Health on Earth

A funny thing happened several months ago.

Of course it wasn’t at all funny, so I shouldn’t start off by saying so. Something happened, though, and my life changed as a result.

I was approached by a woman I barely knew who excitedly said to me, “I didn’t know you were having another baby so soon!”

It’s hard to describe the thoughts that go flooding through one’s mind when someone says something so flippant. What I wanted to say were things like, “I didn’t know you were going to have a black eye in three seconds!” or “Do your stupid-human powers include x-ray vision to see a second uterus I didn’t know about?”

But instead I smiled, politely, and said, “I’m not.”

Then I went home and sulked, cried, and refused to eat anything for the rest of the day. Because I’m a mature adult, obviously.

And really, as stupid painful as it was for someone to say, it was a catalyst to push me in the right direction toward health. And health is not easy for me. Hence “health on earth”. #creativeplayonwords

Hubs had gone keto earlier in the year, and not only dropped a lot of weight, but had begun to feel so much better. Great for him. Big whopping deal of nothing for me.

But at this point of sitting and crying on my sofa, however, I decided I would give up gluten and sugar and see what became of it.

Within two days’ time, my knee and elbow stopped hurting. This is a really big deal, because every day for the last almost year, I had woken up in the morning and hobbled around like an old (really old) woman, because my knee and elbow joints hurt so badly. They were stiff and inflamed every. single. day.

But within a couple night’s sleep after NOT consuming sugar or gluten, the pain was gone. I had a spring in my step each morning.

Prior to this, I would have told you I wasn’t affected by gluten like so many people seem to be these days. Yet when I cut it out – I improved.

Then I did a little research – and not only is there a higher concentration of gluten in the grains grown commercially today, but gluten is then added as an additional ingredient into grain products – so breads and pastas and baked goods have quadruple the amount of what they once did. It isn’t the gluten that’s the enemy – it’s the copious amounts of it at one time.

After about a week, I had complete and total clarity of mind. I didn’t even realize how severely I was lacking clarity until I had it again. The brain fog completely cleared and my creativity started racing – I couldn’t keep up with all of my ideas.

In seven weeks, I dropped 16 pounds. This no sugar, no gluten thing seemed to be working.

And then 2019 happened.

I got the flu. Hubs got the flu. I fought anxiety as if my life depended on it. Tragedy struck close to home. It felt like as soon as I picked myself up from one battle, another came rushing over the hillside.

So I turned to my go-to comfort. No, not prayer. Not the Lord. Not Jesus, who brought me through the worst experience of my life. I turned to food.

Gluten. Sugar. Those demons I had wrestled free from months prior offered me all kinds of sweets and treats I thought I needed… to get “through”.

And back came the arm pain. The leg pain. The bloating. The face-swelling. The aches and general not feeling well. The mood swings. The mid-life-acne.

And I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to spend my life sacrificing health and wellness for the temporary pleasure of a Dr. Pepper and a Hostess cupcake.

I know – and have experienced – the best way to stay healthy is to start healthy.

So that’s what I’ll be doing. Starting healthy. Again.

Now before you roll your eyes – no, I’m not going to be doing a detox again, though it wouldn’t hurt to do it. (Unless, of course, I actually did end up holding a pizza kitchen hostage.)

And I just went back and read about those first six days – wow, I was a wreck. I don’t want to be a wreck because of food again.

What I’m going to be doing is a little bit of experimenting. We’ll be cooking and eating real foods. Quality meats. Home grown vegetables from our pantry or freezer. Organic fruits (home grown, if summer shows up this year) that we buy or have preserved. Homemade breads – einkorn wheat and sourdough.

It’s not like the pantry challenge, where I will be refusing to buy anything from the store. We will be stocking up on what we need when we need it, but the basis of our meals will be nutrition.

I wasn’t brought up eating vegetables. I was picking between Taco Bell and Burger King most of my life. I was also sick – all. the. time. growing up. One of my classmates called me “Ebola Woman” because I missed so much school. I can’t be naive and think my diet didn’t have a big part to play in that.

I’ve got Trim Healthy Mama cookbooks, I’ve got Nourishing Traditions cookbooks, and I’ve got my favorite Country Cooking cookbook – and I’ll be rifling through to find meals that are nutritious, as well as satisfying and tasty.

So this is important to me. I don’t want us to have another month like January again (sick and spiraling into all kinds of unhealth). And that came on the heels of us eating whatever we felt like at Christmas time… and following.

So here we go. Healthy starts from the inside. I don’t want achy joints or a swollen face or for people to think I’m pregnant when that’s biologically impossible.

We’ll have fun with our food, but not at the expense of our health. No more “I’m too tired – let’s order gluten and sugar” nights.

This will require more of my time in the kitchen. But in the long run, it will require less of our time in the doctor’s office or the hospital. I’m all for that.

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