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Crohn’s Disease Diet – How I Eat 3650+ Calories per Day

In this video, I break down my diet that I used to eat around 4,000 calories per day with Crohn’s disease. So I’m not going to cover what you should eat and what you shouldn’t eat if you want to see that, check out my other video. In this video I’m actually going through my five meals and explaining to you the nutrition facts (mainly the calories) but I have calculated the protein, carbs and fats. It’s about 200 grams of protein and around 70 grams of fat. Then the rest of the calories are carbs.

For my first meal in the morning Igenerally don’t have any protein. I just want carbohydrates to give me enough energy to push me through my gym routine – to push me through the first part of my day. So it’s usually a one dish meal. Cream of Rice is what I eat if I’m not very hungry. It is 160 calories from 1/4 cup and it expands a little. Add a bit of honey, throw on some cinnamon. If I am hungry I’ll have hash browns. If I’m hungry I might eat towards half the bag and that’s going to be about somewhere between depending on how much I eat, between 400 if it’s a third if I’m eating more the bag to be upwards of 800 calories and then I have some sort of juice to go with that to drink along with a bottle of water because you’re dehydrated when you wake up. For the juice, usually just one cup of apple juice or orange juice, not from concentrate and that will give me a little bit of extra sugar to get me through my gym routine. I’m just going to call this meal at 500 calories – is somewhere on the average of my breakfast.

So for meal number two, the post-workout meal. It consists of 3 snacks. The first one is a muffin. Muffins are very calorie-dense. One small muffin might be 350-400 calories and often quite a bit more. If you go to Costco get those muffins they’re over 600 calories each. I also have a banana and depending on the size they’ll between 100 and 120 calories. Sometimes I add peanut butter if I want to add extra calories. A couple scoops of peanut butter could easily add 100-200 calories to this meal and for the third food is egg whites. A kilogram worth of egg whites contains 30 egg white so I drank about half of this. Most people say that’s gross initially. It’s not that bad. There’s no taste to it. If you can’t get past the idea, mix it with Nesquik, the ice cream syrup, and that makes it taste great but you really don’t need it. You eventually get to the point which is like I’m just going to drink this really quickly and it goes down super easy and the egg whites are about 250 calories and 50 grams of protein, so it’s a great protein source. It digest super easy for me. So this entire meal is 750 calories. So right now we are at 1250 calories.

Next is meal number 3. So generally I follow the 80-20 rule where 80% of our food is going to be clean food that is home cooked, and for the remaining 20%, we can go out we can go to a restaurant, could be fast food. We can kind of cheat. So I normally have a burger or preferably a chicken burger chicken as it digests a lot better than red meat but if your stomach is feeling pretty good you could push it with. This is only if you’re pretty advanced in your Crohn’s battle. So A&W has a double chicken buddy burger at 460 calories. I never have cheese on anything because cheese does hurt my stomach and another option is McDonald’s 1/4 Pounder with no cheese. I don’t have soda. I’ll drink water with it and I generally won’t give fries. It’s just a 500 calorie snack because I’m usually out running errands or doing something between work or whatever. it’s just 500 calories super quick for now because we’re going to get into something more bland and pay the price for having a cheat meal later.

Sometimes I don’t have a cheat meal. I’ll instead have meal 4, twice, as meal 3 and 4. 

Meal 4
If you don’t like potatoes, you can also do rice.

So for meal #4, my metabolism is fired up now I’m a little more hungry later in the day. This is now around 4-6 PM, basically an early dinner, and for that I’m going to have 6 ounces of shredded chicken. I boil the chicken and then I pull it and then add a bunch of avocado oil to  just make it a little less dry and then I put taco seasoning on it to add some flavour. I also have two sweet potatoes, like large sweet potatoes, around 14 ounces. Two of these and then I’ll have some sort of vegetable, so broccoli or kale or something to aid digestion. You can choose pretty much any vegetables. The shredded chicken is 280 calories, and the potatoes are 580 calories. I don’t eat the skin – you don’t really need to eat the skin. When I cook my sweet potatos and I shut the oven off, I let them sit in the oven for about another half hour or 45 minutes. I find the longer they sit in the oven the more they start separating from the skin, so a few days after you reheat them in the microwave, I can just slice them down the middle. It’s really easy to pull a potato off the skin so you really can just eat all the inside contents of it. So for this meal it’s about 900 calories and like I said if I don’t have a cheat meal I’ll do this meal at like 2-3 PM and then I’ll have it again around 5-6 PM.

Okay last meal is meal number 5. This is my shake. So for my shake, it tastes pretty good. You might not like the contents but with the strawberries it really take over the flavour and tastes like strawberries and bananas. The shake is 1000 calories. You might want to read the nutrition facts and calculate it out the first time so you know how much are pouring but first, egg whites. I only drink half of the container meal 2 and the other half I’ll put into my blender for my shake. I’ll throw in a handful of strawberries. My hands pretty big. The more you add the better it will taste. I put in one banana. I put in a cup of oats – quick oats from Quaker is fine. Then I add in basically a few tablespoons of avocado oil like maybe a shot worth (an ounce) and then add in either almond milk but my favourite milk that is really easy on my stomach is oat milk. I can get that at my local grocery stores. Dairy again I try to avoid because it’s pretty hard on stomachs. So with the strawberries, the banana, the egg whites, the oats and then the avocado oil or olive oil – I don’t use coconut oil for health reasons and because it tastes awful when you blend it up it just it messes up the whole shaking it really ruins it. Then we also have the milk. I’ll just add milk until it really becomes a viscous enough to blend properly.

We got:

  1. Meal number one at 500 calories.
  2. Meal number two at 750 calories.
  3. Meal number three at 500 calories.
  4. Meal number four at 900 calories.
  5. Meal number five at 1000 calories.

We’re sitting around 3650 calories if you have snacks like I do – like I’ll have a cupcake at a meeting at the office if someone bakes, or something like that. It’s not hard to get that 4000 calorie mark. Now if you’re newly diagnosed with Crohn’s you’re not going to push it like I am. You know I’ve had Crohn’s for over five years. The cheat meal might not be an option for you might have to just repeat that meal four twice and you’re going to have a higher calorie count if you do. That will be easier on your stomach. Everything else here is super light. In the morning my stomach is more sensitive to harsh food so like I said I start off with really safe food. Cream of Rice is super soft on your stomach and some sort of potato is another great option, and then I have some sort of juice. If I’m drinking orange juice, I think it’s Tropicana offers a low acid form or I drink apple juice which has less acid. So anyways, any questions drop them in the comments and that’s how I eat around 3500 to 4000 calories per day.

Elevated liver enzymes with Crohn’s disease

Alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) are the common liver values monitored in Crohn’s patients by doctors. These levels are monitored by regular scheduled bloodwork.

These levels can sometimes be elevated due to the harsh drugs used to treat Crohn’s disease. Oral drugs like prednesone are limited in their length of use to avoid injury to the liver. Infliximab (Remicade) has also been cited to cause liver damage.

Alcohol can also increase liver enzyme values. With high liver enzymes it is advised to not drink alcohol.

To treat high liver values, you first need to figure out what’s causing the high levels. You may need to start eating cleaner food, drink less alcohol or lower your bodyweight. The same old advice of eating healthier, exercising, sleeping more and drinking more water applies here.

My 4 and 5-day split workout routine

In my first 6 months of lifting, I gained 27 to 30 pounds. Diet had a lot to do with it, but in this article I’m going to cover my routine.

The routine you choose is going to depend on your goals and how much time/effort you can commit. If you can commit 5-6 days a week and want optimal results then you can start with this split. If you can only do 3 days a week (which I don’t recommend) then you can look at a program like 5×5 ICF (Ice Cream Fitness).

My routine is something like this:

Day 1 – Arms
Day 2 – Legs
Day 3 – Chest
Day 4 – Back
Day 5 – Shoulders
Day 6 – Rest
Day 7 – Rest (Optional)

I keep arms at least a day away from chest and back for optimal recovery as your triceps are worked on chest day and biceps on back day. I also keep shoulders away from chest as incline chest work will bring in the shoulders. If you want quicker results, drop day 7th, the additional rest day.

I’m going to write down some of the movements I do. Generally I like to do 16-18 sets in a workout. This can last anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes depending on the length of rest periods. My rest periods are longer on compound movements and shorter on isolation. After each set, I increase the weight. Each week, I try to add more weight or more reps to my sets.

Arms

  • Dips – On all 4 sets, go until failure. For example, to warm up I bang out 20 reps with no added weight. Then 10 reps with 25lb, 8 with 35, 8 with 45 and if I’m feeling good 5 or 6 reps with 55 or 65 pounds.
  • Curls – Either barbell curls with the E-Z curl bar, or seated hammer curls.
  • Some overhead tricep movement – I like to change it up. Sometimes skull crushers. Sometimes overhead cable tricep extensions or you can do extensions with the barbell while seated.
  • Rope curl and tricep push down super set – Probably my favorite movement to end with. Set up ropes both on the bottom and top of the pulley. I choose a lightwight. Example – For a bodyweight of 145, I do 45 or 50 pounds which is about 70% of what I would use for a normal 10 rep set. Here are the sets, and there’s no rest anywhere in this entire routine.
    • 20 reps of tricep pushdowns with the rope followed by 20 bicep curls with the lower rope. Immediately:
    • 15 reps of tricep, 15 reps of bicep.
    • 12 reps of tricep, 12 reps of bicep.
    • 10 reps of tricep, 10 reps of bicep.
    • 8 reps of tricep, 8 reps of bicep.
    • If I feel like I have an ounce of energy left after that, which is rare, I increase the weight 30% and bang out another 8 reps of each.

Legs

  • Leg extensions – Warm up with 3 sets of 15 or 20 reps.
  • Hamstring curls – Again, these are just warm up for squats. It helps exhaust the hamstrings and quads so you can hit the glutes harder next. 3 sets of 15 or 20 reps.
  • Squats – 4 or 5 sets of standard back squats with the barbell. This is the primary component of my workout. On my last set when I’m usually pushing for a new personal record, I rack the bar after and immediately drop the weight down 50% and go for 20 or even 30 reps.
  • Deadlift – 2-3 sets. They tax the central nervous system (CNS) pretty hard (which is necessary) so I don’t usually go up to 4 sets.
  • Leg press – I usually only do these if I don’t deadlift, even though the muscles are different. 4 sets.
  • Lunges – Did them more with bodyweight and dumbbells in my first 2 months.
  • Calf raises – Great isolation to finish with. Good calves are important for proportion. Especially on tall people.

Chest

  • Dips – I hit dips twice a week to help with development in my favorite areas (chest, tri, shoulders)
  • Flat dumbbell chest press – 4 sets, progressing to a PR
  • Incline dumbbell chest press – 4 sets
  • Fly machine – Be sure to pause during complete contraction

Back

  • Iso-lateral row – 4 sets
  • Overhand wide grip pull up – 4 sets. Use assisted if needed.
  • Landline row or barbell row
  • Lat pull downs – Close grip or traditionally with the bar is also fine

Shoulders

  • Shoulder Press – Either hammer strength or dumbbell
  • Vertical rows – Either with E-Z curl bar or overhand with rope pulley
  • Front raises – Dumbbell or rope pulley between the legs
  • Side raises – Dumbell or with the lower pulley and no attachment
  • Face pulls – Use the pulleys to hit the rear delts best.