Here's a whiney history about me and food health:
Throughout my youth I was thin, active, energetic, and healthy. I could eat anything I wanted. There were four of us kids,(I was the baby) all involved in different activities during the day, but as soon as Dad came home from work each evening, we'd all gather together for dinner. We sat at the table to a serving of canned fruit, cooked veggies, meat, and starch on each plate. Mom cooked it, Dad served it up, carefully dividing it between 4 kids and 2 adults. We had to eat fast to make sure we didn't miss out on seconds. There was rarely any left over. We didn't often have dessert, but we always celebrated happy events by going out to eat or by having a bowl of ice cream. Looking back, I think that to me, food was comfort; it represented tradition, family gatherings, celebrations, happiness, success...
When I married & moved away, eating out ceased. We didn't have much food, but I gained weight quite well when pregnant with 2 children. I lost much of the weight during a separation and divorce. Once I remarried, eating was good. We ate out often and we ate well. There was frequently an excuse to eat out. We usually had dessert most weekends and sometimes midweek. By 2004 I had grown beyond 200 pounds.
That fall, I had my first attack of diverticulitis(severe pain, intestinal bleeding and blockage). I was hospitalized for a week on antibiotics and clear liquids. A year later, I started to have progressively worsening intestinal infections, repeating monthly rounds of antibiotics. I felt a bit better on clear protein drinks. In spring 2006, because of my illness, I lost a few pounds per month. I was frequently on antibiotics but was feeling exhausted all the time. I opted for the partial colectomy in August 2006, removing 1/3 of my colon, as well as my appendix. They discovered a gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor, which supposedly "increases the risk of forming other cancers of the digestive system".
I was back in the hospital within a month for severe abdominal pains. Back on clear liquids. Back on antibiotics. It seemed that I also had endometriosis and the scar tissue was choking off my intestines, which had caused the perforations and diverticulitis. I began to notice that I felt my best when I just plain didn't eat. 6 months later, still having digestive troubles, I had a total hysterectomy. It helped some. Although I cut out wheat and added pro-biotics, I still had stomach aches/painful digestion daily. The last surgeon said that I should try to put off my next abdominal surgery for as long as possible. "What next surgery?" I thought this was it. I was done, right? He explained, that he had seen my intestines and there will be another surgery.
Due to allergies, I started cutting out foods that seemed to trigger pain and
indigestion. First I cut out all glutens. For years I knew I had a lactose intolerance, but suddenly I couldn't tolerate any dairy. I was told to eat a bland diet of soft foods; white bread, no salads, just overcooked veggies. I was tired, irritable, foggy headed, achy, had poor color, acne, itchy skin, dry brittle hair. I was craving salads! I felt I wasn't getting enough from the nauseating broth or other clear liquids. I was looking for something different. I started making green smoothies. I'd add some greens to my morning protein shake and immediately felt less wiped out.
I was working with a girl(Shannon) who was into some crazy diet. She kept talking about how she was only eating raw food! I didn't think much of it, "Like, where do you get you protein??"
I've noticed that the days after I eat entirely RAW, are the days that I feel best. I have lots of energy and I'm pain free! I began to set daily goals of 100% raw. I hit it most days.
I'm taking in large quantities of fresh greens and I've discovered how raw food makes all the difference. I've had acne since my teen years, but now I can't remember when I last had a bad spot. My hair doesn't need washing nearly as often, but it's shinier and it's not breaking off as much. I used to have trouble sleeping and now I'm not waking with numb limbs and achy joints. My fingernails are not thin and brittle. For the first time in many years, I've got lots of energy, a happy belly and a positive outlook. My food tastes better, I don't eat as much. I'm less hungry. I'm full faster. I take great pleasure in preparing, arranging, tasting, and eating my food.
I'm down from 208 to 168 and this has granted me feelings of self worth and happiness that I remember from my thinner days.
For those who have actually read this far, I'd like to thank you for letting me share myself with you. I came across a video today. I've listened to this song before, but never actually considered the words or visuals that the artist chose. I felt a connection with it: Exposed and alone, yet loved and renewed.