Food is freaking fantastic. It fuels us and quite literally provides us with the sustenance of our being. It is the nourishment and first line of defense against disease. It plays a role in our physical and emotional quality of life and is essential to our wellness. I am an inspired advocate of a plant-based diet; however, the basis for that is whole, from the earth, foods. I will immediately credit a large part of my ability to heal through a vestibular disorder to the way I was eating. In my mind, there’s no doubt about it. I know in my soul that it pulled me up and out and gave me the energy to push forward.
Admittedly, I didn’t have much of an appetite in the beginning. When you’re world is off kilter and walking and functioning is a task, my appetite certainly wasn’t vibrant. I drank a lot of smoothies (and continue to). It was a way for me to simply pack in nutrition when functioning was a battle of its own.
I first embraced a plant-based diet in 2009, which changed my world, my perspective, how I felt about myself, and at the same time released me of so much negativity. It certainly didn't happen overnight, but looking back over the last decade I can very easily point out that making that shift was
the catalyst for so much goodness.
I once received a comment how my plant-based diet didn’t stop me from getting hit with vestibular neuritis. That hurt my heart (a lot), mostly because a vestibular disorder is damaging enough, and adding guilt on top of it was like a pile of bricks on my soul.
But that’s correct, it didn’t stop it from happening, but man did it fuel me to stand back up, fight onward, and conquer.
Even though I was eating a plant-based diet when it all happened, I still needed to make tweaks. It’s about really listening and paying attention to the feedback your body is giving you. You may find that certain foods are triggers for symptoms and therefore, they are not helping your body. That doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to those foods forever. As far as triggering foods, we are all different. Many with vestibular migraines find they need to stay clear of coffee, chocolate, dairy, citrus, white sugar, gluten and processed foods. To be honest, I believe eliminating dairy, white sugar and excess processed foods can help everyone elevate their wellness.
Through working with a holistic doctor, I learned that sugar was feeding the problem inside me, so there was a period of time that I was more restrictive. There was a solid six months that I avoided gluten, white sugar, processed foods, along with keeping within my plant-based framework.
Was it hard at times? You bet. Was it worth it? Absolutely. The food you eat will influence how you feel tomorrow and beyond, how you think, how you heal, and how you move forward. When I was in the midst of it, I did not have the luxury to eat whatever my heart desired, but as I started to feel better, what I desired was simply nourishing food. It might start out difficult, but then it becomes a habit, and then it is a part of you.
Then, it becomes part of your beautiful wellbeing.
I really care about the food I put in my body because it hugely matters.
The food we eat is a choice and it has the power to create such a magnificent shift in the mind + body which is incredible. Mainly, because that puts us in control. Especially when it comes to a vestibular disorder that takes and disrupts, I wanted to be able to look it in the eye and know I was giving my body the nourishment it needed.
Talking about a plant-based diet is a big conversation, but I hope by opening up the door for this discussion, you feel inspired + excited to maybe go make a smoothie, or add more veggies to your dinner, or even make a big batch of vegan cookies. This all makes my heart so happy because it benefits not only you, but the planet.