Doctorate Candidate of Naturopathic Medicine
My perspective and relationship with food began to change for the better in 2008 after seeing my first Naturopathic Doctor. Since then, I have done elimination diets, beet liver & gall bladder cleanses, eaten the paleo lifestyle, eaten vegetarian, eaten the 80/20 lifestyle of 80% healthy, 20% not as healthy, also 80% vegetables, 20% meat and eaten a diet without the food I am sensitive to in order to heal my gut from years of damage with processed foods and antibiotics. Okay, so it is 2013, shouldn’t I be able to eat anything I want now that I have been attempting to heal up my gut all this time? Well, first, it took many years for my gut to get to where it was in 2008 and five years in repair since then with intermittent bouts of relapse has not been enough it seems.
Also, as I eat healthier my reaction to the unhealthy foods I might sneak into my diet can be stronger because my gut is cleaner. Why would I want to eat not so healthy if I made a choice to eat healthy? Good question, but I find I still crave unhealthy foods, allow myself to indulge in foods that emotions and stress have triggered and have allowed myself to fall back into old habits.
Case in point, I was eating healthier, mainly organic fruits and vegetables, no coffee or alcohol, drinking herbal teas and purified water when finals approached and my stress triggers took over and I allowed it. The finale of my eating away from a healthier lifestyle was me taking a trip home. Next time I take a trip home, I need to budget money so I can go grocery shopping and cook for myself and make healthier choices in any restaurants we go out to or just offer to cook my family a meal at home instead.
As a result, of this last month of not eating my healthier diet, my body has suffered. Besides not being as regular as before, my back has given me more trouble with spasms and limited range of motion, my attitude and emotions have been in the pits of negativity (guess what? there are neurotransmitters in the gut that affect mood), ears and sinuses are getting clogged up, loss of skin subtleness and acne and cysts reappear, tension headaches are back, and I am more tired and unmotivated. In the end, eating that yummy soft cookie for a quick fix is not worth the damage to my body in the long run. I just have to let go of my desire for foods that are not good for me. Easier said then done but I will get there and after this last month with my body’s extreme reactions, I am one step closer to being reminded how important it is to eat and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
My food experience definitely gives me perspective and empathy for my future patients as they may struggle with adjusting their food lifestyles as well. So, what is YOUR relationship with food?