So I ate gluten…

…after 1.5 years being gluten free. It’s such a silly story though. 

On Sunday (2 days ago) I decided last minute that I was going to go my my fiance’s basketball games to support him as a new coach. I forgot my snack and ended up getting really hungry. It wasn’t until after we were done with the games that I realized I hadn’t eaten since my smoothie in the morning (it was 4pm at this point.) On our way home I was on the edge of hangry and mentioned we should go to Red Robin so I could inhale some bottomless fries while eating a gluten free burger and slurp on a milkshake. This is obviously not my everyday kind of meal, but my starving self was super excited and ready to inhale food. 

I didn’t realize until halfway through my burger that I forgot to order it with a gluten free bun!!!! Are you kidding me?! I haven’t eaten gluten in a year in a half and I just ate half a burger. wow. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was a little scared at what kind of mess it was going to make with my insides so I went home, drank peppermint tea with a ton of water and waited it out. 

Yesterday (the next day) I felt really tired, slept almost 12 hours through the night and took another 2 hour nap later in the day. I felt super foggy and tripped over my words a lot while teaching. 

Today I am achey, my scoliosis especially hurts. But I’m not surprised because since I have a severe intolerance (not celiac) to gluten it would increase inflammation within my body and I would feel all those little aches and pains, like I have been. 

Luckily my Ulcerative Colitis was already totally under control and in a healthy state of remission so my digestion didn’t go haywire. If I was in flare though, whoa that would be another story. 

So now I’m just eating as clean and healthy as I possibly can, shaking my head at such a silly mistake, and picking up my life like it never happened. Thankfully the reaction was minimal. I much prefer my life gluten free though. 

Have any of you guys accidentally eaten gluten? 


more than people think

(Source: mindmotivation)

Revamped my blog


I’m pleased, very pleased. I rearranged the links and created a few of my favorite topics so it will be easier to navigate my blog. 

  • Ask - I do my best to answer ;) I’ll get better at that! 
  • YouTube - Direct link 
  • Facebook - Direct link
  • Instagram - Direct link
  • Yoga - All things yoga: yoga practice, yoga tips, yogic lifestyle, yoga philosophy, yoga, yoga, yoda
  • Health - Raw, paleo, clean eating, fitness, mental health, physical health, health tips, motivation, inspiration, how I quit smoking etc. 
  • Ulcerative Colitis - Because I was diagnosed at 8, went med/steroid free at 18, healed a couple flares naturally since and documented some that journey 
  • Me - Personal posts

This blog started as a modeling page because that’s one of the things I did before I was a yoga teacher. I quit modeling when I moved to Colorado and have only done a couple select photo shoots since. 

So what do you guys think? Better? I’m way open to feedback :) 


"The results of acupressure are instant and can be similar to Chinese acupuncture; in some patients, they are so dramatic it seems like magic." Read more here

Interesting, now that I’ve read this I’ve been massaging my hands and I found a tender spot on my hand where the left side of the colon is.. hmmm #ulcerativecolitis

What are your thoughts on acupressure?

"As long as you make an identity for yourself out of pain, you cannot be free of it." ~Eckhart Tolle
(via mindfulwellness)
No more coffee. Daily yoga practice. Photoshoot.

Last weekend I decided to quit coffee and take AM yoga classes instead to help with my recent UC flare. I’ve taken 1 class a day since at One Yoga Denver and CorePower Yoga and I feel incredible! I’m driving to the studio before I even know what’s going on and end up “waking up” on my mat. I end up walking out of the studio more energized and more productive than coffee could ever do for me! It feels so much better energizing my body from the inside out than the outside in. 

Now I’m packing to leave for MN for a fitness photoshoot for Life Time Fitness which means I’ll be bringing my mat and a “home practice” with me  In the meantime, it’s never too late to start a daily practice! Doesn’t have to be an hour long, or in a studio. Just make an effort to get on your mat for a few deeps breaths every day and watch as your practice, day, and life transform 

Genetic Evidence of Yoga’s Impact on the Immune System

My immune system is top priority, and lately it has been acting up with early symptoms of an Ulcerative Colitis flare. This was a great read to remind me just how powerful my yoga practice can be. More time on the mat! 

(Source: dreaddedyogini)

This has been on my fridge for months! It makes paleo extremely easy :) It was also very helpful when I was avoiding FODMAPs

A message to my friends with Ulcerative Colitis

I’ve had Ulcerative Colitis for 18 years and I’ve been managing it naturally for the last 6 years. I still go in and out of flares and remissions but I’m happy, healthy, active, and so very grateful. 

Here are my top lifestyle changes to manage my UC and I highly recommend them for you:

Read More

These are 3 MORE things that you MUST have in your kitchen/medicine cabinet. Take them daily to improve your quality of life! 

Bonus: Quinoa Salad Recipe

Paleo, low FODMAPs, Ulcerative Colitis and Myself

The paleo, low FODMAPS diet I’ve been doing for my most recent Ulcerative Colitis flare is really working! Some of the more uncomfortable symptoms started going away within a week. I’ve been doing it for a little over a month and I’m healing fast! When I go a week without the UC symptoms I will consider this flare healed. I’m so happy :) I’m almost there!

"The diet restricts foods such as grains, beans, dairy products, salt, sugar, potatoes or any type of food that agricultural development helped create. Grains, dairy products and beans have a high lectin content. Lectins contain toxic compounds designed to ward off insect attacks. Paleo diet supporters believe that lectins may also attack the human body. Lectins, says Cordain, have a carbohydrate and a protein component. The protein component resembles proteins in the human body. Your immune system attacks lectins when they escape your bowels. After the attack, it memorizes the lectin structure in the same way that a police officer memorizes the face of a frequent perpetrator.

Paleo diet proponents believe that lectin’s similarity to your body’s natural proteins make people susceptible to ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases. Your immune system is intelligent, but it in people with ulcerative colitis, it is not smart enough to distinguish between your body’s own proteins and the lectin. It, therefore, attacks your body’s cells in the same way it attacked the lectin. An autoimmune response ensues, causing leaky gut and other common symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Read more.”

It’s been a little tricky maintaining this very clean, but limited, diet. But I’m still coming from my raw mindset and keeping as many raw fruits and vegetables in my diet as possible so I can get some living enzymes. It’s nice because I get to eat all my wonderful produce and I’m getting ample protein from the meat in my new diet! I don’t miss the grains but the chocolate cravings are pretty strong ;) It’s all worth it when this flare is over. Eventually I’ll start adding in the FODMAPs foods one by one but I’m going to continue Paleo and I’m so excited. 

Looked up the tag “Ulcerative Colitis”…

and damn! Everyone is so negative! Yes, UC and Crohns are painful and exhausting diseases but I’ve found that maintaining a positive outlook has helped me the most. 

The words “chronically ill” just don’t resinate with me. Yes, I have an autoimmune disease and I deal with symptoms and flares that some people refer to as “humiliating and crippling” but I just refuse to look at it that way. I’m happier and healthier than I’ve ever been, I’ve accepted my body and I’m finding more and more ways to become healthier and better everyday. I’m even in the middle of a flare up right now. My goal is to heal this flare up before I leave for Colorado but I’m not going to stress over it. I’m doing my best to eat healthy and to bring my body into a healing alkaline state so that this flare can pass. It will take longer to heal than if I took a magical prednisone (steroid) prescription but I prefer to treat the cause, not the symptoms. Also, I hate what those meds do to my body, let’s not pump me full of chemicals if we don’t have to. 

I “suffered” from the disease for over 13 years before I decided enough was enough. I weaned myself off my meds  & steroids and started experimenting with my diet, exercise, and outlook. I spent the last 5-6 years experimenting and taking note of my “food sensitivities.” As of the last 3 years, this is what I do: 

When I’m not in flare:

  • Mostly raw & whole food diet, able to experiment into cooked foods, even meat and dairy (minimal)
  • Stay away from trigger foods: Highly processed, fried anything, nuts with shells, etc.
  • Daily workouts - no restrictions on working out or styles of workouts 
  • Daily yoga - to help manage stress & maintain a healthy body/circulation
  • Happy

When I’m in flare:

  • 100% raw food diet (no raw nuts, peels) + juicing daily
  • NO meat or dairy, exception for raw milk (raw milk has been very healing for me)
  • Daily yoga - to manage stress and keep me active
  • Restricted workouts, depends on my energy level. 
  • Daily: Raw honey, Raw coconut oil, Aloe vera juice, chia seed, raw sauerkraut, juiced cabbage, raw milk (when available)
  • Happy

If a flare up gets really bad:

  • 100% raw food diet with juice fasting to deliver much needed nutrients while giving my colon a break. 
  • Daily yoga & walking only, no other forms of workouts. My body needs to reserve energy for healing
  • Daily: Raw honey, Raw coconut oil, Aloe vera juice, chia seed, raw sauerkraut, juiced cabbage, raw milk 
  • Acupuncture 1-2x week
  • Happy

This works for me. I’m not recommending anyone go off their medicine or slap their doctors… I’m just putting it out there that you can find relief, it may be risky and uncomfortable but there is such a thing as natural healing. Sure, I still go through the occasional flare up but consider this:

When I was on Asacol/pentasa + steroids and following the diet the doctors recommended I was flaring an average of 4x a year. It seemed like I was constantly sick. Ever since I got off my meds and followed my own natural healing path I’ve had an average of flaring once every 2+ years. 

I have to thank my loving boyfriend for supporting me and encouraging me along this natural healing path. My family accepts me for who I am and they do a great job supporting me, especially around the dinner table. I really appreciate that I have such a strong support system especially because my methods seem odd to some, even wrong in most western doctors’ standards. But my results speak for themselves, and it’s my disease I’ll decide how I want to treat it.

Oh this excites me! 

I love that more and more documentaries are coming out to educate what healthy eating truly is, that you can live happily and healthily with tasty foods! The first minute of this trailer I was like, “yep, uh huh, yes!”

I was once hypnotized and confused by all the “food” out there. I was also ill from Ulcerative Colitis, sluggish, and carrying excess weight. In the last 3 years I have gone on such an eye opening healthy food journey, I’ll never go back. I’m healthy, fit, full of energy, happy, and I’m not dis-eased by Ulcerative Colitis. I haven’t been on ANY medication in years! I manage my body, health and UC through my diet (by diet I mean my intake, not restrictive rules of eating) For me it’s all about eating as close to the natural state as possible, no processing, no preservatives. I could go on and on :) I can’t wait for this documentary, if you want to watch other ones similar to this watch Food Inc., Food Matters, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, Forks Over Knives and start doing your own research & experimentation. A year from now you’ll be glad you started. 

Managing Ulcerative Colitis on a RAW food diet

"Do you have colitis? i noticed you mentioned it in my video. my mom has it, and shes vegetarian.. but claims all raw fruits and veggies give her terrible symptoms. any help with getting her to eat more raw and relieve her symptoms would be greatly appreciate <3"

Yes I have Ulcerative Colitis. I was diagnosed when I was 8, pretty severe symptoms since I was 5. I’ve been off meds & steroids for nearly 5 years. I use a clean, healthy, enzyme rich raw food diet and the calming practice of yoga to manage the disease. I don’t like that word - I’m far from dis-eased, in fact I’m extremely healthy, active, happy and at ease! No longer do I have to follow the low fiber, bland diet my doctors wanted me on. No longer do I live in contant flare! In fact, I’ve only had 1 flare since starting raw (2.5 years ago) and I was able heal it RAW & NATURALLY. It took longer than steroids and meds would, but I was patient and it was SOOO worth it. Since then I’ve been very keen with my body and when I notice any symptoms of flare I go back to 100% raw, cut out the trigger foods (like nuts & seeds) and juice like crazy! 

My recommendation is to buy a juicer and juice mostly veggies & some fruit daily. My favorite drink when I’m in flare is to nurse a pitcher of: Bok Choy, Cucumber, Celery, Cabbage*, and Carrots. Tell her to start with small amounts, like a small glass, then she can work her way up to larger amounts of juice. (just because juice tends to be very cleansing) As far as juicers go, I recommend the Omega brand (slow rotation) but they all work, Jack LaLanne Juicers is a good brand too!

*The Cabbage is especially great for UC because it is very high in glutamine, an amino acid that has anti inflammatory properties AND it protects the lining of the digestive track! Raw saurkraut is another good source of glutamine.

When I was in flare I did cabbage juice everyday (mixed in with the recipe above). Another raw food she may find more relieving than aggravating is Papaya. If eating it doesn’t work for her she can always juice it.  

All of our bodies are different, and Ulcerative Colitis affects people differently. Tell her to experiment, keep a food/mood/BM journal (all in the same book) so she can track how different foods affect her, raw, steamed, cooked etc. For me, during flare, I avoid nuts, seeds, rice & hard workouts (I want my body to spend it’s energy healing) and I do a whole lot of juicing, raw milk, raw smoothies & salads, yoga, & weekly accupunture. Nowadays, if I notice any flare symptoms I’ll do just juice for a couple of days, it gives my colon a chance to rest and heal while my body gets tons of nutrients and enzymes! 

Also, tell her to trust her intuition, sometimes doctors can be very helpful in managing UC naturally, and sometimes they can be detrimental to the process, one doctor shamed and tried to scare me back onto meds and regular colonoscopies and I said no, I felt great doing what I was doing and it’s been working for me since. Let me know if you have any questions!  


p.s. my ask box is being way weird, I’m having troubles responding or seeing messages. If you sent me a question and have yet to get a response try resending and include your email if you want a direct response