Back in March, I had an unfortunate brain issue which landed me in the ER (on my day off. Boo) and ended up with an "acute migraine" diagnosis.
As a result, I was prescribed migraine medication, had an MRI and got to see what my brain looks like in pictures.
It also caused me to stop and take a look at a number of possible contributing factors. Like my stress level.
And my diet.
In February, I released my first book. I did a few signings, had a launch party and tried like crazy to do my best to spread the word about a book that I wrote and really loved, but the stress of marketing yourself is so huge and hard to process. It's difficult to spread the word about your own work. I feel like I can blab on and on about other people's work, but when it comes time to share what I'm doing, it's NOT easy.
Especially for someone with a history of worrying too much what people think.
Anyway, I took a few days off and had a headache that last a solid week and a half (in addition to the previous month of headaches). I visited the chiropractor a few times, had a deep tissue massage and came to rely on medicine that really did seem to help.
But in my heart I knew there was a better solution.
Over the years, I've actually learned how to listen to my body, and one thing that it was telling me was that I am not able to eat anything I want and still feel good.
It may have been drastic, but I made the decision to cut out all sugar and all starch. Basically, that left me with meat and fruit and vegetables along with the occasional nut and nut flour. And that's it. That started in March and I've been following it fairly religiously ever since.
In my life, my relationship with food has been cordial at best and twisted at worst. I've always followed rigid protocols but ONLY for the purpose of losing weight. Never for my health. Never for the way I felt. I've convinced myself a time or two that I wanted to try something new based on health/wellness, but if I'm honest, it's always been fueled by weight loss.
Over the last three months, I've had the occasional handful of peanut butter M&Ms or the small gelato before we moved, and you know what I've discovered? Every single time I eat sugar, I've gotten a horrible headache. In the last three months, my neck aches have gone away. I have no back pain (except for the little bit associated with moving boxes)... I just feel better.
And yes, my pants are bigger, but for the first time in my life, I actually feel like that's a great little by-product but NOT the main point. The main point is that I don't want to spend every evening on the couch in pain. And while I could be taking medicine and visiting more doctors, the truth is, so much of what ails us is simply in the food we eat.
If you think moving across the country, driving a Penske truck 1,000 miles with nothing but Taylor Swift CDs to occupy my mind was a bit trying with these kind of dietary restrictions, well, you'd be right. Right before we pulled out of town, we drove through Wendy's. They have amazing salads, but I just didn't want another salad, so I got a chicken sandwich. My first real starch in months.
I paid for it handsomely.
I don't know why I feel compelled to share with you about my food allergies and issues, but perhaps you're suffering with aches and pains and you've written it off as "getting older" or maybe you've just gotten used to it. Maybe you eat when you're stressed (like I do) and have convinced yourself that doesn't matter. It doesn't change the way you feel.
I'd challenge you to change your eating habits for a week and document how it makes you feel. What if your head/neck/back/stomach pains were all easily fixable based on what you put in your mouth?
Would you change it?
Has anyone else discovered something similar in the way food affects them? I'd love to hear how you avoid the bad stuff and where you're getting your recipes. You know how much I love to cook (ahem)...pass 'em on!