Over the past 3 months I have managed to completely turn my health around! How did I do this? In short, I changed my diet.
It all started with a recommendation from a friend to go and see a Homeopath. I had never been to a Homeopath before and was skeptical at first but now I highly recommend it.
Homeopathic treatment works with your body’s own healing powers to bring about health and well being.
Before I continue it is important to know that there is a connection between your gut, immune system and mental health:
To fully understand your health, one of the essential places to get to know and understand is your gut and what is happening inside it. The phrase gut feeling is thrown about when we talk about our intuition and emotions but this saying could be truer than we imagine. Because all of the systems within your body work closely together to maintain optimal health, when one system is unbalanced it can trigger a domino effect; causing problems in other areas of your body and creating a cascade of chronic health complications.
This is particularly true of the gut and its impact on immune health. Your gut health and immune system are inextricably linked. Did you know that approximately seventy to eighty percent of your immune tissue is located within your digestive system? The gut is often the first entry point for exposure to pathogens (bad bacteria and virus’ that can cause disease); therefore your gut immune system needs to be thriving and healthy in order to avoid illness.
- A junk diet. This nutrient-poor diet makes all the wrong bacteria and yeast grow in the gut, leading to a damaged ecosystem.
- Medication overuse. Anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, acid blocking drugs and steroids damage the gut or block normal digestive function.
- Infections and gut imbalances. These include small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), yeast overgrowth and parasites.
- Toxic overload. Including mercury and mold toxins.
- Inadequate digestive enzymes. Stress, acid-blocking medications and zinc deficiencies can all contribute to lack of adequate digestive enzyme function.
- Stress. Chronic stress alters your gut nervous system, creating a leaky gut and changing the normal bacteria in the gut.
So what led to my decision to do something about my health, what was so ‘unhealthy’ about me before?
- Feeling tired most of the time and as a result missing out on life.
- Always getting the common cold or round of flu.
- Not being able to manage stress well.
- Often feeling anxious and/or overly emotional (mood swings).
- Gastritis: Due to anxiety and stress, so the doctors put me on Nexium which is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that blocks acid production in the stomach. Taking this affects your digestive system and has many other undesirable side effects.
- Recurrent Bladder Infections / UTIs: I started getting recurrent bladder infections a few months after my first operation (general anesthetic) and went to see numerous doctors and a urologist to try solve the problem. I tried every trick in the book: drinking lots of water; drinking cranberry juice, cotton underwear, avoided caffeine and sugar, took cranberry extract etc. Eventually the doctors did ‘solve’ the problem… Their solution? To put me on a low dose of antibiotic (Macrodantin) which I had to take daily, for the rest of my life. This doesn’t sound good, does it? They fixed the symptom and not the cause. One of the side effects of taking an antibiotic long term is that it kills off all of your good gut bacteria; so no more bladder infections but a crappy immune system due to poor gut health. Ultimately, digestive health shapes the immune system.
- Recurrent yeast infections.
- Poor digestion.
- Poor quality of sleep.
- Problematic skin (breakouts).
Why am I sharing this with the online world?
As you read through my health journey you’ll learn about my struggles. There were times when I was really down, desperate to find answers, I did endless amounts of research on the web and spoke to my friends about it, I went to see numerous doctors, all in the hope that I wasn’t alone and that there was a solution. I certainly wasn’t alone…but there was no real solution either. And that’s why I’m sharing my experience with you. You are not alone and there is a solution (which doesn’t involve being reliant on medication)! You can have a better quality of life through making healthier lifestyle choices – starting with food – it’s all about what you put in. I started this blog because eating healthy isn’t easy and I wanted to share my experiences and recipes with you!
#MissionHealthy & #MissionHealthyForLife: My 3 Month Journey and beyond
The Homeopath I saw used an Electronic Meridian testing device (Tests organs and body systems) to determine what was ‘wrong’ with me and prescribed a diet (Candida Diet) and herbal medicine.
A: This test would benefit anyone interested in examining and improving the functional energetic status of their own bodies. This applies to those who are unwell and looking to improve their health as well as those who have no diagnosable illness but would like to optimize their current state of health and possibly prevent future negative health issues.
In short, the Candida Diet is a very restrictive diet that you have to follow for at least a month (or in my case 2) in order to starve off and kill the overgrowth of candida albicans in you gut. So no Sugar (not even in natural forms so no fruit or honey), no Caffeine, no Dairy, no Wheat, no Alcohol; in fact there are so many ‘nos’ it’s easier to just list what you are allowed. Then you have to repopulate your gut with good bacteria, so I had to invest in some good quality probiotics.
Round 1: I was on the diet for 3 weeks before my first check up but it hadn’t been successful. I think the reason for this was because my ratio of protein, fats and greens wasn’t right. You see, before this whole experience I never ate salad (or fruit) and wasn’t a fan of green stuff so I would eat more chicken than green veg when what I needed to do was the opposite. 70 Greens, 20 Protein, 10 Fats.
Round 2: I was then on the diet for another month before I went back to the Homeopath for the second check up. The Electronic Meridian test showed that my digestive system was now in good health and I had cured the candida over growth (and a few other things). It also picked up that I was allergic to Wheat and Cane Sugar.
I couldn’t believe how much better I felt without Sugar, Caffeine & Wheat in my diet and that is why I have decided to make it a permanent lifestyle change. The only Sugar I eat now is Fruit (I stick to low sugar fruits no more than 2 servings/day) and Dairy (Lactose is a disaccharide sugar derived from galactose and glucose that is found in milk). The first time I ate fruit (Strawberries & Cream) I got such a sugar hangover the next day. I had a headache, I felt irritable, I was tired and my brain felt fuzzy, I felt ‘bleh’ – just like a hangover.
Quitting Sugar was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do but it is the BEST decision I’ve ever made. The first 7 days were tough, you get withdrawal symptoms from not having any sugar and the next 3 weeks won’t be easy either. You often feel like giving up, but that’s just the sugar talking. If you haven’t already seen it I recommend watching That Sugar Film for some extra motivation. If you want to change your life, for the better, quit sugar.
Ways quitting Sugar has changed my life:
- Better quality of sleep: The first thing I noticed was being able to fall asleep quickly at night and not needing as much sleep.
- Increased energy levels: No afternoon slump, my energy levels are consistent throughout the day.
- Improved memory & productivity: My memory has improved and I feel more productive at work.
- Happy: I feel so much happier and have a more positive mindset, no more mood swings.
- No more worries: I can handle stressful situations much better than before, in fact it’s so much easier to not let stress affect me now.
- Clear, glowing skin: During the detox phase my skin broke out badly but then after 2-3 weeks cleared right up.
- Less pain: Bye bye to headaches, menstrual cramps and PMS.
- No more sugar cravings: I only crave sugar when I haven’t had enough sleep/rest or if I haven’t been eating properly.
- Hydrated: I could only have herbal teas (no caffeine) and water so I found my water intake improve which I felt better for. I guess I could have had green vegetable juices but I didn’t go down that route.
- No more Medication: This is probably my favourite one because I no longer have to live on pills, I don’t have to take Macrodantin (no more UTIs) or Nexium (no more stomach pain).