How Real Food Is Helping Me Heal My Chronic Illness

The Importance Of Real Food On Your Journey To Health

Does anyone else find it incredibly hard when strolling supermarket aisles today? Never before have we had so much choice when it comes to food. But is this really such a good thing?

Arguably not, when there are entire aisles devoted to convenient, highly processed foods such as confectionary and sweetened drinks. Foods which appeal to the taste buds but compromise our nutrition and our body’s natural defense system, leaving us vulnerable to an internal attack.


About seventy percent of the cells that make up our immune system reside in the gut. Your gut flora is like a little Gatekeeper, working like crazy to keep the nasties from breaching its boundaries. When our gut is damaged from the bad, processed and unnatural foods that we send its way, our Gatekeeper becomes overwhelmed and confused, compromising the immune system. Which, if you are one of the unlucky ones, will trigger a runaway immune response in the form of an autoimmune condition. Your Gatekeeper can no longer keep up with the onslaught and the body goes a tad haywire, launching an internal attack and destroying healthy cells by mistake. It can be deadly.

Nearly 9 years ago I fell critically ill with Guillain Barre Syndrome, autoimmune condition which left me completely paralysed within 3 days. I am thankfully un-paralysed (I’m making words up!) as the nerves can regenerate with time, but the GBS spawned ongoing side effects, the worst being chronic full-body nerve pain, which I live with everyday.


Conventional medicine undoubtedly saved my life and I will always be grateful for the treatment that was available to me.

But as the years went by and the only treatments offered by medical professionals to manage my chronic nerve pain was the latest prescription drug on the market, I began to question the system.

For me, the drugs merely take the edge off the pain, so it’s not like I am pain free, in fact far from it. The drugs don’t find and treat the cause of my pain. The drugs all come with side effects and toxicities, many of them serious and with long-term consequences. There were times when I needed another medication to counteract the side effects of the first medication!


With the help of my trusty sidekick, a.k.a. my ‘I-may-be-a-vego-but-I-will-slap-fish-over-you-if-I-thought-it-would-work’ mother, I got to researching.

I discovered the body has an innate ability to heal itself when given half a chance.

I believe that holistic medicine combined with the right nutrition is of paramount importance, not only as the basis for good health and disease prevention, but to heal and restore the body. As Hippocrates said, “Thy Food is Thy Medicine.”

Food can and should be our BFF (best friend forever!) and take us on the journey to good health. Not food as many people know it to be today – GMO, processed and artificial. I am talking real food; wholesome, unprocessed and full of nourishment.

So I got experimenting. And I made big changes.

  • I overhauled my eating to nurture my body and mind with real food. After much trial-and-error, I found the best eating regime for me meant saying a big ‘Hello!’ to plant-based, gluten free goodness!
  • I changed my lifestyle to incorporate more balance and self-care. My inner hippy chick comes out a lot more and embraces things like meditation, nature connections and zen-time.
  • I changed the way I think about food. Food is for both health and pleasure and they can most definitely go hand-in-hand.

I don’t profess to have all the answers and it would be remiss of me to lead you to believe that I am 100% healed because I’m not. Food hasn’t cured my chronic nerve pain, not yet anyway, but putting the right fuel in my body is helping it to heal at a cellular level; reduce inflammation; build strong defense systems and better equip me to manage what is a long-term, possibly life-term, condition.


I would really encourage you to think about what is at the end of your fork/spoon/eating utensil. Even if you live on takeaway you can make healthier choices.

It is important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all way eating. What works wonders for me may not work for you. I am a huge advocate of bio-individuality; of listening to your body and eating foods that aid healing, maintain optimum gut health, and above all, make you feel AWESOME!

Real food as medicine? I’ll have me some of that!
Photo Credit © Julien Sister – Life of Pix


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