What if I could tell you that you could reduce your pain tremendously, would you believe me? At first I didn’t believe myself when I was in the midst of throbbing muscles and achy joints. Every morning I woke up with swollen fingers and the feeling like I had gone through some trauma. This can happen if you actually do go through trauma, however in my case, I had a typical day and still was battling the pain. On top of the pain, I always felt bloated. In fact, I don’t remember a time I didn’t feel bloated, this was my normal. Normal to feel pain, normal to be bloated, normal to be depressed and sluggish.

So, one would think this happened before I became of vegan, it did. However, all of these symptoms didn’t go away after I became vegan. I wanted to be healthy and I thought I was, after all, I didn’t eat dairy cheese anymore. HA! I was only fooling myself with how healthy I was. At 155 pounds I believed that making vegan chocolate chip cookies were “healthy!” I had dropped 20 pounds in the previous years, so I must be at a healthy weight….but why was I still in pain and dealing with these issues that “healthy” people don’t have?

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It wasn’t until I decided to dig into health and become a health coach that I found the problem to my pain. Class after class taught me the importance of quality food and knowing the source. That what one person calls food, another will call poison. This caused me to evaluate what I was eating and how my healthy options weren’t always so healthy. After all, Oreos ARE vegan, but truly are NOT healthy (Which breaks my heart.) It was time to start trying new things….add in more healthy veggies and by doing this, I would naturally push out the bad foods.

I wanted the pain gone, but didn’t want to change. In fact, I gave myself a “cheat day” to make up for the healthy way of eating during the week. This only left me feeling miserable and actually, more depressed. “WHAT AM I DOING?!” I felt like a failure, only trying to reach my goal and blowing it all away. I sat back, took a breather and started talking to people. I talked to friends, mentors, and other coaches and learned, I was stressing myself out and not loving who I was. This is what we call primary food. I was lacking greatly in this area. So I started to take the time out and list the things I was thankful for. I included quiet time for 10 minutes out of the day and asking myself, do I really want this and what am I willing to do to get to my goal? My answer: I want to be pain free, I don’t want to feel bloated, I don’t want sausages for fingers in the morning. I want to love myself like I have never before, I will do anything.

So now, with a new mindset and a team of friends and mentors, I decided to make the steps to go completely pain free. I got serious and took my first step by going on an elimination diet. I knew this was going to be a struggle, so I gathered my team together and informed them, I needed more help and support for the first 3-7 days. Because of my digestive issues, I was putting myself on a low FODMAPS diet and eliminating any additional food that my stomach reacted to. This plan cut my food options down a lot since I am vegan. I also cut the majority of fructose out and if I did consume, I would only consume a 1/2-1 cup of approved fruit in the morning and that was it. All refined sugar was out, sorry Oreos, you were no longer an approved food.

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The next step was to attack my beverages….Ugh. I had already made water my main beverage, but caffeine (except green tea) and sugar drinks (this includes alcohol for those that partake) had to be eliminated. I LOVED COFFEE! I didn’t think I had an addiction to it, after all, I only drank a cup in the morning and that was it.

The final step involved taking some supplements to help heal my gut and to make sure I was balanced, and to alter my exercise plan. For my exercise, I had to keep my heart rate down and do more calming activities. This meant, instead of running the whole time for me, I had to reduce my pace and do a run/walk method. I took to lifting weights and classes in yoga. I ended all my workouts with a 10 minute dry heat detox.
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So now for the adventure. I had my steps and I started all of them at once. IT WAS A BEAST! I did a video blog that went through the days and weeks of how I felt. The first few days were the worst. I had such supportive family and friends, there was no way I was going to let them down. With them checking up on me daily and making me accountable to certain things, it helped keep me from stuffing my face full of Oreos (Why did they even make those things, ACK!)

I am now 9 weeks in on this challenge to heal my gut and be pain free. YOU KNOW WHAT?! I am mostly pain and bloat free! I have never felt this good in my entire life and I even lost 7.5 pounds in 5 of those weeks. I have more energy and feel like a whole new me, which helps me to love myself more for taking on this challenge and sticking to it. Success!

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Yes, I still crave from time to time and if I deviate from my plan and have a fruit or veggie that is not approved, my gut and my sausage fingers will be quick to tell me, don’t do that again. So, do you want to live pain free too? Are you tired of being depressed and out of energy? Are you willing to give it a try? Let’s talk! Schedule an appointment with me for a free health session and lets see if this is the plan for you. Don’t let pain and digestive issues be your “normal.” Take a step toward real health, TODAY!

Start Your Journey to be Pain Free!

Don’t let your pain control you, take your life back!

Let’s talk, schedule a free appointment today!

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Thank you for sharing and helping others make a change. ~ Jennifer Colburn