Growing up my family was a meat and potatoes family, and then everything left over was dinner the next night. There weren’t any discussions on healthy eating until you learned in school about the 4 food groups. But as everyone can relate not everyone embraces or can afford that methodology. I lived on my own for quite some time so balance meals weren’t in the books there either. I substituted cigarettes for food. I continued down this path for a long time. My husband and I worked to get balance meals on the table for the kids but I never took my own health into consideration.
This all started because I knew I had to quit smoking, one day I just realized that I’m not healthy and not doing good at all. I wanted to be able to be healthy for my boys and when I want to be around for grandkids! It wasn’t until I quit smoking that I realized things had to change. I was gaining weight fast so I joined a gym and worked out. That wasn’t enough I was not losing weight and not having the energy I needed. Next I attempted a shakes program where I only had one meal a day and shakes for breakfast, and lunch with snacks in the morning and afternoon. That worked for a few months I lost weight and felt great, and then it was as if my body shut down and the shakes just made me sick. In hindsight, I should have looked at elimination at that point since the shakes were milk based.
I’ve been to the doctors many times explaining how I’m gaining weight and I’m so tired all the time and we did some tests and nothing was conclusive. Went to an allergist and nothing came out of that. I heard about a natural path and the difference she has made for a friend that has had stomach issues for a long time. After seeing my results from her I was floored. The biggest things I needed to eliminate were Dairy and gluten. She said I would see results within a few days of cutting out dairy. Well she was right. I honestly thought the aches and pains in my muscles and joints was…well I’m getting old. Nope so not the case. After being off dairy for a few days I found that I don’t sit there on the couch in agony because my calves are aching or my knees are aching. It’s nothing like workout ache either it’s so painful and just takes your breath away. I haven’t had that ache since I cut it all out. It’s amazing what a difference listening to your body makes.
Today I work really hard to have a balanced diet. I take time to plan my meals. My breakfast during the week 99% of the time is a shake because it’s a hectic time for me and I need to get something in me so it’s quick. I pack 2 snacks one for morning and one for afternoon and honestly I put a reminder in my calendar at work to remind me to have that snack. I know my body needs fuel and I get so busy sometimes I don’t stop to eat. For supper my husband and I usually tag team the decisions. Lately I’ve been making more use of my crockpot. I know if I don’t plan something I’m going to eat on the fly. When you have so many dietary restrictions eating on the fly is bad and difficult to do. If I have to my usual go to is eggs. I’ll whip together an omelet or fried eggs with veggies on the side.
I asked Sylvia what advice she would offer others who are considering making a change, here are her answers:
1. My first piece of advice is Do it when you are ready to put in the time and effort to do it. You don’t want to sort of do it because that leaves too much room for error and then you get frustrated and you quit.
2. Have some support to help you (Charity!!) someone that understands how hard it is and the benefits of it.
3. I found on Pinterest there is a way to select things you are avoiding so if you have a craving for a certain meal you can tell it no dairy no gluten and it will give you options. Give it time.
4. Don’t expect results right away. It’s just like working out, you know it takes time even though you wish it didn’t