The Clean Slate Day 14 and a Story


2014/01/21 by nikkiledford

I can always tell when I burn myself at work because when I get into a hot yoga studio, the burn will sting. Don’t ask me why I don’t notice while I’m cooking. I don’t know.

No fish, you cannot have my smoothie

Update on my digestion (aren’t you excited?!?!) It’s been doing okay… not perfect. I’m pretty convinced that apples and apple juice were causing some bloating, as well as some tiny seeds like hemp and flax. For the next few days I’m going to try assisting my body in repairing my digestive system. This means glutamine in my smoothies, bone broth soup, tea, and other easily digestible things like veggie juice.

My poor gut. It’s amazing the damage we can do to our bodies over the years.

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever really truly shared the story of my health journey. Here goes nothin…

As most stories go, It all started in the beginning. One very stressed-out and anxious little girl. My psychologically formative years (age 0-5) were particularly rough due to some serious family dysfunction. Picture one parent prone to high anxiety and a history of IBS and Ulcerative Colitis and another parent with eating disorders and an addiction to laxatives (among other things). Needless to say, I wasn’t really set up for digestive success (which, let’s be honest, is the least of your worries at that age). I was literally afraid of everything. I carried my natured/nurtured anxiousness into the rest of my childhood. Somewhere along the way, the nature/nurtured addictive tendencies also crept in. I began to eat, a lot. Moving into the teenage years, I would often use food as a way to feel good, escape my feelings, and avoid my issues. I often felt this sense of scarcity, as if the food would run out or if I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to eat, then it may be gone (like I said, issues.) As I got older, it became a pretty vicious cycle when not only would I emotionally eat, but then I would obsess over dieting, restricting my food, exercise, making food plans and then, of course, never follow them. Food was my way of dealing. Throughout the years, I began to see that certain foods did not “agree” with me. To my credit, I stopped eating fast food, soda, and dairy in high school. That was a pretty enlightened choice for me at that point. I can’t imagine how much harder this food journey would have been if I had maintained really poor eating habits. In college I learned about hydrogenated oils and began to stay away from those. Eventually, when I was 20 years old, I went overseas to Southeast Asia where I contracted an intestinal parasite (YAYYYYYY!). After discovering the parasite (nearly a year later) I had pretty effectively destroyed my gut biome. I also discovered (another year later) that I now had a gluten intolerance.

Around 2007/2008 my food problems began to center more on healing than dieting alone. In 2009, I stumbled upon Mark’s Daily Apple and I’ve never looked back. Paleo revolutionized my gut health. Unfortunately, it did not help me with the emotional eating and diet/food fixation. The anxiety is something that I’ve been addressing recently through counseling, healthy relationships, meditation, and faith.

So here we are today. I am finally employing all resources to help my body work towards wellness in a holistic sense. Healing needs to come from all angles; body, soul, and mind.

1. You must change the way you think.

2. You must change the way you feel.

3. You must change the way you act.

It’s pretty clear to me now that I’ve been struggling with IBS-C, food intolerance, fructose malabsorption, and potentially SIBO. Paleo does not solve all these issues. And it certainly doesn’t get your mind right. I hope that this story is an encouragement to anyone who has had a long health journey that feels never-ending, always changing, and consistently frustrating. Everyday I learn a little bit more about myself, and I hope that ultimately this journey is making me into a better person, not just a better body.

Clean Eats

Breakfast: Eggs, pork sausage, with onions and peppers

Lunch: small bowl of Sirloin StirFry with kabocha squash and broccoli and a multi green kombucha

Snack: Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

Dinner: Chicken and Poblano Soup with a couple rounds of grilled sweet potato

other beverages: yerba mate, water


One thought on “The Clean Slate Day 14 and a Story

  1. […] have explained some of my health story in the past. In sharing my story, I hope to help others who are frantically googling search terms […]

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INGREDIENTS // one of my favorite activities is going out for coffee. For me, the sights, sounds, and smells of a coffee shop signal rest and I enter into a state of slowing down, more observing and less doing. Lately, I haven't been out to coffee too often because 1. It's expensive and 2. I don't tolerate dairy and I'm not much of a black coffee drinker so at most shops I'm limited to their dairy-free options. While it's nice to have nut milks available, I have discovered that all the other ingredients in these alternative drinks do NOT do my body any good. 
A solution to would be to bring my own homemade milk, but I don't always have some ready or I forget to put a bit in a small container (which then gives me the fun task of toting around a dirty jar in my car all day). These smaller bottles of almond milk are perfect for adding to my coffee when I'm out as most dairy-free milks come in huge cartons and are inconvenient for a coffee outing.  @popandbottle only uses basic, real food ingredients for their almond milk. They even sweeten it with a bit of date! 
I like to think that I always have a choice about what I put in my body. Sometimes I'll have to settle for black coffee, but if I plan a bit, I can still enjoy my coffee outings without ultimately compromising on what is best for me in the long run. SNACKS // kept it really simple today during meal prep. This is a tasty bowl of yams, banana, almond butter, and coconut flakes. FAST FOOD// Roasted all these veggies last night for a tasty quick lunch. Added a new find from Whole Foods. @goodlovinfoods lemon garlic dip. If you like bitchen sauce, you'll like this (!! bonus, they don't use any soy ingredients either !!) ROUTINE// Who else is meal prepping today? It's a small step that has big impact on your health... body and mind. One less stress to consider in a week full of choices and obstacles. #paleomealprep #sandiegoprivatechef #sandiegopaleo

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