We were the typical American family...ordering Pizza Hut on our movie nights, going out to eat at Freddy's for a hamburger or McDonald's.
My husband, however, was having a health crisis. He was in tons of pain in his entire body ALL the time. He got headaches and migraines at least once a week. His digestive system was very unhappy all the time. He had a terrible time sleeping. Honestly, he was miserable. He was so miserable that he would tell me at least once a month as a newlywed that he was sure he was going to die young because he didn't think his body would hold up.
I absolutely couldn't stand it when he said that...I hated hearing that he felt that way... I wanted him to feel better but I had NO idea what to do about it.
You know that feeling when you know you need to get healthier but there are so many areas you need to work on so you feel overwhelmed and you just don't do anything?
Well, that's where I was. I knew we needed to eat healthier, I knew that we had some toxins in our home in a few places like the bleach we had in the cupboard, I knew our bodies could probably use some supplements, but I had no clue where to start.
Things finally came to a head one day and I told my husband that I was getting him an appointment with the doctor. I didn't want to take him to our normal practitioner... I wanted to take him to an integrative or a functional doctor who could really find the root cause for why my husband felt so miserable. (At that time, I had no idea what the difference between the two were but I had heard of them and that's the style of doctor I wanted...)
I knew that Western medicine and their approach to health has saved many lives in the cases of emergencies and acute medical conditions...but I also felt that their approach to chronic issues and disease were simply to put a band-aid on it and just treat the symptoms...not figure out the root cause. I wanted someone to dig DEEP and figure out what was really going on with my husband...not just give him some drug to medicate the symptoms. Symptoms are your body crying out for you to listen...I wanted to find a doctor who would listen.
We found a doctor who did some major labs and found out that Phillip had Celiac...an autoimmune disease where your body thinks that the gluten protein is a foreign enemy and starts attacking the villi in the inner walls of the small intestine. (If you want to get tested for Celiac, make sure you find a doctor who REALLY understands the labs and will get you the right ones...our doctor showed us on the labs how if we had done the same labs with a different doctor, they would have told us that he didn't have celiac.)
Once we learned that he did actually have Celiac, I went through every single thing in our cupboards and I just got rid of anything that I couldn't guarantee was gluten-free. Before that, I had gone by the motto "ignorance is bliss" when it came to buying our groceries at the grocery store. I didn't want to know how bad they really were because I honestly was overwhelmed by the idea of even trying to eat healthy. And besides....those junk foods taste good, right?!
Well, I didn't have that luxury any more...I had to read the labels on every single food product I bought. It took time. It was frustrating. So many foods contain wheat that you would never have guessed. It was overwhelming...but because I had to learn it for my husband, I did. Sometimes it takes a big eye-opener to make you change your life...but it doesn't have to.
I would rather not have had my husband diagnosed with an autoimmune disease before we started eating healthy...but that's what it took for us. My passion is helping others get on the path to wellness BEFORE they are diagnosed with a life-long disease...because 90% of chronic diseases are PREVENTABLE. Only 10% of chronic diseases are caused by genetics. It's what you bring into your homes and the food you eat that determines your health outcomes.
You don't have to toss out everything in your fridge and cupboards in order to start out on your wellness journey. In fact, if you have the choice, I suggest you do it in BABY STEPS! It doesn't need to be overwhelming like our food journey was at the beginning. Check out my free guide for my 5 easy tips for a healthier pantry!