[Yesterday was Part 1 of Gut issues: Looking for answers? Here’s hope! My longtime friend, Gabbi, writes of her personal nightmare and resulting victory after a bout with E.coli. I know her story will give many people hope and some very practical answers to their gut health issues. I’m especially moved by her testimony as she refused to quit and simply accept her diagnosis, but rather, she decidedly engaged in an exhausting pursuit toward healing.]

(continued from yesterday’s blog 1/16/17)

About two years ago my sister-in-law Sarah gave me a book called, “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC. She thought it might help my stomach. I looked through it and thought, “What kind of weird s**t does this lady eat? There’s no way I’m eating like that even if it does help me!” I tried a few recipes but then gave up. I threw the book in the cupboard and went on my not-so-merry way. I tried eating gluten free by purchasing gluten free bread, crackers, and other products. No improvement. I tried eating vegan for a month. No improvement. The first time I cut out sugar I was eating spoonfuls of honey like a crackhead needing drugs. No improvement.

On May 14th, 2016, I was desperate enough to dig through my cupboard and pull out the book my sister-in-law had so thoughtfully given me. That same day I started Day 1 of the “AutoImmune Conditions” Meal Plan that Diane recommends. Here are the types of food I started eating, based on her meal plan:

Breakfast: mustard glazed chicken thighs with sweet potato & raw sauerkraut, flank steak with onions & butternut squash, roasted chicken with avocado & blueberries, breakfast sausage with plantains sautéed in coconut oil.
Lunch: Wild salmon or tuna with mixed greens, avocado & olives, turkey meatballs with mashed cauliflower, grilled salmon wrapped in romaine with mango cucumber salsa, bacon wrapped chicken thighs with grilled zucchini.
Snacks: Bananas, homemade herbal tea gelatin, bone broth, raw sauerkraut.
Dinner: Lamb lettuce boats with avo-ziki sauce, whole roasted chicken with root veggies, pesto shrimp and squash “fettuccine,” Italian style stuffed zucchini.
(Her recipes are listed in the back of her book).

For the next 30 days I cut out all grains, legumes, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate, as recommended in her book. I also stopped taking birth control. I started drinking either homemade bone broth or kombucha every morning. I purchased a good quality probiotic and took that every day. I ate a small amount of raw organic sauerkraut daily. I kept a journal of everything I was eating so I could go back and reference if something bothered me. For example, I discovered fresh apples and oranges are a no-go for me!  After five days of starting her recommended meal plan, my pain was gone. GONE! After two weeks, my stomach bloat diminished and the layer of fat also was nowhere to be seen. I still had diarrhea, but I knew I was heading in the right direction. Those 30 days were anything but easy for me. It took a lot of discipline to stay on track!  However, I liked the way I was feeling so it kept me going. I also had a few unexpected things happen in my body that I noticed:

-Back stopped breaking out
-Higher sex drive
-No mid-day crash, more energy
-Skin clearer than ever

Needless to say, today I am on day 42 of this new lifestyle change. As of four days ago, my bowel movements are solid. For the first time in three years. I called my husband to tell him. (When you’ve had E.Coli, nothing embarrasses you, especially bowel movements! Plus at this point in our marriage we now have matching bite guards we wear while sleeping. If you can still love your spouse with one of those on, now that’s true love!)

I am no doctor but this book changed my life. I haven’t felt this good in years. I want to encourage you that with the right tools and information you can change your health, too!  Might I add that my thyroid levels are completely normal now and my blood sugar is right on track. I am on no medication. Simply amazing! Thank you, Diane! I recommend your book with all my heart.

-Hi, I’m Gabbi! I am a happy wife to my husband Patrick. I enjoy playing softball, running, singing, playing the piano, having fun, and of course, cooking! Find my blog at http://www.gabbiskitchen.com/about-gabbi.html