**Just as a precursor, this is a really long post. I wrote it over the past few weeks because I have been busy. But I wanted to write it down, in case I start forgetting why I am choosing to eat the way I do.
The January after we were married (2011) I was sick all the time. I had digestion issues, I was exhausted, my memory was horrible, my right arm would go numb, it seemed like I was even more klutzy than usual and if someone even sneezed in my direction I would get a cold... When I went into the doctor they said I had all of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. When I went to get an MRI the damage to my brain did not contradict this theory. At my follow up appointment the doctor said something just seemed off and that he wasn't prepared to give me that diagnosis yet.
After reviewing my history of blunt force trauma to the head (getting knocked out at a concert, falling off playground equipment, a car wreck where my head went through the windshield... etc) the doctor said he would hold off on that diagnosis and asked me if I had ever been tested for allergies, which I thought was random. However, when the test results came back I am really glad he had the insight to ask that question. I am really intolerant to yeast, my body won't process it, because for years I did damage by taking antibiotics for my acne. I am also sensitive to milk and gluten (I am not lactose intolerant, nor do I have Celiac disease, it is the proteins in these products that my immune system doesn't like).
I was excited to have a diagnosis but the implications behind it were somewhat brutal. A completely yeast free diet doesn't just exclude bread products but also root beer (if I drank alcohol that would be excluded as well), some fruit juices, fried fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, grapes, plums, ketchup, most condiments, many chocolates and shellfish. Add to that the fact that I was supposed to greatly reduce my milk and gluten consumption and I was completely overwhelmed.
We are poor college kids and to try and live off of foods that didn't include these items is very limiting. After reading more about my new diet (along with a cookbook with some gross recipes) I decided to try it out. When my symptoms became lessened I thought I would be fine with just doing a cleanse every 3 to 6 months. What I was doing to my body in reality was slowly poisoning myself, giving myself a temporary relief and then poisoning myself all over again.
This past December I was feeling off again, Gabe was worried I had serious brain damage and I was once again tired and sick all the time. I knew I needed to change. I knew that indulging in foods that were however delicious were doing damage to my body. I also realized that I needed to do more research about what it is I am dealing with and what I want to do personally.
So here it is:
I am off baker's yeast completely and I have significantly decreased the amounts of milk and gluten I consume. After a few weeks, I really can say I feel a difference. I have more energy, I don't feel sick after eating, my skin has once again cleared up and I don't feel bloated all the time. Sometimes I look at foods longingly (I cannot tell you how many times I have ordered gluten free Domino's pizza with light cheese) but remembering how I feel when I eat those foods has really helped me avoid them.
I went to doctor after doctor, who kept throwing antibiotics my way. Those things have wrecked my body. I am hoping this isn't something I have to do permanently, but if it is I am all for it.
My body is a beautiful gift, and no cheesecake, no matter how delicious, is going to change the fact that I need to take care of it.