I was 18 when I was diagnosed with arthritis in my feet.
It was on one hand a relief, because I had tried for years to figure out why it hurt so much to dance, run, walk and wear high heels. On the other hand, it was devastating. I was a ballet dancer at the time, and I knew then that it meant I would never dance again, and I would be in pain every step I took for the rest of my life. I was on a steady regimen of cortisone shots and Celebrex for many months, and they didn’t do much for me, so I eventually stopped trying to treat the pain and decided to just accept it.
Fast-forward seven years. At 25, I met this guy, Ryan. He gave me a book that advocated for eating real, whole foods without the processing, preservatives and artificial flavorings of most modern-day foods. I followed The Primal Blueprint, going from vegetarian to carnivore overnight. My new diet included a mix of fresh vegetables and meat, omitting grains, sugar, dairy and anything processed. I stopped eating out and started planning my meals ahead of time, making everything from scratch. I used the Crock-Pot a lot. Going in, I had no expectations, but within a week, I noticed I didn’t need an alarm clock anymore to wake up in the morning, and I no longer had that post-lunch drowse. My energy was at an all-time high and I felt great. But even after that, I wasn’t prepared for what came next.
After a month, my arthritis pain disappeared. Like, gone. I had somehow, without trying, cured my arthritis with food. See, I had never thought much about what or how I ate. I figured if you worked out and stayed relatively active, it didn’t really matter that much what you put into your body. In fact, the only reason I had gone vegetarian for a year was because most of my coworkers were, and I just wanted to see if I could give up meat. Not that I thought I should.
It wasn’t until after that first month of eating paleo that I realized food can either be a slow and silent killer, or a powerful medicine to fuel, heal and nourish our bodies.
That’s why Ryan – now my husband – and I founded Bare Bones Broth Co. We make bone broths, or stock, the old-fashioned way, sourcing the best organic, whole-food ingredients from sustainable sources, and simmering them for 24 hours to unlock real flavor and nutrients, to heal and nourish others for a life lived well.
Our broths are high in protein, low in sodium, naturally dense in essential nutrients and taste so good you won’t believe they’re good for you.
That’s our promise, and it’s an important one to us. After all, if we must spend a lifetime making the ”right” food choices, why must we be forced to choose between foods that taste good and foods that are good for us? Ryan and I believe with our entire beings that you can have both – and that these healthy, delicious foods can even be convenient and easy to add to your life.
“Let Food Be Thy Medicine”
Eating this way – putting my health first – is certainly more expensive than eating the way I did before. But the way I look at it, eating for my health is the best health insurance money can buy. I’m heading off all kinds of potential diseases before they even become a problem to be treated. Heck, I’m even reversing some diseases (the arthritis). I’m thus avoiding the uncomfortable and detrimental side effects of most conventional medicine. Eating this way is the ultimate in self-preservation and self-care.
And you can’t put a price tag on feeling amazing. I turn 32 next week, which puts me at 14 years post-diagnosis. It’s also been seven years since I first discovered I could obliterate my arthritis through nutrition. I still stick fairly closely to the Primal Blueprint lifestyle, and my arthritis is still gone. I can hike, backpack, run, CrossFit and dance with not even an inkling of pain. I’m not one for hyperbole, but I consider this a modern-day miracle. Only it has nothing to do with modernity, and everything to do with going back to eating real, whole, slow foods.
I often sign our cookbook with this quote from Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
To some, this may seem trite. To me, this is my motto. Doing this literally changed my life, and I live now to help others change theirs.
What’s your nutrition story?