When I decided to change my diet a little over a year ago, my main goal was just to have better health. As far as I knew I had no major illnesses, I wasn’t overweight, and I had no big complaints. I felt that I ate fairly well, but when I read about eating clean I realized that there was a lot more I could be doing for my health I had no idea how big of an impact this switch would have on my life.
Once I cut out all processed food and focused on eating real, whole foods, I saw a lot of positive changes. I had way more energy, my acne started clearing up, my periods were less painful (sorry men, us girls have uterus’, deal with it), my body started to become more toned, and I never felt that gross nasty “food-baby” after eating a meal. I was ecstatic. For the first time I felt like I had found a lifestyle that I could follow forever. Sure, there were rough moments of temptation, and the longing for the ease of just going to a restaurant and ordering whatever. But the positives outweighed the negatives ten-fold.
Then things changed. After about three months of eating a whole foods diet, I started to get acne again, I was rarely pooping (yup, still like to talk about poop), and occasionally I would have horrible stomachaches after a meal. Katie before would have ignored these problems, but new Katie refused to feel anything but her best and healthiest.
Into research mode I went. I looked at my diet and tried to determine what could be causing my problems. After some trial and error (and a very long and terrible night spent in the bathroom following a homemade pizza) I decided to eliminate dairy for awhile.
Within a few weeks I was back to feeling like my old/new self. Why did I choose dairy first? Well, like I said I did a lot of reading/research and felt that for me this was a logical first elimination. I didn’t consume much dairy to begin with and realized a lot of my symptoms occurred after eating some form of dairy. So out went dairy, and to be honest, I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would. For me, I got more satisfaction feeling amazing and healthy than I did from devouring a grilled cheese sandwich.
What does this story have to do with you? Eliminating certain things from your diet can be one of the first steps to healing and strengthening your digestive system. Does this mean you have to stop eating dairy to have a healthy gut? Not necessarily. Remember, we all have different flora/microbes in our guts, meaning we will have different nutritional needs. For me eliminating dairy, as well as gluten, had helped put me on the path to better digestive health.
Take a look at your life and see what complaints you have about your health, whether it’s acne, achy joints, bloating or low energy. Then start to take notice when those complaints flare up and what you have eaten prior to that. Eliminate what may be your “trigger” food and give yourself a few weeks to test and see if your symptoms get better. I may just be a big nerd (ok, I am TOTALLY a big nerd), but it’s fun for me to be a food detective and figure out what might be doing me more harm than good. Don’t get frustrated if it takes awhile to pin point your problems. Just remember you’re doing this all for a healthier you!
Next week I’m going to talk about another step I’ve taken to heal my gut. I recently bought a kombucha tea starter and am in the process of growing (or fermenting) my own kombucha. I’ll share how that works and all the benefits I’m reaping from that! Until then, have a great week and see you next Monday!