Dying Inside

As I write this post, I wonder why I’ve waited so long to share. I know why, because it’s hard to put into words what celiac disease has been for me. When you hear “Celiac disease” you probably think, “Oh, she can’t eat bread.” It’s worse, much worse. It’s worse than having a waitress roll her eyes at you when you request a salad be remade because they put croutons on it. It’s worse than a family member making a snide comment about the “weird” food you have to eat. It’s worse than people saying “you must be so healthy because you’re gluten-free,” but they really have no idea the journey you’ve been on.

 

baby charity

Back when my gut did what it was supposed to do!

 

When I accidentally eat gluten (it’s NEVER on purpose), I am a different person. I feel so tired, like my limbs are weighed down by weights. My whole body heats up, and I feel like I’m burning. Sometimes I throw up. All those things suck but they aren’t the worst part. The worst part is the emotional games the gluten plays with my brain. I start to think things I’ve never thought… terrible things. I start to pick myself apart. I hear a small voice in my head telling me I’m no good, that I’m a terrible wife, daughter, and friend. It’s my own voice. I cry but am unable to tell my husband why I’m hurting inside. It has given me a much deeper understanding of those who suffer with mental illness. My pet peeve is when someone says depression is selfish. Anyone with real depression does not want it.

 

pre

This is about two years before diagnosis. I was already showing symptoms. 

 

It’s hard. Anytime I eat at a home that is not 100% gluten-free I know that it is very likely I will be living with the consequences. I have a list of restaurants that I’ve gotten sick at that I will no longer eat at. It lasts about 72 hours with the third day being the worse. It then takes 2-3 weeks for my stomach to recover and I suffer from indigestion and diarrhea. The craziest part is that it only takes one little crumb. It only takes walking into a bakery and breathing in the air. It is not simply avoiding bread.

I was diagnosed at age 17. I noticed improvements with a gluten-free diet but it took years for us to learn how many things have gluten hidden in them. I also discovered there are many other foods my immune system responded to and over time the list of foods I avoid has grown. I struggled with depression and anxiety for years. I can honestly say it’s only been in the last two years that I’ve found some real answers. I don’t tell you all of this to get your sympathy, but I hope you will be able to better empathise with other people.

 

bro

My little brother (Eythan) and I after a workout. Eythan also has Celiac Disease. 

 

I’ve met many people who suffer from autoimmune diseases. They live quietly knowing most people won’t understand their illness. Sometimes they are laughed at, or told that they just have an allergy. Some people don’t look ill at all, but on the inside their body is dying. Lupus can go undetected for years but have life altering consequences without proper care. Hashimoto’s is often misdiagnosed and can results in the patients thyroid being removed. MS is on the rise and nobody knows why. Many people suffer terrible side effects when taking the medication prescribed for these illnesses. Something is causing the rise in autoimmune disease, and we would be careless to not research every possibility.

If you have lived in pain without diagnosis, advocate for testing. Research autoimmune diseases and other possibilities. You are not crazy, you just haven’t received help yet. Sometimes you will have to go against the grain to find what works, and that’s okay. No one ever learned anything new by doing the same thing over and over again.

Eat your veggies!

Charity

 

Blogs You Should Follow In 2018

I love to learn! With so much information at our fingertips, it can be easy to feel lost in all the information. For this post, I want to share some of my favourite blogs. I also want to share some of the blogs whose writers I know personally. I’ve broken them up into categories to make things easier!

Professional Health Blogs

www.paleomg.com

Julie Bauer was one of the first bloggers I ever followed. At the time, I had just discovered the Paleo diet and was at a complete loss as to what I should be eating. Her blog contains hundreds of healthy recipes with easy to follow instructions. Since those days, she has evolved into a fitness and lifestyle blogger. She shares her workouts and has also delved into the world of fashion. She is open and honest about her body image, health struggles, and her day-to-day life.

paleomg

www.fedandfit.com 

Cassy Joy Garcia does her name justice. Her blog is full of encouragement and leaves you with a happy feeling in your heart. Much like paleomg, she shares recipes, beauty tips, and lifestyle advice. I also follow her on Instagram where she has continued sharing during her pregnancy. She is a great role model for women looking to become pregnant, are pregnant, or have been pregnant.

fedandfit

https://drbrighten.com/blog/

Dr. Jolene Brighten graduated with a degree in nutritional biochemistry and clinical nutrition at Cal Poly, SLO. There she was involved in nutrition research exploring interventions for maintaining healthy hormones and body composition as we age. She later went on to earn her degree in Naturopathic Medicine at the National University of Natural Medicine. I came across her in a podcast a few months ago and LOVE the information her blog provides. She covers a wide range of topics relating to women’s health, and offers practical advice on how to heal your body from the inside out.

“Your body has the wisdom to heal your hormones and your autoimmunity — all you need are the right tools!”

Dr Brighten

 

Personal/Fitness/Lifestyle Blogs

Dixie Elliott is my mother-in-law. She started her blog over two years ago to encourage women on their health journey. She offers practical advice on the small steps needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. She also shares her faith and own personal journey. Her posts always leave me encouraged. If you’re needing a little inspiration to get started, check out her blog!

https://littlestepstohealth.com/

little steps to health

http://thefitfarmerswife.com/

I met Serena Reimer at my little brother’s wedding. She is best friends with my sister-in-law Jazmin. She got married this summer and started her blog this fall sharing about her new life on her husband’s farm. Her fun style of writing will have you feeling like you know her personally. She is also a gymnastics coach, which has given her a lot of insight into health and wellness. Check out her blog for recipes, workouts, and DIY projects!

little farmers wife

Personal/Faith/Lifestyle Blogs

https://jazminunfiltered.com/

Jazmin Henson is my sister-in-law! She married my little brother this past summer and we could not be happier to have her as part of our family. In 2014, Jazmin was diagnosed with Adrenocortical Carcinoma after doctors found a 14cm tumour on her adrenal gland. Since then she has been on a long journey to regain her health, and continues to fight cancer every day. Amazingly, this is not what Jazmin’s focus is. Jazmin loves the Lord and that has remained her focus throughout the past 3 years. Her blog is brand new and will cover topics such as life, marriage, cancer treatment, health, and DIY projects. Go check out her first three blog posts!

jazmin unfiltered

https://cindyseaton.com/

Cindy Seaton is my best friend and just so happens to be my mom. Her blog is a continuation of our family’s journey from where her book, Beauty From Ashes, left off. She talks about raising a child with autism, plus 4 more kids! She shares her fears, hopes, and dreams. She is the most open and honest writer I have come across, choosing to share about topics most people are afraid to touch on. Her pursuit of joy, amidst the pain, has been a cornerstone in my life and through her blog, can be yours too.

cindy

https://awakeinthesilence.wordpress.com/

Olivia Cedolia is a very good family friend. She has brought a lot of happiness into our lives! Her blog is a combination of her sweet personality and her willingness to serve God. Her style of writing is easy to follow and makes you feel like you are sitting across from her drinking a coffee. If you are needing encouragement along your faith journey, I highly recommend following her!

olivia

https://breannaching7.wixsite.com/healthjourney

Breanna Ching is one of my fun-loving cousins! She is always up for an adventure and a deep conversation. She has had a long battle with her health, mentally and physically, and now uses her experiences to help others. Her perseverance through it all is inspiring to all who are going through health struggles of their own. Breanna loves to share about God and how He is leading her life!

bri

Who are your favorite bloggers? Please share them in the comments!
Eat Your Veggies!
Charity

The Perfect Time To Start Is…………..

The title of this post is somewhat misleading. There is NO perfect time. You will always have responsibilities that require your time. You will always have relationships you need to invest in. You will always have food you need to prepare. You will always have valid reasons to say no. If you always wait for the perfect time to start, you will never start anything.

6687d96592bab684e89ae4396ba98d81--yoga-quotes-words-quotes

Getting started is scary, I get it. Getting started means opening yourself up to potential failure. I’m not saying you need to say yes to every opportunity/idea you have, it’s still important to choose wisely where you are spending your time. When deciding whether or not to start something new, ask yourself these questions:

Is this something I am passionate about? You already know this is important. While it isn’t necessary for success, it definitely helps!

Could this help me long term? Choosing projects that have a long term positive impact can make it worth the preliminary hard work.

Will this enable me to help others? Can you use what you’ll learn to make a difference in someone else’s life? I know many parents who feel it’s selfish to spend time working out, when in reality working out helps relieve stress and in turn gives them more patience with their kids. Sometimes helping yourself can also help others!

Do I have the support I need to be successful? Finding a buddy/partner to encourage you along the way gives you accountability. Share your new dreams with a good friend and ask them to check in on you every once in a while!

Go get started!

Charity

 

Lessons I Learned In 2017

Wow! One year ago today I wrote my first blog post. I can honestly say that this last year has been the best year of my life, and I am excited to see what the future holds. For the past 10 years I have studied and searched for the answers to my health problems, and feel that this was the year that a path was finally made clear. I want to share some of the biggest health/life lessons I learned this year. I hope they help you too!

new years post

Good Health Is A Privilege

Unfortunately your health is not a right, it is something you have to work hard for. Health is a privilege that should not be taken for granted, but should be treasured above all your possessions. The fast paced, sugar filled, instant gratification society we live in could easily keep us from experiencing true health. I am not just talking about physical health, I am also talking about mental and spiritual health. I spent 9 years chasing physical health, not realizing that my mental health was my biggest road block. Only after quitting my job, and taking a year off to study nutrition, did I find the time to dig deeper into why I needed to be fast paced all the time. That leads me to the next lesson learned…..

Success Is Relative

A lot of this comes back to our societal norms. The workaholic is praised, and the family man is overlooked. This isn’t true all of the time, but we as a society do place a lot of emphasis on money, athletics, and beauty. If you do not have any of the three, you are not considered as “successful.” It can be easy to get caught up in chasing society’s success, often mistaking it for happiness. True happiness, or JOY as it should be known, is something that runs deeper than the praise of man. It is a contentedness with what and who you have. It is an appreciation for the small things in life rather than waiting for the big things. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with working hard to bring in an income. There is nothing wrong with being pretty. There is nothing wrong with being athletic. What IS wrong, is placing all of your value in these temporary earthly treasures. Take time to sit down and ask yourself, “Where does my JOY come from?” The answer to that question could change your life. Being content and joyful goes a long way in improving your health.

Take Time To Rest

Until this year, I equated rest with laziness. If I wasn’t working, I felt guilty. If I sat down to watch a movie, I felt guilty. If I wasn’t moving at a 100% fast pace all the time, I felt like a failure. I know this is mainly due to my personality and possibly the slightest bit of ADHD, but this year I took the time to work on it. My hormones were screwed up by the stress I brought on myself. Combine that with the birth control pill, and you have a perfect storm. I slept a lot this year. When I was tired, I took a nap. When I had a slow morning, I didn’t set an alarm. I let my body work its way back to its natural sleep pattern. This isn’t something everyone has time for, but even taking a few long weekends with the goal to rest and rejuvenate could be the key to better health. I am now sleeping better than I have in 10 years, and I wake up feeling energized and happy. Resting doesn’t always mean sleeping, it also means enjoying down time with family and friends. Dan and I prioritized spending time with each other this year, and our love and respect for each other has had time to grow.

new years post 3

Looking forward to 2018, I am excited to keep helping people on their health journey! I already have a few projects in the works, and can’t wait to share them with you! I announced one of those projects last week. A 45 day, online nutrition program focused on helping you regain your health. You can read more about it here. I would love to help you make 2018 a happy and healthy year. ❤

H️appy New Year!

Charity

 

Nutrition Repo: Reclaim Your Health

For those of you who have been asking, here are more details on the Nutrition Repo Program. I developed this program with the hope of educating people on the health benefits of consuming nutrient-dense food. I could easily tell you what to eat, and what to eliminate but I want to take it further than that. I want you to know WHY. I also want you to have choices. This is not an all-or-nothing challenge that you can win or lose. It is up to you what kind of commitment you make. Even the smallest changes can make a huge positive impact on your health.

Here is what the program entails:

45 days of online learning! Don’t worry, this isn’t school. Every morning you will receive an email that may contain tips, recipes, next steps, or links to resources. The 45 days is broken up into 3 phases, with each phase beginning with a short power point explanation, along with any resources you may need for that phase. The phases are as follows:

Phase 1: Education and Preparation (Week 1)
This week will consist of deciding what you’re willing to commit to, cleaning out your cupboards, and restocking for success. A downloadable grocery list and two week flexible meal plan will make getting started stress-free.

Phase 2: Elimination and Anti-Inflammatory (Weeks 2-4)
Elimination can sound daunting, but like I said, it is up to you what you commit to in this challenge. I will walk you through common symptoms of food intolerances, and help you decide what foods you may need to take a break from. Food intolerances can cause joint pain, poor sleep, water retention, low energy, and weight gain. Those lucky few who do not have any symptoms of food intolerances can choose to skip elimination, but will still learn plenty! Access to the Nutrition Repo private Facebook group, and communication with me will keep you accountable throughout this phase.

Phase 3: Reintroduction and Continued Success (Weeks 5-6)
Everybody loves the reintroduction phase, but it is important to approach it properly. I will be there to guide you through it, and help you determine what symptoms to watch for. These two weeks will also focus on how to continue being successful throughout the year.

Some of the other topics we will cover throughout the 6 weeks are:
How to build a balanced meal
Balancing hormones
Anti-oxidants
Strategies for eating out
Goal setting
Sleep/Stress management
And the list goes on…………..

For more information email me (Charity) at eatreal4life@gmail.com or you can buy a ticket here.

Make 2018 the year you reclaimed your health!

Charity Elliott

 

12 Days Of Christmas: #9 GF DF Gingerbread

It’s day 9! The weekend is approaching and you may be planning some last minute baking. These gingerbread cookies should be on your to do list!

25673082_1698779706841090_701530811_o

You Will Need:

1 1/2 cups of almond flour

3/4 cup of tapioca flour

1 Egg

2/4 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1//8 tsp cloves

3 TBSP coconut oil

3 TBSP molasses

2 TBSP Maple Syrup

1/2 tsp of vanilla

Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately before combining. Once you have a smooth dough roll out and cut into desired shapes. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

25674584_1698779703507757_885208374_o

Don’t forget to share 😀

gingerbread-1262890_640

Enjoy!

Charity

12 Desserts of Christmas: #7 Fudge Balls!

Only 5 more days until Christmas!!!!!!!

Here is another super easy recipe! It also happens to be one of my go to snacks for travelling. Dates are naturally sweet and when put through a food processor have a smooth fudgy texture. You can roll them in a topping of your choice for a prettier presentation.

You will need:

1 cup of dates

1/4 cup of Nut Butter

1/4 cup of chopped pecans (or a nut of your choice)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 TBSP of Maple Syrup (add more if texture is dry)

Place all ingredients in a food processor (if you don’t have one you will need to chop the dates up really small) and mix until all ingredients are combined. Roll in small bite size balls and roll in topping of choice. Here are some ideas for toppings:

Coconut

Cocoa

Chopped nuts

Sprinkles

IMG_6016

Enjoy!

Charity

1 2 12
%d bloggers like this: