Wednesday, 12 December 2012

My journey to digestive health

Look, I know it may sound weird to some people talking about digestive health publicly. But to me, it is not only normal, but very important! Crappy digestive health sucks - it causes fatigue, affects your sleep, it even affects my ability to exercise! I have been experiencing stomach pain like you can't imagine for months. Something is out of wack.

So, I have decided to keep a journal. My journal will help me to look back and maybe pinpoint when and why my problems occur the most. It is also an awesome idea for when I finally go find a naturopathic doctor to help me deal with these issues (I know, I know, I need to get on that).

I originally thought I'd just write down when and what I ate, but I have now decided to take a different approach. Here is my most recent entry. I wanted to share it with you.

Wednesday, December-12-12

I feel great today. I realized that when I listen to my (gut) instincts, I really do know what is best for me. As long as I’m reasonable, of course, with keeping up with my low sugars, more greens and gluten-free grains. I’ve decided that writing a journal of exactly when and what I eat is not realistic, because let’s face it – I have a crazy life. I’m not always home, and when I do come home after a day or two, the last thing I want to do is write all the crap I ate down. Realistic meets optimistic – the best way to reach goals.

I have decided that instead of listening to other schools of thought word for word, I am going to create my own. I know that macrobiotics is an awesome diet, but I love my fruit way too much to limit it to one piece a day. And I’m not down with wheat. Or fish… But, I can draw tons of inspiration from this diet. Veggies and rice for breakfast? I’m down. Sea veggies, ume vinegar, and tamari are my BFFs since I read about this diet. But I’m not gonna follow it to a tee, I’m not aiming for an A in macro class. I’m aiming for awesome digestive AND mental health. I also love the raw food diet concept – but my climate and lifestyle don’t permit a 100% raw food diet. I would miss my steamed sweet potato way too much anyway! And finally, I do love my drinks and nights out, but I always feel like crap after. Do I know I shouldn’t go out and get wasted? Obviously. Will it happen again? Yes! But all I can do is look into the future and do my best, love myself regardless of my foolishness, and detox the hell out of my body as best and realistically as I can after I screw up. This, my friends, is my realism meeting my optimism.

Most importantly, I’m not gonna listen to the haters. The biggest one being my own mind. I always, always put myself down for doing something “wrong”. Well, from NOW ON, wrong is non-existant. As soon as I put it that way, there is only feeling good and feeling bad. I aim to feel good, and won’t let the bad days or judgements define who I am. If people are scrutinizing what I eat or do, I don’t see how their opinion is helping me with my mental or digestive health. So like I said, I’m not a macro follower, raw foodist, or anything that can be defined. I am me, the girl who is still learning about her own needs and who doesn’t need to worry about what they should or shouldn’t be…they just exist as they are, and I gotta learn to deal with them as they come at me.

I know for a fact that there are a ton of people who suffer from similar digestive issues. I've read a crapload of books and articles on the subject, and I have made progress since beginning this research. Gluten = bad. Poor food combining = very bad. Eating too quickly = pain for hours. I know everyone is different, so what upsets me to no end for days (yes, sometimes days!) may literally be digested in hours by some people. All I can do is experiment with my diet and see what works for me. 

I have decided that my next step, in addition to avoiding my triggers, is to purchase intestinal flora which will help restore my gut's natural bacteria. Do these words sound wacky? Well, they're not much less wacky to me at this point, so I will keep you updated as soon as I try them and learn more.

After that, naturopath it is. Yes, it is not covered by OHIP, which is a pain in the broke student's ass. But health is the greatest wealth, so I would be a giant hypocrite if I didn't go get myself to one ASAP.

Happy digestion all, post soon on updates!

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