I believe that with every action we take, every thought we think and every morsel we put in our body, we are moving towards greater health and vitality or we are moving towards faster aging, illness and death. What if we had thepower of healing and living at optimum health at our fingertips? I believe we do.
Our diets are a key component to the functioning of EVERY part of our body. I was thinking about the food I used to eat. I don’t think the food I ate as a child and young adult were much different than the average person in this country. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pretzels, bagels and cream cheese, homemade chocolate chip cookies, apples, grapes. As I became an adult, a few more greens, other veggies, whole wheat and other grains made their way into my diet, along with more variety (and a few more indulgences).But, along the way, my body began to break down, and it didn’t take long. I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata when I was 8 years old. Then as a young adult, I learned that I had an underactive thyroid and then Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which really turned out to be leaky gut syndrome (yes, its as bad as it sounds).
Unfortunately none of the many doctors I saw ever suspected my sugar, gluten, dairy, low-fat and preservative-filled diet could have had an impact. Diet and possible food sensitivities were never discussed.There are countless studies that point to the direct impact of our diets on our health. A recent paper inThe New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 diseases that can be caused just by eating gluten. Most people with a gluten or food sensitivity often attribute their symptoms to something else – not food.Not only does food have the ability to do damage, but it also has the ability to support our body in its natural healing processes.
After many years of symptoms, some obvious and some not so much, I’ve discovered the power of healing with food. Making dietary changes aren’t necessarily easy, even if the goal is as important as healing an illness. But it’s critical to add in the life-giving foods that our body needs to thrive — like fruits, veggies, healthy fats and water— and begin removing inflammation-causing foods, like gluten and sugar. At times it’s been overwhelming and frustrating. Why would I want to give up eating warm, delicious French bread in my favorite restaurant or my mother’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, that I’ve known and loved my entire life? Is it really worth it? As I began realizing the tremendous impact my diet has had on my health and the possibility of healing my body of the Alopecia Areata that I’ve had for 36 years, I’ve often thought, “Ok, I can do this. It’s not that hard.” That is, until I’m face to face with that cookie! More than once, I’ve said to myself, I’m willing to sacrifice a few hairs for this cookie. (Can you tell I like cookies?) Seriously, one cookie is not going to determine the growth of a single hair or my overall health. But it has never been just one cookie.
The truth of the matter is, in order to actually heal our body (yes, it is possible to heal our body even with autoimmune disease) we need to make our health and our diet a priority. It really is about everything we put in our body, and the many lifestyle choices that we make each day, each moment. Making our health a priority is about feeling good, having optimal function of every part of our body and wanting great health more than satisfying a momentary craving with our favorite treat. It’s also about balance and discovering new favorite foods that support our health instead of destroying it.It’s about being patient and allowing our body to heal. It takes time to heal.It’s about trust — trusting that sound nutrition and whole natural foods support healing and good health and our body has the capacity to heal.
And it’s about knowing that we can’t keep doing the same things and expecting different results.Take back your power. Take back your health. You are the captain of your ship, the one and only one you’ll ever have. The time is now.
By Jodi Briden at Mind Body Green