Friday, March 6, 2015

When I Took Charge of my Health

I wanted to write a post about my journey. Two and a half years, two miscarriages (and the one from when I was in college, that I didn't know was related) and a lot of doctors appointments. The doctors were kind (mostly) and amazing (mostly) but they couldn't find anything wrong. My cycle is pristine. My blood work is great. My ultrasound showed no abnormalities. But I couldn't keep my pregnancies, I had a terrible digestive system, blood pressure and blood sugar problems and chronic fatigue. 

It was one year from my last miscarriage (almost exactly) that I became pregnant again with the little boy I am now carrying. During that year I decided to take control of my own life, as much as I could. I know, I can't "control" my life. But I wanted to fix the things I did have control over. I wanted to feel like I was doing all I could to realize my goal of starting a family.

These are the things I changed over the course of that year.

Obviously, I don't know if any of them played any part in helping me keep the baby I am now carrying. I don't know if they just made me a healthier person or if they perhaps played a vital role in boosting my body to help me sustain life. I decided at the beginning of that year after my last miscarriage that I was going to focus getting healthy and not worry about becoming pregnant. During this year I used no birth control, and didn't get pregnant until the end! Near the end I was really worried I could no longer get pregnant, through. And then I did..and boy, was it a shock. 

Here are things I changed, in chronological order:
  1. Started taking a whole foods organic multivitamin. (This one: MegaFood Women's One Daily) It really helped my brain fog. Now I take their prenatal version.
  2. Attempted to start exercising.  
  3. Stopped using my microwave (I never said I wasn't extreme, yeah?)
  4. Stopped drinking water with fluoride in it. Our town adds fluoride to all the water. I distilled all my water for several months. I no longer do this. But I did notice less brain fog and more energy. I want to buy filters for my house that will just filter it out, but they are very expensive. A regular filter will not remove fluoride.
  5. Did a cleanse to attempt to fix my lifelong constipation and bloating.  (I chose Gaia Herbs Supreme Cleanse Kit and you can watch me vlog every day through it here. In short, it REALLY helped my constipation but after finishing the cleanse everything went right back to "normal". Sigh. Also, didn't help my bloating at all.)
  6. Gave up soy. And corn.
  7. Researched GMOs. Started buying all organic food much to the shock of my husband's wallet. 
  8. Realized finally that I have a terrible gut. Massive researching about the human digestive track and a lot of learning happened. Started drinking kombucha to populate my track with good bacteria and tried to eat other fermented foods (couldn't do it, kimchi is gross, I'm sorry). Ate yogurt every day. (Still eat yogurt, sometimes drink kombucha)
  9. Decided to give up gluten to see if I could reduce the amount of inflammation and pain I deal with in my arms and hands sometimes as well as see if it would help my gut. (Didn't really notice a difference in the inflammation, but noticed better digestion.)
  10. Decided to go on the Paleo diet after a friend told me about it and it's magical properties in curing inflammation, pain, constipation and bloating. (It worked. Like a dream. Only it's very hard to maintain, and not allowed for pregnancy. Now that I'm expecting I just avoid gluten and sugar. I had no idea how much of my brain fog was from eating way to much sugar daily. I LOVE being paleo so much that after I wean my little man-baby you can bet I will be right back on it. I need to do a whole post on this. It took me three months just to start the diet because of how crazy it is.)
  11. Started taking Juice Plus+ (not a vitamin, just veggies and fruits in pill form with sugar removed. It does help my constipation slightly. I still take this every day) 
  12. Stopped cooking in anything with aluminum or plastic in it. This means no aluminum foil. Bought only surgical steel grade stainless pans, and utensils. No non-stick.
  13. Started taking a fish oil. (I take Fermented Cod Liver Oil
  14. Started taking digestive enzymes. (I just started Garden of Life RAW Enzymes two months ago. Can't tell if they are helping yet)
Right now I spend close to $100 on supplements a month. I'm still trying to find what works for me and what helps my body feel good. But these are all the things I changed or tried to change in my attempt to become healthy. I lost almost 20 pounds (lets not talk about how much I've gained back, please. I will cry on you) and by the time a year rolled around, I was feeling amazing. My blood pressure was normal. I no longer had any pre-diabeties symptoms and my fatigue was gone. My constipation is so much better (but not fixed)... and I felt like I was a healthier person. My body responded so well to my changes!

Then I got pregnant and nausea and everything went right out the window because I was eating whatever I could keep down and whatever my husband brought home...but lets not talk about that. I'm back on track now for what I would call a very healthy diet and I'm very happy. I really try to exercise every other day, and I don't eat any refined sugar or gluten. My gut is far from healed but it is a lot better then it was.

Oh, and I'm having a baby. So there is that, too.

Have you ever had a food/body adventure-crisis? How did it turn out? What did you learn about your own body that you didn't know before?


Elizabeth Ewing said...

Get it lady! I would really like to do the Daniel Fast, but know I'm not up to it right now. Wallet-wise and home-wise. My parents don't understand fasting AT ALL. I still get beef (ha) for not eating pork.

Carolynn said...

haha, we don't really eat pork either, but its more of just how my husband grew up :P I totally understand, everyone's body is so different that no "One thing" will help everyone! I want to do the raw milk cleanse/fast thing after I ween little baby. It's supposed to help your gut so much!!

Cody Doll said...

This sounds almost like me. I gave up the microwave, and eating anything boxed and almost canned. I'm working on alot of things but I have noticed that my systems is better now.