Food as Medicine
When I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune condition that affects the gastrointestinal track, I was 21 years old and existing on a diet that included nachos and beer. One of the first things my doctor told me was that food played no part in the pain, inflammation, bleeding and diarrhea that plagued my body. An autoimmune disease is your body attacking itself, plain and simple. The flare symptoms I was experiencing had nothing to do with external factors.
I believed this for about 8 years and continued to eat like a college kid and drink lots of alcohol. But in that 8 years, I was constantly on and off steroids to control my flares. I took multiple medications and supplements to keep my body functioning. And around the time I turned 30, I had had enough.
I started doing a lot of research and connected with other autoimmune warriors in my community. And while technically my doctor was correct that food can’t CAUSE a flare, it certainly could play a role in how severe my symptoms could become. I spent the next few years trying different elimination diets: Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Paleo, Autoimmune Protocol Paleo, Low-Fodmap. You name it, I tried it. And what I discovered was that there were certain foods that I reacted to which caused my ulcerative colitis to become more serious.
While revamping my diet was a difficult, expensive and time consuming undertaking, it was worth it as I was able to go off prescription medication for 5 years while achieving complete clinical remission. I was completely sold on the concept of “food as medicine” as a way to manage my disease. It was clear to me that eating clean was the way to go and I felt great that I had finally found something that worked for my body.
But, this was also the time in my life where I started my family. In 4 years, I had 3 children. Suddenly all that time I had to shop and prep my food was gone. It was nearly impossible for me to find the time to focus on clean eating and my health began to suffer as a result. I turned to exercise as a way to combat the stress I was dealing with.
And with that increase in activity, I found myself faced with another challenge.
Protein. In the body, protein helps with your energy levels and is crucial to rebuilding your muscles and tissue after you exercise. Most athletes supplement their protein intake as it is difficult to consume enough to aid your body in recovery through food alone. And for me, a lot of the foods that are naturally high in protein are not gut friendly, which can put me into a colitis flare.
Due to my time constraints and dietary restrictions, I find myself reliant on protein bars and shakes to supplement my intake and keep my body strong and healthy. However, many of the brands on the market today are full of sugar and a bunch of other highly manufactured ingredients that I can’t pronounce. They aren’t compliant with the clean lifestyle I require due to my autoimmune.
Enter Body Bar Protein! These bars were created to fill a hole in the current marketplace. Something for people like me who need to supplement their protein intake but are also very cautious about what they consume. People who are busy and don’t always have the time to cook but would like to fuel their body with something healthy and nutritious on the go. Made with love by a family in the autoimmune community who truly understands the concept of “food as medicine.”