Offensive Health

My mid 20’s marked the beginning of my journey to health. I was hardly an adult but I was experiencing pain that I began to identify as something that could easily spiral to chronicity. Weekly migraines, high blood pressure, viruses, infections, allergies, depression, intolerance, fatigue, neck pain and hand pain were things I didn’t think I’d experience until my golden years. My hobby became figuring out food— a BS in Biology taught me that medicine is made out of food so I figured if I ate the right things I may be able to stay out of the local Care Now.

Health can offend. I had absolutely NO CLUE that my decision to seek health and happiness may offend so many. My now husband, then boyfriend, accompanied me to Whole Foods for my first effort in transformation. He rubbed his head as I searched for a non- dairy milk, he sighed as I picked up a bottle of spirulina, and he nearly passed out when I bought almost everything in the produce aisle to prepare my meals fo
r the week. Finally, I turned to him and jokingly said, “You’re acting like I’ve decided to do crack cocaine!” We had a hearty laugh and headed to the register. Maybe he was realizing that he would be dragged into the same eating habits if he stuck with me.

One change a week was my motto. Every week I would pick something to change: Minimize dairy and eliminate milk, eat healthy grains, eliminate processed foods, rid myself of gluten, no more “juice” that isn’t really juice, read all ingredient labels, try everything in the produce aisle, experiment with one new recipe a week, read more books, do more research, and learn about organic and non-GMO food options.

Almost 10 years later my healthy habits now include yoga, meditation, exercise, use of essential oils, and homemade/chemical free household products, juicing, and incorporating alternative therapies (which I think shouldn’t be called alternative as they are the practices of our great grandparents). Yet every change continues to offend some people. I am amazed by how many conversations I’ve had trying to convince a disbelieving audience or defend my current practice. More eyes have rolled my direction than I care to count. Things that are my “Zen” and bring me happiness, and health have truly made some people irate, and I’ve lost a few friendships over it.

The norms of the world necessitate my constant tolerance, which is not always reciprocated. The planetary demands to conform have never suited me—not because I like to be different or cool but because I am drawn like anyone else to the things that bring me health, happiness, and joy. My antidepressant is exercise, my migraine deterrent is non-dairy milk, and my allergy pills are my oils and juice. Yes, I find myself in the local urgent care every now and then but it’s WAY less than the 4-5 times a year as in my early 20’s. I’ve eradicated the need for blood pressure medicine, daily Zyrtec, Flonase, Excedrine Migraine, and Celexa (an antidepressant)—yes, I was taking all of these at the ripe age of 22.

I’m sharing all of this so that you don’t feel alone if your efforts to heal and be healthy are not supported by your friends, family, coworkers, or spouse. It is my hobby, it brings me joy, and I don’t try to control anyone else’s hobby—maybe this will help it be accepted or at least tolerated. I’m extremely proud of all of the things I’ve taught myself through the wisdom of the health and alternative community (thank you Hay House radio, and the countless authors in the self-help and health/nutrition section of Half Price Books and Amazon).

XL hugs and kisses!

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