This topic was discussed in detail at last weekend’s wellness retreat in beautiful Grassy Creek, NC at the Riverhouse Inn. Here I was able to speak about food and nutrition as it relates to several factors, one of which is join pain and inflammation in the body. What does it boil down to?
When I was 34 years old I visited my doctor for a checkup. I had always been active and relatively fit, so I expected everything to check out just fine as usual. This checkup was different; my blood pressure was high, as was my cholesterol. WHAT?! I did physical labor all day (I was a landscaper at the time).
What I didn’t realize was that just because I looked relatively fit outwardly, I had symptoms of joint pain. I explained the joint pain by thinking, “Well, I’ve been involved in sports my whole life, and now I lift trees and boulders every day for a living. I’ve just worn my body out.” As I began to research these two diseases, I found out that much of what I was experiencing was due to inflammation caused by the foods I was consuming.
I found that certain foods, such as processed, sugary foods, could cause me to feel achy and stiff, also causing inflammation in my veins and arteries. At that time, I started to clean up my diet. I was able to avoid taking blood pressure medication and cholesterol medication, which made me extremely happy. I knew of the side effects associated with the drugs, and I didn’t want to endure those.
But this didn’t completely resonate until I started to compete as a natural bodybuilder at the age of 40. What I noticed was that when I conformed strictly to a bodybuilding eating style, eating only healthy, whole, unprocessed foods, I felt almost no joint pain (even where old sports injuries plagued me). Not only did I feel better physically, but my blood pressure and cholesterol were at their lowest points ever.
Overjoyed, I took this way of eating as a lifestyle. At this point, 20 years later, after my doctor suggested that I would need medication for blood pressure and cholesterol, I still do not need it.
You see, I have CHOSEN to let my food be my medication!