Hi! My name is Fajr Allen and I am the founder of Better Belly. My mission is to achieve optimal health by eating better, exercising better, and managing stress better in order to live my best life. By recognizing the vital role that gut health has in achieving this goal, Better Belly was created to give support and encouragement to those who are also on this journey.
In 2015, I decided to live gluten free to improve my health. I understand how difficult it is to remain disciplined with eating healthy. I certainly struggle everyday. So I decided to focus on just getting better, little by little, in the hopes to reach diet and wellness goals that are long lasting and sustainable. Born from that desire, came Better Belly. Eat better. Be better. Live Better.
As I get older, I notice that everything about me is changing. Those "how-low-can-you-go" dance moves are a thing of the past. No more midnight movie premiers for I can hardly stay awake past 10:30PM. Let's not even mention the muffin top. Low rise jeans are just cruel! For years I attributed all of this as the price I had to pay for having children, working a demanding job, and simply getting older. How wrong I was.
On my 41st birthday, I delivered my third child. It had been eight years since I had my last baby and although this was not my first rodeo, I sure felt like a new mother all over again. My pregnancy wasn’t an easy one as I suffered with gestational diabetes and swelling that was so bad that my limbs reacted to touch like memory foam. On top of that, it was one of the hottest summers on record here in Chicago.
Within months after baby Mason was born, all of those "getting older" symptoms had taken a turn for the worse. My joint pain in my hips and knees had gotten so bad that I required crutches to get around. My gastrointestinal health was just awful. I developed a severe case of alopecia areata (hair loss). I lost ALL of my eyebrows, eyelashes, and most of my body hair. Even more devastating than that was the loss of the hair on my head. The only alternative I had was to wear a wig or shave it. As you can see, I eventually chose the latter. There was something freeing and authentic about being bald. I immediately regained my confidence that had eluded me for months.
Meanwhile, my symptoms continued to worsen. I saw several doctors from dermatologists to the orthopedic surgeons. The diagnosis was always the same. Healthy. So, other than the fact that I may need hip replacement surgery in a few years, and my hair may never grow back, and my belly issues were just “my” normal, I was a perfectly healthy 40 something wife and mother of 3.