I love food! I love every aspect of it, nutrition, taste, appearance, how it's the focus at social gathering and the glue at family time. Since my twenties I've been very interested in health and nutrition. My mum always brought us up on heathy home cooked food, very little sugar and lots of fruit and vegetables. She grew a decent amount of produce on our garden and I would often be found munching on the purple sprouting broccoli that was always growing or picking all the berries everytime I was out playing.
When I hit my teenage years I turned into a processed food junkie....packet soups, cheap nasty burgers and sugar, sugar, sugar. My school dinners often consisted of a few iced buns......and nothing else!
I started getting into decent real food again in my early twenties (about the same time I started looking into food, nutrition and health.) I really enjoyed cooking unusual recipes, being adventurous and wow, did I love eating out! What was left of my student loan that I hadn't spent on film and photography stuff was blown on food.
My mum has always been a huge inspiration for me and I got her love of quality in spadefuls! Since the early noughties I've been looking into the provenance of my food, where it's grown, how it's grown and what nutrition it might provide.
Food is the building blocks to our life and health. Think about a car; if you put cheap nasty fuel in it the car won't run properly and you're probably going to be hit with a whopping repair bill at some point in the future!. Our bodies are just the same. Yes there are those few lucky people who smoke all their lives, eat rubbish and live right into their nineties. I'm not one of those people. So after years of health complaints, a nasty (but ultimately lucky) bout of cancer in my late twenties and seeing my health suddenly and dramatically decline again from age 35 after unknowingly contracting Lyme disease; at 37yrs I made the decision I was going to radically change my diet. I'd already managed to keep some of the weird ailments I had in check with daily veggie and fruit smoothies and juices. After being diagnosed with Autoimmune Thyroiditis and having lots of hypothyroid symptoms I decided to follow the Autoimmune Protocol diet. I was only going to follow it for 45 days, but I was having reactions to every food I tried to introduce after the 45 day healing period. My health was rapidly declining; the standard thyroid medication I'd be given was making me very, very ill.
After lots of testing which discovered genetic polymorphisms and testing positive for Lyme disease the pieces of the jigsaw finally slotted into place. I was diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthastatic Tachycardia Syndrome: neurological damage from the Lyme disease.) This basically meant I'm vertically challenged; my blood did not like the uphill climb to the all important brain and heart. This made standing up for any length of time interesting! Again with diet, nutrition and herbs I sorted that and after a year or so I was able to stand for hours cooking again, phew!
After spending 4 months bedridden i'm back on my feet, i've got my life back and making up for those lost days! But most enjoyably I'm cooking creating, researching and studying again. I really feel that the good clean diet I'd been eating right the way through this ordeal is helping my relatively quick return to health. I'm climbing up trees and climbing mountains again, which was always going to be a personal measure of my return to health. I still have food intolerances and follow a mostly paleo diet with a leaning towards AIP, most importantly my diet is clean, natural and full of fruit and vegetables. It's not just about diet and health anymore, it's what I believe we are evolved to eat. Experiencing all of these personal health struggles i've realised just how important what we eat is to our health and how pivotal our health is to our enjoyment and participation in life. Which has lead me to qualify as Nutritional Therapist, so I can help others on their path to health.