For as long as I can remember, I have always tried to eat healthy and take care of my body, but something was always missing. As my education of our food system has grown, I have slowly redefined what I consider healthy over the years and as a result have made those changes throughout my diet. When I was in high school I would eat everything low fat, low calorie, and low protein. I loved eating the “100 calorie pack” cookies for my dessert after lunch because why not? They are only 100 calories so you don’t have to feel guilty eating them, right? I watched my calorie intake, tried to make good choices, but I still felt like I was in a “fog”. I’m sure many of you know what fog I am referring to. My energy was lacking and I just simply never felt good. But I couldn’t put my finger on it as to why.
Right before I went to collage a holistic nutritionist told me my body was extremely sensitive to gluten and dairy, and suggested I remove them from my body. In fact, she suggested everyone remove them from their body because humans simply don’t need cow’s milk, and gluten is not technically wheat, but a filler our food system uses to produce cheaper products in larger quantities. I thought her way of thinking was fascinating so I decided to do my research and I have not eaten gluten or dairy ever since. I slowly started to feel better, I had more energy, and I started losing weight. Once I realized how quickly I could lose weight by removing these foods from my life, I took things to the next level and avoided many other essential food categories from my diet and simply lived off of fruits and vegetables. As you can guess, I still felt the fog and along with that came weakness, anxiety, depression, and irregular blood sugar levels. It truly is amazing how essential diet is not just to our gut but our brain as well.
It took me awhile to get my feet on the ground after this, but over the past 3 years I have dedicated by food education to learning about how to eat to prosper my health and to fuel my body. We only get one body so why not fuel it like a well-oiled machine?
My quest to fuel my body for the ultimate health hasn’t been an easy one. From removing so many key nutrients from my diet during collage, I completely wrecked my hormone and cortisol levels, so trying to get them back on track hasn’t been a walk in the park. It has taken me almost 2 years to finally regulate my periods again. The fogginess I was so used to experiencing was still not going away and I still lacked a lot of energy. I couldn’t help but wonder what else I was doing wrong. I was trying so hard to make the right choices with food, household products and body products, but why did I still not feel like myself?
Then I purchased Body Love on Amazon and everything was put into perspective. Fat. No matter how healthy and careful I was trying to be, fat was still something I was afraid of eating too much of, and as a result my body simply was not getting enough of it. Kelly, the author of Body Love, believes that if we provide our body with enough fat, fiber, protein and greens our body should function to its full potential and our blood sugar will regulate. If we don’t eat enough of these essential 4 ingredients during each meal, our blood sugar will quickly drop and we will experience brain fog and exhaustion about 2 hours after we eat. That happened to me constantly. Like clockwork, about an hour or two after I would eat lunch, I would become exhausted, dizzy, and feel like I couldn’t function until I had a snack. The snack would help for about a half hour and then I wouldn’t feel well again until I ate dinner. This was my body trying to tell me my blood sugar levels weren’t regulated, and my brain begging me to give it more fat. So finally I listened.
Every morning I put a hefty tablespoon of coconut oil along with ½ tablespoon of Brain octane into my morning smoothie. That is a lot of fat! Two years ago I would have been convinced I would gain weight instantly if I did that. For lunch and dinner I fill my plate with healthy proteins, organic greens, and LOTS of avocado. I feel satisfied, I have an abundance of energy, and guess what…..my jeans are looser! I am not one to weigh myself because I don’t think a number on a machine should define your happiness, so I do the jeans test! I can’t tell you how good it feels to put on my pants and finally have them feel GOOD! All I can say is I would like to credit that weight loss to all the healthy FAT I am eating during the day! Fat is good, people. Don’t be afraid of it. Sugar and unhealthy fats such as canola oil are what will make you fat, but that is a whole different blog post.
I hope my story brings you clarity, and if you can relate, know that it will get better. We live in a world where there are too many opinions on what is healthy and what isn’t, so it seems nearly impossible to know if what you are doing is considered healthy for your body. My best advice to anyone is listen to your body. Eating low carbs, low protein made me feel like crap so I knew I had to make some changes. Eating healthy fats at every meal has made me feel like a completely different person so that is what I am going to stick to. Eat so that when you are done it feels like your body is rewarding you and not asking for more from you. Love your body, love yourself, love your gut.