Do you ever get that feeling that life is just a great big experiment – trial and error? I always appreciated that very wise and concise saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” This sums up a very recent revelation in my life.
You may have noticed that my blog has been collecting dust for the last several months. I’ll be honest – I was exhausted, physically, mentally, emotionally, and creatively. You’re probably thinking “Lauren, you’re a new mom, we knew it would catch up with you eventually.” Only that’s not what happened. A couple months ago, I was struggling with repeated sinus infections, dry skin/psoriasis, fatigue, and headaches. Then things began to escalate. I had my first yeast infection. My libido hit rock bottom. My joints became inflamed and were painful. I felt dehydrated even when I drank copious amounts of water. I began to feel depressed. My body was in mutiny, and I was frightened. In our response to things we don’t understand, my generation turns to Google. All my online research led to “what ifs” like allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and various syndromes and diseases. I was sick, unhappy and desperate. I mentioned needing to see a doctor to my mom, and it was at this pivotal moment she shared some advice. She explained that she has been on the Candida Diet for a few months and told me a little about why she thought it might work for me. Then, she said the magic words, “I’ve never felt better in my life.” After a whole lot of research and a trip to Trader Joes to kick-start my experiment (paying attention to every label, every ingredient), I was on my way to intentional eating.
Even though I chose the less vigorous diet (I really am a wimp and have little willpower), I felt results within days. This inspired me to keep trying. I paid attention to what I ate and how my body felt – cause and effect. The headaches and fogginess were the first to resolve – simply by removing gluten, sugar and dairy. Then I stopped eating eggs and nuts, but still had joint pain. I realized that I had started taking apple cider vinegar every day prior to when my joint pain started, so I cut it out. Within a week the pain and inflammation was almost completely gone. In my excitement to feel better, my undisciplined self would splurge on non-diet things, like caffeinated coffee with cream, a bag of ordinary pretzels, a sugary dessert, or cheese. Often I could feel the repercussions of these indulgences within an hour. So my knowledge makes me accountable. I know that I get out what I put in, and that my body functions best when I’m gluten-free, dairy-free, low-acid and low sugar.
I’ll admit that I am my own worst enemy. Even as I type this, I can feel pressure in my sinus cavities, probably something to do with the empty mug that used to contain coffee and cow’s cream. (This is my biggest weakness!) But even with my indulgences, I never want to go back to how I felt a couple months ago. So maybe, like me, you got past your eye-rolling and the “I can’t believe you bought into a fad” brush-offs to see that I’m not writing this to convert you or be trendy – I took part in a personal experiment, and got my life back. What is more futile than an artist who doesn’t create, or a Christian who can’t feel joy? If you have been struggling with recurrent physical ailments, maybe it’s time to pound your fist into the ground and shout “Enough!” and start living better. After all, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different result.”
~Happy Experimenting, Lauren
Want to do some research? Here’s a couple links worth checking out!
Candida – http://thecandidadiet.com/about-candida.htm
Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance – http://www.webmd.com/allergies/foods-allergy-intolerance
Food Intolerance – http://www.foodintol.com/