I grew up on a typical America diet. Mac and cheese, hot dogs and juice boxes. Really at the time I blame no one for growing up on these easy favorites, but now I find myself trying to reverse the curse of these horrific foods that have been making me and most Americans sick for years. You have to wonder if the quality of our food, the way it is produced and processed is making our healthcare costs the highest in the world. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we eat the sugar, the trans fats, and all the chemicals? Is it because it's what's available and popular? How could you be happy if you avoided pop culture food? I dare you to try the real food that heals and builds your body is what is more satisfying and fulfilling. You don't need that value meal and candy bar to feel good about yourself...I know, I had to learn this the hard way. But now, I thank God for the blessing of having to eat healthy, gluten-free foods to feel truly alive. It truly is a better life and for that I am thankful!
I was 22 years old and my gut was sick. Seriously sick. Doctors wanted to do biopsies, surgeries and who knows what my future would look like with that prospect. I was so young I thought... why do I have to deal with this now... how can I get better without having to be dependent on steroids, or a bag for a stomach or worse...a life sentence diagnosis.
So I started researching, and doing my own homework on my body. I have always been interested in "healthier" foods like "light" yogurt and snack bars with fiber... that is what I thought would be the healthier foods to get me back to where I felt healthy again. Yet, the whole grain organic wheat bread form the supermarket and yogurt seemed to only make me sicker... how could this be?
That is when I started reading more about food allergies. I would have never put myself in that category. Me.... I'm not allergic. I don't have hives or asthma, just a stomach ache, headaches, depression, joint pain, brain fog, and feeling lethargic all day... that's it.... how could that be a food allergy. Well, that was the beginning for me. I researched and read as much as I could about healthy intestinal health, and eating a special diet and gluten-free. I tried to eat gluten-free for like 2 weeks in the beginning, and then there was a family food gathering of pizza-party. So of course, I told myself, well, once in a while wouldn't make a difference. Little did I know at that point that gluten can stay in your system for up to 6 weeks, and to really get it out you should be pure of it for over 6-8 weeks to start seeing a difference it can make to be without it. That was my turn around moment... more than 4 years ago now. No more gluten- ever. And those family members and friends will just have to learn this new side of me. That is so much easier said than done.
It seems like it is an inconvenience to have to eat with people. You mostly have to bring your own food just to be safe, and then people are trying to be nice to make you something but there is always the risk. It's not like you can expect a non-gluten-free eater to completely understand everything that has gluten in it. And that is why I think gluten-free eaters have united. We have found ways, via websites, blogs and books to connect ourselves to the greater community that understands the difficulty, but also the joy of feeling better. This kind of healing and health from sickness can not be labeled at any cost. It is priceless when you start feeling better, and you find more ways to improve your nutrition. I think if you are reading this, you probably have similar feelings and experiences.
I am a christian, a wife, a mom, sister, daughter, friend and health counselor. I decided to use my knowledge of eating gluten-free and healing from digestive ailments for a greater cause and become certified as a Holistic Health Counselor (from Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC, ask me if you are interested in the program). I knew that this "diagnosis" of eating gluten-free, mostly dairy-free, and whole foods to heal was something that God had put in my life to use with my gifts to make a difference. I couldn't keep all of this to myself. I couldn't just pretend that I wasn't surrounded by a culture and community of people that are literally dying from toxic food choices. The chemicals, the genetically modified foods, pesticides, fake crap, processed junk, filers, sugar, salt, and the list goes on of what our "modern" food contains. Disgusting! As a christian, I feel to be the best steward with my body, the world around me, and to flourish in relationships and making a difference we need to pay attention to the food issues. It is a mandate from our Creator. How you live makes a difference, and living means you have to eat. So what kind of choices are you going to make regarding food that reflects your beliefs and spirituality? I have to ask myself that daily...
That is why I am here today. I am trying to be a part of the bigger picture of people trying to work together to eat real whole good foods to live, breath, heal and thrive. I am here to give people HOPE that there is a life after sickness. That there is HEALING from food diseases. I am a witness to the miracle. So, my blog is here to inspire, give encouragement, and create. I enjoy finding new ways to eat the healthiest foods I can find. I love to bake and say... "that is gluten and dairy free, or vegan, or full of nutrients"... because it defies the fact that baked goods and deserts have to make you feel guilty or sick. Food should inspire you to be a more creative person, don't you think?!
Well, that's me in a nutshell. If you are interested in getting help for the gluten-free lifestyle, or just need some one to talk to about your health issues, or would like a holistic health counselor to just dive in with you and help you make some changes to get you on a healthier road... then contact me. I would love to meet you and see if there is something I can help you with on this journey.
Contact me via email : firstname.lastname@example.org or www.stephanielaidlaw.com
Thanks, and much love to you as always!