I feel it’s important to share my own personal experiences with discovering my own food sensitivities. Check out last week’s post where I covered 6 ways your body talks to you about food sensitivity to see where I’m coming from. I’m all about full disclosure and sharing my personal experiences, because I’m human and I have my own struggles just like you do.
If you checked out the “About Me” section on my website, you read that I have a strong family history of autoimmune diseases. As of today, I am two years out from when my Mom and one of her sisters were both diagnosed with their respective autoimmune diseases (AID). It’s been a number that’s been looming over my head like a dark rain cloud ready to unleash a terrible storm upon me. I’ve been witness to the pain and challenges that my family members have undertaken due to their AID. I do not wish that upon myself or my family, and has been my #1 motivator to change my lifestyle.
The sad thing is, while I had been slowly making changes with food and personal care products for several years – buying less processed meals, choosing organic and less toxic shampoos, make up, using less toxic cleaning products – I still wasn’t fully committed. Why? Well, I was/am addicted to sugar. It wasn’t until my second son was born did I make more significant changes to my diet – note that I was exclusively breastfeeding my son.
What did I change?
At around 4 weeks old I noticed my son’s stool not looking normal. Now, I had been working in a pediatric-gastroenterology research and diagnostic lab for seven years prior to his birth. I had seen a *LOT* of poop ranging in color (we had nearly the entire rainbow minus blue) and texture. My son’s poop was too loose, even for a newborn, and had mucus in it. From my experience I knew that was not normal. He was also frequently spitting up and very gassy. I had heard of babies not tolerating dairy in their mother’s diet, but I had a feeling it was something more.
I brought it to the attention of his doctor and was suggested to go dairy-free to see if there was any improvements. I had asked about gluten considering my family history of autoimmune diseases plus how it can be inflammatory for a certain subset of the population. He said I could try, but to focus on the dairy as that is the most common culprit. My chiropractor does nutritional testing using applied kinesiology muscle-testing so I had her look at him as well. She confirmed dairy as an issue along with gluten and corn.
Within a month of going dairy, gluten, and (mostly) corn-free I saw vast improvements in the comfort of my child. Stools were normal, he was less gassy, and he wasn’t puking nearly as much as he was when he was first born.
Do you want to know what else I noticed?
- I lost all 40 pounds of my baby weight,
- plus an extra 25 pounds that I had put on since high school (all 65 pounds within 9 months of his birth)
- My acne that I had been dealing with since I was a teenager was clearing up significantly.
- My emotions were more under control, I was less moody.
- Even though I had two boys age 2 and under, I had plenty of energy.
I simply didn’t know how sad and inflamed my body was! By changing to a more whole-foods diet rich in colorful vegetables, fruits, and meat with limited processed carbs, sugar, and pre-packaged meals, I gained life and vitality that I didn’t realize was being suppressed.
My son is now two years old and I freely admit that my sugar addiction has led me down that original path. Seriously – I adore a good pastry! So what do I notice now?
When I eat dairy:
- I get physically ill (a couple of explanations for that, but that is another post)
- My skin breaks out within 24 hours.
When I eat gluten-containing foods:
- I get bloated and gassy
- my skin breaks out within 48 hours
- I become a moody B**** about 1 hour after consumption
I have also gained 10 extra pounds thanks to the poor food choices and inflammation. I feel sluggish after meals that are not loaded with vegetables. That vitality that I had last year has dimmed.
I know how my body talks to me now. I am listening better. I understand it better. I am taking action to offer my body foods that make it feel healthy and vivacious. What does that mean for me today?
My body is asking for:
- more vegetables.
- more fruit
- zero gluten
- zero dairy
- limited grains
- no beef or chicken
- limited eggs and fish
- limited oil
My body is asking for food that is alive. The change isn’t going to be easy, but I know that it will be worth it. Each of us deserve to feel alive and sprightly.
Now that I have shared my story, has anything I shared resonated with you? I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and questions.
Though tremendous advances have been made by science, medicine and psychology over many centuries, no-one can define a frontier between body and mind or between mind and soul. They cannot be separated. They are intermingled, interconnected, united. Where there is mind, there is body; where there is body, there is soul; where there is soul, there is mind. Yet our everyday experience is of a great separation between these three. When we are engaged in mental activity, we are no longer aware of the body. When we are involved with the body, we lose sight of the soul.
B.K.S. Iyengar, The Tree of Yoga
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