Let me say this, I'm not afraid of doing something radical to improve my health. I've simply gotten to that level of insanity where I cannot keep doing the things that I had been doing. I'm not interested in cleansing or purging away toxins in my body. Been there and done that. When you change what you're always doing, there is very little need for cleanses and detoxes. I have changed what I have done. But my level of thinking has been that of a needy child in that I don't allow adaptation and switch over to take place. The shift, I'll call it.
Last month I took part of a rather controversial diet. I dove in and partook in World Carnivore Month. Honestly I was so excited about this because not only were the reviews that I had read for months as I was researching this so in line with what I was looking to heal, but truly I was simply done with the abundance of food I had been eating that wasn't serving my body. I was done with creating the perfect meals and micromanaging everything that I simply was willing to do something off the wall in order to have my body be pain free, experience normal digestion, and have skin that was free of rashes, acne, dryness, and dermatitis. And for the most part, aside from the digestion being on point, I was feeling really good. UNTIL!!!
Thoughts in m mind started to pull me away saying, "you can't do this long term." "You need vegetables" "This isn't practical" "How will you eat out, date, share your experiences with people who eat normal." And so I caved …… went shopping, bought meats that I'm not used to eating anymore (chicken), had 3 days of eating various vegetables, drinking more coffee, and cutting back water. All the things I did when I NEEDED lots of supplements I crawled right back into bed with…..Because it's comfortable, familiar, and I know how to manage symptoms based on that WOE (Way Of Eating) But truly this is the diet that I followed for years and felt completely sick all of the time. This is the diet that had me doubled over in cramps, IBS, rashy, depressed, anxious, and tired all the time. This was also the diet I had been consuming my entire life, that I ate which probably caused and continued constipation, and it was the very diet I ate when diagnosed with autoimmunity. And to go back to something that I was doing when I was at my sickest, it's like going back to an abusive marriage. Again…..and Again….and Again.
Here's what happened: I started eating only meat--basically all natural beef and some lamb. I did have eggs as well. I allowed myself to have some ghee as most others were eating butter as well. So ghee and some tallow. I ate smaller portions of Offal each day, took two tsp of cod liver oil, and continued various supplements like Vitamin D3, K2, and my adrenal support formula. I did fine. Like I said, I was still experiencing some fluctuating IBS between constipation and diarrhea as this is a high fat high protein diet.
I must admit I was not responsible with my introduction of food. I wound up making chicken soup. The breakdown goes like this:
- Chicken Broth = HISTAMINES
- Vegetables (zucchini, squash, green beans, cauliflower (goitrogens, anti-nutrients and gut irritating fiber)
- Chicken Eggs (I was eating mostly duck eggs before)
The next day I woke up and had my usual itchy rash under my breast and down my torso. After speaking with and sending a picture to my herbalist, I was grateful to hear that it is not shingles but more of an autoimmune response to either the histamines or the inflammatory response my body was giving off. She said that she had experienced this with another patient who avoided chicken for a long while and as it would turn out, was extremely intolerant.
- I also had some salmon (HISTAMINES) the next night which I had been avoiding.
It's hard to say which came first, the chicken or the egg, literally, because I reintroduced way too much way too fast. I ended up with some seriously debilitating effects:
- SEVERE, and I mean SEVERE cramping. Like lie-on-the-floor-and-cry-for-mommy kinda shooting intestinal cramps.
- Skin rashes on the torso that I mentioned above. That was the first symptom which is my queue that something is up inside. But I also broke out on my right cheek with some acne. Lovely, right? Not so much. It was like overnight I just got this inflammation that popped up 'outta nowhere'…..
- Extreme water retention in my abdomen and in my hands and fingers. I looked like I had eaten way too many pickles. Actually, I looked just like a pickle.
- Anxiety. My mind started to race. Which I think is natural because my body was freaking out, but anxiety had been subsiding SIGNIFICANTLY during the month of January and so I was on my way.
It's not uncommon for me to take things too far. Working as a CHT for the years that I did, I even took the health aspect of cleansing too far. Because it was available to me, I had done it too often. I fell into the belief system, as many primarily plant based followers do, that cleansing will purify thyself. There's a time and a place for that. I still believe in the power of cleansing through hydrotherapy. But I believe that it should be done and then be done with it. It should not be something that we just do all the time. Yet, during the month of January, I had done some home cleanses which I think disturbed the process of resetting my gut microbiome just on its own. The point is that during my years of doing so much cleansing, my symptoms were at their highest. It was almost as if the more I pulled from my gut through cleansing, the more I pulled from my upper digestive system (immune) and my mind as well.
I am not someone that does well with these symptoms. I have a life to live just like anyone else. I crave a time where I will be free of these symptoms but it only will happen if I stay in the game and understand that there will be days that I will fluctuate. And that's ok. There will be days I will be tired, That's ok too. I may have some skin issues along the way. Sure, I'm still healing. But 27 days is not a marker of progress. The majority of the people I have had contact with have been at this for months. Some even years. And it's not uncommon for it to take a solid year for the gut to reset its microbiome. It's not uncommon for autoimmunity to take its time to not only go into remission, but to be healed.
And that's what I want. To be healed. To not need to do patch work with supplements, medications, and all sorts of funky treatments. I got tripped up and perhaps a little scared because I had a few days of not feeling well which in my mind meant that it wasn't working. And that's simply not so.
World Carnivore Month may have come to a close. But we have so many months in the year, in our lives, where we can start from scratch. Where we can wipe the slate clean, get good with our SELF, higher power, and make better choices for ourselves. Making better and more responsible choices means not going back to relationships from the past that have hurt us. Whether that relationship is with a person, food, or yourself, you've simply got to make the choice to move on. That's where I'm at now. And as my mother, my dear sweet WISE mother, always says to me, "Make a decision, Stay the Course, and Be At Peace." If you're at peace with the choices you make, you will not be swayed by the devilish messages that creep in telling you to do otherwise. It's a trap. And it will leave you feeling INSANE afterward. And remember, you owe no explanation whatsoever to anyone for anything that you are doing when it comes to getting better, stronger, and healthier. Many protocols out there, whether they are from a book or something you pieced together yourself to suit your needs, are extremely unconventional and extremely extreme. Sometimes that's what we need to do. It will become frowned upon by others who think it's/you're weird or going to far. That's their opinion and what they think is none of our business. Just power on and do not look back.
Choose Wisely & God Bless.
P.S…..this by no means means that there is no point to reintroduce food. Clearly I was not prepared and clearly I went at it the from the wrong angle. But at this point, I find that it's best to simply go back to the Ultimate Elimination aspect again. So here's what I will be eating for 30 solid days, which starts today 2/3/2019. And although I took out what I had added in, 2 days ago, I was still consuming chicken eggs.
- All natural beef of lamb
- Grassfed Offal
- Tallow from beef or bison/ possibly some organic grassfed ghee
- Salt for seasoning
- Copious amounts of RO water and Fennel tea made from RO (per my herbalist's rec.)
- Plain black coffee
After 30 days I will try to introduce one food at a time with a 4 day rotational break….how it's SUPPOSED to be done. How I have always had my clients do it. That food will more than likely be a duck egg from the farmers market.