Life and Living with Crohn's Disease

Life and Crohn's

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Healthy Lifestyle Changes and SmartyPants Vitamins Giveaway!

Enter my SpartyPants Vitamins giveaway and have the best of healthy living and satisfying your sweet tooth! Over the past few months, there have been some sizable changes in how I go about living as healthfully as possible. I thought I would share some of those healthy living changes and decisions that I have made and give you a chance to win your own healthy living change in the form of SmartyPants gummy vitamins!

I was given the opportunity to review and giveaway Smartypants Vitamins through my association with Sweat Pink. All opinions are my own!

Have you entered to win a Moto 360 Sport Watch yet? What are you waiting for? This is for way more than just fitness and running! I am linking up with Jill for Fitness, Healthy, and Happiness as well as Gretchen and Kristen for What’s New with You? A brand new link up (that goes up on Thursday, but I am now cohosting Running Coaches’ Corner, so coming a bit late!

Recent reality checks have meant making Healthy Lifestyle Changes. Find out how and enter to the Smartypants Vitamins Giveaway! Suzlyfe.com @suzlyfe

Health Concerns Over the Past 6 Months

Since breaking my back in the fall, meeting with a clinical nutritionist in December, and having my colonoscopy and first fertility appointment in February, I have been through a number of major reality checks with regards to my healthy living strategies and my health in general. During the summer, I pretty much just let the focus of my lifestyle be running and marathon training, but I knew that major changes were coming immediately after the marathon.

Banana Holster in a Flip Belt Runner

My Flipbelt Banana Holster

Status of my Crohn’s Disease?

Only a few days after the Chicago Marathon, I met with my Gastrointerologist and we took labs and made the decision to take me to a mono-therapy, rather than the dual therapy that I had been on: I stopped doing my weekly shots of Methotrexate (which I have to be off of to get pregnant) and am now just on Remicade, my infusion that I have been on for 14 years). We scheduled a colonoscopy for mid-February (about 3 months after I went off the Methotrexate) in order to check if my body could handle being off of the drug. 

Bone Health?

When we discovered in December that I had a sacral stress fracture, the first thought (taking into account the fact that I had a stress reaction in my tibia in the spring) was that my bone health had further degraded. I had been diagnosed as osteopenic several years ago, so we scheduled a DEXA Bone Density Scan to see where I was/am at currently, and if this was the reason for my injuries.

Nutrient Absorption?

Beyond, but taking into account concerns for, my bone health, we had new concerns for my ability to absorb nutrients. I was still rating as rather anemic (low blood iron), and we wanted to check on my other levels. Thus, after consulting with the clinical nutritionist, I did a Thyroid test and Nutrient Panel to see how well my tissue rather than my blood nutrients rated (see that post for greater explanation as to why this test is important). 

Fitness?

Another stress-related injury, how did it happen? Where was I going wrong? I am still not getting a period, why is this happening?

OMG YAY not meme grumpy cat

Fertility?

The biggie. A priority of mine for this year is to work hard on starting a family. Now that the Boston Marathon is off the table, we are moving up our timeline to get started. We needed the results of all of the tests that I have taken over the past few months as well as taking a step back from training to see if I would get a period (I didn’t) to know what steps to take next.

Healthy Living Assessment and Healthy Lifestyle Changes

So, what did we find, what decisions did we make, and how are we changing things going forward?

Crohn’s Disease

I am so freaking happy to announce that I am in remission! That doesn’t mean that my Crohn’s Disease is gone–biopsies still show low grade Crohn’s, I could flare at any time, and I will continue to be on my medications (Prevacid, Remicade). But I am in the best possible position that I could hope to be for a person with my type of Crohn’s (one that cannot be surgically solved).

Bone Health

Turns out, I have the healthiest bones I’ve had in years! Through my healthy living, eating, my marathon training, and diligent work at gaining weight and working on my overall health, I have reversed the deteriorated state of my bone and am now at normal bone health!

hooray cat meme

And it turns out, I just ran the marathon too hard. RUN THE RACE YOU TRAIN FOR!

Nutrient Absorption

The nutrient panel was stunning: I am the picture of health. I am a bit low on a few things, but the markers that we were really worried about (calcium and bone health nutrients) were spot on. Still, the clinical nutritionist recommended a few new supplements for me, which I will talk about in a minute.

Fitness

To go from running 30-40 (or more) miles a week to NONE has been quite a change. After a month of biking, we put me on no impact at all, and I lifted only for several weeks, then added in the hand bike (which does basically nothing, but at least you feel like you are doing something). Since I have returned to activity that engages my pelvis and sacro-iliac joint, I have reintroduced exercise biking and elliptical, and most recently, the Alter-G has brought running back into my life! I have also started walking again. I am going to Physical Therapy 2x a week and doing my exercises on my own as well as doing 45 minutes -1 hour of elliptical or city walking throughout the week, but not at an aggressive pace for either. 

Get #MOTOvated with this Hill Walking Workout that is perfect for coming back from injury or taking a day off of running during marathon training #CoachSuz @suzlyfe | Suzlyfe.com

Fertility

We have started the fertility journey! Regardless of the changes in activity and the weight that I have (consciously) put on since the start of last summer (I have talked before about how I use marathon training to help me gain weight), I still have not regained my period (TMI, but deal with it). After blood tests and talking with my doctor, who is a endocrinology and fertility specialist in gynecology (basically, smartypants is RIGHT), we have concluded that the likelihood of me getting back my period on my own is very low–my brain simply doesn’t produce and receive the necessary hormonal triggers properly. Believe me, if it was as easy as eating more and doing less, I would! But we have tried, and it hasn’t happened, even after months. We are trying one more cycle before going to Clomid.

Trying out a New Vitamin Regimen (Smartypants Vitamins)

When I met with the nutritionist, we assessed that I was in great standing, but that I could do a few things better, namely, Vitamin C and a better Multivitamin. So I have started taking a new high potency Vitamin C (trust me, Emer-gen-C wasn’t going to cut it. I asked). She also put me on a new comprehensive multivitamin pack, one which focused on Omega-3’s and prenatal vitamins (I was already on folic acid, but this was a bit different). That was all fine and great, until I lost my job and realized that there is a limit, even for me, to the number and size of pills that I can take. It takes me 3 gulps to get everything down. #aintgonnahappen

Office No Meme

Thankfully, that was right around the time of my colonoscopy, aka perfect time to change up my pills, and right when I received my package of Smartypants Vitamins

Smartypants Vitamins Womens Complete gummies are a delicious source of complete nutrition! Find out more at suzlyfe.com

Let me just say, the fact that I can get all of the Vitamins of the other pack (including Omega 3s and Vitamin D3!) in 6 GUMMIES (noms) vs 3 CHOKES of pills (blegh), that makes this whole process so very much easier. I am going through a lot right now: looking for a permanent job, preparing myself to start a family, and working hard to get back to running (for pleasure, not for training at the moment!), that I seriously couldn’t deal with the prospect of those pills. 

You could choke on regular giant vitamins or chew on delicious Smartypants vitamin gummies! I think the choice is clear! @suzlyfe suzlyfe.com

I think the choice is clear! Also, I love that they have no aftertaste, there is a men’s complete, kid options, and even a prenatal (which I am totally getting next). Remember how you used to eat Flintstone’s Vitamins as a kid? Smartypants vitamins put those to shame.

Health + Fun (and tasty candy goodness!) in one? Sounds like a perfect marriage to me!

Get up to date on @suzlyfe's #healthy lifestyle changes and win @smartyhealth vitamins! #thegoodgummy Click To Tweet

Win your own! Smartypants, Sweat Pink, and I are giving away Smartypants vitamins to a lucky reader! Enter below, Giveaway closes in one week (ends midnight of March 11th).

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Tell me: what healthy lifestyle changes are on your radar?

Chew delicious vitamins or swallow horse pills?

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