Why am I so bloated, gassy and crampy all the time? Why does my stomach always hurt no matter what I eat? Why is my skin a mess with eczema, psoriasis and rosacea? Why am I so goddamn anxious? Why do I have diarrhea one day and constipation the next? Why can’t I lose these extra pounds despite going to the gym and eating (what I thought was) a healthy diet?
Why do I just never "feel good"?
Does this sound familiar?
For as long as I can remember I never felt great, all of my childhood really. I grew up on processed food, you know… Little Debbies, those delicious Oatmeal Cream Pies and Swiss Cake Rolls. It became a normal occurrence to eat a family size box of Bagel Bites, Ramen, or an entire box of Kraft Mac n’ Cheese the minute I got home from school, just to eat a full dinner two hours later. This could be chalked up as the habits of a "growing teenager", but dinner typically consisted of pasta or shake n’ bake chicken with a side of garlic bread or carrots doused in margarine and brown sugar - thats not a recipe for growth for ANYBODY.
Sure, I could blame my parents for these pitiful eating habits. It was the 90’s and nobody knew any better, including my parents.
So began the constant trips to the nurses office with “stomach aches”, sneaking in the green pill at lunch in the cafeteria aka Gas X, with my best friend who also had the same debilitating stomach issues, and spending numerous nights wide awake with unbearable stomach cramping. During a six month stint in college, I ate only NutriGrain Bars and Propel water because my stomach hurt so bad every day, all the while not realizing this "diet" (or whatever you want to call it) was contributing to my issues. I gave up on having a social life in fear I would get sick in public.
Eventually I became fed up and was tested for every ailment under the sun. I've had colonoscopies, blood test, MRIs, endoscopies, small bacterial overgrowth testing, X-rays…you name it. Every time it was the same diagnosis of IBS or anxiety because my tests ALWAYS CAME OUT NORMAL.
I was healthy on paper. I felt as if traditional doctors didn't want to help me, they just wanted to prescribe me xanax or heartburn medication.
Holistic docs? They were no different, they just wanted to prescribe me thousands of dollars worth of supplements and never once mentioned the very thing that goes into my digestive system daily - food.
I was always looking for “the answer”. As my mom would say, I became a severe hypochondriac. With the help of my dear friends Google and WebMd I became OBSESSED with my health, or lack there of. Something was wrong and I didn’t know where to go for help. After realizing doctors were going to be of no help and WebMd was not really my friend but actually feeding the problem, I began diving in to podcasts, books, videos, and following credible people online and became informed on my own.
Rather than just researching my symptoms I started searching holistic foundations and found a lot of great people that opened up my eyes to the benefits of a real food, holistic lifestyle and the importance of our digestive system. Everything started to make sense: eliminate the gut irritating foods, eat to nourish my body, support my metabolism, and my body finally started to respond in positive ways.
I started to listen to my body and pay attention to how I felt after I ate. I discovered that I had an intolerance to a large range of foods and needed to work on healing myself from the inside out after growing up on gut-destroying processed and irritating foods, under-nourishing and yo-yo dieting. I started eating real, traditional nourishing foods that worked for my physiology. I began healing my metabolism and I slowly began to fully heal.
Nutrition saved me. I was finally able to live.
Today I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been. If you would have told me 10 years ago a change in diet would be the cure I probably would have laughed in your face. But, today I am a living example of just what REAL FOOD and a HOLISTIC approach can do, and I now have complete health and food freedom.
I can do all the things I love without worry my digestive system will rebel against me. I can climb mountains for daysss, go camping, travel, go out to eat with friends, eat ALL the food without fear of bloat or discomfort... things I never could have dreamed of doing when my digestive system was taking over my life.
I truly believe food is the best and most natural medicine for our bodies and this way of living has restored my life and overall well being and I want to help others do the same.