My story really begins as a child. I was often sick and often put on antibiotics. As a child, anything that was going around I got hit with. German measles: tick, chronic tonsillitis: tick, regular colds and flus: tick, etc etc and anytime I was unwell I felt sick in the stomach. Vomiting would be a regular occurrence when I was unwell. In high school the chronic tonsillitis would have me home from school every couple of months. When I was about 15 I was on a holiday with my family and I started to get very severe pains in my lower abdomen. On returning home I had my appendix removed, only to find out I never had appendicitis. The pain continued, but no-where near as severe.
In my late teens I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I was told that I should look into my diet and eliminate wheat, and look at reducing dairy. I wasn’t ready for that kind of change. Particularly when I left home and went to live in college and study at university. The last thing on my mind was caring about what I ate. I was heavily into drinking alcohol, and partying, and this was my number one priority, and had been for several years, and would continue to be for some years to come, and would continue to be a very destructive path for me as I abused alcohol, and often drugs, and very regularly abused over the counter stimulants like No Doz (caffeine pills). In fact it got to the point where I was regularly taking 4-5 pills a day just to go to work, not even including how many of these I would take to go out drinking on the weekends just so I could out drinking and continue partying all night. This continued into my late 20’s until I was about 28.
In my late teens, I had became a little obsessed with losing weight, so anything I did was focused on getting skinnier. I never once thought about my health. I would go on diets. I tried so many. And I would kill myself at the gym, and boot camp, and running and trying to do triathlons and fun runs. Since my teens I had some serious issues with binge eating, and I dabbled in bulimia in my late teens and early twenties. In my late twenties, I became more focused on increasing my health. You see, I had gotten to the point where I had totally burned the candle at both ends. I was sick, I was tired, and as the saying goes, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I would endlessly search the Internet looking for ways to make me feel better, and I would also hope that in there I would be able to lose weight as well.
Pain and Disease
My IBS had gotten out of control, and it was a regular occurrence for me to go 2 weeks without a bowel movement. Chronic sinusitis felt like it had taken control of my life, and I would be bed bound for a week or 2 at a time, every couple of months. I constantly felt tired, and fatigued, totally lacking motivation and inspiration. By this time I had also had a history of depression and in my early twenties had a stint of a couple of years on anti depressants before I gave them the flick, even though I continued to be unstable for a long time after (and there was a couple attempted suicides, which I haven’t confessed to anyone until now). I would self harm by cutting myself with razor blades in places that no one would see them.
In my late twenties I had started to develop very serious pain during menstruation. I had been on the contraceptive pill from about the age of 15 – 26 and gradually after I got off of it my periods got worse and worse until the point where I was excruciating amounts of pain when I menstruated. I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids, polyps, polycystic ovaries, and possible endometriosis (I haven’t had a definite diagnosis as I did not want to have the keyhole surgery that must be done for a definite diagnosis). Already by that stage I had had 5 operations, I did not want anymore.
Finding Answers, Getting Healthy
By the time I was 28 I knew that I had to focus on my health. You see, I had gotten to the point where I was sick, I was tired, and as the saying goes, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I would endlessly trawl the inter web looking for ways to make me feel better, and I would also hope that in with that I would also be able to lose weight. I found answers to my questions, and knew that my body would be able to heal itself if I gave it the right conditions. Proper diet, nutrition, exercise, sunshine, and rest were called for. I knew that after educating myself that consuming a whole food plant based diet would be an integral part of my healing journey.
My healing journey started when I was about 28. At the time of writing this I am 31 years of age and I am almost 3 years in. It has been a long journey in itself, and I have had a lot of ups and downs. I have learned a lot. Particularly about the resilience of living organisms including the human body. I am not completely healed, and I have had a lot of set-backs in my journey, many of which stem from nutritional deficiencies, which I found out about well into my healing journey.
Nutritional deficiencies have caused my immune system to stay low, they have caused extreme fatigue, and therefore lack of motivation and inspiration, they have been a part of the cause of my gynecological disease in my body, and the list goes on. I now know that these deficiencies are because of the deficiencies in the soils where our food is grown. And this is why I am a big advocate for eating local food that is in season, and why I would always encourage people to KNOW where their food is coming from, particularly the fresh food that they eat. Because our soils have been depleted from long term large scale farming without replenishing the soils of the nutrients they need.
Eating organic food is better than eating food that is sprayed with man made chemicals, but it still does not guarantee that the food is nutrient dense. Because of this I now have to take some supplements. I know I won’t have to forever but until I get these deficiencies sorted, and until I know that I am consuming as much nutrient dense food as possible I must continue.
I am still very much on a journey. I have come so far, and yet feel I still have a ways to go. But I know I am on the right path. So far, I am now free of depression, I have a lot less chronic colds and flus, my menstruation is a little better (but continues to be my biggest challenge), my skin is a lot clearer, I have a lot more energy, I no longer binge (this was a huge problem for me, and was something that held me back in my healing journey), and I have given up alcohol and stimulants. I know that eating a whole food plant based diet is a big part of my recovery, as is consuming local produce that I grow with my partner.
And also my mindset, and meditation practices have been a huge contributor. Listening to my heart over my head has been the key to getting this far. I now feel that I have purpose in life, I feel that I have something to share, and I feel that I can help others. This is a big part of why this recipe site has come about. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time, and I finally have the motivation, energy and inspiration to do so.