Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: “ Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. - Proverbs 31:28-30
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
A Healing Journey
So, I’m a horribly inconsistent blogger, there’s no denying
it. But hopefully, now that I am done with school and have figured out the
ropes to my new job of Stay At Home Mom (well, as much as I’ll ever have
motherhood of 2 toddlers figured out), I will have more time for blogging!
Learning to balance the needs of my children (play, naps, healthy meals, etc.)
is the toughest job I’ve ever had, and the most rewarding.
Anywho, what has really been on my mind lately is healing.
It’s a LONG story…and I have a life, therefore I’m going to skip to the basics
and spare you the detailed journey to the present point in my life.
My daughter has suffered with severe constipation since she
was about a week old. I’m talking like only pooping once every 10 to 11 days,
painful kind of poops. I also suffered with painful poops and constipation my
entire childhood, but it got better as I entered my twenties and ate a more
varied diet. Also, since the age of 12 (maybe 11?) I have been dealing with
moderate acne that sometimes would almost
clear (especially in the summer time when I was outdoors a lot) and
frequently flare up.
Both of my children have eczema and recurring yeast diaper rashes.
As I looked for ways to heal my acne (not gonna lie, this
whole “health” discovery came from my pure anger and frustration at my acne not
going away, hello I’m not a teenager anymore!) I came across dietary changes as
a successful way to heal acne. The more I read, the more things clicked and the
more a-ha moments I had. I started remembering things from my childhood that
suddenly made sense, like chronic ear infections, daily tension headaches,
constipation, acne, bloating, dizziness, etc. One discovery led to
another—dairy free, gluten free—until I had read enough and came to the
conclusion that I had leaky gut (and had thus passed it on to my children
during birth). Yikes! As sucky as it was figuring out what the heck was causing
my seemingly unconnected symptoms, it was nice finally knowing what I could do
about it. A way to not only heal my acne, but my daughter’s constipations and
my son’s eczema?...heck yeah! Turns out, the SAD (standard American diet) diet
we were consuming is basically slowly killing us (and millions of other
people). Kind of like you can smoke for 30 years before lung cancer finally
finishes you off, or slowly be poisoned by asbestos before dying of cancer. My
first thought was great, all I have to do is change our diet. Yeahhh…changing
the way you eat isn’t that easy. See, I LOVE carbs, like I used to eat 3 bowls
of cereal a day, it’s my favorite food, besides cheesy bread, pizza, and ice
cream. You wanna know why it’s so
difficult for most people?Because bad
bacteria in your gut are sending neurotransmitters (messages) to your brain
telling you to crave sugary foods and carbs because that’s what the bad bacterium
eat! Tricky, huh? And let me tell you, the first 3 days of eating a 100% whole
foods, grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, nut-free, egg-free diet was HELL. I
wanted BREAD! In any form! It seemed like each day I would cave in and “cheat”
by eating a handful of peanuts, or worse- melting honey and peanut butter in the
microwave to create a yummy gooey treat. Thus I came to the realization that
this strict of an elimination diet was not going to work for me. It may work
for many people, and I still think it is probably the most effective and
efficient, but it’s not going to work unless I adhere to it 100 percent. So, I
did some more digging, and found a gut-healing diet that is more on par with my
life and personality (I have NEVER been able to diet-I used to joke that’d I’d
rather work out all day than have to be on a diet). It is a temporary diet,
like most elimination diets are, that my family and I will be doing for 2
weeks. We then reassess the state of our gut by slowly reintroducing problem
foods (dairy, gluten, eggs, etc.) to see if we have a reaction. If nothing
happens, we continue with our lives eating a whole foods diet (no one should
ever go back to eating the SAD way). However, if there is a reaction, we
continue with the special diet for 4 more weeks, than reassess again. The book
that outlines this plan is The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great
Digestive Health, by Dr. Mullin. It’s a fascinating read, even if you don’t
follow his plan.
So, even though we (read
I) failed at the GAPS diet in January, we have been eating a balanced whole
foods diet, with the only grain being the occasional sprouted spelt muffins
(home made, of course, with no refined sugar) since then. Some improvements
have occurred: the children no longer have a yeast rash and it has stayed away
for over a month, Prairie is pooping daily (sometimes 3x a day), my constipation
has gone away, and Jaime and I have both lost a few pounds.
Anway, the point of this post is to bring you all (if
anybody actually reads this) along on the journey with me; sort of like
accountability partners. I am hopeful that posting my progress on the world
wide web (with pictures, eek!) will give me motivation to finish. Because if I
fail, I’m not only disappointing myself, but I’d also be a liar and failure to
My health journey really started with my second pregnancy
almost 2 years ago, but I am just now truly
embarking on a healthy, healing journey to not only loose weight but improve my
quality of life and that of my family.
Now, time to “before” pics:
3 months postpartum with Prairie (last March): I had lost all of the baby weight and was about 163lbs.
February 20, 2014, about 145lbs. Can you tell that I've been working out 4 days a week for the past 2 weeks?! I'm happy with the progress and hope it continues. Now, to heal the gut and banish constipations, acne, and eczema FOREVER!