For over 15 years my husband and I have spent countless hours educating ourselves on everything food. Not just good recipes; but healthy, whole food, sustainably raised and farmed food. We have always been curious how our growing society and its demands for quicker and bigger options has impacted the food production process, the earth we rely on and our bodies as we blindly assume this is all for the better of everyone. You must know – I’m not a doctor. I have no formal training; rather I’ve been trained, as my mother-in-law puts in, in the school of hard knocks (life mistakes). Thankfully, I’m energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. I have a ‘prove it’ or ‘show me why what you are claiming is true’ approach to life, including the lives of those around me (animals, plants and planet included!)

Did I ask for this…? I think I did

I have always loved a good struggle story. The kind of story where the scenario defies all odds, yet because of belief, perseverance and in many cases just plain old stubbornness to never give up, in the end happiness is achieved. Amazingly, they are all over t
he place. Sure… Hollywood can display some good stories; think Soul Surfer, Saving Private Ryan and Book of Eli (watch these if you haven’t!). But these stories exist in everyday life on even the smallest scale and the ugliest situations. Moreese Bickham was sentenced to life in prison in 1958 for killing two police offers/Dragon Clan members who attempted to kill him.  He [wrongly] spent 37 years in prison and never lost faith or hope of his release. He kept himself busy, out of trouble and prayed often. As a result, Moreese was released for good behavior in 1996. He is not bitter, resentful or even angry. He makes me rethink my definition of a bad day and how trivial my woes are in comparison. Read/Listen to more on Moreese.

These stories are inspirational because like it or not, we are ALL living with a struggle story. Some are more obvious than others. What’s important is how we choose to respond. My most recent struggle story is one that in many ways, several of us share – food allergies and sensitivities.

After years of unexplained rashes, sty, sever stomach pains after meals and even mood swings; both my sons were tested for food allergies and what came back surprised me. Sensitivities to several foods including, but not limited to: Gluten, casein (diary of all kinds, including goat), soy, egg whites, egg yolk, garlic, chicken, beef, kidney beans, oranges, mushrooms… oh the list goes on. The good news – their young and with the right amount of dedication, this can likely be resolved. My boys can conceivably eat some or all these foods again, but first they have to heal their guts through a strict elimination diet.

On the surface, this sound difficult. But the reality –it’s so much more. Food isn’t the only struggle here… we’re talking about pre-teens not allowed to eat what is served at a pizza party, birthday party, holiday dinners with family and friends or even the school cafeteria. There is an emotional side to this process that cannot and should not be underestimated. The best way I know how to tackle this problem is to make it my own… that means that I chose to adopt this diet as well. I need to sympathize with my kido’s not just empathize. I have to feel the pain to coach them through. And boy, I am glad I did! Now we’re all different… so I don’t recommend this for everyone. But by doing so, I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and its effects on our bodies. I’ve performed a lot of research, talked to several doctors (including general practice, chiropractor, homeopathic) and most importantly – my own trial and error. While helping my sons heal through food, this diet change has even healed me when, and I didn’t know I was broken!

So what’s my goal here? This blog is intended to share my journey from ignorance to competence.  I’ll share some success, some failures, some hints and tips on living with food sensitivities. Understanding the connections between food, health, family and the earth are important to me because this is not only a diet, it’s a lifestyle. I don’t subscribe to the belief that a pill, surgery or other things modern-day medicines provide are an absolute cure-all. I do believe that we must be active participants in our healing, even if it means radically changing our lifestyle. This isn’t easy… it requires a large amount of determination up front. But habits are formed and success is attainable. I know this to be true, because the idea for this blog started while I was crouched in the corner of my kitchen crying, overwhelmed with fear, trying to figure out how to make this life change. It’s my struggle… and I plan to win.

I want you to know that if you, too, are dealing with something similar, you’re not alone! We are another family walking this journey!