On a particularly bad day, I was Googling POTS and things that could help with it. That’s when I came across deliciouslyella.com. Ella Woodward was bedridden and diagnosed with POTS at 19. Eventually she gave up all meat, dairy, sugar, gluten and anything processed to start a whole-foods, plant-based diet. In less than two years, she was able to go off all her medication and actually live her life. On her bog, she shares recipes that are good for you and actually great tasting. She also has an app and a book. Her story was the final straw in me giving up refined sugar (I had already been gluten free for a few years) and limiting additives. It’s encouraging to know that someone else has done this and it helped. Reading her story and her struggle really hit home for me.
I have been trying out some of the recipes from her blog and book, and have been absolutely loving them!! I made the Fresh Spring Rolls with Mango Sauce for my whole fam (well, at least I tried, but ended up having to lay on the floor and my mom finished), they couldn’t get enough! Today I decided to try the Raw Brownies.
This lifestyle change is hard, but it’s so worth it. I already have more energy and have had less stomach pain. I want to thank everyone encouraging me in my fight, especially my mom who is making diet changes also to support me and who always helps me to shore when I get in over my head. Plus, a big thanks to Ella Woodward whose words and recipes have encouraged me so much!
Most teenagers stay up late pigging out on junk food and watching scary movies. Not me. I am in bed by 10 pm every night, with few exceptions, and wake up at 6 am almost every morning. A disruption in my sleep schedule leads to feeling bad for as much a few days after. I have said goodbye to junk food. Now I am gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and limiting preservatives and additives. POTS affects the whole autonomic nervous system, which, among other things, controls digestion. Many people with POTS have found eating healthy (especially without gluten and refined sugar) helps them. I have more energy since I switched up my diet. Another thing the autonomic nervous system controls are your fight-or-flight reflexes. Scary movie, or anything intense that gets my adrenaline flowing and my body ready to react, send me spiraling down soon after.
All of this being said, there are many times in life that I’m faced with hard decisions facing my health. Can I go spend the night with my friends even though we will be up late? Can I go see the new Hunger Games movie in the theater, even though it is really intense? Sometimes I decide it’s worth it. I’m still a teenage girl. I need a social life. I need to go out and have fun with my friends. But sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes it’s just not worth the feeling after.
Then, there’s the third option: Sometimes I don’t make plans because I’m afraid of having to cancel them. These spells can hit at any time, no matter what plans I have. I’m having to learn to be flexible, which those of you that know me (and have seen the planner I carry around with me everywhere) know is difficult for me. The people around me have to be flexible, too, which I feel bad about. I know I can’t control this and it’s not my fault, but when plans have to be canceled on account of me…it’s hard. So here’s an apology to everyone I have canceled on. And here’s a thank you to everyone who has shown me love and has bared with me throughout all of this. I couldn’t do it alone. ❤