Health and Healing
"Health is not about the weight you lose, but about the life you gain."
—Doctor Josh Axe
Time heals all wounds... in a sense.
When I first told you about the cleanse I was doing back in May (you can click here if you missed it) I do not really know what I expected, but for some reason I thought I would just update you all after a couple of months when I was perfectly cured of all that ails me. I have received several messages lately from women who are reaching out about similar symptoms and wanted to know if the cleanse helped, and how I am feeling now.
Honestly, I am still figuring it out. As much as I would have loved the idea of a "quick fix" I had to constantly tell myself that 31 years of antibiotics, nsaids, sugar, junk food and my past love of gluten and frozen custard can take a toll. I realize this is not the case for everyone as every "body" is different, so I appreciate your patience and understanding.
Nearly 5 months out from cutting out coffee, sugar, processed foods, soy and dairy, I feel like one of the most frustrating things is going to family events and hearing things like, "Are you still not eating regular food?" The thing is, this cleanse is not just an "I'm going to clean out my system" cleanse and then continue to eat all the foods I want. This was a cleanse that heals the gut and allows you to truly find those trigger foods that do not agree with your body and that may mean that I never eat "regular" food again. As of right now, I do not think I will ever willingly put gluten, processed sugar or other processed foods back in my diet. Dairy is still an iffy one for me, and I have noticed I still have to put a limit on how much fruit I eat because I can tell in my joints if I have had too much natural sugars. Side note: the moment I introduced berries back into my system they tasted like powder sugar to me and I was not able to even eat the full handful I had washed. You have no idea just how much sugar you are putting in your body until you have taken it completely out.
This is not a punishment and I am not trying to prove anything or be better than anyone, I am just very aware of what my body can handle and after how bad I felt, I know that I only want to feel the best I can when I am able to control those factors. I honestly do not feel as though I am missing out on anything.
So, let me just update you with the improvements I have made so far, and what I am still working on. *** WARNING. If there are any males reading who do not like to read about women's hormonal and monthly cycle issues, you are welcome to excuse yourself now. ;)
I ended up doing the full cleanse (no fruits, coffee, processed anything, sweet potatoes, grains, soy, dairy) for a full 60 days. After that, I have been instructed to slowly add in foods one at a time so I can monitor how my body reacts. If I notice any symptoms flaring, I know to remove those items from my diet. The 60 day cleanse seemed arduous at times and I wanted to quit almost every other week. My sweet coach was always such a great encourager and always provided me with a strong voice of reason when I wanted to throw in the towel. I will say that some days I felt really bad, some days I felt great. It was a bit of a roller coaster, which made it hard to understand, I wanted to feel better and better with each passing day. However, every time I got over my "Im so over this" hump, I was SO glad I stuck with it!
I also believe a ton of healing has taken place even after the cleanse as well.
So what differences have I noticed?
*I do not have joint pain or muscle pain anymore.
*I have not had any IBS flare-ups that have caused me any pain or discomfort.
*I have the best natural energy I have ever had in my life, no more afternoon crash or dependence on a caffeine pick-me up.
*My heartburn is gone.
*I have not had any depression, less anxiety and my insecurities which seemed crippling at times have faded into the background.
*I was told my allergies would improve greatly (mine are always terrible in the fall with ragweed) I really had a hard time believing this to be true. Ragweed has been High for the past month and I have not taken any allergy medicine. If I start to notice itchy eyes, I make sure I get in all my probiotics for a boost and maybe a teaspoon of local honey and I am good to go. This to me is key evidence that when you have a healthy gut, your body is able to fend off invaders and actually work the way it was meant to work.
*That re-occurring bacteria that I struggled with for over a year every other month and was told I needed to take a prescription antibiotic twice a week as a preventative, well, I never picked up that prescription and have not had a single problem! That in itself was worth it all to me!
When I was discussing things with my health coach at the end of the cleanse, I had mentioned how I had almost hoped that it would fix my monthly cycles (my cycle has ALWAYS been super heavy, but in the last 2 years it went from a normal 28 day cycle to anywhere between 40-49 day cycle) but if this was the only thing that hung around, I was fine with it! But this lead to her asking me more health questions and feeling confident that I had some things going on with my Thyroid.
It was not the first time she had mentioned it, and honestly I exhibited nearly every single symptom of hypothyroidism other that weight gain.
So right now I am in the middle of taking thyroid supplements, and while I am not perfectly healed yet, I can notice even more healing while on the thyroid supplements. It is a funny place to be, because when I am feeling so well I feel like I could eat anything and it would be perfectly fine, almost as if I can not even remember the long laundry list of symptoms I experienced.
I understand this regimen is not for everyone, but if I could give a piece of advice, it would be to take baby steps in the right direction toward discovering a healthier you. Investing in your health is something you will not regret especially when you are focused on long term health.
Furthermore, not going to a doctor to just take medication to cover up root causes of pain and discomfort for an unknown amount of time, but choosing to invest in natural supplements that would get to the root cause of my health was the best health choice I could have made for myself not only momentarily, but for the years to come.
*A special thanks to my cousin Sydney for investing her time in me and being passionate about helping others work toward feeling healthy again.
I appreciate those who have reached out to me in regards to your health and encourage you to find a health coach or a Naturopath who can help you navigate the root causes of your pains and discomforts. The amount of hormone and health issues that so many women experience, most of which start in the gut, is at an all time high. Recently I was at a gathering with some of my close girlfriends, one of which is a family practitioner and she had mentioned that if people would clean up their diets and pay attention to the foods they ate, there would really be a shift in healthcare.
If you do some research, you will come up with testimony after testimony on how women are putting thyroid disease, PCOS and other hormonal issues in remission due to proper diet and training. It is incredibly encouraging!
There is so much to be said about the way God designed our bodies and the way food has changed over the course of time. Don't obsess, but I encourage you to eat real food (veggies, veggies, veggies!) and do not miss out on the opportunities before you to feel the best version of yourself for you and the ones who love you.
Have a wonderful week friends!