I was raised with a fairly healthy approach to eating. My Mum is a fabulous cook who has learned the art of cooking through shared generations and the passing down of family recipes. I gained my own love of cooking through watching her in the kitchen and tasting her yummy meals when I was younger.
When I left home to go to Uni, I knew how to cook, but I didn’t necessarily know or understand the benefits and importance of healthy, balanced eating. One example of this was I really hated handling raw meats and as a result stopped eating them when I left home. Unfortunately I didn’t understand how to substitute with other foods though for the lack of iron in my diet and ended up anemic as a result.
During my earlier uni years I was also eating way more sugar than I’d previously eaten and this would also have been contributing to my fatigue, lack of energy, and sudden bouts of depression. After a few years of eating poorly since leaving home I was also beginning to experience changes in my digestion and was often feeling bloated, which was accompanied by stomach pains and irregular bowel movements. I’m sure the stress in my life during my 20’s was also a big contributor, but along with my poor diet my wellness and wellbeing had gone out the door.
In my late 20’s I stumbled upon a fabulous GP, who was very down to earth, to the point and knew a lot about natural therapies and their benefits. He diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and spoke to me about changing my diet, reducing the stress in my life, and also seeking the help of natural therapies. A key point that he made at the time and that I remember so clearly was to keep trying new things until I found what suited me specifically and the same with natural therapies. He said IBS is just a diagnosis for not really knowing the cause of my symptoms, so it was up to me to take the time to research and test different things. At the same time I also came across a wonderful Chinese Dr. Through his sessions and also with a Naturopath at the time I gained a passion for nutrition and energy healing. I was suddenly fascinated by health, nutrition, wellbeing and healing the body and soul. This lead me to studying Kinesiology and energy healing.
During my late 20’s and into my early 30’s I had experimented and made many changes to my everyday diet. I was also exercising almost every day and eating a good wholesome balanced diet, where much of my food was prepared from scratch by myself. I was however still suffering from some IBS symptoms. Things were still not quite right.
Interestingly, I discovered on a trip overseas that my problems were not completely food related. We were away for 3.5 weeks traveling through France, Spain and Morocco and I ate whatever I felt like. I didn’t over indulge, but there were mornings for instance in Paris where we’d have a short black and a Pain au Chocolat for breaky, followed by a baguette for lunch and a cream laden meat based meal for dinner (also not so good for someone like me who is also lactose intolerant). Interesting though I didn’t suffer as I normally would. My bowels weren’t so regular, but I wasn’t suffering from the terrible bloating, stomach pains, and moodiness that I normally did. I was living very carefree and happily while we were away. So I discovered that stress, lack of down time and rest, and the day-to-day demands were definitely taking their toll on my health and wellbeing.
Move on to my late 30s and starting a family. I never felt better than when I was pregnant in regards to my IBS troubles. All of those symptoms subsided. My GP had actually said years earlier “I highly recommend falling pregnant to ease and possibly eliminate your symptoms”. I was bemused at the time and thought he was just hinting that I should start thinking about Motherhood!
It was feeling pretty good for a few years until breastfeeding ended and things were back to normal for my body in a way. Gradually everything started to seep back to the way it was previously regarding my IBS. Through the land of blogs and also through studying my Cert IV and Diploma of Kinesiology I was learning more and more about various health issues including IBS, chronic fatigue, and autoimmune diseases and how to treat them and live happily with them. I began to tweak my diet further and made changes to my daily ways of living. I decided to move away from Architecture for good. I’d become very restless in my career, was feeling the pressures of Architecture and the effort required to make a decent income, and I was also hungry for more freedom creatively. Architecture can actually be very restrictive creatively. Personally for me I also felt it was not going to work with a young family. It was all or nothing, none of this trying to do it part time in between lil ones.
This brings me to now. I’m very happy, creatively fulfilled by my art and more in tune with my body than I’ve ever been before. I’ve learnt so much over the years about food, nutrition, wellbeing and more, and most importantly I have learnt how to listen to my body. It’s been 12-14 years since I discovered that my diet and lifestyle were affecting my health and wellbeing. I have gained a whole lot of knowledge over this time through my own experiences, research, learning and experimentation and am often asked about all aspects of health and wellbeing regularly by friends and acquaintances. This is what made me start to think about how l could share that information with more people and what prompted me to start this weekly post called Wellness from Within.
This has been a long post, so I hope it reads ok and makes sense, as it’s quite hard to write about so many years in such a small space, and with interruptions Anyway, I hope it’s given you an insight into my experience and I look forward to sharing more wholesome posts on everything healthy for mind body and soul.
Cheers to good health,