|Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 8:11 pm: || |
A light switch flipped overnight in my body starting when I was 17 years old. We went on vacation as a family and that morning I started getting incredibly sick.
I would suffer from extreme cramping abdominal pains about five hours after eating. I was in so much pain it was difficult to breathe, my chest would feel tight and I would lie on the floor curled up as I tried to live through the pain in my abdomen. At times I went unconscious and lost my eyesight as my body struggled to make it through these reactions. This intense pain would last about 2-3 hours, and I would sleep for hours after to recuperate and get my strength back. For 3-4 weeks afterwards I would have a dull aching pain in my stomach.
I saw dozens of doctors who ran many tests; the results were all negative. I was told I was healthy and they couldn’t figure out the reason for these pains. And worse, they couldn’t figure out how to stop these reactions. Two years went by as I suffered with these attacks.
I went away to college armed with boxed and processed foods. One day after a terrible reaction I was talking to my college dorm neighbor who was in nursing school. She was so curious about these reactions and asked to see what I ate last. She read the label for the canned Chili and showed me monosodium glutamate on the label. She told me that it was a very controversial ingredient and people were having a wide range of reactions from it. She suggested I eliminate it from my diet and see if it helps.
I started reading labels for the first time in my life and became pain free. I was ecstatic! What a blessing and miracle that this humble college student somehow heard of MSG and thought to suggest I eliminate it from my diet. This was an answer to many prayers. For several months I was pain free then I started getting sick again. After digging for hours in the internet (there was so little information available then), I found 3 more ingredients that MSG was hidden under. I eliminated those and was back to being pain free. For 4 years I had a back and forth of being pain free, then getting reactions again, and then finding more ingredients to avoid.
I came across this site during those years but unfortunately I was in denial regarding naturally occurring FGA and read a few radical and over the top posts a few people posted about creating large amounts of MSG in your own kitchen while cooking a chicken breast on the stove top. This information was in direct contrast to all the information I had read about how MSG was created so I wrote this site off and continued to search on my own for answers to figure out why I was still getting minor random reactions. I fought against the system and tried and tried to find safe restaurant food and packaged food that was safe- I thought this was my answer but I was still getting mild reactions.
Finally in 2004 and revisited this website and ordered Deb’s book. I read it cover to cover twice and I think I cried every day that week. I was devastated. I was a terrible cook and relied heavily on the very few packaged foods that I thought were safe. But after reading Deb’s book I realized I needed to completely revamp my diet and cut out an additional 20 ingredients, totaling 50 ingredients all together.
My husband and I put together a plan and moved forward. I was determined that if this was going to be our way of life, if everything I ate was going to come from MY kitchen, I better refocus my energy to learning how to be a better cook.
Every day I spent 1-2 hours reading through the entire archives on this forum. I took notes on every successful product and method of cooking. I marked everything in a spreadsheet and from there started testing new brands and new recipes.
I started reading cook books instead of novels. I became brave and fearless in the kitchen and we celebrated each new recipe that brought a new dish to our menu. I still remember the day I learned how to make “cream of chicken soup.” Funny how these things are mysteries to my generation. I also remember telling my grandma how excited I was that I (me!) could make my own whipped cream. Imagine that, you can take cream, add a little sugar and vanilla, whip it and have your own whipped cream! She laughed and said “well of course that’s how its made but luckily when I was a new mom they came out with the CoolWhip which is so much easier.”
My mom and Grandma saw all these new products as time savers for the kitchen while I scoured old cookbooks to figure out how to make everything my great grandma would make.
Fortunately my cooking skills have dramatically improved and we see this lifestyle as a huge blessing. My husband and I frequently talk about how grateful we are for this lifestyle change because we don’t think we’d have the will power to live like this if we weren’t forced.
We both are incredibly healthy. My immune system was low growing up and I always caught every bug that came my way- my whole family was like this. But now, I rarely see the doctors. I feel fantastic each and every day. I sleep well, I feel good, I love living like this. My husband rarely gets migraines where he used to get 2-3 a week. He feels great, he sleeps great, he goes years between getting sick.
I rarely get MSG reactions now. Occasionally I’ll get a very mild reaction if I start experimenting with new brands of foods but overall I’m reaction free. We eat a wide variety of foods and dishes and are constantly experimenting in the kitchen to find new dishes. Our garden grows bigger and bigger each year and I feel more confident digging in the dirt. I feel like I have precious gems growing in our yard with 100% safe strawberries, grapes, peaches, raspberries, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions, etc. It is gratifying being able to grow food that I know is safe for me to eat and finding ways to freeze and preserve it through the winter.
I owe my health to this form and everyone here over the years for contributing little bits and pieces to help each of us solve our own puzzles. Thank you.
|Posted on Friday, October 30, 2009 - 8:46 am: || |
Wow! What a great story.
I love reading how people arrived at where they are today.