Monday, July 15, 2013

Real Talk: Happenings, Health & Choosing Joy



Hello friends! How was your weekend? I'm on my way home from my friend's wedding and can't wait to share some of the loveliness with you soon!

I wanted to share a little about my personal life today. About a month ago, before graduating, I was under a ton of stress. Final projects that caused me to spend hours upon hours on my computer, moving back home (which meant packing...again!), and the thought of graduating was weighing heavily upon my shoulders. Literally.  I began having muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders due to the incorrect position I would sit on the couch and work on my computer. They were so painful and scary (it felt like my throat was going numb), I then was experiencing minor anxiety attacks and major tension headaches. No thank you.

I'm not one to "push through the pain", so I went to the doctor and she said I was fine, I just needed to de-stress, do computer work only at a desk, and get some chiropractic and/or a massage.  Okay...I can do that :)  Well, after weeks of doing just that and still experiencing this pain and muscle spasm, I was starting to freak myself out (read: I'm a hypochondriac.) Of course, I realize it may take months to correct since apparently my neck and shoulders are extremely out of line, but I'm still uncomfortable.  After talking with my mom who is a nurse, my chiropractor and doctor, my mom and I have decided to move to a gluten-free diet.  This girl loves her bread, so it ain't going to be easy, but I believe the benefits to cutting out gluten will really improve my body's health.  Gluten is an inflammatory, which can cause headaches, joint pain and muscle spasms.  Hopefully this takes care of my symptoms!  If you have any gluten free recipes or tips, please send them my way. Thanks for those of you who chimed in on my instagram last week!

I tend to be a future-oriented, organized, high-stress person, so it's no wonder I'm having some anxiety at this point in my life. Even though I don't feel anxious on the surface about graduating, becoming a big girl, and needing to find a big girl job this fall, I think subconsciously it's a bigger deal to me that I wanted to admit. I don't want this anxiety, especially because I know God has it all under control in His perfect plan and perfect timing, so I'm trying to meditate on verses in the Bible that provide me with God's promises. It's during times of the unknown, the uncomfortable, and the out-of-my-control where we can either choose to get nervous and full of unnecessary anxiety, or to turn toward God. I choose God. I choose joy.  The Lord says He will sustain us.
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Have a blessed Monday!
xoxo
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PS. Happy birthday to my mama! I'm so thankful for YOU!

19 comments:

  1. I'll have to send you some of the recipes and products that my Mom uses! She has some snacks that taste just as good as those yummy gluten ones. ;) I love you friend and I am so happy that you shared what's been going on in your life! I know you will encourage others. :) Love you!

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  2. I know several people who were diagnosed with gluten allergies/intolerances and they say the benefits of removing it are huge! I think we all have some level of intolerance to it. I've been wanting to try this for a while, just have to get the family on board :) All the best with this new change and praying as you make these next steps xo

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  3. Oh no! I hope the new gluten free diet helps. I'm a high-stress type A person too. I've been doing yoga to help with my stress. I'd love to hear about your new gluten free diet. Make sure and share any recipes that are delicious.

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  4. I haven't tried it yet, but I don't really like this whole gluten free "trend"
    As far as I know, there is a real intolerance (celiac disease) against it, and I am sure you would know if you had that. Because it more or less destroys the intestinal mucosa. And for everyone else it is not harmful (but that does not have to mean it is good, of course).
    However, a healthy lifestyle always helps to feel better and easy carbs make you feel tired compared to vegetable. So I really hope it makes you feel better, but I personally would't change my diet in such a radical way if i did not have to. I prefer to concentrate on vegetables and whole grains and just see what my body seems to need. But I hope you find a way to feel healthy again soon :)

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  5. So sorry you are going through this. Elie went through the SAME thing!!! We ran all kinds of tests, but the main trigger...ANXIETY. Changing her diet would not help that. She is A LOT like you. In the short term, a gluten free diet may help (it won't hurt). Removing some of the stressors and taking some time out is the best medicine.

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  6. Oh I am so sorry that you are going through all of that! I have had to deal with ugly effects of anxiety for the past few years. I was always a type A personality and even as a child I could get worked up over too many things on my plate. As I got older, I started having terrible headaches, migraines that would come out of no where and knock me out for days. And what was scariest, is that they would make my hands and feet go numb, too which was totally panic inducing! I cannot imagine if my throat was going numb! I would also frequently wake up after a night's sleep and not be able to move my neck due to kinks. I also tried changing up my diet and I will say some of that helped, but what was a complete life changer for me besides trying to turn all my worries over to God and trusting, was doing some sort of exercise everyday...especially yoga or pilates to start. I have now added in some weight and resistance training to just switch things up a bit. Something hard, but also a decompressor, too. I am sleeping better (not waking up in a complete panic where it feels like I have someone sitting on my chest), have not had a single migraine (in 7 months) and just feel better equipped at handling situations. The anxiety is still there for sure...I think it always will be...but it doesn't debilitate me anymore. I'm just able to manage it in a much better fashion! I will send good thoughts your way and I hope you find something that helps relieve your symptoms! ;) Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

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  7. I'm sorry you have to deal with this! I definitely deal with anxiety too - and I can't imagine how graduating, moving, packing, taking exams and doing projects, and just regularly living life must have taken its toll on you. I hope the gluten free diet works better; I think it would be healthy for me to try it! Good luck!

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  8. i'm so sorry you are having these problems. i went through a lot of the same things when i was at your point in life. trust me, things do become more stable! i also went gluten free 2 years ago, and it was the best health decision for me ever. i've never felt so good. i post mostly GF recipes on my blog, and i'm always adding more, so feel free to check it out. best of luck to you on this journey!

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  9. Van's makes the best gluten-wheat free waffles that are also dairy and egg free. I don't think they taste any different from the eggos we used to eat before. I have to say butter on top would make them even better but we can't do that in our house. Soy butter on top is good too thought :)

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  10. i am tempted to try gluten free. i found out that i am lactose intolerant (which makes me want to cry). cutting out dairy made me feel better but i'm still not feeling 100%. i feel like my body has been so out of whack and stressed. i hate it and it stresses me out even more!

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  11. I went gluten free for about 6 weeks due to panic attacks and I can't tell you how good I felt. I also cut out processed foods and sugar. I know my anxiety was worse because of my diet. Although I don't have an intolerance to gluten, I do have inflammation. I was contemplating going gluten free for good... as my anxiety is coming back.HOnestly, it is just about eating healthy and getting whole foods (soooo hard for me). Hope you can get some relief. I take Passion Flower capsules(I get mine from Sprouts) to help when I am felling extra anxious. It is natural and really helps calm me:)

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  12. If you're looking for pasta/rice replacements, the Miracle Noodle brand is pretty good if you're concerned about carbs :) You can buy a sample pack from their website to see which type you like.

    Trader Joe's has a ton of GF stuff that is labeled as well (but always check the package to make sure). You can also print out the GF shopping list from their website, and they should have them available in the store as well.

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  13. Hi Michaela,
    I know how stress can physically tie you up in knots, I too suffer from stress related tightness in my neck and shoulders. Becoming stress free is a learned habit, and does take time to master. At 33 I am married with 2 children and three teenage step sons. Stress is an every day occurrence here! I have to say that one scripture that has withstood many hormonal teary moments in the last year is Romans 8:28 'And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.' This has sustained me through difficulties blending two families and bringing in a new baby boy through a very traumatic pregnancy. Big girl steps in a manner of speaking never stop, as women we have to take new ones all the time. Take courage, breathe deeply and stand still. Everything will work together for your good. Allow yourself to have the post college blues, the saying goodbye to that chapter of your life, then after sleeping on it wake up smiling at the joy of beginning a brand new chapter on a crisp white page :)
    As for food intolerances, I recently discovered that I am intolerant to the nightshade family, bell peppers, potatoes and such like. Since cutting them out of my diet I have felt a lot brighter.
    Sorry to babble, just wanted to encourage you xx

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  14. oh girl do i understand this post. love you and praying for you!

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  15. I used to be gluten intolerant for 6 yrs and then the Lord graciously healed me. I used to eat a lot of rice and rice pasta (found in the asian section) also Ezekiel bread was the best gluten free bread that I found. Good luck with this and I hope that you start feeling better. I tend to let my stress manifest in to my body to so I know the unpleasantness of it all.

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  16. Best wishes to you and your new gluten free lifestyle! I found your last paragraph and graphic especially moving. I've suffered with on-again off-again anxiety for the majority of my life, and the one constant I find that works for me is turning to prayer. Choosing the Lord and letting Him sustain us is great advice for anyone experiencing anxiety or panic. These feelings are hard to deal with and pinpoint, but always know that you'll pull through it.

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  17. I literally JUST wrote the same thing on my blog last night. I totally understand how you are feeling, and I also decided to try going gluten free! What I've been eating lately that seems to be really filling (and delicious) is shredded veggies (like you would use for cole slaw) cooked like noodles with pasta sauce and ground turkey. I also just tried a recipe for quinoa-berry muffins. They are great for breakfast! The link to the recipe is on my blog.

    www.livingingenuity.com

    I'm saying some prayers for your anxiety. Hopefully you'll be feeling back to normal soon. :)

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  18. I love you for sharing about this!! I'm so proud of you for making it though finals and all of that while feeling not so great!

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  19. Hi Michaela - new follower here! Love your blog! Have you heard of/considered the paleo diet? Paleo is all about eating real, whole, unprocessed (gluten-free) foods. I think you may see health benefits from it. If you have any questions, message me!

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Thank you for stopping by! If you have a specific question, please email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns.com. I always reply to emails! Have a blessed day! xoxo

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