I consumed a lot of organic vegetables, not a lot of meat, little fruit, and a limited variety of foods that would have provided me with a sufficient amount of fiber. I also struggle with this to this day because I don't drink enough water. Although it doesn't seem difficult, getting enough water is difficult. My day doesn't allow me to carry a water bottle around, so I've tried to make up for it by drinking more during my breaks, but it's never enough because I continue to skip it after work or on days when I don't have to work.
In light of the fact that two of the biggest irritants for me are cheese and gluten-filled foods, which I didn't even realize were major components of my diet until I tried eliminating them, I started there. Despite the fact that I was aware of my lactose intolerance, I was still consuming it and suffering as a result. Can you blame me? It's difficult to give up my ice cream and cheese with all of their cheesy goodness.
The best thing you can do when trying to change your diet is to surround yourself with supportive people; otherwise, it will be more difficult to stick with your new eating habits, especially in the beginning. At first, I tried to cut out everything and just eat basic foods like fruit, vegetables, some meat, and beans, but I was still ravenous afterward. I then tried substituting what I was eating with gluten-free versions, but I soon realized that this was also not the best course of action.
Side Note:Truthfully, regardless of what we eat, this isn't how we should eat. To put it another way, is it even rational to carry on eating in the same manner but with a different variation? When we are out here consuming all this junk food and learn that we are unable to consume it, we continue to consume junk food, but only the kinds that are organic, gluten-free, or vegan. Junk is still Junk.
So in my case, just eating gluten-free versions of the same food didn’t yield the results I was looking for. It didn’t relieve my stomach distress, so I thought, Maybe gluten wasn’t the issue, and so after a month of eating gluten-free, I went back to eating some gluten. I started eating my weakness again, DOUGHNUTS, and they were lovely (although they still weren’t as good as my bakeries back home). I was out of town at this point, visiting family, and to my surprise, there weren't many bakeries, even regular gluten-free bakeries. However, after a few days, I noticed a difference; I felt bloated and more full, and my digestive issues worsened. Not what I wanted, so I went back to eating gluten-free, but I knew for sure this was about more than just eating gluten-free and kicking my beloved dairy to the curb, so I started researching digestive problems and their symptoms, as well as any remedies.
Approximately 1 in 100 people have celiac disease, an autoimmune condition brought on by sensitivity to gluten. 2.5 million of those individuals are undiagnosed and at risk of complications. The majority of people are unaware of their need to avoid gluten, though for some, symptoms make themselves known. For those with a late-life diagnosis, it is easier said than done to make this lifestyle change. I took a quick test for celiac disease, but it came back negative, so the cause of my distress is still unknown.
There is no test for gluten intolerance, so it's possible that I have that. There may be another 18 million people who are sensitive to gluten. Constipation, diarrhea, and bloating are among the most prevalent symptoms that everyone experiences occasionally, but if they persist for an extended period of time, we must take further action. What was I going to do next? Since I had already visited the doctor more than once, I did the only thing that came to mind and searched Pinterest. The best place to find recipes of any kind, including food for every lifestyle, skin care and hair care. Let's just say I’ve spent more than my fair share of time on there.
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic, long-term disorder affecting the large intestine. Common symptoms include constipation, stomach pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Pooping isn’t something we think too much about in the day-to-day until we can’t do it, and not doing it leads to all sorts of problems, especially when we’re talking about the long term. I wouldn’t normally talk about poop, but it’s certainly by no means a taboo subject in today’s culture. We use the poop emoji on a regular basis, and there is also a new wave of toys and games all based on poop (go ahead and google all the poop toys; I’ll wait). and being that the previous generation doesn’t understand all the generations after’s toys, you could guess that not only do I not understand this new fascination with poop and why they decided to make all these toys, but where the toy makers get their ideas from or if they’re just making stuff because they know people will buy it. Anyway, I digress. Not pooping is a problem that shows its effects pretty quickly, and your stomach will make known to you its displeasure. On the bright side, this ailment looks to be easily treatable through diet and lifestyle changes (the changes themselves are the hard part).
While I’m still not sure what my issue is at this point,I assumed that it was a gut issue because our overall health depends on how well our gut is doing (I say assumed because I haven't yet found a professional I can trust to help me).
I have a gut problem on my hands; after all, our whole well-being depends on whether our gut is healthy. (Feel free to Google all the information on gut health for yourself; there’s a lot out there, from reputable sources, of course.) I had most of the symptoms that signal an unhealthy gut: an upset stomach, constipation, high sugar intake, skin irritations and itching (my eczema has been flaring up like crazy), and new food intolerances I didn’t have before would make sense, as would the immense amount of stress I was under when this all started; I wasn’t sleeping well, if at all; I wasn’t eating right; and again, I don’t hydrate the way I should.
I was miserable. So anyway, I put gut health, and gut healing into Pinterest, looking for recipes. I researched how you could try some remedies on your own, and as expected, I got a ton of results. I bought The Healthy Gut Cookbook looking for information on gut health and recipes I could incorporate. It's important to keep in mind that all of these require long-term, consistent changes that take a lot of time, so if you're struggling like I was and have googled these things, don't be hard on yourself if you find yourself not following through consistently enough to see any results.
What’s great is that most of what I found is what I had in mind for long-term goals for myself anyway but have struggled to get there. To make healthy food from scratch with quality ingredients like soups, bone broth, and teas. Unfortunately, I also found that some of the things people used that helped them were the very things that would be harmful to me, like dairy, yogurt, and kefir. So I went in search to see if non-dairy versions were available, and there are a few, but if you want kefir, you’ll have to buy the grains and make a non-dairy version yourself.
There’s water kefir and fermented drinks, among others. I have yet to try any of that, so if anyone out there has tried it, let me know how it went for you. There is a brand I found called Cultures For Health that has water kefir, among other products. Bone broth is also pretty easy, given that you have access to quality meat bones and a slow cooker. That is the next one I want to try. It's much cheaper to make bone broth yourself (unless you don’t mind paying $10–15 for a small package of bone broth in the store).
At the time, I didn’t have the availability to do any of that, so I went with the easiest thing for me to make: Tea! Just water, apple cider vinegar, and some raw honey; add some lemon too if you have any. I would sometimes add a tea bag, but I found the plain apple cider and water worked better. This did get things flowing again, but only temporarily; it didn’t lead me to any lasting relief, but to be fair, I haven’t consumed it every day and before meals like suggested.
Fast forward almost a year and still not much change, but you've got to be aware of how you’re hindered and hindering yourself, folks, and let's just say I haven’t been as on top of it as I could, both for reasons out of my control and not so out of my control. I just need someone to keep me accountable, I guess. I'll keep you posted.
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