Faith & Food

My Walk with Jesus

My mom, otherwise referred to as my best friend, raised my brother and I on her own. She did an awesome job playing the roles of mom and dad while working over time to keep food on the table. She provided us with the love, affection, support, and stability every child deserves while growing up. During middle school we began going to church regularly, and Jesus slowly starting becoming incorporated into my life.

During my senior year of high school, my pastor baptized me in my friend’s pool. At that time I didn’t feel any different, and I sure as heck didn’t act any different. I was interested in going shopping or to the beach, bonfires with my friends, and my boyfriend (if I had one). I was a typical teenager living in a secular world; who could blame me?

I went to away for college after high school, where I attended a church (the church my husband and I still attend) with a family friend who lived in the area. Jesus was a part of my life, but he was definitely on the back burner. I prayed when I needed something or when I faced a struggle. I was what you call a “lukewarm” Christian.

On December 27, 2011, my dad unexpectedly passed away in his sleep, which totally shook my world. Although I only lived with my dad until age 6, I still talked to him on the phone almost every day. I quickly came to realize, my relationship with God was what would get me through this storm. I began reading my bible more frequently, listening to Christian music, and praying more often than not. Day after day I became closer with God, and I loved every minute of it. My friends and sorority sisters noticed the changes I was making in my life, but they never criticized or judged me.

From that time on, my relationship with Christ has grown tremendously. During PA school, I helped lead a bible study once a week with a few of my classmates. My husband and I still attend the church I started going to my freshman year of college. We now pray together on a regular basis, especially before meals. Together, we attend a bible study with a few of our friends twice a month. On my days off work (working three 12-hour shifts is BOMB), I frequently spend a lot of my time creating scripture calligraphy signs. I mean, why buy it off Etsy when I can make it myself?

After finishing PA school about a year ago, I began to wonder what Jesus’s calling was for my life. I had spent so much time studying and preparing for exams during school that I didn’t know what to do with my free time. I have prayed about this over and over again. As always, God has opened my eyes to what I should be doing: blogging. I know actions speak louder than words, so I try my best to be more and more like Jesus everyday, hoping to positively impact the people I come in contact with. But of course, I’m a human and by no means am I perfect. By utilizing this blog, I pray I can extend Jesus’s love beyond the people I come in contact with on a daily basis. I also pray I can provide hope and encouragement for those who are experiencing battles that are similar to mine.

My Struggle with Food

Having a stomach ache was much too common for me. I remember having a stomach ache and always feeling bloated in high school. This wasn’t an irregular thing, but a daily occurrence. I couldn’t put my finger on which food was causing my issues because literally every time I ate I felt sick. I began losing weight, despite eating the foods I normally ate. I went from weighing 116 to about 103 in a few months. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but on a short person like me, that’s a whole jean size. During the last few months prior to diagnosis, I started getting acne on my face and my arms. I went to the dermatologist, bought expensive make-up, and absolutely nothing worked. Prior to this, I never had a zit in my life; what the heck was going on with me?

After a five-year battle of daily stomach aches and a few months of embarrassing acne, I was referred to a nutritionist by a friend of my mom’s. As soon as she saw my skin, she diagnosed me with food allergies. She ordered a blood test to check sensitivities to specific foods based on antibody levels. The test checked 99 foods, and the results came back on a scale of low to high sensitivity. My results were absolutely shocking; of the 99 foods, I had a reaction to 33 of them. Like, what? 33 foods! No wonder my stomach hurt every time I ate; I was allergic to literally EVERYTHING I was eating.

To begin the healing process, my nutritionist put me on a diet called “The Specific Carbohydrate Diet” for one month; it’s very similar to the paleo diet. During this month, I ate only fruits, vegetables, and meat. Slowly but surely, my skin began clearing up, my stomach was feeling better, and my bowel movements became more regular. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I was always constipated when I was eating foods I was unknowingly allergic to. That’s probably why I always felt so bloated.

Fast forward to my life today, and I am eating paleo about 95% of the time. I still enjoy a cup of coffee with hazelnut creamer and some truvia (illegal according to paleo guidelines) every once and a while, AKA everyday. However, the majority of the time I’m concocting new recipes for my husband and co-workers to try, and I have received no complaints. From almond flour muffins to zoodle soup and cauliflower crust pizza, I have completely transformed my eating habits. Other than having a cup of coffee with creamer, I’m honestly never tempted to eat “normal” foods because I still remember how awful I felt prior to my lifestyle change.

I don’t plan on going back to eating gluten, fast food, or icecream, mainly because I’m allergic, but also because there are so many additives we are unaware of. With my blog posts, I hope to provide encouragement for those who are struggling with food or weight loss and hope for those who have been diagnosed with food allergies.

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