I have come a long way – A GreenFoodie’s Eating Adventures

A conversation with one of our readers and then this morning with my sister Zoe, who is a very healthy and happy vegan and guest writer for this website, sparked the urge to write this post. I have been complaining about the state of my skin for a while and how disappointed I am that it hasn’t improved despite my drastic lifestyle change and transition to paleo that started 6 months ago. Zoe encouraged me to give up dairy (I still have butter and yoghurt) and even try being a vegetarian to see if that would clear up my skin (and get rid of this last bit of excess body fat). She also stated that many people had other health benefits from going vegan and that it would clear up my other troubles. ‘What other troubles’ I thought?

Then I realised that my exterior was not reflecting the amazing things that were happening to my internal health and that this was not just disappointing for me, it was also affecting people’s opinion of my lifestyle choices and changes. Though my skin has not yet settled down and it may take a while, I have come a long way in these last six months and I need to be deeply grateful for these amazing changes in my health and well being. So, if you’re easily embarrassed or grossed out don’t read the next bit because I’m going to tell you (and affirm to myself) exactly how far I have come.

Here goes…. I am 32 years old and since I was a teenager my health had slowly been deteriorating. I have adult acne that comes and goes, exacerbated by dermatillomania that also comes and goes. I expect that is the last thing that my body will take care of as it heals the years of damage I have inflicted on it. Now for the exciting stuff. I have been increasingly intolerant to gluten/grains and Irritable Bowel Symptoms were my normal state for the last 7 years. Yes that means lots of gas, horribly painful bloating, cycles of diarrohea then constipation. It got so bad that I would sometimes, ummm, leak or on the other end, tear and my stinky gas was traumatising my long suffering husband.

The tearing got so bad that in the last two years I developed severe anal fissures, resulting in episodes of serious blood loss from my rectum and leaving me in agony and unable to function for days. Pregnancy didn’t help and neither did giving birth. About 5 months ago after another massive tear and bleed I went to the Emergency Department because the pain was so horrendous. Thankfully they gave me opiates for the pain and recommended that I see a Colo/Rectal Specialist (who I never went to see because they specialise in medicines or surgery, not in causation or nutrition).

I had also been getting severe hay fever and seasonal allergies that turned me into a sniveling, snotty, watery-eyed, miserable zombie for a quarter of the year. I was even prescribed and started using ventolin three years ago just to breathe normally and I was constantly and utterly exhausted. More and more things were starting to set off my allergies and gut symptoms, which were becoming increasingly severe and prolonged. Last year after countless trips to the doctor trying to figure out what was wrong with me, I tested positive for anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTGA) and anti-endomysium antibodies (EMA), an indicator for Coeliac Disease and I probably had/have ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome.’

I felt like I was falling apart. The frustrating thing was that according to conventional wisdom, my husband and I were eating a ‘healthy’ diet recommended by nutritionists, medical experts and the government and yet we were getting increasingly sicker (and fatter). Since transitioning to a paleo lifestyle six months ago with the help of Mark Sisson’s ‘Primal Blueprint,’ most of these symptoms are now gone. I can feel my body getting stronger and healthier every week, my energy is increasing (even with breastfeeding and lack of sleep from caring for my baby), my mind fog is clearing, and I am feeling happier.

These improvements in my health are exciting, though I’m still experimenting to see what works best for me. On top of my paleo lifestyle I am supercharging my diet to try and compensate for the leaky gut and my body’s needs while its healing. I take ‘Vital Greens‘ every day and started taking Kelp tablets for the iodine and fish oil for the Omega-3 about two months ago. After reading this interesting article about Cod Liver Oil, I have just bought Green Pastures High Vitamin Butter oil and Fermented Cod Liver Oil blend to see if that provides the final kick I need (here is the Aussie supplier… codliveroil.net.au). As usual, I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, here’s an interesting article about the Dark Side of Wheat that helps to explain my body’s reaction to ingesting wheat. Here’s a hint, wheat is toxic and no cow, let alone human can ingest wheat without reacting to it in some way.

 

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Comments

4 Responses to “I have come a long way – A GreenFoodie’s Eating Adventures”
  1. dixiebelle says:

    Oh, der, here is the info. about your cod liver oil supplier. Thank you!

  2. dixiebelle says:

    OK, I came back to read your post properly. Oh, sista, I hear ya! Chronic poor health finally gave me the kick in the butt to do *something* (you can read my mammoth post about the *something* on my blog, of course http://eatatdixiebelles.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/year-of-eating-nutritiously-half-yearly.html). I have suffered from IBS on & off for years (not ‘medically diagnosed’ mind you) but not nearly as bad as yourself. You poor thing, I so feel for you… even having it mildly is bad enough, but yours sounds like a severe case. I also suffer from all kinds of skin conditions, psoriasis, dermatitis and since moving to Canberra, rosacea (both the red cheek flushing & the papules on my forehead) as well as a ‘rash’ on my legs that looks remarkeably like my Coeliac husbands dermatitis herpetiformis… which has almost cleared up since going 90% gluten-free. Then there was the chronic sinus issues, which I had surgery for but didn’t do much. I was also run down, tired, cranky and irritable a lot. Since starting The Year of Eating Nutritiously, I feel my skin has cleared up a lot, I have more energy and am even managing to exercise, I feel less grumpy too. I have lost a little weight from my stomach, but maybe that is just the lack of bloating! The thing is we’ve made SO many changes, who’d know if any particular one is the reason, or all of them… and I am sure mind-over-matter is playing a part too. I feel like I am doing something now to improve the situation. I am glad to hear you are feeling better too…

    • Genevieve says:

      WOW Dixiebelle!! I LOVE your post about your year of living nutritiously! Seems like we have a lot in common and I have a lot to learn too! I can’t wait to have the time to read everything in my reading list… you’re right, there is sooo much to learn. It helps that we’re passionate about our health food and ensuring our families are properly nourished. I have just started cooking bone broth and I freeze it in silicon muffin cups so that I can defrost some everyday and have a steaming hot mug… so delicious, particularly on a freezing windy day like today. William loves sips of broth too. We’ve also ‘invested’ in a vege-spaghetti maker ($30) and the zucchini spaghetti is delicious so anytime I’m craving a pasta I can have it (trying to avoid any processed food as much as possible). Next job is to make chicken liver pate. I tried the milk kefir from the seeds you gave me but I really didn’t like the taste. Not sure if I did it correctly or not. Can’t wait to catch up soon! Oh I love your new look as well, very clean and makes your photos look excellent. Talk soon!

  3. ono says:

    hello! my search for the cheapest way to buy this butter oil in Australia lead me to greenfoodie. i do believe i’ve come across your blog in the past, but this post has me wondering if i may actually be able to offer a possible tip. by which i mean totally hazard a guess!! anyway, here goes..
    actually, i’ve been doing a lot of looking into colostrum supplementation these past couple of days.. and while i came across a testimonial from a raw milk drinker who had successfully overcome their chronic acne.. i understand that colostrum does wonders for the immune system, and the digestive tract. but there do seem to be some disadvantages; the much lauded growth hormone one actually has some unattractive side effects like causing cancer. a big downer, but i am still prepared to keep my mind open. perhaps it’s something one could take a “course” of every now and again.. or dip into on the odd occasion. i dunno! and with that, i’ll sign off and wish you wellness

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