“Food was my drug, and my body was addicted to it.” — Kat Frati
Well, my husband and I are far enough along in age now to have to start working on preserving our health. He has high cholesterol and I have high blood pressure. We both have different kinds of digestive problems, and have bodies that often ache beyond the normal day’s fatigue.
My personal journey with my health has been ongoing, spurred on by the fact that I am a curious girl who likes to keep herself way too busy during the day. Many times I have to learn the hard way to slow down, and my body is never shy about telling me to take it easy.
My journey with detoxing started in 2001, right after the birth of my fourth child. During my pregnancy, my legs swelled after drinking a glass of beer. (I was in my final month and at a music show with friends–it was one of the few times I had alcohol.) I felt like my skin was very tight and my legs started to ache. After resting at night, it went away.
I then started noticing that every once in a while, my legs would swell again. I thought it was due to the pregnancy, but it happened even after I delivered my healthy baby girl. Other things started happening, too. I started getting wheezy, tired, anxious, and had a lot of joint pain. I went to doctors for two years to make me better, but all they did was prescribe some pills that masked the problems and had side effects.
I seemed to be getting worse. I was depressed. My joints were very painful and it was very hard to get out of bed. I had asthma. I was bloated and was very gassy. I had constant post-nasal drip and was always clearing my throat. I had constant fatigue, anxiety, and occasional vertigo. The doctors had tested me for allergies, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions–and came up blank. I was barely 40 years old and my future looked bleak.
It was at that point I met a woman who asked me if I had tried a food elimination diet. I had no idea about it, and I asked her to explain. She told me that I should eliminate all food that causes the majority of food allergy symptoms: dairy, eggs, peanuts, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, and soy.
What? What would I eat?
She also told me to expect to feel worse, like I had the flu, for the first four days. On the fifth day, I will feel better.
So, I decided to try it. I committed to eating only brown rice, green beans, broccoli, and chicken for a week. (It was easy and the chances of me being allergic to these foods was virtually nil.)
Day one, was okay. Day two, I started craving sugar. Day three, I craved dairy and started getting flu-like symptoms.
Day four was the worst. I felt terrible. It took all my willpower to stick with it as my cravings intensified. It was at that point that I realized that food was my drug, and my body was addicted to it.
“Of course”, I realized. If my body was reacting so violently to not having these foods, I must be in withdrawal. What effect is this food really having on me? What POWER does it have over me?
I was determined to find out.
I held out for another day, and the most revealing event happened. I woke up on Day five, and EVERY PROBLEMATIC SYMPTOM WAS GONE!
I am not exaggerating. My joint pains were gone. My wheezing was gone. My brain was clear and I had a calm sense of refreshing energy. My body felt great–light and anxiety-free. It was a MIRACLE!
I stayed on the diet for a few more days, adding in some “safe” food. I still felt great. Then, I had a bowl of pasta. WOW–it hit me like a bomb. My body started to react and I strayed from the great healthy state I was in.
Over the next 12 years, I learned what I could and couldn’t eat. Gluten, dairy, almonds, eggs. Or should I say, I could eat them all, but my body would let me know afterwards that they were not friends of mine.
My journey continues today. I am in the process of getting to the root of my food sensitivities. Leaky gut, yeast overgrowth, adrenal exhaustion, genetic predisposition, aging—all could be culprits. I have been told that I can heal myself of these issues, but it all takes time and a life-style change.
It’s the journey, not the destination. We really are never completely healed, but rather just highly-functioning. Supporting my health is important to me so that I can live the best loving life possible. I also enjoy supporting others in their health, like cooking my family healthy meals and sharing recipes with friends.
My husband and I thought it would be nice to go through a food elimination diet together. While we have different body types and issues, we would both like to learn how to support each other’s health goals. We would also like to inspire others to take an inventory of what they are eating and explore how their food choices affects their mood, energy, bodily functions, and overall sense of well-being. We believe that each of us is responsible for radiating good energy and love on this planet, and we challenge others to step-up their efforts and discover their true health potential.
But for now, it’s time to start prepping.