There is a new theory called “catalyst foods” that may be a solution for those suffering from Crohn’s

authorHi, I’m Mike Hohlweg, author of Pain Free Foods. I believe this is the most effective Colitis diet ever researched and written. We are a family business that strives to help every customer become pain free, inflammation free, symptom free, and attack and flare-up free. Please take five minutes to read what might be the most important information any colitis sufferer could ever learn. We will not waste your time.


What Your Doctors Are Taught!


  • PastedGraphic-1-236x300Doctors call Crohn’s disease “incurable.” I won’t argue with doctors who say there is no cure but if there is a way to reduce or eliminate your symptoms, pain and inflammation… what would you call it? I call it better than every other option we have.
  • Do you believe Crohn’s is incurable? Neither do I! There is a specific reason I don’t believe diseases are incurable. Read a bit more and you’ll see why.
  • Everything that follows is my opinion but I will show you how I got to the point where I say: “The body is the master healer, not doctors and certainly not me. Our bodies heal when we stop doing the thing that caused us to have disease.” Does that sound too simple? It is not.
  • Medical universities teach doctors that Crohn’s is incurable. This was scary to me because I used to suffer with digestive disorder myself. Doctors treat millions of sufferers per year for a disease they believe has no cure. Here is the proof:


Crohn’s in incurable:

  • If you read one or all of these articles you will see that according to doctors, and medical universities, you will suffer with Crohn’s disease for life. In fact the best you can hope for is periods of rest or remission between bouts. I have proven to my satisfaction that this may not be the case. I believe we can do better than wait patiently between attacks and fearing to stray from our home toilet. Please listen to my theory on the exact cause of Crohn’s. I promise I am not wasting your time with idle chatter or false hope.



What Causes Crohns?
Please Don’t Skip This Section!


Since medical universities don’t know the cause of Crohn’s (see above medical links), doctors who are trained at those same universities also say, “There is no known cure.” Doctors do everything they can by prescribing medications and procedures and in some extreme cases, surgeries. These options are not recommended lightly and for some people, these treatments improve their symptoms for a time. Personally I don’t like medications or surgeries because I don’t see them as a permanent solution. I see them more like a patch or bandage type fix


  • Some of the drugs used to help people with attacks and symptoms are:
  • Sulfa drugs (sulfasalizing)
  • Corticosteroids (prednisone)
  • 5-Aminosalicylates (Asacol, Pentasa, Rowasa, or 5-ASA)
  • Immunosuppressives (Imuran, Cyclosporine, 6-MP, or Methotrezate)
  • Anti_TNF (Remicade)
  • Antibiotics such as (Metronidazole or Flagyl and Ciprofloxacin or Cipro)



There are two things I don’t like about these or any drugs. For one thing they don’t heal or cure which makes them a treatment. Secondly the potential side effects of using powerful drugs like these can in some cases make things worse. Read one or both of these medical articles. The first is by Dr. Mercola, a digestive disorder specialist:


This second link is a forum of patients taking Cipro (™) and Flagyl (™). If you want to see what side effects you might experience taking that combination… and you dare, read a bit here:



Do I think you should avoid doctors? Absolutely not!



Everything has its place. Doctors can diagnose, prescribe, treat and perform surgeries all of which are sometimes very necessary. I am a researcher who has suffered through my own digestive disorder and I feel like my body has healed itself without medication or surgery. I had an idea regarding the cause of Crohn’s and in my unofficial, non-clinical method of testing; it has shown to be effective.


I had no money for big expenses or clinical trials and no doctor or medical institution that would back a non-doctor researcher like myself. I did the only thing I could do and tried my diet theory out on myself. I felt so much relief in the first week that I sought out two volunteers. One of them had his gall bladder removed but had returned to the same symptoms within a year. His wife also had a digestive disorder (you will understand later why I don’t usually name the doctor diagnosis of each disorder). She had results identical to my friend and I. We got very excited. Three people is not proof but it definitely made me understand that I was on the right track. 5 years later, I have a nearly perfected Crohn’s diet, a list of 5 Crohn’s foods to avoid and thousands of very excited clients.


My research let me to believe that Crohn’s is not a typical disease. Most diseases have a bacteria, virus, parasite, or microbe, as the culprit we can point our finger at and blame. With a disease like that we also know how to get rid of the disease. The right regimen or antibiotic and we are usually free of the disease. Not so with Crohn’s. Crohn’s, like diverticulitis and colitis might just be more of a condition than a typical disease. What is this “condition” you ask? In my opinion, Crohn’s is a condition of inflammation.


There is no known cause of Crohn’s so it is logical to say that there is no known pathogen to attack or to blame the disease on. What if Crohn’s is just inflammation caused by eating foods such as my “catalyst foods” and a couple of bad habits that Western countries have developed? What if we are looking so hard for the culprit that we are missing the obvious cause of Crohn’s?


My theory is that Crohn’s, along with diverticulitis and colitis, are caused by the exact same set of catalyst foods and few bad eating and drinking habits. Before you call me crazy, keep in mind that I have coached over 7000 people through these three ailments. Is it fast, simple or easy? I would have to say that no program that asks you to change is easy. The question is: how difficult is it compared to living with Crohn’s?


Here is a fictional story to help you understand why inflammation caused by acid may be the Crohn’s “bad guy.”


Let’s say Sally goes for a daily walk through the local woods. One day she finds herself developing a rash on her hands, arms, and face. She considers different possibilities but in the end has no idea how she got the rash. She knows that her face did not touch anything in the woods, yet has the same rash. She knows that she has walked in these woods for years without any problem. These facts make the cause of the rash elusive to a logical mind like Sally’s and even to researchers and experts.


Someone familiar with Sally’s rash tells her that it looks like a poison ivy rash so she just changes her course, continues her walks and soon has no more problem with the rash.


Now, what if, because Sally doesn’t know how she got the rash, she keeps walking the same path day after day? Her rash would become chronic, possibly even disabling. It would eventually become unbearable, yet she might never figure out what was causing the problem because the facts she knows don’t seem to add up to “a plant” as the “bad guy.”


Someone somewhere had to discover that an invisible oil on the plant is severely irritating to the skin and it is also so transferable that a tiny amount on the hands can easily spread to the face and other parts of the body. Furthermore, that it can take hours or days before signs of the rash will appear. Now it all starts to makes sense.


What if Sally kept refusing to listen to the person who understands poison ivy? What if she keeps walking the same path and not changing what she is doing? One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and hope for a different outcome.


Our body is fully equipped to deal with irritants, foreign substances and even toxins. The problem isn’t that our body doesn’t know what to do with inflammation or for that matter, poison ivy. The problem is that most people keep doing exactly what they were doing that got them sick in the first place.


You and I are the same as Sally. Our body is capable of healing but in the case of Crohn’s, most people keep doing the few things that keep the inflammation renewed every day, 7 days a week, 12 months a year. We are not allowing our body to heal. The one thing I have held back so far is: what causes inflammation in a Crohn’s sufferer? Give me a couple more minutes and I will tell you because once you understand the cause you will see how obvious the solution is.


Here are the most commonly recommended treatments for digestive disorders. None of them heal or cure. Do you continue to use these methods even though you know they don’t work in the long run?



If you have tried them, you know that they are short lived treatment options and do not offer long term relief from Crohns.



  • diverculties_slice_27-300x209
  • Drinking more water
  • Heating abdomen with pads or water bottle
  • Surgical removal of part or all of the sigmoid colon
  • Prescription medications
  • Regulating bowel movements with drugs or fiber
  • Doctor procedures including enemas, scopes and scans.
  • Antacids and OTC pain killers
  • Rest diets or liquid diets like the Mayo diverticulitis diet.


There is Something Missing?



With Crohn’s, even the mouth, rectum, and immune system can become victimized by the disease making it different in that sense than diverticulitis or colitis. What is always present however and in my opinion is the real telltale symptom: intestinal inflammation. Think back to Sally for a moment. If Sally’s skin stays irritated for months or years, it is because she is repeating the same bad habit that caused the inflammation in the first place. What reaches a Crohn’s patient’s intestines that could cause inflammation? This is where it starts to get easy because very few things reach our intestine. They are:

  • The food and drinks we consume
  • Medications we take
  • The saliva, acid and enzymes our body produces to digest that food and drink
  • Now we have to play detective for a bit and use some logic. Here is what I assumed from the list above:
  • Not all people with Crohn’s took any medications prior to developing the disease. In the last few years many children under 10 years of age have gotten Crohn’s without routinely taking any medication whatsoever. Using this logic: Medications do not cause Crohn’s. This narrows the list to two things (according to my theory).
  • Food and drinks, for the most part are not directly caustic or inflammatory to the body or intestinal tract. Although I believe foods are indirectly responsible for inflammation (as you will see in a minute), foods themselves do not directly cause Crohn’s disease either. Saliva and enzymes are not caustic or inflammatory to the colon or intestines either
  • To me, this left one obvious conclusion: My theory is that although our digestive tract is designed specifically to resist hydrochloric acid (stomach acid), it might be possible that over production of acid could eventually damage the mucosal lining (acid protection) and begin causing acid irritation or inflammation. This might be why we eat a certain way for years and then suddenly begin to develop symptoms associated with Crohn’s. Our mucosal lining may have protected us for long periods of time but eventually it may be eroded away by over production of acid. Once this happens, stomach acid may actually begin inflaming the intestinal lining.

I started studying and using this theory as my foundation. Based on this study I estimated that over (and in some cases like with GERD, under-production) of hydrochloric acid and its caustic effect might be at the heart of what causes Crohn’s. In fact some of these diseases are even named after their acidic origin such as; “acid reflux” and “heartburn.” The conditions that might also fit this definition are: diverticulitis, colitis, GERD, acid reflux, celiac, IBD, IBS, and heartburn. The one common medication recommended for all of them is: Drumroll please… that’s right, antacids.

Here are some medical references that support parts of what I am telling you as my theory:


Why would millions of people suddenly start getting this disease?


  • Diverticulitis, colitis and Crohn’s have become epidemic in the last 60 years but at one point did not exist.
  • These diseases are not everywhere. Crohn’s, diverticulitis, and colitis, predominantly exist in fewer than ten countries. The populations of seven of these countries make up over 80% of all gastroenteritis deaths (digestive disorders resulting in death) worldwide (and there are nearly 200 countries)! Most places have little or no Crohn’s.
  • These same countries (US, UK, CAN, AU, NZ, DE, and SA) all have a modern, “Westernized” diet that in general, is not found elsewhere.
  • Africa and Asia as two examples, have billions of people but almost no Crohn’s disease. (see above link)





What Do The Seven Crohn’s Plagued Countries Share?


I was in a unique situation to discover a possible cause for these digestive disorders because at one time in my life, I lived overseas in a country without Crohn’s, diverticulitis, or colitis. I had been fighting a digestive disorder when I moved overseas and within a few weeks time, I found I was no longer having symptoms. What had changed? My only answer was “my diet.” I had been eating local food prepared in the traditional style of the country where I lived temporarily. To the best of my recollection, this was the only thing I changed. Then it got even more telling; after two years living abroad, I returned home to the U.S. and in less than a year my condition and symptoms were back. Although at that time, I did not put all this together, once I did my Crohn’s diet research, I came to believe that it was simply diet that caused the overproduction of stomach acid and that this overproduction of stomach acid eventually inflamed the digestive tract to the point of pain and intestinal dysfunction.

Even with this theory, I still had to figure out why a Western style diet caused this overproduction of acid and if it was possible to reverse it and while still eating an enjoyable diet. I wanted a Crohn’s treatment that was natural and safe.

I was my first guinea pig. I tested different foods for over two years and waited to see the reaction in me. I know this sounds silly but as my wife and kids (my adult daughter Rachel is now my partner and co-author) would tell you, this is how I go about everything. Life is a research project, an experiment, and discovery, to me. The easy part was finding the short list of 5 foods that would often cause an acidic reaction in me. I decided that I could never eat those five foods again. All Crohn’s patients eat one or more of these foods on a frequent or daily basis. I named those foods catalyst foods.

Then it got tough. Eliminating the 5 catalyst foods (one is a drink) reduced my symptoms significantly but I was not cured or symptom free by any means. There was more to it than this first step. I realized that some foods could become catalyst foods when mixed with a second specific food. I painstakingly placed every food into lists. Eventually every food was categorized by its list and which other foods it could or could not be mixed with. It is this list (now a simple to read chart) that helped me eliminate every catalyst food and what I call “trigger food” from my diet. What amazed me was that it was only the 5 foods I had to give up. The rest could all be eaten as long as they were not mixed with their catalyst or “trigger food” counterpart. Now I was getting somewhere.


So my theory is simple: Certain foods and food combinations cause stomach acid to flow at a higher rate. Eating those foods or combinations daily might cause a higher than acceptable, daily flow of hydrochloric acid through your digestive tract. This acid may in turn cause the digestive tract inflammation and other related symptoms. Moreover eliminating those catalyst combinations and 5 catalyst foods could produce dramatic results. Again I hesitate to use terms that imply miracles or cures as legally and ethically this is not possible or truthful. In fact here is what I give to you as evidence of effectiveness instead of claims or promises:


I finalized this Crohn’s eating program that I call Crohn’s Pain Free Foods over 4 years ago and in that time, thousands of people have followed the program. We have a combination of free clients, those who pay a small fee for the digital program and some who order the hardcopy. Among these thousands of clients, fewer than 1% ever take us up on the 100% refund offer and there are NO CONDITIONS to a refund. I will leave that as my evidence of effectiveness and make no other claims. My satisfied customers speak with testimonials and a near complete lack of refunds.

Should I choose Pain Free Foods over proper medical care?


sec9_122No. I am not a doctor so I cannot and do not advise you to avoid medical diagnosis or care. In fact to a digestive disorder patient, even changing their diet might warrant doctor’s advice. So to be clear, we advise you to make your doctor part of your healing process including their opinion of your safety in following this Crohn’s diet. Remember that we don’t tell you what to eat, we recommend that you continue to eat the same foods you eat now (minus the 5 catalyst foods). We only suggest that you avoid mixing “A” and “B” list, catalyst foods in the same meal. Former clients say their doctors do not object to this method. The last thing we want is to disrupt an already fragile digestive tract.


One reason this Crohn’s treatment or Crohn’s diet might be a great addition to your regimen is that nothing else offers any real hope. As we showed you earlier, doctors believe that Crohn’s is incurable and even the most used Crohn’s diet on earth, the Mayo Clinic diverticulitis diet (yes, also for Crohn’s) only promises a “rest period.” To our knowledge nothing else offers any real, long term hope for ending Crohn’s symptoms. If you doubt this, read the Mayo Clinic doctors describing the sole purpose of the Mayo diet:


Am I saying doctors or the Mayo Clinic are bad? No. Doctors know many times what I know about disease and should not be ignored. Prescription medications have probably brought you back from an attack at one time and you know they have their place but when it comes to overcoming Crohn’s disease through treatment, doctors admit; they can’t, as we have shown through medical quotations.


Can this crohns diet heal me or cure me?


No. We believe that no doctor, author, or anyone can heal anyone of anything. We strongly believe that the body heals itself when we stop the behavior that caused it to become sick. We do believe that we have uncovered the cause of the irritation that keeps inflammation going daily in Crohn’s patients and we show you exactly how to stop that diet related irritation.



  • short book: Crohn’s Pain Free Foods that lists the 5 catalyst foods and contains our full color charts showing you which foods mixed together become catalyst foods. Avoid those mixes!
  • The 5-minute “Quick Start Guide”. With this, you don’t even have to read the book to get started. Your next bite, right out of your own refrigerator will be “on the program.”
  • The book, “50 Things You Absolutely Must Know.” This book contains the answer to nearly every question we hear after coaching thousands of people over several years. Answers to: How to avoid or stop an attack, stopping diarrhea, ending constipation and 47 other critical topics!
  • The Complete Recipe Collection. Over 200 recipes that have catalyst food avoidance built in. Just pick a great recipe and eat. You don’t have to know the program or look at the charts.
  • The book, 7-day Menu and Shopping List. For those of you who don’t want to think about this, we actually give you a shopping list and 21 breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Follow the menu and you are on the program.
  • The “Eat Out Guide.” This is the handy chart that you can use to keep you on track eating at a friend’s house or at a restaurant. You will be able to eat normal foods anywhere as long as you have this chart.
  • Unlimited email support for a full year. Rachel Hohlweg the co-author personally answers all emails 7 days a week. This is not a game to us!





You may be thinking: with four books (all in one volume for hardcopies) and four other bonuses including email help directly from the co-author Rachel Hohlweg, this must cost a fortune. Although we enjoy paying the electric bill, we are strongly motivated to help everyone rid themselves of this disease. The program is priced so that no one gets turned away. You will be pleased with the small fee.

Will this be hard?

We like to under promise and over deliver so the best answer is yes, changing your diet even in small ways is going to be difficult. You are going to give up 5 foods altogether (all people with digestive disorders eat one or two of them daily) and every meal you eat for the next few weeks will have some slight modification to it to keep it “non-catalyst.” You will be annoyed and consider quitting.





Trust us on this one point: IT IS WORTH IT !


All Three Options Include all six bonuses:


Headings Titles


Crohns Pain Free Foods. This is the book that sells out every printing and has helped thousands recover their health. People who have read these 26 pages tell us they don’t know how they lived without this book. Worth much more than anything you have ever read about Crohns.

$29 Value




Recipe Collection: Grab these mouth watering, no pain diet recipes for FREE when you get the Crohns pain free program today. Great entrees, desserts, breads and snacks. The grouping rules are already built in for you. No thinking necessary. Just cook and eat. 200 recipes. This type of book sells for $15 to $49 elsewhere alone.

$29 Value – Yours Free




The Eat Out Guide: Dont get caught off guard when you go out with your family and friends. With this FREE eat out guide for Crohns sufferers. So many of our customers were concerned about the fact that it is easy to follow the diet while at home…. but what do you do when you are out eating with friends or visiting family? We solved that problem with this eat out guide that clearly shows you how you can enjoy normal day to day activities without accidentally eating the wrong foods. A pocket/purse sized, double laminated card for you to keep with you.

Yours Free




The 7-day menu and shopping list: As clear and straightforward as the program is, some people just like to be told what to eat right now without having to read rules or make up their own menu. This is the answer. We give you 21 meals and a shopping list for the grocery store to be able to make them. Check your fridge and cupboard first so you don’t buy things you already have and you are set. The only way to make it easier than this is if we came to your house and did the cooking for you (no we won’t come to your home and cook for you)!

$15 ValueYours Free




Contact us anytime about anything, 7 days a week. Email: painfreefoods@hughes(dot)net. Rachel is glad to help. No other online Crohns program provides you with this quality of support!

$35 Value – Yours Free




50 things you must know: Besides the Pain Free program to help get you well. You need to know how to treat diarrhea, constipation, how to safely eat what you have in the fridge or cupboard, how to keep from having attacks and flare-ups and how to stop one that is starting now. Every question we are commonly asked in 5 years of coaching is in the “50 Things You Absolutely Must Know”. You will say this book alone is worth $100!

$25 Value – Yours Free

How to choose your program

Digital versions (PDF) are sent immediately and work on computers, KIndles, smart phones, etc. The four book set shown in the picture comes as a single spiral bound laminated volume. Having a hard time? Call Rachel directly: 417 274-3966

* If you are fairly comfortable on the computer and won’t mind reading a PDF book (works like a Kindle book), or if money is an issue, the “Digital Program” is for you.

* If you like having a book in your hand when you read but would also like a free digital version sent now so you can start, choose the “Hardcopy.”

* If you are a visual learner and want the author to explain everything step by step in over 100 videos (fully indexed), the “Platinum Program” has everything… Hardcopy, free digital version, and lifetime video access.

Digital Program

Use this button for the full digital program sent via email right now. When you order the digital program, you get all of the benefits listed above, sent to your computer in PDF format. Wonderful for our computer savvy clients.

ONLY $29

One Time Payment-Immediate Access!

$29.00 Order Now


Hard Copy Program

Use this button to order our hardcopy book mailed to your home. All books included will be combined into one spiral bound volume for easy access to recipes and other bonuses. Includes digital program sent to your email immediately.

ONLY $49

One Time Payment-Immediate Access!

$49.00 Order Now


The Platinum Package

Use this button for our hardcopy mailed to you, digital program sent to your email,phone coaching with the co-author of the program, and streaming access to over 100 detailed video tutorials by the author.

ONLY $69

One Time Payment-Immediate Access!

$69.00 Order Now


Note: Please allow up to 45 mins for your digital book to arrive in your email. It is a large PDF (computer, Kindle and smartphone friendly). We will walk you through any ordering issue personally. Customer Service: or call Rachel: 417 274-3966

CPFF is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. If you are seeing a doctor or taking medications, continue to do so and consult with your physician before starting any new eating or nutrition program or changing your medication regimen. We do believe in this program and stand behind our guarantee 100%, but we are never going to be aware of all the conditions or complications that may exist in an individual patient. CPFF is not supervised by doctors or nurses. None of the statements on this website or within the program have been evaluated by the FDA or any other agency of any government.