel. I only let myself get really anxious about the kiddos a few times a year. 😉 And you’re right, God is in charge. I just know He’s given me a responsibility to do the best I can … while trusting Him in the end. Sometimes I do need a reminder about Soul First, Body Second.

    God bless, Katie

  64. says

    I know everyone is different, so what worked great for me, may not be the answer for your husband.
    Sometimes it’s just nice to talk to someone who knows what you’re going through.

  65. says

  66. Katie says

    I’m still not sure if we’re going to embark on the Maker’s Diet or SCD, but I will post some of what we’re eating. I don’t think it should be taken as suggestions, though, because so far we’re just making it up as we go. Grain-free and dairy-free are the only rules. We’ve been trying a raw lunch, because Jordan Rubin recommended a 7-day raw cleanse 4x/year, and I thought one meal a day would be a good way to ease into that idea. Then my husband had an improvement between lunch and dinner starting on day one. That lasted for a few days, and now he’s going back to the previous symptoms of diarrhea. Hard to say if it’s a flare-up or a detox symptom. ?? We need to keep up the no-grains no-dairy a few more weeks, at least.

    I’m only halfway through the book! But I’ll do what I can to update you all — Katie

  67. Katie says

    I’m so glad you’ve found such improvements. I haven’t asked the kids to go grain-free, because right now we’re eating a lot of salads, and that’s not very easy for them to follow. They still have crackers, tortillas and such around. Then again, Leah threw a zillion fits today, so maybe grain-free would be great! 😉 Katie

  68. Katie says

    Oh, I was thinking eggs were ok on GAPS (shows how much I’ve even looked into it all, yet). I don’t know what we’d do without at least eggs! Phew. Hopefully SCD will be the way to go. Good point about the forums, which I’ve heard good things about – Katie

  69. says

    they are okay on GAPS…in fact they’re very encouraged along with raw milk. we just had major egg allergies (as well as dairy)going on so couldn’t eat them…that’s why it’s so great that we can have them a couple times a week now with no problems! yay!

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