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.
THERE IS A CONNECTION BETWEEN GUT HEALTH AND AUTOIMMUNE CONDITIONS.
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.
WHEN WE JUST SUPPRESS THE SYMPTOMS, WE DON’T TREAT THE CAUSE.
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!
ENTER THE GAME CHANGER.
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.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT – SO LET’S MAKE IT GOOD!
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
Thank you Bree for sharing your journey! My husband is healing himself with real, whole foods, it’s incredible the difference it makes when we begin to nourish ourselves!
My pleasure Elizabeth! And thank you for sharing your husband’s health wins; it is always so gratifying to hear about people’s healing successes with real, whole foods. Keep it up! xx
Hello! It seems as though we are on a very similar journey. I am 6 months down the line from a complete diet overhaul and I have also been using herbal therapies. I, like you, am not healed completely but I have made a lot of promising progress. I don’t for a minute thing that I will cure myself from my illness but I hope that I will get to a point where I can get back to some kind of normal and my illness no longer dominates my life. Good luck and I look forward to following your blog.
Hi Donna! Thank you for taking the time to post a comment. It’s amazing what the body can do under the right healing conditions. I wish you luck on your continued journey and yes, please, keep in touch :-) Bree xx