The journey back to myself and my health started in April 2021 when I started having chronic headaches that no one could explain or eradicate. What followed was months and months of appointments and therapies and treatments and so many attempts at getting my body to move past the pattern of pain and dis-ease in my system.
As of this writing, I am almost 14 months out from that initial headache spiral and my goodness, how far I have come. My head is not 100% 100% of the time but I’ve made huge strides in releasing tension from my body in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual senses. Many of the treatment methods have come and gone, ebbed and flowed, but the one that has stuck since last July (and actually expanded this February) is how I approach food. Or rather, what foods I no longer approach.
This began with going gluten free last summer and for a girl who loves pasta, bread, and pretty much every baked good out there, this was tough. I was cranky, felt deprived, and resented the whole experiment. It also had to get worse before it got better (a detox backlash, if you will) and it took several months before I noticed some changes that could be ascribed to the new diet.
Except, I still wasn’t really back to feeling like myself and noticed some more questions popping up in my brain over the holidays, so with the New Year, I turned to a food sensitivity test kit and found out that I had such a buildup in my system of eggs in particular but also cow’s milk, that inflammation had built up from those as well. Cutting out eggs and dairy was a beast and monumental effort but I’ve been at it for several months now and I can honestly say, at 40 years old, this is the best I’ve felt with and in my body in pretty much forever.
Now perhaps that isn’t a fair statement because in the last 13 years, I spent 8 of them carrying and birthing and nursing babies, so you know, probably it was a bit expected for my body to feel wrung out, but now that our family is past those stages, it feels good to be paying attention to what I need in and for my self and my diet is definitely part of that.
These days I eat GF and Vegan-ish (avoiding eggs and dairy but not meat) and I no longer feel so restricted or denied. In fact, I can eat an entire plate of food that is right for my body and feel nothing but satisfied – no bloat or discomfort – just fed and nourished. What a remarkable difference! Where I am also seeing a difference is in how my clothes fit and feel which is a lovely added bonus to know that my body really is responding to the changes and efforts of this last year+ of working to do better by it.
Do I still miss a real pizza crust or some bread with butter on it? Real chocolate chip cookies? Yeah, I do, but I’m learning new ways to navigate those old recipes and who knows – maybe I can eventually cut ties with sugar and those cravings altogether. In the meantime, I’m giving thanks for the access that I have to healthy food, a spouse who helps me prepare it, and kids who understand that Mama has to pay attention to whether or not things are “Glutenen-Free” (thanks for that cuteness, WA!) and Vegan, which has made them more mindful and compassionate along the way, not just for me but others as well. Those and the excuse to buy a new bikini are wins all around!