I often wonder how perception and assumptions play a big role in how we view others and ourselves. From a social media standpoint, it’s easy to just see the highlight reels from someone’s life. It often times creates an illusion that that person doesn’t have the same problems as you or lives a life that is ideal. This is such a dangerous thought process, one that can lead us down a rabbit hole of other unhealthy thoughts. But although I can usually skim through the highlight reels from a personal perspective, I often times don’t use that lens with business types of social media accounts. And I should. For example, I follow several health bloggers that I absolutely admire and look up to. But sometimes I find my mind wandering as I view their pretty pictures or read their advice on healthy habits or rituals to follow. My mind can wander in different directions but sometimes is just the thought of self-doubt or thought of not doing things “good enough”. Often times I get comments about my post where someone might say to me I could never do what you are doing. Or what you cook is too difficult for me…etc. etc. I started thinking what if other people place that same negative connotation that I sometimes think on what we (as bloggers) intend as sharing positive encouragement and ideas. And what if it is seen as never being able to live up to this created idea of having to do everything “right” or “perfectly”. Or what if the thought that to be truly healthy means you have to live a life that never messes up, never misses a workout, never overeats at times or never eats something that is regarded as complete junk food. So I want to address that from a general standpoint at least as it’s being viewed from my Blog/IG/FB account. The reality is you only get to see my highlight reels too. You get my pretty food pictures which are a creative outlet for me. You get my best looking shot after only taking 25 zillion pictures. It means you get to see one meal I eat while the rest may have looked like my two year old threw it together. You just never know. But is also means I have bad days, I have off days and I have days I want to cave in to the quickest food fix I can find. Regardless of what it may appear from social media, I do not have it all together. I think I do a fair job of running my family show, but there are really tough days in the mix. We have multiple food allergies and sensitives that we have regularly avoided for several years. But now we are in a very tough challenge with navigating the GAPS diet. A healing gut diet we are doing to help with my son’s food allergies. There are so many days I want to call it quits.. okay, like almost every day! I think I can’t do this anymore, it’s too hard. Is this really working? Is this worth it? The endless pile of dishes, the lack of use of the microwave, the ridiculous amount of food prep to always have on hand, the never ending stock we drink, the emotional battle over food with my kids, the regiments that never seem to feel second hand, the sheer exhaustion from all the work, the fact that I miss the social idea and enjoyment of food and lastly I miss seeing my 5 year old being a typical kid. Y’all the list goes on and on. But I keep going because I believe in what we are doing. And I keep going because when I pray God I can’t do this, I get picked back up again to make it through the next day. This is tough stuff, no doubt. But I am determined to get on the other side of this and hopefully give my son his carefree childhood back. One where he doesn’t have to worry and fret over eating foods that he’s allergic to. That carefree lifestyle is something that we all take for granted. And I can promise, I won’t loose sight of that ever again. But thankfully, most people won’t have to go so extreme like the GAPS diet. It’s just about making positive healthy choices for your family. I want to encourage that you are capable of that change. Don’t let assumptions and perception get the best of you if you see all the pretty pictures and think you can’t do it. Change doesn’t happen over night and I can promise that it also doesn’t come with out hard work. Even before GAPS we faced lots of emotional battles as I slowly worked my kids off of foods that I knew weren’t beneficial or nutritious for them. They were just filler foods so to speak. And I think it’s okay to have balance, that there are times you just have to grab that less unhealthy option. And luckily for most people, you have that option to do that, but don’t use it has a crutch. Make it a commitment to make a healthy change every so often. Whether that is once a week or once a month, etc. it’s what you think is manageable. Then set your goal for the healthy change and implement it knowing there will be push back. There are so many different goals you can tackle, but continue to set goals for yourself or family and make small changes at a time. Maybe it’s deciding to exercise 30 minutes a day 3-4x a week or maybe it’s to stop relying on filler junk foods for the kids snack. To give an example, maybe you decide your goal is to stop giving the kids or yourself cereal for breakfast and replacing with something more nutritious. Could be replacing with any combination of things like oatmeal, eggs/breakfast meat, yogurt with nuts/berries or protein pancakes, etc. Then you have to stick to your guns and tell your kids or yourself this is what we are eating take it or leave it so to speak. You won’t starve yourself and neither will your kids. Remembering, change doesn’t happen instantly, it will be hard work to change old habits or tastebuds. But once one change has been accepted move on to the next. As you continue to introduce real whole foods into your diet the more open to new foods you will be (or your kids). The palate has to change from craving addictive processed foods. And not only will it change where your tastebuds can actually taste real whole foods, it will also start to crave them. Cutting out excess sugar is a huge part of this process. When you are eating a predominately processed foods diet, your tastebuds literally cannot taste real foods. In fact, your body is being wired to crave those processed foods and excess sugar. But keeping fighting the good fight, because change is achievable!
To close this post, I don’t want anyone to ever read my blog and feel less then because they don’t think they can do the same things. Or maybe because they haven’t done the same things and don’t think they could ever start. There was a time when I wasn’t exactly the picture of health. I didn’t know what it was like to eat real whole foods, I didn’t focus on fueling my body from a nutrition standpoint and I also was indulging in emotional eating. My health took a dip for the worse when going down childbearing years. It opened up the door for several underlying issues to come forward. And battling those struggles is what gave me the motivation to fight for change through a whole foods diet and more natural lifestyle. And that wasn’t that long ago. Don’t ever think your previous lifestyle inhibits you from making change. Not only can you make change, but you can often times undo damage from your past lifestyle factors. Please reach out if you need ideas or help on how to start those steps. Or if you have any questions about food allergies or the GAPS diet. I can be contacted via email firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook messenger.
Here are a few candid pictures of what my kitchen looks like on a daily basis!