Had I known what I know today, I would’ve changed my eating habits long ago. When we are young, we don’t look at the long-term affects it will have on us later in life.
About 18 years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. At the time, I was seeing a rheumatologist, who wrote out how many anti-inflammatory drugs I could take in one day. All I could picture was how my liver would look like when I was 50.
It wasn’t the only thing that ailed me. I had severe migraine headaches, chronic bladder and yeast infections that seemed to go in a vicious circle, I’ve had to have cataract surgery at age 48, and I’ve recently developed thyroid problems.
You don’t have to be an alcoholic or drug addict to have addictive behavior. Little did I know, the symptoms my body was broadcasting was a sign of my years of chronic sugar intake.
It took me years to figure out what had contributed to all this. At first, I looked to my doctors to answer my questions, but they answered me with pain killers and antibiotics (so much so that I cannot take them today). I wanted them to tell me how to get healthy naturally. However, I learned that kind of practice is not a part of conventional medicine.
I took an oral antibiotic called nystatin for 5 years! After my new doctor wouldn’t renew my prescription, my body went through a month of withdrawls. My body had become dependent on it.
After reading and researching my issues, I decided to eliminate processed alcohol, dairy, processed foods, sugar and wheat from my diet. It’s not so easy to wake up one day and decide this. It takes years to change habits. We are influenced by many things when we eat: media, culture, peers and family. It takes a lot of strength.
When starting a healthy lifestyle, you need to start by revamping your pantry and frig. I looked at labels and threw out processed foods. There are things that have made their way back into the house (through my husband), but I don’t use them and no longer have a palate for them. I kept quality vinegars, coconut palm sugar, coconut amino acids (a soy sauce alternative), coconut & olive oil and coconut milk. I do use some honey, nuts and grains (non-wheat), but I limit my intake of them.
Life is better when you make healthy changes. When eliminating sugar, I felt clean, had no sign of yeast or bladder infections, my aches and pains disappeared and my thoughts were clearer. As I started to eliminate wheat, I felt less irritation in my intestines. My drink of choice has become water and is the one thing that makes me feel the cleanest. When I eliminated alcohol, I didn’t have to wake up feeling sick after consuming only one drink the night before. I only use alcohol in cooking as most of it burns off in the cooking process (and the quality of it does matter). After giving up dairy, my migraines have disappeared.
Growing your own food makes a difference. When moving to our farm over a year and a half ago, our goal was to become sustainable. So far, we’ve put in a greenhouse and large garden. This is the most important way we’ve been able to impact our health.
I am convinced that healthy foods prevent sickness. Cooking from scratch and using quality ingredients has been instrumental in helping me feel healthy again. It has motivated me to share and influence others in positive ways through cooking. I want people to know there are health impacts to eating unhealthy foods. We do have a choice when it comes to vegetables with pesticides, meats with antibiotic/hormone and chemically processed foods. There are better alternatives.