A Personal Journey – towards a lactose free, gluten free, sugar free and raw food lifestyle.
It was about 6 years ago, as I turned 50, that I noticed many things going wrong with me – physically and emotionally. My lower back started to ache every day as I got out of bed, my stomach felt more bloated by the day and I started to pack on the kilos, even though I had not changed my diet nor increased my intake of food. I was a Pilates instructor (and still am, although I have added yoga and meditation to my daily practice) and was horrified that I could not diagnose nor manage my own back pains!
I became moody, short tempered and snapped at me beautiful daughter and husband for no apparent reason! I really did not like myself much. So I decided to consult with my GP and she gave me the standard spiel – menopausal symptoms from hormonal imbalance, possible onset of osteoporosis, possible lack of calcium and protein in my diet etc.
So the recommended regime was to look at my diet, add a cup or two of yogurt (I only had milk in my coffee and tea), eat a little more red meat, cardio and more weight bearing exercises. Supplement with good multivitamins and symptoms should clear up. I followed the recommendation diligently as I have always been a health advocate since my bout with breast cancer at the age of 28! I don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol, have not been on any long-term medication, never been sick since that stress induced (more about that another day!) breast cancer.
For 2 weeks as I followed the regime, I became increasingly more bloated, more moody and hardly had any energy at all to get myself out of bed in the mornings. So I decided I had to take matters into my own hands and listen closely to my body!
I researched Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and ancient healing practices from my own culture and tradition (Malay healing herbs and concoctions). I chose to do a course of acupuncture, traditional Chinese herbs to clear chi (energy) blockages as well as herbs to strengthen and support my liver and kidney functions. In THREE DAYS…. My symptoms disappeared. In SEVEN DAYS … I jumped out of bed and felt the world had opened up and pumped me up with eternal, flowing energy every moment of every day. I have not looked back since!
What else did I do? I was advised to give up coffee, dairy products, sugar, gluten and any processed foods with gluten (soy sauce for example), minimize animal protein except eggs and double my intake of greens – lightly steamed or raw. I started using good quality, non-GMO, non-adulterated soymilk and various nut milks in my tea if I felt like it and WOW… the difference it made to me was almost unbelievable.
Today I am 95% dairy and lactose free, use nut milks (almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts), seed nuts (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds), make coconut milk from scratch and stay away from white processed sugar. I make nut breads with no wheat and use a variety of flours like buckwheat, flax meal and lots of chia seeds to give texture and binding capabilities to crackers and bread if I ever feel like it. I am also 95% vegetarian, having lost any desire to eat meat of any kind although sometime weaken when I smell fresh barbecued sardines!
I make nut and seed milks daily with ease using my Chufamix veggie and nut milk maker (I was glad to give up the nut mylk bags) and use the remaining pulp to make gluten free crackers, dips, energy balls, healthy cupcakes which I must say with great pride, that my now 16 yr old teenager actually likes!
My journey continues with heightened awareness of what my physical body is telling me when I overindulge (too many raw cacao balls or raw cashew cream cakes) and to take a well balanced view of what I need personally to feel strong, healthy and brimming with energy at all times. I find that practicing a combination of yoga, Pilates and chi gong meditation gives me the emotional and spiritual balance I need to live life to the fullest each moment of each day, every day! Namaste!
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