Changes We Don’t Necessarily See Often Have the Greatest Impact
At Natural Awakenings, May is Women’s Wellness Month, which is why I’m giving a shout out to three kick-ass women who inspire me every day—my sisters, Jean and Marion, and niece, Debbie. Each one in her own way has been a great inspiration to me over the last eight months as we embarked on a new eating plan together at the end of last summer. You may recall some references to this in one of my fall letters.
Collectively, we have so far lost 184 pounds, primarily by cutting out flour of all kinds, as well as sugar and all sugar substitutes. While I can’t say that some of us haven’t fallen off the wagon to turn around and jump back on and off here and there, the important thing is that we have recognized these particular foods as being similar to (if not blatantly) an addiction. It’s not always easy to stay clean, but the rewards have been life changing and life-affirming.
When we began seeing results, we were most excited about the visible changes including seeing the scale moving down gradually, clothes fitting better or even receiving the occasional compliment when someone finally noticed. Ultimately, it’s been the changes we don’t necessarily see easily that have had the greatest impact.
One sibling, for example, had been experiencing quite painful and disfiguring rheumatoid arthritis in her hands for years and though she does still use some medication to control its progression, the transformation since changing her diet has been tremendous. She reports experiencing a dramatic reduction in both pain and inflammation that has brought significant improvement to her quality of life. When I saw her recently, I was astounded at how “normal” looking her hands appeared. This was a wonderful thing to witness.
Additional benefits among our group have included improved sleep (depth, length and quality) and resting heartbeat; reduced A1C1 and blood pressure levels; increased energy and desire to exercise; being off the pre-diabetic chart; and many more.
An interesting side effect that a few of us have in common is an allergic reaction of sneezing and a pronounced stuffiness after consuming sugar or bread. I hadn’t ever considered either a trigger for an allergic reaction before. After doing some research, it makes perfect sense considering each of those foods contain inflammatory compounds.
I’m a strong believer that there may be a time when we, or anyone, requires surgery, drugs or some other more invasive approach to finding and achieving optimal health or relief from the multitude of maladies known and yet unknown. I am an equally strong believer that this Earth has provided us much in the way of natural healing techniques and natural medicines in our plants and foods to give us the opportunity to tune into natures best for ourselves.
As always, our hope is that you find at least one nugget that resonates with you within these pages that helps improve your quality of life, wherever you happen to be on your wellness journey.