Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What Started It All

There were certain turning points in my life over the past two years that really made me want to do things more naturally in life.  Most of them happened one right after another.  The first thing was attending a class on making homemade cleaning products conducted by a friend from church.  It was for charity and I wanted to help out.  I learned to look at what I was using to clean with, mostly filled with chemicals that can be harmful.  I learned how to make my own homemade, non-toxic, all natural cleaning products using essential oils.  I bought my first pure essential oils after that and started researching more natural products and making homemade stuff.

Around the same time I was experiencing reoccurring kidney infections and being put on more and more antibiotics. I was having trouble after taking antibiotics because they were depleting my natural good bacteria, leaving me vulnerable to other sickness.  I gained a lot of weight that year and was on multiple rounds of antibiotics, always taking them as directed.  I was sent to a specialist where they checked out my kidneys.  They couldn’t really find any reason that I should be having multiple episodes of these infections.  I did everything right regarding personal hygiene to prevent such infections, but it continued to happen.

The doctor told me I could try natural alternatives instead of starting antibiotics right away if and when my infection returned. So I really started researching other things that were natural instead of using chemicals or pharmaceuticals.  I have been doing those natural things ever since and I haven't been back to the doctor; nor have I touched any medicines other than ibuprofen on occasion, and even then I hate taking it. I was taking acetaminophen at her recommendation because it goes through the liver and not the kidneys. Shortly after that I found out that drug caused liver failure in many people so I switched back to ibuprofen if I ever had to take something.  I only take it if I am in too much pain that I cannot function, usually with a migraine; but what always helps the most is plenty of rest, hydration, and peppermint oil…which I’ll touch on another time.

Another point during all the antibiotic use was when I woke up sick with strep throat on my honeymoon.  The doctor I went to in Tennessee was the best doctor I have ever met.  He encouraged prevention more than cure.  He treated me but also told me about grapefruit seed extract and how taking it at the first sign of illness helps to shorten its duration or even prevent it from getting worse altogether.  I have used that ever since and have not had a bad illness like strep throat set in again.  That led me to researching more on natural preventative measures.

During all my "natural" study, I came across a website about real food. Food is my vice. I love food. I have always been an overeater. I did lose 60 lbs about 5 years ago and maintained it a couple years after dieting and exercising. As soon as I started eating "normally" again though and stopped exercising due to multiple reasons, I slowly started gaining it back. During the “kidney” year I gained 60 lbs on top of what I had already gained. I still never got my eating under control and eating at restaurants, regularly having fast food, and indulging on processed sweets were the norm during that time. I made some changes after finding the real food website but I never managed to completely transform my eating. 

I have decided to better myself and this is the year I stick to it. Knowing what I know now about food and the industry makes it completely idiotic to continue to eat that way. I am focusing on real, organic food without dieting. It’s about developing a lifestyle of healthy eating.  Once I lose some weight I plan to exercise again.  Right now I am following the Daniel Plan which for me is eating only fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, beans, lentils, nuts, dried fruits, rolled oats, and only drinking water.  It is completely vegan right now, void of all animal products and sweeteners.  I am not against eating meat or having milk, eggs, and honey, but this is a start to eating healthy and a commitment to God.  After 21 days I will evaluate what I may like to incorporate back in my diet, except this time, no processed foods or fast foods.

I know I didn’t go into detail on the specifics of why I do not want to eat processed foods, clean with chemicals, or take pharmaceuticals, but I will get more in depth in other posts with sources I have found.  In the meantime, I would love to hear if you have made commitments to more natural living and why.  Please use the comment section and tell me your stories!

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