Do You Feel Grateful For The Body You Live In?

Feel Grateful For The Body You Live In

The other day I was on Instagram, and saw a message from one of my favorite accounts. So I hopped on over to visit @AmberRomaniuk and took a look at her latest post. It said: “Feel Grateful For The Body You Live In.” And I do. I love yoga, walking, and hanging out on my Bongo Board to play and practice balancing. There are so many parts of me that are working. And compared to most people who have suffered from MS for decades, I am thriving.

Do I Feel Grateful?

So, I asked myself, do I feel grateful? The answer is complex. And it includes this part: NOT ALWAYS. Living with three autoimmune diseases and the BRCA and MTHFR genetic mutations has become a full time job.

Will I Work Again?

Someday, I may be able to work and travel again and not lead a restricted lifestyle. And, that may not ever happen. My life may continue to be limited. Beyond a doubt, I am grateful for everything at my disposal when it comes to dealing with my health. I have the brains and financial resources to be totally empowered and make fantastic decisions. Still, there are so many factors that are far beyond my control.

Living In Limbo

Although I’ve done everything in my power, I live in limbo. Since 2014, I’ve had no idea what the next day will bring in terms of my health. Will I be able to go to the things I have planned? Or will I be home bedridden, exhausted, and barely able to function. This past year, 2018 was my toughest ever. Although I cannot go into detail here, I can tell you, it was the first time I worried every single day that I’d end up in a wheel chair. I’ve had a better year in 2019 and seem to be on the mend, but still, never know what’s around the corner.

Losing a Career

I’ve gone from writing books, going on tour and appearing on Fox News to speak about diet and health, to spending my life in medical offices. Doctor appointments and multiple forms of physical therapy rule my days. And still, I have so much more than I could ever express here to be thankful for. It’s confusing to say the least.

Look On The Bright Side

Life is strange. When you lose something that you had it doesn’t ever really feel good. Often I make my days a practice in acceptance. And I’ve become very zen about my life and accepted it for what it is. Still, having always been out and about in the world, and worked since I was eight years old, there’s a missing piece. I did not retire by choice. I was forced into it. And there’s a deep sadness about this loss.

Are You Living In Limbo?

Is your life hanging in the balance of a bunch of medical issues? Has it gone on for a long time? What has it stopped you from doing? And what do you still enjoy and love most? Life is complicated, so leave a comment and let me know how you’re doing friends! This community is one of the juiciest things in my life and keeps me going every single day.

Thanks for sharing your journey and being an inspiration.


70 responses to “Do You Feel Grateful For The Body You Live In?”

  1. Hi Elana!
    Your words are so eloquent, and brilliantly put so much into perspective.
    Thank you for summarizing what seems very familiar. I’m at three autoimmune conditions, or diseases or whatever, with advanced complications, and the first one dropped-in, going on 58years ago. Long visit. I’ve been told, in times until recently, many didn’t live past 25-30 years with this, when the lifestyle was unmanageable.
    I am definitely grateful for the teachings from my parents (mother was a nurse, father was a teacher), and I am grateful for having a good mind, and for having the resources I’ve had to make the most of my body limitations. For the most part, that has meant living and eating as healthy as possible.
    As you said so well, this is all very complex – and complicated, and costly, requires huge compromise, requires huge commitment, and requires unlimited strength and stamina. I’ve managed well up until the past 10 years, but the challenges have gotten increasingly demanding and difficult (the toll of additional autoimmune conditions, aging, accumulation of parenting and increased stress and confusion, increased food limitations, other conditions limiting mobility and exercise). Indeed, it is all very complicated, and the (many) “losses” and “limbo” experienced are harsh realities.
    What is most enjoyable now, is spending time with my daughter (when possible, since she moved to the UK), learning about wellness and healthy eating, being with friends (walks), and making new friends (online) with people who know and understand this lifestyle (choosing to be healthy amidst health chaos and confusion).
    Keep up the amazing inventing, creating, photography, writing and posting! You are phenomenal in many helpful and inspiring ways, and very much appreciated!

    • Joel, I found your comment so incredible I had to read it two times to savor each and every word of it. I am so very lucky to be on this path with you. If you’re like me, you probably don’t travel much, but I hope we get to meet in person someday! For now, I hope you’ll stay in touch here and keep me posted on how you’re doing! :-)

  2. Hello Elana!

    Thank you for being truth teller. I admire you for this quality so much ( and of course the practical side of you with all the receipes etc). I wanted to write a comment to this post immediately after I read it. But then decided to sit down, to pray about it and not to do it hastily.
    Information which I want to share with you is not that new to me but for one reason or the other didn’t take it seriously before.
    Just little intro about me. Have hashimotos, I think have it since childhood or definitely teen years. Was diagnosed when I was 38… To make story short, tried so much, when I cut gluten, felt improvement immediately, but then after half year or so, energy got low again, felt cold etc. Then tried to cut carbs, increased fat, improvent again, but short lived, then introduced fermented stuff, the same story. Found your blog, was delighted to eat grain free deserts which tasted like proper desert. Improvement, but short lived again… Maybe it sounds familiar to you. But thankfully it’s not the end of my post.
    I’m practising Christian and one lady in our church would be very aware of spiritual battles (demonic forces) operating around. Elana, please don’t take it lightly, I’m not mad or fanatic. I know this lady for years, but somehow I never thought that demonic forces could affect my body ( I knew it can affect the mind, thoughts). But about 4 month ago I was talking to this godly woman (Agnes is her name) and she was telling that her arthritis got so bad that she could barely walk, and she told me that she suspected spiritual warfare going on, she prayed against those powers of darkness and experienced miraculous improvement, but after few days pain was back, but she said she isn’t going to give up…she is quite good these days, but pain shows up time to time, so she is on guard..
    In my case I wasn’t very hopeful that prayers like that would make difference in my situation. Before starting I purchased one book that Agnes recommended. After reading it I could see better picture. And I started…. Couldn’t feel any demons hoping out of me, but I definitely felt improvement in my health, more energy, clearer thoughts etc etc. Again if to tell more details how I did it, I would need to keep writing for another hour or so.
    And do I love my body I live in? There would be moments I would be quite unhappy about some things. I grew up in Soviet Union and when I was few years old and had bad pneumonia, our GP prescribed one antibiotic which shouldn’t be taken by children who still have milk teeth cause somehow it affects the colour of the teeth which come after milk teeth are gone. So my teeth aren’t white but yellowish instead. When I moved to Ireland 13 years ago, most people of my age had perfectly white teeth, it caused me plenty of heartache and tears . But now recently when I started this fight against darkness around me, I noticed that my teeth don’t bother me as much anymore, I’m much happier and have more love for myself and for others. And through the eyes of love everything is beautiful.
    Elana, I won’t be upset if you decide not to allow this post to be seen by other readers. Topics like that are feared and ridiculed by many.
    If you need to ask me something, you know my email. If not, the thought came to my head, maybe you know somebody in your life who is messianic Jew. Talk to him or her. Cause only name on this earth that powers of darkness fear is Yeshua ( Jesus in Christian church)
    Lots of love to you. You are my hero and inspiration, and the best cheff. I purchased Sababa cook book, but after following your blog for so long I thought your recipes were work if genius, with as few ingredients as possible but huge flavour.
    Praying for you that you get to this amazing LIGHT

    • Giedre, you said, through the eyes of love everything is beautiful.” That is a quote I will remember for the rest of my days :-)

  3. I was saddened to hear that you’ve been struggling more with your health. I hope you know how much you’ve helped people all while facing your own challenges.
    I’ve followed your website for a couple years now. 2 of my children were diagnosed with CGD (chronic granulomatous disease) an incurable disease that makes them unable to fight any bacterial infections. A tiny blister can put them in the hospital potentially fighting to keep a limb or even fighting for their life. One of them, my daughter has Crohn’s disease on top of CGD so it is imperative that she be on the SCD diet. You have made our life so much more manageable and through your recipes, made her life less painful. THANK YOU!!!

    • Lisa, thanks for your sweet comment! I LOVE hearing that my recipes have made your daughter’s life less painful. I started writing recipes in 2001, when my son was a toddler with celiac and I put him on the SCD. I so feel for you in the severity of everything you are going through with your two children. Your hands are very full. I hope you’ll keep me posted on how you’re all doing :-)

  4. I always look forward to what you have to say. I too have lost my career and my job is to take care of myself. It is more isolating as most do not have a clue what I do, and nothing they do.

    I love your recipes and have your books. I have been reading more about how trauma can make us more susceptible to illnesses. So trying to heal the traumas we all experence in different ways is also important.

    Thank you for sharing with us! I do appreciate the body I live in most of the time….

    • Nancy, bingo on the trauma piece. I’m right there with you. Thanks for your super sweet, thoughtful comment. Grateful for you :-)

  5. I discovered your blog years ago when I was seeking out grain-free baking recipes. I was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and, at that time (9 years ago), I was experimenting with different diets (still am). It was such a comfort to discover that we had several things in common and you were dealing with similar issues. I grew up in Boulder and NYC, worked in the corporate world, and now approach life in a much different manner – I live in rural Colorado, work a part-time job, and try to be as stress-free as possible. I no longer socialize like I once did, but instead focus on more meaningful relationships and quality time for myself. I’ve certainly become more self-aware. I’ve even taken up sewing which was very unexpected but has sparked a wealth of creative juices! When I started following you, I was in a place much darker than I am now and your blog gave me encouragement and motivation (not to mention great recipes!). I don’t share much online but I wanted to THANK YOU for being BRAVE and continuing to post about your life.

    • Karina, we are on such a similar life journey. And btw, I love sewing. I am so grateful for your comment and I hope you’ll keep me posted on how you’re doing :-)

  6. Hi Elana,
    Have you ever heard of a low oxalate diet. I know that almonds are super high in oxalates and oxalates are inflammatory. Spinach is also high along with a lot of other foods. I guess if you have a compromised gut absorption of oxalate are high.
    Would love to hear your comments

    • Angela, thanks for your comment! I don’t worry about those things because I am very careful about not eating the same foods every day in order not to build up immune response to them. Have also had extensive testing on food allergies :-)

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. You do a lot for people with your recipes, talks, and writing. I really do appreciate all that you do. I wish you continued healing and success as you continue your journey.

  8. Thank you so much for being open and vulnerable. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at 10 and have up and down years since then. This last year, my 25th year, has been one of my hardest yet. I went from running 40 miles a week and a happy gut, to having searing hip and back pain even while laying down and unmanageable and frustrating digestion issues. Although I’m grateful to not be on the harsh medications I was on a decade ago and know so much more than I did then, I’m sad and grieving the loss of activities I love. I’ve started cooking a lot more (my energy has to go somewhere!) from your cookbooks and other grain free authors. I am so grateful for you and others who occupy this space and share their journey. Your influence is invaluable, thank you.

    • Miranda, I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. It is such a process to grieve the loss of the parts of life one loves. I hope you’ll keep me posted on you :-)

  9. What a timely read. I have AS, and multiple gut related issues with autoimmune galloping thru the family. I can’t tell you how many of your recipes are in my regular rotation, the cinnamon coffee cake is the current must have! But this, from the heart, hit me as this is now my life. I have been forced to retire and am dealing with that loss and the fact that taking care of myself is now my job! A friend who thinks it’s fantastic and I’m so lucky to be able to “not work” does not get what it means to be chronically ill. It is very hard work and each day must have a plan b or c in case I’m not well. I am getting a bongo board asap thanks for that! Just know that some random 52 yr old woman in Canada is grateful for you and your presence on this planet. Thanks for sharing your journey and being an inspiration.

    • Laura, autoimmune is galloping through my family as well. Yes, I have people like that too, who only see a fit looking, healthy looking person, this limbo living can be very isolating, that is actually the most challenging part for me, so your comment comforts me, knowing we are in this together. I’m so glad to hear that the Cinnamon Coffee Cake is your current must have –we LOVE it too! If you get the bongo board, use it on carpet so that it is easier and more stable when you are a beginner! And keep me posted on how you’re doing with the board and your life in general –big hugs :-)

  10. Thank you for sharing your life’s journey with us. While my health struggles are nothing like yours, I had to quit work at age 50 and do feel ashamed when people ask “what do you do?”. I also am not grateful for my body and it’s health. I will take your column as an inspiration to start appreciating my body and my ability to find and receive alternative health care that has greatly improved my life. I will also look into the balance board you use :) Thank you again.

    • Anne, thanks for your wonderful and heartfelt comment! Make sure if you use that balance board to start with it on a carpet so that it is more stable and not too challenging :-)

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