Struggling to Eat
“You should cut beef out of your diet.”
“You should quit eating dairy products.”
“You should avoid eggs.”
Being someone who works in production agriculture, these recommendations provoked me. During a regular physical, a physician’s assistant suggested that I switch to a vegan diet. Apparently, some pro athletes were doing it based on a Netflix series and she thought it would help me build muscle and lose weight. I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’
I try to follow a well-balanced diet, not a cut-everything-out diet. However, several years ago I was struggling to eat. I was sick constantly; I never felt good. It got to the point where I was throwing up every day. I had x-rays, CT scans, upper and lower gastrointestinal exams; you name it. I was prescribed antidepressants, $2,000 worth of vamped-up Maalox and muscle relaxers. I got told that I had IBS and a lot of inflammation. No kidding, but why? Something had to change, and I needed answers.
Then I met my miracle worker, Stephanie Nemitz-Kohn from Benton, who owns Be Rooted Chiropractic and Wellness. She didn’t just take a guess at my symptoms; she tested. I got over 50 pages of information about my body and the results changed my life. Some foods were causing slow-reacting issues in my body, leading to insane levels of bad bacteria in my gut, severe inflammation and other concerns. I became aware that having my gallbladder removed when I was 16 had been causing me distress for a very long time. My body couldn’t handle it any longer.
Although other factors affect our health and our bodies are constantly changing, the information that I have on my body now has changed my life. I tied it all together by working with 3×4 Genetics, which is a company that offers DNA genetic testing. For instance, my report showed that my body struggles to digest fats and I’m very sensitive to salt. I also have a hard time absorbing specific vitamins, like vitamin D, choline and folate. I don’t need recommendations based on opinion anymore; I’m able to tailor my diet specifically for my body and have decreased the number of symptoms in doing so.
This journey led me to serve on the Nutrition and Health Committee for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board. I’ve shared my story and suggestions with contractors who conduct beef research projects so that they can be more granular in their findings. The results that they’ve already shared have been incredible like the study that showed beef is safe to introduce at 6 months of age. No matter what age, I hope that sharing my story can help others find the path to a healthier and happier life.
As we celebrate May Beef Month and other commodities throughout the year, remember that everybody’s body is different and what works for some, may not work for others. If you’re struggling with issues involving food, nutrition, stress or finding more research specifically on the beef industry, I’ve included several resources below.
Wishing you health and happiness in 2023!
- 3×4 Genetics – 3x4genetics.com
- Be Rooted Chiropractic & Wellness – facebook.com/BeRootedChiro
- AgriSafe – learning.agrisafe.org
- National Institute of Mental Health – nimh.nih.gov
- National Institutes of Health – nih.gov
- The American Institute for Stress – stress.org
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1.800.273.8255
- Text Talk to 741.741
- Farm Aid Farmer Hotline – 1.800.327.6243
- Podcasts: Mary’s Cup of Tea, The Coping Toolbox, Experts on Expert-Dr. Jud Brewer
- Apps: Finch, Water cat
- Book: Cozy: The Art of Arranging Yourself in the World
- Beef research and recipes: beefitswhatsfordinner.com, beefboard.org, beeftips.com
Tammy Wiedenbeck is the District 3 Representative on the WFBF Promotion and Education Committee. Tammy is the seventh generation on her family’s farm and works together with her brother’s family and parents to run the beef and crop operation. She also manages a photography business on the side.
The Promotion and Education Committee is a dynamic group of Farm Bureau leaders who develop, implement and promote programs that build agricultural awareness and provide leadership development to the agricultural community.
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