My Free-From Journey
I’ve spoken several times on my blog about my recent health issues, in particular, the rather nasty autoimmune disorder which left me with a long list of aggressive symptoms and pain, and caused my anxiety and depression to spiral out of control.
It’s been a rough few years, but when I was creating my Vision Board earlier this year, one goal jumped out at me – to achieve a strong body and mind.
I knew I couldn’t go on feeling so drained, low, and in constant pain, so I decided it was time to do something about it. My GP had written me off with a ‘we may never know what caused it’ and the neurologist reached a similar conclusion following many MRIs, a lumbar puncture, and too many blood tests to remember.
Following a wonderful personal development day I attended in January organised by the Socially Shared Business Support Network, I listened to nutritional therapist, Andrea Bayles talk about the benefits of nutrition for the body and mind. Could this be the answer?
I booked an appointment to see Andrea and received more support and compassion in that ninety-minute session than at three years’ worth of hospital and doctor visits. We worked out a plan of action, talked about how I could engage the right mind-set for what I was about to embark on, and the appropriate self-care procedures I could put in place.
Starting the elimination regime was horrific – I blogged about it HERE – but once the initial detox was over I began to see startling results. Who knew Kale was so tasty!
My energy levels have increased to almost the same level they were before my illness. Although I’ve had a couple of ‘black fog’ moments, they’ve only lasted a couple of days instead of weeks, and I’ve been able to go about my day rather than climb back under the duvet and admit defeat. Andrea warned me that as a side effect I might lose weight (I’m not complaining!!). So far I’ve lost nearly two stone in weight (12kg). My body is starting to change shape as the inches melt away, and I’m beginning to feel stronger.
With the addition of specifically tailored food supplements, I’ve been able to considerably change the levels of pain and discomfort in my legs as the inflammation is controlled.
It’s a slow process – four weeks on the elimination plan and then several weeks re-introducing certain food groups. The interesting thing to note is how I haven’t missed anything in the way of junk food or snacks, and I’ve grown incredibly fond of peppermint tea. During this process, I’ve been out for meals with friends and family and survived Easter without the need to shove my face full of chocolate.
At restaurants, I’ve opted for a grilled chicken breast and house salad ensuring I stayed on plan. To combat the temptation of chocolate Easter eggs, I made myself some healthy flapjacks using nuts, seeds, and natural honey. I’m not sure I’d cope with manufactured chocolate now as I’d probably find it too sweet.
My entire lifestyle has changed, but I’ve embraced every second of it with determination, and motivation. I have my end goal in sight –strong body and mind.
I started writing this blog back in 2013 as a way to hold myself accountable for the challenges I set myself at that time. I’m taking inspiration from those humble beginnings and staring a new feature. My Free-From Journey is where I’ll share updates, recipe suggestions, cookbook reviews, restaurant reviews, articles and interesting facts about going gluten-free and cutting down on sugar – I’m counting on your help to keep me accountable to this new healthy lifestyle!
I hope you enjoy the posts I share for this feature and I’d love you to get in touch with your own free-from stories whether that’s gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, sugar-free or any other free-from nutritional lifestyle plan.
My Free-From Journey