What we eat matters. In 2005, I would’ve laughed at that statement. By 2015, I was convinced it was true. My name is David, and I’m the behind the scenes husband of Amy Burns the Recipe Book. A CPA/MBA by trade for thirteen years, my daily responsibilities now include building blog traffic, video/photography, social media, generating income, web design, and eating delicious and healthy real food. Quite a big change in my life, and it all comes down to the food I used to eat, the woman I met, and the food I’m now eating.
The old me ate whatever I wanted. And by whatever I wanted, I mean anything that came in a box, wrapper, or was assembled at a fast food restaurant. It wasn’t uncommon for me to have a pack of frosted toaster pastries for breakfast with a bottle of iced tea, a few slices of pizza for lunch with a bottle of pop, and frozen lasagna for dinner. When I wanted to eat “healthy”, it was a bowl of cereal in fortified milk for breakfast, a sub for lunch, and a low calorie frozen meal for dinner. It’s hard to tell when you’re doing the same thing each and every day, but in hindsight, I really felt awful, and my diet didn’t help one bit.
The old me had some serious issues. Around 2005, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Ulcerative Colitis. My immune system was attacking my own body. Prior to the diagnosis, the AS had me in pain all day and eating Advil like candy to try to compensate. At my worst, I could only walk by taking baby steps, and I couldn’t get up stairs without using my arms to push up on the handrails. Prior to the diagnosis, the UC had me bloated, bleeding internally, and switching between diarrhea and constipation. For up to 7 days at a time, I felt like Everyone Poops except for me. Cue the drugs. For the AS, the first option was Remicade, a biologic IV infusion that I have received every 6-8 weeks since about 2005. My understanding is that the Remicade turns down my immune system so that my body doesn’t destroy itself. The Remicade has worked wonders with my AS. It was like flipping a switch. Unfortunately, although it is also regularly prescribed for UC, the Remicade has had no impact with those symptoms. Although the memories are a little fuzzy, I know over the years my doctors have tried several medications for my UC including Asacol, Colazol, Canasa, and lots of laxatives, none of which helped one bit. The UC was bad. At times, I was so backed up I felt like I was going to die (maybe a little overly dramatic). My doctors tried and tried and tried, and I was resigned to life with UC.
The new me doesn’t have any issues with Ulcerative Colitis, and I’m not taking any medication for it. At the start of 2015, Amy and I decided to go a different route in an attempt to heal me. We changed the way we ate. This was a pretty big departure from the norm for me. No more fast food. No more ordering pizza. No more eating out of boxes. Since the beginning of 2015, all I have eaten (with a few sporadic cheats) is a big pile of fruit for breakfast, fresh veggies and meats for lunch, and fresh veggies and meats for dinner. Apart from food, I’ve also added a novel drink called water into my diet, a lot of it. After a few weeks, I didn’t even miss the caffeinated beverages I had been drinking for years. The change has been dramatic. I was starting to go to the bathroom more regularly after just two weeks. After one month in, I felt like a completely different person, never better in my whole life!!
These results changed my mind about what to eat, and I’ve learned that eating healthy and feeling good really only requires a common sense approach. Our bodies were not built to run on processed foods and chemicals. My favorite analogy to explain this compares the food we put into our bodies with the gasoline that we put into our cars. All fuel isn’t the same. If you use the wrong type of fuel in your car, it will run poorly, or worse, it’ll break down. Our bodies are the same way, except there is no instruction manual that comes with our bodies to tell us what type of fuel to use. Here’s where the common sense comes in. Our bodies weren’t built to count calories, or to eat “low fat”, or whatever the current fads are that appear on packaged food labels throughout the grocery store. Our bodies were built to eat fruits, vegetables, and meats. Or at least that’s what we have found works best with my body. But everyone’s different; what works for you?
I’m not super thrilled about revealing so much information about myself, but my hope is that my story will help inspire others to make changes to what they eat in order to lead healthier lives themselves. If you’re ready to make a change, start by making the recipes that you see on Amy Burns the Recipe Book. They’re delicious, and they just might make you feel better!!