Written by: Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA, Kelsey Ouyang, Ishita Dubey, Ellen M. Martin
Every morning, I wake up and look at a photograph of my grandchildren and think “What can I do today to help this future generation deal with the epidemic of autoimmune diseases that they are unknowingly facing?” This is my big “why” – the inspiration for starting Your Autoimmunity Connection, a platform that promotes awareness and shares resources I have found with autoimmune patients around the world.
Similarly, Emily Stauch from Flawed Yet Functional created her blog to document the health journey that she, too, has taken on with her family. Both of us are seeking solutions not only for ourselves, but also for our loved ones–specifically, our kids and grandkids who may be genetically predisposed to medical problems further down the road. We are on a mission to help them prepare for battle even before their diagnosis announces the specific “enemy” they are facing. Therefore, we make sure to feed them healthy food, encourage them to exercise, and help them adopt other healthy lifestyle habits.
Growing up, Emily seemed to be a woman with optimal health: active, fit, and slim. However, that changed when she had a ruptured brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) at age 25, gestational diabetes during the pregnancies of both of her children, and a diagnosis of adult-onset Type 1 diabetes at the age of 33.
As a diabetic, Emily then had to learn how to balance her blood sugar. However, she did not want to rely on insulin treatment. Instead, she believed that she could experiment with other ways to help her manage her glucose levels.
If you would like to read more about Emily’s story, click here.
Becoming a Fearless Experimenter
Upon finding that there were some connections already being made between food and health, Emily started reading books written by nutrition and health experts such as Amy Myers and Sarah Ballantyne. Through their work, she followed recommendations on which foods to avoid, including dairy, eggs, and gluten, and began experimenting on herself to identify which foods were major triggers for spikes in blood sugar with her handy glucose monitor.
She then began crafting her own recipes that she and her family could both enjoy and benefit from. Noticing improvements in her control over her blood sugar and in her energy and mood, she committed herself to sharing what she has learned and created on her blog.
You can do it too!
Though the idea of “food as medicine” was not well accepted a decade ago, people have become increasingly aware of the validity of this notion. However, it is also important to note that there is not a universal diet that everyone must follow – each person is unique and will have different dietary needs. I have personally learned that eating more plant-based foods and avoiding gluten and dairy have been important to helping me properly fuel my body while minimizing symptoms. If you are looking to do the same or are a parent or grandparent who wants to improve the health of your family, I recommend that you check out Emily’s blog. She has wonderful recipes for delicious healthy foods, including homemade Larabars and customizable trail mix! Most of them are paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free, AIP approved, and kid-friendly–plenty of choices to suit any family member’s dietary preferences!
With help from people like Emily, we can work towards fostering fun and good health for our families and future generations.
If you try out any of her recipes, or even some of the ones we have posted on our website, be sure to let us know by leaving us a comment on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or this post! We would love to hear about how you are a fearless experimenter and tips/tricks that work for you.