Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review: Living Well with Gastroparesis, by Crystal Saltrelli CHC

In an ideal world, anyone going in for a doctor's visit regarding gastroparesis, would walk out with a prescription for Living (Well!) with Gastroparesis. Whether you have been recently diagnosed or have had gastroparesis for a number of years, this comprehensive guidebook by Crystal Saltrelli CHC, is an essential part of the journey.  Not only is it a great tool for patients, it can also be helpful for family, friends, and caregivers.

After multiple doctor's visits, numerous tests and finally a diagnosis, it can be shocking to leave the doctor more confused than ever before.  Of course, most of us are given the typical options of medications and procedures as well as the low-fat, low-fiber diet. Though sometimes necessary to a certain extent, we are still left with little to go on. Up until recently there have been few resources when it comes to understanding this mysterious stomach disorder.

Crystal begins by sharing her own journey, having lived with gastroparesis for many years and gone through her own ups and downs.  Based on experience, trial and error, her work as a Certified Health Coach specializing in gastroparesis, and education in holistic nutrition, she has created what she calls a "comprehensive gastroparesis management plan."  This plan takes us on a guided tour through all aspects of living well, beyond food and diet (which is thoroughly discussed with many tasty recipes!). She addresses topics, in my opinion, equal to if not more important than the food itself. For example, tips for communicating with your doctors and putting together a "dream team," complimentary therapies including supplements, acupuncture and massage, as well as the importance of stress management, acceptance and attitude.

What is really outstanding is the way in which topics are covered.  By putting them in an easy-to-read Q&A format, the book provides exactly what most of us are looking for...answers! Even after years of studying nutrition and doing my own research there were answers to questions I didn't completely understand.  Reading this book is like having a VIP ticket to the GP oracle, who by the way is patient, kind, understanding and, unlike some doctors, in no hurry to get you out the door!  Most importantly, it can help you see the silver lining and realize you are not alone.

One of the highlights of the book is the organization of GP friendly foods, or as Crystal calls it, the "rainbow."  Nourishing foods are beautifully grouped by their color to emphasize variety.  And, if you've read my blog, you know I'm an advocate for delicious and nutritious meals.  The standard GP restricted diet does not necessarily promote this being that it's mostly one color...white.  Following unique ideas and tips for food are over 75 GP friendly recipes.  Being gluten and lactose free myself, I was hesitant as to whether I would be able to use this part of the book.  I was pleasantly surprised to see both wheat-free and milk-free recipes provided, and some that aren't can easily be adapted. Already looking forward to waking up to a warm bowl of Pumpkin Spice Cream of Rice (spring is taking its time to get here so keeping warm!) and fresh Berry Good Juice.

Living (Well!) with Gastroparesis can be purchased directly from Crystal's website  You can also find it listed in my JourneywithGP store under books and audio or directly through

Crystal has been an inspiration to hundreds if not thousands living with GP, including myself.  If fact, her work is what led me to get my training as a Health Coach, also specializing in gastroparesis and motility disorders.  There is a continued need for individual counseling to help provide guidance with an illness that affects us all so differently.  In addition to the book, if you find a need for someone to help you on your personal journal visit this link for more information on my services.

Like myself, Crystal continues to live well with gastroparesis.  Just recently she became pregnant with her first child so congratulations!

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