One thing I’ve learned from food restrictions is sometime you just have to laugh at yourself and the situation you are in. So, here are some of my favorite gluten-free, real food, food humor, and Hey Girl pictures! Hope you laugh as hard as I have finding these images!
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The past several months have been very busy, as always, and my health is fluctuated during this period. With this said, I though it would be good time to update you on my health and how I have been doing.
The biggest health problem in my life use to be joint inflammation. The daily pain was the reason why I first changed my diet over two and a half years ago. Through everything, the joint inflammation has not returned. I had a few scares when I thought it was flaring up again but, to my relief, it went away within a day or two.
This is blessing everyday that I tend to overlook. Two years ago, I struggled to play the sport I loved because of the pain and I would have laughed if you were to ask me if I seriously thought I would play softball in college. The softball season starts today and this is going to be my second high school season now with no pain! I also plan to play at the division three college I will be attending next year. It has been an incredible turn around that has opened many doors for me.
Although the main symptom has gone away and not returned, I still deal with other issues. Now, I don’t feel sick but I know I am. I am definitely not as healthy as I could be and still need to overcome the remaining issues, primarily being cystic acne and weigh gain.
My amazing mom has taken on researching and learning about the different reasons for the health issues each family member is dealing with. She decided it was time to have a DNA test run in December and we received the results in January. It revealed two mutations with the MTHFR gene. Like all gene mutation, just because I have doesn’t mean it is expressing itself and causing complication.
A complete metabolic blood test was also conducted around this time to better understand what was going on. Combing the test results with the knowledge of the MTHFR mutations, it is reasonable to say that the mutations are affecting my body through a series of chain reactions. The biggest impact has been on my liver. I struggle to detox and although a recent test has not been taken, I likely still have high heavy metal levels. Poor detoxification and liver functions can be connected to my issues with the acne, weight gain, popping joints when I move, almost color in my eyebrows, and poor absorption of vitamins.
Since knowing this, I have been careful with my diet. Although we frequently make minor changes to it, for the most part what I do not eat is all grains, nuts, dairy, and sugar. This leaves me with meat and eggs and most vegetables and fruits. The closest diet to this is Autoimmune Protocol. I am also taking additional supplements targeted to support my liver and methylation pathways.
Overall, I have made a few steps forward but have seemed to plateaued. I follow the rules and try to exercise several times a week in addition to managing my stress levels and getting enough sleep. I still mess up but I am not giving up. I have struggled mentally over that past several weeks as everything has begun to seem overwhelming. This is the hardest part for me. I have learned to control my actions, I still have to make daily decisions to control my thoughts, emotions, and attitudes.
My journey isn’t over yet but, by the grace of God, I will overcome this.
There is a new Facebook group just for teenagers (middle school, high school, and young adults) with food restrictions! Food restrictions can be anything from a one to multiple food sensitivities, allergies, or intolerances. If you are on a diet like GAPS, Paleo, SCD or have your own personalized diet then you are welcomed to join the group as well!
From my personal experiences, having food restrictions is difficult for anyone but they are especially hard for teenagers because we are young to have our health problems and even younger to be doing something about them.
I spent many hours looking for a Facebook group, blog, or just blog post about teenagers with food restrictions. I found almost nothing. All I wanted was a community to relate to and to support me when my friends weren’t able to understand what I was going through. So that’s what this group is for- to create a community and support system for all of us.
To be successful though, this group needs to be supportive, welcoming, and kind to all the members. No one should feel nervous or afraid to ask a question. This should a safe environment to ask for advice about anything related to the struggles that come with food restrictions. This group is also a place to share what you are going through-struggles and successes.
If you are a teenager with food restrictions we would love to have you join the group! Even if you feel as if you don’t necessary need advice or support, others do and there is power in numbers. You can also help others by answering their questions and offering advice based on your experiences.
I hope many of you join the group and I look forward to getting to know you!
Parents- If you think your teenage child would benefit from this group, please encourage them to join us because we would to have them!
** I know Facebook isn’t that cool anymore so if you have a suggestion for a different and more trending social media network to move the group to, please contact me.**
As I scroll down my Facebook newsfeed I see a lot of posts with the date and something they are thankful for that day. I love this idea of intentionally looking for the positive everyday in November and then sharing it!
So what am I grateful for? Today I am grateful for leaves. Yup, leaves.
Yesterday I spent an hour and a half raking. I really don’t like to rake. So why am I grateful for leaves if they make me rake? Let me explain…
I managed to get out of raking last year but two years ago I had to. I remember raking two years ago and it was painful. I still had tendonitis in both of my elbows at the time and anything more than five minutes of raking caused my forearms to experience a painful, burning sensation. Gripping the rake tight to scoop the leaves onto the tarp caused my fingers to feel stiff and painful to move. I wanted to start crying after 20 minutes and begged my mom to let me go inside.
My mom told me to rake until it was painful and then I could stop. If I wasn’t so prideful, I would have stopped after seven minutes, but I toughed it out for another 10 minutes and then regretted it the rest of the day because the pain lasted throughout.
I raked for an hour and a half this year, and I had no pain! So, I am grateful for leaves because they reminded me how far I have come in two years. Still not a fan of raking, but my body can handle it now and I am very thankful for that.
My challenge to you and myself is to find something positive everyday, not just in November, and to simply be grateful for another day.
God bless you during this Thanksgiving season!
Want to read more about the importance of thankfulness while trying to regain your health? Read my book, A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions: A Practical Guide to Keep from Going Crazy! It can be purchased on Amazon for $5.99 as a paperback or $1.99 as an ebook.
This post is part of Mostly Homemade Mondays