Welcome to Grain and Simple. Since 2009, this blog has been a way for me to share my journey to complete health. Time for the back story…

After my sophomore year in college, I was diagnosed with mono. Being a college student, this wasn’t too surprising. What I didn’t realize, though, is that this simple diagnosis would change my life.

Once I started feeling better and my golf ball-sized tonsils became more normal sized, my family and I took a trip to visit some friends in Guatemala. Everything was going well until the night before we left when I suddenly feel very ill. No need to go into detail here.. nobody wants to hear about that. The next day I noticed that I still wasn’t feeling myself, but I flew back to Georgia where I was living with a friend at the time. Over the next few days I started to notice odd symptoms and that I was losing weight. At this point, the only thing my stomach could really tolerate was Wheat Thins. Ha… to think of me eating those now!  I finally decided to come home and go see a doctor. The first doctor I saw did zero tests (which I have learned is never a good sign) , said I had a parasite, and gave me some pills. I took those pills. I started feeling worse. I couldn’t eat anything without wanting to stab myself in the gut. Doctor number two. This was a natural doctor who believed in taking many many herbs and supplements. At this point in time, I had already moved back to Knoxville where I was about to start school again. Before I left, I had taken a few tests and once I was at school, the doctor called me with the results. They were not good. I had parasites and they had completely wreaked havoc on my digestive system. I was off the charts on every single level. Off the charts. So, for the next three months I became very good at swallowing 40 pills a day. Trust me, I counted. At the end of this rigorous pill cycle, I took an antibiotic and BAM I was better!

One month later…

You know those annoying coughs that make you sound like you’re a heavy smoker?  I started having one of those coughs, but who cared, I felt well. After a couple of weeks the cough started getting way worse. Like… I thought I was dying worse. Bronchitis! But of course! I had had mono less than a year before, so my immune system was very weak. I know plenty of people have been bugged by this illness, but looking back at it, I probably needed to leave school because it was so bad. I was on so many drugs at one point that I had a fever that lasted multiple days, couldn’t sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time (sitting up), and I actually cracked a rib from the straining when I coughed. One night I woke up unable to breathe for almost a full minute. It honestly felt like I was dying.  After almost three months of this, I felt a little better. I was sick my entire junior year. The following summer, I was off and on antibiotics for numerous sinus infections and was still having digestive trouble and that’s when I decided I needed a change.

This is when this blog came to be. During my Christmas break of 2009-10, I went to a macrobiotic counselor who decided that I was eating completely wrong. I had a major sensitivity to gluten, dairy, and meat, among many other things, and I needed to eliminate them from my diet. My final semester I was taking 21 hours of class and teaching myself how to cook simultaneously. Three meals a day. Every single day. It was exhausting, but I finally was feeling better. I had energy for the first time in years, I didn’t live like a vegetable in my bed, and I lost a bit of weight (unhealthy weight, just so you know). This is when I knew that my purpose was not what I had originally intended. I now had a passion to cook and feel better and share my passion with others.

Fast forward to today. I am now happily married, have become slightly obsessed with races of all kinds (2013 marked my first olympic triathlon), and have two fuzzy dogs that I consider my children (I’m not weird, I just love dogs!). I still have some digestive issues that I have to deal with daily because I have yet to find answers for certain things, but overall I have learned so much about how food affects and can either heal or harm the human body.  This little project is to show that eating healthy is a lifestyle and that anyone can do it. Trust me, if I can change my life, you can change yours.

Thank you for stopping by and for reading my novel of a life story. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or requests for something you would like to see on the site!