It feels like forever since I’ve updated the blog, but it’s only been two days. So much has happened over the last week, let alone the last couple of days. To start, every single morning when I’ve gone into work, people have commented on how happy I look or how I am glowing. Imagine, changing the food you put into your body, and all of a sudden the world sees you differently. Today was court day, which means 7 hours of standing on my feet. I was dreading today, knowing that the swelling in my feet would likely be back. However, when I woke up this morning, I was shocked to find that for the first time since November, I could fit my work heels onto my feet! I was singing to Paolo Nutini’s New Shoes on the way to work, and what more fitting words than, “Hey, I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything is right.”
Last night, I had another restful, painless sleep. I can’t believe how much I took a good night’s sleep for granted before the issues I’ve been having. The biggest announcement i have is that I am now TEN full pounds of water weight down from what I had been at my worst. Tonight, Rich made a comment that so accurately reflected how happy I’ve been and how I physically feel at this moment: “you look like you again.” My response: “I’m back.”
Last week when I hit my breaking point, I remember asking, “why me? Why is this happening? This can serve no good. That perspective was really tough for me, because I like to think of all my life experiences as learning opportunities and challenges that I can overcome and put into my tool belt. For the first time in months, I see the good in what’s happened, and here are just some highlights:
- The Support. By far, the most incredible thing I have seen in the past six days is the overwhelming positive support from literally every single person in my life. My family, my friends, and coworkers have reached out, sent messages of love, and have been happier around me. As many know, I am involved in Relay for Life with my future mother in law. On Monday, we had a meeting with the Survivor Committee – and what was on the menu? Mixed fresh vegetables, all natural hummus, and jasmine green tea. Such a tribute to my journey and amazing support. I’d also like to add that she also tried the raw zucchini pasta! I’ve also received messages from people I haven’t met who are also suffering from similar symptoms and pain in their own life. Mary from Wisconsin – this post is dedicated to you! Lastly, what I’m going through has reconnected me with two of the most important people in my life who both just recently were diagnosed with severe food intolerances and chronic issues. We are not alone!
- Relationship. More to come on this, but what the past week has done for Rich and me is truly awesome. As I’m writing this, he’s in the kitchen preparing our salads for tomorrow.
- Taking Care of Me. Many of us put ourselves dead last when it comes to, well, everything. This ordeal has literally forced me to put me first and my needs to get better in the foreground. It has pushed me to a limit I did not know existed by making my life all about the food I am putting into my body and reflecting on how I feel at all times. I was eating poorly and forgot about the vital connection between body and food. Thankfully, I have had the chance to completely change that.
- Getting to the Root of What’s Really Going On. I’ve done a lot in the past three months to try and get better. Tests, doctors offices, scans, medication – I have done it all. Except reflect on my past history with pancreatitis and how this could all be related. I am starting to find it highly suspect that after six days of eliminating wheat and dairy, my swelling, pain and neurological symptoms have suddenly disappeared. I’ve been on doxycycline now for six weeks and haven’t see an ounce of improvement. How is it when I change my diet, every single symptom goes away? If that’s not reason to dig deeper, than I don’t know what is. While continuing the medication, I will be getting tested for intolerances and allergies, something I should have done months ago. It’s time to take a stand for my health.
Last night, Rich and I actually did cook our food. We made a vegan buckwheat medley, something I learned to make from my stepmom. Here are the ingredients:
- any other veggies you want (we used some orange bell pepper)
- organic, low sodium vegetable broth
Saute’ the garlic and onion in the bottom of pot for a couple minutes. Add the vegetables and mix around to saute for a few minutes. Add 1 cup of buckwheat and 2 cups of the vegetable broth. Boil then simmer – cover. When absorbed by the buckwheat, it’s done. Add pepper or whatever for flavoring.
I was actually really full after this meal, signaling that it may have been too early for me to start cooking food just yet. Below are the ingredients we used to make the buckwheat medley:
Anyone who knows me well knows how proud I am to be Italian and how invested I am in Italian culture. At one point in my life, I was fluent in the language and lived with a woman in Rome who didn’t speak English. As you can imagine, not being able to eat pasta or cheese is somewhat murder. However, if it means not having extreme pain and weight gain run through my body, I can get used to it. Tonight I made myself a meal that felt familiar, and was truly delicious: yellow zucchini with pesto. Did you know that pesto is ALWAYS raw? (So did I, but Rich reminded me). I bought an organic basil plant for 3 bucks today which we now have in our kitchen. Recipe:
- yellow zucchini (or whatever you want to put the pesto on)
- fresh basil
- pine nuts
- touch of olive oil
- fresh lemon
Cut the zucchini up into strips with a shredder or spiral slicer. Put all other ingredients in food processor and blend. Add the pesto to the zucchini and enjoy. Add some more fresh lemon to the meal if need be. Tonight’s dinner:
Until next time… happy raw eating! Have a wonderful day.