My name is Maddie and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was 13 years old. I’ve been a part of the ICN network for almost 8 years, and I transitioned from my role as PAC Co-Chair a year ago. Now I have the opportunity to share my passion project with the ICN community! Introducing: EATS for IBD™

Since my induction therapy, nutrition has been an essential part of my disease management. I used Exclusive Enteral Nutrition (EEN) as my primary induction therapy, then transitioned to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). I had the family support and resources to fully commit to nutrition therapy. Over the past 9 years, I’ve learned to nourish my body with sustaining and healing foods, successfully maintaining clinical remission and achieving a functional quality of life.

Beyond the therapeutic capacity of nutrition, however, food has also been an avenue for joy, creativity, and connection. I’m a scientist at heart, and I fell in love with the chemistry of cooking. My primary hobby in my early teens was cooking. The term “cooking” is relative, though. My definition included deconstructing Cook’s Illustrated articles, ranking ingredients on spreadsheets, and eventually writing my own recipes. I made food for my friends, family, and neighbors because I loved how this art could build such meaningful joy and connection.

At a basic level, illness forced me to reckon with things I normally took for granted. Nutrition therapy helped me understand the multidimensional personal and social roles food plays in my life, and that learning a new way of eating takes time, energy, and financial means. Like many patients, my journey with illness impacted my relationship with food. Even when my inflammation was controlled, I still had a great deal of healing to do. I expected the NG tubes and restrictive diets to be the hard part. In reality, it is both physically and emotionally complicated to eat with a digestive disorder. I had to re-learn how to feed myself–to listen to my body’s cues and enjoy the tastes, texture, and experiences I had lived without.

Thankfully, I wasn’t alone in my journey. I joined the PAC within a year of my diagnosis, and the ICN community has been an invaluable part of my personal and professional growth ever since. I learned to tell my story and advocate for the patient voice. I had the privilege of serving as co-chair with the amazing Becky Woolf, and this has been the most foundational leadership experience. Words fail to describe how meaningful my time in ICN has been, and I will always be grateful for the support, encouragement, and friendship I’ve received.

As an IBD advocate, I’ve listened to countless other patients describe the barriers they faced to adequate nutrition. In many cases, we are not told how diet can impact disease and quality of life. There were few pathways available to maximize nutrition as a means to wellness, let alone joy!

As an IBD advocate, I’ve listened to countless other patients describe the barriers they faced to adequate nutrition. In many cases, we are not told how diet can impact disease and quality of life. There were few pathways available to maximize nutrition as a means to wellness, let alone joy!

I met Kim Braly early in my journey with Crohn’s. I was seen at Seattle Children's Hospital GI, where she worked as an IBD dietitian. Over the years, our friendship grew from a shared love of nutrition science, delicious food, and patient advocacy.

I started formally writing recipes in 2019. At the time, I had withdrawn from my junior year of high school because of a Crohn's flare. I was lonely, in pain, and so many things felt uncertain. I dreamed of creating a cookbook for IBD patients, utilizing my lived experience and love of cooking. This dream became a lifeline during a very difficult chapter in my life.

I shared my dream with Kim, and we decided to partner on this project. Kim struggled with a lack of recipes authored by IBD dietitians. She wanted resources that captured the quickly evolving science of IBD nutrition, as well and clinical teaching tools for patients who wanted to integrate nutrition into their care plan. 

Kim and I established our LLC, Nourishing Nutrition, and our “cookbook” started to evolve. Kim contributed her clinical knowledge and GI/IBD nutrition expertise, and I added my patient experience, creativity, and recipes. We recognized the positive impact this resource could have. We wanted to create something patient-centered that integrated the values of the IBD community. Our goal has always been to make nutrition a tasty, accessible, and nourishing option for all families living with IBD. We know how difficult nutrition can be, which is why we decided to build EATS for IBD™.

EATS for IBD™ offers recipes, tools, and resources to support patients on their journey with nutrition.

We know there is not a “one size fits all” approach to IBD nutrition. Our growing database is composed of recipes compatible with a variety of evidence-based approaches to nutrition, including the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD™), modified SCD (MSCD), Crohn's Disease Exclusion Diet (CDED), Anti-inflammatory Diet for IBD (IBD-AID™) and the Mediterranean Diet (MD).

In addition to recipes, EATS for IBD™ has built-in meal-planning functions and a grocery-list generator. We release new content every month, including vetted recipes, sample meal plans, cooking demonstrations, time-saving strategies, and guides. These resources are created based on feedback from the IBD community, and they support families making sustainable diet and lifestyle changes.

We want GI practices, dietitians, providers, and individuals living with IBD to have the tools they need to successfully and sustainably meet their clinical nutrition goals. EATS for IBD™ is here to help! If you are interested in learning more, here is a recorded tour of the site. We are happy to schedule interest calls to answer any questions. If you would like to explore  EATS for IBD™ for yourself or your clinical practice, please send us an email.

While living with IBD is never easy, I am so grateful for my journey with Crohn’s. From the doctors and nurses who cared for me during hospital stays, to my lifelong PAC besties, I learned that support makes all the difference. Now, I have the opportunity to create and share the resources I wish I’d had when I first started nutrition therapy. Kim and I hope that EATS for IBD™ offers you the support you need on your journey with nutrition. I know how challenging life with IBD can be, but I also know that you don’t have to do it alone!

📌 At the time of this publication the full EATS for IBD™ platform is available via paid subscription (monthly or annually). Gift membership options are also available. The EATS team is currently offering a selection of their resources for free on their Instagram page and anyone who is interested can request a copy of their free "Belly-Friendly Playbook" by completing a simple form on their website -

Everything we do in ImproveCareNow is magnified by the efforts of thousands of improvers! No action is too small; here are some ways to get started:

💚 Join the Patient Advisory Council (patients with IBD who are 14+)

💙 Join the Parent/Family Advisory Council (parents/caregivers of young people with IBD)

💚 Participate in our Current Research Opportunities (subject to eligibility)

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