When I was seven years old, I had terrible stomach aches, every night. Sometimes, I would have to leave the dinner table just so that I could crawl into a ball on the couch until the pain passed. My mom eventually took me to the doctor’s office, where I was told that I was lactose intolerant. At a very young age, I made a connection between my diet and my body. This was the first step in my journey to healing myself from the inside out.
At the age of 12, I started to get little acne bumps, all along my forehead. Pretty normal for a teenager, but as I continued to have them appear every day, without ceasing, my mom took me to a dermatologist at the age of 13. Medication after medication and ointment after ointment weren’t helping either, so she eventually found a facial specialist at T’s Secret in Orlando. At 14, my facialist, Lisa, told me that cooked tomatoes are acidic, increasing the inflammation of my body. She told me that all the sugary, processed foods I ate were showing up on my forehead. And each time I was fortunate enough to see her, she would tell me more and more tidbits about my diet to skin relationship. (Check out what your skin is telling you, here.)
When I was 16, I had a massive surgery done on my jaw which required me to live on a liquid diet for six weeks. I learned how often I needed to consume calories to keep my body going, otherwise I would shut down. Through the liquids I was drinking, I learned how important it was to consume the right amounts of carbs, fats, and proteins. I also learned how important micronutrients from fruits and veggies are, and how you can’t live well off of protein shakes, alone.
When I was 19, I moved to Japan for work, by myself. Boy, oh boy, did that throw my digestion track through a loop hole. Japanese food is delicious, but there are also a lot of convenient, processed and sugary/salty foods involved. I was bloated everyday, and went from stomach ache to insatiable hunger to an addiction to sugar. (Otherwise known as having way too much candida bacteria, or yeast, in my body.) Through my 1.5 years in Japan, I went from omnivore to pescatarian to vegetarian to high carb low fat vegan, and had issues with them all. My body, as well as my mind, were all out of whack.
When I returned to the states, I followed a pescetarian diet until I watched Cowspiracy, the documentary. (Watch here!) This documentary made me turn vegan, and I never looked back. And what an incredible choice that was for me! By switching out heavy animal products with plant based ingredients, my energy levels soared and I felt much less bloated, heavy in the gut, and had a much cleaner conscious. My weight is much easier to maintain, and food prep is surprisingly quicker.
Nowadays, I am experimenting with going gluten free, to see if the inflammation (shown through my skin) will calm down. This new diet cuts out a lot of processed foods and takes away even more of the bloat.
My sensitive body has always seemed like a nuisance. But now that I am on the path to health, I see it’s warning signs as a blessing. I am now healthier than ever before, and I love learning how to help myself and others feel their very best each day. What’s your food journey been like? Message or tweet me, I’d love to answer any questions & connect!