Food…Friend or Foe

Since I’ve known myself I’ve never really been fond of meat. As a child, my mom knew I preferred legumes over meat to the point where I would be contented simply eating an entire bowl of lentils as a meal. Throughout my childhood, my diet consisted of, what I will now consider, excessive amounts of dairy, wheat and sugar. Every morning before school I would experience tummy cramps after breakfast. As I grew older and had more control over my diet, my dairy consumption dropped a bit, but my sugar and wheat consumption slightly increased. At the age of 18, I gave up all chicken, beef, pork and all other meats with the exception of sea food. Essentially I was a pescetarian and I started to include soy into my diet to replace the meat I no longer ate. I noticed that my body was not quite happy with me after consuming soy and I would experience excessive bloating, gas and indigestion. I also noticed those symptoms after consuming dairy, wheat and some sweet snacks. Around the age of 26, my body could no longer tolerate soy and most wheat products. The discomfort experienced is one I do not wish on my worst enemy. While I continued to consume dairy and wheat in small quantities ever so often, the ending of 2013 really pushed my body to a new level. It seems as if the consumption of dairy, wheat, soy, legumes and excessive sugar over the years caused severe damage to the lining of my gut. My body broke out in rashes that caused immense discomfort, itching, pain and embarrassment. I experienced a slight anaphylactic shock after consuming a cheese sandwich in April 2014 and that was the last time cheese entered my body. It took me a while to figure out what was happening to me. I even received an incorrect diagnosis from a doctor who prescribed antibiotics which clearly worsened my situation.

I am a firm believer that the body is meant to heal itself once it’s treated the way it should. Throughout the process of figuring out what was wrong with me, unfortunately through trial and error, I learned a lot about food. I learned so much about the food that most humans consume on a daily basis that are so damaging to their bodies. I also learned the importance of food combinations, how damaging sugar, dairy and wheat (gluten) can be to the body, the role of so many supplements in healing and sustaining the body and about Autoimmune Diseases. Autoimmune Diseases have truly become an epidemic in today’s society as it can manifest as many different diseases. By following an autoimmune disease diet plan I’ve been able to manage my health most of the time. I have limited my fruit, carbohydrate, alcohol and caffeine intake, reduced my food options to a handful of options eating almost the same thing every day and I constantly read labels when grocery shopping for new items to include in my diet. Honestly, there are a few food items I absolutely love and if I must have them I try to make sure I have no flare ups that can be worsened by consuming it. I’m still learning more about food and how it can be used to help or harm the body and this will be definitely be a continuous learning process.