Last night I came down with some type of a stomach bug, which can either be blamed on something I ate, or my little one lovingly passing it on to me. This does make me sympathize with her constant whining and lack of appetite over the past few days a whole lot more. It also kind of makes me feel like a terrible parent for not being more sympathetic earlier. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t tell her to suck it up and go to work, and I did double down probiotics in her smoothies, but I feel like I should have held her more. Anyways, that’s not what this post is about…
This post is about understanding that you are human and though you may be doing everything you can to prevent illness through diet and exercise, there’s always something missing in your holistic force field. Always. That’s just the way it is. Unless of course you’re living a relatively stress-free life on your own self-sustaining organic farm and can happily drink unlimited amounts of green juice and heirloom tomatoes each and every day, but even still, an illness here to there is bound to happen.
I find this topic to be the hardest thing for the majority of health foodies (especially vegans) to accept. And hey, I’m one of them. Did adopting a plant based diet make me a whole lot healthier than I was before? Hell yeah! Did it make me invincible? Absolutely not.
But one thing I do know through my years of studying, living and thriving off of plant-based foods is that whenever I do get sick, passing the blame on “bugs” just doesn’t make sense. We are surrounded by bugs and viruses all the time, and the only difference between those who get sick and those who don’t is their own individual immune system’s capabilities to fight off the harmful bacteria. So whenever I get sick I ask myself what environmental stressors have I been placing on myself that allows for my lowered immunity? Have I been eating too many ‘healthy sugars’, have I been feeling stressed or not sleeping or have I been eating a lot of refined grains and not enough variety of fruits and veggies in my diet? Sometimes, I find that whenever I do get sick, it’s because I haven’t been ‘checking in’ with myself and sickness is my subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle reminder to do so.
But just because I got sick does not mean that incorporating more organic fruits and vegetables – raw, cooked, whatever – plays no role in reducing the risk of illness, especially the big ones like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even most cancers. Fact. And if you’re like me, you want everyone you know to feel the benefits of this lifestyle change and since telling people to eat more fruits and vegetables doesn’t work, you want your life to be a living, breathing, walking, talking example of how good it feels to break free from the Standard American Diet/Lifestyle!
So, do I get slightly embarrassed whenever I fall ill, especially since I pump in more greens and fermented foods in my diet than most? Yep. Should I be? Absolutely not. And you shouldn’t be either. Now, I know what you’re thinking. People are always looking for ways to bash on a plant-based lifestyle, and me being slightly sick right now just gives them something to poo on. Maybe it does. But then again, maybe it doesn’t since sickness is something they experience too. So next time you get sick, just allow yourself to be sick. Don’t let your ego get in the way of healing. Do what you need to do – drink your water, green juices and coconut kefirs and other probiotic drinks and just feel better.
Nature has an amazing way of healing, and if you give your body what it needs to heal, it will. So make yourself – or should I say have someone who loves you – make a nice bowl of vegetable soup and some white rice to help clog things back up a bit and welcome the healing into your being. And be excited about the fact that though your immune system is currently under attack, you have been doing a fine job at giving it a base layer to work from and all that healthy living has not gone in vein since studies have shown that those who do eat more holistically bounce right back up even faster than those who don’t.
So on that note. I am going to ‘enjoy’ my sick day as best as I can and rest assure that I will be felling better than ever in no time.
What makes you feel better on your sick days?