Sarah’s Rap: Most people have never heard of Leaky Gut. Among those that have, I’d estimate that at least half think it is a quack diagnosis, including those close to Leaky Gut suffers such as myself. It is difficult to have a condition where you’re met with skepticism rather than support, with accusation rather than help. I can tell you that there are a lot of doctors out there that support this illness and many people that benefit from treatment designed for a Leaky Gut. Even those with diagnoses of IBS, IBD, Autoimmune diseases, Fibromyalgia, Celiac Disease, Thyroid conditions, Autism and more!
The best course of action is to get informed and if you’re suffering, know that you are not alone. The more people learn about the condition and others like it, the better able we will be able to heal, get medical attention and receive the support needed for healing. Even if you don’t think you have any health problems, I hope you still read this as I guarantee you that someone you know does!
Sarah’s Rap: Time sure has been flying by! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week. It is one of my family’s favorite holidays. We will miss spending it with our extended family on the East coast this year, but are fortunate that several friends will come share a meal with us. I’m sure you know by now if you follow my blog that I eat a strict Paleo diet for health reasons. This means that my Thanksgiving meal will be full of delicious vegetable dishes, meats, nuts and fruits. Many of you may be thinking… a Thanksgiving without bread, macaroni and cheese and sugar?! How is that even possible? Well, it’s actually pretty easy considering the umpteen ways to prepare vegetables, all the cookbooks and websites offering Paleo recipes and the plethora of grain, dairy, sugar and gluten alternative ingredients at the grocery store. There are so many wonderful dishes you can make using wholesome ingredients without having to be in the kitchen for a week straight. Be thankful for your health by rewarding it this Thanksgiving with a delicious, and surprisingly simple, Paleo meal. I know I will!
Sarah’s Rap: This is the third part in my series on what I feel are contributing causes behind the high numbers of disease and illness which so many Americans, and others around the world, are suffering from. If you missed them, check out my first two posts on the Standard American Diet and the “disabling” U.S. healthcare system. It likely will not come as a surprise that unhealthy lifestyle choices are also key factors to the prevalence of disease, but sometimes what constitutes “unhealthy” may be less obvious.
I’m no saint myself when it comes to some of my own habits. In fact, I know that several are contributing factors to my own health issues in recent years. But if I don’t acknowledge the destructive behaviors and their negative impacts, I won’t continue to make (and keep) the changes necessary to get to a healthier me. I’m hoping this post can help you to do the same and take the right step towards better health. Continue reading →
Sarah’s Rap: Everyone has likely heard the oft-used quote by Mahatma Ghandi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I’ve always loved this and try to live by it best I can. I try to treat others as I wish to be treated, I do what I can for the environment, and have a passion for helping others to grow and succeed.
But I’ve also had a personal motto that I try to follow over the years:
No one will make you happy but yourself.
Sticking to this hasn’t always come easy, but whenever I find myself struggling with dissatisfaction, I’ve tried to remind myself of this and use it to motivate me to make a change. This motto means two things to me:
Even if I have everything I ever wanted, I may still not be happy unless I let myself. I can receive love, money, security, a family, or whatever I desire, but if I continue to think negative thoughts, don’t take time to appreciate what I have, carry around anger or resentment, never feel good-enough, etc, I won’t truly be happy.
If I am unhappy about my circumstances, it is up to me to make changes to get to a desired state. If I am unhappy with my job, I cannot expect someone to read my mind, the perfect job to fall into my lap or some other miracle to occur in which the desired job is attained. Instead I’m much better taking action myself that will help me to reach my goal. In the end, I’ll actually be all the more happier for reaching it, by having taken control and gone after what I need.
The first interpretation is the one I struggle with the most. I’ve actually become quite adept at the second – it actually gets easier the more one does it. I imagine the first does as well, but I’m still working on it.
Over the last seven years of suffering from gut dysbiosis, Leaky Gut, SIBO and other digestive ailments, I’ve subconsciously expanded my motto to also include:
Sarah’s Rap: As promised in my previous post, “Where’s the Beef?” I’m sharing my first recipe from my recent exploration of cooking with non-traditional meats. I found that it has a similar taste to beef, but much leaner. It’s a good thing the meat is so lean, considering the luxurious toppings I paired it with. 🙂 They complemented each other perfectly!
Sarah’s Rap: Does anyone remember the slogan “Where’s The Beef?” from Wendy’s commercials? Well, this has been what I’ve been asking lately. Burgers are one of my favorite foods on the planet. Even when I went vegan for almost a year back when I was diagnosed with digestive issues (it was the wrong tact for many reasons!), the only meat I craved was a nice grilled hamburger – juicy, sloppy and covered with yummy toppings. Considering my love of this guilty pleasure, you can imagine my disappointment when a recent MRT LEAP food sensitivity test listed beef as one of the foods which I was not tolerating. Not only beef, but things like almonds, lemons, avocados, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, salicylic acid and a few others made the list. This was definitely upsetting, particularly the last one. Do you realize all the things salicylic acid is in? I hadn’t until I started researching. It’s not pretty! But as upsetting as that sensitivity is, the beef one seemed to bother me even more. Probably because I felt like one of my last comfort foods was being taken away. If you’re wondering why I have so many food sensitivities, this is very common for people suffering from Leaky Gut, particularly with foods that are eaten often. Leaky What? For more information on Leaky Gut and the bane of my existence in recent years, check out this excellent article by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne.
Well, as you may know by now, I am not one to sit back and let something like a beef intolerance get me down. I’ve already given up dairy, grains, sugars, most fruits, alcohol, most nuts and starchy vegetables after all! Continue reading →
Sarah’s Rap: Before my health problems, and the resulting restrictive diet, all my vacations revolved around food. Nothing made me happier than finding a local culinary delight and my sightseeing agenda was always scheduled around the location of restaurants I’d set my heart on. I’d pride myself on finding the places where the locals ate and was usually rewarded with food that was out of this world. Glorious mushroom pasta and rice gelato in Italy, tempting tempura and okonomiyaki in Tokyo and to-die-for doughnuts in Manhattan…Ah, those were the days!
Now that my diet is restricted to meat, vegetables, berries, limited nuts and healthy fats, travelling has become a little challenging. Eating potatoes, dairy, sugar, grains, alcohol, most fruits and legumes makes me miserable – tired, achy, itchy, bloated, irritable and blurry-eyed. Travel is one of my passions in life, so I’ve decided to not let my dietary limitations keep me home. Instead, I’ve developed a few survival mechanisms for travelling that have made my last few trips bearable.
From a young age, my health has been a roller coaster of sorts. I am grateful that the things I have had to deal with are what they are. I am clear that many suffer from far worse ailments. But, I do hope that my story helps me connect with others who have had similar experiences, and sheds some light on what it is like to live with multiple chronic conditions.
When I was 10, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis, curvature of the spine. My spine was and still is an S. Despite my doctor’s attempts, we couldn’t seem to slow the process, so when it degraded to a 60° curve on the bottom and a 30° curve on top, he recommended surgery. When I was 12, I underwent a surgery called Harrington rod implantation with fusion. Three rods were fused to my spine to prevent it from curving further, and to minimize the current curvature. My curvature went down to 15° and 30°. Continue reading →
I have suffered from several medical issues in recent years which have deeply impacted my life. I’d like to share my health journey thus far, in hope that my story can help others with similar conditions to find a path to wellness. I am not out of the woods yet, so if you suffer from similar ailments, please share what works for you! Until I found groups of people on Facebook that suffered from similar conditions, I felt alone, depressed and unsure what to do. I firmly believe that we need a network of people to recover from illness, whether it be for support, to vent, get advice or just to let loose and have some fun. Together we can heal! Continue reading →