We changed our mindset


Mindset – it either makes or breaks us.  I drastically changed my mindset about food … and health … and this is where it got us!

“You must master a new way to think before you can master a new way to be” (Marianne Williamson)

It started as a coupe of serious health issues, sparked by a pre-diabetes blood glucose level 3 years ago (my husband’s) and me living in constant pain.  Within 24 hours we had purged our pantry and started our 10 day food detox as outlined in this post .

We continued with this strict food detox for much longer than 10 days due to how well it was working for both of us – my pain was subsiding and my husband’s BGL’s were stabilising in the normal range.  In fact, we continued on a strict food detox for 60 days before starting to add our eliminated foods back one by one.   I had to keep many of the eliminated foods out of my diet for many months – corn, quinoa and dairy were definitely not my friends for a very long time.  After 12 weeks I wrote a blog post that you can read here .

I had serious gut issues and only once these were resolved could I tolerate some corn and some quinoa.  The day I could add back goat’s cheese was one of my happiest “food” days – funny how the smallest of things become big things!

In the last 6 months I have managed to add fermented homemade yoghurt back into my eating plan.  Regarding the nightshades – the only one I have successfully added back without causing any pain, is well-cooked white potato – I can tolerate a small amount a few times a month.  I am happy with this as white potato is good as a resistant starch and has many health benefits.

When we started on this journey we were told it was totally unsustainable.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

After 3 years:

  • I eat real, whole foods only
  • I don’t follow a particular “diet”
  • I avoid gluten and soy and some nightshade vegetables
  • I eat whole fruit
  • I don’t eat sugar
  • I make everything from scratch
  • I eat when I’m hungry
  • I don’t count calories
  • I don’t fear fat
  • I eat many more vegetables than I used to
  • I eat across the colours of the rainbow
  • I eat fermented foods daily
  • I eat nutrient dense food
  • I eat and live mindfully
  • I buy as much as I can from farmer’s markets and support local growers and producers
  • I avoid the foods that I know inflame me and cause my pain to flare
  • I move as often as I can
  • I make sure I get at least 8 hours good quality sleep every night
  • I drink good quality water
  • I walk barefoot on the beach as often as I can
  • I walk or sit in the sun as often as I can
  • I don’t sweat the small stuff
  • I enjoy my red wine

    What we were doing before wasn’t working.

What did we have to lose by changing our mindset about food and health?

A lot!

In fact we lost 80kg combined weight in 3 years.  How we did it is totally achievable.  What do you need to do?

Change your mindset!

 

 

Corned Beef – home cured

Corned beef.

Corned beef is a salt-cured product.  It was a staple in my home when I was growing up, but I’m sure Pegs, my Mom, never cured it herself, as she was definitely not that adept in the kitchen.  I am sure however, that my Granny would have cured her own, but I can’t remember.

Anyway, I loved corned beef then and I love it now.  Slow cooked and served with onions, carrots and potatoes, served hot with maybe a mustard sauce, sliced corned beef on sandwiches for school the next day or cold corned beef and salad for lunch. My absolute favourite was corned beef hash which we only ever had while on holiday in the caravan.  Yummy.  My mouth waters just reminiscing about it.

That was last century …

This century, I still love corned beef, hot or cold, and it’s freely available in supermarkets and butchers.  I do however, choose to corn my own as it is far healthier, with no nasties added and believe me, the home corned beef tastes like the one I remember from last century.  Yes, it takes about 10 days to corn, but once you’ve tasted your own, you will never buy a commercially prepared corned beef again.

The image below, from a commercially prepared corned silverside available in our local supermarket, lists a few ingredients other than the beef and water.  Salt, Mineral Salt (451,450,452), Sugar, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Canola Oil.   One bug bear for me is the Sodium Nitrite and I would suggest you read up on this chemical here .  This is a product I would choose not to eat, not only flavour-wise, but food additive wise.  I just don’t see the point in consuming chemicals in food when they can be avoided.  This is my own personal opinion.  I’m sure there are many who would not agree with me, but we are all open to our own opinions.

So, if you would like to know how I make my own Corned Silverside, my recipe is below.

My home-cured Corned Beef Silverside Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2kg Silverside (I chose free range and organic)
  • 2 litres filtered water
  • 1 cup Himalayan Rock Salt
  • ½ cup Rapadura sugar (you could use brown sugar or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Ceylon Cinnamon
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 springs of rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

Directions

  1. Add the water and all dry ingredients to a large stainless still stock pot, bring to boil.
  2. Reduce to simmer once boiled and continue cooking until the salt and sugar have dissolved – takes about 20 – 30 minutes.  Stir regularly.
  3. Your kitchen will start to smell divine, just like Christmas!
  4. Take stockpot off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  This takes a few hours.
  5. Pour the cooled brine mixture into a large glass container, preferably with a lid – funnily enough I use a Corningware dish!
  6. Place the silverside into the brine in the dish, making sure that the brine covers the beef completely.
  7. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 10 days.
  8. Check daily to ensure the beef stays submerged and turn the beef over, in the brine regularly.  The beef will start to change colour after a few days.

Once the beef is corned, you can either freeze the beef in the brine, or you can slow cook it.  If you choose to cook it straight away, the beef must be rinsed well before cooking.  I’ll cover the cooking of the beef in my next blog.

ENJOY!

 

 

Healthy Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake can be healthy.

Today I made my Christmas Cakes.  This recipe works for a larger cake, individual little cakes or medium size ones that make perfect gifts for those friends who don’t want to make their own!  They are quick to mix, take a little longer to bake but can be enjoyed without feeling guilty, as they are healthier than store-bought ones.  They are gluten and dairy free, NOT nut free, but…  they are delicious!  I choose to use all organic ingredients.

Ingredients

(makes 2 x 20cm cakes or 1 x 20cm + 2 x 10cm or quite a few individuals!)

  •  1.2kg mix of whatever dried fruit you have or want (I added raisins, figs, sultanas, dates and cranberries – chop the dates and figs)
  • 100g coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups ground almonds or almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons Ceylon  Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract or paste
  • zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 5 tablespoons macadamia nut oil or Inca Inchi oil (a mild olive oil should be okay)
  • 6 eggs at room temperature

Directions

  1. Mix first 8 ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the beaten eggs and stir well.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared springform, parchment lined pans.
  4. Bake in fan force oven @ 150°C for 90 – 120 minutes.  Check after 90 minutes with a skewer and if it comes out clean, they are done.  Otherwise put back for a further 30 minutes.  Generally my oven does 2 x 20cm cakes in 120 minutes.
  5. Cool on a cake rack and remove from the tins when cold.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 30 days or wrap in parchment and then cling wrap and freeze – they last in the freezer for months and months, as long as the husband doesn’t find them!
  7. If you would like to use as a Christmas pudding, you can drizzle the hot cakes with some brandy, sherry or orange liqueur as soon as they come out of the oven.
  8. ENJOY WITHOUT THE GUILT!

Food and Pain

Food and Pain.

Three years ago I did not believe that food could cause pain nor did I believe food could alleviate pain.  As a pharmacist I was taught to treat pain with pills or topical agents.  Anti-inflammatory medication for swelling and trauma and pain medication for the pain.  End of story.  Makes sense in theory, but I now know first hand that the food we eat is either inflammatory or anti-inflammatory and either good or bad for us as individuals.

For 10 years I lived in chronic pain. I have osteoarthritis and both my hands are badly affected, so much so that up until a few years ago I had weekly appointments with an occupational therapist and wore purpose-made hand splints. I had got to the point where I could no longer hold a pen to write, I could not do up zips or buttons, I could not hold my toothbrush and brush my teeth (thank heavens for electric/battery operated toothbrushes), I could not hold a sharp knife to cut things like pumpkin or even carrots, I could not open screw top lids or cans with ring pulls or even use a can opener. Other than my hands, I had one shoulder, one hip and one ankle that were permanently sore as well. I slept badly, my mobility was not good and I was still young.

Life was not easy and I needed NSAID’s and paracetamol and codeine on a daily basis, just to function. Of course I knew the risks of what I was taking, but I was not left with many other options. I supplemented with fish oil or krill oil as well as glucosamine and vitamin D during my dark years of pain too, as the research suggested these to be beneficial.

So today when I read this Medscape article entitled Food and Pain: The “Essentials” –  my heart sang!

Last week at the American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM) 2016 Annual Meeting, Robert Bonakdar, MD, director of pain management, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, La Jolla, California, and assistant clinical professor, University of California, San Diego addressed delegates at the meeting and spoke of how “Diet can influence inflammation, shift the microbiome, modulate the immune system, improve joint function, eliminate pain triggers, and reduce deficiencies.”

This is music to my ears.

People think I’m “off with the fairies” when I say I “cured” my pain by changing my diet … and if they don’t actually say it, I can see they are thinking it!  Pharmacists I work with say they would not have believed it, but they witnessed my progress with their own eyes!  My family and friends know how much I suffered and how well I am now.  I myself still struggle to believe how changing my diet changed my life!

Three years ago my occupational therapist informed me the last thing available as a means of pain relief was thumb surgery.  This would involve a lengthy recovery and there were no guarantees.  I decided to explore every other option available before resorting to this.  Why was my body was giving up on me and attacking itself?  Besides the osteoarthritis, I had already had a  parathyroidectomy for hyperparathyroidism, so in my eyes, my body appeared to be hell bent on destroying itself.  I was not going to give in lightly, and as fate would have it, my husband’s blood sugar became raised at about the same time. With a family history of diabetes, we embarked on Dr Mark Hyman’s 10 day sugar detox diet to get his blood glucose under control.  I turned my focus to helping my husband and by chance helped myself!  You can read about our initial detox here.

Within 7 days my pain had reduced significantly enough for me to see the benefit of continuing with this lifestyle.  After 2 months I no longer required pain medication and the hand splints were permanently packed away!  I have never looked back.  (Nor has my husband, his blood glucose levels are in the normal range.)  This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle we follow to keep us inflammation free.   For me, there is no better motivator than being pain free.

So if you live with chronic pain or inflammation, take a look at what you are eating.  If we eat highly processed, inflammatory foods, our cells become toxic which results in inflammation and chronic disease.

When I started on this journey I was obese.  Obesity is also an inflammatory condition.  Removing my inflammation helped me shift 42kg.  It’s not about how much we eat, it’s about what we eat.  So choose your food carefully.  You alone control what you put in your mouth, nobody else.

 

 

 

Pirates of the Hage

Pirates?

Of the Hage?

Yes, you read that correctly.

Not Penzance, the Hage!

Saturdays were Pirates days.  In my family that is.  Particularly for me and my Dad… These were happy and special days and I loved Saturdays with my Dad.  And I’m talking about baseball and in particular, Pirates Baseball Club!  Not Red Sox, oh no, they were the arch enemy…..there was only one decent baseball club in The Hage and that was Pirates!

Lots of Uitenhage families were involved – Samuels, Wates, Krain, Snyman, Michaelides, Serrao – these are some of the names I remember – if you can think of any others, include them in the comments section please.  Did the Transell’s play for Red Sox?  Can’t remember, but I think so.

In the early to mid 1960’s I can remember going to baseball games with my Dad and Mom…this was before my baby sister arrived.  My Dad played baseball for years and I can remember watching baseball games all around the Eastern Cape.  I can also remember my Dad lost his two front teeth after being hit in the face with a baseball!  My Mom was not impressed but I remember my Dad still finished the game!

Once my Dad retired from playing baseball, he umpired, so for many more years, baseball was still a regular part of our weekend lives.  After my sister arrived, it was my Dad and I that continued the baseball tradition.  My Mom stayed at home with the baby…in fact I don’t remember my sister being at baseball games ever, even when she was a toddler.  Come to think of it, she was so naughty I don’t think my Mom could risk taking her to baseball.

In the 1970’s I can remember helping my Godmother Aunty Elaine, in the tuckshop at the Pirates field which was perfectly positioned behind the home plate.  We had a perfect view of all the balls that were pitched, a perfect view down to first base and a perfect view of who crossed the home plate .  My Godmother used to get so cross with the umpires if she thought they called the balls pitched incorrectly or if they gave our players out when she thought they were “safe” and “let them have it” in no uncertain terms.  I often wondered why she was not an umpire as in my eyes she seemed to know everything about baseball.

In the tuck shop we sold homemade ham rolls that I loved, sausage rolls, maybe two or three soft drink varieties, tea and coffee plus a few different lollies or sweets and packets of crisps.  Somehow the ham tasted different in those days and there was definitely butter on the beautiful soft bread roll (which most probably came from Flamingo or Ramona – if you are from The Hage then you will definitely know about the beautiful bread from Flamingo and the world famous sausage rolls from the Ramona!).  The ham rolls had mustard and lettuce on them too and all these years later, I can still taste them!

I wonder if baseball is still played in The Hage and if Pirates still exists?  If anybody knows, please leave a comment.

 

 

Sundays in The Hage

Sundays

Sundays …

The Hage …

1960’s …

More childhood memories ….

Sundays were church day.  St Joseph’s in Baird Street.  We were always late.  My Mom was not a morning person, so we were always flying out the door at the last minute.  We sat in the same pew every week as did everybody else who went to church.  Heaven forbid if anybody sat in somebody else’s spot!  My Dad didn’t go to church with us – he was a Methodist, not a Catholic, but never went to church anyway and when he passed away 8 years ago, he was buried from the Catholic Church by Father Max.  We must have had connections, not sure if that’s good or bad.  Two of my boy cousins were altar boys.  They looked liked angels in their vestments and for an hour they behaved like angels, but other times both were definitely not angels.

After church, we stopped at my Granny and Grandpa’s house in Caledon Street.  Sunday morning tea was a ritual and a very important part of my growing up years.  For 7 years I was an only child, so this was  a happy time for me.  Playing with my cousins and pretending they were my siblings.  I had a real thing about not having siblings when I was younger it seems.  My oldest girl cousin always looked out for me.  She stood up for me as I had no sibling support when things went wrong or we were all being naughty and so I often copped the flack and was blamed for something I didn’t do.  I wasn’t always innocent, but I wasn’t always guilty either.

So the adults had tea and some home-baked delicacy my Granny had made.  None of the adults drank coffee in those days and if they did, it was usually only at breakfast time and the brand of the day was, wait for it – Ricoffy!  I don’t even think it was made with coffee beans, but was a chicory blend!  And everybody had sugar and full cream cow’s milk in their tea and their coffee in those days.  Boy, how things have changed.

As for the grandchildren, we would walk along the road to the “Fish Shop” on the corner of Caledon and John Streets where we were allowed to buy Joy Lollies which were ice lollies.  Guess how much they cost?  1c each!  I can remember walking along with 10c and we got change…If it was a special occasion, like one of our birthdays, we were allowed Banana Boy ice creams – they cost 3c each!  They were my favourite.

If the weather was good, all the adults sat outside on the front stoep of my grandparent’s house and we kids played on the front lawn.  We spent many hours playing hide and go seek, cops and robbers and if we had an empty cardboard box we would slide down the little hill in the front garden.  The grandchildren of today would think we were retards for sure, but my childhood memories are happy ones and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Photo credit: Shaz North

Pomegranates and The Hage

pomegranates

Pomegranates.

The Hage.

More childhood memories I said I would share.

As you know, I grew up in the street where the Flamingo Bakery was…so those of you from the Hage know exactly where I grew up!  We knew everyone in our street and all the streets around us – Victoria Street, Vida Street, aka the  “Back Street”, Cannon Street, Caledon Street, the whole block ….  This is so different from today where the kids usually don’t know anybody in their neighbourhood, not even the kids next door.

So other than my 3 older “non-blood siblings” that lived down the road, I also had 6 other “non-blood siblings” over the road that I spent many hours with.  Behind their house, extending from Cannon to Caledon Streets, was a huge field and on the other side of the field were the backs of the houses in Victoria Street.  This field provided endless hours of fun for us kids.  We only really played in this field in the winter months as we had no shelter from the mad man who lived down the bottom of the field in the summer.  There were also snakes in the summer, so we stayed away.  Winter time the liquorice grass grew up to about 4 or 5 feet tall and provided good cover for us kids.  We used to joke with each other that we needed to avoid the “yellow” liquorice grass as that was the grass that the neighbourhood dogs had pee’d on!  Just like you don’t eat yellow snow, don’t eat yellow liquorice grass!

During the winter months, the oldest of the 6 kids I played with used a lawnmower to mow tracks in the long grass of this field.  We would ride our bikes in here, we played cops and robbers in here, we sucked on the “liquorice” grass in the field and there were also a couple of empty dams in this field that provided fantastic props for our cops and robbers games!  Surrounding these dams were pomegranate trees and from memory some apple trees.  The apples were promptly picked by the mad man at the bottom of the field, but he obviously didn’t like pomegranates so they were left to rot on the trees.    This nasty old man didn’t like us playing in the field and he didn’t want us to enjoy his pomegranates either!  However, that didn’t stop us!  We used to steal the pomegranates and he used to shoot at us with a pellet gun!   How we never ended up with pellets in our bums or our heads or anywhere else for that matter, baffles me!  Winter was the best time in the field.  I will never forget the wrath of my Mom when I eventually got home with red stains on my hands and my clothes.  I don’t know why she didn’t put me in black or navy clothes all the time, but she didn’t.  It would have been much easier, for her!   She was never impressed, to say the least.

It’s funny how these neglected fruits have now been shown to have fantastic health benefits.  The rich, ruby red reminds me so much of  the colour of our blood.  Pomegranates are rich in Vitamin C and therefore powerful antioxidants, they contain Vitamin K and magnesium and they are rich in fibre.  Studies show eating the fruit and/or drinking pomegranate juice can help protect against disease, like certain cancers and Alzheimer’s.  They are anti-inflammatory too.   Make sure you wear old clothes or an apron when cutting open and de-seeding your pomegranates, but make sure you eat them, they are little powerhouses of nutrition.

Custard Apples, Pomegranates, The Hage

pomegranates

Custard apples, pomegranates and The Hage.

What do they have in common?  Memories.  Memories of my childhood.

When I saw them today, in two different fruit and veggie shops, I had flashbacks to my childhood years.  I grew up on another continent in a little town that I’ll refer to as The Hage.  Growing up in The Hage was special and those of us that grew up there were privileged as we had a special childhood in an idyllic place.  The sad thing is that none of us thought we were privileged at the time.  We all thought we were stuck in the back end of nowhere and couldn’t wait to leave!  Now, with us all scattered around the globe, we have a special connection to each other and we can travel to all 4 corners of the world and know somebody who will put us up or advise us what to do and where to stay!  Yes, our connections to The Hage are very strong.

custard apple

Custard apples I looked forward to once a year and as I watched the developing fruit I can remember how I salivated, just waiting to taste them again.  The most disappointing thing for me was that the tree wasn’t in our garden.  I think there were 3 trees in my “aunty’s” yard.  She wasn’t a blood aunty but an aunty in my eyes.  “Aunty” and “Uncle” were very special neighbours.  They lived down the road from us, our parents were great friends, in fact my Mom and “Aunty” worked together for the same men’s outfitters in The Hage for many years.  And they looked so alike, many customers thought they were the same person, although my Mom worked in the morning and my “Aunty” worked in the afternoon!  My “Aunty” had 3 children, 5 years + older than me, but as an only child for 7 years, I always thought of them as my blood siblings!  Our families went on holidays together, we caravanned all along the coast together, our fathers built boats and fished together and even after I was married and had my first baby, we continued to caravan at our favourite places.

The custard apples used to be shared out amongst a few of us lucky neighbours.  And then the unthinkable happened.  Two of the trees had to be removed to make way for a carport that needed to be built to house the caravan!  As a young kid I was horrified as I realised there would be even less custard apple treats coming my way!  And a few years later, we moved away and “Aunty” and “Uncle” moved too and it was bye bye custard apples for me!  Don’t think I ever saw one again.  I was devastated.

So as I stood and admired the custard apples in my local fruit and veggie store this week, all these memories flooded back!  Custard apples, so nutritious and good for you.  A rich source of Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium, these apples are cardio-protective, high in anti-oxidantsants, can lower blood pressure, and are also a good source of Vitamin B6, iron, copper and dietary fibre.

As for the pomegranates, well that’s another story and involves another family, but still involves the Hage and the street we lived in, which was where the Flamingo Bakery was.  That will be another trip down memory lane on another day.  Watch this space and please share with anybody you know from The Hage as we really are lucky to have grown up there.

 

 

HEALTHY HAPPY THIN

healthy happy thin

Healthy

Happy

Thin

It’s only taken me 30 years to be healthy happy thin but heck, who the hell is counting?  At least I got there in the end.  Just like a fine red wine, I have matured with age and will (hopefully) age gracefully too.  Seriously though, it took me 28 years to stop believing everything I read about healthy eating and 2 years to get rid of my chronic pain AND 42kg once I started listening to my body and took matters into my own hands!  Even if I say so myself, I think that’s pretty damn remarkable!

I started this blog so people could read how I lost the first 31kg and recovered from chronic pain – you can read about that here and here .  I maintained my weight by avoiding the foods that inflamed me and was quite comfortable and happy in my own skin.  I was healthy happy thin -ish and had gone from a size 18/20 down to a size 12 and seriously would have been quite content to see my days out at that weight and size.  I had loads of energy, I was healthy, I was loving life, but I wanted to see if I could get back to what I weighed in my late 20’s.  I had finished my nutrition studies through Changing Habits (if you are interested in the online nutrition course I chose to do, as it resonated with my beliefs of health and wellness, you can read about it here ) and was inspired to try one of Cyndi’s protocols, which she adapted from the 1950’s Pounds and Inches HCG Diet, developed by Dr Simeons.

A lot of planning and food preparation is needed to succeed with this protocol.  The timing of when and how you start this protocol is essential as it is a process that needs to be followed to a T.  The protocol is divided into 4 phases and I did my 4 phases over 63 days, so essentially you need to find two months when you cannot have any excuses about this function to go to, that child’s birthday, no Christmas parties, etc.  You need to be in the right head space as once you start, you can’t stop until you’ve progressed through all 4 phases, otherwise you are just kidding yourself and you won’t succeed.

Personally, having followed such a strict personal eating plan for the last 2 years, I found this protocol a walk in the park.  I was seriously never hungry and the weight just melted off.  If anybody thinks my usual eating plan is restrictive, then don’t even consider this protocol as it is 100 times more restrictive.  Before starting on the protocol, I was skeptical to say the least.  Homeopathic HCG drops are taken three times a day and my pharmaceutical brain had me believing I was going to be starving hungry, irritable and a witch to live with.  I did not believe the homeopathic drops could perform the miracles they were touted to perform!  Boy was I surprised as to how quickly and effectively they worked!  From day 1 I felt different, and at no stage did I think I could not do this.  Being prepared food-wise is key to succeeding.   So, if you are interested,  just click on the link below and you can find out everything you need to know, how the drops work, the support offered by Changing Habits,  what you need to take along with the drops, how to order, etc.  I have been amazed as well as to how my whole body shape has changed.  Although within 10kg of my ideal body weight when I started the protocol, I think the excess 10kg I was carrying was between my waist and knees.  This is where I have slimmed down considerably,  but have lost a bit more in other areas too.

https://changinghabits.com.au/4-phase-fat-elimination-protocol?utm_source=iDevAffiliate&utm_medium=Banner&utm_campaign=iDevAffiliate%204%20Phase%20Fat%20Elimination%20Protocol

Maybe this is for you, maybe it isn’t, but for me, this has been the icing on my weight-loss cake.  No more guilt, no more shame, I can now hold my head high and walk my talk and best of all, no more pain!

2013-2016

ps…I am now a size 10 🙂

healthy happy thin

 

Inflammation Obesity Pain

obesity gone pain gone

Obesity.

Inflammation.

Pain.

Gone.

What a difference 2 years can make to one’s life.   April 28th 2014, my body was broken.  I suffered from chronic arthritis and lived in pain.  I was inflamed.   I was obese.  Every day was a struggle, but of course the rest of the world never knew this.  I became a master at masking how I actually felt.  I couldn’t hold a pen, I couldn’t write, I couldn’t do up buttons, I couldn’t pull up zips, I couldn’t open taps, I couldn’t open bottles or screw top lids, I couldn’t shake anybody’s hand, I couldn’t cut with a knife, I couldn’t hold a cup by its handle, I could only use a battery operated toothbrush, I couldn’t do so many things and life sucked!  I was also wracked with guilt – I was obese and it was all my own fault.  Did I really eat that much?    No, I actually didn’t.  But what I did do, was eat the wrong foods for my body!  Facing surgery on both hands, with no guarantee for success, I put on my scientific hat and researched and researched to find out WHY my 50 + year old body was letting me down.

Quite by chance my husband’s body was broken too, but not in the same way mine was.  He suffered from obesity too and he was pre-diabetic. Being a male, he wanted to fix himself straight away!  Actually, he expected me to “fix” him overnight!   Based on my research at the time and the books I had been reading, I chose to do a 10 day food detox with him (based on Mark Hyman’s book of a similar name), to restore his factory settings (and no, he isn’t an Apple).  Guess what?  I started detoxing and losing weight within the first few days of our food detox, but another miracle was unfolding.  My pain started to disappear and within the first 2 weeks I no longer needed to wear my splints on my hands all the time!   These results blew my mind – diminishing pain, weight falling off and I was eating so much…three times what I normally ate…and the only exercise I could manage at the time due to my pain level, was walking, so this was not a case of  less calories in and more calories out!

You can read about our original Food Detox here.

So the 10 day detox became a 60 day detox and at the 120 day mark, this is what I had discovered.

For 15 months my weight remained stable after losing 31kg,  the bulk of it within the first 6 months.  I had regained the use of my hands, lost all my pain and my body was no longer broken!  My obesity was gone! I then decided my weight needed to go down again and so 6 weeks ago I embarked on my final push to drop the last 10kg that would get me back to the weight I was in my 20’s….

And I’ve done it!

ps My husband’s pre-diabetes is fixed too!