Tag Archives: teens

My Health Update

MyHealthUpdateThe 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.

Can Food Save Me?

CanFoodSaveMe

So much of my life revolves around the food  I can and cannot eat because it affects my daily life. It is easy to get caught up in everything and believe that what I am eating has the capability of saving me.

Regardless if I am to overcome these health problems or not, which I do believe I will, God is good and sovereign. He has a plan for all of this, and He sent his Son to save and guarantee me an eternity with Him that doesn’t include suffering of any kind. See, I am already saved. I admitted my sins to God, and I am forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus’ life. The perfect substitute for my brokenness. I don’t need food to save me and besides, it can’t.

Obviously, food is very important and I need to be eating well, but I often put too much emphasis on it. While food can help heal and protect my physical body, it cannot save my soul – which is far more important than my health. I will forget this though and rely on food to save me. God has the power and capability to save my soul and also to heal my body. Whether He uses diet or not is up to Him, it is out of my control.

I’m not going to stop eating beneficial foods though. Waiting for God does not mean not doing nothing. I can eat well. I can exercise. I can get enough sleep. The results are in God’s hands. God’s timing is not my timing, which can be frustrating beyond belief but probably a good thing because God has a plan (Mark 5:21-43). All I can do is pray to and trust God for healing and remember that food is not my Savior – Jesus is.

This post is part of: Wellness Wednesday

40+ Easy & Healthy Recipes for College

40EasyHealthyRecipesForCollegeTime is going fast! Only a few more months before I graduate and I’ve begun to think about what recipes I am going to be able to make will I’m at college. The lists below have a few of my own selections but the rest have been compiled with the help of many amazing bloggers! They are all grain and dairy free also!

Breakfast…

Lunch/Dinner…

Vegetables…

Soups…

Snack…

Dessert…

Fermented…

Eating food on campus? Here are 30+ Tips for Building a Healthy Meal at the Dining Hall

Looking for more resources? Here are three of my favorite bloggers who are also college students!

  • How We Flourish: Chole is a college student and real food, health, and environmental blogger.
  • Economies of Kale: Liz is a PhD student and shares her tips for eating well and saving money all while being a college student.
  • Empowered Sustenance: Lauren is a college age blogger who will be returning to campus next fall. She writes about healing your body and shares her gluten-free recipes.
  • Rubies & Radishes put together a 60+ Paleo Recipe Round Up and each has five or less ingredient.

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Monday, Natural Living Monday, Tuned-In Tuesday

Don’t Let Your Dreams be Dreams

DontLetYourDreamsBeDreams.jpg

Dreams are powerful things. They can drive our actions and determine our attitudes. They have to power to crush us and to motivate us.

With softball season starting soon, it would be fair to say it is on my mind a lot. Bear with me through this sports analogy!

As kid with food restrictions, you may be familiar with the feeling of being held back because of your health and diet. It is time to take responsibility for your health and step into the batter’s box. Don’t let your health problems hold you back as your dreams pass by you. Yes, life is going to throw you some curve balls and change-ups and an occasional out of control rise ball will come flying toward your head but it all about how you handle it.

You can either drop the bat and get out of the box because you are too afraid to swing or you can stay in it, being smart enough to get out of the way of the pitches about to hit you, but still swing. Every now and then, you can’t get out of the way of a wild pitch in time and it will hurt and leave a mark but then you get to go to first base. Good things can come from hard times depending on your attitude and if you are looking for the positive instead of the negative.

Your dreams don’t have to be dreams, they can be a reality. They will take work to achieve and require you to get into the batters box though. Take the risks, live life to the fullest, and make your dreams a reality. Don’t waste your life by just going through the motions. The pitcher winds up and the pitch is coming in hot. Are you going to get out of the box or are you going to crush it out of the park?

GMOs & Cleanliness: Theories on the Rising Rate of Children’s Food Allergies

FoodAllergies

As the number of Americans plagued by food allergies and intolerances has increased, so have the theories of the cause, or causes, behind the rapidly rising allergy rate.

An allergy occurs when the body has an immune system response to a food and the body attacks the food as if it is a harmful invader or pathogen. The most common food allergies are: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, shellfish, dairy, and wheat. Minor allergic reactions are typically rashes or hives, but a major reactions causes the airway to close and send the body into anaphylaxis shock which can lead to death. Teens and young adults have the highest risk of going into anaphylaxis shock.

Food intolerances differ from food allergies because they can include almost any reaction to food, typically caused by an irritated digestive system. An intolerance can be developed for any food and cause a variety of symptoms. The most commonly recognized intolerance is to lactose, the inability to produce lactase and breakdown the sugar in dairy products.

According to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study released in 2013, food allergies have increased approximately 50 percent among children between 1997 and 2011. While the exact number of American children living with food allergies can only be estimated, roughly one in 13 children under the age of 18 or about two in every classroom are impacted.

Multiple theories have been presented, argued, and rejected in different scientific, doctoral, and functional medicine communities. Careers have been dedicated to finding the cause of expanding number of children with allergies and how to cure it. Some theories have overlapping themes, while other have almost nothing in common.

A dominant theory in select communities is that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and processed food are contributing to the rise in allergy rates. In the mid-1990s, scientist began introducing newly engineered food proteins into daily-consumed foods. The dairy industry was part of this first wave of change. To increase the production of milk, farmers began giving cows a genetically engineered growth hormone, Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). Coincidently, milk is now the number one food allergy in the United States.

Other common allergenic foods have undergone changes as well, such as, soy and corn, to be able to handle large doses of weed killer by being genetically altered to create their own pesticides. Dr. Mercola, osteopathic physician and expert in alternative medicine, argues because an allergic reaction to food occurs with the “body reacts to a food protein as a foreign invader,” these new or ‘foreign’ GMOs, hormones, food colorings, flavorings, and preservatives are likely contributing the rising allergy rate.

Other scientists and doctors are skeptical of GMOs causing allergies. In order for a GMO to be approved to be produced for the food supply, reviewing committees must decide if it has a high or low probability of causing allergies. Additionally, there are doctors and organizations that believe there is no known cause for the allergy rate.

Another widely known and supported theory is the hygiene hypothesis, stating that “excessive cleanliness interrupts the normal development of the immune system, and this change leads to an increase in allergies.” Immune systems need to be exposed to germs and dirt to build strength, but the Western lifestyle has removed this exposure through high antibiotic use, improved sanitation, and extra clean environments. This hypothesis argues allergy rates are rising because as the world has modernize through medical technology and removal of parasite infections a perfect environment for allergies has been created.

There is no clear and agreed upon theory for what is causing the increase of food allergies to be rising rapidly or how to stop the growth. The source could be GMOs or too sterile of environments, or possibly a combination. Some doctors and scientists believe it is not one reason, but many factors, such as, C-sections, smaller family sizes, genetics, Vitamin D deficiency, poor gut flora, in addition to the previously noted theories. Regardless, food allergies and intolerances are becoming a norm in American culture and plaguing an unprecedented number of children.

Are there any health related topics you’d like to see broken down and written for teens? I’d love to have your input! Email me your suggestions at edibleattitudes (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sources: The Rise of Food Allergies and First World Problems, UCLA Food & Drug Allergy Care Center: Why are Allergies Increasing, Palo Alto Medical Foundation: Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance, FARE: Facts and Statistics, Bt Corn: The Popular Food that Turns Your Gut into a Pesticide Factory, The Truth is out on Genetically Modified Foods- And It’s Not Pretty, GMO Compass: Do GMOs Mean More Allergies? 

This post is part of: Natural Living Mondays, Mostly Homemade Mondays, NHS North Star, Fat Tuesday, Tuned-In Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Fight Back Fridays, Unprocessed Fridays

Summer Camp

SummerCamp

Summer camp is one of my best childhood memories! Starting in 5th grade, every summer my best friend and I went to camp for a week. Playing camp night games, singing songs to God with a hundred plus other kids, going on hikes, and spending time in the craft shop were just a few of my favorite activities. The food at camp was of course delicious with it’s excess of processed foods and the counselors insisting we eat one scoopful of vegetables a day.

My food sensitivities were not too obvious at this time. I’d bring lactose intolerant pills along and to my mortification, I had to go to the nurse’s station to take my vitamins twice a day. Besides that, everything was fairly normal.

Since then, my family and I have gone back to camp and lots of planning went into making the trips possible. We started off by contacting the camp to find out if they would be able to accommodate to our diets. Luckily, we were not the first campers to come with gluten, dairy and countless other sensitivities.

Here is how it was possible for us to go…

A few weeks before leaving for camp, we contacted the cook and talked specifically with him to create a plan. My mom asked him to email her the menu the week before we left. She’d read through it and mark all the foods we would not be able to eat. If she had more questions after that, she called or emailed the cook again.

The camp was able to make a few substitutions or remove an ingredient or two to make parts of meals okay for us but for the most part we prepared food ahead of time. For example, if the meat wasn’t allowed in one meal, for whatever reason, then we’d cooked a hamburger or packed a few hot dogs to be made instead. None of the desserts were safe so cookies were baked prior also.

All the food was put into ziploc bags and containers marked with the date or meal they were meant for. We took the food with us and went to the kitchen as soon as we could when we arrived. The kitchen staff then kept it in a cooler and warmed it up each meal.

I had only positive experiences at camp and have been blessed with an amazing staff who was willing to make it possible for me to go. With registration for many camps already open, if you are considering going to camp but are unsure if it would be possible for you to go because of your food restriction then I highly encourage you to contact them before ruling it out.

Camp is an amazing experience you don’t want to miss if you don’t have too!

This post is part of: The North StarMostly Homemade MondaysNatural Living Mondays, Fat Tuesday, Tuned-in Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Fight Back Fridays, Unprocessed Fridays

Why I’m Painting My Nails

WhyI'mPaintingMyNails

I have followed the rules of my diet for over 2 ½ years now. I’ve cheated along the way and definitely have not be perfect but I’ve basically always followed the rules.

The rules have changed though and sometimes pretty frequently. For two months it may have be okay to eat fruit and the next three it may not have be. Often, I would create other rules for myself, such as, how often to rebound, to avoid certain hair products because of the chemicals, or stop painting my nails because it promotes estrogen dominance.

All of these other rules were good and helped my body but they would overwhelming at times. Rules. Constant rules. When I’d break one of my own rules, I’d feel like I was letting myself down which, at times, was almost worse then letting down others.

For Christmas and my birthday this year, I received a few new bottles of nail polish. I was grateful but disappointed because I knew I wouldn’t be able to use them because of my no nail polish rule. I’ve been staring at those bottles for a few weeks now. I was tempted to paint my nails but I refused to let myself down by breaking that rule.

When I told my mom she told me to just do it. See, all those rules can weigh you down and cause you to not enjoy the little things in life. It is very important to take responsibility of your health and to care for your body but when the little rules consume you and cause stress, then it is likely the rules, or treatment, are causing more harm than good.

I need follow my diet and most of my own rules but not painting my nails was an extra thing that I was never told specifically not to do. I’m taking care of my body and doing almost everything I know how to so I’ve decided that it is okay to paint my nails and enjoy breaking this little rule for a week and when it starts to chip I will take it off right away.

Is there anything in your life like this?

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Mondays, The North Star

Food Restrictions Bring Freedom not Limitations

FoodRestritionsBringFreedomNotLimitations

Out of curiousity, I looked up synonyms for restriction. A few of the words I found were constraint, limitation, restraint, and confinement.

Those words were how I would have defined food restrictions for nearly two years. On the surface these words are true. Food restrictions and elimination diets limit and restrain you from doing things giving you a feeling of confinement.

Now think about it for a minute. Are food restrictions really restrictive? No, they are freedom.  Freedom from health problems and the affect they have on your life.

They may prevent you from doing things now and you may feel held back at times, but in the long-term by dealing with these issues and healing your body you are gaining freedom.

When I realized this, I had this mind-blown moment. This is so true but sadly not how we often view them. Our perspective of food restrictions affects our attitude which in turn affects our actions. Remember the freedom you are getting in the long-term over the constraint you have for short-term, and you will find your perspective, attitude, and actions changing.

Print the picture below to hang up as a daily reminder.

FoodRestrictionChart

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Mondays, Fat Tuesday, Tuned-In Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Fight Back Fridays, Unprocessed FridaysThe North Star

Take Responsibility for Your Health

TakeResponsibilityForYourHealth

If you are dealing with health problems as a teenager, then you know how hard it is. I don’t have to remind you because you know from experience. If you are like I was then sometimes you can’t stand your parents for making you eat a certain way or get upset when you have to do certain things that they think will help you. There are times you eat what you aren’t suppose to when you leave home and then deny that it makes you sick. Maybe you are angry that you have to deal with these issues and rather not address them by tackling them head on.

But guess what, it is time to step and deal with your problems. Enough of the whining and the complaining and expecting others to do everything for you. It is your body, not your parents’ or your doctor’s – yours! You want to be healthy? You want to live your life without your health holding you back? Great! Then step up and take control of your health.

Taking responsibility for your health means that you research and understand what you are going through. It is shown by being self-motivated, following your diet in and out of your home, helping with cooking, and having a positive attitude.

You are a teenager, an official adult in only a few years. You are old enough to understand consequences, see the big picture, and have an affect on the dreams and goals for your life. This also means you are old enough to know that the consequences of not addressing your health could have a detrimental affect your goals and dreams.

Some day, you will move out of your house and not have your parents around to tell you want to do and eat. You will be on your own soon and will have to make smart and responsible decisions. Your parents wanting you to have a healthy life is not enough. You have to want it too. If you start to make good choices now and create a healthy lifestyle then it will be much easier when you are independent.

I learned this through my own experiences. I went through the motions and followed my diet restrictions as minimally as I could for a year and half. I was angry and upset, and I really didn’t like any part of what I was doing. I’m not saying that I love my food restrictions now, but once I figured out why I was changing my diet and decided that no one could heal my body but me was when my attitude changed. I truly believe that our attitudes shape our actions. The first time I fully committed to regaining my health was when I changed my attitude and took responsibility and there has been no stopping me since.

I’m going to say one more time. It is your body, your health, and your life – not anyone else’s. Time to take responsibility. 

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Mondays, Natural Living Mondays, Fat Tuesdays, Tuned-In Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Unprocessed FridaysThe North Star

Roasted Salt Hamburgers

RoastedSaltHamburgers

My family can eat a lot of meat. Like a lot a lot. This just means that we have had to get creative for how we cook meat, specifically hamburger. Normally it wouldn’t a big deal but because we can’t add ketchup to the hamburgers there needs to be plenty of flavor so the hamburger tastes good by itself.

I started adding roasted salt to the hamburgers and was amazed by how good they tasted! Roasted salt is salt that has been roasted to provide a distinct taste. Depending on the type of salt and the type of wood it has been roasted over, a variety of flavors can be created.

Salt is an essential part of our diets because it helps our muscles, memory, and heart function properly. It is important to be consuming a good source of salt though. There are three types of salt: rock, sea, and table salt. Rock and sea salt are unrefined, meaning that they still have their trace minerals like magnesium and potassium which help support nerve and muscle impulses and the regulation of the body’s water balance. Table salt on the other hand has been refined and is lacking these trace minerals.

As said in an article by Natural News

“The right kind [of salt] and the right amount could enhance the taste and healthfulness of the food. Otherwise, refined (and iodized) salt, like refined sugar is slow poison.”

Makes about 4 hamburger patties

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of hamburger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of roasted salt (buy here)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder

Equipment:

Directions:

  1. Cut open the package of raw hamburger and place it into the bowl.
  2. Measure all the ingredients and put them into the bowl with the meat.
  3. Use your hands to mix the spices and meat together. Keep folding and mixing it until it seems some what evenly distributed.
  4. Turn the stove on to a medium heat and place the pan on the burner.
  5. Scoop a 1/2 cup of hamburger with the measuring cup.
  6. Place the 1/2 cup of hamburger into the the hamburger press.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all the hamburger is gone and made into patties.
  8. Place the patties onto the pan.
  9. Flip each when they are cooked half way through.
  10. Take the patties off the stove when they are cooked the way you like on both sides.

Enjoy!

*Affiliate Link

This post is part of: Fat Tuesday, Mostly Homemade Mondays , Natural Living Monday, Wellness Wednesday, Real Food Wednesdays, Paleo AIP RoundtableThe North Star