Monday, June 09, 2014

Healthy Makes It Happen

Take Care Of Your Body

An interesting read. Bad for 99% of us? Really?! I wish people would back up their assertions. I eat gluten-free because I must. I am happier than I have ever been with my diet. Prior to my diagnosis, I only consumed a moderate amount of gluten. I typically ate beans, vegetables and fruit. The only time I really ate bread and pasta (as I call, the super gluten foods) was when I went out to dinner.

This article is horrible for saying Celiacs are the only people who will benefit from going gluten-free. The writer has good intentions and I do agree with the spirit of the piece, which is really about processed food. Processed foods – many of which are made with gluten-based fillers – are just bad and not good for anyone. That’s not to say I don’t eat any processed foods, even the gluten-free ones, but always with balance and moderation as a guide. Exercise is key to a happier, healthier and much fuller life. – paerki (Reference: Gluten-Free Can Be Bad For 99% Of Us)

My Story

There are more and more people who are electing to go gluten-free who are not affected by a gluten allergy. Like many, I‘m thinking… WHY?!

For those who don’t know (and periodically need to be reminded), Celiac Disease (CD) is a digestive disorder causing individuals to have an immune-system reaction to the protein gluten. The reaction can be mild to severe. Sadly, mine was severe.

Gluten has the ability to ravage the small intestine, preventing it from absorbing nutrients, which can lead to a multitude of problems (bone and liver damage, a compromised nervous system, as well as a host of other challenges, some being life threatening if not properly treated).

For a person with CD, a gluten-free diet is mandatory. However, I am learning there are those who are choosing a gluten-free lifestyle because they feel it is healthier (this I’m uncertain about). I have friends who are affected by Crohn’s Disease, GERD and IBS, and fibromyalgia who’ve elected to follow a gluten-free diet and have noticed a significant change in their symptoms. Many report a reduction in flares, and symptoms that were once severe are now mild.

I’m sure there are doctors who will disagree with a patient’s need to go gluten-free, especially when they don’t need to, and there are even some who think it might be psychosomatic. However, I say, if it works do it. Please don’t misunderstand me. There are always people doing things they shouldn’t be doing, thus damaging themselves in the process. One must always consult with their physician when making dietary changes, or when choosing new therapies (e.g., herbal supplements and vitamins).

I was bleeding miserably at the time when I was thought to have had Crohn’s Disease. It was horrific. A friend of mine sent me a few articles that talked about coconut as a remedy for Crohn’s flares. Shortly after, I decided to use this as a treatment. I’m forever thankful I did. My discharge of blood was cut in half, which was significant.

However, I was still experiencing a host of other problems, all centering on inflammation. Unfortunately, I have allergies to medications that would have helped to remedy this problem. Not until I began my gluten-free diet did I have any relief. Finally getting a true diagnosis was life saving for me.

Like most GI conditions, mild symptoms can creep up from time-to-time and out of nowhere. Much of this for me can be from eating processed or spicy food. I don’t eliminate these foods from my diet altogether, but I do limit my consumption. I’m a healthy eater anyway and don’t eat large quantities of food that my body finds undesirable. However, all of my food is now gluten-free.

I am always excited to learn about new food options, as well as recipes that are helpful to my body, mind and spirit. I’m lucky because I have a great network of friends who look out for me.

Regardless of being a Celiac, if you are someone suffering with a disease that requires dietary restrictions, make sure you follow the rules. When you cheat, you cheat yourself out of a lifetime of happiness. The old saying is "cheaters never prosper," and I’m here to tell you they don’t.

As for my health, my yesterdays are not my tomorrows. My gluten-free diet had given me a second chance with new tools, a new vocabulary and a mission. I am five years gluten-free and active as ever – walking, running, cycling, hiking, etc. When my body speaks, I listen. I fortify it with the right nourishment. I take no chances. It’s just not who I am anymore.

I communicate differently with everyone, and I am never ashamed to tell those who care to listen about my journey, because it was a mandate to preserve my future. I discovered things about myself I never knew before, thus my ugly moments were not in vain.

Most people know how to eat well. Regrettably, too many make the wrong choices, and I do believe much of that has to do with stress, sadness and depression. Never make the latter your excuse for not getting help.

You are what you eat. As I always say, effort is everything. You only have the one body, treat it well or suffer the consequences. It’s never too late to make better choices. In some cases, you may not be able to turn back the hands of time, but you can certainly control disease through mindfulness (proper nutrition, simple exercise – a daily walk is so beneficial, meditation, etc.).  Large or small, thick or thin – we are all beautiful. Take care of your body. Control it before it controls you. – paerki

What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.

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My large collection of images are a testament to a life lived. Life happens all around us so it’s important to collect special memories, and what better way than with a photograph.

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There are many people in the world affected by disease. I never thought I would be one of the many. However, at any given time life can change. Mine did! There were many twists and turns, but I made it through and you can too. I am a Celiac on the move living life one meal at a time. Learn more about my life as a Celiac. Celiac Disease is a lifelong, digestive disorder affecting children and adults. In short, I have an allergy to gluten, and the treatment is a lifelong scrupulous avoidance of it.

No matter what, know this: You are never alone. There are people out there who’ve struggled, endured, made it through and are sharing their message of survival. No, they might not be at your side, but their spirit is out there in words, attempting to help others on their journey. Let’s all unite by sharing our individual stories, remedies for healthy living, food and recipes to keep us strong, and let’s find the laughter too because it can be some of the best medicine. Always remember, there is power in numbers. Check me out: A Celiac On The Move

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"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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