Archive for Adam Dunlap

Crohnies.com Recap

// August 12th, 2010 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Other

With a new layout and organization to this site I wanted to make sure I started things off by succinctly explaining what this site is and why it is here. In recapping this site I present to you the Who, What, and Why of Crohnies.com as well as a couple other answers to commonly asked questions:

What is Crohnies.com?
Crohnies.com is a site created to bring hope and inspiration to those suffering from Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, IBS and other intestinal disorders, empowered by the belief that contrary to popular medical literature, there is a cure for all of these.

Who created this site?
My name is Adam Dunlap, and I am the founder of Crohnies.com. The majority of the content on Crohnies.com has been written by myself. The pictures and videos on the site are of me as well. I’ll soon be uploading pictures of myself before my health transformation so you can see what a change I really have experienced!

Why Crohnies.com?
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in December 2004. What was initially an unfortunate diagnosis with a bleak prognsis has turned into an amazing health experience that I am compelled to share. Contrary to traditional treatment outlooks and the general prognosis for those diagnosed with Crohn’s, I have since had a full recovery from the disorder and I no longer take any medication. I feel fantastic from head to toe, and I believe that the health transformation I have experienced is something anyone with Crohn’s, Colitis, IBS or other intestinal disorders can experience as well.

Other Questions and Answers:

What is a Crohnie?
A Crohnie is someone with Crohn’s. I have a handful of friends that have been diagnosed with similar intestinal disorders such as Ulcerative Colitis, and given the similarities of these common intestinal disorders, I consider anyone that has had one of these or does have one to be a “Crohnie”.

Isn’t your claim of there being a “cure for Crohn’s” a little bold?
It may seem that way, but such is the way all truth appears when it stands in opposition to majority opinion. I believe in what I write wholeheartedly, because what I write about is what I have experienced personally.

With the site’s new layout and my renewed  focus to it, I’ll be consistently adding as much new content to Crohnies.com as I can. For now there is already a lot here, so if you have other questions about me or this site take a look around. Three pages that you may find exceedingly informational are the following:

  • Mission and Goals
  • My Story
  • Contact
  • I’m Back!

    // August 1st, 2010 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Cooking, Drinking Fluids, Food

    A long hiatus and much work on other projects has brought me full circle and back to Crohnies.net! I have only posted on this site 3 times in the last 14ish months, and with a new found energy, focus, and time, I plan to change that by posting weekly (at the least).

    My health has continued to remain steady over the past year+ with only one prominent change to me/my diet and two news updates to discuss which I will briefly explain:

    #1. I passed the two year mark of not taking any Crohn’s medication! (To be exact, at this point I have actually gone 2 years and 4.5 months without it). Crohn’s is now so far removed from my daily life that I go weeks without even remembering that I had it. Crohn’s changed the way I live today, but its presence is no longer a daily influencer of my mood, health or diet and I couldn’t be happier.

    #2. We now own Crohnies.com! When I first set out to create this site I wanted it to be “Crohnies.com”. However, at the time the domain was registered so the I made the decision to build this site on Crohnies.net. I am very pleased to say that after much effort we have acquired the dot-com domain! Now, if you type in Crohnies.com in your web browser, you will find this site. In the future I plan to change the entire location of the site to Crohnies.com as originally planned, but for now the originally desired domain will stay on a forward command that sends searches here – to the dot-net.

    #3. My diet has changed substantially in the past 3 months! Due to recent ideas and the strong influence of friends, my diet now includes a much larger variety of fruits and vegetables amongst other recent changes such as a cutback in grain and meat consumption. I’ll be posting more about the specifics of my diet here in the coming days, so for now I’ll give you a few pictures of what my usual meals look like:

    (Click for larger images)

    700 Club

    // November 11th, 2009 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Parkour

    Three day ago on November 4th, my story was aired nationally on ABC Family in a feature created for The 700 Club in accordance with the CBN. Embedded below is the video that aired.

    I will admit that at this point in time I have only watched the parts where I was doing Parkour. I specifically avoided watching any part where I was talking because as weird as it may sound, and as exciting as it may seem to be on national television, I just can’t stand seeing myself on TV! Anyways, my mother told me “you need to be aware of how you come across on camera.”..? She’s right but I still don’t plan to watch it. It’s like torture!

    The interview I did for this feature lasted about half an hour. A lot of what I said was edited out (or so I hear ;-) With that said though, I wanted to make sure to give a special thanks to Purity Products. They are a fantastic nutritional supplement company that has sponsored me for over two years now. There were there when I first started taking my health into my own hands and I firmly believe that their products have been one of the most influential components in my recovery and successfully staying health ever since. I also would like to thank Jordan S. Rubin for his inspiration and for his book The Makers Diet which single handedly led me to make the changes in my diet which have been foundational to my health transformation.

    Crohn’s for Christmas (Part 4 of 4)

    // January 3rd, 2009 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Food, Other

    It is eye-opening for me to look back on this holiday season and see how applicable to Crohn’s everything was. The foods I ate, the memories I made, the reasons why I did thing and did not do things all related back to my experience with Crohn’s and my history with the disorder. Even the presents others gave me for Christmas were not able to escape the influence of my past intestinal anarchy. I can now see that everything in my life is and always will be inevitably linked to Crohn’s. With the right outlook though, I think this can be a good thing.

    I do not mind that Crohn’s will always possess a very significant presence in my life. I think it makes me stronger. It makes me healthier. It forces me to work harder than others to attain the same state of health, and that builds character. It also keeps me humble and reminds me of others that are still suffering like I was, and this compels me to my obligation to help them find a way as I did.

    I am convinced that everyone is given challenges in life that are meant to build their character in accordance with their unique God given purpose. Some people are challenged with poverty. Others are challenged by growing up without parents, or growing up in a rough neighborhood, or growing up without an education. Believe it or not still others are challenged with coping with wealth and fame. We were challenged with less than optimum health. Just like being born poor, or not having a supportive family, or not being taught how to read and write, the first thing we must do if we wish to escape these circumstances is to learn from them. We must not shy from our intestinal problems, but rather use them to learn, and grow, and better ourselves.

    Even though I no longer suffer daily from Crohn’s, saying these things is not an easy thing to do. It reminds me how bad I used to hurt and this is humbling. But I am thankful for those experiences because it is as a result of them that I now unequivocally believe that optimism is the attitude that we must possess. Not matter how bad our health becomes we must cling to an outlook of acceptance and even gratefulness, and most importantly we must maintain a hopeful and ceaseless determination to not let our situation deter us from pursuing our passions up to and including living a long, healthy, and vibrant life. To do anything else is to secede from hope.

    In our case our optimism cannot merely exist as an attitude. We must accompany this ever forward looking gaze with action; a personal confrontation of our health that manifests itself in us taking charge of our lifestyles and doing everything we can to combat the disorder we have. Depending on your circumstances this may be a challenge so daunting that it may seem insurmountable at times. But it is never without hope. If nothing else, hope will keep you going. And when you do finally triumph, all the pain and hardships you suffered along the way will make the victory that much sweeter.

    For me, literally being diagnosed with Crohn’s was a great Christmas present because it gave me an answer to my pain. But the greatest gift came from what I learned over the next three years through overcoming Crohn’s. My Christmas wish is that you too find the determination and passion to conquer Crohn’s as I did.  If you do then I can assure you, you will not be disappointed. And possibly, just possibly, you will also come to find as I have, that even something as painful and debilitating as Crohn’s can become a Christmas present to remember and be thankful for.

    Crohn’s for Christmas (Part 3 of 4)

    // January 2nd, 2009 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Cause & Cure, Other

    December 25, 2008 – This was of course Christmas! And as Christmas is defined in my book as another one of those ever so rare “special occasion”, I once again permitted myself to eat whatever I desired. Although much of the food was perfectly healthy including the green beans and turkey, I did consumed enriched wheat flour rolls as well as ham, liberal amounts of peanut M&Ms, cookies, and one piece of apple pie. With all that said and quickly summed up, what is much more worthy of telling than my rare food indulgence is what I received for Christmas.

    I am not one to ask people, “What did you get for Christmas?!” because I think that sounds materialistic, not to mention that I think it detracts from the real meaning of why I celebrate Christmas which is celebrating Jesus’ birth. Nevertheless, I was very excited about what I did receive for Christmas because it was everything I could have hoped for. And coolest of all, all the presents related directly back to Crohn’s.

    The presents I received from my family blessed me more than I can say, and coincidentally I felt that all related back to Crohn’s which I thought was pretty cool too. My brother gave me organic no-sugar-added ketchup, sprouted grain noodles from Food For Life, and a very fine jar of honey that was produced in Oregon. My parents gave me two books The Great Physician’s Rx for Health & Wellness and The Maker’s Diet: Daily Reminders, a cast iron pan and metal spatula, and the Saving Private Ryan soundtrack.

    Call me simple but I was nothing short of ecstatic to receive these gifts and I could not have hoped for anything more! Best of all I felt that they were all connected to Crohn’s. The foods my brother gave me are some of my favorites, and since they are special varieties that coincide with my strict diet they also happen to be on the expensive side. Because of this I was very happy to receive the noodles, ketchup, and honey, and I was especially pumped for the ketchup because I hadn’t eaten that in about two months. I can not wait to read the books my parents bought me, and the content of them is obviously very intertwined with Crohn’s. They were both written by Jordan S. Rubin and they are basically extensions to The Maker’s Diet; the book that outlines the diet I followed that allowed me to stop taking Crohn’s medication. The cast iron pan is a sweet gift for obvious reasons (read Cast Iron Cook Wear), but it is worth mentioning that it was not just any cast iron skillet. It was one with ridges so it cooks meat like a BBQ (I didn’t even know that they made ones like these!). The metal spatula took that present to the next level. The soundtrack was the most exciting present of all. The score for Saving Private Ryan was composed by John Williams, one of my two favorite composers (the other being James Horner), and it is nothing short of movingly incredible. Here is my favorite song from the Saving Private Ryan. It is called Hymn to the Fallen.

    How does the music relate back to Crohn’s you may be asking? It is very simple. Music is incredibly therapeutic and has many healing qualities. No amount of modern science will ever fully understand or recognize the benefits that our thoughts and emotions have on our health, but I believe they possess the single greatest influence on it. Music has the ability to reach into the mind, and draw out emotions that cannot be elicited by any other method. Beautiful music, like that composed by John Williams for Saving Private Ryan, always calms me and brings a great sense of peace to me and my thoughts. When I do not feel well, or when I am upset (which are both presently feelings that are rarer in my life than I think just about anyone else on the planet) this is the music I listen to. Suffice to say that no matter what mood I am in music like this always makes me feel better.

    Most presents you receive for Christmas you will probably not remember. I was trying to think back about all the presents I got for past Christmases and I could only remember a few. The red bike I received in elementary school. The framed poster my grandparents gave me of basketball great Michael Jordan. The compound bow my father bought me that was so big that I could not pull it back until years later. The effect and influence of these presents have since subsided, and one day even their memories may fade as well. But the one present I know I will never forget receiving is Crohn’s. It sounds odd but I guess that makes it a good present… in some twisted way.

    To be continued…

    Crohn’s for Christmas (Part 2 of 4)

    // January 1st, 2009 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Cause & Cure, Other

    December 23, 2008 – This was the four year anniversary of my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. I remember it like it was four years ago. (that was a joke by the way, haha :)

    It was the 22nd of December, three days before Christmas and I was as sick as ever. I was scheduled for a colonoscopy on the next day so I was not allowed to eat anything, and the doctors made me drink numerous dreadful concoctions that were designed to clear out my insides of all food. To this day I can still taste the vivid grotesque flavors of those drinks, and there is no question that drinking them was by far the worst part of the whole diagnosis experience (besides suffering daily for 10 months prior of course). Besides the flat out disgusting fluids I had to drink, the colonoscopy procedure as a whole was, idly enough, an enjoyable experience.

    After I had arrived at the hospital, consumed another liter or two of horrible tasting fluids that almost made me vomit, changed into the traditional hospital gown, and spent at least 60 agonizing seconds waiting for the nurse to find my vein so she could stop seemingly randomly wiggle the frighteningly large IV needle around inside my arm, I was ready for the colonoscopy. The hospital staff rolled me into the procedure room and hooked me up to all these gadgets that measured my heart rate, blood pressure, and other important sign so they could monitor me and, I guess, make sure I did not die during the procedure (?) Anyway, after all the sticky circular gages were glued to my chest they left me alone in the procedure room. While they were gone I watched the machines that read my vitals and tried to control my heart rate. Just about the time I figured out that I wasn’t any good at consciously trolling my vitals, the doctors came back into the room and, to make a long story short, injected fluid into my IV that put me to sleep. I told them I was going to count upwards until I passed out to see how long I could resist the drugs. I do not remember making it to three.

    When I awoke I remember feeling really, really good. And I mean really REALLY good. I had the same feeling when I woke up after being put under to have my wisdom teeth pulled two years later, and I can confirm that this feeling is nothing short of blissfully incredible. I can only inadequately describe the drug induced post-colonoscopy feeling as being the most relaxing and happy feeling ever.

    In this dazed, confused, but blissfully euphoric state of consciousness, I was, at best, only half aware of what was going on around me. The nurse brought me all the cranberry juice I could drink, and in addition to raving about how good the ice was (which I do remember) I apparently was flirting with her like crazy (which I don’t remember…I’m still not sure if I should be thankful for this memory lapse or not.) During that drug induced half-asleep, half-awake, half drug caused ‘this is the best I have ever felt’ consciousness, the doctor visited me at my hospital bed and showed my mom and me the pictures he took of my intestines during the colonoscopy. I have never seen those pictures in full consciousness and I guess the doctor threw them away afterwards (?) so my memory of their details is still quite vague. Suffice to say, what I do remember is that they were not pretty. From the blatantly disturbing intestinal trauma shown in those images the doctor was able to declare something to the effect of, “It is just as I thought. He has Crohn’s.”

    An hour or so after the procedure enough of the drugs had worn off that they told me I could go. I immediately stood up and started walking down the hospital hall. I was still under my drug induced consciousness, so while my mom continued to talk to the nurse I wandered past hospital beds in a dazed demeanor. I must have looked really silly as I uncoordinatedly fumbled through the hospital in my not fully aware state, and when my mom caught up to me it turns out I was going the wrong way. It did not really matter to me though because I felt so good. When I finally got home, my mom drove me of course, I threw up all the cranberry juice I drank at the hospital as they said I might.

    That year my Christmas present was Crohn’s disease. To this day I still say, “Yeah it was like, ‘Merry Christmas! You have Crohn’s!’” But even though the ten months prior to my diagnosis were excruciatingly arduous and painful, the actual drug influenced procedure process from which the diagnosis was procured was a unique and memorable experience that was kind of fun. And the end result of finding out what had been causing all my intestinal trauma was actually a pretty good present if you ask me. After all, the diagnosis was the first step that allowed me to address the problem which eventually led to my cure.

    To be continued…

    Crohn’s for Christmas (Part 1 of 4)

    // December 31st, 2008 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Cause & Cure, Other

    The busyness of the holiday season and two weeks without adding to the content of this site has left me with much to write about. Since I wrote about my supplments on November 24th, important milestones have been crossed, anniversaries have been reached, many memories have been made, and most of the holiday season has passed, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, all of which relates directly back to Crohn’s disease.

    At the very moment I am sitting in my house in front of a fire writing on my laptop and enjoying my Christmas present to myself: eggnog and red and green peanut M&Ms. I also added to this forbidden snack my usual healthy favorite of yogurt and buttered toast. But it is, obviously, the sugar filled holiday drink and candy in the midst of the seasonal and very pleasant fire that is making this present to myself so exceptionally delightful.

    I have no idea why I am sounding so, can I say, nostalgic (?) in this writing. I guess I am just very content to be here with my present state of health and ponder all the Crohn’s related things that have happened in the past year. Founding this website for one, but on a personal matter weaning of Crohn’s medication and being symptomless for over a year. To put it all in perspective I will recap the important events and milestones of the past month.

    November 27, 2008 – This was Thanksgiving! And because Thanksgiving qualifies as a special occasion in my book I ate whatever I wanted! This included eating numerous white rolls with liberal amounts of non-organic butter, a sausage filled stuffing, and about 6 pieces of pie (I wanted to try every one which is why I had so many slices :). Needless to say I didn’t feel too well for about an hour or two after desert, but besides that feeling (which I simply attribute to being exceedingly full… which just about everyone feels after Thanksgiving dinner anyway), I didn’t suffer any consequences for my indulgence.

    December 7, 2008 – This was the three year anniversary of my return from my study abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The people of Mexico unfortunately have no concept of healthy food, so looking back it was no coincidence that this was the worst four month stretch for my health since my Crohn’s diagnosis. I also had my second worst Crohn’s flare up ever in Mexico. Needless to say I would have given almost anything to stay there longer with all my friends. This day is always a very sad day for me because it reminds me how much I miss them.

    December 9, 2008 – This was the one year anniversary of my biggest Crohn’s flare up ever. You can read more about it in my story, but suffice to say I spent three days in the hospital and was lucky to escape without the vultureous surgeons taking out a good portion of my insides. Coincidentally I did some soul searching in the hospital, and the day before I had this flare up, December 8th, 2007, turned out to be the last day I ever took a full day’s dose of Crohn’s medication (besides all the generic antibiotics they made me take in the hospital of course).

    December 15, 2008 – This was my 9 month milestone of being completely off Crohn’s medication. The last time I had a dose of Crohn’s medication was on March 14th, 2008 (mind you it wasn’t a full days dose. That I consumed on December 8th, 2007.). On March 14th I think I took 2 of the prescribed 6 pills of Asacol (Mesalamine) that day. Or maybe I was supposed to take 12?! Who knows. Anyway, I still don’t think my doctor knows that I stopped taking the meds… or that I am doing so well without them.

    To be continued…

    Adam’s Hamburger Special

    // November 30th, 2008 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Cooking, Food, Recipes

    One of my new favorite meals is my own personal hamburger recipe. I eat the meal about 2 to 3 time a week now, so I figured it takes a prominent enough role in my life that I should write about it. In addition to being extremely delicious, the meal is also a great example of a meal that is completely nutritious not to mention very simple to prepare.

    Ingredients (in order of preparation)

    Coconut Oil
    One Large Onion (optional)
    Hamburger (1 lb)
    Salt and Pepper –or other assorted spices- (Optional)
    Peas (2 cups)
    Cheese –Mozzarella or Asiago- (Optional)
    Salsa or Ketchup (optional)

    Directions

    #1. Saute one large onion with coconut oil.
    #2. In a separate pan brown one pound of hamburger with spices of your choosing.
    #3. Steam two cups of peas in the microwave for 4:30 minutes.
    #4. When the hamburger is sufficiently cooked, use a strainer to drain the oil from hamburger.
    #5. Mix the hamburger, onions, and peas.
    #6. When all is sufficiently mixed and heated to the same temperature sprinkle Mozzarella or Asiago cheese over the top of the dish.
    #7. When the cheese is melted serve dish with condiments of your choice (I like using salsa or ketchup)

    As you can see, the dish is super simple to prepare, and it just so happens to be my current favorite home made meal. And because the only ingredients are coconut oil, onions, hamburger, peas, spices, hard cheese, and salsa, the dish is completely healthy and conforms to the strict standards of the Maker’s Diet.

    A few notes:

    • The proportions of every ingredient is up to personal preference and discretion.
    • It can take 20 minutes or more to adequately sauté onions. If I’m in a hurry, or if I simply don’t want to spend 30 minutes in the kitchen I skip this vegetable and stick with peas only. On the other hand, if I really feel like eating onions I might sauté two large onions for the dish.
    • The spices, vegetables, and condiments are really up to your choosing so you can feel free to experiment with different kinds and combinations. I personally use salt, pepper, and salsa, because they are simple additions. And with the vegetables I stick with peas because they are easy to steam and they taste great. Sometimes, though, I will mix in other vegetables too like snow peas or sugar snap peas.
    • I especially like serving this meal with toast.

    My Supplements

    // November 25th, 2008 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Food, Medicine, Vitamins

    As much as my diet has contributed to my health transformation I also give a great deal of credit to the daily supplements I take. A month before I changed my diet I started taking a few particular supplements and the positive effects of them cannot be understated.

    For nine months now I have taken a handful of health supplements daily. These have supplied my body with an abundance of antioxidants and nutrients, and I am completely convinced that these natural supplements have played as much of a role in defeating my Crohn’s as the final pruning of my diet. Here are the supplements I began taking in February of 2008 and continue taking on a daily basis even today.

    All the supplements I take are nutraceuticals from Purity Products. They include:

    Organic Super Reds
    Organic Triple Greens
    Omega Berry (Omega 3)
    H.A. Joint Formula*
    Bone Density Supreme*

    These supplements are as important to my diet as anything I do or do not consume. I have found a direct, positive correlation with the consistency with which I take these nutraceuticals and how I feel. If you are in a position to afford even a small portion of supplements I highly recommend investigating the benefits of nutraceuticals and seriously considering investing in them. They helped me overcome Crohn’s and I believe they will help you as well.

    *The benefits I receive from H.A. Joint Formula and Bone Density Supreme, and the subsequent reason why I take them, have to do directly with my athletic pursuits and my training. Although these supplements are an important part of my diet I do not attribute the benefits from these two supplements to helping me overcome Crohn’s.

    Cast Iron Cook Wear

    // November 23rd, 2008 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Cooking, Food

    When I cook I almost exclusively use cast iron pans. Whether you have Crohn’s or not I recommend you use cast iron cook wear too. Not only does cooking with cast iron make cooking easier, it also provides some important health benefits that are helpful to many Crohn’s sufferers.

    Cooking with cast iron pots, pans, and skillets makes cooking easier for multiple reasons. First of all, once a cast iron pan is seasoned foods will not stick to it. I eat eggs everyday for breakfast, but before I found cast iron pans I spent many painstaking and frustrating months, morning after morning, trying to figure out how to make the eggs not stick to the pan. Who knew that finding a solution to this cooking dilemma was as simple as using cast iron?! Now I never have a problem with eggs sticking to the pan… or other foods sticking for that matter either. That’s because cast iron is a natural non stick surface so once your cast iron pan is seasons correctly nothing will stick to it. Other benefits of using cast iron cook wear include the fact that you don’t have to clean the dish with soap, (although other care requirements are recommended by some), and the cook wear will pretty much last for decades, if not longer, as long as you take proper care of it.

    Since this website is dedicated to Crohn’s and other intestinal disorders you might be wondering why I am talking about using cast iron pans to cook my food. Incredibly this topic is actually very relevant to Crohn’s. That’s because in addition to making cooking easier, using cast iron pans actually provide Crohn’s related health benefits as well.

    In addition to many cooking benefits that come from using cast iron cook wear, the most important benefit I receive from using these pans is the iron that is leeched into my diet by using them. Every time you use a cast iron pan microscopic flakes of iron scrap off into your food and are digested when you consume your meal.* If you look on the back of the foods you eat and you will typically see on the nutrition label a percentage of daily recommended value of iron that is in that food. That iron is the same iron that composes cast iron pans. The fact that microscopic flakes of this iron leech into your food is especially good for Crohn’s sufferers because many, like I was, are typically anemic.

    A couple drawbacks to using cast iron cook wear is #1, it takes longer to heat the surface then regular aluminum or steel pans, #2, you usually have to oil cast iron cook wear after ever use, and #3, they are heavier. But these are only minor setbacks that pretty much make up for the facts that you don’t ever have to clean them and they last forever.

    If you are anemic and you need more iron in your diet I would highly recommend using cast iron cook wear. But even if you currently have no iron deficiencies whatsoever and are experiencing extraordinary intestinal health, the ease that comes with cooking when you are using cast iron make this cooking secret well worth trying regardless.

    To learn more about cast iron pans you can visit http://www.whatscookingamerica.net/Information/CastIronPans.htm

    *When my friend first introduced me to cast iron pans he told me this fact. I didn’t believe him and I responded, “Are you telling me that if I cut this pan into small enough pieces we can eat it?” He didn’t know what to say, but he should have just looked me straight in the eye and said, “Yes,” because the truth is you can. Mind you we are talking about billions if not trillions of microscopic pieces, but since iron is an essential part of our diets you can consume it in these microscopic quantities and it is good for you.