Licensed Massage Therapist, Paleo Foodie and Alex and Von 100% Pure Consultant
Do you suffer from depression, mood swings, constipation, sore aching muscles, and are you constantly tired to do anything? What happens if I tell you that these symptoms can be minimized, if not erratically wiped away. You too can feel young again. Believe me when I tell you that these symptoms can be solved by just what you eat. The FDA and government has been leading you to dig your own grave quicker by informing you of misleading information of what “proper” foods to eat. I too was mislead for nearly 30 years, but the wool was removed from my eyes almost three years ago.
At an early age I got introduced into cooking and baking. My grandma June worked in a bakery, and was always trying to fatten me up with food. My mother Jan also enjoys to bake. My great aunt Daisy (a southern cook), was always in the kitchen cooking or baking something, and my cousin Michelle went to culinary school. So between all those infulential family members and “chefs” there was always some tasty treat waiting to tickle your taste buds.
When I was a little girl, when the family lived closer, during the holidays we would all get together at my grandma June’s house for holidays. I remember the table being covered with food, but I wouldn’t eat much due to being a very picky eater. It wasn’t until my cousin Michelle (who is ten years older than me) moved in with my grandparents to go to culinary school, that I got interested into traditional cooking. I remember being over my grandparents one night and she was cooking vegetable lasagna. I turned my nose to it. But, that moment has forever been engraved in my mind.
I grew up in what appeared to be a healthy household. My mother favorite saying to this day is, “I cook to survive”. We would gather around the table as a family during dinner time and talk about the day. I gave my parents a run for their money because I was the leader of picker eaters. If it wasn’t pink or purple, I wasn’t going to eat it. We never really at much fast food, but when we did it would be the occasional Subway, Quizno’s, or Arby’s. Looking back we did eat a lot of processed foods like Stoufer’s lasagna, frozen breaded chicken cutlets, boxed pot pies, and boxed chicken cordon blu, just to name a few. We had many night where pasta and rice was also on the table. Most of the time if it didn’t come from a box, it wasn’t on our table.
At the ripe old age of 21 (which was back in 2003, for those interested in my age) my health was deteriorating. In one trip to the ER, because I was doubled over with abdominal pain, I was diagnosed with multiple kidney stones, ovarian cysts and possible stomach ulcers. Tests later confirmed that I had over 40 pinhole ulcers in my stomach. At this age, I should not be worrying about my health. But I could not avoid these problems and pretend that they didn’t exist, because I quickly found myself in and out of doctors offices, and in ER’s at least once a week for a good three months because I couldn’t keep anything down Let me tell you how odd it was walking into a gastroenterologist and urologist office at this age. I was THE YOUNGEST ONE THERE! I quickly became a “precscription pill popper” between the Protonix and Reglan I had to take the the stomach ulcers, the Vicodin I had to take for the pain from my “gravel pits”, and then the Zoloft that I was on for depression. I was a mess! The Vicodin ended up giving me severe unimaginable headaches. The Reglan ended up putting me back into the ER, via an ambulance, due to suffering a dystonic reaction. I had no motor control for nearly six hours. I could not raise my arms or even wiggle my fingers or toes if I wanted too. In order to get a urine specimen at the ER I had to be catheterized, and my mother and the nurse had to massage my bladder in order for any urine to come out. The week after that visit was hell, because I had a horrible time walking, my back was in such severe spasms I walked liked a toy soldier. This was the time I realized how every muscle corresponds with surround muscles, because when I walked, sat or did anything everything hurt.
Flash forward to 2005, I started dating a guy (who will remain nameless) but for the sake of this we’ll call him Conroy. He was a meticulous perfectionist. He was also an avid photographer, videographer, and very smart. He could talk your ear off of one subject if he was knowledgeable about that subject. He had a very high metabolism, and it seems like he never went a day without doing some type of exercise. Throughout the four years that we dated I always weighed more than he did. I remember this specific photo that he took of me that made me look like a girl you would find on the front of a magazine because he digitally made my thighs, arms and stomach looks thinner. His goal for me was to go from 148lbs down to 123lbs. I did everything that I could think of to try to become that “skinny” girl that was in front of him on his computer screen. I felt so inadequate simply because my waist was always larger than his 30 inch waist.
The best thing that came out of that four year relationship was meeting and establishing a relationship with his mom. Visually she helped me grow as a “foodie.” I would see her in the kitchen after a long day at work pulling out the marinated meat from the fridge, or chopping up bags of lettuce with fresh vegatables for a salad, or making a shake in her Vitamix blender, and even juicing in her Jack Lalane juicer. Her skin always looked so radiant. Her body was tone anf it. I knew when I got older I wanted mine to look like that. So I started mimicing what she was eating. If I saw her eat a hamburger without the bun, I would do the same. It was near the end of our relationship that I started cutting carbohydrates, even though I really had no clue what I was doing or even the reason to why I was doing it. She was a great role model for the next stepping stone that I stumbled upon.
In August 2009, I started dating Brian. He happens be to that “stepping stone” that I stumbled upon. Together we are both climbing this Paleo lifestyle mountain together. When we started dating he was already eating Paleo for a few months. Here I am, bringing what I thought was “healthy foods” home from Whole Foods, and placing them in our fridge. With persistance he introduced me to the Paleo lifestyle and it was from that point on where I decided to engulf myself into this traditional lifestyle. It was then I decided to go cold turkey and quit eating the way I have been eating for twenty-seven year overnight. I was not the brightest crayon in the box for doing that. But, again I had no idea what I was doing. I was just acting on instinct. The first two weeks were hell. I was nauseated, tired, irritable and generally felt like crap. But, I stuck to it and I’m so thankful for doing so not only because it opened up my eyes to a whole new world of preparing/eating foods, but it helped me become that “cover girl” in a healthy natural way. Sure, I’ve had some speed bumps along the way, but I just remember that those speed bumps are short lived and I too will over come them.