If you answered YES! to this, then you are among millions of people that are experiencing unwell bodies. Aches and pains are not "getting old," as I hear so often. Sure, there may be some extra care needed - like an older automobile - as we age, but we shouldn't struggle to get around. We should not be waking up every day with soreness.
Take my Great, Great Grandfather Padarev in Predgrad, Slovenia. By some accounts, he lived to 105 and his wife to 103. I don't know specifically if they had aches and pains; surely they needed to attend to self-care as they aged. I do know that they stayed active throughout their lives, climbing trees to gather firewood for heat, filling the attics in their home with hay to feed their cattle, taking care of their property and farm, and picking fruit from their front yard trees. These are the kinds of activities that we are born to -- and meant to -- do. So if they did have aches, it wasn't enough to prevent them from doing what they needed to do.
So why are so many of us feeling limited in our abilities due to our aches and pains?
I have one word for you - PUFAs.
WHAT THE HECK ARE PUFA?
PUFAs are Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acid Oils. These oils are refined, which oxidizes the oil, making it particularly destructive to our endocrine systems, promoting symptoms like poor fat metabolism, diminished energy, sluggish thyroid, insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, immune problems, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. That is quite a list!
After training to be a Primal Health Coach, I finally honed in on these oils as the source of my aches and pains.
I'm an active person. I walk, sprint, hike, bike, do yoga, do push-ups and pull-ups, practice slack lining, jog, do weights and I am on my feet a lot. When I work, I average 20,000 steps a day - about 10 Miles.
I think of these activities as today's version of what my Great Great Grandparents did - although I wish I could get our fruit trees to be as plentiful. I eat close to the land, visiting my Farmer's Market every week. I've made friends with the farmer's and know how they grow and process their wares. I read labels. I shop organically. If you ask my young adult children, they will tell you that all they heard about was - nutrition - until they went crazy. It even prompted one of them to go to the restaurants and ask for a gluten menu!
So you'd think that I'd feel great, right? And I do feel very good for my age. I'm clued into my body. I originally thought, in my late 40's, that my aches and pains were from exercising. Until I went on a nutrition-oriented eating 12-step plan - Food Addicts Anonymous - and after 3 months, I no longer felt sore. This amazed me. I had been having chronic back pain, soaking in the jacuzzi, sauna, and stretching all the time. And cleaning up my food did the most. It totally surprised me that my aches and pains WERE A SYMPTOM when all along, I thought they were a by-product of working out.
We active people have more reason than ever to clean up our food plan. Our overall health is primarily dependent on the genes we turn on or off (the latest epigenetic research shows we can indeed turn them off). When we sprint or lift weights, the biochemical process from that activity turns on certain genes to repair and strengthen our exercised muscles. Good right? Of course.
However, if we do too much exercise, other genes go into excess production and we have prolonged inflammation and slowed recovery. An autoimmune disease is often a genetic over-reaction, much like after too much of a workout, that causes the same kind of inflammation. Our bodies cannot distinguish between too much of a workout and eating something that makes us sore.
We athletes can turn on too much inflammation simply by our healthy lifestyles. Since we are trying to live a healthy, active and balanced life, including eating healthy foods, why is this happening?
GET A GRIP - CHANGE YOUR THINKING
Besides getting a grip on that pull-up bar at the gym, we also need to have a grip on our own personalized body and what the offenses are. We are all an experiment of one. We eat different foods, have different genes, do different workouts, think different thoughts, experience different stresses and traumas. How could there possibly be one diet, or one lifestyle, that fits each of us. There isn't, so now you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Except, now what do we do?
First of all, we have to change our mindset.
CHANGE THE FISH WATER
I have found that I have autoimmune challenges in my genes. My Mom died of ulcerative colitis at the age of 88. My Dad died of heart disease and arthritis at the age of 61. They both did a lot right. Yet they had a lifestyle which ultimately did not nurture their bodies. Both of them experienced aches and pains for years before they died.
My dad regularly went to doctors, got tests, and religiously took his prescriptions. My Mom did the same. It turns out in my opinion that doctors are fabulous and brilliant at diagnosing disease, prescribing medicine to reduce symptoms, and providing surgery when needed. They save lives every day.
Eating has gotten complicated. That blueberry bagel my mom started eating in the 1940s for breakfast deteriorated in quality over the years. The grain became less whole, the wheat it was made from got homogenized (no weeds adding nutritional value), and the wheat got sprayed with chemicals to increase the drying process. All these events contribute to our body's stress through inflammation.
So what needs to be done? We need to find people to support us in our daily care. Since we are in our own fish water (as one of my dear teacher's calls it!) and can't be objective about ourselves, we need to have others help us to take a look at ourselves and let us know how to clean our fish water. They need to help us determine what is muddying the waters of our health.
DOWN WITH PUFA OILS
As much as I thought I was healthy and practicing good ways of life, I realized that I had these annoying little aches and pains. It's like they were saying to me - listen, look at what you're doing, something is not right here, hello! Are you listening?
Now I"m listening. I realized that the PUFA oils are significantly contributing to my aches and pains. I'm on an Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) - a food elimination diet to help me see what's causing my inflammation. And even though it feels very difficult, I am committed to the effort. I am committed to turning off my genes expression of an autoimmune disease.
I have found a huge success by eliminating the PUFA oils. That means canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, coconut oil and anything else that's refined.
It's not easy. I find them at the hot bar at work. They are in the olive bar. They are in canned foods. They are often tossed on packaged items. They are in salad dressings. And let's not get started on restaurants! Most restaurants use them to cook meat, fish, and sauté vegetables.
I have one challenge -- eliminate the PUFA oils. It could be life-saving.
If you need help, let me know.
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