The healthier I get the more I realize there are things that are just not good for me. There are some people who are out there who can indulge in certain foods from time to time and they don’t have huge consequences. On the other hand I am seeing when I get things like dairy, I bloat and have intestinal issues for about a week.
Today we had Bible study here at the house. There is nothing that soothes my soul like a great talk with some of the best friends I have ever had. One was missing today but she had a really good reason. I indulged today in some white cheddar popcorn. I did it on Monday as well (another Bible/book study).
So this past weekend, after a week of clean eating, my stomach was really flat (as flat as you can get when you are fluffy). I could see a huge difference. By Tuesday after having the cheddar popcorn the night before, I was bloated in a massive way. It all of a sudden hit me that the only thing I had really added back was the dairy.
It was a sad moment for me. In March of 2016 of eliminated gluten. I am not 100% gluten-free because I have cross contamination in my home. But I do not eat gluten products myself anymore. I have gotten used to not eating gluten. I have eliminated a lot of the gluten products in my house but there are still a few things I let the rest of the family eat. So to realize that I have one more thing that I must eliminate was a little heartbreaking.
I have been doing a really good job and feeling better. But when I realize that a lot of my current issues are due to choices I am making, I have to stop it. I know what being in pain is like. I know what feeling better is like. So how can I intentionally make choices that bring the pain on?
Still today, without thinking about it, I ate more white cheddar popcorn. Not only that, I ate some caramel almonds, some yogurt almonds, and some chocolate almonds (all powdered, all with dairy). Before I sat down for dinner, I looked like I was even more fluffy than when the day started. Then it hit me again.
So here I am, having to make an even more adjustments and being even more conscious before just putting something into my mouth. Not only will this be an adjustment for me, it will be for the external family and friends. I have zero issues skipping out on eating something but others take offense to it if I choose not to partake in meals offered.
My family and my husband’s family have a hard time accepting that I choose not to eat certain things. They feel as if they have to make things I can eat. I personally do not expect everyone/anyone to change what they cook or eat to accommodate me. If I am worried I won’t have anything to eat then I bring my own food that I know I can eat.
You see I have a lot of different autoimmune issues. Each one of those issues comes with its own diet to follow. Sixteen months ago when my family and I started to flood our bodies daily with fruits, veggies and berries those diets slowly changed for me. I was able to start slowly adding things back in I had not been able to eat for a long time.
It was wonderful being able to eat tomatoes, onions, garlic, lemons, limes and anything else I really wanted to. I could pick out any apple to eat instead of only a few that are more low acid ones. It was like I was a child seeing her presents for the first time on Christmas morning and then opening those presents and seeing everything she had put on her Christmas list. It was that amazing!
There were a few things though I had questions about still. I was doing my best to keep our family off processed foods, I was working on eliminating gluten, I was iffy on the whole dairy thing and then one of the biggest ones was how did I go about replacing sugar with a more natural sugar. Once I started flooding my body with the whole food nutrition on a daily basis tossing the gluten wasn’t a bit deal.
I didn’t crave it like I used to do. I wasn’t really eating many processed foods at that point. My family still does but my consumption was down to maybe 4 times a month. Dairy I had no idea how I was going to eliminate that one. As a matter of fact I crossed that off my list of eliminations and figured if it really was a problem I’d get to it later.
How was I going to replace sugar with something more natural? I wasn’t certain. But I started with looking around trying to figure it out. Everyone has their own opinions on it. I have been doing mainly raw honey (local farmers) and real maple syrup. It has been doing a really good job actually.
I have fibromyalgia. I have rosacea. I have psoriasis. I have endometriosis. I have interstitial cystitis. I have sjogren syndrome. I have raynaud’s phenomenon. I have reactive arthritis. We were about to start testing for mixed connective tissue disease and started testing for eosinophilic esophagitis but some insurance complications came up.
Autoimmune issues come with pain, inflammation from pain, and each one has its own diet plan (like I said earlier), many prescriptions, and so many tests and doctors that I can’t even begin to describe it. On top of that comes exhaustion, depression, anxiety, self-consciousness, and more emotions that you may not even be able to describe.
It is not easy living a life that most don’t understand. I avoided people. I didn’t want to be friends with people really because I couldn’t be the friend I should be. I was not happy. I tried to pretend but I didn’t do a very good job I am sure. I cried a lot. I lived in bed a lot.
I am sure you are getting a general picture to what I was like. How anyone could love me, I am not sure because I didn’t even like myself.
But things changed in February 2016 when my husband and I decided to start the children’s health study with our purchase of our fruits, veggies and berry capsules. We were going to feed our children for free, for up to four years. Why not? I mean we had tried everything at that point. What if this was the last thing I ever had to do to feel better? What if this was it?
Guess what? It was it! It has helped in ways I never thought possible. My daily pain levels of 10 plus are down to 4-6 daily. My red, reverse clown face that made me cry when I washed my face or my children kissed me is pretty much gone. My pustules that made me hate looking in the mirror are about 90% gone.
Those I things I never thought I would reach. Those are things I had given up on long ago. I cried daily and I hated it. I don’t cry often anymore and rarely do I cry from pain anymore.
So for me to realize that I have one more thing I need to eliminate, it is a bit disheartening but in the grand scheme of things, I am okay with it. It will take work because I have to go back to reading packages more carefully. Soon I will know what I can’t have.
It is a price I am willing to pay so that maybe that 4-6 daily drops to a 3-5 daily!