Days after my 7th birthday I was diagnosed a Type 1 Insulin-Dependent Juvenile Diabetic. I remember waking up that day and telling my mom I had a stomachache and needed to stay home. At that point in my life I was already known to play the sick card to get out of school, church, chores, practice, and basically any other responsibility that I wasn’t much a fan of at that point. I was a little Peggy Ann McKay!
Sick by Shel Silverstien
So my mom sent me to school. I vividly remember sitting at my desk working independently on a math sheet and feeling dizzy from the pain. I was finally allowed to go to the office, even Mrs. Emo knew about my tendencies to feign illness. Only the fact that I was hunched over my desk unable to work and bawling finally convinced her. What happened after that was kind of a whirlwind. Doctors office, blood tests, crying from me and eventually my mother when my pediatrician voiced his suspicions, and rushing to a hospital to be admitted. I stayed there for four days, but never fully grasped what was going on. We were told that due to a viral infection that had occurred weeks prior my pancreas no longer functioned how it should. At that age all that meant to me was I could not eat the foods (sugar, cookies, cakes, Cap’n Crunch cereal) all my friends were eating and I had to learn to give myself insulin injections.
From that moment on I blindly followed advice from the “experts” and never questioned its validity, cut me some slack I was seven! I counted my daily allowed starches, which were numerous and gave myself insulin injections to combat all the carbohydrates I was consuming. I was told to eat and drink sugar-free, chemically laden products, so I did. I hate to imagine the amount of chemicals and toxins I have ingested based on that recommendation. I was never counseled on eating clean, whole nourishing foods. I was told to eat vegetables and fruits and given a chart with serving sizes but never told about the varying carbohydrate sources and their actual impact on body, mind and soul. The benefits of fats was never a topic of discussion, but I was told to avoid them, especially those from animals sources. I was simply told that life wouldn’t be that much different, I just needed shots.
As I grew up I went through phases where I followed doctor’s advice and was unhealthy, ignored the doctors advice and was unhealthy, and followed advice from the media and was still unhealthy. During that time my A1c, a test used to take averages of blood glucose levels over a two to three month period ranged from 8-13! Preferred for a Type 1 is 6.5 or below. I have always carried extra weight in my mid-section and have been trying to lose the proverbial 20 pounds as far back as I can remember. Any possible way to lose weight, I tried it! I did the cabbage soup diet, the master cleanse, Weight Watchers, the South Beach Diet, Slim Fast shakes, the Atkins Diet, counted, tracked, documented and eliminated calories, became a Vegetarian for 8 years, a portion of those years were even spent a Vegan. I tried everything under the sun to get skinny, because I had convinced myself that skinny equals happy. I wish I would have realized years ago that all I really needed to do was get healthy!
All of that led to Paleo. A few years back I was fatigued, still trying to lose those damn 20 pounds, hungry, memory was shot, my A1C was hovering somewhere around 8 no matter what diet I tried. I also felt like I was developing insomnia. At the time I had just relocated to Texas and through the whole moving process I let any semblence of food control go! I stumbled upon a post from a friend talking about doing a WHOLE 30 challenge. At that time I had just recently started eating chicken again, but was still skeptical of other meats. I decided that I should give it a try. I had tried everything else, why not try to eat real food for a while? Within two weeks I was sleeping better, feeling less foggy headed, and had more energy than I had experienced in years. I tested my A1c two months into my new whole food journey and it was a 7! So I never looked back and here I am today sharing recipes, tips and useful information on healing your body and feeling nourished!