I have a story to tell, and it’s about my diet. This story came about through lots of trial and error, and oh so many years of unnecessary misery.
All my life I’ve struggled with my health. I’ve had so many diagnoses; as a child it was tonsillitis, epilepsy and childhood migraines. In high school it was IBS and an undiagnosed condition that caused me to double over in pain during cross country races. As an adult it’s gotten worse. Skin conditions, digestive turmoil, Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism to name a very few. During pregnancy I’ve had conditions related to the immune system: Polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid), Vitamin D deficiency, and in my second pregnancy it was thrombocytopenia (too few blood platelets).
So there’s my medical history. Fast forward to 6 months ago. I was struggling with my health and unable to lose the extra pregnancy weight. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, I had excruciating pain in my legs to the point I was barely able to climb the stairs. My shoulders hurt so bad I had to buy thick supportive wraps for baby wearing just to keep my shoulders a little more comfortable. All this at 26 years old.
I was sick of being sick and fat. I searched for a Vegan weight loss plan. What I came across changed my life so drastically. It was called The Paradigm Diet by Adam Dave MD.
This was a great read. It was well written and incorporated humor with serious discussion. It’s a book about what humans are supposed to eat. You always hear what you should stay away from and what super foods should be incorporated into your diet. This book breaks it all down and tells you how it is. I love that. It’s hard and restrictive even for a Vegan. I thought it was worth a try.
What did I find out in just my first week of this diet? I have a severe gluten intolerance! It is responsible for every single health issue that I listed above. Getting off gluten changed my life immediately.
I also found out that dairy has a similar effect on my body. It causes an autoimmune response and makes me feel weak and have joint pain.
So what do I not eat anymore? Meat, eggs, dairy, grains, refined sugar, added dietary oils, nuts, soy and in a recent allergy discovery: chocolate. That sounds like a lot. It is a very restrictive diet for sure. However, I prefer the term dietary simplification rather than dietary restriction.
What DO I eat?
Fruits. Vegetables. Beans. And some seeds.
I eat nothing but fruit until noon. I eat a big salad and lentil soup for lunch. I eat steamed potatoes and veggies with beans for dinner. Lots and lots of green leafy vegetables.
This diet pays off for all the work though. I lost 20 pounds in the first 4 weeks. I’ve built a lot of lean muscle, I have more muscle now than ever in my life. I have tons of energy and I feel so great. My muscles and joints are no longer in pain. I could go on an on about the benefits. Most important is that my medical problems have mostly disappeared. Just gone. My Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism is completely managed, my goiter is shrinking and slowly but surely my prescription is lowering.
I can’t eat out. I can’t eat at people’s houses when they invite us over. I usually have to pack my purse full of fruit or even a salad if I know we’re going to be out of the house for a while.
I have received more than my fair share of criticism. Very hurtful things have been said and done to me based on my dietary restrictions. But my closest support group is unwavering and strong. They see how much better I feel. They see how healthy I am. My husband used to be a body builder, and he often admires my muscles. He says it’s easy to support my dietary quirks because you don’t build muscles like this unless everything’s going well.
I have to learn to let the criticism slide. I’m healthier and happier than ever before. You can’t argue with visable results. You can’t argue with blood tests.
The moral of this story is that only YOU are responsible for your health. Take action, even if it’s hard.