I’ve lost track of how many weeks it has been since we changed our diet. At least four. Maybe even five or six? However long it’s been, I’m feeling great!
My general sense of well being and contentedness has greatly improved. I feel happier. It’s not that I was unhappy before. I mean, I have a pretty great life with my family, and I am doing just what I always wanted to do: spending my days with my kids, making a home for our family. And yet, I have lived a lot of my days feeling rather bland. I have been used to feeling tired most my life. I have long had many symptoms of hypothyroidism, but when I had tests run several years back, they came back “on the low side of normal,” and I just didn’t pursue it further. So, I have been living tired for a lot of years. Tired is pretty normal for a lot of us in this day and age, yet I don’t feel I have an excuse for my perpetual lack of energy. I am not running here and there and everywhere. I don’t have any huge commitments outside the home. I’m not staying up too late. Yeah, I’m a mom, and that’s a pretty demanding job, and some days I will be tired – exhausted, discouraged – but I think my low energy goes beyond what’s to be expected for someone in their mid-thirties. And now, I am starting to feel better. I just feel better. It’s like I’m barefoot in the grass instead of trudging through mud in heavy boots.
I’ve never struggled with depression. Sure, I’ll have an occasional day where everything just seems wrong, and on those rare days, I thank God that it is only a day and not a life. I guess I would say though, that for several years I have lived with a degree of apathy. I have so many interests and so many ideals, and I try to live those out, but I realize that I often live half heartedly – like I just can’t get excited, like I’ve lost my passion. Yes, I have felt this way for a long time, but I suddenly feel as though I am coming free of it! And I feel clearer too. I am really excited to see how my life changes as we continue down this road.
I was always an avid reader as a kid, I even have a degree in literature, but in recent years, it has been a struggle to read. Night is really the only time, but by the time the kids are in bed, I’ve always been too tired, unable to concentrate, or just not interested. Now I am reading in the evenings! I am so very happy about this, and I look forward to working my way through a tall stack of books in 2013!
I realized the negative effect sugar has on me quite a long time ago. It makes me irritable. It gives me cravings. When I have a lot, like during the holidays, I feel pretty crummy, emotionally more than physically. It is nasty stuff. And honestly – totally honest – now that I am off of it again since the new year, I have absolutely no interest. None. I don’t crave anything, sugary or otherwise. That’s not to say that I will never again be tempted by a gourmet dessert, but seriously, I could care less right now. I am more than satisfied by the sweetness of honey and fruit. And that right there makes me happy. It is such a pleasure to find pleasure in that which is wholesome and nourishing. We have never done a lot of sugar in our house, even before our Weston A. Price days, but I think being off of grains in addition to the sugar, has contributed significantly to me feeling satisfied by my food and not craving or being tempted by things I know are not good for me.
For year, I have been a big believer in the life transforming power of real food – food made by God, not a factory. When we began eating a traditional diet, I felt the effects in my body. My body runs much more efficiently now, and boy, can I tell when I have had refined flour and sugar – or even whole grains that haven’t been properly prepared by soaking or sprouting. My body is sensitive. Eating whole foods has certainly been a huge help to me, but I am finding that, for me, there are still some missing pieces, and I am hoping that the GAPS diet will help them fall into place. While Jonas is the reason we are starting this journey, I realized as I read Doctor Campbell-McBride’s book, that many of the things she addressed pertained not just to Jonas, but to me as well. GAPS is a family issue. Years ago, my midwife described how a baby’s gut is colonized as it passes through the birth canal. It receives the mother’s bacteria, for better or for worse. I found that fascinating, and I thought at the time, I am a healthy eater, therefore my gut is healthy and I am passing on health to my baby. I come to find now, after learning much more, that despite my diet, this was probably not the case, and that I inherited less than healthy gut flora from my own mother. Interestingly, my sister has had many food sensitivities, low thyroid, and adrenal problems for years. But perhaps I should save the family history and further explanation about GAPS as it relates to mothers and children for another post. This could get long! I will say though, that when I told my sister about the diet, she started doing some research and jumped right in! She is already seeing a lot of improvement in her health.
I look around me. I look at all the people struggling with various health issues as they consume their Standard American Diet, and I think, “if only people would come to believe the incredible connection between what we eat and the health of our bodies.” It is real. People understand that it is better for them to eat a serving of meat and vegetables (well, some would argue the meat) than it is to eat McDonald’s but I don’t think most people understand exactly what that means and how important it is. I don’t say this to be critical of anyone else’s eating choices. I just believe, without hesitation, that this is true. I have been on a food journey for several years. I have learned so much, and there is still so much more for me to know. It is important to me, and when I see others with ailments that I believe can be helped with a change of diet, I wish for them to see what I know to be true so that they can find better health, a better life, for themselves.
“Let food by thy medicine.” ~ Hippocrates