THE FIRST STEPS!
Please let me start by saying that I am not an expert on your health and wellness. No one has the right to that title but you. I can offer advice based on research and my personal experience. But ultimately the only person who knows if wellness has been achieved is the individual who is trying to achieve it. Beware of the “expert” claiming that, based on years of research, they know exactly what you need to do to be healthy – chances are their snake oil may make you feel better initially but will ultimately not be what you need.
There are many reasons why people chose to participate in a healthier lifestyle, like a New Year’s resolution or medical necessity. Whatever the reasons, I am here to support you on your wellness journey, not only through this blog, but with access to affordable products and services through Di Vita Organic. I truly believe that many people find wellness unattainable simply because they either don’t know where to go to get their questions answered or they believe that they can’t afford what is necessary to thrive. Hopefully this co-op will change both of those hurdles into milestones on your way to success.
Allow me tell you a bit about my wellness journey. A complete lifestyle change happened quite suddenly two and a half years ago. We ate mostly organic fruits and veggies (especially the “Dirty Dozen”), though it wasn’t the major priority on shopping trips for other food items unless convenient. We ate out occasionally (yes, the dreaded fast food!), especially if a hectic day hadn’t left me time for food prep. While I was content to use homeopathy for many of my family’s minor aches (an earache would be healed with a warm onion and a sore throat with a homeopathic syrup), anything bigger would send me running to the doctor for a diagnosis and possible prescriptions.
Then something changed in me. I gained 70 pounds in 3 months without any change in diet or exercise routine. I felt lethargic and out of sorts. My severe migraines, which I’ve had since 2 years of age, went from happening every few months to 3-4 times a month. There was no specific part of my body that I could pinpoint for the change. It was an overall meltdown of my entire system. Specialists concluded that parts of my endocrine system had simply stopped communicating for unknown reasons and, as you can imagine, prescribed a variety of drugs for me to take. Everything would help for a little bit, but then my body would adapt or something else would happen that would change the dose or prescription I needed to take. After three investigative surgeries (that told us nothing but “It looks fine!”), countless weekly blood tests, and months of multiple nightly injections of 2-3 different hormones, I was finished. I quit cold turkey and vowed I would never go back to that regiment of treating symptoms and not my overall health.
I began my research. Sifting through source after source, figuring out which was real and which was that brand of snake oil I was trying to avoid, was exhausting. I did notice, however, that much of the research focused not on something that I was to take to feel better, but overall diet as a way to wellness. So I began an elimination diet with myself and then my entire family. I first removed gluten, then dairy and eventually a variety of other seemingly harmless items (specifically corn, soy and quinoa) that were causing me a great amount of damage. We began to eat only organic, whole foods with an emphasis on local and sustainable products. I began to seek out alternative forms of medicine, including chiropractic care and acupuncture.
The results were dramatic! I have been pharmaceutical free for a year and a half now. While I can’t say the I am at 100% wellness, my family and I all feel that we are at the best point in our health than we have ever been. My son, who had always seemed to pick up every cold or runny nose and had random rashes over his body, is now, for the most part, illness free. And my husband, who has had his own struggles with diet and weight, is now almost as fit as he was in his days of running high school track and field. While I believe we still have quite a few miles to travel on our journey, it has been a wonderful change from the “take a pill to make it better” approach that was so prevalent in the beginning of my diagnosis.
I look forward in coming posts to sharing recipes and tips with you, as well as guest posters from different areas of wellness to enhance your understanding of what wellness is for you. Please feel free to comment below about specific ideas or topics you would like covered in an upcoming blog post.
Until next time, may 2018 bring you peace, joy, and wellness!