Three and a half years ago I developed Crohn’s disease. I was twelve years old at the time. Since I was born, my mom made sure that I ate decent, organic food. However, I ate little meat, and had a fetish for bread and pasta. When I entered middle school, the quality of school lunch also declined. I remember once hitting my grilled cheese against the side of the table, like a brick. It didn't break. Beginning middle school was a bit stressful for me, and I compensated when I came home after a hard day by shoving whatever I could find in my mouth, whether that was Hershey's Kisses or Sunchips or mac n’ cheese. I never thought about how what I was eating might affect me (well, what teenager does?). It shouldn't have been a surprise when I found out that I had developed Crohn’s disease that spring, after months of digestive complaints.
I went from doctor to doctor, but each wanted to put me on a cornucopia of medication. I am proud to say that even at such an early age, I was not open to putting toxic man-made substances in my body. How would they “cure” me? And the side effects really frightened me; diabetes, heart failure, liver failure, you name it.
I found the Specific Carbohydrate Diet a few days later, which is intended for people with digestive disorders. It is supposed to “starve” the bad bacteria in the gut that are causing digestive upset. I eliminated all processed foods, grains, and sugars from my diet. I began to eat more meat, fruit, and vegetables. Homemade yogurt with lots of “good bacteria” really strengthened my damaged gut as well.
It was amazing. Within days, my symptoms disappeared. I followed the diet for about a year, and then gradually decided to reintroduce “forbidden” foods back into my diet, i.e. processed junk that I was angry all my friends and family could still eat.
Within months, my symptoms returned. I felt worse than before. I was dismayed, but since then I haven't wavered from my “real way” eating. I don't follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet any longer. Now I follow a more “Paleo” way of eating, which is very similar, but allows me to include some vegetable starches like sweet potatoes, because weight gain has been an ongoing struggle for me. Since I discovered grass-fed meat and permanently eliminated the foods of the Standard American Diet that are ingredients to disaster, I have never felt better. Some people don't understand how I am able to follow such a “restrictive” diet, but it has become a way of life for me. Now I crave beef and raw milk cheese, not sugar. I have Slanker's to thank. I didn't think I would have access to reasonably-priced grass-fed meat, until I found their website. Their meats are delicious, as are their eggs! Now that I am older, I have come to appreciate what real food looks like. Slanker's is the epitome of real food. They keep me in perfect health. I intend to stay this way for the rest of my life.
I am sixteen years old, and I eat only “real food,” because I know this is how I was meant to eat. If I can do it, you can too!
If I can be of help in ANY way to readers of my story, you can contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org. I am extremely passionate and dedicated to real food.
Julia, July 2011