April is officially upon us and with April come Allergies. Everyone around me is so miserable. Usually I'm right there with you all! I've had allergies my entire life and this time of year I'm usually sick sick sick. Realizing that, for the first time, I'm not suffering with the masses, I've started to reflect upon April 2011 and how I was feeling... and what has changed.
Miserable! Last April I couldn't breathe. I went to my family doctor who sent me to an Asthma specialist, who then sent me to an Allergy specialist. I visited them all 2-3x. Everyone had to do their own testing and blood work. I was being tested for Lupus, among other diseases. I was given a pneumonia shot that you can only receive 2x in your lifetime, so they could check my immunities. I had Atopic Dermatitis and my skin was always itchy. I felt miserable, I hated sitting hours in each of the offices only to leave with no help or hope. I hated being poked and prodded. And the final conclusion... Out of all the specialists I visited, not one could figure out what was wrong with me. The only thing of value I left with was this advice: "Try losing weight and eating healthier."
At this point I'd already been doing Weight Watchers for 2 months so I thought I was on the right track. But I stumbled upon Clean Eating and Raw/Vegan eating and the combo of these has literally changed my life! My skin cleared up. I've been able to stop using the special expensive lotion and use a good but less expensive brand. I could stop with the inhalers and asthma meds (which I was using even though they said I didn't have asthma). I lost 40 lbs, started exercising/running and felt great about myself for the first time in a looong time. I've not been back to the doctor in a year and it feels so fabulous!
What has made this difference? Cutting out all processed foods, fried foods, fast foods and drinks other than coffee, tea & water. Cutting out sugar. Decreasing my dairy intake. Eating a lot of raw foods and whole foods. Adding Grapefruit Seed Extract and Bee Pollen to my diet. And drinking water...a lot of water! (Check out Tosca Reno's book The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged)
I'm glad to be reviewing my life a year ago because it's easy to grow complacent, to forget my WHY, to slip back into old ways of eating and to think it doesn't matter anymore. But it does matter. I need to stay diligent so I can stay healthy. After all, my WHY is optimal health...to not get any of the diseases that I see my friends falling to around me.
So this is a "happy anniversary" of health to me. I still need to lose those final pesky 10 lbs. BUT I'm happy that I've stayed consistent weight-wise instead of the usual roller-coaster. It's also exciting that I've not been sick with allergies at all this year. I do take Zyrtec every morning and Benadryl every afternoon because of the atopic dermatitis (I'm afraid to stop!), and I know that helps with the allergies too. (Last year those meds didn't even touch the allergy problems I was having.) Taking bee pollen most days has really helped with the allergies this year.
In my last post a few weeks ago I included a recipe that I wasn't sure how to name. After making 4 batches of it and going through it all in 1-2 days each, I've concluded that "Energy Bites" really are the best title. Those little nutritious balls really pack a punch! They keep you feeling full and give more energy than a cup of coffee. And they taste great! The other day my husband was asking my kids what they had for breakfast. I heard my 5 year old say, "We had chocolate balls, Dad. With some healthy stuff in them too." With what other way of eating could I feed my kids "chocolate balls" for breakfast and not have to feel guilty? In case you missed that post, here's the link to it and the recipe: click here.
As this is the beginning of our Easter weekend, I wish you all a wonderful holiday and I encourage you to stay away from the jelly beans, the Peeps (blech...seriously the WORST food you could ever ever ever eat!!) and all the other chocolate covered eggs and bunnies out there. Choose healthy eating...and choose a healthy life!