No More Pain - Healthy Eating

I feel compelled to share a little, again, about my food journey I’ve been on this past year.  I just came back from the grocery store and marvel at the ease and speed in which I traveled down the aisles looking for my items.  Only a year and a half ago, going to the store was a major chore for me. 

I would have hip pain and leg pains that would often keep me from going to the store.  When I did go, I
might start out feeling alright, but after an aisle or two, I would wonder if I could make it to my car because of the pain.  The pain in my legs prevented me from sleeping on my side at night, and I had to sleep on my back. Sometimes even lying on my back hurt, but I learned to live with it.

I’m amazed at how we put up with pain and learn to live with it.  Standing hurt, sitting hurt, walking hurt.  I lived like that for over ten years. For the first five years or so, it would come and go but became constant after that.  No one knew the extent of the pain I felt because I kept it to myself, avoiding activities that would aggravate my condition.  My own family didn’t know.

I went to chiropractors, physical therapists and doctors.  The doctors would prescribe medicine which I would take for a week or two and then stop because of side effects or its ineffectiveness. I went to a pain management specialist who wanted to inject something in my spine to take away the pain.  I didn’t like the idea and had read mixed reviews about this technique.  I don’t like taking medication, so I tried to use as little as possible. Besides, I wanted to get to the core of the problem, not just put on a bandaid to cover the pain.

A friend of mine began to tell me of her experience with pain and diet, and I began researching about the food we eat.  I discovered that certain foods actually cause inflammation in our bodies.  Processed foods, fatty foods and sugar are the main culprits.  All the pain was due to inflammation in my joints. 

I also had digestive problems.  Certain foods gave me diarrhea.  I knew garlic was a problem, but didn’t know what others bothered me because it was a continuous issue.  I discovered that my intolerance to certain foods caused inflammation not only in my stomach and intestines, but also the rest of my body.  In order to be pain free, I needed to figure out what foods I couldn’t tolerate.

I went on an elimination diet last January to discover what foods I should avoid.  It was difficult because I could only eat fruits and vegetables and meat.  I did the Caveman diet, also called the Paleo diet which included foods that cavemen would have eaten.  Nuts fall into that category, but I can’t eat a lot of nuts because they upset my stomach.  Needless to say, my choices were limited. 

I was so tired of hurting and so tired of stomach issues that I was determined to see it through.

It took about five months before the pain went away completely.  It’s quite a process to figure out what foods you can’t tolerate.  You have to eat only basic whole foods and add suspected foods one at a time. I cut gluten out of my diet and found that to be one of the foods I don’t tolerate.   The pain didn’t go away, though, until I discovered that carrots were a problem. I had been eating carrots every day and that was too much for me.  Since then I’ve found that there are numerous foods I can tolerate only in moderation.  Eggs have the same effect on me.  I can have them once in a while, but not three days in a row. 

The more I read about processed foods and GMO’s in our whole foods, the more dedicated I become to eating completely organic.  What started out as a way to be free of pain has become a whole new way of eating for me and a healthier life.  There are so many foods out there that are poisoning us and making us ill. Most people also eat much more food than their bodies need.

I encourage you to start looking at the foods you are eating, especially if you suffer from any illnesses or pain.  There is great truth in the old adage, “We are what we eat.”  I am also thinner than I’ve been since high school, so weight loss was an added bonus to this journey I’ve been on.

Eating right will only benefit your children.  Do you know that this generation is the first in history that won’t live longer than their parents because of obesity?  There are also studies out there connecting foods to ADHD in children.  I’m sure there are many more issues foods are causing in our children along with diabetes and high blood pressure.  God made our bodies to be our temples.  We need to take care of them and stop poisoning them.

I think I’ll go spend the afternoon shopping!  Wait, I don’t like to shop.  It’s good to know, though, that I’m physically capable of doing it!


Unknown said…
So Sandee, did you just follow the Paleo until you figured out what foods you could have and then keep eating those foods? Did you use any special book or website? I share many identical problems with you! I am on pain meds because of disability with back and neck but sometimes my legs and back hurt so bad at store that I want to cry. I know I can benefit from this. Thanks.
Donna Brunson
Sandee Lester said…
Sorry Donna - I don't check my comments very often and just saw this! Sending you a message via Facebook!

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