The real secret sauce of how I got healthy has a story behind it. It’s the honest truth about a magic pill that helped me heal my gut…
Don’t worry, it’s not a supplement or a special berry found in the rain forest.
And it’s probably not what you think.
It was 2008, and I was crying in a bathroom stall at work again. My boss was calling me on the Walkie Talkie, angry that I wasn’t helping troubleshoot a critical machine breakdown in the plant. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was stuck on the toilet with Diarrhea again. He was tired of hearing it.
My job was in jeopardy because of my digestive problems.
The next morning I called Steve… it was one of my lowest moments. He picked me up off the floor and dusted me off. We were going to beat this thing. We were going to Google until we found a way. I believed him… for some reason I knew he was right. Eventually, a stool test confirmed I had a parasite causing my cyclical diarrhea. Another breakthrough in my health. Without Steve there to support me, I probably would have given up.
There’s been so many times I’ve wanted to give up and just BE SICK… but in some way, shape, or form, my community always saved me. I’m humbled more and more with this simple truth:
I wouldn’t be healthy, and for that matter, I might not be alive today, if it wasn’t for the community that got me through it all.
Now we’re here together as part of this amazing community… going through this crazy healing journey with others who know what it’s like.
So today, I have some inspiration from members of this community to share with you… inspiration meant to motivate you to keep going another day – to keep working hard on your health… and more importantly, I have stories to give you hope – stories to show you that if you don’t give up, you CAN beat this sickness that’s got you down.
A Dose of HOPE – These Two Women are ROCKSTARS
If you’re reading this and feeling a bit lost, I’ve totally been there. I’ve lost hope approximately 4,350 times in the last 8 years. What always pulled me out and kept me going was HOPE – the hope I got from hearing from someone else who’s getting through the same stuff.
Here are stories from two radiant women in the Community who are literally changing their lives one day at a time. They are brave. They are beautiful. They are taking control of their health. I just can’t express with words how much I LOVE what they had to share with us:
Maria A. – The Mom who’s taking baby steps to solve leaky gut
“I wanted an easy to follow program that gave me the understanding to why sticking with it was worth the time, money and effort.
Over the past couple of months I have taken many baby steps towards following the full program, that is just my style. But having come off gluten and dairy, reducing sugars significantly and trying the recipes as well as including many of the super foods (e.g. liver) and increased my intake of good fats, I have noticed clearer skin and I no longer get the afternoon energy crash I used to experience every day. My bowel movements are consistently at number 4 on the Bristol stool chart, whereas previously I had experienced regular constipation. I have also less cravings for sugary foods whereas I used to eat chocolate every day and I used to be snacking all the time. My children are also enjoying the benefits with regular bowel movements, less gas and fewer stomach aches which used to be a regular occurrence in our house.
I used to be more anxious and prone to low moods. I have not experienced these symptoms since changing my diet to be more in line with the leaky gut diet. I have always had some low level acne on my forehead which is significantly reduced and my skin is mostly clear. I have more energy in the afternoons now whereas I would often feel so tired I would want an afternoon nap or a sugary treat. I snacked regularly whereas now I usually don’t feel hungry between meals.” – Maria A.
Andrea C. – The rockstar who’s customizing her diet
“I didn’t have much energy and I was getting sick all the time, but now I’m getting sick less often (I still got sick a couple of times) and I have more energy to get chores done around the house that I had trouble doing before. Before I had to be on prescription medication for acid reflux, and now I don’t need the meds and I hardly get any reflux.
The first noticeable improvement was my weight loss, I lost about 10 pounds soon after I started the diet. I wasn’t looking to lose weight, but it was a nice bonus and it increased my confidence that the program was working for me. All my pants and my watch band are loose now on me, and I’m maintaining the new weight so far. My family noticed that I lost weight, and I told them about the tough case diet I was on, and that it was working for me so far.
I followed the 30-day rebuild diet (I was picking and choosing the recipes that I wanted to make, from the tough case meal plan). I used the supplements for GI infection, adrenal support and tough case supplements. I’m still taking the supplements, and I’m starting to expand my tough case diet and slowly reintroduce borderline foods.
I lost 10 pounds in the first two weeks, my acid reflux reduced 95% in the first month and I didn’t need my prescription medication anymore for the reflux. Energy levels are improving slowly, although I’m not yet where I’d like to be for energy. I have alopecia (total hair loss), and after six weeks I’ve noticed some beginnings of hair regrowing in spots.” – Andrea C.
What I LOVE about these two women is they found their own way to follow the material we share inside our Solving Leaky Gut program. If there was something that didn’t work for them, like the meal plans or how fast they started the rebuild diet, they just did what they could…
And STILL got amazing results!
It’s people like Andrea and Maria that motivate me to get up in the morning. This community is something special and you are a HUGE reason it’s become what it is today. But it doesn’t stop there… we’ve been publishing inspiring success stories for years.
In fact, we have an entire system inside our company to gather success stories and encourage our community to share their stories with others just like them. Each week, we meet as a team and talk about what success stories are currently being worked on and when we can publish them.
It’s one of the most important things we do.
Not because it “toots our own horn.”
Or because we think it’ll get us traffic from Google.
It’s because if I didn’t read numerous online success stories and have Steve’s support back in 2008 I never would’ve tried the SCD Diet. I may not have healed my gut. I may not have ever started SCD Lifestyle with Steve. We may not have helped the over 4 Million people that’ve visited our site since then…
And you might not be reading this right now.
Success Stories Were the Spark that Changed My Life Forever
And we relentlessly share as many as we can in hopes that it does the same for thousands of other people going through the same struggle I did.
Without success stories, this would be just another blog. Instead, we have a thriving community of incredible people taking control of their health. Here are a few more of my favorites.
Carly Finally Healed Her Gut After Struggling with Celiac Disease for 8 Years
“I had been diagnosed with Coeliac disease at 19 (I am now 27), advised to eat gluten-free, and sent on my way. There was no mention of gut healing, or gut flora, or anything restorative by my doctor. Initially, all my doctor did for me was a blood test. I then went to see a naturopath who sent away for comprehensive stool tests, hair mineral analyses, and blood tests. She found I had systemic Candida, a compromised gut, and that both detoxification channels of my liver were blocked. She put me on a healing protocol for about 1 year.
Like my medical doctor had originally suggested and after an initial relief period of about one year, my health began to progressively degrade over the next six years. During these several years after my Coeliac diagnosis, I ate as much organic and chemical-free produce as possible and I did consume a lot of grains like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and millet. I also stopped drinking alcohol at about age 24 and never really liked anything too sweet, so I avoided conventional sweets. In an attempt to feel better, I also transitioned away from dairy, soy, and caffeine but still no results.
I realize now that although many of the alternative therapies and medicines may have helped, they did not address the root cause…
I could not eat anything…
It reached a point two years ago where I could not eat anything without it coming straight out the other end of me. My memory, focus, and emotions were in a constant downward spiral. I was losing a lot of weight due to constant diarrhoea, had incredible lethargy, and seemingly constant abdominal pain.
I used the free eBook and eating guidelines; I stuck them up on my wall. I listened to the SCD Lifestyle Solution Podcast every day and during making my broth to help get me through. Hearing the information on that podcast really inspired me and gave me a sense of community for my healing journey. I maintained a grain-free diet for about 1.5 years and drank broth almost daily.
I skyrocketed past normal into amazing. My memory, focus, and energy came back, and my emotional roller coaster was now just coasting. The SCD diet was the beginning of my health rebirth, and for that I am eternally grateful. I am a massive broth maker still, and intend to always be.
While I stuck to the 5 phases exactly as laid out for about 6 months, I continue to refrain from Nightshades, Grains, Caffeine, Cacao, Sugar, Alcohol, Dairy, and Soy. My diet will always consist of meat, fish, eggs, a large variety of vegetables, a little fruit (mainly green apples, limes, berries), chicken/beef broth, and lots of greens (both cooked and raw).
Over the years, I saw many practitioners, from acupuncturists, to naturopaths, osteopaths, chiropractors, medical/alternative practitioner blends. Each one had important input into my health learning and evolving.
And of course, I have always tried to remain optimistic. I remind myself that the gut is the seat of health and I like to keep a pristine seat.”
From “Sick to My Stomach Every Single Day” to “Perfect Poops” (How Kara Healed with Food)
“Worrying about my health, spending countless hours surfing the Internet for solutions, obsessing over everything I ate, constantly agonizing over whether I would go to the bathroom the next day…
Just a month ago, this was me. I had been dealing with digestive problems for over six months, and I knew that I needed to make a drastic change. I knew that I could no longer rely on ANYONE else – that includes nutritionists, naturopaths, psychologists, doctors, friends, or family – to help me feel better. It was time to do the real work. It was time I finally took matters into my own hands.
I had been a subscriber to SCD Lifestyle for a few months before I finally decided to try the diet. After reading numerous success stories and feeling a newfound hope and determination to take action, I knew what I had to do. I had to find a diet that worked for me, and SCD has allowed me to do just that. But more importantly, I needed to feel alive again. I couldn’t stand living in a state of anxiety and depression anymore.
Even though I was not diagnosed with a serious illness, (Crohns, Ulcerative Colitis, or IBS) that doesn’t mean I wasn’t sick. I felt sick to my stomach every single day. Bloating had taken over my life. I was experiencing both diarrhea and constipation, fatigue, and I didn’t enjoy life in the way I used to. I could hardly think about anything else but my digestion. I’m in my last year of college, and I felt unable to focus or care about my schoolwork. I started to wonder if I would feel this way forever – if bloating and fatigue and constipation were something I just had to “live with.” Well, I realized very quickly that is not the case!
And once I started to feel better, I realized that there is no going back. SCD isn’t just a fad or a diet, it’s a lifestyle. What I love most about this diet is that it is tailored to me. No test or doctor can tell me what I need; my body tells me every day. I’m becoming more and more aware of my reactions to food and how important the relationship is between food and our emotions. For the longest time, I felt like food and I hated each other. I couldn’t figure out what agreed with me and what didn’t. SCD Lifestyle teaches you how to discover your sensitivities and it is way easier than I originally thought.
can also say, proudly, that I have already started experiencing “The Perfect Poop!” I didn’t know what an ideal poop was until I looked at the Bristol Stool Chart. I realized that for most of my life, my poops were not ideal. After only a month of being on SCD, my bowel movements are already in the “4” range. That’s pretty incredible, if you ask me!”
Phil’s Inspiring Story: Surviving Ulcerative Colitis
“I’m 31 and work as a personal trainer and therapist in the UK. I first started getting symptoms 3 years ago. At first it was just a small stomach ache and a few extra visits to the loo, but this quickly escalated into severe diarrhea, cramps and blood loss. I’ll never forget when I first knew something was wrong, because it happened during my Body Combat class. Of all the times it could start it had to be in front of 30 women! I suddenly got that dreaded feeling of needing the toilet but knowing I couldn’t hold it. I had to literally jump off of the stage (mid-song) and run to the toilet. When I got back, I was so embarrassed I told them I had been sick from food poisoning.
This was the first of many anxious experiences I had while trying to continue doing my job while I was ill. Even though the majority of my class participants knew and accepted I was ill, and probably thought no less of me needing to run out of class now and again, it was something I struggled to accept. Eventually I learned to make a joke of it and teaching the classes became less worrying. Unfortunately, some of the gym managers were less understanding and I had some classes removed from my schedule.
After the usual trips back and forth from the doctors, I was diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis. Another thing that I’ll never forget was asking the specialist if I needed to “change my diet” to which he replied, “No, diet doesn’t matter” (feel free to take a moment to laugh or shake your head haha). I was prescribed prednisolone which started working relatively quickly. But when tapering off it only took 4 weeks to flare.
To make a long story short, this cycle went on 2 more times except every time I was put back on them they worked less until the point where 8 pills a day weren’t doing a thing! The last flare was the worst experience of my life. I was going to the toilet 30-40 times a day and mostly through the night, which made trying to go to work impossible. I also had flu-like symptoms, fever and the worst stomach cramps I’d ever experienced. One time, I was so ill I spent the entire night on the toilet; I thought I was going to die.
As someone who trains and makes a living working in a gym, the most heart-breaking thing was the weight loss I endured. In just 2 weeks, I lost over 2 stone (28 lbs)! All the effort I’d put in over the past few years had vanished (along with it my confidence and identity).
Another difficult thing I found was that people around us seem to have no problem telling you how awful you look. This really annoyed me!
Anyway, through all of this, I still maintained a positive outlook. I was determined to get better and wanted to see if I could help myself, so I started doing my own research. I came across the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle. After reading it a few times, and coming to grips with what I needed to do, I got started with the diet.
As I became better, I began to question how much I really needed the medication. So, I decided to find out by dropping one pill from my dose. I decided that sticking to this new dose for 3 months would give me enough time to see if symptoms would return but they didn’t. So, I lowered the dose again by a pill. Another 3 months passed by and still I was fine. This made me happy because I wanted to stay on the lowest dose possible yet remain in remission.
My annual hospital appointment came up just as I was due to drop to 1/2 of a pill, so I thought it was a perfect time to inform my specialist of my plans. I assumed he would be happy for me, but I’m not so sure that he was haha. He sternly told me I could flare at any time, but I decided to see it through. We agreed that I’d do 1/2 a pill for 8 weeks and watch carefully for symptoms.
The 8 weeks is over now, so all I can do is get on with my life, keep control of my health and hope to stay in remission.”
Crohn’s Disease Changed Cristin’s Life… But So Did SCD
“And that’s when I heard those words, “You have Crohn’s Disease.”
Of course, I was in denial. ‘I had no symptoms. I had just had two “kinda” major surgeries. This was just pain from the healing. There were reasons for the pain, and Crohn’s Disease was not one of them.’
I was given a prescription and told to start taking it so I would feel better in a week or two. I had a million questions, but I’ll just say it, the doctor was a cocky jerk. My favorite was when I asked him how he knew it was Crohn’s and he responded with, “I’ve done this for thirty years. If I say it’s Crohn’s, it’s Crohn’s.” Sure. Ok, but can you please be a little more specific and discuss this disease with me???
He did not have time for my questions about the disease
Nor did he have time for questions about the medications, or the long term plan, and he made sure I realized that his time was more valuable than my concerns. This was the last time I would be seeing this doctor. I did not start the medications and I found a new doctor, this time at the Cleveland Clinic.
The new doctor wanted another colonoscopy because, “the one he did was lazy and sloppy.” While waiting for that appointment, I started reading anything and everything I could about Crohn’s Disease and slowly started to eat again because the pain was gone after the colonoscopy. Just as quickly as the pain arrived, it darted away completely. I was still in denial, especially since I did not have any pain, but I was going to be ready this time to ask questions and find a way to treat this disease without these rotten medications.
I must have atrocious doctor luck
Because when I went back to discuss the results of my colonoscopy and the plan for treatment she told me, “There is no doubt you have severe Crohn’s Disease. You will need to pick one of these four medications.” When I asked her about treating the disease naturally she responded with a firm, “You will take one of these medicaitons or you will be back here within a month on the operating table so I can remove your colon.” How about that for bedside manner? As I continued to ask questions, she finally stopped me, informing me I was only scheduled for a thirty minute appointment, and she had other patients waiting. I looked at my husband as we walked out of her office and stated, “I’m finding a new doctor and I am not taking her drugs.” “I know,” he said.
And our journey with SCD began…
That August I started cold-turkey. Well, I had a friend bring a large strawberry malt over as a parting gift to myself, and the next day I started. It. Was. Hard. There was so much to think about, to plan for, to organize, to prepare, but I was in and, in my competitive mind, I was going to win. The most difficult part for me was that I never had any “trigger” foods. Literally one day, one bite, I had pain and couldn’t eat, but I never had the classic “Crohn’s” symptoms. How would I ever know if this SCD diet was working? It didn’t matter to me, I wasn’t going to slip up, I wasn’t going to sneak a bite here or there, I was going to beat this disease naturally.
In September, I saw my newest doctor for the first time. He reviewed all my medical records starting with the appendectomy and was convinced from the colonoscopies that it was Crohn’s Disease with “significant damage.”
He recommended TNF blocking medications…
But felt comfortable waiting to start them since I was clinically in remission. I liked this doctor! Not because I was told what I wanted to hear, but because he was patient. He listened. He understood my concerns even if he didn’t agree with them. He respected my feelings. He was very clear on what he felt should be the proper protocol for someone with my level of disease; he wasn’t going to tell me what I wanted to hear, but he was willing to work with me and see where things would go, as long as I understood the risks.
I had no pain, I was eating, I was maintaining weight, I was running, other than adhering to this diet, my life was pretty normal. He gave me four months until a follow-up appointment. More than once he told me he wouldn’t say that what I was doing was the reason I was in remission, but he wouldn’t say it wasn’t the reason either.”
Let’s Keep This Inspiration Going!
We’ve made it our mission to ensure we have a REAL community that will support one another. That’s why I wanted to share more inspirational stories with you today.
Like I said, there’s been so many times I’ve wanted to give up and just BE SICK… but my community is what saved me. Now, together we’re part of this amazing community and saving lives… going through the same journey with others who know what it’s like.
For me… that’s priceless. Truthfully, THAT IS the magic pill to getting healthy.
So with that, we’re looking for people who have felt this same impact, who couldn’t have done it without community. We’re looking for people that want to inspire others the same way we’ve all been inspired in the past.
TO DO NOW:
1 – Share any inspiration or success you’ve had in the comments below. Even if it’s just a small improvement you noticed… or a positive test result you got back. Tell us about your success so we can all celebrate together.
2 – If you’d like to be a success story on the blog and inspire millions of people going through the same journey you are, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Hey guys, I want to share my success story too!”
No Matter What… don’t finish this article without taking action. Use this little boost of motivation to leave a comment and keep working hard on your health, if only for one more day.
Thank you so much for being part of this. Without you, it wouldn’t be what it is today with so many people changing their lives.
I look forward to continuing to support you for many more years.
In good health,