HAWMC: I write about my health because...

For the month of April, I'm participating in the Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge from Wego Health. Each day I'll be writing a health-related post based on the HAWMC prompts, aiming to challenge myself as a writer and health activist. Thanks for following!

...I want people to be aware of the connection between their diet and their health.

I spent a lot of my high school and college days feeling unwell and not knowing why. Plenty of serious illnesses were ruled out, which relieved me at first, but as I continued to get sick and not understanding the cause, I grew more concerned. Little did I know it was the foods I loved the most that were causing me to feel so unwell.

What you choose to eat is extremely personal. Tell someone to give up their favorite food and they'll feel defensive and bewildered. "I could NEVER give up _____!" - a line I hear all the time. A lady once told me she'd rather die (DIE) than give up drinking alcohol. Are we really so attached to our favorite consumables that we'd die without them?

I write this blog to offer a different perspective on the stuff with which we fuel our bodies. You don't have to spend your life craving foods you know are bad for you or are making you ill. It may even be that you aren't aware of that connection - any chronic symptoms you experience could be (and probably are) directly related to your regular diet. I write The Particular Kitchen to make you aware of this. Whether you want to take it further and speak with me or any other nutrition professional is up to you; the goal is just to bring this awareness forward. I don't wish any unnecessary pain and suffering on anyone, especially when it can be so easily reversed.

Originally, I wrote this blog to talk about food allergies and intolerances and offer recipes for people on restricted diets. As I continue down my path as a nutrition advisor, I know that while there are many people in the world today avoiding gluten, for example, because they know they are sensitive to it, there are many more who have no idea that they could feel better without it.

I wish I had this information when I was feeling my worst, suffering chronic symptoms after eating seemingly innocuous foods. It's amazing what can shift when you simply write down what you eat and how you feel. I don't mean calorie counting - not at all. Just try keeping a food diary for a day (or three). Write down everything you eat and how you feel before and after. This can provide great clues into the foods that trigger symptoms for you.

And don't be afraid of making small changes to your diet. Believe it or not, you won't die without dairy or suffer without soy.