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Trusting Your Instincts: Believing In Healing Yourself

What a great week it turned out to be last week! I made some huge headway towards where I want my career to go, finally got back in the kitchen, and am beginning to feel more centered since having my epiphany last week.  It's rewarding to know that I've come so far in the last year.

Some yummy meals I made this past week :-)

This month marks 1 year and 2 months since my wheat allergy diagnosis. I've never felt more grateful in my life for where I am health wise. Today I want to share with you my journey.

As a young child (about 5 or 6) I began experiencing major headaches, always had an eczema rash, and had been dairy free since being diagnosed as a baby. I remember complaining to my teachers about headaches and they thought I was just shy and not wanting to participate. In truth I was really suffering. My parents began taking me to various doctors; the pediatrician, eye doctor, chiropractors, but no one could diagnose what was going on with me. They made some guesses but nothing really helped. Then Dr. Penny was recommended to my mother by a friend who's daughter was experiencing similar symptoms.

Dr. Penny diagnosed me with a plethora of food sensitivities including tomatoes, poultry, shell fish, dairy, wheat, most citrus (except lemons and limes), sugar (yes, even as a kid I knew sugar didn't sit right with me), and chocolate. I came home with a pretty extensive list of do not eat foods that day. My mom made copies for me to bring to school and friends' houses. Since I was so young I adjusted quickly. My mom dove head first into the kitchen to learn how to make me party substitutes. Food allergies were not so popular back then so did I get some weird stares? Yes. But I didn't really notice it till about 5th grade. That's when kids started to get mean. While I did give my parents some resistance about my diet at this point, I never really strayed because I knew I would I feel sick. Not till High School did things drastically change.

I went to see a nutritionist who worked with patients with food allergies my sophomore year of high school. She wrote me out menus that included every food I had been previously diagnosed with as being allergic too. She also included a lot of processed foods (chips, breads, cheeses, even ice cream). I remember being hesitant when I first looked at it so I questioned her. Her reply?  If you're ever going to get over these food allergies you need to start slowly putting these foods into your diet. Just follow the menus. Since I was still young and my parents had brought me to her I didn't think anything of it.

It was at this point processed food and gluten entered my diet for the first time. I'm not going to lie, it felt nice to try all these foods the "normal" kids ate and not have to worry about what I was going to eat. What I didn't realize was the effect these foods were having on my body. My symptoms returned but everyone chalked it up to puberty. I would get severe migraines 3-4 times a month, my periods were excruciatingly painful, I felt bloated, and I would get violently ill at least once a school year and miss an entire week of school. This cycle continued through college and my early twenties.

There were pockets of time when I felt really good. Looking back these "feeling great moments" occurred when I was eating vegetarian or "dieting" to get myself back into shape. What is really astounding about these pockets of clarity is that during these periods of time I actually went back to eating like I did as the kid with a lot of food allergies. I ate mostly vegetables, lean proteins, and eliminated flour products from my diet. Each time my body thanked me by feeling great. It would last for a little while and then a crazy rehearsal schedule, living with roommates who enjoyed cooking, or life in general would scoop me up and put me back on the wheel of processed junk.

The year I started dating my fiance was a rough year. I was constantly sick. At one point I was on antibiotics for a month, being sent for blood tests, thyroid scans, and thyroid sonograms because the doctor knew something was wrong but wasn't sure what. In the end he chalked it up to a severe case of bronchitis brought on by seasonal allergies. His "cure" was to take Zyrtec every day. Unfortunately, my "seasonal allergies" never went away.

This went on for about 2 1/2 years. During my last year of graduate studies I noticed I was putting on weight out of nowhere, was chronically fatigued, my period was not behaving at all, and migraines began to return. Then I got what I thought was a stomach bug; I lost my taste for coffee and never looked back. That was my first sign that my diet was making me sick. I began looking up super foods, green drinks, supplements, and reading up on general health. Nothing I was trying was working. I decided it was time to go back to my roots and call Dr. Penny. I am so glad I did; if I didn't I'm sure I would still be on a crazy roller coaster ride and feeling awful.

So that's how I got myself to where I am today. If I could go back in time and change one thing, I would tell that nutritionist that she was full of crap and would have never introduced those foods into my diet. Would I be where I am today if that happened? Maybe not. I'll never know. But the universe had a journey in mind for me and I'm grateful I can share it with you.

The biggest lesson I've learned on this journey is to trust your inner voice and never give up on yourself. There is a reason I had to go on this journey. Trust and believe that no matter where you are, you are destined for greatness and don't give up till you find it. Listen to that inner voice and it will lead you down the right path.

For the first time in my life I'm beginning to feel healthy. I've gotten to the point where I feel so good that I don't see the point of looking back or not eating this way. I encounter some resistance everyday from people who don't understand or think its OK to "cheat" but I know otherwise. I never want to go back to being sick all the time with no explanation. My hope is that the general population will understand that food allergies, sensitivities, and celiac disease are real diseases with really severe consequences physically and mentally if the person is exposed.

To finish, remember to always trust yourself and listen to what your body is telling you. Don't let peer pressure, fear or worry get in the way of being your best self. Surround yourself with love and allow yourself to celebrate who you are.

Cheers to a great week and celebrating myself!


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