Monday, April 16, 2012

Living Healthfully: A Mirage in the Desert

Editor's Note November 2012: If you are looking for information on restoring your digestive system, please know that The Body Ecology Diet helped me, but it didn't completely restore my health. My body actually stalled out on the the diet, and I needed to go off it to heal other parts of my body. You can read about my last steps in healing by clicking here

At first it was so very much about arriving at destination deep dish pizza.

If I could just make it to the point of indulgence without suffering from a debilitating stomach ache and nausea in the aftermath of such a feast, I'd have successfully arrived at the end of my super-restrictive dieting. 

My eyes were set on a finish line of Lou Malnati's and a piece of Baklava by my January 2013 birthday. 

But at the start of 15 weeks{!!}on the Body Ecology Diet*, which has been aimed at restoring my inner body ecology and recovering my health from a candida overgrowth in my gut, it's becoming clearer now that the finish line I'd set eyes on was a mirage. 

Not an insanely delusional mirage like that of shack taking the shape of a well in the middle of the desert; it's been much more like that of an actual well taking the shape of an actual well ... but one that bears only still, stagnant water.

The kind of mirage that looked so good and so refreshing in the distance but dips its bucket into bitter, smelly water ... 

That's where I find myself at the completion of 14 weeks of eating only vegetables, eggs, protein, good fats and no sugar; I am approaching the well that looked so promising -- my GI tract having been healed graciously by God, in part through this way of fresh and whole eating -- and finding I could dip my bucket in ... but why would I want to?

As I'm approaching the well, there's some sort of off-stench wafting through the air, a screaming, halting warning to bypass. 

I don't dare drink it because I'm realizing this isn't the finish line. 

Though I couldn't see it until I got nice and close to the well, there's actually this fresh spring-fed river flowing just a few miles beyond it.

And destination deep dish pizza just doesn't hold a candle to fresh, whole foods anymore, to health. 

Instead of craving cheese and crust, I'm finding myself craving the foods that make me feel how the healthiness I've felt while eating what I've considered to be desert manna:

Energized, healthy, light, satisfied. 

I just don't want to lose that. 

Now that my body seems to have overcome a good portion of the gut flora imbalance and defeated a good deal of the bad candida, I only want to grow stronger and stronger.

I don't want to take steps back toward the heaviness, the bloating, the stomach pain, the brain fog, the irritability, the intense cravings; it just doesn't seem worth it for a slice of deep dish anymore. Or a piece of coffee cake on a special morning. Or even an occasional frozen cup of sweet java and cream. 

And taking that step back ward actually seems like it would be a welcoming invitation to have to walk through that desert of painful detoxing again; I don't want to relive the hives, the night-sweats, the chills, the exhaustion, the stomach pain, the anxiety, the tightness in my chest and the weakness in my bones. 

This way of eating, this desert manna diet, isn't just a diet aimed at merely sustaining energy and fixing an impaired digestive system; this way of eating is more a lifestyle geared at healing the whole body.

I believe this is how we were intended to eat -- food grown from the soil, unaltered and whole -- food harvested from growing healthy animals in the wide-open space of pasture. 

I'm trading in the dirty well water for the fresh-running river and praising God for the revelation of a promised land overflowing with honey. 

Because I'm just not willing to settle any more for a mirage being my destination point. 

{It's such a huge praise to bring news of such healing! Though I'm not at 100 percent, by the grace of God I am worlds away from where I began in the beginning of January. 

Would you offer praise on my behalf for his goodness in healing my body? And would you also pray for wisdom and discernment as I very {epicly} slowly add back in some of the whole, fresh foods that have a bit of sugar content during these coming weeks? I'll be doing quite a bit of listening to my body to make sure the candida that remains isn't being fed by the new additions of things like Granny Smith Apples and plain Greek Yogurt.}

*I have been following the Body Ecology Diet along with some additional protocol {and food restrictions from the experts at The Candida Diet forum.