“Something isn’t right…”
It was all I could think. Four years ago, I began experiencing debilitating vertigo, randomly throughout the day. Over the course of a week, I went from stumbling around in the dark to nurse my baby, to the inability to move; a desperate situation to a mom of two young boys. My husband was gone on a scouting trip for our upcoming move across the Pacific.
Fast forward a month, four specialists and one M.R.I later, I was diagnosed with vestibular migraines. In some ways, I wasn’t surprised. I had a couple bouts with vertigo over the years along with migraines since middle school. But this time the symptoms weren’t letting up. I lived in a world that was now skewed and crooked, where holding my 6-month-old son no longer felt safe.
Here I was, in my mid-twenties, about to take the biggest step of faith and follow a calling to Hawaii, and I no longer felt whole. Another month after diagnosis and treatment, I tried several supplements without results, so I decided to try a highly respected naturopath. That visit was the catalyst to bringing about real health in my family.
The Right Kind of Wrong
Right away the doctor said I had created a milk intolerance (hello, I was eating two bowls of cereal a day and an undisclosed amount of ice cream). The dairy had really inflamed my body and, in turn, my body was screaming “enough is enough!” He also informed me that I had poisoned myself on the supplements I was taking. Yikes.
This led me to examining what other foods might be affecting our health. We had suspicions that our oldest had A.D.H.D, plus he suffered from horrible night terrors and chronic croup that required several trips to the hospital. Our youngest was becoming quite the picky eater, refusing every fruit except apples and was complaining of frequent stomach aches. My husband and I felt drained from the moment the kids woke us up in the mornings and we often went to bed soon after laying the kids down, leaving no alone time in the evenings.
Searching for Answers
I began to research. The nerdy part of my brain nearly exploded with all I found on the internet connecting disease, sickness and behavior to diet, while the mom part of my brain flipped out in fear that quickly turned to overwhelm and ended in a massive feeling of mom-guilt. I knew I couldn’t throw everything out and start fresh – who has the time or the money for that?! But we needed to do something, so I took it slow. Releasing my fear and guilt to the Lord while trying my best to make one simple change after another.
We began cutting out dairy, and the migraines and night terrors lessened. Then we decided to eat out less and the cravings for fresher foods took effect. We cut out a few more things but we still had this big gap in our lives, a gap the size of 7-13 servings of fruits and veggies a day, which is the basic U.S.D.A recommendation. Mom-guilt was back at it, plaguing me once again. I knew I was doing a good job, but I also knew I needed to do better, for our health and our future. There were still lingering issues like exhaustion, frequent colds, croup and digestive issues so I wasn’t willing to give up.
New Addition, New Answer
In the midst of this journey, I gave birth to the final installment of our family, a beautiful spunky daughter and with her came lots of after birth complications: retained placenta, surgery, several infections and a crazy night in the emergency room because I was bleeding out. Here I was again, laid up, weak, and this time with three small kiddos depending on me.
That’s when a friend reminded me of a product: concentrated vine ripened produce in a capsule. It absolutely made sense for our family. I remember thinking, “This is the way we can bridge the gaps in our diet, relieve my mom-guilt, and hopefully get back on my feet.”
A year and a half later, here I am, a mom on a mission. That one simple change of adding more produce in our diet not only cleared up all of our issues, but it also was the catalyst to us making more healthy choices. Healthier choices because we were craving more whole foods than ever. My once picky eater wasn’t protesting as often to eating his greens, my husband now prefers a plant-based diet in lieu of his previous steak and potato staples, and I am no longer waiting all year for those Pumpkin Spice Lattes (because I can’t stomach them anymore). We also started an indoor garden with a Tower Garden system in our basement. Our kids love watching the food grow before their eyes, watching Gods edible handiwork up close and I love having instant access to fresh produce. No more salsa missing cilantro. I grow my own now.
So here I am, working with Juice Plus, growing gardens, and advocating for moms to find a real way to better health. I had no idea I could change my D.N.A, my family’s history of heart disease, cancer, you name it. What I discovered first-hand is that food is powerful!
As of 2008 51% of American children and adults are taking one or more drugs for a chronic condition. Mamas, this is a big deal because half of you reading this article are that statistic. 95% of chronic conditions can be corrected with food, did you know that?
How many of you have felt hopeless before in the area of your kid’s health, begging God for relief, healing, answers. It isn’t right. Did you know that many children are misdiagnosed for having A.D.D/A.D.H.D, but what they really suffer from is N.D.D: Nutritional Deficit Disorder.
You Are Worth It
My heart is so for you Mama, that you would find a community to walk with you, a friend to guide you. For the next several weeks I hope you learn what healthy eating looks like, what being empowered feels like and the power of simple changes. I look forward to sharing more of what has and hasn’t worked for my family and how I have reclaimed dinnertime. With so much love my friend because you are worth it.
Connect with Sarah!