When I was studying at Institute for Integrative Nutrition I met Tara Rosas. Here we sit down for a deep dive into her personal healing journey.
“Your interview with Tara was the best I have ever listened to with someone with IBD! And I read and listened to almost everything IBD/gut health related the past 5 years.” – Katalin
Tara has been a student of health and nutrition for the last fourteen years. She is a certified Holistic Health Coach and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Through countless hours learning and researching the topic of holistic health she was able to succeed in reversing her debilitating Crohn’s disease. With diet and lifestyle change she is now medication-free and in durable remission. Tara is currently writing a book to help others with IBD, and recently launched her company Enlightened Candles.
Tara’s journey with Crohn’s Disease is similar to many of ours. Diagnosed in 2004, initially by sigmoidoscopy. She was started on sixteen pills a day, and initially her symptoms cleared up in a few weeks. She had read about the perils of the disease and thought, I’m one o the lucky one’s where the pills will work great. For her first year as a Crohns patient, the Asacol pills were all she needed, until the following year when she landed, very sick, back in the hospital.
Immediately she was put on IV prednisone, antibiotics, kept on Asacol, and sent home. Eventually the disease caught up with her again and she was forced to move back home during a persistent multiple month flare. More Pills , more supplements, probiotics pills and drinks, a lot of trial and error and experimentation. Her mind started to open up to the possibility of alternative solutions, reading Jordan Ruben’s Makers diet book opened her mind, reading Nourishing Traditions by Sarah Fallon taught her about the relationship between diet and health. And for her, the bible was Jini Patels Listen To Your Gut. Tara says everyone who has Crohn’s disease should read this book.
With this knowledge she become her own best advocate. She started to haves conversations with doctors, and not just blindly follow their instructions. This was key. She feels her body knows best and, with the consultation of experts, of doctors, she makes educated decisions for herself based on all the evidence and research presented. The book that wound up rocking her world was the Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
Tara’s a spiritual person, every since she was a small child. Has always had a relationship with god, spirit, universe. Not religion per se, but tuning into her higher self. After dozens of medications, and eventually upgrading to Remicade, which couldn’t stop the bleeding her GI doctor said they had nothing else to offer her. She wasn’t ready for surgery, like an airplane waiting to land at a busy airport, she was in a holding pattern. During this time she was lead to a holistic doctor in San Francisco. Tara and her Mom went on a road trip. For the first time she felt listened to. He listened, for 45 minutes he listened. Afterwards he explained a lot about what was going on with her body and to her it made complete sense. At this point she had had Crohns for 4 years without any success from western medicine. Actually to the contrary, Crohns almost killed her. This new doctor, recommended the GAPS diet book and upon reading it she felt it called to her. She felt at home, like she was a GAPS person.
Two months later she started. read as much as she could about the diet online. Not nearly as much information as is available today. She stayed on this diet very strict for one year, and the rest is history. Her body healed from the inside out. She was in a remission that was more durable than any drug she had taken before. The diet had it’s ups and downs. A rocky start led to purging, a flu, a cold, cough, lots of toxins being dumped. The first three weeks were terrible. Still with diarrhea, still with the bleeding. Then it leveled off., and once she added the fermented Kefir she really started to heal, practically overnight. Her energy was back, felt better than she’d felt in years. and was symptom free.
10 months into the diet she reduced her 6MP, though she’s wonders why she stayed on it as it didn’t do any significant good in the first place. She continued to taper off 6-MP and in November 2010 she took her last dose, and since then, has not been on any constant medication, and has been in continual remission.
Today she is not any longer on the GAPS diet. She used GAPS as a reset. She still has some of the staples from the GAPS diet at home. homemade broth, sauerkraut, and kefir, and knows it there if she needs it. After a year and a half of a strict GAPS diet she started incorporating more food into her diet. Food like gluten-free grains. Basic grains. Wheat here and there. And she felt okay.
Currently, she’s adopted an Integrative Lifestyle, eating clean 90% of the time, and 10% going out and eating what she wants, enjoying life as she says.
Tara Marie Rosas talks about her journey with Crohn’s Disease. From years of agony, and a near-death experience, to completely healing her dis-ease and living the life she desires.
In this episode, we cover:
00:01:31 Formal diagnosis and medical treatment of Crohn’s Disease
00:04:51 Other diagnosis, aside from Crohn’s Disease
00:09:31 The search for alternative treatment
00:10:48 First symptoms felt
00:13:37 The Healing Journey
00:19:48 Books, and learning more about Crohn’s Disease
00:22:21 Listening to your body
00:25:52 Experience with medications
00:31:40 Transforming from caterpillar to butterfly: Emerging from Crohn’s Disease
00:36:11 GAPS diet effects and experience
00:40:53 Tara’s present diet
00:43:28 Crohn’s a blessing in your life?
00:48:08 Learning to listen to your body
00:51:07 Favorite foods to eat
00:52:29 Crohn’s: A humbling experience
00:56:07 Does Tara consider herself cured?
00:58:44 Tara’s trigger foods
01:00:17 Tara’s tips for those who wish to follow in her footsteps
01:04:18 Books and resources Tara used
01:07:00 Tara’s health, then and now
01:12:19 Tara’s practices for optimal health
01:15:03 Tara’s books and practices in improving her spiritual health
01:21:41 Tara’s diet suggestion for Crohn’s patients
01:25:58 With Crohn’s Disease behind her, what is Tara up to today?
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world is over it became a butterfly” – Tara
References and Resources:
- Integrative Institute of Nutrition – One of the graduate schools both Tara and Joel Sprechman recommend for continued education.
- Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia – by Natasha Campbell-McBride
- The Makers Diet by Jordan Rubin
- Nourishing Traditions – Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats – by Sally Fallon
- Listen To Your Gut – Listen to Your Gut: Natural Healing and Dealing with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Crohn’s Ulcerative Colitis Diverticulosis IBS – by Jini
- The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles – by Dr. Bruce Lipton
- Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself – by Lissa Rankin M.D.
Full Interview Transcript is included in the Crohns And Colitis Summit