There are several conditions that seem to be everywhere nowadays; people being treated for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes are a few that stand out. It’s not uncommon for people to bring in a pile of prescriptions for me to dispense, and the shopping bag (yes, some people get a full bag each month, and then some) contains several diabetes medications. For the most part, I’m referring to type 2 diabetes, but sometimes this can include type 1 (auto-immune, where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin) or gestational diabetes (develops during pregnancy). Continue reading
2013 wasn’t a good year health-wise for me, mentally or physically. I had joined the gym the year prior, and although I was fitter, I wasn’t shifting any of the weight or body fat i’d gained over the past few years, even though I “thought” I was eating pretty healthily. My body and gut was never happy, and I always felt uncomfortable. I was following all the guidelines that I’d been taught in my study in Science, and later Pharmacy, and everything that had been shoved down my throat for as long as I could remember. Of course I still thought that the occasional “blow out” shouldn’t affect me, just like everyone around me thought.
Once we moved house in may, I’d decided I was going to try to really focus on me. I joined Weight Watchers and suddenly lost about 5kg in a month, although I was feeling worse. Ultimately discovered I had a thyroid problem, which luckily did resolve, but made me go looking for reasons, and I was still feeling horrible.
A friend of my husband’s had seen a naturopath, and recommended him to me. Honestly this has been the thing that has changed my whole outlook in life. In the end both my husband and I followed his advice and food plans.
One of the things that he went through with me was body fat % and the muscle %. I’d always thought that I was just a bit overweight. Results showed that my body fat % was at 40%… much higher than the 25-30% that would be appropriate for me. All I could think of was, I hardly ate fatty food, loved my fruit and veggies, and the only thing I really had a weakness for was sweet things. I couldn’t understand it. This combined with an ultrasound (after a car accident where I was rear-ended, I’d had a lot of abdominal pain) which showed fatty liver and a lot of abdominal fat wrapped around my organs. My muscle mass was also up there with a 65yr old 😦
He gave me a sheet with things I could eat, how much, and what I should avoid. My aim was 90g protein daily. It all seemed overwhelming… only 1 serve of “grainy” carbs, limited certain veggies, only 1 serve of fruit a day, nuts, healthy fats, and avoiding sugar if possible. I started doing some of my own research for meal ideas and help.
A friend lent me a copy of Christine Cronau’s book, The Fat Revolution. Reading this book opened my eyes to why we are taught to eat like we do (all the “low-fat” ideas), and how the body actually works to process fats and sugars. It all made sense! I even went back to my old biochemistry books… I couldn’t understand how I could have missed all of this. Even though the biochemistry was staring me in the face, the recommendations we were taught still didn’t make sense until I re-read the book. I also looked into the “I Quit Sugar” and related resources. It became clear my previous love of sugary foods and excessive fruit (by excessive, I spent days where I ate nothing but fruit, but it’s so yummy!) had caused my current fat% state. Just realising there was as much sugar in fruit juice as coke, really turned the cogs in my mind.
Over the next few months, not doing much specific exercise (also due to a knee injury that kept flaring), I followed his recommendations (with a few changes). The weight came off so quickly. But the biggest boost for me was how I felt. I went from feeling horrible every day (bloating, inflammation, pain in the gut) to only every so often, and only then it was directly attributed to what I had eaten (specifically for me, sugar and high carb foods cause me so much pain later on). I searched Pintrest, Facebook, and google for ideas on food.
Our biggest problem was snacks. We are both snackers, and if we couldn’t find anything ready-made, we’d go and find something which made us feel horrible. I started bagging nuts in serves, and finding things I could make like protein balls, fudge etc.
The newest addition to our lives has been our Thermomix, which I had been thinking about for about 18months since I went to a demo. It is simply amazing. Nowadays the freezer is full of frozen, bite-size snacks, home made broth, tomato paste, herb puree/oils frozen in cubes, frozen fruit/yoghurt ready for an instant “ice cream”. I’m learning more and more every day. I’ve had the Thermomix for 2 months now, and i’m really starting to become confident in using it. I’ve even made a few things without a recipe 🙂
Anyway, so that’s my health and personal background to why I believe food is the greatest medicine. Without it I wouldn’t be here, trying to change my life one meal at a time.