The phrase "You are what you eat" seems to be every where at the moment, so I thought I'd explain why I eat the way that I do and the reasons behind why I fully believe in this very fashionable phrase.
I spent all of my childhood, teens and early twenties quite unwell. I would vomit at least once or twice a week, sometimes every day, I had constant stomach problems and very achey and painful joints. This slowly progressed during my late teens to more stomach problems than ever before, joint dislocations, constant viruses and illnesses and very little in the way of answers from doctors.
During my early twenties I found a lump in my neck, followed by a few more around my body which turned out to be tumors. The tumor in my neck was removed and I spent two years constantly in and out of hospital. The doctors had very few answers. I began to notice that when I didn't eat dairy products I wasn't as ill, I wasn't vomiting as much and I started to feel better in myself. I truly believed I'd found the answer, and for a while I had. Until I traveled back to the UK and discovered "Dairy Free" foods...I very quickly went right back to where I had started. During this time Spain had very little in the way of dairy free, so I just avoided dairy in general.
I was still in and out of hospital constantly being tested for possible diseases, illnesses and viruses when one day my doctors suggested EDS - Ehlers Danlos Sydrome. I was sent to a specialist who confirmed that I had EDS an illness that is so difficult to diagnose with its myriad of symptoms. Of course being the little geek that I am and a typical twenty something I began to google EDS and read everything that I could.
I'm not going to go into explaining the craziness of EDS as for each person it is different. I prefer to focus on solutions and my solution was food. YAY! It helps that I have always been a huge foodie. During my research I discovered quite a few bloggers with EDS and one pointed me in the direction of Deliciously Ella. Discovering the plant based way of living has completely changed my life.
I'm no longer sick all the time, I am very healthy and physically fit, this is down to what I eat as well as the exercise that I do. One of the biggest lessons I have learned on this journey is that it isn't just what you eat that affects you, albeit it plays a massive part, it is how you eat it, whether you enjoy it, how you love and take care of your mind and body. Taking time out to prepare healthy, balanced delicious meals and to look after myself by going swimming, meditating, doing yoga or visiting the gym has been vital in my recovery.
I have followed a plant based diet for nearly a year, the tumors are much smaller or have completely disappeared. I rarely get very ill and I am stronger and healthier than I have ever been. The doctor and I are no longer best buddies as we rarely see each other, which is something I thought I'd never say. I have recently started to include fish or eggs once to twice a week in my diet as I noticed that the B12 supplements I was taking seemed to effect my hormones. Without B12 in my diet I found that my skin very spotty and my hormones were all over the place.
I religiously stick to this way of eating, I enjoy cooking and creating new recipes so it isn't a chore for me however organisation is absolute key. I snack all day long and enjoy the most scrumptious, colourful meals - this wouldn't be possible without spending a few hours on a Sunday preparing snacks and meals for the week.
Most importantly I have learned that we are all different, we all require different diets, various ways of relaxing and alternative methods of taking care of ourselves. Just because I live this way doesn't mean it will work for another person, but I hope that by posting this it may cause you to think about small changes in your lifestyle that can make a huge difference.