Part of My Food, Health and Nutrition Journey

Part of My Food, Health and Nutrition Journey

Growing up, I ate a SAD (standard American diet) and didn't think anything of it.  Most of my friends and my mom ate it, so how could it be bad?  The older I got and more information I was armed with the clearer it has become.  This type of diet contributed to many issues throughout my child and early adulthood.  So here is a quick glimpse into my food, health and nutrition journey.

When I was young (as early as 4 or 5 months), I had many ear infections, sinus issues, strep throat and tonsillitis.  I remember being really sick, missing school for a week, at least once or twice a year, from early childhood to adulthood.  I was pretty healthy otherwise with some stomach issues.  At the time, it seemed normal.

In high school I made an effort to change my diet after getting more involved in sports.  I ran track, cross country, swam and played rugby.  Rock climbing and lifting weights throughout my high school years was also an interest.  The latter helped me build muscle tone throughout my body, which I have always loved.

Being so active, I was very conscious of my overall diet.  Health and other fitness geared classes helped me learn more along with learning on my own.  Although I tried to eat healthy, or what I thought was pretty healthy I continued to suffer with debilitating sinus sickness and had some major stomach discomfort most of the time.  My mom suffered from stomach issues so I thought it was normal.

Throughout college I changed my diet more.  I went from eating crap in the dorms, to nothing because everything the dorm offered seemed to make me sick.  Once I lived on my own and was taking college level nutrition and science classes, my food intake changed more.  The changes have a been an on going process.

In the last ten years, I have altered my diet so much so that for a while, my family couldn't keep up with all the changes.   Being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, is what started it all.  It changed my life.  I was a bread, pastry, pizza loving person.  My family came from a line of bakers.  So learning how to bake gluten free and now grain free, was a huge change.  A change that has proven to be necessary for my health.

When I mentioned "diet" above, I was referring to daily food intake.  Most people hear diet and assume it's a quick fix.  A way of changing what you eat to lose weight.  But operating like that is not sustainable.  I was one of those kids (from 10 years old until 28 years old) who dieted here and there.  When I was younger it was because my weight wasn't the right ratio for my height and age.  As I got older it was because I was an athlete and wanted to perform better.  Into early adulthood dieting seemed like it was the only way for me to lose weight.

Weight and being thin has always been in the back of my mind.  Although I didn't really struggle with extra weight other than 5-10 extra pounds until my mid 20's.  I was living in Costa Rica, away from my close knit family and friends and in a country where I didn't speak the language well.  The stress of feeling like I was alone and the difference in food and culture started to take a toll.  My body became so inflamed that when I returned home after 7 months, I was so uncomfortable in my body due to extra weight and aches and pains.

After a few months home, some of the inflammation reduced.  There was also a lot of digestive problems that would always effect me.  I was feeling nauseous all that time and struggled to maintain energy.  Slight depression and social withdrawal began to set in and I knew I needed help.  I finally started to feel relief after changing my diet (food intake).

In the last five years, I have done elimination, paleo, whole30 and AIP diets.  These have helped me reset my body but the most benefit and change I've seen in my body is when I started eating real, whole foods.  I continue to tweak my diet. Since giving birth things that never bothered me before now cause some major problems.  In the past year I have worked hard at repairing my gut and eating a mostly Paleo diet.  I'm not saying this is a fix all but I have seen some improvements.

Keep checking back for more updated information on my food, health and nutrition journey.  In the mean time, eating real, whole food is what works the best.  It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle that I will sustain for the rest of my life.

Ciao,

Val

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