My journey with healthy living is a roller-coaster. Food and it's purpose was always confusing to me. I grew up on things like Dominos pizza, donuts, pasta, queso, Dr. Pepper, low fat/high sugar foods, BUT was also introduced to juicing, eating a raw foods diet, no sugar diet, and fasting. My mother did a wonderful job of dripping 'healthy' on me. She and I shared the same struggles with food and were always reading and learning about how to eat best. I soaked it all in and rode the roller-coaster with her. What was deemed 'healthy' or appropriate to eat by culture and others around me typically made me feel bad, both emotionally and physically. Not all of the time of course, but I have very vivid memories of feasting on certain foods and then feeling terrible. For many years the food I ate fed my emotional needs and was actually something I grew to hate ... it made me struggle with my weight, feel unhealthy, moody, tired, have stomach issues, you name it! I never completely made the connection, but as I look back I can see it crystal clear. There is a direct connection between the foods we eat and the way we think, act, feel and function. I can trace these memories and connect the dots up through my early years as a mom ... to a series of 'AHA!' moments!
My first child was born on October 8, 2005 at 1:19 am. He was 7 weeks early. I was pretty scared, but mostly overjoyed. My life-long dream had come true, and my real God-given job had just begun. Thankfully he was perfect and just needed a little meat on his bones. I was determined to do everything right. I read all the books, listened to my doctor, gave him every recommended shot, followed every medication prescribed to a T and did my very best to feed that little tank. He grew healthy and strong. Despite his good health I do remember a constant runny nose, skin rashes and a little gut-instinct I had concerning things like vaccines, antibiotics, cold remedy medicines, goldfish, and cow's milk. I look back and I am so thankful that my instincts pushed me to begin asking questions, to research more and to find alternatives.
Fast-forward 2 beautiful baby girls and my internal antennae were going crazy. Something wasn't right with what I was doing and I needed to know what to do differently. Runny noses, ear infections, eczema, random hives, crying fits ... not okay for me, and yet it was explained away as normal childhood development, building immunities and oh, did I say normal?!? By the time our third child was 4 months old she had already had an ear infection, croup, eczema that would not clear up and then it hit, the dreaded stomach bug. I will spare you the details, but it was BAD, we all got it and it lasted for almost 2 months. I tried cutting out things in my diet and saw little improvement. Looking back, we were just surviving. I was too weary to know what to do. It breaks my heart to remember those days, but I am thankful for where they led us. It wasn't until our youngest was 18 months old that I heard of going gluten free ... major 'AHA' moment!
I read a series of books that changed my life. I began cooking in a new way and feeding my family differently. Marvelous changes began to occur! Key words to describe the next few years for me: Gluten free, dairy free, Paleo, functional medicine, essential oils, probiotics, gut health, living foods, kale, grain free, LIFE-CHANGING. I began to discover that health begins from the inside out. We did some extensive blood work and testing to know what exactly was going on internally and what foods we were more sensitive to. Turns out dairy, wheat and gluten were huge triggers and we all had really unhealthy guts. As a woman I was already conscious of eating high-protein, low-carb, low-sugar for my own health. I had already implemented many of these changes for myself, but I had not attempted to alter my family's habits. I began to feel convicted and realized that the health of my tribe depended greatly on me. Kids are impressionable, they're sponges and they're a lot smarter than we give them credit for sometimes. Another 'AHA' moment!
I am so thankful for the knowledge I have gained on this journey. I continue to read, learn and sharpen myself for my own health and the benefit of my family. It is not always easy and I do not do it perfectly! I need you as much as you may be needing me. Accountability is a huge key to success. If you are reading this and hear a little of your own story in mine, I would encourage you to let me know! It would be a delight and an honor to walk with you. Being a mom is a huge task, words cannot adequately describe all that we are and do for our loved ones. My most recent 'AHA' moment is one of sharing what I have learned with others. May this website, these resources and my occasional thoughts be a blessing to you!