The Potential “Cure-All” Diet

rose-1082542_640I would like to introduce a diet that has changed my life and is beginning to change the lives of many others.

MY STORY

In October of 2015 I entered the hardest month of my life….I was experiencing gut/intestinal pain, severe acne, adrenal depletion, an overloaded liver, depression, warts, fatigue and an inability to sleep.

To sum it all up, everything hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was distraught that my body was preventing me from showing up in the world the way that I truly wanted to. I didn’t want to eat, cook, be productive, blog, go out, go to school, any of it!

Two months went by like this until I went to see a local naturopathic doctor. It was suggested that I go on what is called an elimination diet for 3 weeks.

This diet was probably the most amazing thing I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. For three weeks I challenged myself to get completely off of:

Dairy   Gluten   Sugar  Soy   Nuts   Caffeine  Alcohol  Corn   Legumes     Nightshades   White Potatoes

So what does that leave me with? Basically milk substitutes like coconut or rice milk, fruits, gluten free grains, meat and vegetables. I’ll admit that it was tricky. I began by taking out the things that I was already impartial to and didn’t mind taking out such as caffeine, alcohol, white potatoes, nuts, corn, legumes, and gluten. For me, all of those things were easily substituted. A couple of days went by like this and then I began to take out nightshades. Then the hardest part came: Dairy and sugar. I am completed addicted to both of theses things so it was incredibly tricky to get off of them. I gave myself the space to have my cravings and just started by decreasing my intake. Another week or two went by like this until I was able to finally get off of both of them.

Five days went by with out eating any dairy for the first time in 4 years and  I could hardly believe what I saw:

  • my acne was gone (for the first time in 4 years)
  • my energy was back
  • my gut didn’t hurt
  • nausea, diarrhea, gas — gone!
  • depression subsided
  • warts disappeared

I had my life back and it felt so good to know that the power was in my hands and it was something as simple as a shift in diet. So here I am at the end of my 3 weeks and I have amazing skin, energy, and vitality to show for it.

UNDERSTANDING THE DIET

The Elimination Diet is great for anyone with any kind of food sensitivity or GI disturbances as well as arthritis, ADD/ADHD, narcolepsy, migraines, issues with the kidneys, cardiovascular disease, allergies, asthma, and others. It’s best if the diet is adhered to for a minimum of 2 weeks. Big dogs like gluten and dairy should be eliminated for 28 days.

It should also be understood that these dietary changes are not permanent and that these foods can be reintroduced. It is recommended that you begin to introduce one of the eliminated food groups for one day and then notice your symptoms for the two following days. If you show no symptoms or reactions you can introduce another food group. This process can take up to 5-6 weeks.  At the end of the process you will know a great deal about your body and your allergies. I learned that I was allergic to dairy and nuts, I could tolerate gluten and sugar, and appear to have no symptoms concerning soy, beans, nightshades or caffeine.

Consult your physician or registered dietitian if you find that there is a certain food group you’d like to introduce, but have an allergic reaction to.

 

Here’s my advice for trying it yourself:

  • Give yourself space to do it at your own pace and don’t beat yourself up when you “relapse”
  • Understand that you WILL go through withdrawals and that they WILL pass and you WILL make it
  • Consult your doctor or physician if you have any questions or concerns
  • Find a community or a friend to support you in your process
  • Switch to organic foods
  • Get on a Probiotic, Multivitamin and/or a B Vitamin complex
  • Supplement with essential fatty acids (i.e. EPA or Fish) and CoQ10
  • Remove other toxins that your not digesting such as perfumes, chemical fragrances, artificially scented lotions, cremes, shampoos and conditioners.

Tips and Tricks for getting through the withdrawal symptoms:

  • Epsom salt and lavender essential oil bath
  • Charcoal (to bind toxins being produced in the body during detox)
  • Broccoli Sprouts
  • Getting body work at least once a week (ex: yoga, massage, chiropractor, acupuncture, etc.).
  • Don’t keep what you crave in the house and resist the urge to buy them when you shop.
  • When a craving appears, drink a large glass of water and wait 30 minutes. Often, the craving will go away.
  • Don’t let yourself get too hungry. When you get hungry you’ll want to eat what you crave, so try to keep an emergency snack or meal prepared.

Check out this link for more information about the Elimination Diet, what to eat, how to reintroduce, recipes, and for more general information:

https://wholelifenutrition.net/articles

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/elimination-diet

For literature on the Diet I suggest exploring:

https://wholelifenutrition.net/books

 

 

 

How to Move Forward: An Open Letter to Finding Comfort in Discomfort

Potensial

They say that the two of the most stressful things a person can endure are moving and the loss of someone close to you. On September 7th of this year my grandmother, a women whom I loved dearly and will miss eternally passed away. The grief still unfolds new for me everyday, unveiling a new layer of knowing the absence of her presence. Each day it becomes more clear that I can’t pick up the phone to call her, that I will never hear her Brooklyn accent, eat her roast beef, ride with her in the back of her cherry red car, or share my life with her. She was the most amazing listener and the dearest of grandmothers. When she passed, our cousin who lived near her said, “I want you to know that even though you live so far away, she breathed you everyday.” I remember hearing that and thinking to myself, “Wow. What a sacred thing to breathe someone.” To breathe someone, to know that no matter the distance, no matter the situation you are loved by one another. You are held by one another in a way that is as permanent and as impermanent as the breath.

In the coming weeks, I signed a lease with my boyfriend, Josh. We ended up in a beautiful little apartment right off Main St. I knew that it was because of her that we got the place. I just had a feeling: The odds of a college student with no credit and a mother as a second reference with a post-grad swamped with debt made us unlikely candidates. Yet here we are.

The idea of moving in together was not a new one, nor did it come into play silently without any debate. Very early in our relationship I decided moving in with Josh was something I wanted. For eight months I continued to nudge and ask for this move. Finally, Josh said yes. He saw part of him wanted to pursue our relationship in this way and that he needed to get away from his current living situation.

I have never lived with a partner before. Needless to say, everything feels entirely new and not entirely how I thought it would be. Everyday since we’ve moved in I have felt heavy in my heart, feeling as if I broke something that didn’t need to be fixed. I have yearned and yearned for my old room, my old house, and my old roommates, simply for the fact that they were familiar. Last night, my partner looked at me and said, “When are you going to arrive? I feel like I have been living here a week and my roommate hasn’t showed up.”

Crushed by my self guilt and the notion that I am letting him down, I recalled a conversation I had with my mentor earlier that evening. With loving eyes and little detail of my situation she said, “Expectations take you out of the present. You cannot find happiness where expectations lie. Furthermore, you’ve signed a year-long commitment with this person so you need to give it your 100%. By the time your lease is up you will know what you need to do.”

All of this leads up to writing this post this morning. I flashed back to the moment another yoga mentor of mine told me in the most arduous of poses, “This is life, right? It’s so painful and uncomfortable, but it’s all about how you approach it.”

So yes, happenings like death and moving may be some of the most stressful things one can endure, amongst many others. However it is not our circumstances that define our quality of life, but the way we choose to navigate them that counts. I noticed, the most painful things require a great deal of adaptability, for it is great change, I believe, that haunts us most in this life. Still, each day is a choice to stay in Duhka (suffering) or find Dharana (contentment). Finding contentment is a continual practice, one that takes conscious and undivided effort. It begins with showing up in the midst of discomfort and knowing that is shall pass. Knowing that change will change again and it’s all about how you approach it, so you may as well enjoy the ride.

grandma

Dedicated to Shirley Klein Harwood