Make the future healthy. I find myself saying this more and more lately.
This is the basis for what I do and why I do it. And I have come to see this as my mission: I want to provide food, education and inspiration to #makethefuturehealthy.
As many of you know, I have been in remission for over 5 years now by making dietary changes to treat my Ulcerative Colitis. I was pretty sick – yes, you can be too thin. I lost 22 pounds in a matter of 3 weeks when I entered my first actual “flare.” A flare that came out of nowhere it seemed? But there were warning signs and symptoms for years that I did not understand, nor did any of my doctors. And there were plenty of doctors.
Today I can follow the trail of issues, symptoms and treatments, tracing back to age 8. I began suffering from chronic hives, recurring sinus “infections,” and belly bloat. But I never had any pains in my abdomen, no complaints of bowel discomfort or frequency, and no doctor seemed alarmed. There were many rounds of antibiotics for the sinuses – even several surgeries – and a few periods of steroids for the hives, but never any actual diagnosis. No doctor ever looked into the root cause of the symptoms. My terrible eating habits were not even contemplated for a second. Doritoes, bagels with cream cheese, and a boat load of ice cream. Oh ice cream, how I loved thee!
I grew up and into adulthood eating what I thought was a relatively healthy and improved diet: pasta with vegetables, salads (with croutons!) and lots of dressing (isn’t that the point of salad…?), gallons of skim milk (remember the jingle: Milk It Does A Body Good?) and mostly chicken. No “high fat” foods. Low calorie and “diet” foods. Then I went back to culinary school to become a Pastry Chef, but even then, I didn’t think my “diet” was so bad. Yes, I ate dessert, but everything in moderation, right? And luckily, I was pretty thin, but mostly because foods weren’t being digested and I wasn’t getting proper nutrition. My immune system was struggling to keep up.
My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was a freshman in college. I was 18 and she was 44. She was also misdiagnosed for years: vertigo, ear infections, poor circulation, and a few others. And to her credit, way back in 1988, my mother attempted to follow a gluten free diet when there were almost no options. Needless to say, it didn’t go well. There was also a horrible smelling tea concoction that she tried, but couldn’t get down. How I wish today we could have known more about diet and how it could have helped her!
I worried quietly for most of my adult life, wondering if I would also develop MS? No solid genetic evidence to say that I would, but also none to say that I wouldn’t. And I didn’t. Instead, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Both auto-immune diseases. And my older sister also has an auto-immune disease that she was diagnosed with several years ago. So naturally, I worry about my own children. Which brings me back to my mission: #makethefuturehealthy.
My kids – though never diagnosed with Celiac or Crohns/Colitis – have been following a modified SCD diet for the past few years and have seen pretty impressive results: my youngest, experiencing the most significant improvement, has been relieved of severe asthma, terrible seasonal allergies and eczema. All gone. She graduated elementary school with perfect attendance in the last three years, not needing any sick days. She changed her diet and began to #makethefuturehealthy.
I want my children – ALL children – to eat better in order to #makethefuturehealthy. More and more people are being diagnosed with auto-immune disease each year. We all know someone – whether in our own family, or our friends and neighbors – who is suffering. This needs to change!
How can I – and we – do this? By learning more and more about which foods are the cause and which foods are the cure. I want to help change the way our children eat so that they will be healthy and their children will be healthy. It’s a chain reaction – let’s get it started!
I’m not a scientist – I haven’t proved anything other than changing my diet worked for me, and the hundreds of others that I have met who have had similar stories of success and improved health. And it isn’t only the SCD Diet – there are many similar options that can help: Paleo, GAPS, FodMAP, Mediterranean, and more. I want everyone to be a part of the story – especially our children. I will continue to post scientific findings, articles and my own encouragement to help you understand what I know is so important: changing our diet and what we know about food will #makeyourfuturehealthy.
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