I thought I’d do a quick update on my daughter, Katie’s, health in hope to inspire, motivate, and encourage anyone who may be suffering with their health or who have children who struggle with feeling well.
The beginning story of Katie and her health struggles can be found on my ABOUT PAGE.
This post is a continuation and the extended version of that story.
To catch you up to speed, when Katie was very young, I took the initiative to help her illnesses by focusing more on a healthy diet than medicine for everything. We’d met with specialists and doctors to help with her asthma, food allergies, upset stomach, reoccurring ear infections, etc. They all seemed to band-aid the issue rather than getting to the root of the problem, that would leave her struggling her whole life with these issues. It seemed like they wanted to prescribe medicine to temporarily treat the problem when it got bad, rather than ultimately fix the underlying problem.
With lots of studying, researching, and prayer, I came to understand that if I wanted to truly help Katie’s health, our family had to change our diet from eating mostly a processed food diet (at the time I didn’t know how processed it really was!) to eating mostly whole foods. I also learned that people do this all the time to reverse their disease or improve their overall well-being. Am I late to the game on this??? I never knew…I am so inspired….
I was so limited in my understanding of what one should do to regain health if it was lost. Sure, eat more veggies and exercise is what I thought, but it’s much more than that. And, it was so ingrained in me that if you’re sick, you go to the doctor and take medicine (even if it meant for the rest of your life). Disclaimer: I love doctors and medicine for many things. Never do I mean to sabotage all the wonderful things they do every single minute of every single day. This is simply looking outside the box, and away from what the pharmaceutical industry would like you to believe.
So, Katie. At the age of 3, I began implementing changes in her diet. After each change, I’d observe to see if it helped or not. Sure enough, after roughly a year of making changes, I felt like we’d gotten her health under control with food. Not only did she look healthier, her stomach didn’t hurt, her asthma attacks were very controlled and occurred less often, and she no longer had food allergies.
There were 4 things we did that greatly impacted her health. I have since learned that these 4 things are what a doctor (who understands the importance of food and health) would recommend for what is now termed as “leaky gut”. I sure wish all the information out there about leaky gut would have been available years ago! (Seriously, go back and read that article about leaky gut from Dr. Axe.)
Here is what stands out as the best things we did to turn around Katie’s health:
- Completely eliminated processed food. No dairy (inflammation), no meat, and definitely no added sugars. A 100% plant diet.
- Daily probiotics (At the time I never knew there were non-dairy sources of probiotics or I would of gone this direction. So, she had the powder packets that I’d stir into unsweetened applesauce).
- Drank bone broth. This is so great for healing leaky gut.
- Removed all food containing gluten. Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in many grain products.(This was the hardest one for me to find. I actually didn’t even know it was gluten at the time. All I knew was the things we ate that had whole wheat and barley in it, hurt her stomach a lot.)
*There are additional things to take to help heal leaky gut as well. Read article link above.
It would be an understatement to say doing this diet wasn’t hard. Especially coming from a highly processed diet and being such a novice to understanding “healthy food”. We did this for almost a year (it doesn’t take that long to heal leaky gut…I just didn’t know).
After that year, she was fine eating gluten, dairy, and could handle the processed food that came her way without an upset stomach. Her leaky gut was repaired and she felt well and happy.
However, four plus years later, we have now come to a point where her stomach isn’t feeling well again. We have reverted to this same healing diet as before. It’s harder in a different way now because she is surrounded by delicious processed treats every day at school. But, easier because she and I know what foods irritate her stomach.
Seeing this trial currently upon us, she had a decision to make.
1. She can continue to eat gluten-free, dairy free, and highly-processed-food-free, etc. and feel great. She is even able to eat the “gluten-free” processed food without it irritating her stomach. But, this would mean she’d never have dairy, added sugars, and the occasional processed treat/snacks that get passed around.
2. We can implement a diet with gut healing effects (described above) and supply her body with the best nutrition (plants) to encourage the healing. By doing this rigorously for a couple of months, we should be able to restore her gut lining so she can occasionally have the other food groups without it disturbing her.
Knowing how bad she feels, she chose to heal instead of maintain. I think it’s the better choice, but harder in the short-run. I admire her strength.
With how much whole food and how little processed food she eats on a daily basis, I feel surprised to be back to this…
I’ve learned how everyone’s body tolerates and reacts differently to food. Her body came to this earth less tolerant to inflammatory foods than most. And, I’m so grateful to of caught a solution early on.
I’ve also learned that being healthy isn’t taking on a diet for a month and then going back to a highly processed diet once you’ve lost the weight you wanted. It’s about cultivating a lifestyle that works for your body.
Our bodies live on the food we feed them, and will respond according to the type and quality of food we give it. We don’t have much control over events or the crazy things that happen in our lives, but the food we eat, we can have control over.
If you or a child suffers with the symptoms of leaky gut or food intolerance, take the leap to make a change. Nobody deserves to feel ill every day of their life because of something that can be changed simply with diet. Leaky gut not only effects the gut lining, but can begin to effect your mental health along with other deteriorating side effects.
I’d love to know your experiences and thoughts you’ve had on this topic. I’m sure many of you are more expert in this gluten-free area than I am!
And, please share this out to someone who may find any of this helpful in regaining their health. <3
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