I have barely blogged in several years. At first, I stopped due to burn-out, but then my life took several changes and unexpected turns that ate up either my time or my attention, and I went through periods of extremely low energy due to my health problems. It’s been difficult to find the time, but mostly the energy and focus, to write.
Life has finally turned into a season where I can be consistent and focused again. Both of my children are teens who only need small amounts of direction to complete their schooling (yes, mamas, that day really might come in homeschooling!), the school year is in full swing, and I now find myself with time on my hands where I can be focused and productive.
Going forward, this will not be a food focused blog, but a whole-life focused blog. There is so much more to being healthy and vibrant than just what you eat! Despite chronic illness, I have decided to do my best to participate in self-care and focused on becoming vibrant and full of life, even if it means accepting some limitations due to my health!
My goal is to no longer return to perfect health. My goal is to live vibrantly and fully with the time left that God has granted me!
If you’d like to read my daily posts, you can follow me on Facebook or join our Facebook group, Happy Home with One Vibrant Mama.
I have had many changes in my health and in my life in the last several years. Notably, I came to realize that there is so much more to health than just food. And there is no one-size-fits-all approach to food or health, or one approach to lifestyle that would fit for everyone. In the presence of high quality food, you can still be made ill by stress, toxins, toxic people and more.
In the last few years, I have moved between paleo, keto, low-carb, real food Auto-Immune Protocol, a diet free of various allergens, low-oxalate, low-histamine and more. All of them provided a certain amount of success, and served my needs for a certain amount of time. However, none of them provided me with a long-term approach and I felt like diet was a never-ending game of diet changes as symptoms ended and began. Plus, my health was being affected by things outside of diet alone. As soon as I’d get settled and feel like I was on my feet, my diet would change again thanks to new symptoms popping up.
Through the never-ending diet changes, I discovered that part of my issue was that I was not eating enough. Not enough calories for years had wrecked my metabolism. I was cold all of the time. Both increasing my calories and returning to grains and carbs has returned the heat to my body. I found that when I was low-carb, no matter how many calories I ate, I was still cold. My body apparently needs grains at this stage in order to have energy and have a normal body temperature. It was a huge blessing to not spend this past Summer under blankets and in a housecoat. It’s a huge change for me that is very welcome.
So while grains and carbs, potatoes and more have been anathema at parts of my journey, and I have even blamed them for some of my health issues, right now they are the ticket to my health. I am warm, I have energy and I am clear-headed and focused.
However, in the midst of a better diet and being able to return to consuming all of the foods I once had to avoid outside of gluten (and keeping the histamine levels down), I have had new symptoms arise and some old symptoms remain. Notably, the old symptom that remains is my hair loss. It started when I was in my 20s, several years before my celiac crisis in 2006.
My hair loss has been a public journey. If you follow my personal account on Facebook, you know I’ve chronicled my hair loss journey there, complete with videos and plenty of posts over the years.
This Summer, I decided I was done fighting the hair loss. My journey of fighting the loss was done, as I had been fighting it almost two decades since the first hints of loss showed up when I was 24.
I shaved my head one day while the family was gone. I ordered a wig. Then two wigs. Then three! I suddenly discovered how fun it was to actually have hair that you could play with!
I will be sharing about my hair loss journey and the transition to wigs on the blog. Because I was so public about the process, I’ve since had several friends who were quietly suffering with hair loss start wearing wigs, too.
It has been a long journey to transition from fighting, to mourning the loss, to washing my face and accepting it, to becoming excited about the possibilities this presented for me!
I have also decided to not try to hide the fact I was wearing wigs. I’ll go from straight one day to curly the next, blonde one day to brunette the next, long to short, and all in between. It’s fun, and I have decided to treat it like a fashion accessory instead of an embarrassment that should be hidden.
I can not end this post without noting the recent loss of two people who have been important in my own health journey, Yasmina Ykelenstam from Healing Histamine and Teresa Tapp from T-Tapp. Both of these brave women pioneered work that has lead to the betterment of my health.
I have blogged about T-Tapp before, as the routine was a huge help with me moving from being bed bound to home bound when I originally became ill.
Yasmina’s blog was what pushed me over the edge last Fall into the low-histamine diet, and led to the slow but steady improvement that allowed me to start getting out of the house again this past July.
We all eventually come to our natural end, and these women’s journeys show me that they lived their life vibrantly in the face of health trials. We often hear people bad-mouth methods or systems after the death of the founder or someone who espoused the beliefs, but what I see here are two women who undoubtedly would not have lived nearly so long and so vibrantly without their methods.
Ultimately, it is not about how long we have here, but what we do with our time and how we help others.
Kerry Ann, thanks so much for cataloging your journey with chronic pain, and with hair loss. As an alopecia sufferer myself, I know how upsetting, isolating and frustrating it can be. I’ve also been experiencing chronic headaches on a daily basis for 10 months now and often find myself at my wit’s end. So reading about other people going through a similar thing really is helpful. Can I just ask, did you find your symptoms improved on the AIP diet? I’m currently a month in and although my hair seems to be getting a little better, my headaches are still pretty severe. Like you said too, I end up a lot hungrier! Did you notice any different when you started eating gluten again?
Thanks so much! Emma
Hi, Emma! I haven’t returned to eating gluten purposefully, however when I have an accidental exposure, I don’t notice any symptoms.
I did find temporary relief on AIP, but what made the most difference for me was a low histamine diet while working with an FDN to heal my gut, using testing to figure out specifically what my issue was. Most of my symptoms were connected to histamine. Even now, if I’m having a period of his inflammation due to too much sugar or too much activity, I have to watch my histamine intake to be sure I don’t go into a histamine flare. AIP made no difference in my hair, unfortunately.