A Holistic Change For The Better Post Diagnosis

There’s nothing like being diagnosed with a rare disease that will get you to start thinking about a probable lifestyle change. In the beginning of my diagnosis, I gained weight and didn’t want to do much of anything. It caused me temporary, aching blindness one eye at a time over a period of several months. I was always in pain and found myself on the couch – a lot.

Eating cookie dough only helped so much, so I decided to drive to Waco to see my twin sister and brother in law for a weekend. One morning, while chatting over coffee with my sister, she spoke truth. I was so sick and tired of being sick all the time and I was the only one who could do something about it. There’s nothing like deep sister talks – she literally makes me feel like superwoman.

So I prayed that day and felt God leading me to a completely holistic, clean, and organic lifestyle. I want the world to know that though we can’t control what happens to us, we can control what we give our bodies.

It’s not a passion for organic foods, natural products, or essential oils – it’s a passion for my body and what I put in and on it now ever since I was diagnosed with a rare disease.

I was basically forced to change for the better after I was diagnosed with NMO, a nerve disease that affects my central nervous system. My choice of lifestyle is a result of being scared to death that I would become permanently blind or disabled, and I just can’t fathom that right now. Not now, not at 28, and not if I can help it. Clean foods and natural products all the way from deodorant, natural skincare products, tampons, cleaning products, and even protection are all things I’ve changed in my life. And the more I fed my body clean things, the less my body felt pain. I go to sleep every night feeling like my body thanks me and that I am healing day by day. Below are some things I feed (and don’t feed) my body.

I stopped eating red meat.

No, I’m not a vegan, as I still eat fish and mostly chicken. But red meat is not the only way to get your healthy dose of protein and vital nutrients like iron, vitamin B12, and zinc. I cut it out mainly to promote less inflammation in my body as I deal with autoimmune diseases like lupus and NMO. Try reading this article about ditching red meat.

I drink raw cacao every morning for breakfast.

I can’t even begin to tell you the wonders of this powder (←buy it), so I’m just going to give you a good read here so you can see for yourself. I usually blend it with almond milk and bananas and even substitute it for coffee in my mornings. I drink this with my vitamins and apple cider vinegar supplements. It’s typically my breakfast. I usually make a pitcher of it so there’s enough for both my husband and I, as well as enough for those nightly cravings (he he).

I drink super food smoothies for lunch and started juicing daily.

I’m in love with Your Super products because they’re completely non GMO, gluten, soy, dairy, AND sugar free and 100% plant based! The founder was diagnosed with cancer at age 24 and their story goes from there. I typically mix my super green powder with a banana, kale, and almond milk and this will be my lunch. I was gifted a juicer over the holidays and I love it! My favorite recipe right now is carrots, apples, pairs and kale. I’m sure that’ll change once I’ve tried all 101 concoctions in my recipe book .

I stopped eating processed foods, added sugars, and dairy.

This is pretty self explanatory, but I pretty much stick to lean meat like chicken or salmon for dinner and will snack on nuts and fruits minimally throughout the day. I also can’t pass up fresh guacamole. I stick to almond milk, rice milk, and almond creamers as my “milk.” Like I said, if you get a craving for something sweet, try another cacao shake.

I walk or jog 5 days a week for 30 minutes.

I have a gym membership, but if the day is beautiful outside, you better believe I’m soaking up that sun and smelling the fresh air. You can read about the amazing benefits here. I feel more energy, maintain my weight, and get an overall mood booster. I typically rest on Saturdays and Sundays as those are my calm yoga, stretch days. I don’t have a specific same time of the day that I do this, I just do it – as Nike would say.

So here’s my why.

Put simply, a major life altering diagnosis made me make major lifestyle changes – and it’s changed my life for the better. I’m losing weight, have more energy, rarely get a headache, have less body ache, and have noticed vibrant other benefits. My vision is about 60% back instead of being fully blind in my left eye due to my condition. As everyday passes, it becomes my normal way of living – it’s become a lifestyle I love. It has made my rare diagnosis bearable. Despite that I have infusion treatments every two weeks to prevent another relapse, I’m stronger everyday and truly believe I am slowly healing my body day by day.

A holistic health approach meets the total well being of physical health, emotional nurture, mental health, and spiritual nourishment. I make sure each of those areas are exercised daily in my own personal way and beliefs and this brings my life a wonderful, organic happiness and joy that only comes from the Lord.

I may not be able to change a rare diagnosis, but I can change what I eat, how I feel, and the impact it has on the rest of my life. I choose joy, health, and wellness – maybe sometimes we’re just forced to change for the better.

Cheers to long life, healthier foods – and believing in yourself!

Why I Won’t Accept My Illness, but I’ll Accept the Battle

I was once asked what I’ve learned from living with an incurable disease. I didn’t really have a determinate answer, but I did say having chronic illness has given me a deeper compassion, one I can’t quite explain. Being a young woman in her mid-20s, most people think I’m in perfect health. However, on the outside, I look nothing like what my body has really felt like for the past three years.  

Swelling, joint pain, raw stiffness, throbbing muscles, needle-burning pain and fatigue were just some of the things my body woke to one September morning in Colorado. My body was not my own; everything from my knees, shoulders, hips and hands were all in pain. I limped to my bathroom to brush my teeth, but my hand couldn’t hold the toothbrush.

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