On the 22nd July 2014, post detox (you can read about my food detox here)- this is what I wrote in my journal:
12 weeks and what has changed? So much…and more. I think I am the healthiest I have been for decades:
I am pain free. Unless you have lived with pain on a daily basis, that is so debilitating that you need to take regular pain meds as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and have lost the ability to do normal everyday things like brushing your teeth without pain, you will not understand how liberating this has been. I no longer need to wear the splint on my hand and once again I can actually hold a pen and write properly! I can peel and slice butternut and pumpkin too. Previously my sleep was broken and painful and I never felt rested or refreshed in the morning. Now, I sleep like a baby and wake up ready to go. The pain in my hands disappeared within a week of starting…
I am eczema free. Completely gone, can’t believe it. Even my dry scalp spots have disappeared, as has the dryness on my arms and legs.
I am relaxed! I never feel anxious or agitated at all and don’t get hot and bothered.
I have no irritable bowel! I have no indigestion or stomach pain and don’t pass wind!
I started personal training sessions and love them. When I can’t get to do them I walk.
My strength and mobility has increased beyond my wildest expectations.
My fasting blood glucose level is now consistently in the 4’s and not the 5’s.
I am 14.9kg lighter than I was at the beginning of the year.
What have I learnt?
The importance of being mindful of everything you eat.
The importance of knowing what your body is intolerant of and how it affects you. I always ate healthy food but not all of it was “healthy” for me.
The importance of digestion..don’t “drink” what you should be eating…digestion starts with chewing, so don’t bypass this step.
The importance of having only the right food in the house at all times.
The importance of being prepared meal wise so that there is always something ready to eat in the fridge.
The importance of weighing myself everyday – I know this is not what everyone should do, but it has been what has helped me the most to work out what foodstuffs inflame me.
The importance of taking the right nutraceuticals to complement the food I eat.
The importance of drinking enough water.
The importance of walking barefoot.
The importance of the sun and outdoors.
How the food giants are not to be trusted and being able to see through their marketing ploys.
The importance of educating yourself in order to be healthy.
The importance of quality sleep and how it affects my weight loss.
The importance of having a detox bath.
The importance of moderate exercise, too much or too little is not okay.
The importance of reducing your mental and physical stress levels to keep your cortisol levels optimal.
And the most important thing of all is the importance of doing this with the support of others – my family and my soul sister – we’ve done it together and all achieved better health and an improved lifestyle.
What did it take?
For 12 weeks I have been sugar free, gluten free, soy free, processed food free and dairy free. For the first 4 weeks I was caffeine free too, but have added back organic freshly ground coffee a few times a week. I usually have black coffee now, but have also found that I quite like my latte made with almond milk! I often don’t have any coffee for days and it doesn’t worry me. I no longer need to be “perked up” with cups of coffee everyday! I also don’t need an obligatory glass of wine to unwind at night, as my stress levels are now nil. I haven’t become agitated at all since a week into the detox. Only after 10 weeks did I have half a glass of white wine mixed with soda water….I had another half glass the next week or so, but the rest of the bottle is still in the fridge. Last night I enjoyed my first half glass of red wine. A couple of weeks into my food detox I also started weekly PT sessions and a couple of weeks later upped it to twice weekly as I loved it so much.
I make everything we eat from scratch. I know exactly what is in our food and buy the best I can find – organic, grass fed, free range, etc. I don’t eat anything that is not good, real, nutrient dense food and the reason I have managed to sustain this lifestyle is the fact that I have healed my gut and reduced my inflammation to such a degree that I am now pain free. I have had some food intolerances along the way…fresh tomatoes was the first to go and as it is a nightshade vegetable I have chosen to be completely nightshade free (vegetables and spices), so no tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, cayenne pepper, paprika, eggplant. Sweet potato is fine. Coconut cream is also a problem depending on how much I use and I also cannot tolerate cashews, but other nuts and even peanuts are fine. I introduced Goats Cheese Feta, had stomach cramps and gained 800g overnight, so don’t think it is for me, even though I love it so much. I will try again to introduce it and see what happens. I also introduced quinoa, mixed half and half with brown rice, which I can tolerate, and had the most terrible stomach issues, so quinoa also appears to be out. I am fine with all the fruit I have tried and regularly eat bananas, strawberries, blueberries, apples and kiwifruit. I use a lot of lemons and lemon juice in my cooking too, which is fine.
This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle change built up around what I can and can’t eat. Besides the individual foodstuffs I am intolerant of, I will never add gluten or dairy back into my diet as I NEVER want to have the pain again. My journey is far from over…I would like to lose another 15kg and I know I will do it, now that I have taken full control and know what I can and can’t eat.