Sunday, February 10, 2013

What Drives You to Be Healthy?

What drives you to be healthy?  And, I don't mean in a "I want to look good in a bathing suit" way.
I mean what kind of health challenges do you have going on with your body that drive you to make eating, sleeping, and exercising a priority in your life? Or DO they? If you have diabetes, cancer, thyroid disorders, intestinal issues, etc, then you should ABSOLUTELY be making necessary diet changes to keep those disorders in check.

Let me give you a glimpse into my battle for the last few months...

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in 2002. Hashimoto's is a type of autoimmune thyroid disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. It joins the ranks with other autoimmune disorders including: type 1 diabetes mellitus, lupus, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. So, more or less, it is much more of a serious condition than you may realize. You are automatically at a higher risk to end up with another autoimmune disease, especially if you do not treat your body properly after getting diagnosed.
(If you are reading this and have Hashimoto's, please leave me a note, I would love to discuss this further with you!)

This means my body will also reject certain foods. I have had trouble with gluten for a few years, but still ate it more often than I should have. I felt tired, bloated, generally bad all over after I ate it. Until two months ago, I actually forgot I had a thyroid disorder and that my body was different than others. I had a rude awakening in the form of several severe food intolerance reactions (different than a food allergy). I couldn't identify the trigger(s), so every week would try to eat less of what I thought could be the problem, and every week I still had a reaction. Finally, three weeks ago I cut out all dairy, gluten, grains, corn and chocolate and have been doing fairly well. I didn't say great, because there is definitely something wrong with my gut, but I think I am much closer to figuring it out and healing it than I was three weeks ago. 

I wanted to tell my story because I realized how few people use good nutrition as their medicine. Do you have a health problem that could be greatly helped by eating well? It is not always that I WANT to eat well, but more because my body tells me that I HAVE to eat well. 

Do you listen to your body? Or do you ignore the symptoms and warnings and just give into the processed garbage because it tastes good and it is easier? (Been there, done that). And how long can you keep that up before something worse happens? Did you know that you can heal many disorders just with a healthy diet? 

PLEASE take time to listen to your body. Keep a record of how you feel after you eat and then try to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet, instead of white, processed carbs and grains. If you eat the way the Food Plate (Pyramid) tells you to, then you will keep a steady diet of inflammation and make all your problems worse, though that is conversation for a different day. Research your specific problem and see what else is out there. 

In order to keep your body running properly, you will have to give up eating certain foods. It doesn't sound fun, believe me, but I am more driven now than ever to keeping myself on the Paleo Diet of meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, healthy fats, and bacon (but who cares, it's bacon :) because that is what makes my body run the best and doesn't cause food intolerance reactions.

Will you take your health more seriously and give more thought to what drives you to be healthy? Please feel free to share with me what health struggles you have and how you have noticed food making a difference in your life. I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading and 'til next time...

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