Green And Um… Clean

HELLO WORLD. We met in early December of last year, when I did my very first post for Doctor Feelgood, which you can read here. It was my tongue-in-cheek way of letting off some steam about some new health issues that had arisen in the six months prior.

imagesAll up, I’m now hitting the big 18-month milestone. Where’s my party at? I’ll pass on the alcohol, thanks, but hook me up with a giant green juice, because not only has my life changed, I’ve changed.

You see, while my main aggravators of wheat and dairy remain (foetal position, boxing match, 48 hours), I can now happily tuck into most other things that were for a while completely off limits. Some foods I can’t exactly sit down and eat a whole tub of in one sitting (looking at you, hummus), so portion control on the odd thing is still key.

Last time we talked, I rambled about IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Even though it didn’t quite add up to what I was experiencing, I pounced on the label like a fiesty ball of furr. I’ve stopped researching every little bump and bruise I experience because the reality is, I’ll probably never completely know what exactly my body has gone through, and that’s fine by me. What I do know though, is that my body has this year been craving a cleaner lifestyle, so I got busy.

What am I digging these days? CLEAN FOOD. Think filling smoothies, jumbo green juices that make your cheeks buzz, mouth-watering salads, fresh fruit and vege, raw delectables, nuts and seeds – a good dose of hearty plant-based goodness. While I do top up on gluten free vegan muffins that make you melt, light gf pasta dishes and the like, I’m slowly altering the ratio. Obviously it’s all vegan. I also try to eat organic where possible, supporting the fantastic local produce Tauranga has to offer.

There’s no doubt about it: being vegetarian or vegan doesn’t automatically mean you’re healthy. You only have to wander so far into your local supermarket to see the selection on offer to see that. I’m now passionate about giving my body the very best it deserves, and it’s loving me for it.

However, it is very much a work in progress. I do like the idea that my health in general isn’t going to be some big destination that I’ll climb up to, take a good look around, appreciate it for a moment and then head back down to life the way it once was. For that to have happened, I wouldn’t have learnt a damn thing and I would have missed out on meeting the incredible people that I have on this journey. It’s been one heck of a ride.

04-1My daily supplements include a powerful gut probiotic, digestive enzymes, Vitamin B, and I can’t forget magnesium for a guaranteed good nights’ sleep. I also get my funk on and indulge in a teaspoon of tumeric mixed with warm water and skull it back. Tumeric is an ancient natural antibiotic with endless benefits. Just don’t try to be weird and use it as a hair dye like Google encourages you too. You’ll end up spending 30 minutes explaining to your bewildered hairdresser why your hair has an odd yellow tinge because you were too cheap to get it dyed. You’re welcome.

I was also experiencing high fatigue levels last year, but after these changes the bouts are far less, and I’ve only spent the very rare misjudged food moment in my nest. Hospital waiting rooms, gastroenterologists, doctors, dietitians? Forgetaboutit. They’re long gone with stunned faces at my turnaround. Or maybe they just saw me trying to parallel park outside.

My only regular appointments are with an osteopath (“has Rachel tried to put her foot over her head again for a laugh, or not?”), and my Lymphatic Enhancement (say what now?) extraordinaire called Desiree. Can I do a shameless free plug?, because she is that good. I’m probably going to name my future kidlets after her. Or my cat.

I just asked my family what changes they’ve noticed about me this year. “A bit more booty” (hey, on a naturally slim frame, that’s as good as gold!), “became luckier” (casual hinting for more prize donations), and “a greater awareness of health and healthy living”. And that about says it all, doesn’t it.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to seek out a yoga teacher to embrace my inner hippie, or just be put to shame by the overly flexible 70-somethings again. Sigh. RACHEL WALKER

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