EATING CLEAN CAN ACTUALLY HEAL YOU | My Journey In Detail

EATING CLEAN CAN ACTUALLY HEAL YOU | My Journey In Detail

This is a big one. I posted on Instagram recently about the commitment I’ve made to do a total elimination diet. I’ll just paste my caption here cause I covered it all in that post:

Well guys, I haven’t written about this because I’ve been struggling to make the commitment myself, and I knew once I said something I’d have to REALLY commit. If you’ve been following for a while, you may remember I used to suffer from extreme stomach pains for years—from about age 19-27. I had all kinds of tests done and they never found anything…but in that time, the pain got so bad that I had to leave school (I was attending Nyack College on partial athletic and academic scholarships), and basically ended up confined to my house in debilitating pain for 2 weeks out of every month. The pain had affected my life so severely and I was so desperate, I spent hundreds of hours researching what could possibly be wrong with me. One day I found an article written by a man who described the same exact pain I had been having for 8 years, except he suffered it for 20. He talked about an extreme diet change, where he cut out basically everything processed and inflammatory. After 6 months of this diet, the pain went away entirely and he got his life back. That article inspired me so much that I immediately did the same. I was basically limited to organic fruits, veggies, lean meats and nuts and I drank only water. After 3 months, my pain was gone. That was when I started pursuing photography and sharing on Instagram, because I could finally leave my house. I ate that way for 2 years and my body completely healed itself. I eventually felt safe reintroducing certain foods, but after a year of that, the pain has returned. It’s gotten progressively worse over the last 6 months and I need to reset my eating again like I did the first time. I love food and good drinks so much, this is going to be HARD, but I wanted to share it with you because I know I can do it if I’m open about it! I’ll keep you guys updated on how it goes and share recipes I discover that make it easier to shift. This will be part of my reviving the blog too (finally haha)! Love you guys so much! Here’s to getting better!! 💛🌾 #cleaneating

So here I am! I’ve been committed for about 36 hours and my motivation is HIGH. Sharing my plan was really empowering, ESPECIALLY reading all the comments from people going through similar if not identical things regarding their health and diet. I’ll be sharing recipes and progress here on the blog because I really believe in documenting these kinds of journeys, whether it be in a private journal, videos, voice memos, artwork, or blogging. It’s really helpful to have a record of it all, and PERSONALLY, it keeps me super accountable. Accountability motivates me more than anything. So here’s what I’ve done so far…

Breakfast Smoothie (every morning!)

-1/2 frozen banana (I peel and freeze them in a sealed bag when they’re perfectly spotty and sweet)
-1/2 cup frozen strawberries and/or blueberries
-a handful of raw spinach
-a generous tablespoon of organic sunflower seed butter
-1 tbsp good unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 tsp cinnamon
-Lastly, I add about 1/2 cup of good unsweetened almond milk and then blend in a little more bit by bit to reach the consistency I like.

I blend everything in my NutriBullet, which is SUCH a crucial tool, as I’ll be making all of my own sauces, spreads, smoothies, flours, etc. at home.

Supplements

The comments on my Instagram post were SOOO helpful and a few people mentioned Turmeric capsules as an excellent natural pain killer and inflammation reducer, so I ordered a bottle of Ora Organic Turmeric Curcumin Tablets and I’ll let you guys know how I feel after I use them! The reviews were amazing, so I have high hopes!

I also want to get a really good probiotic. I’m in the research phase right now, but if you have any recommendations, PLEASE leave them in the comments below!!

Now for the TMI…

I didn’t go into the gory details of what my pain is like on Instagram, because that’s what the blog is for haha! If you’re squeamish about bathroom or female stuff, stop reading now! I’m sharing this here because the original article I found YEARS ago when I was going through this the first time (the one that gave me SO much hope) went into a LOT of gory detail, which was the only way I knew I was experiencing the same thing. So for anyone out there who might be experiencing the same thing, here goes…

My body goes through cycles of bloating. The cycles are obviously linked to my period. At the midpoint between periods I ovulate, and soon after that, my body swells up like a balloon until I start to menstruate. When I was 19, the bloating got so intense that I started experiencing extreme abdominal pain. At first I thought it was a reproductive issue because of the cycles, but I never experienced any relief from pain killers. The cramps weren’t anything like menstrual cramps, and my periods were always normal. Twenty eight day cycles, like clockwork, medium/heavy flow on the first 2 days, lighter and lighter until day 4-5 and then it ended. The cramps I would have during my period were only severe enough to take Advil for about 2 hours on the 2nd day. Besides that, it was a walk in the park. The abdominal cramping I experienced BEFORE my periods was another story.

The cramps would always come on about an hour after I ate something, and they were EXCRUCIATING. Relief would only come if I had a bowel movement or passed gas, which was VERY difficult. It was like everything was stuck. Once I was able to relieve the pressure in my intestines though, the pain would fade within minutes and I felt like a million bucks. Knowing what relieved me helped, but at my worst, I couldn’t even drink water without having a flareup. I’d have about a dozen “episodes” a day which kept me in bed, and kept me up all night. I’d be up every 2 hours keeled over on the toilet hoping and praying something would pass so I could go back to sleep. The pain was so intense, I’d get dizzy, sweaty and nauseous. The day I got my period, like magic, everything went back to normal. LITERALLY like magic. I had ultrasounds and CT scans done, and they always turned up clear. At that point, doctors started guessing. They wanted me to go on all kinds of hormone pills, which I NEVER felt comfortable about. If they couldn’t tell me what was actually wrong, I didn’t trust putting chemicals into my body just to guess.

I sunk into a major depression and my anxiety went through the roof. I was having panic attacks on a regular basis (sweating, nausea, heart pounding, claustrophobia, agoraphobia, hypochondria), and as the years passed, the number of days I experienced that kind of pain increased. In the beginning, it was just 1 or 2 days before my period and I wrote it off as normal PMS. But after 8 years, it had turned into 2 full weeks every month. The ENTIRE 2 weeks between ovulation and menstruation, prime bloating time.

That was when I found the article that guy wrote. I adopted his diet, and within 3 months I was pain free and bloating was a thing of the past. ALSO, my anxiety disappeared. I actually didn’t have a single panic attack for the entire 2-3 years I was eating clean. When I started reintroducing foods though, mild panic attacks kicked up again (and mild claustrophobia), VERY sporadically, but I knew it was diet-related. At this point, I’m having those awful cramps about 4-5 days out of the month. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but if I don’t make a change now, I know where it will go. Never again.

So I’m doing it! Not even 2 full days in, but I’m sticking with this. My health is too important to compromise for the sake of satisfying unhealthy cravings. And I KNOW the cravings disappear after a few weeks anyway.

Let’s do this together guys! If you want to! I’d love to hear your stories, whether you’re currently where I was (depressed, not knowing what’s wrong with you, hopeless), or if you’ve healed yourself with clean eating, or if you need to reset like me! I want to hear it all. The support we can offer each other makes a WORLD of difference.

EATING CLEAN CAN ACTUALLY HEAL YOU | My Journey In Detail

I’m also really excited to discover recipes that support this new lifestyle. Here are my basic guidelines (I’m not saying this is how YOU should eat, but this is what I know works for me!):

NO

Wheat/Gluten
Dairy
Fried Foods
Processed or Added Sugars
Processed Foods (containing chemical preservatives or additives)
High-Sodium Foods
Brown Liquor
Beer

YES

Water
Organic Fruits
Organic Vegetables
Lean Proteins (eggs, poultry, fish)
Organic Oils (Avocado, Grape Seed, Olive)
Roots (Ginger, Turmeric, etc.)
Organic Spices
Unsalted Nuts and Seeds
Coffee (in limited amounts)

I’d love to open up the comments for anything. Stories, venting, tips, recipes, etc.! More info. and new recipes coming from me soon!

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Comments

  1. Bless you! Thank you for sharing and being so open. It’s hard talking about such private things, but we all go through them so it can be helpful to share 🙂 I don’t have the same struggle as you, but I am at a place of realizing my body isn’t as healthy as it could and should be, and I need to make changes. I struggle with that temporary satisfaction of eating something I shouldn’t, then paying for it later. I’ve had adrenal issues for a few years, and I’m also a special needs mom so I know stress plays a huge role in how I’m feeling. I know dietary changes will help, because our family went through huge lifestyle changes many years ago and our eyes were opened to the healing power of the right foods. Unfortunately, the stress of life sometimes gets you off track and you don’t realize it until your body suffers. I follow you on IG and am looking forward to your healing journey. Wishing you all the best.

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s so real how difficult it can be to make changes even when we know what the solutions are. Support is SO important! So so glad you’re following along and that we can do this together!! <3

  2. Imani Ruffin says:

    This was great!!!
    I’m not even sure what my story is really when it comes to diet. Ive always been a heavier girl but kind of grew into my shape after puberty hit…..but still overweight. After college my weight has been up and down but I havent been under 200lbs since 2011. 2 years ago I became vegan which is hard to cut out dairy but the meat and eggs I gave up no problem. I felt amazing really. I was losing weight. My skin has never been bad but everyone commented on how my skin would be glowing. I have recently started eating dairy super heavy and I dont think this is good. Every time I feel so guilty because I just think of the animals. But pretty much the same bloating mess before my period.
    Back story I was diagnoses with poly cystic ovarian syndrome when I was 16. I am 25 now. And doctors thought that was the main reason why I gain weight easily and it just be so hard to lose it. I took metformin for maybe 2-3 years and I hated it. It made me feel so sick. I also had really heartburn and acid reflux growing. I mean real bad haha and since being plant based it has disappeared. But now reintroducing dairy it has come back with a vengeance.
    Anyway back to my bloating. Its not as bad…but I just look super preggo and it’s pretty much after each meal…if I eat any animal product. Its not as bad if I’m strictly plant based for the day. But I’ll be super gassy and its just gross haha.
    I’m excited to be eating clean with you. And sharing this journey with you. I have been working,out consistently for a month and,half now and I’m making progress. So thats good I think. I love you so much. You have been a light in my life. You have no idea how much you impacted me over these last 4 years or so.

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      AHH yess cutting dairy makes SUCH a difference. Thank you for sharing your story love! And thank you for following along all this time, it means the world to me! I’m so proud of you for working out and putting so much effort into figuring out how your body can heal! You can do it!! <3

  3. Wow! Good on you! That’s awesome! So it sounds kind of like a Low FODmaps diet? I’ve been doing some research on it (prior to even reading this) because it’s suppose to help with IBS. I actually began following you right when you started posting all the recipes, i was excited that someone was making the restrictive diet look delicious, because everything i had been reading was super disheartening (because i love food and everything i had read sounded disgusting).
    My story: i had never had any digestive issues growing up and for most of my twenties. In fact i was known in my family for having the quickest digestive system. I was constantly underweight, and never had trouble with BMs. It was a gift. I had no idea how lucky i was. I could finish a medium pizza by myself and never gain an ounce because i would poop it all out. When i was up in WA about 4 years ago, i went through some serious stress and anxiety. I began noticing bloating and less frequent BM, in fact it was hard to get anything out. I immediately began taking magnesium and probiotics with helped a little but not consistently. When i moved back to Ca, about 3 months after the stomach discomfort and bloating began, my mom insisted i see a GI. They did all the blood work and i had a colonoscopy, the only thing said is that my blood showed an intolerance to gluten and, though it’s difficult to diagnose IBS, it’s likely what i have. So after the colonoscopy i figured all the bad is cleared out, so i have a fresh start, I’m going gluten free, dairy free and processed food free.
    For about 4 months i was back! My tummy had shrunk back to its normal size (which i hadn’t seen in 6 months), i felt more energetic and less foggy in the brain, my skin was radiant (and i had struggled with acne since adolescence), i hadn’t felt that good in ages! Those were amazing 4 months. And then the symptoms started coming back. I had been pretty strict, so i wasn’t sure why, but this discouraged me. I gave up. I went back to dairy and processed foods and suffered. I did however kick the gluten permanently. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been curled up in a ball in the middle of the floor with such incredible intestinal discomfort and all i can do is cry because nothing works.
    In this time that I’ve been eating dairy and processed foods (about 3 years of gluten free), I’ve done 100 billion probiotics with 36 strains of live cultures (RAW is the only brand i loved after trying several), I’ve done Heathers Tummy Fiber, Sanar Naturals Colon Cleansers (so happy to have found this, because laxatives ruin a digestive system), and i use different health food supplement powders in my smoothies. All of those things have helped at some point, just none consistently. Which probably relates back to my poor diet.
    So you’ve inspired my to try again. I’ve been following some FOD maps Instagrams and reading some recipes there as well. But, I’m very excited to read what you’re cookin up. Oh i also have this recipe book, it’s by the people who own Cafe Gratitude (greatest restaurant ever, you gotta look it up), and I’ve been wanting to try some of their recipes. When i do i will send them to you, only if they’re good of course.
    But seriously, so glad you shared the ugly, and I’m really encouraged to try again by reading this! No one else i know in my circle deals with this stuff so, reading this gives me that sense of community, I’m not alone in this.

    Thanks for reading! Looking forward to more on this subject-as weird as that may sound haha!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      I’ve been to Cafe Gratitude and I love it!! Now I have to look up their recipe book!! Girl thank you so much for sharing all that with me. It sounds so similar to me, because I assumed gluten was really the only thing I needed to avoid, but reintroducing all the other things led me back to all that pain. I’m realizing I just need to get comfortable on this restricted diet and make the most of it with delicious recipes. I do believe we can eat VERY well and be satisfied while taking care of ourselves like this!! Thank you so much for following! Truly!! <3

  4. First, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing some very personal stuff. I have followed you for a few years but never really commented. Going through some health related stuff similar to you in the last couple years, I wanted to comment on this latest post. I wonder if you have ever considered that you may have Endometriosis? You can’t see it via MRI or Ultrasounds so its difficult to diagnose, but your symptoms and history sound VERY similar to me two years ago, when out of the blue I started having what I thought were “digestive/bloat issues” paired with intense pain on and off – many doctors and specialists later (and two ruptured cysts) I went in for laparoscopic surgery to confirm diagnosis and remove what turned out to be a whole heck of a lot of Stage IV endometriosis. My “digestive” ‘issues and major bloat came from the fact that the endo had grown on my colon and was restricting its functionality, so they also (surprise!) had to remove part of that. I did not have ANY “classic” Endo symptoms before I was diagnosed (always very normal and consistent cycles with little to no pain) it wasn’t until the endo got bad enough where it started having an impact on my other organs that I had any type of symptoms. Since having the surgery I have been pain free, but it could come back…After surgery I changed my diet as well – I cute out all soy products (and all phytoestrogen sources such as flaxseed), as well as dairy….. these things have no doubt reduced my chances of it growing back and have me feeling great. In combination with this, to take care of my gut health, I take a daily probiotic – my favorite is MegaFoods brand (MegaFlora Plus). I don’t want to scare you, and I of course cannot officially diagnose you, but perhaps something to consider looking into further with a specialist? I truly wish the best for your journey to being pain free!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Krystle thank you so much for sharing this with me! I had seriously considered endo, especially in the beginning, but I definitely wasn’t experiencing any of the classic symptoms. I knew that didn’t completely rule it out, but when I ate clean for 3 months and was completely cured, I became convinced that my body was just reacting poorly to inflammatory foods. I tend to bloat very easily, and I’ve had a sensitive stomach for as long as I can remember! So while I do think there were definitely some things that mimicked what could be endo, I don’t think I would have been entirely pain and symptom-free for 2+ years on clean eating alone if I did have it.

      • Sounds like you know your body very well and that clean eating does in fact cure you of what you have going on! That is awesome – and I am glad it likely isn’t Endo for you – thanks for the response and cheers to clean eating!!! 🙂

        • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

          Of course love! Thank you so much for sharing this, and I’m VERY excited to get started on a good probiotic! I’m going to look up your favorite!! <3

  5. Your “yes” and “no” list is the same as mine. Except I can’t do nuts or seeds but I seem to tolerate rice and millet. Millet is about the only alkalizing protein out there and it is very gentle on my stomach. Rice is just a filler/energy boost for me to keep my blood sugar up. Your motivation is motivating me to reset….which is so hard because as I said on your post yesterday — no one else seems to understand! One thing that was crucial for me to keep inflammation down is removing nightshade vegetables – tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. Sweet potatoes don’t count as a nightshade thank god! I just have to give up salsa and corn chips again 🙁

    Also, my intestinal pain is related to my cycle as well but I have HORRIFIC DEBILITATING menstrual cramps on the 2nd day of my period that leaves me on the toilet for hours with a heating pad. I feel confident that this is endometriosis and am getting serious with my doctor to finally do something. Eating clean, exercise, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, good thoughts have only gotten me to the point that it lessens the length of the pain not the level of pain. So, instead of 24 hours of pain – I feel 8 hours of agony. That’s just not good enough for the major life changes I’ve made in 7 years. UGGGHHH it’s just so frustrating!!!

    I just wanted to comment about a great probiotic that my Chinese Medicine Doctor started me on years ago. Innate Response Clinical Strength 50-14 Flora. I used to buy it on Amazon but lately have found it more available on iherb.com.

    Thanks for sharing your post…it’s always a breath of fresh air to know you’re not alone in your struggles!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Kelly thank you so much for sharing. I’m so sorry your menstrual pain is so bad. I know that the first time I made this lifestyle shift, my menstrual cramps actually disappeared. The food I was putting in my body healed absolutely everything. I believe there is relief for both of us!! I don’t know about endo…I considered that I might have it in the very beginning, but after healing entirely on clean eating alone, I was convinced that I didn’t have endo, just a body that wouldn’t tolerate any sort of junk. Thank you for sharing that probiotic with me too! I’m going to look it up and read about it! SO excited to implement all these changes again! It really is a breath of fresh air to know we’re in this together! <3

    • Hi Kelly! sorry to hi-jack the comments section, but I noticed that you think you may have Endo- sorry to hear that but I also had a very bad case (as mentioned above) so if you have any questions or just need support let me know and we can connect! Hope you are able to get some answers and feel better soon!

      • Hey Krystle! No need to apologize…great to hear from you! I’ve suffered from the horrific cramps since I was 12 – I’m 32! My mom had endo and a full hysterectomy at 26 which has always made me think this is what’s going on with me. My digestive system was horrible until i made a shift to eliminate just about every food 7 years ago. I’ve got that under control – minus needing to restart a bit again – as in the allergen free cake I’m eating isn’t going to cut it anymore! However, when I’m ovulating my lower back is in so much pain and then the painful bowel movements during that 2nd day of my period just really makes me thinks that’s the underlying issue. I’ve just had so many tests – sonograms, ultrasounds and CT done that always came back “normal” that Id get discouraged and then be like well it only happens one day a month and go back to dealing with it. 🤷‍♀️

        What kind of surgery did you have? Laparoscopic? Ive considering uterian ablation as well – since I don’t have plans for kids. I just feel like I’m at the point i need surgical intervention but the last thing i want is a hysterectomy and hormone replacement! After watching my mom deal with surgical menopause I REALLY want to avoid that.

  6. I have a few other recommendations for herbal supplements that reduce inflammation: licorice root (amazing!!), marshmallow root, chamomile, and aloe juice (it tastes terrible but it works almost instantly!).

  7. Thank you for sharing! I love reading these comments as well; the clean-eating community (outside of the bodybuilding chicken and broccoli group) is hard to come by, so this is amazing. I’ll be bookmarking this post to come back to it! All I can contribute is encouragement and sympathy – clean eating has always healed me in the past as well. I just dont understand why we always turn back to the foods that hurt! Ugh. But I’ll be channeling this post to keep me on track. Xoxo!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Ughh that’s so true. I think that’s the next choice I need to learn how to make consistently: to NOT turn back to the stuff I know hurts! Or at least to keep them as an occasional treat and not the norm!

  8. I’ve had stomach issues on and off for years now and am recognizing that I need to make some changes. I would recommend homemade sauerkraut. I read a teaspoon is as much probiotic as a jar of probiotic powder. I use the kitchn recipe. Super simple. Hope it all goes well for you.

  9. I’m a holistic nutritionist and have seen what you’re experiencing many times. You’re completely on the right track with your diet. You should stick with it, but the good news is that, once you’re feeling better again, you don’t have to be 100% strict all the time. You can indulge in the things you cut out but you have to really spread out the consumption. When you eat those foods that you’re essentially ‘allergic’ to, you create a series of reactions in your body that is leading to a hormone imbalance. You don’t notice the imbalance until a certain point in your menstrual cycle when your levels tip over. If you have for example, gluten, dairy, refined sugar and alcohol all in one day it’s too much for your body to handle and the imbalance is severe. If you have one of those allergens in a day and then no others for several days, your body has the time and strength to work through it without getting too imbalanced. So you can still have a little fun 🙂 I highly recommend you read the book Allergies, Disease in Disguise: How to Heal Your Allergic Condition Permanently and Naturally by Carolee Bateson-Koch. (no affiliation or association on my part) You’ll see some familiar stories I’m sure but there is advice in it that I think you’ll find really helpful. You can eventually try an elimination diet too so you can find out exactly what you’re reacting to and you’re not needlessly cutting out foods you love. Good luck!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      OH WOW this is incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for sharing!! I’m definitely going to look up that book. It’s so encouraging to know that I won’t have to abstain from everything indefinitely. My weakness is definitely letting the “treats” turn into “habits” so I’m really going to focus on that this time around once I’m feeling better! <3

  10. Good luck with your journey Tiffany and for being so open! Sending all the positive energy your way, and looking forward to following along on your journey. A very close friend, who is a health coach in Cape Town, recently started this amazing platform (glowgathering.com) along with a friend. It has some incredible info, recipes and conversations which I think you might find interesting. Im also a firm believer in trying to reduce how much food and drinks we consume that are covered in plastic. Its often so easy to grab ready cut foods wrapped in plastic, or plastic water bottles – but its just added toxicity to our bodies as well as the environment. Lastly look up Green Vibrance Probiotics (by Vibrant Health). Amazing probiotic! Good luck with this all. X

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Ohh thank you for telling me about glowgathering.com, it sounds amazing! And yess plastics can be so bad. That’s the beauty of going for unprocessed foods, as most of them aren’t packaged that way!! <3

  11. Ahh, I think it’s a great idea do document everything! And amazing thing about blogging, and sharing with us, is that you can inspire us all to follow your steps! NutriBulet is a lifesaver! We’ve had it since summer, and it’s really awesome! One more thing, I would suggest that you take as much as possible from nature. Meaning, try to avoid supplements as much as possible. I mean, I would love to be able to say it’s a professional opinion lol but, i just strongly believe we should use natural supplements, avoiding capsules and stuff, AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, of course. There are some things that I guess just can’t be fixed without them, but I think you should definitely consider a certain herbal therapy or something like that. Research as much as you can, you know, especially about teas! I believe teas are true wonders! Have a great weekend! xo J

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      I totally agree!!! The only supplements I’ll be trying are these all natural turmeric curcumin tablets (which you can grind up and make turmeric milk out of!) and a really good probiotic! I hate taking chemicals and medications. I just need extra help right now with inflammation and extra help restoring good bacteria to my gut. Once I reach a balance I’ll stop taking them and stick to whole foods only!

  12. Thank you for sharing this! I’ve been on a journey to cleaner eating and healing for many years now. Too much stress and external circumstances left me with severe anxiety, and I was particularly grateful how you mentioned that part of your journey as well. I have been AMAZED at what a difference diet can make with anxiety/hormone levels. (I certainly had mental work to do, too, but WOW the difference cutting out certain foods has made! Less sugar, way more protein=Stable blood sugar=way less panic attacks). I had a lot of digestive issues, always (I blame it on the round after round after round of antibiotics as a child with chronic bronchitis). But cutting out dairy helped, and then I discovered probiotics (I take the one from Lifetime Fitness, by far the BEST one I’ve ever taken–you can order from their without being a member), and what LIFE CHANGER that has been. I used to say I had IBS—I haven’t had major issues in 2 years!!! But I still had a lot of skin issues, hormonal, but I knew there was more to it, and I gave up gluten and drastically cut out sugar and that has improved too. But, I find I struggle with keeping it all cut out completely, so it’s a journey with ups and downs—Not eating dairy, gluten, or sugar is not an easy task. ANYWAY——I am incredibly grateful for you sharing your story (I saw your post on Instagram and came over here)—-I think these sorts of issues are WAY more common than anyone realizes and we need to be talking about them more and more! So GOOD FOR YOU!! And, you’ve inspired me to really commit even more to a cleaner, anti-inflammatory,healing diet. THANK YOU!!!!!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      AHH thank you so much for sharing all of this!! GIRL. You have no idea how crazy it was reading your comment. I had completely forgotten this, but the first time I was going through this, I realized it all started after a terrible winter where I was babysitting toddlers and got 3 ear infections and had to go on antibiotics 3 times!!! And THIS time, it only got bad after I went on Cipro for a UTI!! WOW. I can’t believe I forgot about that! I think my body is already sensitive to certain foods, but those meds pushed me over the edge and the result was excruciating stomach cramps every month! I ordered a probiotic and cannot wait to see what happens. I bet it’s gonna change everything. And in regards to sugar/caffeine/dairy and anxiety…YES!!! I’m SO much more clear headed when those things are out of my diet!!

      • I’m so glad my comment helped jog your memory on that!!! Yay! It’s crazy to think that things that heal one part of us can make other parts so sick, but that seems to be the way of most medications! I’m excited for you to get the probiotic!! Give it time. I noticed a difference pretty quickly, but it was still 6 months or more of taking it EVERY day before the big difference came. It just takes patience and time to heal. Good luck and healing prayers sent your way!!! <3

  13. Megan again 😉 I was re-reading everything and was wondering if anyone has any tips for eating clean, cutting out the things we know are not healing our bodies and navigating the holidays?? I have an office Christmas party and my husband’s family Xmas coming up—Both will be full of gluten and dairy. I know how to eat before and take care of myself, what I’m mostly wondering is, any good tips on how to explain this to others who often seem offended and uncomfortable that I’m not partaking in their food?? I don’t want to be offensive, but I also have to take care of myself. Does anyone have any good tips for handling it? Especially with Mother-in-Laws, and 70 year old office managers who have that need to feed everyone and then “feel bad” I can’t eat anything? 🙂 LOL

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      My tip would be, if you’re never going to see the people again, or RARELY, just tell them your stomach is bothering you. I find that if you keep it neutral like that, nobody gets uncomfortable. If it’s a friend or family member though, just be honest with them and hope they understand! At the end of the day, you’re making decisions for your health, so anyone who cares about you should be supportive!!

  14. Jennifer Johnston says:

    This is amazing! I am so happy to have found your blog! You rock girl! And you’ve got this! All of you have got this!!!
    As I was reading your post today, I was sitting with all my friends at a sub shop. They all have large delicious subs and I’m sitting there with my pomegranate and pumpkin seeds… but this post was SO ENCOURAGING!!!!!! For the past year I’ve been dealing with weird stomach problems. One emergency room visit but they couldn’t tell me anything. I think I have something similar to Leaky Gut though.
    Today was the last day of a juice fast I was doing and I didn’t see the results I hoped to, so I was sitting there feeling discouraged and then I read your post! So encouraging! Thank you!
    My friend and I are going to be following your wonderful blog now!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      OH GIRL I am so sorry you’ve been going through this, but SO GLAD you found this post at such a perfect time!!! REALLY glad you were encouraged! Juice fasts are good, but a TRUE lifestyle shift is what it took for me to start really feeling better. We can do it!!! <3

  15. Thanks for sharing, not a nice time for you but so interesting to hear about your journey and see how things go!
    I’ve had a stressful couple of years, this time last year things hit a peak and I ended up losing weight and have yet to gain it back. I was always on the slim side and struggled to gain weight normally, I’ve been aware of not having my stomach working right but doing anything about it seemed too hard – or maybe I should say overwhelming. Now things have hit a point where I really need to do something, I feel and look bad, am experiencing mood swings, depression, anxiety, am super lethargic and am trying to run around after a toddler too.
    I found the book Heal Your Gut by Lee Holmes and I’m getting ready to start her diet in the hope it will help. I’m stalling a bit as it’s so close to Christmas though – ill struggle to say no to what everyone else eats or bring my own along and i don’t want to start off half heartedly either!
    Looking forward to hearing how things are going and following along while making similar changes for myself!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Rachael, I am so so sorry you’re walking through this, but I know you can do it! I know how disheartening it can be to feel like your body just isn’t supporting you. I REALLY believe in the difference a long-term dietary change will make for you. And I know the holidays can be intimidating, but I also FIRMLY believe in making the change now. Not later. There’s truly never a “good time” to make such a big shift, so why not now? Whatever you choose, I know you can do it! <3

  16. 1.) my favorite probiotics are from DoTerra! I take the regular encapsulated pills, but they also make kids prObiotics in single serving sachets like pixi sticks which are easy to travel with and take without water!

    2.) I’m so glad u shared all this! 2 years ago when I was finally tired of the bloating and my cholesterol was rising, I did the Whole 30 and really found myself free from hanger, sweet tooth cravings, nausea and everything! Yay!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      OH wow that’s so cool that they make a probiotic in single servings like that! SO glad Whole30 worked for you. That program was instrumental for me the first time around! Love it!! <3

  17. I thought I was the only one who experienced this! The symptoms that you have described are the exact same that I went through and still go through from time to time. I had stomach pains so frequently before I figured out what was wrong! The pain is absolutely debilitating and can take a week or two to subside. I have also had many tests done and traditional doctors could never find anything wrong. I tried acupuncture, too. What has really helped me is a lifestyle change. For about a year now, I have been seeing a naturopath and taking supplements to help heal my body. Along with the supplements, I have been eating clean and cutting out things like gluten, dairy, and processed foods (esp foods containing sulfites as they flare up my stomach issues as well). I still get the stomach pains when I am not as good at sticking with my diet, but overall, things are getting better slowly but surely. I am so happy you shared this- we can definitely do this together!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      OH WOW! It’s so encouraging to hear that our issues are that similar! Question. Do you remember taking any antibiotics before the pain started? That was a HUGE revelation for me. The first time the pains got bad, I had been on 3 rounds of antibiotics for ear infections. This time, it was right after I went on a round of Cipro for a UTI. I’m SERIOUSLY thinking that those antibiotics threw me off enough to cause extreme food sensitivities, and that with strong probiotics and a clean diet, my gut will heal back to a place that I’m pain-free and allowed to cheat from time to time!

      • You know, I didn’t even think about that until you asked me! But now that I’m realizing it, my symptoms started around the time that I would get sick a lot and was put on antibiotics pretty frequently. I’m glad you mentioned this! These days, doctors are quick to prescribe them when it may not even help. I am a full believer that with the right nutrition and supplements, that our bodies are capable of healing on it’s own. Being put on medications to suppress symptoms are just going to make us worse in the long run. Best of luck to you! I would love an update in a few months on your journey! I hope that my gut will heal and that I will be able to cheat without suffering one day – I miss pizza and cheesesteaks!

        • Also, you should look into supplements by Standard Process. That is what my naturopath has me on and I think they work wonders for bloat, pain, irregularity, and a multitude of other things!

  18. Karen Kahn says:

    Hey girl,
    I’ve been thinking about your situation (because I just feel so bad for you!!). Ok, question: Are you on birth control? The reason I’m pointing to this is that fluctuations in hormones can cause severe digestive problems in women. (See this study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3322543/) Also, if your stomach doesn’t have enough digestive acid in it because of hormone changes you can just take some betaine HCL with your meals- this will mean less bloating, cramps, bowl issues, etc… I mean, taking supplements and eating foods to reduce inflammation is great but if you can address the root of the problem you might have a long-term solution that allows you to eat fun food sometimes without paying heavily later 🙂 Just throwing it out there!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      I’ve never been on birth control! I’ve actually always been extremely skeptical of all kinds of chemical medications. I don’t even like taking mild pain killers. The thought of messing with my hormones just flat out scares me. Thank you for the tip on that supplement! I’m definitely going to look into that because I can use all the help I can get while the bloating is still bad. I’m more and more convinced that I just need to restore good bacteria to my gut and cut out the irritating foods for long enough that I can heal. I’ve mentioned this in a few of my other replies on this thread, but these stomach issues were kicked off (both times) right after I went on strong antibiotics. First for ear infections, and most recently a UTI. I don’t think it’s a coincidence!!!

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