Ever been sick and not known why?
Ever have a doctor tell you that since your blood work came back normal, you must be feeling fine?
Ever try to keep yourself really busy as a way to cope with constant pain that people in the medical field try to tell you doesn’t really exist?
This has been my life, on and off, since I was ten years old and caught my first “mystery illness.” I still remember being awake late at night, with my stomach in knots and the room dipping and swaying as if I were on a boat in the ocean instead of in my bedroom. And my mother read “Little Women” to me until I could finally escape into sleep. No doctor we went to had any answers for us and we “waited it out” until months later the stomach cramps stopped and my bed was no longer a dipping and swaying yacht.
Fast forward 6 years and once again I was plagued by tummy troubles, insomnia, and nausea. I missed a lot of school that year. I saw a lot of doctors that year. I read books on IBS. I cut out dairy, then eggs, then red meat. I learned how to stay really busy as a way to work through pain. I learned to function on less sleep. I finally cut out all meat and ate as a vegan vegetarian for many years. I have experienced the easing of some symptoms, and then new ones appear.
It’s a roller coaster I don’t want to ride any more.
So I have taken matters into my own hands, and switched my MD for an ND (naturopathic doctor). Although not covered by my health plan, it was worth every penny to have someone actually listen to what I had to say, look at all my symptoms together, and come up with a plan of action.
Which brings me to why I am posting about this here. Because one of the action steps was to change drastically how I eat. No more dairy. No more wheat. No more eggs. No more refined sugars. No processed foods. No oils from nuts or seeds. And although at the moment this is a “for now” diet, and not a “forever” diet, it has certainly dictated the kinds of recipes I have been trying out lately and the kinds of foods coming out of my kitchen. And I have been spending A LOT of time in the kitchen.
But it is not all a “no” diet. It means yes to whole foods. Yes to grains like rice and millet and quinoa. Yes to fruits and veggies. Yes to nuts and seeds and legumes. Yes to coconut and olive oils. Yes to honey and maple syrup. Yes to trying fish, and grass-fed lamb, and duck, maybe even bison. And although I do still sometimes stare at the fridge and wonder what I am possibly going to eat, for the most part there have been more cooking successes then failures, and, of course, I will be sharing my new culinary adventures with you.
For all those times I wanted to go sugar-free and failed, for years of trying to eat only whole, real foods, this has been trial by fire. No easing in. But it’ll be worth it.
So…are you ready to get creative in the kitchen this summer? Here’s to healthy eating!