I have not been to a doctor in 5 years! No really, this is true.
I have also hardly been sick in the past 5 years. Well, except for last month when I managed to get a parasite in my stomach after eating some really “fresh” fish from a Mexican market. I knew the fish didn’t look right, but I didn’t want to hurt my sweet Hispanic husband’s feelings who was so excited to share this “freshwater” salmon with me from a store owned by his culture. I should have said no. My stomach is not equipped to handle foods from unknown sources.
I wanted to say, “Babe, I’m sorry, but if I eat that I’m pretty sure I’m going to get sick."
Instead I said, “Erick, this looks…great!”
The things is I’m terrible at speaking up for my own needs, and have developed a very good habit of putting the emotional needs of others before my own health and well-being. Welcome to the world of being a child of a parent with mental illness. Some of the most life-giving, selfless people I know are children of parent’s with mental illness, and no I’m not talking about myself right now. Come on? That would be so arrogant, and I would immediately have no interest in what I have to say next. I’ll let you make your own opinions about me if we ever meet, but right now I’m referring to my sweet, darling brother. This guy has fought tooth and nail to have the strength to say the word “no.”
No, I’m not okay.
No, I don’t want to do that.
No, I don’t want to eat at that restaurant.
Unfortunately, it’s taken me nearly 3 decades to learn how to say the word NO, and obviously I’m still struggling with it. I’m willing to risk a night of getting ill and living in the bathroom so my husband’s feelings wouldn't be hurt, even though they probably wouldn't have been hurt at all! I am certain my husband would have happily eaten the entire salmon himself, but I am so wired to be concerned with how somebody else feels before myself because when I was a kid it was my job to make sure mom was okay before my own needs.
Uhhh.... If this all seems completely ridiculous to you, it is, but us kids from mentally ill parents have a lot of work cut out for us. I’m getting much better at saying no to things I don’t want to do or that aren’t good for my mental health, but like all humans, I have things I struggle with and saying no to things I have no desire to eat is one of these things.
So, yes. I ate that darn freshwater fish. Then, I got sick. VERY sick. Like not one-night sick, three weeks sick because I got a parasite from that fish. Fun fact: Most parasites live in fish from freshwater sources. Wish I knew that fact sooner. I was bed-ridden until the parasite died, BUT the amazing thing about this scenario is I healed and killed the parasite naturally! No, really. I cured my body by taking only: Oregano oil, probiotics, and eating parasite killing foods including: sauerkraut, pumpkin seeds, and kimchi. Terrible combo for kissing your husband. Excellent combo for killing parasites, and that I did! I’m telling you this story is to show you that FOODS have the power to HEAL us when we are sick. Stay away from medications whose names you can’t pronounce and cling to all the wonderful things God put on this earth to help us including: vegetables, herbs, and spices.
Now back to the question you’re here to learn about. How have I avoided going to the doctor for 5 years? The answer is FOOD. I’ve changed my eating habits inside out for the better and by better, I mean BETTER. Guys, I don’t get sick. I don’t see doctors. I have an unfathomable amount of energy. I don’t crave sugar or desserts. Truth be told, I don’t even like them anymore. It’s incredible! And all this happened, when I changed what I ate, AND got better at saying the word no to sweets, treats, and meats offered to me.
4 Things I Did To Avoid Seeing A Doctor For 5 YEARS IN A ROW & COUNTING!
1) AVOID SUGAR
Americans have more health problems than any other country. This is often directly corelated to our high sugar intake. The average American eats 77 grams of sugar a day. The average person should eat between 6-9 grams of sugar a day. Studies also show us sugar is as addictive as cocaine, and having it in excess leads to: weight gain, low energy, heart problems, weakened immune system, and blood sugar problems. If you're addicted to sugar right now, I encourage you to take all the steps necessary to stop this addiction. It can be hard to walk away from sweet things, but once you stop eating sugar for a while, your body won't crave it anymore. Don't believe this? Take me for example. I used to eat a bowl of ice cream every night after dinner. Now, I don't even like ice cream. These days, my body cries out: organic strawberries please. I am so much stronger than before, and I think better too!
2) CUT OUT DAIRY
My entire life I had stomach issues. I also drank 4 glasses of milk a day, 2 at lunch AND 2 at dinner. I loved a rich glass of vitamin D milk. My mother was always so proud of me, reminding me my bones were going to be mega-strong, as strong as the people in the “Got Milk” ads. News flash: Those “Got Milk” campaigns are a marketing scheme to get you to buy more milk. Reality check: DAIRY PRODUCTS are one of the WORST things to put in your body. I didn’t want milk as a kid because it was sooo good for me. I drank it because I craved it, and I craved it because milk is LOADED with SUGAR. NO really, one glass has 13 grams of sugar in it! One 8-oz glass of milk has more sugar then you need in one day! So let's get to the truth. Drinking cow's milk does not make you strong. In fact, it does the opposite. Consuming dairy products leads to diabetes, allergies, heart disease, and Alzheimers. No thank you.
Cashew milk or almond milk.
3) ELIMINATE MEAT
I wish you guys could meet my dad. He is a living testament that the less meat = the better your health. My father is 56-years-old today, and has all of his hair, no gut, and can hike up to 7 miles a day! My dad has unfathomable energy and looks great! Guess what? He also hardly eats meat. His gets the bulk of his protein from leafy, green vegetables and nuts. As for me, my meat intake is almost non-existent too. I eat grilled chicken about 4 times a month and a hamburger once every 6 months. That’s it. So why have we both virtually cut out our meat intake? Because eating meat leads to colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and stomach cancer. It has also been known to cause heart disease, diabetes, and inflammation in the body. Hasta la vista meat!
Nuts, vegetables, hummus, protein shakes made with vegan protein powder
4) DRINK A LOT OF WATER
This seems like common sense, but Americans continue to drink A LOT of soda. When I was a kid, I had my fair share of root beer soda in addition to that horrendous milk addiction I had going on. I never felt great after drinking root beer, but my taste buds were happy and that was all I knew. Please the taste buds! Now, if you sat a can of root beer near me, I wouldn't even take a sip. The thing is our bodies aren't made up of soda. They are made up of 60% water which means we need to replenish them with what we're made of (water) to function at full capacity, and the facts prove it. Water keeps our muscles and joints working, rids toxins from our body, balances our blood sugar, helps relieve headaches, and gives us beautiful skin.
64 oz of water a day with lemon or cucumber for a touch of taste
There you have it, the 4 major things I did that turned my health inside out! I'm stronger than I've ever been because I've learned how to fuel my body with what it needs, not what my tastebuds want. The unhealthiest foods in the world often have the most commercials trying to convince you to buy their product. So, take breaks from the TV and all the social media platforms bombarding you with ads, and turn to the truth! In addition to the 4 steps above, shopping at farmers markets, buying organic produce, or growing a garden are the best steps to take to eliminate health problems!