The creator and founder of Freedom Bar recently chatted with me about being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease as a teenager, his journey with the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), and his deliciously healthy bars! Three of the bars are SCD and ALL of them are dairy free, gluten free, grain free, soy free, and have no added sugar!
Hi friends! A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of tasting what has become my newest snack obsession, Freedom Bar. These bars are what clean eating dreams are made of...seriously! Not only are they free of gluten, grains, dairy, and refined sugars but three of the flavors are SCD legal! If you're on a specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) journey like me, then you know that this is a big deal! There aren't many ready made snack foods that we can eat.
The bars are a combination of fruit and nuts that make for a tasty and surprisingly filling snack! The SCD legal flavors include, Apple Cinnamon, Raisin Almond, and Peanut Butter (my personal favorite). When I found out that the bars were SCD legal I wanted to learn a bit more about Saul, the creator and founder of Freedom Bar.
We recently had the opportunity to chat and he was happy to share his health story with me and the reasons he started Freedom Bar. He told me, "...I've had Crohn's for about fifteen years and being on the SCD diet pretty much forces you to make everything from scratch because there's not much on the market."
Saul has been following the specific carbohydrate diet since his diagnosis as a teenager, "That's how I manage it. I'm still not on medication and I believe I'm doing much better now than in the past because I've learned how to work on stress. I think the SCD diet is great, although there are other factors as well."
I can't say I didn't have ups and downs.
Like many of us, Saul has tried numerous approaches to managing his symptoms. "I can't say I didn't have ups and downs." About four years ago, Saul had to have a few inches of his intestine removed due to damage caused by his Crohn's disease. "...I've been working closely with a homeopathic doctor. I take a lot of supplements and she modified my diet a little. I wouldn't say I'm SCD 100% although it is similar."
When Saul told me he's been able to manage his Crohn's symptoms for FIFTEEN years without the use of medications, I was impressed! I currently need a combination of diet AND meds to keep my ulcerative colitis symptoms under control (which I'm ok with), but it's always inspiring to hear of others in the IBD world who are able to make it work without the use of traditional medications!
"When I started the diet, doctors laughed at you. It was totally unheard of. There was no support whatsoever. People are starting to realize that stress and food has a big impact. I feel like now there's much more of an awareness. There are support groups...it's much easier to [follow the diet] then it was then."
Those following the diet or even those just trying to eat healthier understand the COUNTLESS hours spent in the kitchen making meals from scratch. It's extremely time consuming and sometimes it's nice to have something on hand that you didn't have to cook yourself and that won't derail all the positive progress that's been made. When asked if he had a culinary background, Saul replied, " No. I'm one of 12 children and growing up in a big family you get to do a lot of different things around the house. I made a lot of my own foods and I just came up with it."
Through trial and error in the kitchen, Saul created these as a snack, "...then I thought about making it into a business. So I decided to try making four different flavors. I perfected them. I had a lot of different people taste for me and test it."
I want it to be affordable. I want people to have another food that they can eat.
I got the impression that for Saul, this is much more than a business. It's an opportunity for him to help and encourage others in our ever growing SCD community. "I want it to be affordable. I want people to have another food that they can eat." He's someone who understands the struggles of an autoimmune disease and the rewards of following a strict diet.
Throughout our conversation, Saul said the word "help" more times than I can count! He's open about his journey with Crohn's Disease and is willing to share his story with anyone who asks. He does it with the intention and hope of helping others.
I'll leave you today with a short, heartwarming story he shared with me. I feel it demonstrates what a kind person he is and it's one of the reasons (aside from the delicious bars) why he'll have me as a devoted customer. "There's a boy at one of the high schools here. Someone put me in touch with him and he's on the SCD diet. When I pass by the school I'll bring him a box of bars. I'm happy to help."
*This post is created in partnership with Freedom Bar. The opinions expressed are completely my own and I would NOT be sharing this product with you if I didn't truly love the bars!
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