Above is an image of two different versions of me that I often see in the mirror, or a progression / degradation between the two. I know I probably could have taken much more professional photos (that didn’t include me in a onesie), but bear with me for a minute.The reason I feel upset when I look in the mirror and experience the face on the left is not to do with vanity, in fact, I have never been one to focus or centralise on how I “look”, but instead, it is to do with my disappointment at the state of my health, as I know that something is wrong on the inside and needs to be accounted for and corrected.
You might think the girl on the left is either exhausted, ten years older than she really is, or worked to the bone, but none of those would be correct. In fact, I was feeling rather energetic on that day. Instead, that tired and exhausted look has nothing to do with my energy levels, but everything to do with my diet.
I used to be able to get back to the girl on the right quickly and easily within a couple of days of eating clean (vegetables, and protein such as meat), but these days it’s taking much longer and taking the exclusion of many more food groups.
I CONDUCTED A LITTLE EXPERIMENT
I wanted to know exactly what it took to see my inner health radiating through my eyes and my skin, so I decided to eradicate one food group at the time.
First I started by cutting out all coffee. I have no more than one coffee every two weeks (as a treat). My theory behind cutting this food group was because it usually makes me feel tired and depressed/moody if I consume it too often. I know it probably affects my adrenals and methylation process.
This alone was not enough, so two weeks after I decided to cut out all gluten. Keep in mind that my diet has always been extremely low in gluten as I have a very noticeable sensitivity to it, yet I probably allowed myself a treat of bread or pasta every 1-2 weeks. Because I know that it can take up-to 6 weeks to completely heal from any damage that gluten may have caused to your gut, I decided this wasn’t good enough to enjoy it every 1-2 weeks.
Once again, I didn’t really notice much difference after the two weeks were up, however I was having a few more “good days” where I thought I looked closer to normal. I gave up dairy next, this is something I also eat very little of due to its incompatibility with most of our genetics and biology, but once again, I was allowing myself some grass fed butter every now and then.
NEXT IT WAS GRAINS
I gave up most grains including oats and rice, they never made me feel good anyway and cutting them out has always helped me regain a vitalistic appearance.
YOU GOTTA GO, ALL AUTO-IMMUNE ACTIVATING VEGETABLES
By this stage I had noticed an improvement, but I just wasn’t healing completely. I knew what came next was getting rid of all the vegetables I know that I react to. These include: nightshades, garlic, and onion. I know what you are thinking, ‘what a limited diet’, and I agree. My health journey wont just be about eliminating all of these foods to feel my best, but also regaining the strength, and power required to enjoy more variety.
Finally I was on the right track, and I improved, but what I found afterwards was that I needed MORE of the good stuff to really get to where I wanted to be. I started eating about four bowls of vegetables a day, and I tried to eat them raw. This included at least 3 cups of the cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli which are great detoxifiers, and 5 cups of spinach a day. Adding in a few table spoons of coconut oil has also had a huge impact on my skin and eyes.
With the addition of many more vegetables and fruits, I noticed the true me emerge. I have days where I don’t eat perfectly, but the fruits and vegetables are keeping me looking healthy and vital.
This experiment didn’t quite take the turn I expected it to, and after all of that information about what foods to cut out, I tell you that it’s actually much more about what you are adding back in? But it’s true, while I continue to steer clear of the main reactive foods such as gluten and dairy, I hope to be able to tolerate more of my favourite and flavoursome foods such as garlic and onion, and the occasional bowl of rice.
All of this information has to be considered alongside the fact I have been on my personalised MTHFR supplementation combo for almost two months, and am generally feeling better and better every day.
HERE ARE SOME CLOSER SHOTS OF THE DIFFERENCES