Whatever will be, will be.

Trail and error on the Anti Candida diet, I have recently found, is pretty much a constant trait. I trailed coming off my supplements and introducing new foods in to my diet. I wrote the dates down in my diary, a new phase of the treatment, something to really look forward too. I stopped taking my pills on the Saturday and that same day ate half an apple in the morning, the other half that afternoon. I felt great. I was so happy that this was the start of the next step. The same apple routine the next day and by 5pm that evening I still felt pretty good. The end was in sight; there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

The evening of the third day however I wasn’t feeling as snappy as the previous days, I bit run down and foggy, but I put it down to the weather changes as Fall moves into Winter. So the next day I tried eating berries too. As I ate my handful that afternoon the sweet taste of them was too much for me, I didn’t enjoy them at all. My body was saying no.

I didn’t eat fruit at all the next day, I couldn’t face it and I knew I was teetering on the edge of feeling exactly like I did months earlier. My stomach started to bloat, my head started to ache and the tell tale sign of an awful, almost metallic taste in my mouth was back. The next day I hit the reserves of my supplements. I was back here again. Crestfallen, emotional and feeling once again like rubbish I had thought the battle was over only to have stepped on false territory and be ambushed by the enemy.

I have now decided to stay back on the supplements for the next month, then I will try this move again. Right now though I do feel like I have taken a step back in my progress and the thoughts of being able to eat ‘normally’ again come Christmas are slowly slipping out of my reach.

It’s was thought of this Christmas normality that was making me so determined. In my yoga class on Sunday my teacher talked about not having a preserved end goal, to not come to the class determined to nail a move or to feel a certain way after class. ‘Something’s’ she said “just happen”, we shouldn’t force them.

For the past 3 months I have had an end goal, I fly back to be with my family for two weeks at Christmas. My favorite time of year spent, this year, with all my favorite people, those whom I rarely see. Since moving to Vancouver a year and a half ago I have been back to the UK for all of 7days. It was a precious trip and as I left my parents at the airport ready to board my flight back I knew I would be back here only 3 months later, and with my full health intact.

A foolish thought maybe but one that I very much needed to get me through the weeks. I had planned in when I would have my first sip of champagne. I know that I will rarely be able to ‘go for it’ over the next year or so but at Christmas I just wanted a small glass of red with my Christmas Dinner, a flute of champagne at new year. An end goal.

Maybe I am meant to take this as a much needed reminder that this will be a lifestyle change. Though my will power and hard work has persisted these months, I will need it to work just as hard, if not harder when I can go back to introducing new foods. I guess my body has more for me to learn from this, it wants me to gain more perspective and more strength first.

This morning as I checked my emails I was greeted with one from The Whole Approach. I signed up to their newsletters when I was prescribed this treatment and I have relished the information I am given each week; from recipes to helpful herbal tips. This mornings read made me think about the holiday season and what it means for so many people. Halloween is a big thing in North America and my Halloween this year consisted of pumpkin carving at work dressed as Cruella Deville, so much fun. Lunchtime pizzas were ordered and beers brought in, not as much fun. My colleagues are amazingly supportive and they bought me a special salad and I sipped sparkling water instead. It was so nice of them and I appreciated everything they did for me, yet I felt so left out with my ‘special’ meal and my lack of boozy plans for the evening.

If this was how I felt at Halloween what would the party season at Christmas be like?!

The fantastic feasts, the gatherings over mulled wine and mince pies, the office do’s and, for me, a seasonal Product launch at work (the booziest of them all) I for one am thankful for not having to deal with the American thanks giving on top of this, but what about those who do?!

This check list on how to survive social events really made me think. The first point most of all.

Be succinct and wellness-focused (not illness-focused.) 

If you positively describe your treatment, others will regard it in a positive light too. I know for a fact that I don’t go out of my way to discuss the positives, but I do like to tell people of my end goal. Maybe though, I need to have more perspective of this. The power of positive thinking after all.

When emailing back a friend who had asked of my progress, I thought back to this point. I told her of my past weeks troubles but also told her how my hair was healthier than I had ever seen it and my skin apparently is glowing. My boyfriend even told me he thought I was better looking now than on our first date nearly five years ago. Whether he was looking for brownie points or not, comments like this make my day.

Instead of the end goal being Christmas I’ll take one small step at a time this next month and listen to what my body has left to say on this matter.

Something’s, after all, will just happen.

“Que sera sera, What ever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see, Que sera sera” – Ray Evans / Dorris Day

What doesnt kill you.

I have reached week 12. A week that, at the start felt so far away.

They say that it takes 30 days to change a habit and 6 weeks to see changes to your body when you start a new diet and fitness regime, something to do with muscle memory, metabolism etc. What must happen in 3 months must be life changing! My past 3 months have been.

About 3 weeks ago I started to think about the food on my banned list, thinking that I could eat that bread roll, sip that red wine, nibble that chocolate (I didn’t of course). Before, just the thought of them, I knew they would make me ill. This feeling helped a lot with banishing any cravings I had and helped to really push my will power further.

For all 12 weeks I have been incredibly strict on this diet. Though told that it is only natural and ok to slip up, to sneakily cheat on the odd occasion, I refused. Flat out. I could manage 3 months without the things I desired to feel better for the rest of my life, surely. When you think about it in the grand scheme of things, how long is 3 months really?!

And so at my doctors check up at week 10 she told me my progress was ahead of schedule. We discussed the next steps and the music to my ears of introducing new foods to my diet.

‘What do you miss the most?’ she asked me. I was stumped… what did I miss?

In all honesty I mainly miss the enjoyment of dining out, not any food in particular. I miss having more than one choice on a menu list and even then having to check if there’s vinegar/dairy/yeast/sugar etc. etc. But as I thought about her question I guess as a fruit lover, I mostly miss fruit. So that is where I will start the next step of this journey, I will be, in two weeks time coming off my herbal supplements (other than the probiotics) and introducing fruit. I am excited, and so proud to be here already.

This milestone has really made me reflect on the past 3 months. I have talked endlessly with my boyfriend about how people just don’t know, don’t understand what a strict diet and wellness plan is like. Really, for most of it, it has just been us two struggling it out. There have been tears, there still are on the odd days when I feel nauseous and can’t contemplate eating the meal I’ve just made.

Even though I speak to my mum on a weekly basis it was only when I stayed with her for a week that she and my family realized how much my lifestyle had changed. My mum shocked that I could only drink water and how a treat is adding lemon to it!

I have down played it at work, colleagues intrigued by my lunches and my healthy eating and the treatment I was on, only really knowing the half of it. Friends suggesting we catch up over dinner, seemingly innocent and normal but I panic at the thought of where we would eat, what I could eat there if anything and it suddenly becomes a daunting task rather than an enjoyable one.

From the outside my skin is glowing, probably from all the nuts and avocado’s I eat. My hair is finally growing and looking healthier than it has in years so its harder to believe that I have been feeling the worst I have felt in years, that some days I would rather keep the parasites than be trying to kill them. I have felt truly horrendous. The lack of energy is a big thing to overcome, and the need to just go home and rest after a not too stressful day at work is still overwhelming. I became very anti social for about a month when I felt at my worst and my energy was zero. I could feel it if I did too much, too much being a night at a friends where I stayed up past 10pm.

I think of Lent and Stoptover, when we give up things we love for our faith, for a personal challenge or for fund raising. We normally give up one or two things we treat ourselves with, that we feel are our guilty pleasures.  The list that people on a prescribed diet have to give up is just that- a list! We need the sponsorship, the challenge, the belief to keep us going. When its your health that matters, believe me, its harder than the 40 days but the reward at the end is a million times better then any sponsorship.

I will be introducing  new food soon, but that is not the end of the journey. It is the start of a new one. One where I trail out food, I test my body on what it can and cant handle. Things might set me back, make me ill and put me back on my pills. I will spend the net year of my life not over doing it in any way, and if I feel like I may have then I will start a two week cleanse to get me back on track. I have vowed to take the months of March and September, like many people do, to cleanse and prepare my body for the forthcoming season.

It has been a 3 month battle of willpower and good bacteria. 3 months to have built strength in my health and most definitely in my relationship. 3 months of one journey, a lifetime of the next. 3 months that have changed my life.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

The power of your kitchen cupboard…

_herbsThere is a lot of stigma that goes with using herbs as medicine. The pharmaceutical drugs proscribed by your MD are the norm these days and the over prescribing of them even more so, but what if we went back to basics, to the helping hand of mother nature.

She set us off on this planet with an abundance of natural remedies that are easily forgotten or go by under the radar mainly because they are not as fast working as the symptom based drugs. Herbs are natural healers and take time to work with your body. Time is not what our world has had over the last few decades. We have wanted fast food, fast fashion and fast acting cures to fit in with our hectic lifestyles.

However, over the past few years working in the world of fashion, a major part of my job is to watch out for, and analyze, trends. One major trend that started years ago and is not budging for the foreseeable future is our human need to go back to our roots. Back to bespoke, one of a kind finds. Something that speaks to you as a person more personally than forcing you in to the world of mass production. We as consumers want to know now where the clothes we wear were made as much as we want to know where the food on our plates came from. How it got from farm to table, from factory to store.

A growing interest in looking for the starting point. And that’s where herbs come in. Herbal medicine and nutrition are prescribed by an ND to get to the root of the problem rather than blasting out the symptoms so you don’t feel them anymore. They work with your body and they ease your body back to its better state.

An increase in interest and the use of herbs and holistic medicine has been seen over the past few years in North America alone and a whopping 80% of the world still use herbs as the main source of medicine, a medicine that dates back centuries.

I, of course, am I firm believer in them. I was prescribed Goldenseal, Black walnut, Oil of Oregano and probiotics to cure my mega growth of parasites and fungus. I was told to expect my recovery to take anything from 3 to 6 months, depending on my body and how well I managed myself on my diet.

My prescription intrigued me, especially when friends and family questioned or were amazed that herbs  and food could cure what I had suffered from for ten years. I delved into the world of herbs further. I spent a month when I first moved to Vancouver working at Saje natural wellness and I was, for the first time, really exposed to the healing power of natural herbs. I was also informed of the effects of drugs – did you know that one aspirin/Advil stays in your system for up to two weeks?! It was then that I started using peppermint when I had a headache, fennel for my digestive trouble and lavender to pick me up or to calm me down.

Our kitchens are also a prime location to stock these health aids. Everyday herbs have important health benefits such as anti-oxidants, essential oils, anti-inflammatory and blood stabilizers. Here is a small example of just some herbs and spices and their health benefits:

Cinnamon: believed to act like an insulin and control blood sugar levels whilst raiding digestion, a preventative to Alzheimer’s and can relieve arthritis pain

Oregano: Super anti-oxidant, packed full of fiber and antibacterial properties that fight of fungus and bacterial like gut parasites

Garlic: Strengthens the immune system, fights coughs, colds and flu, treats fungal and bacterial infections and reduces cholesterol

Thyme: Effective against cough and respiratory infections, relives asthma and sinus infections, stimulates the liver and even protects the body from aging!!

And that is just a handful!

I have taken to adding spices and herbs every which way that I can. I add ginger and cinnamon to my morning protein shake. I  make a dressing of garlic, lemon, tahini and olive oil for my salads sometimes with an extra kick of chili.  Soups always have an abundance of herbs like thyme, basil, oregano. Sauces with paprika and cumin add a Mexican spicy flare. All these tasty combinations I know are helping to boost my immune system and support my liver, control my blood sugar levels which is needed when first starting this diet and generally help me in the process of getting well whilst making meals taste great.

If you’re interested in what other powers herbs hold then here’s a link to the health benefits of your spice rack and kitchen cupboards and how you too can add flavor and health to every meal you make.

“Prevention is better than cure.” Desiderius Erasmus

Travel Bug.

I have been away for the past week, hence it being all quiet on the blog front. I was enjoying a week long holiday back in my childhood home, some14 months after I waved goodbye to my parents and family to jet off to Vancouver.

14 months too long I must say! I was so excited about heading back to the homeland but also a little worried about how I would be able stick to my diet and how I would get my hands on all the things that have become necessities since I started.

My biggest dilemma was what I would eat in transit on a 9 hour flight. I got in touch with my airline but all they could offer me was Diabetic meal. I am pescetarian too yet I could not opt for two options, you can’t be a diabetic vegetarian traveler these days apparently.  To be honest, I am not a fan of plane food like many out there, but I do get incredibly hungry when I fly.

I googled around to see what fellow ACD-ers would do in my situation. I came across a whole new idea, taking your own food on to the plane!! Why had I never thought of this before!! I always crave fresh things when at 35000 feet, not overcooked stogy pasta, I could have been taking my own salad on all this time!

So that’s what I did. I made a quinoa salad the night before with fresh veggies such as courgette (zucchini) cherry tomatoes, avocado and I even steamed some edamame beans. I avoided a dressing other than olive oil incase it counted as a liquid (well, you never know!) and I added paprika whilst my quinoa was cooking.

I knew I would want a little snack at some point too so I popped some homemade popcorn and salted them myself, all packed in a zip lock bag. I also took almonds with me for a snack or a last resort breakfast.

As I headed through security I was a little nervous, was this a down right silly thing to do and what if they told me off or even worse took my one meal for the next 9 hours away. But alas, I breezed straight through with out even a second look. I had made it! And now I didn’t have the dilemma of running around the terminal in hopes of finding a filling salad amongst all the sugar loaded take out offerings that fill up too much of the terminal.

I am so thankful that I planned ahead. My inflight meal was a chicken breast smothered in a creamy basil source with a desert of fresh fruit. Of course I didn’t touch it as I don’t eat meat, but even if I did there was no way of knowing what ingredients were used in creating this little delicacy.

I munched on my quinoa and felt relaxed and full, having eaten all things I knew I could eat. Whilst watching an inflight movie I snacked on my popcorn, super chuffed with myself. I also ensured I took all my pills at the normal times to keep up to date with my treatment.

The inflight breakfast was a yogurt, with no listed ingredients, and a pastry. I could have asked for all the info on what the yogurt was made from but I didn’t feel much in the mood for it and so I had a handful of almonds instead. I was too excited to be hungry anyway!

For the flight back I made a similar meal. I used up left over roasted veggies from our family meal the night before and mixed it with a full can of chickpeas. A drizzle of lemon and olive oil, a dash of pepper and it was a perfect, filling, healthy meal. I had more nuts to snack on during the flight, but I didn’t get chance to make any popcorn like snacks this time and I admit, I was pretty hungry by the time I landed back in Van.

A homemade bowl of soup from my welcoming boyfriend sorted that though and I was soon fast asleep in my own bed a few hours later. Again all pills and probiotics taken when I could given the time difference. I believe that as long as they are in my system rather then bang on time everyday is much better then not having them at all.

I do believe the jet lag had an effect on my digestion for sure, as it would normally anyway. I couldn’t finish meals on the first few days in the UK but I made sure I gained my calories back later in the week when my appetite came back.

The main thing I tried to be was relaxed about it all, I was on holiday and spending time with my family so I wanted it to be more about that than all about my tricky diet. And it worked. I ate nothing untoward and stocked up on proteins and veggies all week. The support from my family was amazing and I am sure they enjoyed having meals cooked at home every night. It was nice to prepare the meals all together, true family time for sure.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
– Ernest Hemingway

Die off – Eff Off!

The worst weeks for me on the diet were weeks 5 and 6. Week 5 being Hell and week 6 being a little less like hell!

This oh readers is the die off stage, or Hexheimer reaction. Though it comes and goes during the time of the treatment, this time period is predominantly the main show time for die off symptoms. My doctor forewarned me it was about to get worse before it got better as this is the time when all your hard work is really starting to pay off and the yeast is dying. During die off the yeast releases toxins in to the body, a whopping 79 different ones, that flow around your blood stream effecting your immune and respiratory systems and even your mind.

Acetaldehyde is one of the toxins released and is linked with symptoms like brain fog, irritability and fatigue. The main symptoms off die off are:

– Headache

– Fatigue

– Dizziness

– Bloating / Gas

– Nausea

– Diarrhea / constipation

– Skin breakouts

– Itchy skin, hives or rashes

– Flu like symptoms

– Increased heart rate / palpitations

I was used to feeling pretty rotten though so I thought it would just be like a bad week. I was wrong. It was tough, harder than I imagined and definitely a turning a point in my development.

The start of the symptoms made me just feel like I had eaten something on the red list. I thought back and couldn’t think of anywhere I could of unknowingly strayed. The I realized, week 5 had begun.

The thing I really didn’t expect was how it effected my mind so much. I felt like I was going , well, a bit crazy. I even goggled crazy as a symptom in case it wasn’t part of the process and I was in fact going mad!

A crazy moment occurred whilst I was waiting for my bus home, I hadn’t cycled in that day as I felt like a cold was coming on, I felt fluy and achy. As I waited at the stop the  traffic on the road was louder than ever before,  my head banged. The light of the sun was way too bright and I couldn’t decide if I was too hot or too cold. I was uncomfortable and irritated and I nearly burst into tears right there. I just wanted to go home and go to sleep.

Everything I ate made me bloated and I didn’t really feel like eating anything anyway. The next day got worse and I had to come home from work. I broke down that night to my boyfriend, it was all getting way too much. I was too emotional to deal with all this and too uncomfortable to believe that it was working.

It was then that I realized that I couldn’t do this alone. My emotions and my sense of reality were skewed. It was like having PMS and being on a crash diet at the same time. I knew I didn’t want to give up but I felt so isolated and lonely, I just needed someone to understand.

Its incredibly tough going through this and its just as tough on our loved ones too. I know I am being irrational and just, well, a bit of a bitch… I can see myself doing it. But we both know its not the real me, it’s a mean version of me because my body is full of nasty toxins. I read this article and it made me cry. I got my boyfriend to read it too. It accounts so well what both partners are going through.

I also took the die off stage as a big wake up call to slow down. I decided to look after me first and relax, chill out and recoup over these weeks. I have fab girl nights with chick flicks and candles, I sleep whenever I need to and I reduce the amount I exercise. I now take hot showers and steam up the room to help open my pours. I practice a few breathing exercises from yoga. I also started dry brushing before my morning shower and exfoliating. Anything to help move the toxins around and out of my body.

I also make sure I get a lot of water in me during the day and lots of helpful herbal teas.

I’m at week 8 now and I can see that I am through that stage but I know that there are and will be days when I do feel horrendous again and I make sure my body and my mind are prepared for that. I also know I have a lot of love and support to get me though all of this and I hope anyone going through this too has a support network surrounding them. If not then get in touch, I know exactly what your going through!!

“Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you” – Mary Tyler

From small beginnings

In the first two weeks on the anti-candida diet my energy levels dropped dramatically. I had previously been clocking up anywhere between 10-15 hours of exercise a week but by the end of the first week I was in near tears at the thought of having to cycle home from work, all 9km of it. My stomach felt empty and I longed for something to fill it. My mind was so foggy and clouded that concentrating at work felt like a real struggle.

I remember reading at the time that the hunger I was feeling was not actually hunger but my body craving, or rather the unwanted guests craving, the sugar that I had taken away. I never realized before doing this how much sugar I consumed day to day, even as an incredibly healthy eater.

When I was going through my list of can and can’t foods with my Naturopath see paused at chocolate and said “This one will be difficult”. “Not really” I replied to her. I like the odd bit of dark chocolate every now and then but I could easily take it or leave it. The one I did struggle with was fruit. I love(d) fruit. An apple a day kind of girl, my go to snack was a good for you, healthy piece of fruit. Breakfast 90% of the time was banana and oatmeal. In fact I was always scared to eat anything else in case it just didn’t fill me up. That was another thing off the list too, oatmeal. I have it occasionally now, like every two weeks or so rather than a daily fix.

I also thought back to the food I had been consuming pre the diet and during the worst months leading up to me needing to seek professional advise and I noticed how I always craved something sweet, especially after meals. I could happily eat two cereal bars a day, then have a bowl of cereal at night. Not quiet a chocolate bar but on the sugar level they pretty much go hand in hand. All big signs of a candida over growth going on!

The website that helped me with my list of foods was from here. I downloaded the list and put it on my fridge and in my desk draw at work so I knew I could always reference it if stuck with a snack time dilemma. Its been really useful, as has the website itself.

In the first four weeks I also lost 5Lbs. Weight is not something I can afford to loose and when I asked my doctor for advise she gave me a protein shake to take once a day, my new breakfast. And to ensure I get enough fats and proteins from beans, nuts, fish (I don’t eat meat for numerous reasons) and veggies like avocados to help maintain my weight.

Over the past seven weeks my diet plan has looked a lot like this:

Breakfast: Protein shake with unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon and flax seeds

Lunch: Homemade soup of garlic onions and tomatoes with half an avocado or a fish, like tuna or sardines and edamame bean salad with garlic, lemon and olive oil dressing.

Dinner: Steamed veggie quinoa or a huge bowl of green been salad topped with sesame seeds, a nut seed topper or eggs. Or a fillet of salmon and steamed veggies.

Snacks: Soaked almonds or pumpkin seeds. Celery and nut butter. Rice cakes and coconut oil, or nut butter balls with vanilla, oats and chopped almonds.

I try to mix it up as much as possible to keep it exciting for me but also to ensure I’m getting a variety of foods. I really enjoy the treat of sweet potatoes with a meal, snacking on home popped popcorn with cinnamon or a lemon and lime dressing and even making homemade fish fajhitas with millet ‘tacos’. If anything this diet has most definitely got me back in the kitchen!

One of the biggest things I queried when I was reading information off the internet was whether or not to cleanse. I had jumped straight in with the diet and it was only after week one that I read about the cleanse. Now, every two weeks I make sure I have 2-3 full days of just veg, excluding my morning protein shake. I feel that this keeps me on track and gives my body the encouragement it needs at this time.

I also have one of the biggest loves for tea. I’m British and there is nothing that can compete with a decent brew! Since moving to Canada, though there is a credible stock of tea here, I began to drink more and more green tea. I’ve always been a fan as I can’t handle a milky tea before 12pm but it soon became all I drank. The caffeine in green tea is at a similar level to ‘normal’ tea and so I had to wave good bye to this too. My doctor suggested I learn to love herbal teas. I always thought they were sweet, fake flavor drinks riddled with sugar but what a world I have now been exposed to. There are so many health benefits to tea that it deserves its own blog post!

How someone having to go on this diet being a coffee drinker and a processed food eater must feel amazes me. I have struggled and felt awful and gone through so many ups and downs but to be on this diet as a complete lifestyle chance must be tough and I tip my humble hat to them. Also the severity of my case does not seem as dramatic after reading some suffers posts from here.

As I am not qualified in any nutritional food advice I give, be sure to listen to your doctor or nutritionist and follow what feels right for you. We’re all on a journey but hopefully some of this helps.

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas A Edison

Allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Michelle, and I am seven weeks sugar-free.

I have decided to start this blog to journal my progress on the Anti Candida diet. I was diagnosed seven weeks ago with four different types of parasites and two different types of fungus. The biggest growth in one person my Naturopath had seen in her career was living in me, in my gut and surviving. Her words shocked me and relieved me. Loaded with a bag of herbs and a new whole life cookbook I took the day off from work to get my head around it all. The first course of herbs were in my system as soon as I walked through the door, I then called my Mum straight after to cry it out in relief and shock, and then read through the food lists of greens for go for it, oranges for on occasion and reds for avoid.

My first thoughts – What will I eat for breakfast?!?!

I took to the internet for more answers and more research and was in shock at how little there was out there and how confusing it all was. Some sites said I could eat this, others said I couldn’t. To carrot or not to carrot? to cleanse or to just do the diet? Do I really have to soak my nuts?! All I thought about for the first week was food, what can i eat? What can’t i eat? and will i ever be full ever again?!

All I can say is, if you are starting out on this journey, it does all depend on each individual case and each individual tolerance level for certain foods. It’s a bit of a guessing game in that way, but after the first week or two I felt like I had it figured out and used my list of food as a major guide line.

I must admit that a dietary change like this, though most defiantly tough, is nothing to new to me. Food has played one of the biggest roles in my life for about ten years now. I contracted glandular fever at the age of 19 and it changed my life forever, as dramatic as that sounds. During my recovery from it I managed to cut my ankle on a tight pair of patent Mary Janes and due to my shattered immune system, the cut got infected. I was given antibiotics to rid my body of the poison and that’s when it all started.

Antibiotics. We wouldn’t have been able to survive to the 21st century without them but the over prescribing of the drugs from the symptom based medical world and the shameful use of them in our food supply has left many of us with imbalances in out bodies microflora. The drugs fight the bad bacteria but also fight the much needed good and we need to restore these good guys before the heavies move in!

Oblivious to this I was put on wheat free, gluten-free and dairy free diets on and off over the ten years. I was sure that it must be a food sensitivity that was causing all this jip and searched out new super foods and whole foods to make me healthy again. I am one of the healthiest eaters out there and I am a bit of a fitness nut. I often think I should have gone into fitness and nutrition rather than fashion design!

Plus, since moving to Vancouver BC, one of the most beautiful places in the world, it is also one of the healthiest places too and naturopaths are ten to the penny over here. Its only been with the help of her that i finally know whats wrong with me and how to fix it. And for the first time in ten years, I heard the words ‘you will feel better’. The words made my cry and made me realise that others out there my be longing to here those words too.

I understand now how isolated being diagnosed with this can be. I can’t eat out wherever I want to, I most defiantly cant drink and with no sugar or carbs in my diet, I typically don’t have the energy to go out anyway! Hence the time to write this blog and in hopes to add a little hope, a little cooking inspiration or just a chance to have a little rant and moan about how hellish week five was, all in here.

I look forward to the next journal session.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates