Me and my story
Wife, Mum, Granny, Pharmacist, amateur Photographer and now blogger! I am passionate about health and the integral part “real food” plays in helping one reach and maintain optimal health and thereby prevent chronic disease.
I was born in South Africa, emigrated to Australia with my family just before I turned 40 and within a year of arriving in Australia, developed amongst other things, eczema, food intolerances, gastric problems, and the most debilitating painful arthritis that over the next 14 years went from being bearable to making my life an absolute misery. My hands were the worst and eventually I needed to wear specially made splints to keep the joints immobilised in order to to ease the pain and prevent further injury to the already grossly deformed, swollen joints. I tried in vain to avoid taking anti-inflammatories and pain medication, but the last 10 years saw me needing to take at least a couple of doses everyday. For years I believed my medical issues were brought on by the stress of moving continents and started to believe that yes, it IS all downhill once you hit 40. And so I began to question why?
I began to ask myself the following basic questions over and over again:
1. why has obesity exploded in the years since I qualified as a pharmacist (early 1980’s)
2. why has the incidence of chronic illness exploded as well? Things like food allergies, cancer, high cholesterol, auto immune diseases, thyroid disease, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, dementia, alzheimers, ADHD, …. the list goes on and on.
Working as a part time pharmacist in a seaside town that is home to many retirees, fuelled my need to find out more. I never want to be someone who has to take 10 tablets a day in order to be “healthy”. I believe in prevention rather than cure.
So what has changed since we were kids in the 1960’s and 1970″s?
The food we eat seems to be the main thing that has changed …. we grew up on meat, 3 veg and either rice or potato. Our families bought fresh food every few days, from the grocer and the butcher, not the Supermarket! Milk with a thick layer of cream was delivered to our home and it came in GLASS bottles! We never ate pasta and when we did it was a luxury. We never ate chicken and when we did it was usually roast chicken (with the SKIN) and it was also a luxury. AND we ate at home, fresh food cooked the most basic way, in our own kitchens. No packaged sauces, no bottled sauces, no cartons of stock… No soft drink, soda, pop, except maybe on our birthday and at Christmas. No lollies, candy, potato chips, snacks, etc other than on special occasions. All the grandkids had an icypole once a week, as treat, when we visited our granny and grandpa on a Sunday. They cost 1c each…on special Sundays we had Banana Boys and they were outrageously expensive and very big treats as they cost 3c each!
The other thing we did was play outside…no fancy toys, just outside in the garden, neighbourhood and street. We rode our bikes, we climbed trees, built gokarts and got dirty. We were told to come him when the street lights came on. We all played sport at school and there was no TV to sit and watch.
I decided to go back to basics and cook like my Granny used to and see what happened…