discovery – happy eatin’

This post goes out to my long-time friend Shanna.  At least a month ago she asked about me and gluten.  Sorry it took so long lady. 🙂  But here is a bit to answer your question.

During my second year of college, date nights began being less enjoyable as the night went on.  Eventually I started to realize that it had some connection to eating out.  But it seemed to get worse.  I began having a stomach ache and bloating nearly every time I ate.  It was discouraging. 

Finally, somewhere in my fourth year I was tested and learned that i was allergic to wheat.  It was hard for a while.  I tried eating more rice (though white rice) and sugar.  My stomach hurt less, but my head hurt more.  My weight was inconsistent and I felt like I never had enough energy.  I had a difficult time focusing and would hide up on campus when I needed to study.

As I entered my final semesters, taking Early Childhood Education cohort and student teaching classes, I learned how to give my all and succeed during class/teaching.  But once I got home I fell apart, completely fried. 

After graduation and applying to Grad School, I went home for a bit before starting UNLV’s Architecture program.  Eating at home definitely helped, but I could tell that I didn’t have everything figured out.  It wasn’t just the wheat and sugar bothering me. 

I started to really pay attention to my body’s reaction to different foods.  A couple years in Vegas passed and I felt that i was finally listening to my body.  The designer and I married and I was feeling better each day.  When we moved back to his home town in Utah, I warned him that we were going organic.  Immediately, we started to feel different as we made great changes in our food choices.  After several promptings, I eventually started a Healthy Cooking Group with some gals from church. 

Thanks to Leslie and the other fabulous ladies, I’m still learning and making great changes as I continue to research and make sense of my individual diet.  Dr. Mercola has also made a difference in my choices and food beliefs.  I agree with him that no diet is perfect for everyone, and that we each need to find what works for us.  Here are some of the things I stay away from in addition to wheat:

  • processed foods
  • cows milk (we use almond, though i do cook with cheese and other organic dairy every once in a while, just switching almond for cow has made a real difference)  Real Foods Market just opened in town and we’ve signed up for raw milk.
  • preservatives
  • refined sugar (instead, we use raw sugar: turbinado, or sucanat)
  • white rice and other simple grains(we eat brown, whole grains like non-quick cooking oats)
  • corn syrup
  • oils except: virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and butter (preferably clarified)
  • cheap eggs (i only buy free-range or vegetarian fed chicken eggs-the yolk is soo much darker and the egg has 12 times more nutrients)
  • additives, anything i don’t know what it is…:)

Basically we try to eat as fresh and as natural as possible.  It’s a lot of changes, but you start to feel amazing.  The above list looks complicated, but eliminating one at a time has given us soo much more energy and better overall health.  I don’t get headaches any more, have considerably less stress and anxiety, and rarely get sick…oh, and wearing a 0-2 between pregnancies is a given…i don’t even try.  I eat three meals a day and snacks between.  

It’s been an incredibly long journey for me.  During my food battle in college I felt like there was no one to help me.  A horrible feeling.  I often felt like there was nothing for me to eat.  Trying one new recipe a week has helped tremendously.  It took years, several priesthood blessings from my dad, but one day it happened: i was at a church singles dinner and looked at the food and knew instantly what i could and couldn’t eat.  it was incredible!  I still rely on the spirit when i don’t know what the ingredients are, but i’m learning so much easier as a whole these days.

Anyone else out there with a food battle?  What have you learned?  Any questions?  Don’t do it alone…it made such a difference when i had my husband to help me and together we have such a happy eatin’ livestyle: full of new adventures and delicious times!

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