I knew I needed a change a year ago when I went to the doctor and I weighed the most I’ve ever weighed in my life. Long story short, I started eating more whole foods and started to go through different diets.
I wanted to juice, but didn’t have a juicer. So I made lots of smoothies chock full of kale and spinach and some berries, coconut water, flax seed, hemp seed, chia seeds…….and we ate mostly raw and whole foods. I felt better than I had in…well maybe ever. I started running with the C25K program. I ran a 3k, then a 5k. I lost 30 lbs. Then our lives got incredibly stressful, I started feeling sick, and things just changed so so much.
We moved, and somehow gradually slid back into eating the same old things we used to. The sickness that was afflicting me was getting worse, and I felt such a strong desire…a deep need to change things. So we tried the Whole30 plan. Basically, it’s a drastic way to shock your body into using it’s own fat stores for energy and helps your body function the way it is supposed to. The way it was designed to. To stay away from things that have been domesticated and genetically modified, and from things that appear good for you, like grains and beans, but actually contain a lot of things that our bodies can’t digest. And a lot of the nutrients in those things are bound by other things that we can’t digest, meaning we can’t really absorb much nutrition. To add to it, things like gluten can reek havoc on the lining of the intestines, and even work its way outside of the digestive system and affect a lot of other bodily systems. A lot of diseases and sicknesses can be traced back to it. This is where my problem was, but I didn’t know exactly what was bothering me yet. I had gone off of so many things that even though I felt great, I didn’t know what the culprit was. The Whole30 plan was so difficult for me because not everyone ate the same way, my kids weren’t totally on the plan, and basically, cooking a million different things and trying to plan ahead only to have those plans fall through and spending way too much on food made me exhausted and tired of trying so hard. So after three weeks, despite how good I felt, I stopped. And I fell back into my old ways. And then the holidays hit.
So after the holidays and a 10 lb gain over two months, I decided to do something similar to the Whole30, but not as drastic. Enter 21DSD. The 21 Day Sugar Detox. There are three levels. I wanted to use it to work my way to a primal diet, and make my family do it too. I made it a week, then broke the sugar fast. But since I stayed off of grains, I realized where my problem was, and I was able to go off of the medication that kept the cramping at bay.
Saturday I ate four pieces of pizza while at my dad’s, feeling like I didn’t want to make someone cater to me. The whole next couple days I was sick as a dog. Problem super-confirmed.
Lately, I’ve gone off of grains. Which is definitely necessary. I was getting sick at least once a week. Debilitating intestinal cramping, bloating so much that I looked pregnant again, feeling like I was rotting from the inside out. Lots of bad. I went off of grains and beans and sugar for a week, then couldn’t fight the sugar thing at the same time. Changing everything….no bread or crackers or pasta….it seems so hard. But then I really got into making new recipes. I have a great pinterest board for food, and I’ve gotten the hang of making all kinds of things without grains and I love it. While a lingering part of me misses the ease of eating like most people, and I miss big chunks of bread to dip in soup….it hasn’t been that hard, really. My bigger struggle has been the sugar ordeal, but by replacing sugar in the things I make with raw honey, real syrup, or coconut sugar, I am starting to get the hang of things. And my stomach hasn’t had any problems at all.
Until I tested it.
So I’ve come to this conclusion. That we all have these health issues, sometimes they come on suddenly, but most likely, they creep up on us. We don’t even realize when they start, because it is so gradual. We deal with them as best we can, and they keep getting more intense, more serious. Until one day, the symptoms can’t be ignored anymore. This point is different for a lot of people. Some people catch things early. Some people have massive heart attacks. Sometimes it’s because they didn’t see it coming, but I bet a lot of the time, we choose to ignore the warning signs.
I believe with all of me, because of everything I have read and seen and watched and researched, that a huge, HUGE majority of these issues are caused by the food we eat. That even though inactivity can be a big problem, the food we eat is a much bigger issue. If the food you eat makes you feel lethargic and fatigued, you aren’t going to exercise. You are barely going to make it through the day. I’ve actually never seen anyone who had a lot of energy who ate a diet of mostly processed food. At least, not someone over 30. It all catches up with us. I’m realizing, even though I am not even 30 yet, that the choices I have made for the last ten years have greatly affected my health. And now I have to work a lot harder to change, to institute habits that will get me on the right track.
And what is the right track? Is it an elusive, intangible thing?
That is a topic for another day. But I will say this, you can grab ahold of your health and control it, and by doing so, make your life a life worth living to it’s fullest potential each and every day. It is possible, and if you want it enough, so very doable.