I'm sure that question could be answered a thousand ways, if not more. And I am not going to claim to have the most correct answer. I'm not a doctor or any type of medical/nutrition professional. I can only speak from my own experience and still then, everything is subjective. Meaning I can only begin to fathom what healthy means to me. And to me it goes a lot further than a physical exam or test results; or whether you're on medication or you're eating enough kale. Those things have weight, no doubt. They matter. But to me whether or not you are holisticaly healthy can't be defined by how you answer a series of multiple choice questions. It has more to do with how you feel. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and maybe even spiritually.
Sure, if you answer a list of questions honestly about your symptoms, your medical history and your families', you may be able to see patterns and draw conclusions about health problems you have or could have down the line. And that usually leads a doctor trying to supply something to make the pain or discomfort go away. Well, that's what they're supposed to do since that's their job right? Yes, but often they aren't going after the root of the problem, just the result of it. And I've reached a point where I'm not looking for the quick-fix or the pill that will make the pain go away. I'm looking for ways I can take my health into my own hands to not only improve my symptoms but also put me on track to a higher quality of life. I believe that I know my body best, what makes it feel good and not so good. And to the notion that I have this one body and this one life, I feel as though I've got to take care of myself and I've got to make my time well spent.
So for now I'll just speak to the steps I'm going to take to find my healthy/happy medium.
Here are a few things I'm starting with:
-Taking time for myself any many days in the week as possible.
-Drinking more water, adding lemon
-Eliminating caffeine (SO hard for coffee drinkers!)
-Eating gluten- and peanut-free
-Keeping exercise in the routine at least a few times a week
-No more processed foods, fructose-corn syrup or sweeteners!
-Adding more and a new variety of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens to daily diet
Next week I'll work on eliminating other common allergen groups (such as dairy, egg and soy).
For each thing I'm taking out, I'm trying to add something else in; so it's not all about restrictions!
It definitely hasn't been easy. There are temptations around me on a daily basis, and there have already been times I've wanted to give up and just go eat a pizza or whatever I could get my hands on in the moments I feel strong cravings. But then I remember why I'm doing this. And I keep in mind that the end result will be so much greater if I make the effort and stick to this. Nobody ever said change was easy!
One positive I've found so far is I'm finding some awesome recipes that I'm learning to cook.
I'm always looking for new ideas, especially ways to make veggies that I can eat that I'll really enjoy too, and I definitely found a winner tonight. Normally whenever my husband and I used to have dinner at home, we'd have some sort of starchy side with our protein and veggie. That usually ranged from some sort of noodles to rolls or garlic bread. Now that I'm avoiding gluten, I've got to get creative to find ways I can make veggies taste so good that my husband will forget that we're missing our bread. And this recipe from thefoodcharlatan.com certainly delivered on all accounts.
I made this roasted sweet potato recipe with dinner tonight and I think I'm obsessed . Seriously, YUM! I didn't have brussels sprouts on hand or I would have added, but look forward to trying with the sweet potatoes next time!
Small wins like these are what will keep me going, especially as things will be getting more and more challenging. If I stay positive I've got a good chance of making my way through this lifestyle change. Just another part of the journey in an effort to be happy and healthy, by my own means at least! ;-)