What I Eat When I’m Flaring

Brace yourselves. We are headed into controversial territory. Before I dive into this blog post it is important to know that the cause for Inflammatory Bowel Disease is unknown. No one or two things cause Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. It’s not something you ate. It’s not something you did. Until breakthrough research tells us otherwise, we have to understand that IBD just is. You can treat symptoms and achieve remission, but there is no cure. Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are chronic diseases that are battled daily. And on some days the can be so difficult that we battle them by the minute. Some changes like diet change, stress management, and sleep quality can trigger or help symptoms. The most controversial being diet.

“Tread lightly, Laura,” I say to myself as I write this blog post. What works for one person may not work for another. Not gonna lie I’ve gotten a lot of shit from some of the IBD community (no pun intended) about promoting diet and lifestyle change to help nourish and heal my body. Some people think because I promote elimination diet that I am against medication. This is untrue. It’s easy to be pegged in the category with people who believe drinking aloe and breathing from my middle chakra is going to cure me. Well, that’s not what I believe. But I do think that certain changes can make a difference. For many of us, dietary changes are a great addition to maintenance drug and/or holistic therapies.

If you follow my social media you know I had a relapse and my ulcerative colitis became active in September. I posted this Facebook post and received a lot of love from our supportive IBD community. The Crohn’s and colitis family is like no other – love you guys! At the very end of the Facebook post I promised a new blog article. And here it is.

So… What should you eat when your ulcerative colitis is active?

There’s no one-size-fits-all but many patients find these options helpful.

  1. Low FODMAP
  2. Low residue
  3. Small nutrient-dense meals
  4. Hydrating liquids
  5. SCD or autoimmune protocol (elimination diets)
  6. Anti-inflammatory food
  7. Adapted paleo (your personalized paleo diet for maintenance)

I understand that when we’re flaring we can’t imagine eating. Or we just want to eat anything that stays in our bodies for over 5 seconds. Bread. Rice. Whatever. And yes! Yes to that! If your body can handle it then do it. However, heed this: be mindful of the nutrients you’re feeding your body. Although those foods may be the only thing you think you can digest, two weeks on bread and rice isn’t going to speed up your body’s healing. There’s a way to go easy on the gut while providing the right nutrients.



Because ulcerative colitis affects the colon, your stomach should have a decent time digesting the above foods. But don’t forget it’s journey through your large intestine. Vitamins digested in the large intestine are: K, B1, B2, B6, B12, and biotin. AND WATER! So stay hydrated and consider a multi-vitamin or B vitamin rich foods.

Pureed foods are not only comforting (mmm…soup!) but they leave less work for your digestive system. Consider the options below.

20140603-092425.jpg Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup
Butternut Squash Soup w/ Chicken img_1162
img_6543 Zucchini Noodles in Turmeric Bone Broth

A fun snack is zucchini ribbon wrapped shrimp dipped in avocado pesto.


Any food that would stimulate or irritate a normal bowel is probably a bad idea.


In addition to the above mentioned food you may also want to avoid foods that contribute to inflammation such as red meat, dairy, sugar,
You may also want to avoid foods your gut has to work overtime to digest such as nuts, seeds, raw veggies, popcorn, and high fiber food.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace therapies or information of your team of physicians. Please foster strong communication with your reliable IBD specialist and other medical professionals before making changes to your health routine.

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