I have lots of ideas; few of them are truly unique. When dealing with chronic health issues, it's easy to get fixated on finding the single missing piece of the health puzzle. In hindsight, the books and resources that helped me the most were those that considered the big picture. To me that means not just discussing which foods are good and which foods are bad, but also considering the human as a whole being--one who requires more than just a meal plan to achieve a vital state of health.
Of course, the resource that might help you depends on what you know (or think you know) about nutrition. I sure thought I had a solid foundation back when I was sprouting wheat seeds in my kitchen. My gut hurts even thinking about it now. If you're struggling with inflammatory bowel disease (Chrohn's, colitis) and don't know where to begin, start with Gottschall, then keep reading.
Overcoming ulcerative colitis is an ongoing process of learning and personal growth and these processes are my silver linings. Learning to express gratitude, cultivating a more positive outlook, and focusing on compassion have helped me grow into a healthier, happier version of the old me.
Here are a few authors whose works helped me get healthy and shape my world views:
And the scientists, no matter how much they investigate nature, no matter how far they research, they only come to realize in the end how perfect and mysterious nature really is.
There is no point in saying that perfection of health, as of all else, is not attainable by humans. The point is that we must have the vision of perfection, we must strive for it, we must sense the possibility of approaching it, or we cannot live.
While the underlying causes of the various intestinal disorders cannot be stated with certainty, faulty digestion and malabsorption of dietary carbohydrates may be, in large part, responsible for these disorders.
Paul Jaminet Ph.D. and Shou-Ching Jaminet Ph.D.
The most basic dietary strategy against infections is to nourish the immune system so that it functions at its best, while starving microbes so their ability to multiply is impaired.
Dr. David Perlmutter
The inescapable fact is that we have evolved into a species that requires fat for life and health. The massive amounts of carbs we eat today are fueling a silent firestorm in our bodies and brains.
The intensified inflammatory tone of modernity contributes to cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, obesity, metabolic syndrome, depression, and maybe developmental disorders. The skittish modern immune system has become a major tormentor.
The observation that monounsaturated fats both lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL also came with an ironic twist: the principal fat in red meat, eggs, and bacon is not saturated fat, but the very same monounsaturated fat as in olive oil.
Dave and Lana Asprey
Exposure to light and heat in storage will oxidize olive oil a little bit and detract from its health value, but cooking with olive oil makes it actively unhealthy. Heating olive oil for cooking has a pervasive oxidative effect, transforming it from a healthy oil into a free-radical generating oil worthy of a fast-food restaurant.
The Better Baby Book
(Sorry, Moms...read this one primarily because I'm a fan of Dave's work)
Also by Dave Asprey:
The Bulletproof Diet (Just released and at the front of my queue!)
We, like all critters great and small, are bound by our heritage on this planet.
Organ meats are some of the most nutrient-rich parts of the animal, which is why liver pops up as a uniquely nutritious food in culture after culture.
...as a general rule it's a whole lot easier to slap a health claim on a box of sugary cereal than on a raw potato or a carrot, with the perverse result that the most healthful foods in the supermarket sit there quietly in the produce section, silent as stroke victims, while a few isles over in Cereal the Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms are screaming their newfound "whole-grain goodness" to the rafters.
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
Also by Michael Pollan:
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
Second Nature: A Gardener's Education
So there you have it. This isn't the whole list but includes a bunch of the published work that helped me get well and explore my relationship with nature. I also follow many fine blogs and podcasts, but I will save that list for a future post.
While I'm a busy guy (who isn't?), I'm always looking for good reads and new ideas. Please share what you're reading below!
In good health,
I'm Ethan, a guy whose life used to be controlled by ulcerative colitis. As I systematically tested diets, treatments, and all types of health advice to heal my colon, I learned a lot about my own biology and also how to cook without compromise. I'm here to share the best (and sometimes worst) of that journey with you.