Hi Fabulous Friends,
I wanted to share a bit about my own journey to wellness.
I am very excited that this time between jobs has allowed me to learn so much more about health.
When I think back to over three years ago, I was on medication that included one pill for allergies, one pill for asthma, a daily coated aspirin, a nasal spray, an allergy shot and usually two to three rounds of antibiotics for sinus infections. Oh and an advil at least once a week for my head aches. I was also 44 pounds heavier, never worked out and was tired all the time, I had trouble sleeping as my legs were cramping and waking me up all night, Upon reflection, I was not in good health.
Over the last 18 months I have changed by diet to be more clean. I started to follow the Eat Clean Diet 11 months ago I added fitness after reading Younger Next Year, 8 months ago I added yoga and pilates. Apparently it is 90% diet, 10% exercise to get to a healthy weight. But I needed to learn more about food and its impact. I jumped on the organic approach once I understood the impact chemicals have on your food and how it builds up toxics that get stored in your fat cells. I read books (we have a great library here) on changing your brain, longevity, health, detox, quantum wellness and cancer, MS, arthritis fighting books. I learned that the formula to health is diet, exercise, a positive attitude, gratefulness, meditation and loving yourself. Still I wanted to learn more. I watched videos on experts speaking about health. I knew I was ready to start to make changes.
In the last three months I have been reducing many foods in my diet that cause allergies and inflammation. In April 2012, I started 21 day a cleanse inspired by Kris Carr that was a total vegan diet ( no eggs, dairy, meat, cheese, coffee, booze, wheat, sugar or processed foods). I had at least 9 cups of veggies and fruit everyday and started each day with home-made green juice (celery, kale, parsley, carrot, pear, ginger, spinach, cucumber in my juicer). Every seventh day I fasted on just green juice. During this 21 day cleanse, I attend several conferences and speaker sessions with David Wolfe, The Institute of Classical Yoga, and Julie Daniluk. At first it was hard to do, but each day I felt better, my nasal passages started to clear. At times you feel headaches as your body is getting rid of toxins.
On day 19 of the cleanse I had balsamic vinegar and a rotten avocado. Balsamic vinegar is not on the program and you are to ensure your fruit is fresh. I thought the vinegar would not make a difference and I ate my avocado thinking it tasted funny. My son told me he did not eat his half as it was bad. I thought it was my taste buds. I felt fine and went to bed as normal. I woke up with a swollen tummy, and all the allergy signs I used to have – headaches, brain fog, clogged nose, water sounds in my ear plus ear ache along with aches in my body and exhaustion. I drank 2 litres of water and still felt crappy. Once I had my green juice, my nose cleaned. Within 30 minutes my ear cleared up and my energy was restored. Wow the power of healing food. At that moment I knew I had to really make this approach to eating my new life style.
I increased my education on foods that cause inflammation and allergic reactions. I continued the restricted approach to my food intake for 5 more weeks and have made it an allergy elimination program. At the end of the 5 weeks I will spend another 12 weeks adding back food groups to see which one I react to so I know to avoid it in the future. Not all food allergies happen immediately. In fact, 80% of food allergies show up with the symptoms I experienced within 2 to 72 hours after eating. After 8 weeks I am already off all my allergy meds with the exception of my allergy shot and the antihistamine I take the night before to ensure I do not have a major reaction to the shot. I have not needed any pain relief either.
When I look to the future, I am so excited. I feel amazing, my brain is clear and is able to learn so much quicker which is great as I still have so much to learn. And during the course of my journey I have loved myself with positive affirmations daily.
My approach is the best way to get to where you want to be, is to start.
Today I Start!
Hugs to all of you as you begin your path to wellness.
Jo, your 9CupChallenge partner