It all started almost four years ago. After a surgery I had to remove a very large fibroid from my uterus. During my recovery, I bent down to pick up an empty laundry basket, my back seized up, and before I knew I was on on the floor unable to move. From that moment forward my entire body was compromised and riddled with debilitating pain. I have spent countless dollars, hours, and emotions on doctor after doctor after doctor, test after test after test only to be told that I can’t be helped, or that everything is normal.
Along the way, I came across a couple of excellent Functional Medicine doctors who would find bits and pieces they could work on, but nothing that ever alleviated my pain or gave me a full answer. The doctors that were able to help, very strongly advocated for a strict gut-healing diet and taught me how integral good, healthy, whole, foods are to my recovery.
Food was the only thing-up till now-that I had been able to pinpoint as the cause of a lot of my pain. A great deal of it resides in my spine and lower back and has to do with neurological issues that will take time to heal, but since the beginning, food has been a huge determinant in how I feel (i.e. bloated, achy joints, achy muscles, stomach pain, inflammation, lack of energy, brain fog, among other things).
When I posted a couple weeks ago about the sad little pancake-less breakfast (above) after I had started yet another food elimination plan, my friend, Brooke—who makes a kick-ass living creating delicious recipes, writing amazing cookbooks, and posting beautiful #foodporn to the interwebs—reached out and lit’raly screamed at me, “I want to do this meal plan with you, let’s do a cookbook!" AFTER I questioned her sanity for actually WANTING to cut out all the food from her life, I was all, “Sure, okay, great. Yeah, let’s do it.” Thinking this was going to be a casual little ho-hum project.
But then. She started sending me pics. Lots of pics. Not the kind of pics you’re thinking of. But pictures of beautifully prepared breakfasts and lunches all while squealing with delight at how good they tasted and how amazing she felt after eating said healthy concoctions. I drooled just looking at them. And so. From there we made a plan, and hit the ground running.
You see, Brooke is at a point in her life where she feels dissatisfied with how her pants fit and her energy levels. She knows how important food is and wanted to not only help and support me, but make a change in her own life. And since we find strength in numbers, this little venture just made sense.
The Wellness Plan I am on for the time being is a VERY STRICT elimination diet, as well as supplements, and brain therapy. I’ve practically eliminated everything but grassfed-organic-clean meats, fruits, and veggies. That’s right. No dairy, no eggs, no nuts, no seeds, no grains, no glutens, no nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc etc) no sugars. And I’m sure I’m forgetting some things. The idea with this plan is to eliminate all the foods that are causing my poor little compromised inflamed body more inflammation and distress.
When I first started about three or so years ago, one of the hardest things everrrr was cutting out dairy, gluten, grains, and sugar all at once. ALLATONCE. Eliminating food is NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. It.is.hard. Emotionally, psychologically, and physically. It tests your willpower, your determination, your faith (I am not even kidding here guys, like did I have enough faith that cutting out these addictive things that I CRAVED so hard and missed so much would really help me feel better??? FAITH TESTER.) The point is, I struggled. Major. But, I began to notice how much peppier I felt, how much energy I had, and how I never felt gross after eating.
After starting this next round and cutting out the last two inflammatory foods (eggs & nuts, wahhhhhhh) I immediately felt the inflammation in my organs and joints go down. By.A.Lot. And even though I still fight fatigue due to my adrenal issues (we're working on those) I have energy! Like balls and balls of energy. My stomach doesn’t hurt, I feel light and floaty, my nerve pain has decreased and I have been running errands like a mother. This is uuuge!
Because we know how extremely difficult a task it is to eliminate so much at one time we decided it would be so fun and incredibly beneficial to offer up a clean-eating-support group, ifyouwill. Just in case others wanted to jump on this crazy food eliminating train and see how much better they feel, too.
So, for your participating pleasure-IN ADDITION TO-our beautiful cookbook that will be filled with so many yum recipes that will promote better health, more energy, and maybe even feeling better in dem pants, we will be offering the support group. We will be sharing a weekly meal plan with a menu, shopping lists, substitutions for foods you eliminate, restaurant guides, tips on where to shop and how to shop for whole, clean, foods, and most importantly-we will be supporting and cheering each other on through this process.
You can participate as little or as much as you want. I have to be 100% with my own diet, but you get to choose what you want to eliminate or change. In the group we can discuss other healthy foods-that my body can’t tolerate-but other’s can. You can add things like eggs and nut butters should you find you do well with those. There’s so many options.
Our goal and mission is to help other people feel better in their body and have the support needed to get to that place. I have been through the gamut with diet changes and elimination diets (I even went vegan for a long long time—talk about hhhhaaarrrrrrddddddd). I understand every part of it. Down to the emotions it causes when you walk away from gorgeous, sugarcoated, incredibly soft, pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth-donuts. (Am I enticing you yet?) We are offering this all to you at no cost. It’s going to be a fun little experiment where we all will be learning and growing and we’d LOVE to have you join us.
Find me on IG: @heal.2.live or drop me a line here in messages with your name and email and we'll get ya on the list.
Also, you can follow Brooke Larke's amazing photog skills on the insta as @cheekykitchen or find her at Cheeky Kitchen on the ole FB.