Food Is MEDICINE If You Do It RIGHT!
Updated: May 7, 2020
Living with food sensitivities is one of the many disruptive symptoms of living with autoimmune and inflammatory disease. Oftentimes both the autonomic and endocrine systems begin to malfunction on some level due to the body's constant battle to find balance within itself while in the process of 'overreacting' to itself. Once these systems begin to falter, the body will begin to have difficulty functioning at an optimal level. Both of these systems play very important roles in our ability to digest food and to allow the body to absorb the nutrients from those foods to sustain life. My personal experience with food sensitivities started several years ago when I finally chose to say "bye bye booze", hello HEALTHY LIVING! I might have had issues for years but never knew it...guess that's what happens when you finally stop "numbing" all your struggles (pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety) Anyway, since I wan't asleep in the "bottle" anymore, I was able to FEEL my body aches and pains and they began to feel different. I suggested to my doctor that I could have rheumatoid arthritis so she ran some tests. Well, let's just say the result was far from what I was expecting: "You don't have RA but you have several other autoimmune diseases; lupus, scleroderma, raynauds, mixed connective tissue disease, and fibromyalgia" HUH?!?!?! What did you just say????? Well NOW WHAT?!?!? I tried some medication and, as is the norm for me, my body was too sensitive and I was unable to stay on it. So....research mode it is! I started trying to find ways to help heal my body and help alleviate my symptoms any way I could without meds. And I decided NUTRITION was my tool!! I started reading so much about how some foods can really aggravate certain diseases, about how certain foods actually function within the body, etc, etc. etc. I even decided to add a Nutrition Coach Certification to my resume so I could better understand how foods are processed within the body on a 'systemic' level (really fascinating!)
"You are what you eat...LITERALLY!"
The most important lesson I've learned regarding food is that BALANCE is the key, just like everything else in life and in our bodies. Our bodies require three macro nutrients to survive: Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats. And to embrace optimal health we need to provide our system with a consistent balance of these nutrients. Every meal should have some protein, some carbohydrates, some healthy fat, it's as simple as that. It's kinda funny, the more I learn about food and how it relates to the body, the more I realize how uncomplicated it is. I think we all tend to overthink the "food" thing, like it has to be some strict program that we can never fully understand and, therefore, never stick with. But once we just understand what foods fall into which category of macro nutrient type, it's just training ourselves to look at our plate and make sure each nutrient is accounted for. I'm not saying it doesn't take some work, especially in the beginning, but once I learned to eat this way, I just felt better about my life and my body, like I was doing something really good for myself :)
HEALTHY SELF = HEAL*THY*SELF
Fast forward to today, yes my body is still struggling with food sensitivities due to an overly sensitive body on all levels BUT if I hadn't learned to embrace a healthier diet, steering clear of processed foods and sugars, focusing more on whole foods (clean proteins, fruits, veggies, whole grains), I honestly think I'd be crippled by now, maybe even dead. Doctors are still amazed that I don't take any medications and they attribute this reality to my choice to heal myself with food. My disease laden body is currently able to function (not always without discomfort and struggle) because I'm putting so much healthy edible 'medicine' into it every day. These foods can't rewire my systems or completely remove the toxins I've ingested over the years, the toxicity in our food due to an ailing planet, or the polluted air we breathe everyday BUT they can support my body instead of adding more inflammatory agents that will only cause more struggle.
I will never eat the same way again and for that I am eternally grateful. My ailing body has taught me how to eat to LIVE not to simply enjoy (although we can always do both!) And now I can be a better health coach to all my clients, offering them the knowledge I've gained and as well as proving by being a living example, that when we eat the correct way, BALANCED and for optimizing health, we can achieve living a much happier life!!
Here are some great resources to try to JUMP START a Healthy Eating Lifestyle: