This week marks exactly one year since my food intolerances made themselves known. Although I had dealt with chronic health issues like pancreatitis and stomach pains, the overwhelming discoloration in my skin, the ridiculously abnormal swelling and the fatigue shattered my ability to live a normal life. I remember the uncertainty, the anxiety, the countless doctors that rejected my hypothesis of food issues. I remember feeling hopeless, I remember not being able to think clearly through the brain fog. At the time, I had no idea my life was about to change forever and the struggle that was still coming.
Fast forward one year: I feel good, I feel happy, I feel clear. I feel confident about my weight, and the pain has subsided in my joints. Today I reflect on the challenges that I have faced and will continue to face for the rest of my life. Those who have made life changes concerning food have heard this one before: “I would just DIE if I couldn’t have cheese!”
No… you wouldn’t. You’d be awesome. And healthy. And most importantly, you would not be alone.
Lending Others a Helping Hand
The knowledge I have gained in one year is probably equivalent to one’s entire course study in nutrition. I know what happens when you put toxic food into your body. I know more about GMOs than I care to admit. I’ve taught myself how to make fantastic recipes that are not only safe to eat, but they are also delicious (and we are still experimenting!).
As many of you know, I started this blog in March to give my family members an update on what was going on in my daily progress. My writing and thoughts led me to a diagnosis and for that I am forever grateful. Now that the word about the blog is out, the outpouring of support from others has been incredible; but no one could have prepared me for what was coming next: that OTHERS would look to me as a source of information. (I am not a doctor; I am just a friend who has suffered unforgivable trauma at the hands of food).
The other day at the gym (YES, I AM ABLE TO EXERCISE AGAIN!), I met two women who told me they had children with severed ADHD. We got to talking about nutrition and the role it played in their lives. “We’ve tried EVERYTHING to be healthy. I mean, I only buy whole wheat stuff and organic milk.”
I calmly suggested that perhaps, getting the healthiest version of gluten and the healthiest version of dairy just was not enough. I am not an expert on the subject, but the massive amount of literature I have read on the correlation between children, behavioral and emotional issues and the food they are eating is so astounding. I pointed these women in the direction of different blogs I came across written by parents who completely took their kids off dairy and grains and the progress they had made.
I also explained the most important component of this lifestyle: that you cannot do it alone. Expecting your child to be the only person who doesn’t eat gluten or dairy in the house is just plain silly. Prepare to get on board the healthy train as a FAMILY, and take the journey together. DISCLAIMER: Getting on board will likely result in make you a happier, healthier person. Other side effects include living longer and having more concentration. 🙂
I wasn’t sure how my information would come across; I am younger, and I don’t have kids. But instead of brushing me off, these women asked more information. They asked about what I had been through. Who the doctor was who finally validated my point. What I ate in a typical day. Where I shopped for groceries. How my husband was with the “whole ordeal.”
At the end of the day, I made two new friends, which was really cool. I also perhaps got to help another person with what used to be a garbage dump of a situation.
Here’s to the next year, the next journey. 2014, I’m coming for you.
GRAIN FREE STUFFED MUSHROOMS: A Christmas Miracle
- one pack of mushrooms, stems cut off and scooped out
- fresh spinach
- roasted red pepper
- spices: salt, pepper, garlic, whatever you’d like! (Can do fresh garlic, yum).
Chop the mushroom stems. Mix together with chopped spinach, red pepper, garlic spices with a touch of olive oil in a pan for a few minutes. Put mixture into the scooped out mushrooms and drizzle some olive oil. (Go crazy: add some white cooking wine, gluten free, for some fun flavor). Bake the mushrooms for 15-25 minutes (until brown) at 350 degrees. A wonderful appetizer!