When I was in college, I was at the epitome of my junk food eating, and I ate pretty atrociously. At various points, I was eating cheese fries every other day, lots of cheesesticks weekly, and rotating among philly cheesesteaks, pizza, chinese food, buffalo wings, and other miscellaneous fast food. If you would have asked me at the time if I was happy and felt good, I promise you that I would’ve given you an enthusiastic “Yes!”. However, I can now tell you that my answer would’ve been a half truth.
While on the surface, I felt like I was in food ecstacy while actually consuming the food and for maybe up to an hour afterward, I totally ignored all of my body’s signs that it was screaming out in distress. I would need to lay out in my bed and take a nap in the middle of the afternon because after my junk food binges, I literally could not keep my eyes open! Once I’d wake up from my nap, I’d have no energy and feel groggy for the next several hours. Within a few hours, I’d randomly feel itchy and by the next morning, I’d start breaking out. Also, when ever late winter/ early spring would hit, I’d get some mystery throat “infection” that would last for weeks on end each year and I’d keep getting prescribed stronger and stronger antibiotics with each bout. It may sound strange, but I was used to feeling kind of crappy, so that was my “normal”, or so I thought. I refused to connect any of dots at the time.
Only years later, once I made the conscious decision to cut out junk foods, dairy, and gluten (foods to which I’m sensitive), did I then realize that alot of the crappiness that I felt on a daily or seasonal basis was largely linked to the food that I was eating. After seriously revamping my diet, I no longer have random itch attacks and go into food comas. The annual throat flares no longer happen and my energy is more balanced.
It’s funny how if I would’ve listened to how my body felt long ago, I could’ve avoided alot of years of feeling perpetually kind of crappy. Food sensitivities have this more subtle effect, so it’s easier to ignore them than food allergies, which are impossible to ignore. If you have a series of lingering or chronic unexplained ailments, you should either start logging what you eat and how you felt afterward or really pay attention to when a particular issue flares up and see if you can identify diet patterns. You may be surprised to find that some of your favorite foods are the culprits behind some of those annoying problems and that cutting them out will help you feel better than you ever knew was possible!