There are 12 modules in the Living (Well!) with Gastroparesis Online Program. These classes primarily focus on the self-care aspects of the gastroparesis management plan: diet, nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle, stress management, and support/coping.
In other words, the things that you can do yourself, day-in and day-out, to minimize your symptoms, improve your health, and enhance your quality of life. The material will empower you to make meaningful changes one step at a time, setting you firmly on the path to living WELL!
All classes are in mp3 format and can be played on your computer, tablet, or smart phone. Included with each class will be a set of printable PDF slides, which you can use to follow along as you listen, to take notes, and/or to review the material later. Many of the classes also have corresponding handouts, worksheets, recommended reading, and/or links.
Class 1: All About GP & GP Management
To kick off the program, we’ll lay the foundation for you to create a successful gastroparesis management plan by creating a deep understanding of the condition itself and how it’s typically — and best — addressed. We’ll discuss the best way to obtain a diagnosis, what the diagnosis really means, truths and misconceptions about the condition, the reason a multifaceted approach is the key to symptom management, why you must make self-care a priority (and how to go about it), and how to be your own advocate in all aspects of your management plan. I’ll also help you evaluate which areas of your plan need the most attention and set your goal for the next 12 weeks.
Class 2: Stress & Coping
This class comes early in the program because the way we think about and handle stress — both from the condition itself and from other areas of our lives — can make all other aspects of symptom management either more or less effective due to the physiological stress response. We’ll discuss reducing and managing stress, but we’ll also discuss how to change our relationship to stress and how our own thoughts and beliefs — especially about gastroparesis — contribute to the effect of stress on our bodies and our experience.
Class 3 – GP-Friendly Habits & Lifestyle
Often underestimated, the small choices we make every single day have a significant impact on our symptom management, overall health, and quality of life (for better or worse). In this class we’ll discuss how physical activity, sleep, relaxation, habits, and behaviors impact gastroparesis and how to start making positive changes in these areas.
Class 4 – Medical Treatment & Complementary Therapy
In this class we’ll discuss both western medical treatment and complementary/alternative therapies for gastroparesis. I’ll also offer a summary of treatments available, guidance on finding and choosing physicians and complementary practitioners, building your Dream Team, obtaining insurance coverage for various treatments, and other potential obstacles/concerns to both traditional and complementary treatments.
Class 5 – Eating for Gastroparesis: Guidelines 1-5
In this class, we’ll talk about the first five LWWGP guidelines for a GP-friendly diet: eating smaller meal, eating less fat, eating less fiber, choosing nutrient-dense foods, and avoiding hard-to-digest foods. I’ll give you examples of each guideline so you’ll know exactly what is considered GP-friendly and what is not. We’ll also talk in depth about the purpose of following these guidelines and the effects of eating things that are not GP-friendly.
Class 6 – Eating for Gastroparesis: Guidelines 6-10
This class is a continuation of class 5. We’ll discuss the last 5 guidelines of a GP-friendly diet, including: adding soft foods and liquids, chewing, eating slowly, keeping a food diary, and doing what works best for you. We’ll talk about handling food-related anxiety and you’ll receive a list of common GP-friendly foods. You’ll also learn about the low FODMAP diet and how to know if it might be right for you.
Class 7 – Improve Your Nutrition: Part 1 – Nutrients & Variety
In this class we’ll talk in depth about the importance of nutrition for gastroparesis management and overall health. You’ll learn how to get more nutrients into your diet without exacerbating symptoms, and how to increase the variety of foods that you eat by following the “GP-Friendly Rainbow.” (Many past participants have said this is their favorite class!)
Class 8 – Improve Your Nutrition: Part 2 – Balance & Quality
This class is a continuation of the nutrition discussion in class 8. This time we’ll talk about the importance of balance, specifically how to balance carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats in your meals, and the issues that can arise from a “typical” unbalance GP-friendly diet (such as hypoglycemia). We’ll also discuss the importance of food quality (not just quantity!) when it comes to eating for GP, when and why to choose organic foods, and why and how to incorporate more whole foods and less packaged/processed foods into your diet – all without exacerbating symptoms.
Class 9 – Supplementation
In this class you’ll learn about the basic vitamins and minerals, why they’re important for overall health and for proper digestion in particular, and the signs of the most common deficiencies among those with gastroparesis. You’ll also learn which supplements are most important for GPers, how to choose supplements, and the best ways to integrate them into your management plan without exacerbating your symptoms.
Class 10 – Support & Relationships
While working on our own management plan is important, we all have other people in our lives that impact and are impacted by our experience with gastroparesis. This class focuses on helping our loved ones understand gastroparesis, building a solid support team, dealing with “non-supporters,” managing romantic relationships, maintaining friendships, and socializing. We’ll also about self-esteem issues related to the condition.
Class 11 – Day-to-Day Life with Gastroparesis
In this class, we’ll talk about continuing with day-to-day life while managing gastroparesis. This includes managing a household, taking care of children, working, going to school, traveling for business or pleasure,and eating in restaurants/away from home.
Class 12 – Now What? Implementing Your Management Plan
Though this our last class, the work (and the improvements in your symptoms and quality of life!) continues even after the program has ended. We’ll discuss how to take everything you’ve learned and implement it into your daily life, how to handle the times when “life happens” and you get off track, and how to continue evolving your plan as your situation evolves. We’ll also review the goals/intentions from class 1 and celebrate your progress (you’ll likely surprise yourself!).