Deanna's Success Story from The Clean Eating Challenge
Imagine deciding to start this challenge after a 3 1/2 month relapse of Multiple Sclerosis. I have had so many issues both mental and physical, but after years of procrastination and much encouragement from Lexi I knew it was time to take this leap.
The Clean Eating Challenge was not a baby step for me, it was a huge jump off of 42 years of eating patterns and then deciding to change it all at once! I told everyone I knew that I was going to do this challenge. I wanted to be accountable to everyone, even strangers.
I went to one wedding, out to eat 6 times, one work party, one vacation, and one church potluck. You know I was living life. In the past, I would have used all those as excuses to not start changing the way I eat. But I had to start and I did!
And I am finishing stronger than ever. I never cheated! But instead, I changed my mind set to no longer poison my body and, more importantly to me, not to poison my devastated and destroyed brain that has been ravaged by Multiple Sclerosis.
So fast forward 29 days and, per Lexi, I went from 50 health markers to 18! Wow! I improved my health in 32 areas in just 29 days! And I lost 18 pounds!
I had no idea that I had changed that much, but for me, there are two markers that are of life changing portions. The first one is brain fog and the second is an incontinent bladder. The brain fog is gone! The type of brain fog with Multiple Sclerosis is all encompassing and constant! Praises to God! I can now sit and ponder life, critically think, I can do math in my head, I pray with clarity rather than just calling out His name in despair, and I have my determination back to continue to battle this disease! All of which was lost to me just 30 days ago.
I had entered the Clean Eating Challenge in a very dark and lonely place. I see hope again! The second symptom that is gone is I an incontinent bladder. Now, one could see this issue. I had gone to a Neuro Urologist Specialist, at Harborview Medical Center, last January for this issue. I was told that this issue would get worse or stay the same, but never better. During the relapse of Multiple Sclerosis I had become totally unable to control my bladder. After treatment for the relapse, I went back to prior baseline. Here is the most amazing thing since October 18th, I haven’t noticed any issues and since then I am cured!!
I will have to look at list to see the other 30 markers that are healed, but for me, these two alone would have been amazing!
I say do this challenge! No, it’s not easy at first, but it does get easier. A physician I work with says that she has seen such dramatic changes in me that she is going to change to a whole foods diet too! I will preach this to everyone I know! Do it! You can do it! You will not regret it!
Peggy's Success Story:
As I look back over the years I realize that I have never been truly healthy. I was born premature and I suffered from chronic ear infections, strep and pneumonia. When I was four the doctors finally decided to take out my tonsils and adenoids. That took care of the afore mentioned illnesses, but did it open a door for future problems?
I grew up in an era when vaccinations for measles and mumps did not exist so naturally I had those too, both in the same year. Of course any other bug that was out there I usually was one of the first to get it! As the years came and went I seemed to 'outgrow' some of the chronic problems. I caught the normal seasonal cold or flu bug from time to time.
At around the age of 19, I began to experience occasional severe abdominal pain. I just blew it off as stress. I have now learned that I have always suffered from anxiety and depression, but I believe that was more due to external factors and not so much as to what I was eating.
So my 20's came and seemed relatively normal. I got married, had four children, all of them were full term pregnancies. The pregnancies were all healthy and normal.
My 30's were good. And then the 40's hit and bam! It seems to have been one thing after another. I had to have my gallbladder removed, a hysterectomy, thyroid cancer, IBS and Crohns, high cholesterol, weight gain, not to mention my depression and anxiety reached a point where I was put on medication for them.
So by now I'm in my 50's and my bathroom counter looks like a pharmacy. I was popping pills left and right. I took meds to help get the Chron's Disease somewhat settled down, but after going through numerous tests to see if my body could handle the medication they wanted me to take to keep it under control, and reading the 1" thick booklet about it and what I could get from taking it, well let's just say I decided I'd rather live with the disease than risk taking that stuff!
After being on cholesterol for a while we found out the hard way that I could not take statins. I basically was loosing control of my muscles, sort of like 'muscle atrophy' for lack of better words. So off those I went and right back up went the cholesterol . So my doctor put me on a water soluble statin with directions to take with CoQ10. A few months later my liver enzymes were elevated. I got off the meds.
Also during this time my allergies hit with a vengeance! There were times my sinuses would get so swollen I could feel them protruding in the roof of my mouth. For the past 5 years I rarely have had a sense of smell and not able to taste anything!
Now some of these problems were more likely than not to be linked to the area I grew up in. We lived in a mining town. The river that ran behind my elementary school literally ran grey due to the mine tailings, and other pollutants that were dumped in it. The air was so acrid with the smoke from the smelter that every day looked cloudy. The hills were barren, nothing could grow on them. I have since learned that a lot of my health problems were directly a result of those pollutants.
As I've gone through this challenge and seen and felt my body responding, I ask myself... have I eaten myself into poor health?
I am now amazed, almost like a child at Christmas, when I walk into a store and can smell everything around me! The fresh goodies being baked in the bakery, chicken frying in the deli, coffee from Starbucks I could go on and on, but what thrills me the most is that I'm drawn to the wonderful smell in the produce department!
My new favorite snacks are baked sweet potatoes as well as avocados. I no longer have to have that morning fix of coffee to even somewhat function. I don't desire or want those cookies, donuts, Reese's or Snickers.
My body wants healthy fuel and I am thrilled about it. My hair and nails are growing, my skin looks better than it has for years. My allergies pretty much are gone, I still have an occasional flair up, but I can once again smell and I can taste what I'm eating.
It's still hit and miss with the Chron's Disease, but it too is slowly responding to the changes in what I am eating. I know it will take awhile to heal, but that's okay, I didn't get into the condition that I was in overnight so I can't expect it to disappear overnight either.
I'm loving the increased energy I'm feeling as well as all the other changes I've felt and seen, and the weight loss is just an extra bonus!
Here's to living the healthy life God has intended for me to have!!
Kathryn's Success Story:
My Clean Eating Challenge story:
I teach on-line and I need a clear brain. Unfortunately, I’ve not had a clear brain for many years. Yeah, it would clear up for a while and then here comes the fog again. And I had no clue why. About five years a friend, who was a nutritional therapist, came to me and said she would like to help me get healthier. I went off all grains, sugar, caffeine, and dairy for two weeks. I felt so good that I kept on it for six weeks and my husband joined me. But a couple years ago I had a really stressful school year, and as a result we went out to eat more, I didn’t cook as much, I didn’t watch my caffeine intake, and found myself eating more sugary foods. The brain fog came back. I still didn’t connect it to my sugar intake and all those non-clean foods I was consuming.
I’d seen the call for the earlier Challenge, but I just wasn’t quite ready for it. This time I was and it has been great! Again, my husband has joined me and says he’s feeling better as well. I’m back to cooking wholesome foods again, I’m drinking more water than I ever thought possible (without feeling ill), and I don’t have brain fog. I still have trouble sleeping at times, but when I do sleep I’m sleeping better. I haven’t cheated once although I licked the pan too much when I made Lexi’s Grain Free Trail Mix—oops, gotta watch the honey.
I can now sit down and grade many more papers at one sitting (I take breaks) and I feel I’m making more coherent and constructive comments. Thank you Lexi for providing this for us to get healthier.
Nicholl's Clean Eating Challenge Story:
"At the beginning of October the only thoughts in my head were "give up caffeine and sugar!?," sure I can do this, NOT! I had no faith in myself that I could actually do this. I mean, really now, I had to have six creams and six sugars in my large coffee. I drank coffee in the morning, at lunch, and on my way home. At night before bed I had my coffee with vanilla creamer (you know the one that explodes stuff?). I was more concerned with my caffeine than sugar (silly me..I call that denial).
The first three days were the worst for me. I had already warned everyone I knew what I was doing. Good thing I did, because my first day on The Clean Eating Challenge, I was a mess! I couldn’t focus for nothing! My brain was shot and my head hurt slightly.
Day two of The Clean Eating Challenge, if I didn’t know better, I'd of thought someone drugged me the night before! My head hurt so badly I really thought about going to the doctor to get something to make me feel better. (First realization of caffeine addiction)
I stayed in bed as much as I could day two and three of The Clean Eating Challenge. I really felt as if I were in a major depressive state. I did not want to go anywhere or do anything. I was up and down with my emotions. I believe this is what they call detoxification?
I had always struggled with getting up in the mornings. My eyes have always had dark circles and were sometimes puffy. And then I started noticing changes by day 10. Now I have more energy that is more centered and not intense.
Prior to The Clean Eating Challenge, my levels of anxiety were likened to craziness! My brain was very much all over the place, with thoughts bouncing from one subject to another, at break neck speeds. My skin was acting as if I were 14 again.
The best part is that I am able to tell you all of these symptoms were intense! Crazy intense! The reason I know how intense is because today, 29 days later, my brain is focused! I now have control..lol! I wake up relaxed and calm. I know what that is now and it’s a beautiful thing, let me tell you. I am more centered each day.
Instead of coffee I enjoy my herbal teas. I have water ready for the day. My dinners are my lunch. I plan my meals now and cook everything I eat.
I have had multiple people ask me what I am doing because my skin looks as if it’s glowing. I’ve been asked how much weight I have lost. (15 lbs since the first of October) I’m always snacking or eating something. It’s great to see the expressions on their faces when I tell them that I have cut out all caffeine and sugar and I’m now eating clean. (Most expected me to say what new pill is out).
I did have a few people ask, how did I do this challenge!? I now realize that the purpose of this challenge was for us to see how eating clean and removing caffeine and sugar affects our overall health. I can say that the changes I have had in this last 29 days, with my physical and mental health, are priceless."
Read 14 year old Jared and 12 year old Nicklas's stories. If teens can do it...YOU CAN DO IT!
Nicklas - "The difference between how I feel before the Clean Eating Challenge and after is "awesome!" The hard part for me was not being able to eat bread and anything with sugar in it. But the best part is how I feel after The Clean Eating Challenge.
Before The Clean Eating Challenge it was really hard for me to focus on my homework. It took me almost an hour to complete one subject in school work. At bed time, I would lie awake for at least 20 minutes listening to my I-Pod, because I couldn't go to sleep. In the morning, I felt very tired and didn't want to do anything. I used to get a lot of headaches too. When I got the headaches I would have to sleep for an hour or two just to make it go away.
After The Clean Eating Challenge I don't have headaches anymore, I can focus in school and I get my homework done much faster. I no longer have a "tummy" and I have much better digestion."
Jared - " Before I started The Clean Eating Challenge I had a bad habit of eating sweets and not enough vegetables. I had really bad digestion and I didn't drink a lot of water. I had stomach aches and headaches and I had a large stomach. My belt notch was at the first and second hole. I also didn't fall asleep right away. It took me about an hour to fall asleep at bed time. I didn't have much energy. When I heard about The Clean Eating Challenge I thought it would be fun to do and good for me.
After joining The Clean Eating Challenge, I have had strong temptations to deal with like chocolate, cake, ice cream, and chewy granola bars. Starting the challenge I thought it was going to be easy but it was harder than I thought it was going to be staying away from all those foods. But I powered through!
After The Clean Eating Challenge I could focus on school work, I lost enough weight for my belt notch to move down to the 5th hole!. I have more energy and my stomach/digestion issues are gone.
I feel fantastic! I am glad I took this challenge. The difference from starting to ending the challenge is very big. I like how I feel eating healthy foods. Thanks to Lexi, I have a better understanding of how my body works and what it needs."