From that point forward I struggled to balance my desires to "keep up with the Jones" and "run around barefoot and pregnant". The statement is true, you can take the girl from the farm, but you can't take the farm from the girl. I always came home and kicked off my heals in exchange for broken-in Ariat boots, loved my Levi's and hair in a pony tail. I would look at my old blue corduroy FFA jacket and wish I could show pigs at the county fair just one more time....
Fast forward 7 years and I met my match, the one God made for me, Cliff. Cliff has inspired me to be more than I ever thought I could be. He takes my Yuppie days and my Farm Girl days in stride, he loves ME!
That is where our road to better health and getting back to our roots began, Cliff had always had seasonal allergies. Stuffy nose, itchy throat, eyes, and ears were "normal" to him. He found a homeopathic allergist and started taking sub-lingual drops of allergy serum that exposed his body to his airborne allergies daily and eventual cured him, seriously no more seasonal allergies for the red head. It seemed like a miracle! Once his airborne allergies were at bay it cleared his mind enough to realize he still was not 100%. He suffered daily from intestinal pain, diarrhea, eczema, and overall a lack of feeling "good". He would talk to his doctors about it but they hardly paid attention, they usually dismissed it with a statement about "take some fiber, that will clear it up". he would always justify it when I would ask him about it by saying "I have been this way my whole life, I think I am fine". It wasn't until his allergist tested him for food allergies (a month before our wedding) that we both got a rude awakening. We knew he was allergic to peanuts, but when we got the results back we both almost fell on the floor. He was allergic to nearly everything - except meat, some fruits and most veggies. The reaction was not like a 1 or 2 out of a 1-11 scale , it was either a 9, 10, or 11 out of 11! The poor man was allergic to everything we were eating on a regular basis! We were ecstatic and depressed all in the same time. Thrilled to finally figure out why he had been suffering HIS WHOLE LIFE, but depressed and shocked that pasta Alfredo with broccoli was now off limits (for this Italian girl, that was grounds to reconsider marriage!). But in all seriousness this is what sparked the fuel for our quest to a healthy life.
When you are allergic to that many things, it is a sign that everything is causing your body to go into hyper-mode and it was literally attacking itself. His uncle has Celiac and we are fairly certain Cliff has it as well (we stopped eating wheat before we found out you have to actively be eating wheat for the test results for Celiac to work). Diagnosed or not, we realized quickly he was suffering from "Leaky Gut Syndorme" and needed to heal himself from the inside out and quickly! In addition to his uncle having Celiac, he has two close relatives that died from colon cancer, we know this type of disease is rampant in his family.
At first I would cook normally and Cliff would have to pick around what he was not "allowed" to eat, but quickly we realized that was not enough, he needed to be strict and cross contamination was an issue. We jumped in head first!
We thought we were so smart... we had a "we got this" attitude. I ran out and bought everything that said "Gluten Free" on it, choked down some NASTY breads, crackers, and desserts. It still was not working... he was still having to go to the bathroom with urgency, he was still suffering, but why?? I was on a mission! I went to Sprout's Grocery Store for our weekly groceries and spotted a book (I know the good Lord guided me there), The Paleo Diet. I opened the book and started to realize that all the recipes were almost totally free of the things he was allergic too. I immediately bought it, came home and read it cover to cover. This was an answer to our prayers, I just knew we had to do it! Within weeks of eating this way (both of us) we were feeling, looking, and acting (totally has an effect on attitude) better! Finally....! Plus I was expecting our first baby, we had to be healthy! Photo at 35 weeks, clean eating = healthy pregnancy!
It has been a long couple years of daily diligence, research, and experimentation, but I finally feel like Cliff's health is under control. I still go through periods of mourning realizing that I will not be able to enjoy fresh pasta and crusty Italian bread (regularly), but the results far out way the sacrifice. Plus now we have a cloth diapered
Our family eats a diet free of processed sugar, grains, white potatoes and legumes. We are starting to experiment with fresh RAW dairy and its products (home made). For now baby Jake and I are the only ones consuming the dairy, but my goal is to slowly start Cliff on it as well. We strive to eat grass fed organic (or close to the farm) meats and eggs. We grow all our own citrus and have big plans for garden beds on the back of our property. We are in the process of completing our chicken coop where we will have our own laying hens and hope to raise some meat birds too.
This blog is going to be my way of sharing the next chapters of our life. I hope to post things on Urban Farming, Clean Eating, Exercise, Cloth Diapering, Fermented Foods, Crafting and more. My dream is for this blog to help people where ever it can.
In the words of Duck Dynasty,
I am a Yuppie Farm Girl!!
Blessings to you and your family,
The Yuppie Farm Girl,