The Book that Changed My Life and Diet Forever

How I Changed My Diet Even Though I Felt Stuck

The Book that Changed My Life and Diet Forever

About three years ago, I was struggling with my asthma almost every day. I lived in a house that fluctuated between 3-5 cats (I'm allergic but love them anyway).

My lungs would get congested, often late at night. I would go out and buy a Rockstar, chug it, then my lungs would release and I could sleep. I had taken myself off all medications, so I was working with the condition naturally. Then a friend gave me a secondhand copy of this -

This book, Clean, by Alejandro Junger, changed everything for me. It details a 3-week cleanse program where you eliminate gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, nightshades, and other common allergy-inducing foods. The cleanse allows natural, non processed foods, like fish, chicken, fresh game, low sugar fruits, vegetables, and non-gluten grains. You construct your meals in this way - breakfast and dinner are pureed to allow for quick digestion and lunch is made up of solid foods.

I wasn't perfect when I did this, but I stuck with it for the full three weeks. I was a touch underweight at the time and I lost a few unintended pounds.

I had read a lot of advice for asthmatics previously that said to stop gluten and dairy to decrease lung inflammation. I always made excuses - "But, I like bread, pasta, cheese and yogurt". The cleanse forced me to systematize a lot of eliminations at once and maintain them. I steadily added back some things, but left out gluten and dairy.

It's been nothing short of a miracle for me.

Fast forward to today-

A couple months ago, I clicked a Facebook post for a local CrossFit box and I've been in classes 3 to 5 days a week ever since. There's hard cardio every class and I can do it, with a bit of fatigue, but no wheezing or coughing. I'm gaining strength faster than I could working out alone. I'm not Wonder Woman yet, but I'm on my way there and getting better every week. My coaches are amazing and they push me to go farther.

I don't have asthma attacks and I can be around cats and dogs without distress. I may get a cat in a few months.

The moral of my story is this - if you're having trouble with breathing, you can turn things around and improve the quality of your life. Find a diet or cleanse system to help you systematize the changes and stick with it.

Explore the numerous adapted food options out there - gluten-free breads, vegetable pastas, dairy-free cheese, butter, and yogurt. Cook with healthy oils like coconut or avocado. Choose healthy fats like avocados and nuts. Always read labels so you know what's in your food. Look for natural and organic options without chemical preservatives, refined sugar or other fillers.

You can do it! You've got this!

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Paula Zimmerman
See all posts by Paula Zimmerman