Traveling SCD Style – Day 2

CORRECTION: In my original posting I said Natasha Trenev was CEO of Natren, Inc. It was my mistake and she is President and founder of Natren, Inc. Her husband, Yordan is CEO of Natren, Inc.

Last night, I had good sleep and today ate breakfast at the hotel I stayed at. Before breakfast I drank 32oz of water as part of my morning health regimen. Water is key to my having stable, solid bowel movements.

At the hotel restaurant, I told the waiter my dietary needs and what I wanted. I had Orange Juice because the waiter said it was fresh squeezed and did not contain any sugar. I got a three egg omelet with smoked salmon (I learned this morning smoked foods might have sugar added to them, not the best idea to eat), spinach, onion, mushroom and green bell pepper.

The omelet comes with toast or hash browns. I cannot eat either so what can one do? Substitute for the win! I was able to get a massive and beautiful plate of fresh fruit at no extra charge. It had a strawberry, cantaloupe, honey dew, some extremely creamy smooth flesh (orange) melon I’d never eaten before, pineapple and watermelon. It was a meal in itself.

I can tell within 30 minutes usually if a meal is going to give me pain and/or diarrhea and I had no such feelings in my gut soon after finishing breakfast. Whew! It’s like with each meal I play Russian roulette with my intestines.

Later that day I had my interview session with Jini Patel Thompson, so I didn’t eat lunch, but I did snack on dried apricots.

Before dinner I was able to interview Natasha Trenev, who is President and founder of Natren, Inc for 30 minutes about probiotics, those friendly bacteria that are essential to life. Though rushed, the interview came out great as far as I can tell. It’s kind of hard to know for sure when viewing the video on a small laptop without optimal audio. Natasha was great, sharing her expert knowledge of not only probiotics, but the entire industry of probiotics from regulations and standards to creating and distributing them. Her probiotics are highly regarded as being among the best in the industry. After talking with her I could tell she’s one of those rare people that gets into a business to help others rather than to make money. She’s passionate about probiotics and doing it the right way (which happens to be very difficult and expensive) so that people get the best quality possible. I just started Natren’s Healthy Trinity a few days ago, it will take a while for me to see any benefit and I may not bring them with me on my extended trip to the east coast because of lack of refrigeration for the whole trip.

For dinner that night, I did my usual routine of telling the waiter about my dietary restrictions and handed him my sheet that lists individual ingredients I can and can’t have. I told him I wanted a grilled chicken with vegetables and he suggested they be steamed, which is great. The chicken had skin on it, which I don’t normally eat because I think the Elaine Gottschall said something about not eating it in her book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, but I can’t remember exactly. I felt daring enough to try it anyway and it was so flavorful.

I noticed that 30 minutes had passed since finishing dinner and I hadn’t felt anything. Back in my hotel room I treated myself to an almond muffin and a fruit roll for desert.

One really shitty thing did happen. In the AM I found out that my tripod broke in checked baggage the night before. Uh, I’m not paying you guys a checked baggage fee to carelessly throw my bags and break my things! Thanks Horizon Air/Alaska Airlines. It made filming the interviews more difficult because I had to prop the camera up on fat phone books. Very unprofessional and amateurish. Not cool since I interviewed two very well established people with a lot of influence in their respective domains.

Let’s talk about Jini Patel Thompson for a minute. She’s a huge inspiration, a woman who has healed herself from widespread Crohn’s found in her small bowel, colon and doctors suspected it was in her stomach too. During our interview, she talked about having ulcers in her throat and mouth. It was really bad for her and what makes her story amazing is that she didn’t know about alternative treatments until several years after trying various conventional treatments.

When she decided she had had enough of the conventional approach she decided to try Elaine Gottschall’s Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It worked for her, but her Crohn’s came back a year later. She needed to do more healing and set out on a journey to find what works and what doesn’t. Her story is classic Joseph Campbell’s mythic hero structure. She traveled the world, talking to various doctors, trying this supplement and that supplement and eventually amassed so much practical and useful knowledge that she had to write a book to share that with others.

Today, she’s driven by her passion to free everyone from their disease so they can live life as they want to. She’s right, Crohn’s can be like torture and being in a prison. She found the key that unlocks every one of our cell doors and has made a copy and slipped it through the bars. But it’s up to us to pick it up and turn the lock. Some people with digestive diseases aren’t ready to escape from their prison because they’ve been stuck in it for so long; it’s now kind of routine and comfortable, in a weird way. The outside world, the freedom it brings is foreign and scary.

Eventually, people come around and realize that they have a choice to make in life. Stay in the current system and die a slow painful death or pick up the key and live a better life with thirst and the energy to drink it all up.

When talking with other people with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, so many of them know things aren’t working and are ready for a change, but are looking for that elusive key. Here’s hoping Jini’s key copy machine never breaks down.