Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Return to The Maker's Diet

On February 16, 2005, I was 19 years old, and newly married. My wonderful husband and I had been married a little over 6 months, and we had just celebrated our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. After having crammed 4 years of college into 2 so that I could graduate before our wedding day, I was thankful to be settling into a more peaceful pace of life as a married woman. Enthusiastic about my new life and excited for our future, I was so unprepared for what was in store for me.

I woke up that fateful morning feeling nauseated. Weird. I was concerned, but figured it would go away sometime during the day. When it didn't go away, I began to think what every newlywed woman would, "Am I pregnant? I must be!" I couldn't think of a better explanation for this bizarre nausea. Within a couple days, I convinced myself that a baby was on the way, and felt extremely excited to find out for sure.

But a couple weeks went by, and a very definitive pregnancy test showed that I was definitely not pregnant. I decided that it must be too early, and so I waited another month to re-test. The test was negative again, but I wasn't feeling any better. By this point I was constantly nauseous and exhausted, and had begun having constant acid reflux and frequent diarrhea. What on earth was going on with me?

My husband and I visited 7 doctors in search of answers. All of them looked at me like I was crazy. But I wasn't crazy. I felt so sick to my stomach I could barely get out of bed every day. Finally I didn't get out of bed for weeks. One doctor looked at me and said, "Why on earth did you do that?" Because I'M SICK! I wanted to scream! The months were going by and I still had no answers.

The 7th doctor ordered an upper GI. (They put you out and stick a lovely tube with a camera down your throat to see your upper intestines.) The results showed a small ulcer on top of my small intestine. But the doctor was still baffled. "This ulcer looks like it is only a couple of weeks old. Your symptoms don't match this at all. I didn't see anything else wrong, and I don't know what else you should do. Try taking an antacid and see if that helps." By this point, the once innocent nausea had turned into a constant brick in my stomach, a feeling in my throat that I was always about to vomit, diarrhea, acid reflux, hot and cold flashes, and complete exhaustion. It was the worst after I ate, but it never let up much. I didn't care about my normal life at all. I just wanted to be in bed.

After living like this for 6 long months, my husband and I were visiting my in laws when my first answer came. My mother in law was very concerned about me and gave me a book that she had just purchased. It was called The Maker's Diet, and she had just seen the author, Jordan Rubin, interviewed on TV. "Maybe it will help," she said. Desperate, I devoured the book in one day. I cried reading the first two chapters- Rubin's story was so much like mine. Young, normal, and seemingly healthy, and then bed-ridden within weeks. I knew that I wasn't as sick as he was, (he was later diagnosed with over 10 diseases, including lupus, Chron's disease, and arthritis,) but I was still very, very sick. The book began discussing Jordan's own crisis of health. As the chapters went on, he outlined what ultimately made him well again, something he called The Maker's Diet. He explained how at the height of his own sickness, his father received a phone call from a natural health doctor in Southern CA. He told him that the reason he was still sick was because he wasn't following God's plan for health. So, as a last hope, Jordan radically switched his diet to consume the foods that God gave us to eat. He moved into an RV on the beaches of So Cal (to breathe the fresh ocean air) and began to eat grass-fed meats, organic, free range eggs and raw dairy, kefir, raw vegetable juices, and sprouted breads.

Frankly, I thought this all sounded crazy. Growing up, my list of healthy foods included cinnamon Pop Tarts and Famous Amos Cookies. I got my fruits and vegetables through Fruit Roll Ups (they had some fruit in them, right?!) and Gusher's. Oh, and how I loved my microwavable, processed pizza and frozen "Chimi Changas" and hot dogs from Costco. Not to mention that I washed this all down with iced tea sweetened with Splenda, or my favorite, Nesquik. I also added some Tang in there occasionally. Another fruit serving, right? I must admit that, when I really needed a change, I would eat about 4 slices of an apple. And then I would quickly open my bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and move on.

So, reading about grass fed meat and raw dairy sounded like it was from another universe. But as I read Rubin's commentary on the dietary guidelines that God gave to the Israelites in Leviticus, I felt increasingly convincted. "Why have I never looked into the fact that God might have something to say about what I eat?" It began to make so much sense to me. Why wouldn't God care about what we ate? He made our bodies, didn't He? The answer sent me on a remarkable new journey- one that would affect every area of my life in ways I never thought possible.


Brandon Lee said...

It's actually Charlotte. I am really excited to see what you share in here. I think this is a great way to get the word out! Can't wait for new recipes and such.

DaniLynne said...

Wow Catherine! I had no idea. I'm very excited to read more!

Catherine said...

Thanks guys! Charlotte I promise I will post lots of good recipes and reviews of good cleaning products and such. :) Thanks to both of you for your input!