Having a chronic illness is challenging in itself, and when you add in being taken off of food for days to weeks at a time (especially as a child), this can completely change the way that you look at what you eat. I know it certainly did for me, and today I'm giving you the first of many posts that I'll be sharing about what I ate in a day, along with a look into why I make the food choices that I do, and why I no longer follow any sort of "diet."
When I was 12 years old, I was taken completely off of all food for the very first time. This was for 15 days, but who's counting, right? 😉 I was in the hospital and I was only allowed to have clear liquids (I was given nutrients through a PICC line that went into my arm), and as a kid, this was something that felt impossible to comprehend.
Never did I realize how much our society revolves around food until it was taken away from me.
This created an interesting (to say the least) relationship with food. I would write out pages and pages of all of the foods that I wanted to eat. I would draw food in my coloring books. I would make food out of clay. I watched cooking shows all day long.
I literally became OBSESSED with food.
When I was finally allowed to eat again, I became very protective over what I ate and wouldn't allow anyone to tell me what I could or should have. I'm sure I was a real joy to be around during those times, haha!
Growing up, I was always thin (and underweight when I was sick), so I thought that I could eat anything that I wanted, because I truly believed that what I put into my mouth only affected my weight, not my health. Now I realize that this couldn't be further from the truth.
When I began to focus on eating real, nutrient dense, whole foods, this changed my life in more ways than I can even put into words.
When I first started following a paleo diet, I stuck to strict rules and found myself asking "is that paleo?!" I didn't understand how someone who followed a "paleo diet" could eat things like white rice or cheese. I know many of you understand this, and may even be asking yourself the same things right now.
Now, I totally get it, because I now see paleo as a great place to start out, but it's not always where all of us end up. I personally don't believe that life is meant to be all about strict rules about what we can and can't eat.
It's now been over 4 years since I first completely changed my diet, and since then what I eat and the way that I eat has shifted quite a bit. I started my journey to health with a Whole30, and since then I've found what foods work best for my body and what truly makes me thrive.
This is why I no longer follow any sort of "diet." I really just eat what makes me feel good!
After my first Whole30, I stuck to strict paleo for just over 2 years, which is what MY body needed in order to fully heal my gut from many years of illness. During that time, this is what worked best for me, and once I got into my flow of eating this way, I didn't find it to be stressful at all. In fact, I really enjoyed it! If I don't love what I'm doing, I'll change it!
I found myself realizing that if what I was eating felt stressful in any way, than it simply wasn't worth it. To me, guilt and stress over food are NEVER worth it.
The way that I eat has changed over time, and it's taken lots of trial and error to discover what works best for ME, which may be completely different from what works best for YOU.
I've personally found that I do better with plenty of carbs in my diet, and do especially well with white rice. I train 5-6 days a week, and I notice that carbs help to support my body with my energy levels, training and recovery. Now, I still always eat gluten-free, but I do eat some grains, such as white rice, and gluten-free bread.
Changing the way that I eat has truly healed my relationship with food, and I no longer have the emotional attachment towards food that I once did. Now, the QUALITY of the food that I eat is what's most important to me.
I simply eat to be the healthiest and strongest version of myself! I no longer follow any sort of rules or give myself guilt over anything that I put into my body. What I eat changes daily depending on what my body is telling me that it needs, which is exactly why I'll be sharing more of these posts about what I ate in a day with you!
It's my hope that each of you will find what foods make you feel your absolute best! I truly don't care what you eat, I only want to see you thrive, because each of us deserves to know exactly what that feels like!
What I Ate In A Day
Breakfast – Yucan Crunch with cultured cream cheese, wild caught smoked salmon, capers and Lemon Ginger Kombucha.
Lunch – Leftover chicken fajitas, sour cream & paleo mac and cheese (that recipe went out to my newsletter subscribers earlier this week!)
Snack – ½ leftover decaf iced latte with coconut milk (from Whole Foods) & a blueberry RX Bar. I'm absolutely LOVING this book!
Dinner – Wild caught salmon, roasted broccoli, white rice and my Chipotle Aioli.
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