Growing up, I always felt like my body was constantly on a quest to attack itself. I battled with one inflammatory condition after another and developed a number of food and skin allergies along the way. However, it wasn’t until the age of 12 that it took its toll on my life. Following months of digestive problems and being virtually unable to eat any food without becoming incredibly unwell, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition causing severe inflammation throughout the digestive tract. This meant my body found it near impossible to absorb nutrients from food and, as a result, left me malnourished and incredibly lethargic a majority of the time. I followed the conventional medicine route for a year but, with only minute improvements, at aged 13 I decided it was time to become an active participant in my own wellbeing and so went in search of a more sustainable aid.
The following six years involved a lot of experimenting with food and nutrition. I introduced more whole foods, educated myself on fitness and began to fuel and move my body in a way that nurtured and nourished it into a healthier state. My energy levels soared and inflammatory symptoms declined. But with so much misinformation and unregulated health ‘experts’ around, it was difficult to decipher true from false. Diets were tried, fads bought into and restrictions put in place. At the point when my nutrition looked ‘perfect’ on paper, I’d never felt more stressed, confused or isolated and my health suffered as a result.
Eventually, I back-tracked. I kept the whole foods but lifted the restrictions. I prioritised eating in a way that made me happy, that saw nothing off the cards, realising that the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is indulge in the things you love, both nutritious and not. Sure, it’s by no means been a perfect track. I’ve made mistakes, endured a lot of trial and error and even sometimes thought about throwing in the towel altogether. But going through that journey with food taught me so much so much about health, fitness and nutrition and about learning how to live in a way that lets my body and mind feel its best.
What I hope to communicate here is that a healthy diet is not about being perfect. It isn’t about restricting certain ingredients, cutting your food intake in half or tracking what you eat. It’s about indulging in good, nourishing, delicious food that you enjoy in abundance. It’s about getting inspired by ingredients, trying new things, tuning into what your body wants and needs and, most importantly, it’s about becoming your healthiest and happiest self.
With love from my kitchen to yours –
Please note, I am not here to recommend a certain way of eating or a fitness plan. My intention is to help transform your attitude to food and fitness so that you are no longer governed by the prevailing restrictive diet mentality. Should you need specific dietary advice or professional help of any kind, it is always best to contact a qualified medical professional such as your GP or a certified nutritionist. Please get in touch if you don’t know who to go to as I can point you towards some trained experts who would be happy to help.