Monday, February 9, 2015

Introduction to Karen Gentry!

4 years ago my grandmother had a massive heart attack and underwent a triple bypass. That same year my great aunt died of pancreatic cancer. 3 years ago I became very ill for several months with digestion issues that not a single doctor could help me with.

Health issues are nothing new in my family, especially ones that are partially self inflicted. Before my grandmother had her heart-attack we ate fried foods, made everything with lots of butter, and drank sodas without worry. My great-aunt that passed away drank soda and wine everyday, as well as smoked. My digestion issues seemed to be caused by my over-consumption of bread!

I cut back on bread, lost weight, felt much better and carried on with life. I still ate fried foods, I still drank sodas as I pleased and worst of all I still ate bread (just not 12 cupcakes at one time). I hadn't really made the connection between poor decisions and poor health.

2 years ago my knees hurt so bad we actually moved apartments because I couldn't get down the stairs. It seemed that my knees hurt out of nowhere! I cut out working out, I didn't run so it wasn't that, and I basically became a potato while I waited to hear what the doctors had to say. They came back with nothing, but my pain still limited my ability to move around without cringing. I was 23 years old and felt like an 80 year old.

1 year ago, my wrists started to feel the same way! I actually struggled carrying my purse anywhere and couldn't put my wrists on the ground without feeling sharp pain shooting up my arm. At that time I had started to eat healthier because my husband liked to eat all natural food, but I was still eating breaded items.

After several doctor visits and several hundred dollars later, one doctor asked me if I had a gluten sensitivity. I told him I had been tested for celiac and had come back negative, but that my stomach was bothered if I ate too much bread. He told me that a lot of his patients that are young with joint issues seem to be intolerant of gluten.

Seeing as my diet was 80% gluten I wasn't too happy to hear this but my joints were severely inflamed and I had nothing else to go off of. I made the commitment to take anti-inflammatory medicine for a month while also eliminating gluten 100%.

After a month, my knees and wrists felt better. My gums, which had always bled when I brushed, actually stopped being puffy and stopped bleeding! I got off the medicine and still kept gluten out of the picture to see what was really taking away my symptoms. After 3 months of being gluten-free I never felt better. My whole body came back to life! There were a few times I accidentally got exposed (who knew meatballs had gluten?!) and my body reacted immediately with a bloated tummy, swollen gums and achy wrists.

After that, it became all too clear to me: I needed to treat my body with respect and put healthier foods into it if I wanted to live a long life that didn't include pain and discomfort.

Today I am 100% gluten-free except for the occasional surprise of food that has gluten hidden in it. I also work out 3-6 times a week without joint discomfort!

I started to realize that skinny does NOT mean healthy. Healthy is fueling your body with the right foods, keeping yourself active and having inner peace. This blog if dedicated to my journey as a girl who loves deserts, is a BeachBody coach, is an outdoors junkie, who can't have gluten, and who can help others.

My intention is to provide my story, my family's story as a starting point to help others CHANGE their lives for the better. Not a 30 day diet, not a quick fix to looking good and feeling good, but recipes, workouts, and coaching to help others achieve a healthy life that is filled with simple, healthy habits.

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