• Getting Off The ‘Roids

    November 7, 2012

    Hey there! I had an appointment with my GI doctor yesterday afternoon, so let’s get right to it so I can fill ya in on how things went!


    Lunch was a repeat of the previous night’s dinner (Make-Your-Own Taco Salads), but instead of romaine lettuce, I used sautéed kale for a more nutritious option. I’m really digging salsa lately, so a big scoop of it definitely added a little something-something to the meal. It’s funny how salsa does that!

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    After lunch, I headed into Boston for my doctor’s appointment. I gave myself plenty of time to get there and arrived about 15 minutes early, so I popped into Whole Foods to kill some time and look for a snack.


    I wandered around, checking out my options, but nothing really caught my attention. I wanted some fried plantains from the hot bar, but I didn’t see any. Bummer. Those are my favorite snack ever from Whole Foods. Instead, I ended up buying a bottle of Kombucha and drinking about 1/3 of it before my appointment.

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    At my appointment, I first met with a MGH fellow, who told me all about a couple of IBD studies that the hospital is conducting and then asked me if I was interested in participating. Of course, I was interested in participating and happily signed on for both. Both studies will be looking at genes and biological markers and whether they can predict the course of Crohn’s and colitis over time. Additionally, investigators will see how these diseases respond to different medications.

    Yesterday, my involvement in these studies involved answering a number of questionnaires and submitting blood and urine samples. In the coming months, I’ll be contacted up to 4 times for follow-up questions, visits, and more samples. I won’t get any sort of results or feedback for my participation, but I am more than happy to provide information that will help doctors understand the cause of IBD and how best to treat people with these diseases.

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    Once I finished all of the study stuff (I was at MGH for almost 3 hours yesterday), I met with my doctor, who is truly the greatest guy ever. He was totally running behind with his schedule and then things took longer than expected with the study stuff, but he didn’t rush our meeting at all. In fact, we talked for quite a long time. I always felt like my old GI doctor wanted to get me in and out of his office as fast as he could, so I always felt anxious and hesitated to ask my questions. Meeting with my new doctor is a completely different experience. He really listens and focuses on me and my individual situation. Yesterday, for example, my doctor spent a ton of time looking at my records (from my previous doctor) and medication history while asking me about my current condition and then creating a plan of attack for the future. My old doctor seemed like he grouped me in box with other 30-something colitis patients and then prescribed me more drugs just so he could get me out of his hair. I know I’ve said this before, but I am so glad I switched doctors. It’s made a huge difference in how I look at this disease and attempt to manage it. I also really trust my new doctor and his plans for getting (and keeping) me healthy.

    The next big step in getting me healthy is completely weaning me off Prednisone, which I have been taking since August. I’ve been up and down on the dosage a few times now, but I’ve successfully made it down to 15mg without a flare this time. Unfortunately, according to my doctor, going from 15mg to 0mg is a really tough transition since my body is so used to having steroids to keep it healthy. My doctor has additional meds on-call in case I start to flare, but the next few weeks might be an adventure. Let’s hope for the best!



    After my appointment, I headed home and threw together a quick dinner. It was supposed to be Mustard-Glazed Chicken with Candied Carrots (both recipes from Practical Paleo), but I sort of did my own thing. I cooked the chicken with the mustard glaze, but then chopped it up and mixed it with brown rice, roasted broccoli and carrots. It turned out pretty well!

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    After dinner, I enjoyed a couple of mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

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    Health News & Views

    Have you ever heard of a Tabata? They’re a great way to maximize your workout if you’re short on time. A Tabata is basically interval training. For 20 seconds, you perform an exercise at maximum intensity, which is then followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeated 8 times for a total of four minutes. Here’s a 15-minute workout that will get your heart-pumping and burn calories!

    15-Minute Double Tabata Workout

    P.S. Ashley created a wedding registry to help one of her friends rebuild after she was left homeless and with nothing after Hurricane Sandy: Wedding Registries Created to Help Victims of Sandy.

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    { 43 comments… read them below or add one }

    Hillary {Nutrition Nut on the Run} November 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Glad your doc. appt. went well yesterday 🙂 I’m a bit picky when it comes to my doctors, and patience is certainly a very important factor to me, too.

    Love sweaty Tabata workouts, going to have to take a look at that one!


    michelle kim November 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I’ve only heard of Tabata through your blog! And I incorporated that idea when I led a workout class and it totally made everyone sore for the next couple of days. It’s crazy how much harder you can push yourself when you say, “It’s only 20 seconds…”
    Thanks for the 15-minute workout!


    Leah @ Whitefoot Blog November 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    In regards to your lunch: I’ve been wrapping leftover taco meat in whole kale leaves and taking them for lunch the next day. Pretty tasty 🙂


    Annette@FitnessPerks November 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I am so glad you found a doc who listens to YOU! YAY!

    Mustard chicken is always a good choice in my book 🙂


    sue November 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I never seem to mind waiting for a doctor who is running late if, when he/she is seeing me, I feel like I am their only patient.


    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) November 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I hope things continue to go well for you and I’m glad you found a doctor you like so much! I’ve had GI issues for the past year and have tried two different doctors so far – I still haven’t found one I feel like will give me the attention I need. They’re so quick to assume it’s one thing or the other without any in depth conversations with me. Hopefully I’ll have better luck with the next one!


    Ed November 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Glad to hear all went well…hope it stays that way!


    Ellie@Fit for the Soul November 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    oh yessss I loooove Tabata! It’s the thing that first got me into interval training! Now I don’t do precisely 20, 10 sec., but anything of that nature is good in my opinion. 😀


    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio November 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    So glad your appt went well!! Tabata is fantastic!! Such a great way to get a high intensity workout in.


    Amanda @ Eat More Rabbit Food November 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Tabata is my favorite!! I hope everything goes well for you! It is so great to have a doctor that will sit and talk with you!


    Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction November 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Glad to hear that you are doing better with the coitis! I hope the study you participated can help cure the syndrome! Good luck 🙂


    Sarah November 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    You can’t not end the way without a little sugar (woah on the double negatives)… glad your appointment went well! Have a great wednesday 🙂


    Michelle (Peachy Palate) November 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Fingers crossed for you getting off the meds; many have done it before so you will get there, hopefully with no more flares! Really interested to hear out it goes for you so definitely keep us posted! Also checked out the tabata workout, it’s a great one! 🙂


    Kristen @ Change of Pace November 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    My husband talks about Tabata all the time. He’s an at home crossfitter. I was wondering why it sounded so familiar. I tune him out when he talks about that stuff 😉 Maybe I should have listened to him more because it sounds like fun!


    Brooke (beingvivacious.blogspot.com) November 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Yum. Salsa. I have relal been loving this peach salsa I found at the grocery store a few weeks ago. I swear, I could eat it right out of the jar with a spoon.


    Lauren @ muchadoaboutsomethin.blogspot.com November 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    So glad you like your dr so much – that’s so important! I love MGH – have only had great experiences there. Have you tried Costco’s Peach Mango Salsa? OMG good!


    Tina November 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I haven’t, but I do love mango salsa! I’ll have to look for it the next time I’m there. TJ’s makes a good one too! 🙂


    Dee November 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Salsa is very easy to make, and soooo many variations. I made my first mango salsa a month or so ago. Give it a whirl! @Tina:


    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats November 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I hope you go the next few weeks without a flare up, I’m sure that would be great to get off the steroids. And I need to find a doctor like that, I’ve been to so many but still haven’t found a great one.


    Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes November 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Glad to hear your appointment went well, Tina! Having the right doctor makes a world of difference.


    Nicole@TheKidlessKronicles November 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    My old trainer used to do Tabata workouts with me. And I downloaded some of my own, including a timer for my phone.
    Great news from the doc! And good luck with the transition.

    The Kidless Kronicles


    Sandee @ MyMidlife (Marathon) Crisis November 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Glad you like your doctor. I love my doc for the same reason…,never feel rushed and she cares about every detail of my life. Such a difference.
    I had a question about the paleo challenge you did last month. I know you said you didn’t participate the way you had planned but what about the people at your box that finished the month. How did they do and I’m more interested in how it affected them with their fitness. Are they going to stick with it?


    Tina November 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    They still have a month to go! 🙂


    eliza November 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Ugh I am on steroids right now for my dermatitis and it sucks. I tried everything natural to help it and nothing helps so steroids it is!

    I love tabata workouts and did a tabata style spinning class the other day which was great!


    Lizzy November 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Sorry if this is too personal, but does the Prednisone make you crazy? My mom was on it for a while and, to be blunt, she was a raging bitch on it! I have another friend on it and it is making her a little nutty too. Have you felt any changes in your mood since being on it?


    Tina November 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I’ve been lucky and haven’t experienced any side effects, but I know some people hate being on steroids!


    laura November 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Hey Tina,
    I was just wondering, what did you mean when you said your doc had additional meds on-call if you started to flare? It was my understanding that you’d just go back up to your previous dosage and am intrigued by how he would in turn treat you.


    Tina November 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    He prescribed me another drug to take if I start flaring again. Hopefully, I don’t need it though!!


    Liz @ Tip Top Shape November 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Glad to hear you’re getting better help with managing your colitis! Health things can be scary if you don’t have the right people guiding you.


    Brandi November 7, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I love tabata workouts!! My favorite instructor is probably Amy Dixon. 🙂


    Joanna November 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Are you posting the plank workout or did I miss it on another post? Thanks 🙂


    the 3volution of j3nn November 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Good luck with your transition off ‘roids! This digestive stuff is the pits. But here’s to feeling better and thriving! 🙂


    Ginger November 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    No plank workout this week?! 🙁


    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More November 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Finding the right doctor is HUGE, no matter your reason or health condition.


    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance November 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I am super picky when it comes to doctors because I always feel like they’re rushing me, so I can relate with you. I am sure it is much more settling for you to know you are with the right doctor. Hopefully the flares stay away 🙂


    Belles November 7, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    As a medical researcher, I appreciate that you shared your experience joining a clinical trial. These studies are essential for society’s understanding of disease and for the development of new treatments in the future! I hope that you share some of the follow-up as well.


    Amber November 8, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Good luck with getting off the meds Tina!


    Emily @ www.main-eats.com November 8, 2012 at 7:23 am

    So happy to hear about your appointment-can’t wait to see what the future will bring with your health! That taco salad looks absolutely amazing!


    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 8, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I’m so happy for you that you’ve found such a great doctor – it seriously makes all the difference! Good luck with going off the drugs! 🙂


    elizabeth @ chronic venture November 8, 2012 at 8:58 am

    glad to hear you are weaning off of prednisone! i recently stopped taking mine altogether after tapering down from 20mg. if you are at 15 now, try cutting in half or weaning to 10 (depends on pill size) and then every few weeks cutting them again. I eventually took 2.5 for a while and have now stopped altogether. I hope your colitis stays under control without the steroids, and it sounds like you have a great doctor to support you–that is so important!


    Abby November 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    First, congrats and hurray for finding a doctor you like so much and for having some success in your treatment – I hope it all continues. Second, I was just wondering what your thoughts are on Kombucha. Obviously you drink it, as you’ve mentioned in a few posts recently, so what are your thoughts on the negative reviews/warnings out there about it? Thanks so much!


    Tina November 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    From what I’ve read, you’d have to drink improperly-brewed Kombucha or a crapload of it, and I’m not pregnant. What are you referring to specifically?


    Sarah November 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Congrats! I work in clinical trials at MGH. Participating is such a great way to help others. Many people also report better, more consistent care when taking part in the study. Hope it helps you and others with colitis!


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