Latest research on my quest for ultimate health and happiness…

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I am obviously not a doctor. I like to consider myself a happiness investigator. I am on the hunt for it everyday. I know it’s attainable for everyone, not limited to yoga girls or rich people. While it’s not always easy to put myself out there to the world- I love to share my life if for any reason it helps anyone at all then my vulnerability is so worth it….not to mention my life’s happiness research will not go to waste. πŸ˜‰

So full disclosure on my health, how food contributes to your health of your mind and belly (where most dis-eases begin), and how I move my body when darkness takes over in my mind. Yeah, it’s gonna get personal.

So I’ll begin about a month and a half ago. (the boiling point.) I was really really sick all the time. I had absolutely no energy, I was nauseous anytime I was standing up, I was having a lot of trouble breathing in fully, no motivation, walking two blocks exhausted me, and I would see pictures of people all standing around talking to each other and got jealous that I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that because of how sick I felt all day everyday. It was pretty rough. I had this really really tender place right at the bottom in the middle of my rib cage. It hurt to the touch. When I explained these symptoms to a western doctor he would brush it off as anxiety, depression, a stomach virus, or antibiotics….I was put on antibiotics indefinetly!!! Do you have any idea how dangerous that is?!?!?! How is this person licensed to practice medicine? So it became very clear to me that western doctors are not going to help me or take the time to investigate the cause- just “treating” random symptoms.

So by the grace of God, I started teaching yoga at a healing arts center back in January. There are so many healing practices there that I never knew about ever! The studio owner told me to see her naturopathy that practices/truly heals there. I didn’t know what to expect. The visits are an hour long compared to my 5 minutes on the doctors table. I explained my symptoms and that I felt I was falling apart at the seams. He does a series of pressure point massages and testing my strength before and after each series…..there’s a lot more to it…and he has been doing this forever…I thought he was in his late 50’s- he is 77!! We discovered that I was born with a weak liver. It has been weak for ever. Working overtime and robbing energy from other organs to keep working. Liver is in charge of the connective tissue in our bodies- so it weakened my diaphram which allowed my stomach to push through and hang out up in my chest (causing my shortness of breath) and well as my body’s inability to absorb nutrients. Food was getting stuck in the part above my diaphram and composting!!! So when it finally fell through to pass through my digestive system- my body was trying to digest rotting food. My muscles were absorbing this crap causing muscle and joint pain (also known as fibromayalgia) and that why I was in pain and exhausted. So I had been malnourished for freaking years probably. It’s called a hiatal hernia and from what I am reading, it is very common. He gave me a few exercises to do everyday and had to manually pull my stomach back down to where it is supposed to live. That did not feel awesome but afterwards instantly I could breathe and the pain in my SI joint was gone and my shoulder sockets weren’t in pain, and the headaches stopped. So I guess you could say it was a little wake up call and life changer.

All of this to say that I have a weaker digestive system. Perhaps because it is used to not having to work very much or it has given up because it had to work extra hard when I wasn’t aware of what I was doing to myself. I love to munch on stuff. Peanut pretzels to be more specific. πŸ˜‰ I knew it wasn’t excellent for me but I had no idea that it was like a poison to me. It occurred to me that I didn’t really know what food was doing what to my body and right now is the time to find out. I don’t know if you have ever known anyone with fibromayalgia before but it is pretty debilitating and some people accept this as a disease they will suffer from for life. Not me. I know that the body is capable of healing itself (and God) but you have to find what it needs. That’s the tricky part because ayurvedically speaking, one man’s medicine is another man’s poison. Some people cannot have ginger, for example, and ginger is commonly thought to be very good for you.

So aside from my peanut butter pretzel addiction, I tend to eat pretty well, I thought. But I still felt this sluggish, unmotivated, foggy feeling a lot even after my treatment. Suddenly, the whole 40 diet kept appearing all over the place. I remember a friend doing it when I lived in Hawaii but it always sounded like something I could never stick to. I looked a little closer into it and found that it really helps to reboot your digestive system. After the 30 days, I could start slowly adding things back into my diet one at a time to find out what exactly I am allergic to or unable to digest easily. It’s not super easy- it really takes planning and work and faith and patience and most importantly THE DESIRE TO FEEL AMAZING! Because you will really really quickly.

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So I will explain what it is and what it is not, what I have been eating, and what changes have magically appeared with my dedication to my body.

It is not starvation! I can eat as much as I want of the reccommended things. I will tag the link to the allergy elimination diet my fiance and I have been sticking to at the bottom of this blog. What I am staying away from: gluten, dairy, most grains, legumes, sugar even things like honey and agave, soy, most meat and any meat we eat is organic/grass fed/no antibiotics, no nuts except coconuts, and several oils and margarine. So looking at it in terms of what you can’t have is pretty tough, yeah? Here are some things I can have: Cold pressed olive oil and coconut oil, fish, rice and rice noodles, zucchini noodles, spices, salads with homemade poppyseed dressing, juices, homemade avocado sauce, coconut rice noodle vegi stir fry….. the list goes on!!! At the end I will post another blog with some recipes. I think it’s important to know what vitamins and minerals your body needs by doing some reading so you know what vitamins to supplement for things you are allergic to. I struggled with breakfast- it’s my favorite. I love toast with avo or flaxseed oil “butter”, bacon, cereal… I can’t have gluten. I know a lot of people consider the gluten thing a trend but it’s a real food sensitivity and is hard for my body to digest, breaks my skin out, and leaves me feeling lethargic. Our food unfortunately is being made a little to a lot differently than it was being made ten years ago. New food allergies are not uncommon. Now I start my day with amazing juices that I make. I feel all glowy afterwards. So we cut out major food allergens for 30 days and we are now on day 12. The thing to remember while you are going through it and craving junk or even stuff like beans is that this is not permanent. It would be strange to cut all of that out forever. It’s a jump start for your digestive systems and a way to discover what makes you feel your best. Completely.

Now for the good stuff. How has this positively changed my everyday life: I haven’t felt this amazing in my body in years. I’m waking up and making it to yoga by 7:30 something I have really wanted to do for a while but just could not get my tail to move in the morning. My mind is soooo clear and motivated. In my meditation I can see what my next move is for my career and start putting it into action. I am way more calm- I think because of the lack of processed sugar or the overall feeling of bliss taking over who knows. The anxiety that was seeping into my brain and taking over is gone. It was getting pretty wild. I was becoming insecure about what people thought of me, what I thought of me, and who I am. It was holding me back for sure. I sometimes wouldn’t go to yoga to practice because I didn’t know how the teacher would judge me. If you know me, you know that’s not normal for me. I was beginning to develop a depression. Not having any control over my thoughts or breath. It’s honestly a thing of the past. I have excitement and joy and I dance all the time! I look forward to everything and I am able to appreciate all the hard stuff that led me here. I know its because I cut out the foods that I have a reaction to. Your gut health directly affects your mind health. It is your other brain. Do not treat it like a garbage can and throw whatever is 99 cents at the convenient store in it. You have to live with this body forever! and ever!! I am 31 years old with problems with my body already…can you imagine what you feel like in ten years if you don’t start taking care of your whole body right now?

One last thing to add to your daily routine is to move your body in all the ways you can. For depression, take up a lot of space! For stiff bodies move your spine in all the directions, for anxiety, run even if only for 2 minutes! Dance in the morning when you are getting ready for the day just to move and perhaps to set the stage for the whole day. Moving is as important as sitting still for 5 minutes a day with your precious breath and add the best nourishing foods to your day and in 5 days at the most you will feel and notice a difference in several aspects of your life. Just try and let me know how it goes!

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/elimination-diet – this is the plan we are following in case you are interested in trying. You may say its expensive to eat healthy or organic- but it is cheaper than doctor bills. The truth is you are either creating disease with your food or fighting it. It really is that simple.

I love you guys! Leave me any recipes or feedback that you want! I am open to answer any questions!

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You are what you eat so don’t be cheap, easy, fast, greasy, or gross!

I’ve tested this theory. For pretty much my whole life I didn’t pay much attention to what I ate. Β It never occurred to me that a night of soda and pizza was what was causing my lethargy and foggy mindedness. So I got into yoga a few years ago, took my teacher training and still would think it was “flakey” when they would talk about their latest cleanse. But I started wondering if it could be true. Would I have more energy if I cleansed my whole visceral body? Would my face look brighter? Would my thoughts be better? So I tried it just to see what all the hype was about.

I did the Wild Rose 12 day herbal detox. It was right for me because my life is so active I didn’t want to starve. A liquid cleanse was asking to fail for me. So this one you are allowed to eat but just no dairy, sugar, or gluten. I gave up coffee about a week before and it actually made me sick. Coming off of coffee is no joke. I swore I wouldn’t touch the stuff again…. It’s been over a month now and I love coffee again…could be worse. I crave sugar all the time anyway but this was hard to fight. Sometimes I would sneak a little spoon of peanut butter on a celery stick…. I know its cheating but it’s better than the creme brulee I was being tempted with. But out of everything I was the most lost without bread. I realized I was eating bread for almost every meal. And without it I had no idea what to eat. This was the hardest part for me. I’ve never been a cooker so thinking of new meals everyday with several restrictions was tricky. I ended up eating a lot of kale salads with apples and cucumber, sweet potatoes, quinoa with sauteed vegis… and that’s pretty much it… for 12 days. On my nights off I would make fish or something a little more elaborate but I didn’t have many nights off throughout this.Β 

Discipline all the way. It took discipline not to eat what everyone at work was eating and to make my own food before I went into work in the evening and to take all of those giant herbs before every meal and to not cheat while no one was around…except for my occasional spoonful of peanut butter! I really wanted to see if this changed anything within me.

The first 6 days were not easy. I was pretty miserable actually. Moody, extremely hot (not sure if that was a side effect of the cleanse or not but I couldn’t stop sweating), tired, hungry to the point of pain in my tummy because I was on a very different time clock of eating because I work at night. But I got through it and by the end of the cleanse, while I was for sure ready for it to be over so I could have the option of eating whatever I wanted, I didn’t want to go back to my old eating habits again. I felt this lightness inside of me. My body image was different. I was no longer looking for flaws I was happy with my appearance. My skin was very bright and glowy!! My energy level and motivation was super high! I felt regular. I felt really really really good!

This cleanse showed me some habits I had of eating when I wasn’t hungry out of boredom or stress. Taught me to make new things up with food. Showed me how amazing it feels to eat healthy.

So fast forward about 3 weeks after the cleanse. Still no dairy or bread. I wanted a grilled cheese. So I ate one and it was yummy, yes, but I biked home after and went to sleep. The next day I slept til about 10:30 when I had been waking up at 8:30 or 9 and I still felt tired. Really tired. I couldn’t help thinking that eating like shit is correlated.Β 

It was this huge learning experience for me and I’m ready to do another one soon for my liver. I just want to live healthy so I can think clearer and love myself and others. Be fully prepared when going into a cleanse that there will be some challenges but that nothing worth it is ever easy.

Let me know if you have more questions and tell me about cleanses you have tried. Also, I got mine from Down to Earth but they have at Whole Foods and online too. πŸ™‚

xoxoxox