I have designed this blog to be a place of inspiration and hope. I want it to feel like you just sat down on the couch, in front of a fire, with your favorite drink, surrounded by a bunch of friends who want to help you through whatever you are going through.
With that as my goal, I write quite a bit about how to keep your spirit thriving, but if we were really having a conversation by the fire, I think you’d probably start asking for some advice on the other stuff.
For example, what types of things have I done to heal my body in physical, practical avenues (A + B + C = better body). I want to put a GIANT disclaimer out there that I am NOT a doctor, and the advice I give should always be discussed with your doctor before you try it out for yourself. Also, things that have worked for me, may not work for you, and things that may work for you, won’t work for me.
We are all different, but I think it’s unfair to keep back all the things that have brought me to this place where I have my illness and my anxiety under control.
Obviously, the spiritual and emotional side of disease is monumental. As I’ve discussed, you can’t get better until you get that right, but sure, there are absolutely things I have done to help heal my body in other ways.
The worst thing I did during the healing process was try a new supplement, tea, what have you, and wait. I would literally take it and wait for the pain to go away.
Friends, true, longstanding healing usually doesn’t happen that quickly. Healing for my particular disease takes a very very, VERY long time. It takes patience and persistence (see my post “The Importance of Persistence”).
So, just because you ate that green smoothie and your pain is still there, doesn’t mean the smoothie isn’t working…you follow? Ok good.
I have approached therapy using both modern medicine as well as natural/homeopathic treatments. This is a rather controversial topic, and for fear of losing support, I often shy away from it. Some of you think medicine is hurting your body and that the medical community’s only motivation is financial and they are profiting on sick America. Others think that ignoring tradtional medicine is ignorant. I’m not telling you what you need to do. I’m just telling you what I have done. If you want to do it too, awesome. If not, no sweat.
I don’t want to be on medication forever, as the medication I am on can cause liver problems, loss of hair, and it is a blood thinner. The blood bank just called and they are low on my blood type, but I can’t donate, because of my medication. That’s just not cool.
Most medications do have a side effect, which is why I wanted to approach it like this: I will use this med as a band-aid, while I figure out how to keep the wound from forming again. As much as I would like to throw the pills away, I also trust science. I trust the researchers who are actually out there trying to find a solution to the pain of IC, and I want them to know I appreciate what they are doing.
I’m fairly sure the medication I am on has helped me immensely, so although I do push natural healing through diet, meditation, and other modalities (as these have also helped immensely and probably to greater extents than the medication alone), it’s my own prerogative that to completely shun the medical community is not wise and quite frankly, unfair.
I also wanted to add, that functional medicine follows science as well, and from what I have experienced, even more so than “traditional medicine”. But that is a whole other article, that I may or may not post one day.
I think there is a war going on out there between modern and natural medicine and it should be a merger.
Again, my own opinion.
Our bodies are much more complex than we pretend. I love exploring new ideas and new diets, but can I just say something here? If you’re stressed out because the newest diet conflicts with the one you read about two weeks ago, ummm… same. Here’s the thing. I don’t think it’s as simple as: “cut this one food and you’re better”. Maybe. That would be awesome. I hope that happens for you. Try it.
I just have the humble opinion that there is much more involved. Predispositions, chemical variations, structural differences, etc. The whole, “do this and not that and all will be well” mentality doesn’t jive with this lady.
So if you’re stressed out because you’re trying this new “magic” diet to solve all your ailments and it isn’t working, maybe it’s just part of the puzzle for you. Maybe you’re Vitamin D deficient too? Maybe you’re like me and deficient in a bunch of things. Maybe you need some exercise. Yoga? I don’t know. Just don’t get defeated because whatever you are trying works for others, but not for you. That’s how it goes my friends. You’ll find your yellow brick road though. I promise.
If you’re open to trying out a new diet (which seriously, what can it hurt?), a great place to start is with a diet that I favor as it is tailor made to figure out your individual food intolerances. It forces you to do a liquid cleanse (just two days – I survived) and following this diet helped me learn that I have to limit dairy and gluten. I know, I know. I sound like the hipster on her soapbox, but hear me out.
Since I have cut the two, I still cheat and have them now and then. Now that my body knows better, when I have them, my stomach turns into a churning abyss of methane. Things get gross and it’s immediate. I kind of think that’s all you need to know.
Food has the potential to heal or to hurt.
Every single piece of food you put into your mouth is either medicine or it’s poison.
I like to think of the old Nintendo game, Rampage, when I consider this medicine vs. poison concept. If any of you ever played this game, after you blew on the cartridge about twenty times to get it to work, you probably remember that your Godzilla or giant lizard, Lizzie, would climb and destroy buildings, taking down cities, countries, and eventually, the WORLD!
As they climbed, they could punch into the buildings and find treats. Some of the treats, like chicken, would add to their health (I think?) but there were some, poisons like cleaners, toilets, etc., that when eaten they would immediately spit out. So is your food medicine or poison?
When I started viewing food as medicine, it finally dawned on me that it wasn’t so much about what I was keeping out of my body (although that IS definitely important) as much as what I was putting into it.
Another disclaimer: IF you see me eating a donut from time to time, it’s because I have also realized that sometimes a cheat is in order. I stay as strict as possible, but when my spirit starts to take a toll because I am so focused on the “no’s”, sometimes I need a donut. I’m not advocating for eating away your struggles, but I also realize that we have one life, and it’s just not realistic for me, at least, to avoid the treats at all times. Sometimes life hands you a donut, and you eat it, and you don’t give a f*** (flip, of course)
If you’re interested in trying this out for yourself, head on over to Amazon and grab “The Elimination Diet” by Tom Malterre and Alissa Segersten. You should know that I have absolutely no affiliation with the authors. I don’t get a cent for posting about this.
Also, remember that I believe there are other diets that will work, and I have SEEN them work for others. I strongly support eating paleo and cutting grains, dairy, processed sugar, etc. while adding as many greens, veggies, and REAL FOODS as possible, and there are many other diets that teach this.
I share because I learned an insane amount of information about which foods were good for me, and which things I needed to cut, as well as how to ferment vegetables, grow sprouts, and get my obnoxious hipster self all over the kitchen.
Additionally, this book was recommended by my doctor who has helped me go from 70% relief of symptoms to 95%. I trust his advice, and I think you should too. If you want to try something else, go for it! Just start learning about what works for your own body and what doesn’t.
But don’t let your head stay in the problem solving mode for too long. It gets exhausting. As you feed your mouth better, remember to feed your soul the way I have discussed on this blog. If you forget to do that, all the rest of this is for naught.
I plan on throwing in practical tips like this from time to time. What do you think? If that’s something you’re good with, could you let me know in the comments? I’m taking a bit of a venture from the typical post, so it would be fan-tidally-astic if you would let me know if you dig or not.
Oh, and if you enjoyed reading, please be sure to subscribe to this blog. Just hit that subscribe button! It’s easier than pulling up your pants. Plus, you’ll get a free ebook if you do, and you’ll be kept up to date on every new post I put out there. Then, do me another favor and share, share, share!!
You’re awesome. Thanks for being here!