How I Healed My Digestion Holistically- From pain to relief
For a big part of my life I struggled with digestion issues. I would break out in hives after many of my meals, develop new food allergies weekly, and dealt with severe bloating for days on end. It was horrible. I struggled for many years getting sick after my meals and unable to eat heavy sauces or meats without being sick. I went to doctors who performed endoscopy and blood tests to try to determine the root of the problem. We thought maybe I had a stomach ulcer or acid reflux, which the endoscopy would determine, but nope. However, the blood test did give us some information as to what my food allergies were. The list was over two pages long. Everything from corn and dyes to dust, pollen, fishes, strawberries….. many of which were categorized as anaphylaxis.
The next stop was the doctor. We visited a doctor up in Rhinebeck who began treating me with vitamins and supplements to boost my immune system. He ran tests which showed I had high levels of anxiety and bad sleep habits so he prescribed me supplements to help correct these deficiencies. It was also during this time that I began eliminating certain foods from my diet- fruits, fishes, veggies – like corn, strawberries, dairy, eggs, kale, broccoli, pineapple, seeds, tomatoes, olives….. and GLUTEN/WHEAT!
My stomach also has a hard time digesting heavy foods like pasta, sauces, olives, oranges…..foods that contain a lot of acid. When I eat these they add too much acid to my stomach which causes me to get sick and experience bloating/stomach cramps. So for a few months I strictly stayed off of these. If I didn’t the result would be me getting sick at night, which I didn’t want. Also, my doctor said it was best for me to eat small meals. So instead of 3 big meals a day like most people eat, I break it down into 6-7. I also avoid gluten/wheat because my tests confirmed that I have a severe allergy towards it which was one of the biggest reasons for my severe bloating, skin rashes/breakouts, and overall feeling of CRAP!
What my day looks like
7 am: Drink water & then go for a run or workout. I find that I feel my best when I workout on an empty stomach and in the morning. This addition into my day has helped improve my digestion as well.
8 am: Breakfast – usually 1 egg with toast or yogurt with granola and cereal.
10 am: Granola bar, fruit, carrots, date bites (my recipe here).
1 pm: Chicken salad, or eggs & toast (if I didn’t have them for breakfast), or yogurt & granola (if I didn’t have it for breakfast), veggie burger or turkey burger and sometimes avocado toast.
2 pm: If I am preparing for my second run/workout of the day then I will usually have a granola bar here with peanut butter or a performance gel (to give me energy) if not then I tend to not eat till dinner time because I’m not that hungry.
5 pm: Tofu cutlets (recipe here), potatoes (recipe here), veggies bowls (recipe here), turkey burger or veggie burger (if I didn’t have for lunch), asparagus, cauliflower (recipe here). And sometimes we go out to eat sushi for dinner.
7 pm: Ice pop! I love ending the nigh with a pop – either a vegan chocolate one from Trader Joes or an Outshine fruit pop.
In between my meals I take my supplements that are prescribed to me and drink lots of water. With this schedule I have healed myself from the inside. My gut health is better, I no longer get sick at nights or breakout in hives and rashes. My immune system is getting stronger and my nails, hair and joints are healthy. The supplements I take also help me with my bad anxiety and sleep habits. Both my parents have insomnia so I’m pretty much a lost cause, haha, but the melatonin and sleep pills do help to a certain degree.
I would also like to note that after following a strict food allergy avoidance schedule for many years, this has allowed me to reintroduce certain foods back into my diet (the ones I don’t have anaphylaxis too), like dairy (usually once a week I have some form of dairy, either cheese or ice cream), strawberries, corn, and other veggies, fruits & seeds. But fishes, gluten/wheat, pineapple, kale and my severe food allergies will NEVER be making a reappearance into my diet.
The biggest takeaway I want people reading this to walk away with is that if you are struggling like I was, it will get better. It may take time to find what works for your body (ie. eliminating certain foods, adding vitamins, sleeping….) but once you find the right combo you will know it! I healed myself holistically with the help of my doctor and don’t rely on any medications or pills on a daily basis.
I am not a certified dietitian or doctor but if you did have any questions feel free to comment below and if I can, I will respond!