IGTV Expert Chat: Crohn's Disease - Healing through Food with Ingrid De La O

By Hannah Follman with expert advice from Ingrid De La O
Updated on 17. Mar. 2021

Ingrid De la O is a Malibu native and the co-founder of TUSOL Wellness. Learn more about her journey with Crohn's Disease and how she found healing by healthy eating. 

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Ingrid De la O is a Malibu native and the co-founder of TUSOL Wellness. Learn more about her journey with Crohn's Disease and how she found healing by healthy eating. You can watch our chat here.  

What did you do when you were first diagnosed with Crohn's disease?

For me, if I could remember, the first symptom that I started getting from Crohn's was low energy, and I was blaming that on my work. I know that health is extremely difficult because I put it on the backburner for a long time. I knew that I had to eat healthy, but where do you start? I wanted to, first of all, I needed to learn how to cook. And so, I had to be very open about experimenting with different things.

What has helped you most when dealing with Crohn's disease?

I made a whole list of the things that I was feeling, and that's something very important that all of us have to do. We have to sit down and write down all the things that we are feeling. I'm feeling sad about this. I'm feeling this. This excites me. This makes me feel like this. Write down everything. Your energy levels throughout the day, and how you're sleeping. I wrote down everything. What are the things that my body is lacking? And what are the nutrients and the vitamins that are needed? Based on that I started to make smoothies. I needed all kinds of different amino acids that I was not aware of. Anyone that has Crohn's disease knows that when you eat something, everything hurts. It's so debilitating. I remember not being able to go out to meet my friends because of my stomach. I couldn't remember a time when my stomach was not in pain. I realized I have to help my stomach break down these foods because it cannot do it. In order to be able to absorb food properly, I have to really optimize my breakfast. I started with breakfast with my smoothies. I had to introduce antioxidants because this is what was going to help me lower inflammation. 

What is your advice for people who want to start eating healthy?

Think about all of the things that you eat for breakfast, for lunch, and dinner, and make a list of those things. Generally, it is not very diverse because we tend to gravitate towards food that makes us feel comfortable. The foods that we know how to eat and how to cook. The importance for any disease that you might have, whether it's Crohn’s, colitis, or diabetes, is just to diversify your diet. A lot of people have the problem of not having a consistent diet. One of the hacks that I do in the kitchen is basically out of sight, out of mind. If you go in your cupboards and start putting all the healthier food in the front, especially in your fridge, and start putting all the unhealthy food somewhere that is not very accessible, that is a good way to start. Before I leave the house, I always make sure that I have fruit in my bag, because just in case, I don't get to go home to eat a proper meal or if I'm hungry while I'm out, I at least have something. A lot of times when we eat really unhealthy food, it's because our blood sugar levels drop. What happens when you're hungry is you're going to go into the fridge and eat whatever is fast. And so, like I say, out of sight, out of mind, have a fruit bowl or have a place where the healthiest food is accessible, and it's ready to go. 

What do you think are the best and worst foods to eat for someone who has Crohn's disease?

For someone that has Crohn's disease it's so important to focus on collagen. A lot of people know collagen is for the skin, but it's also one of the main proteins for connective tissues. You need to stimulate your natural collagen, but at the same time, you need to have other sources of collagen to be able to fix the gut lining because it's a gut lining that is broken. Also, I really do believe in organic foods. Because when you hear about the detriments that pesticides do for people that have Crohn's or colitis, I don't even understand how that is legal to be in our foods. If you have Crohn's or any IBS issues or any disease, you should stay away from glyphosate. I avoid glyphosate like the plague. Everything that I eat has to be organic. So I would say the diet that's best for myself would be a whole food diet.That includes organic meats, chicken, beef, and vegetables. 

For the full interview, watch it on our Instagram IGTV Series linked here.

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