Most of you all that know me, have never known me to be slender. I like that I have curves, but something has always seen off-balance to me. I’ve had nicknames like “crunchy granola” because I was usually seen eating something from Whole Foods Market or Trader Joes. I would look around at others and see them eating junk food, but I was the one gaining weight. With the research I have been doing lately, it really does come down to diet and something I never paid much attention to….gut bacteria.
Sugar has been my mortal enemy. Not the soda or dessert sugar, but the kind in honey and fruit, starches, milks and grains. Hidden sugar, if you will. I never bought sugar to add to anything. As a child, my mother never added the amount recommended in recipes. Yet as an adult, once I left the nest, it was laced in everything. For years, my hormones have been out of whack because of this. Overgrowth of yeast, inadequate amount of prebiotics and probiotics yielded and influx bad bacteria, resulting in my constant need for antibiotics because my body was too weak to fight. Another huge problem I had was gingivitis (and this was not due to lack of brushing or flossing). For about 6 years, I have had bleeding gums. Multiple complaints at the dentist were met with reassurances that nothing was wrong.
Instead of relying on modern medicine, I have been studying up on and seeking out counsel for ayuredic and natural medicine to heal me. On overhaul of my diet and even more mobility has steered me in the right direction. Below are some of the lifestyle changes I have made.
- Oil pulling in the morning – swish 1 tsp of coconut oil in my mouth for 20 min. Improves oral health, removes toxins, makes teeth whiter, freshens breath.
- Plus, I use interdental floss brushes now, which are better than regular floss
- Avg between 15 to 35 minutes of yoga and/or walking each day. Sometimes I walk up to three hours (clears my head and is a breath of fresh air).
- Deep breathing throughout the day, especially when I feel tense. Try alternate nostril breathing.
- Practically everything I eat, I prepared at home. This includes weighing things by scale.
- Low carb, moderate protein, high fat (LCHF) Ketogenic diet. Giving up grains, sugar, soy products most dairy, starches/starchy veggies and most fruits. I opt for berries, plant and animal fats, meat, certain fish/seafood, some cream/kefir, leafy green and non starchy veggies, coconut milk/cream/oil, teas, nuts and seeds. I can eat everything I want and am eating even less because I am actually satiated easier. I try to stay under 50g of total carbs per day so my body can use fat is fuel.
- I document everything I eat on Spark People. MyFitnessPal is very similar.
- Being more cognizant of household products/chemicals and opting for homemade recipes involving vinegar, SLS-free soaps and toothpastes, and making my own moisturisers from flaxseed and water, or coconut oils.
- Trying to commit to more sleep, 7 hours is optimal, but if I can get more, that’s even better.
- A multivitamin plus calcium and magnesium
Fermented foods like Kefir, sauerkraut, pickles and cocoa powder or 70+% dark chocolate are all great sources of probiotics. You can take the pills from the store, but as always fresh foods are better.
I still have my days of not feeling 100% but those days are fewer and further in between. I have more energy throughout the day, but I do realise this is a slow process. After all, years of eating an imbalanced diet laden with GMO’s and all the other crap, sugars (natural and refined) and not feeding my body with unprocessed foods, I now have to clean up this mess. I see change. I have lost a few pounds and my clothes are fitting better, I’m gaining muscle, and am breathing easier. Not to mention, my insomnia and vertigo are disappearing.
Let’s see how I look and feel in a few months.