My name is Lisa Tsakos, Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant, corporate speaker and author. This blog provides professional advice from a nutrition and weight loss expert (me!) about corporate and family health. Here you'll find recipes and articles that address work-related challenges like eating on-the-go and maximizing your productivity with the right foods. You'll also find out about how you can help your children develop strong immune systems and healthy bodies. As a nutrition instructor, I often found myself thinking, "When I have kids, this is how I will feed them." With two toddlers, I have the opportunity to practice what I have been preaching and to try out my theories. So far, they seem to be working! Follow me on my journey and also on Twitter @NuVitalityHW.

15 May 2014

Interview with 'The Gentle Colonoscopy Prep' Author, Carla Roter

If you've had a colonoscopy, you know two things: 

1. The treatment itself is uncomfortable; and
2. The preparation is even worse. 

Cramping, diarrhea, hunger, bum rash, hours on the toilet - clearing out the inventory before your pipes can be checked out is no fun. It's no wonder many forego the test altogether, but it could save your life. This is why Nurse and Colon Hydrotherapist Carla Greenspan Roter wrote The Gentle Colonoscopy Prep: Carla's Dietary Guide to Your Preparation and Aftercare.

The easy-to-read 45-page booklet clearly describes how to prepare your body for a colonoscopy, covering all the crucial aspects from what you should eat and drink to preparing yourself mentally and emotionally.

Carla provides a protocol for the 7 days before your test, as well as an aftercare protocol. Plus, she arms you with loads of recipes for tasty soups, stews and smoothies to help you through the process.

On a personal note, I often speak of Carla during my seminars. Hers was the colon therapy clinic I worked at early in my career as a nutritionist, and it was undeniably the most memorable work experience of my life! With over 25 years experience in colon health, Carla taught me so much. Working with her, I was able to see first hand how the body processes and eliminates food and waste, cementing my belief that a healthy gut is the key to excellent overall health

(By the way, I'll be giving away a copy of the book on Twitter, so watch for my tweets at NuVitalityHW.)

Carla has been talking about writing a book as long as I've known her. Of all the gut-related books she could have written, she elected to write about preparing for a colonoscopy. To me, that speaks volumes about the importance of having this test. A colonoscopy will not heal you or improve your health in any way. It is a screening exam for colon cancer or polyps that could turn into cancer. Here is what Carla had to say about her book: 

LT: This book is unique. Why did you decide to write it, and who should read it?

CR: In the course of my work and personal life, my peers, friends and clients told me how they feared getting a colonoscopy and how sick they got because they were losing electrolytes. Many didn't finish drinking their pharmaceuticals because it made them too sick and then they never wanted to do it again. I was determined to create helpful solutions to ease clients’ and friends' discomfort, so I developed a diet that works in harmony with your body and is simple enough for anyone to follow.

There was a doctor on CBC the other day who flat out stated that doctors are not nutritionally aware. They are not taught nutrition or prevention in medical school. They are taught how to give drugs.

LT: How important is having a colonoscopy? Should everyone have one?

CR: The medical establishment recommends people have colonoscopies after the age of 50. People with colon cancer in their families are also encouraged to get screened. Nurses are seeing more and more people with inflammatory bowel conditions, and younger and younger people are suffering as well.

LT: I love your quote on page 3: "Just as marathon runners need to prepare their bodies with the right fuel before their runs, you need to prepare your system for a colonoscopy." To me, this sums up the purpose of the book. Can you explain the importance of preparing for a colonoscopy (including emotionally)?

CR: You want to ease into the procedure rather than shocking the body. When you take the week to eat mushy, simply foods, your body is prepared. When you go from your normal diet to food deprivation and the bowel cleansing preparation, your system can be shocked.  Most people who get colonoscopies are in their 50's - 80's, so their bodies need more time to adjust. 

Undergoing any medical procedure can be nerve wracking, so it is important to educate ourselves about the procedure, and it's important to have a plan to ease our anxiety.  In the book we have an entire page talking about mentally preparing for a colonoscopy.

Buy the book on Amazon

LT: Can anxiety play a role in having a bad experience with a colonoscopy? How are emotions (like fear) tied in to intestinal health? 

CR: As far as I know the medical establishment is doing bowel and brain connection research. 

LT: Whole grains, beans, and nuts & seeds are recommended as a fiber source to maintain intestinal health, but they're on your 'Foods to Avoid' list (pg. 10, days 1-4). Can you explain why?

CR: When I was preparing people for colonoscopies using colon hydrotherapy, I found that in a few who went for the procedure there was still some fibre left in their large intestines. Fibre takes longer to digest than pureed foods. Foods that take longer to digest can get stuck in the pockets of the intestines. We want light fibre sources like chia seeds, hemp hearts, etc. We encourage essential fatty acids. I find as a nutritionist that bread and complex carbohydrates take longer to digest than the "baby diet."

LT: This will make a lot of people happy: Under beverages, a glass of white wine is allowed! Can you explain why?

CR: If people enjoy their wine, we don't want them to avoid everything that they love, it will also ease their anxiety. Have a glass of wine with your pureed food. Yum!

LT: What is the importance of the after care protocol? 

CR: When you have an operation in the hospital, they don't give you steak the next day, nor the day before. This kind of procedure is one you recover from more quickly when you are easy on your body with a soft diet.

LT: Can someone follow your program long term? If so, what are the benefits / possible risks? 

CR: Anyone can follow this program long term as it is easy to digest and easy on the body. The only thing I would recommend differently is to reduce the amount of magnesium you are taking, or discontinue it all together. This diet certainly can't hurt you.

LT: Over the past 25 years you've seen practically every type of intestinal and digestive disorder. What are your best tips for prevention? 

CR: Live, love, laugh. You can't be fanatic. Laughter helps many things. We need to poop our way to health. There are huge claims on colon hydrotherapy and misinformation that needs clarifying and research.

LT: Do you feel that everyone should try a gluten-free diet?

CR: No.

LT: Like you, I believe that good health starts with a healthy colon. What are some guidelines one should follow to maintain good intestinal, and therefore, good overall health? 

CR: I think the book has huge value to overall intestinal health. In the book we talk about essential fatty acids with large amounts of fibre. These are good for our bodies, our brains, our absorption and assimilation. We talk about probiotics in the book - these are very important for intestinal health. I have recipes for food probiotics such as beef kafas. This detoxifies and gives us large amounts of healthy bacteria and good flora. If one is getting enough of these food probiotics you most likely don't need the supplements.

We need to let go more, laugh more, and chew more slowly. 

The Gentle Colonoscopy Prep is available on Amazon
Learn more details about the book here.
Watch Carla's live interview on Liquid Lunch here


  1. Informative.. I was actually looking for some useful information about Colonoscopy test as I will be going through the test tomorrow.. I have heard lot of people saying about horrible it pains during the test .. Hoping for the best tomorrow.

  2. Very useful information you can read about colorectal cancer