Why self-education is so important — for you and your family.
Many people suddenly become aware of lifestyle choices when an impacting experience occurs. For me, I woke up to how I was treating my body when I became pregnant with my daughter. I knew that what I chose to do would not only affect me but also her. That’s when I started to look deeper into chemicals, personal care products, food, gut health etc… For me addressing the tangible things was easy: Remove this and use this instead. Buy these organic products and take these supplements. But when I had to start looking at the ‘why’ for things, that is when my life really started to change.
I went gluten free in the middle of my pregnancy after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. Making this choice was not an easy one. The common thing I hear from others, and was telling myself (because I was resisting the truth) is — “I have been eating gluten my whole life and have been fine.” But, was I?? The more I dug into how wheat was possibly impacting my health the more I woke up to it, I realised, I was not ‘ok’!
Gluten and the affects it had on my gut had really been wreaking havoc with me for a long time. I was unaware of the correlation between my sensitivity to gluten and the chronic headaches, up and down spouts of depression, insomnia, low energy, acne, poor immune system, ulcers, digestive issues and muscle / joint aches that I dealt with on and off my entire life. The book that literally educated me and woke me up was The Gluten Effect: How ‘innocent’ wheat is ruining your health. That book allowed me to see how the choice of eating gluten was and will continue to affect my health. So, I went gluten free. It’s funny how easy it was for me to go from resistance to acceptance once I had the knowledge and understanding.
Yes, I thought I would never be able to eat bread ever again. Oh and cake — forget it. Man I love my pasta. How was I going to survive this?! Once I stopped the pity party I was able to see all the things I still could eat and learned tips like toasting the gluten-free bread. Would I cheat every now and then and eat something that has gluten in it? Yep, and you know what? After a couple times of intentionally doing it I felt like crap, so now it’s not even worth it to eat gluten products.
As my daughter got older then I had to decide if I was going to allow her to eat gluten. I knew a part of my sensitivity was genetic. Knowing now how much it impacted my health for 26 years, I wasn’t going to risk it. I decided to keep her gluten-free as well. This decision was not easily accepted by family members. They knew my struggles with my health and could understand my choice, but why would I need to keep my daughter off of gluten too? A gluten sensitivity was confirmed for me after she broke out into a bad diaper rash after being fed bread from a grandparent. That showed me that I was doing the right thing by keeping gluten out of her diet.
Without knowing the facts it’s hard to make a decision. We walk blind a lot of the time when it comes to our health. It’s hard to make a choice to make a huge lifestyle change when you haven’t done the research. I often wonder whether my health growing up would have been significantly better if my mom had had the tools to look at possible dietary reasons for physical symptoms. How would my life have been different? But the truth is she didn’t and not one doctor ever talked about dietary issues or sensitivities. I am grateful for my struggles with my health because it has lead me to where I am today. But what I desire for my kids is for them to experience the least amount of preventable struggles. For them to be empowered with knowledge about why we choose to live the lifestyle we do. And for them to be in tune to their own bodies so that they know and can distinguish when something they eat makes them feel horrible.
Wow. How impactful would it be for our kids to grow to be empowered with natural wellness, tuned into their bodies, and educated around holistic lifestyles so they can make their own educated decisions?