Eat like your life depends on it...

On Sunday Hannah at Bouffe e Bambini posted a picture to Instagram with this comment:
Eat like your life depends on it, because it does.
Never has a quote rang so true for me.
On Friday Courtney from Baxtron Life posted on how her body is working against her. 
Never has a blog post rang so true.
I felt like it was time for me to write about my health again.  It's been almost a year and a half since I posted anything about my diet or my ailments.  I feel like between Hannah's quote and Courtney's post it was the perfect time.  Many of you have never heard this story.
In 2002, after months of sickness, hours in the bathroom, and days spent in pain, I adopted the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  I did this because at this point I had nothing to lose.  After every blood test imaginable, after an upper and lower GI, I was at the point that no matter what I put into my body, it caused me pain and suffering.  SCD seemed the only way.  Immediately I felt better.  And I stayed on SCD for 4 months.  It was then that I adopted a gluten free diet.  I did this because one of my blood tests had revealed that I was "borderline" for the antibodies that cause Celiac disease.  Gluten Free was definately for me, and I stayed on that diet until 2011.
It was in 2010 however that my health radically changed.  For almost 10 years of living Gluten Free, feeling great, and maintaining a healthy diet, I started having all the symptoms of gluten intolerance again.  It all happened after Mackenzie was born.  I was exhausted, I had a chronic headache, I had serious gut pain, and no amount of caffeine, sleep, or pepto worked.  I let that go on for almost two years.  I was sick, but I was a mom.  I had kids to take care of, dinner to make, and laundry to do.  Moms do not get sick days. I saw my doctor numerous times to say that I just couldn't get a handle on the fatigue. Her response:  well you have 2 kids, what do you expect?  So I just went along and felt awful for the majority of the time.
Until I read a post that rocked me.
After all this time of not taking care of myself, I could be a ticking time bomb.  I cried.  Like ugly cried to the Hubbs, that daily my biggest fear was that I was really sick.  That some nights I worried that I wouldn't wake up in the morning.  It was time to make a change.  It was time to do something about me and my health.  So I did.
The Cliffs Notes is that I saw a Dr. Rick Petersen at Health Now Medical Center in Sunnyvale CA.  After a multitude of tests, he found that I not only was suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, but that I was allergic to all grains, including all the gluten free grains.  It was an eye opener.  He said that the gut reactions I was having to the food I was putting in my body was sending my adrenals into overdrive and rendering them useless.  The headaches, the fatigue, the overall feeling of crap, all due to my food allergies and adrenal fatigue.
With that Dr. Rick put me on a grain free and dairy free diet for my gut issues.  This meant that there would be not wheat, rice, corn, or barley crossing these lips.  The wheat and barley along with the gluten was easy since I was almost 10 years sober of that stuff.  The rice and the corn was devastating.  The dairy free was manageable since the only dairy I really ate was cream cheese on my gluten free waffles, and those waffles were now a thing of the past.  What on earth was I going to eat?  Then to add insult to serious injury, he put the kibosh on sugar and caffeine.  Awesome.  Did he even know that caffeine was the only thing keeping me going, keeping me sane?  Yet he insisted that sugar and caffeine are hard on the adrenals.  That they make it harder for them to function properly.  So since I was already having issues, I was just making it that much harder on myself.
It was hard people, I'm not going to lie.  I was devastated that my daily dose of Starbucks was on it's way out.  I couldn't imagine life without sugar.  And what the hell was I going to do without rice in my life?  I was crazy mad, and insisted that I wasn't going to do it.
But then I did.
Because my new diet made me feel good, in fact it made me feel great.  With the supplements prescribed by Dr. Rick, and food that didn't make me sick, I felt incredible.  I had so much energy and I didn't need my daily trenta black tea at Starbucks.  I started eating spinach and mushrooms with eggs at breakfast.  Avocados and chicken became my staples, and even something as simple as an Izze soda, made my world go round.  My headaches were gone.  My night sweats and insomnia were a thing of the past.  My gut pain a memory.  I felt better than I had in years.  Even better I was no longer depressed and pissed off that I felt like crap every day.  It was like a new day, a new year, a new life.
Then I did something I never thought I would do.
I trained and ran a 5K.  My body, after almost two years of failing me, was actually strong enough to train and run.  RUN.  Something I hated as a kid and a teen.  Run, like all those people I talked "s" about when I saw their running posts on Facebook.  I ran like I had never ran before.  Because I had never been healthy enough to do it right.
These days I eat to live.  I eat to be healthy.  I eat to be happy. 
Occasionally I cheat with a little coconut milk ice cream that has "cane sugar", or some potato chips (I can have all potatoes per Dr. Rick).  I've had a Starbucks tea a few times.  Mostly they leave me jittery, and later give me a lingering headache.  Currently I stay away from sugar, grain, caffeine, soy, dairy, and peanuts.  All of those are trigger foods for me, and within a few hours I get a headache, a stomach ache, or worse.  And it's not fun at all.
Recently I bought the book, Practical Paleo.  It's a great resource if you are ready for a lifestyle change.  There are diets laid out for all that ails you.  From diabetes to digestive issues to autoimmune disorders.  I'm not getting paid to review the book, but it is something that I feel like I need to share.  Especially if you are at a point in your life where enough is enough.
I'm not perfect.  Nor am I a doctor.  I'm just living a clean eating, paleo, whole 30 kind of life.
I eat as if my life depends on it.
Because it does.
Thank you Hannah and Courtney for the inspiration.

4 comments:

  1. Just last night I was crying to my husband because I want to feel good again. My body is definitely not liking a lot of things I eat...currently I feel like I'm down to eating raw fruits and veggies and chicken and eggs...and I feel like I'm starving, because I can't get enough calories the way I'm eating.

    I think it's awesome that you figured out how to eat in a way that is healthy and right for your body....but it's also a little discouraging to hear that it can take so long to figure out what exactly to eat and not to eat.

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  2. I love this. When I cut out wheat and dairy, I felt soooo much better. Still working on corn... And we eat rice/quinoa, but I haven't noticed an adverse effect to those yet. I really believe in the Paleo way of life though.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I know it's not easy to put yourself out there but it just might help someone else out. How scary to be allergic to all those things! I'm glad you're feeling better. Big hugs to you!

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  4. I needed to read this today...Hope to get some time to delve into those other articles you linked to.
    xo

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