Over the past year I have contemplated a lot of alternative eating habits. I went gluten free for 4 months solid, cutting out all gluten. I come from an area in New York where pasta and bread are life as we know it. Needless to say it was a big challenge. The first two days were horrible. I went through “simple-carb with drawls” as some might call it. After about 3 weeks I stopped craving simple carbs all together (ex: pasta, bread, noodles, crackers, brownies, muffins, etc.) I even had to cut out things such as salad dressing or any other products that gluten was hidden in. I stopped feeling sluggish, yawning constantly and stuffing my face with non-healthy food sources to feed my fleshly cravings. My body started getting much needed nutrients. Instead of me giving it fillers containing toxic gluten I was eating REAL food that was packed with vitamins. In addition to going gluten free, I was taking spicy yoga at The Wild Lotus Yoga Studio” in uptown New Orleans. In those 4 months I lost 13 pounds! After the initial 4 months I made the decision that I would allow gluten in moderation into my diet. There are some things that I do like to enjoy on occasion such as birthday cake and holiday cookies. I believe everything in moderation.
2013 had more adventures of alternative eating habits in store for me. In October I began to have a lot of what I thought was urinary tract infections. I went to my gynecologist and explained a few different symptoms I was having. On a daily basis I felt everything from UTI symptoms to heavy feeling in my lower region to lower back pain and migraines. Turns out at the age of 24 they suggested I have interstitial cystitis. Interstitial cystitis is a chronic bladder infection. There is no cure for this condition. The Doctor also believed me to have endometriosis.
BAM! There you have it.
7 years earlier I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). At this time I felt an emotional overload, all I could think was “I am too young for all this sickness inside my body”.
I decided it was time to look up natural remedies. My Doctor along with many other websites suggested cutting out a lot of acidic food & beverages from my diet. I decided to give it a shot. First was caffeine and alcohol. Let me tell you, it made a world of difference. I no longer have the crash and burn from caffeine high. All of my lower back pain disappeared. Giving up caffeine in itself proved to me that I did not need caffeine to start my day. After 7 years of being addicted to caffeine I felt free! I read up on a lot about alcohol. I do enjoy some wine here and there. My personal experience was that red wine although delicious was far too acidic for me. I switched to white on occasions such as birthday soirée’s and holidays. Over all I started to drink a lot more water, herbal tea with local honey from the farmers market and incorporate daily walks with my Labrador Border Collie mix “Chef”. God knows he needed it as well! It was also suggested in the IC Diet that you do not eat anything processed or with preservatives and dyes. Once I cut out most of these things my Interstitial cystitis and Endometriosis no longer affected my body on a daily basis. My body felt like it was mine again. I felt like I was in control of my own health not subjected to my Doctors horrific diagnosis never to feel healthy again.
In my journey of using natural remedies and cutting out gluten, processed food, preservative’s and dye’s I realized that my lifestyle changed for the better. I began to wonder what it was exactly that I was putting in my body that made it so ill that I felt constant discomfort and pain on a daily basis. It occurred to me that I was in fact putting FDA approved poison into my body disguised as food. I felt betrayed. I knew that I needed to continue to put a stop to this in my own life and hopefully influence others to see the truth as well. I began to shop for fruits, veggies and honey at the local farmers market. I bought as little produce as I could at my local grocery stores. Not only do I support locals in their hard work but I knew that what I was eating was the real deal. I could taste and feel the difference. Not to mention it all lasted twice as long as anything in a Winn-Dixie or Rousse’s.
Over the course of my research I heard more and more about how our food is poison in pretty packaging. Once it was revealed to me that our chicken has arsenic in it I knew enough was enough. It was time to cut out more poison. Living in New Orleans we are surrounded by water my boyfriend and his family frequently go fishing and crabbing and we end up cooking quite a bit of seafood. It was recently that I decided to move toward the pescatarian lifestyle.
noun \ˌpe-skə-ˈter-ē-ən\: one whose diet includes fish but no other meat.
Origin of PESCATARIAN: probably from Italian pesce fish (from Latin piscis) + English vegetarian First Known Use: 1993 (cited http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pescatarian)
At first I was afraid of the commitment. What if I can’t do it cold “fish”? What if people think I am a fake pescatarian?! I knew no matter what I needed to start somewhere. I have always admired my friend Willy B Mum for her healthy lifestyle and mindset. She is a vegetarian and has raised her son Miles Storm to be the same. I know I am not ready for such a big step to go straight vegetarian but I have decided to commit to meatless Monday’s. It will be our holiday to celebrate a healthy and happy lifestyle. Everyone has to start somewhere. I decided to start with Mondays.