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Is there a routine in your day you MUST do to function? Maybe it’s your three cups of coffee in the morning that keep you from napping at work. It could be the same radio station you need to listen to on your morning commute or else you know it will be a bad day.
I thought it could be helpful to some of you to see what I feel is most important for my body in maintaining well-being. Having Crohn’s, my body needs extra care. I divided my list into two parts with routines that help me feel a bit more normal. Here they are!
1. Warm Lemon Water
I started drinking warm lemon water a few years ago. It was after I first stumbled upon an article on alkaline and acidic foods. I have tried lots of different health foods and rituals, but this is one I have not stopped- and never will!
It might sound strange, but I look forward to drinking my warm lemon water every morning. Lemons, although acidic in taste, are alkaline in the body. This means that they are detoxifying and combat inflammation.
I warm up water in a coffee mug (make sure to use warm, not hot water) and squeeze in the juice of half of a lemon. *Preferably organic, to reduce the chance of pesticides slipping in!
Here is an article about the many benefits of warm lemon water.
If I miss it one morning due to traveling or some other reason, I don’t feel as well that day, which shows how such a small habit can be so helpful. I encourage anyone, with Crohn’s or without to try this! You will feel like a new person. Believe in the power of the lemon. (By the way, you can still have your coffee! Just have this first).
2. Activated Charcoal
I cannot say enough about Activated Charcoal. I am so grateful to have had this recommended to me. I take a spoonful (teaspoon to a tablespoon, depending on how I am feeling, but I don’t measure) in a mug of warm water before bed. *Should not be taken in close proximity to vitamins or supplements, as activated charcoal is a non-toxic detoxifying substance and will cancel out your vitamins.
When in a flare-up, I have noticed significant improvements in my symptoms (and especially sleep!) when I take it before bed. Even when I am feeling well I will take it, because why not!
3. Real Food Diet
Diet is a huge component of feeling well. My day-to-day diet adheres to being gluten and refined sugar free, with some dairy products that I tolerate. Organic whenever possible. I avoid corn and soy as well, along with several other foods. You can read more about those here.
That’s not to say I don’t “cheat” here and there. I do. I am human. I am not here to tell you I am perfect, and I am not telling you to try to be! But I am smart about it.
It’s crazy how your body changes. Stopping sugar was extremely hard. Did you know sugar is more addictive than cocaine? But once I stopped eating it, I stopped craving it. And then… Sugary foods stopped appealing to me. Now, if I get off track and start to consume sugar (even a small amount) I do notice a surge in craving it. Sugar is poison people!!
4. Warm Foods
It might sound funny, but maybe some of you can relate. I feel noticeably better when I eat warm/hot foods as opposed to room temperature/chilled foods. It is helpful that I follow a real food lifestyle, because even for snacks I will warm up leftovers. Who says snacks have to be a bag of chips or a granola bar?!
5. Warm Weather & Sunshine
Do seasons and weather affect your Crohn’s? They CERTAINLY have a huge impact on me. Unfortunately, I have flared up at some point every winter (and late August seems to be problematic for a short period as well). Every winter into spring, (spring… Just kidding, we don’t have that season in New England) I know what to expect.
On the flip side, I THRIVE in the summertime. I feel great and, (warning…confession approaching!) I am even able to cheat a bit without getting symptomatic (oops). In the past, I have taken vacations to Florida during my spring break in March when I have been in a flare-up. Wouldn’t you know, I felt a noticeably positive change in how I felt just by the first day! I guess I’ll just have to vacation every year… 🙂
What are some of your feel-good necessities? Comment with yours below, and let me know if we have anything in common!