My own journey to good health has been fairly smooth, for the most part. A few years ago I thought my health was fine. Sure, I took a few different medications. One for stomach issues (Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS), one for when the first one for stomach issues didn’t do it’s job, another for a bit of anxiety, a few over the counter items to help with head aches, body aches and the need for additional stomach support that the prescription drugs didn’t fix. But overall, I was pretty healthy.
You don’t think taking several prescription meds and over the counter meds puts me in the fairly healthy category? According to this 2008 article in USA Today, 51% of American children and adults one or more prescription drugs for a chronic condition. This 2010 article indicates that in 2008 spending in the US for prescription drugs was $234.1 billion. Not only was I probably not really ‘fairly healthy’ but chances are good, lots and lots of people are in the same condition that I was.
That’s right. The condition I WAS IN. In early 2009 my family began to transition from a Standard American Diet (SAD) to a diet based on real/whole/traditional foods (real). We started on a real food diet not because of any illness/ailments we had but rather because it made sense for us to eat foods closer to the way God made them.
After a few months of slowly changing our diet we also noticed that we were starting to feel better. Not only did I have ‘tummy issues’ but so did my husband and one of my children. One day I realized I hadn’t had a tummy ache in some time and I had ran out of my stomach medicine and not refilled it. My tummy was great without medicine. In fact better than it had been on medicine. I mentioned (okay, more than mentioned) this to my husband and he said he hadn’t been having any issues either.
Spurred on by this new discovery, we continued our real food transition with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. It is amazing how feeling a little bit better makes a person want to feel terrific.
Fast forward to today. I don’t take any medications for my stomach (prescription or over-the-counter) nor do I take anti-axiety medication. Some days I consider myself ‘healed’.
And then I’ll have a reminder that I am on a journey. If I do not pay attention to what I eat, I will have many of the previous issues I had with IBS. Dining out is especially challenging but even eating at home I’ll occasionally have challenges. Same with my husband and daughter. Somedays I have not so subtle reminders that I’m on a journey and still have a distance to go. I still get ‘wound up’ and could use one of those anti-anxiety pills!
My daughter, Lulu, was still having a tummy ache on many mornings even on our real food diet. Now, being honest, she probably eats more non real food things than most of us do having ‘access’ at school and while out with friends. Recently she said she would like to get completely rid of her tummy aches. We chose to do GAPS to see if we could pin point the cause of these tummy aches. We started on GAPS Intro and only lasted 6 days. After day 2 she did not wake with a tummy ache. We’re now on full GAPS (plus raw dairy) and paying attention to what she is eating and if she wakes up with a tummy ache.
Again, this is a journey. At this point I do not know if GAPS is the answer to her tummy troubles. I do not know that GAPS is even ‘for us’. As I’ve already said, this is a journey. I don’t have all of the answers. I don’t even know all of the questions!
The main thing that I do know, today, is that 3+ years ago when we changed our diet to real/whole/traditional foods it opened up an entirely new way of thinking for us. We realized at that point just what an impact our foods had on the way we felt. We realized that low-fat and the ‘food pyramid’ was not helping us feel our best. As time as gone by we’ve learned that keeping it simple works quite well for us.
As our lives change and we learn more about ourselves and natural health some of our desires change. I used to be content with feeling good ‘most’ of the time. Some days that still seems like enough but other days I think ‘not enough’ I want to feel terrific every day. Can we get to that “feel good every day” state with food alone? Plus as I get older, I wonder if some of my ‘ailments’ are related to age. If so, can I avoid it?
As we continue on this real food journey we’re expanding our journey to now encompass more natural health/natural living ideas. I’m not sure where this will take us. Remember, until just a little over 3 years ago I had no idea that food could impact health. I have alot to learn!
Have you discovered your real food journey taking you down new paths? Or if you are new to real food, are you striving for health benefits?