Diet & Food Talk

How I Transitioned to a Plant Based Diet with IBD…PHASE 2

Being on a plant based diet with IBD is not impossible! I can speak from experience. I hope you all have been focusing on removing processed foods and embracing a mostly plant based menu during the week! Here’s Phase 1 if you need a refresher! The focus of Phase 2 is to remove meat all together and to maintain the removal of processed foods from the last couple of weeks. How have you all been feeling? Has it been a struggle? I remember the first couple of weeks I felt slightly sluggish and had a little brain fog as my body went through a process of detoxing. This is NORMAL! Don’t panic! It goes away with time and you will feel fully refreshed. You may even notice you have an abundance of energy. 

For phase 2 we will be focusing on 3 new things:

  • Removing meat entirely from your diet (I still ate eggs and fish on occasion).
  • Start removing dairy from your diet similarly to how you limited your meat consumption in phase 1.
  • Look into your supplements and be sure there aren’t any hidden animal products in them. Whey and casein proteins are big ones that made me adjust my protein powder supplements along with things like bovine collagen. Be sure you are getting enough iron as well! Cook in cast iron or take supplements if you feel you need it!

Hopefully you started to look into those documentaries and articles from my last post. Unfortunately, because of how the agricultural industry has become so commercial, our meat products add so many unwanted chemicals and increased inflammation to our bodies. Have you started exploring meat alternatives? A lot of plant products contain plenty of protein, along with beans and grains. You can even explore using tofu (if you are not sensitive to soy), tempeh (fermented soy beans), and the new plant based meat alternatives like Beyond Meat or, seitan, if you do not have a gluten allergy.

We do need to be cognizant of the plant products we are consuming too. Try your hardest to buy organic if you can swing it so that you don’t have to worry about harmful pesticides. Or, remove skins from fruits and vegetables before consuming them to help remove some of those harsh substances. Although organic does not mean “pesticide free”, it holds the produce to a higher standard to be considered organic.

I want to briefly touch on removing dairy. It can be extremely intimidating to do because of how often you find dairy in products you buy or while you are out eating. And I mean, a LOT of people love cheese (I fortunately wasn’t one of those people). BUT, I felt awesome once I started limiting dairy from my diet. The easiest way to do that is to buy plant milks like almond, coconut or oat milk which all taste awesome. You can opt for soy as well but there are some conflicting opinions on soy which you should look into before making that decision for yourself. Same goes for tofu and tempeh consumption as well. Just do your research!

As you take on Phase 2, I just want to remind you of the benefits of switching to a plant based diet. I stopped eating meat completely at the end of February 2017 after my wedding tasting event. I had already started Phase 1 in January so had really limited my consumption but decided after the event I would call it quits. At my colonoscopy in early March, I had signs of healing in my intestine. Let me repeat…HEALING. My body was using the energy it was getting from my plant based diet and healing itself. I was no longer pumping my body with inflammatory foods which aggravated my digestive system so it had time to focus on healing. Other things you may notice on a plant based diet:

  • Weight loss
  • Lower risk of heart problems
  • Lower risk of diabetes
  • Getting more nutrients
  • Decreases your risk of cancer

And a bunch of other positive things! I hope you all embrace what a plant based diet can do for us with IBD! If you ever have any questions or want to pick my brain…let me know! Also, check out my Pinterest page for recipe ideas!

Keep positive, warriors!

–Kelsey