Guys. I have been kinda stressing over what my first few blog posts should be like. This is the beginning of the beginning and I feel this pressure to give the best content for my clients and readers as a resource but also be true to who I am, which is kind of a story teller... I keep going back and forth between just all fact and science-based blog posts, which totally have their place, and just writing in a conversational style to my friends, which is what I want all of you to be. Its such a strange thing to write about yourself... to everyone, and no one at the same time.
So I figured I would tell you more about our family's story. You can find a little background in the ABOUT section of my website, but it doesn't really give a lot of context as to how did our body's detox and how many temper tantrums my kids had daily (or minute by minute, if I'm being honest!). Haha! Since so many of us are on a constant search for community and people who are just like us, I want to assure you that I am just like you... even though I am a nutritionist. And my kids are normal kids, even though they don't eat sugar and I make their lunch everyday. It doesn't mean they skip to school and whistle whilst eating their bunless hot dogs and blanched broccoli. No sir, I can assure you they do none of those things...
But, I digress.
Let's start from the beginning. Way back sometime in 2010...
After receiving the news that my son had asthma and deciding to do an elimination diet, I got to work. I scoured the internet for paleo recipes and cookbooks. I purchased my first Paleo cookbook, Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, and read it cover to cover. I discovered Whole30 and got motivated to cut out sugar and snacks. I cleaned out my pantry and threw out all my refined flours and sugars and pre-packaged foods. I geared up for the long haul and battened down the hatches. My kitchen and recipe arsinal were prepared for this new season of life eating mostly meals made from scratch and preparing everything at home.
During our first Whole30, the first couple of days (I think it was a total of 5 days for me personally) were pretty rough. Our bodies were going through a major detoxification. I personally felt like I was coming off of heroin. You see, I am a sugar addict, and I previously consumed a pretty large amount of sugar everyday. From 2 tablespoons of white sugar in my morning coffee, to the cookies or pastries I "baked for the kids", to my daily "afternoon pick me up" of a Chai Latte that contained hydrogenated oils and 22 grams of sugar per serving (almost the entire serving for a whole day) amongst other terrible ingredients... and my bowl of ice cream or cereal after dinner. I was hooked, and getting all that sugar out of my body was not pretty. I suffered from a migraine that lasted 5 days, and was so severe at times that I vomited. I couldn't sleep because my joints and muscles ached so bad and I had night sweats. I was so tired during the day from not sleeping, but my mind was racing and I couldn't calm down enough to take a nap. It was awful. Sounds good, huh? So... who's on board?! haha!!!! Don't worry, I felt better shortly after this.
Then, after day 5, it was like the heavens had parted and shone a light down on me, I felt amazing. I felt like I had never felt in my life. A natural energy that sustained me throughout the day, enough to take care of my 4 and 2 year old at the time. I no longer needed the sugar and caffeine to keep me going. I was sleeping so soundly that I was waking up in the same position that I fell asleep in. I realized the vicious grip sugar had on me and I never wanted to go back!
As for my kids, I don't recall them going through any major detoxification symptoms anything near my own... but they were not happy about not having Macaroni and Cheese (at least it was Annie's Homegrown!) or Chicken Dino's anymore!! There were tears, temper tantrums, and refusals to eat. But I persevered. I didn't want my child to suffer from asthma attacks the rest of his life, to have moments when he was filled with fear and couldn't breath, to experience whatever side-effects the steroids had to offer... I wanted more for him. I wanted a life free from health issues for both my kids. But I have to be honest, 6 years later and they still give me grief about the food we eat... My convictions for their health have kept me steadfast to the choices we make for the foods we eat.
After a few months of our new "lifestyle", I started to notice less coughing fits for my son, less colds, and better health overall. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't miraculously healed right away. Our journey has been long and difficult at times. There have been seasons where we take two steps forward and seasons where we take 5 steps back... But the more I learn about how food affects us on a cellular level, the deeper we go with our healing.
Currently my son is no longer on any steriod inhalers or allergy medication. He occasionally (every two months or so) has an irritating cough after running around in grass or a particularly windy day that he says feels like a tickle in his throat, but we manage it with sea salt and water (a tip I learned after reading the book Your Body's Many Cries for Water by Dr. Batmanghelidj). We started the GAPS protocol in August of 2015 and have been working toward total gut healing and restoration of proper bowel flora.
At this current time in life, we are not all in perfect health. But we are working on undoing the years of destruction we did to our bodies eating a SAD diet (Standard American Diet) for so long. There is a lot of dysfunction to correct and it is part of our healing journey. We are committed to healing and I look forward the process!