OUR REAL FOOD JOURNEY - THE WHY!
So, just over three years ago a white patch appeared on my 13-year-old daughter, Jessica's thigh. It was growing daily in size, so we assumed it was a bacterial infection and off to the Doctor we went.
The Doctor said it was Vitiligo, an autoimmune disease, He prescribed a steroid cream and told us to return in two weeks. At this stage, the white patch was the size of a teaspoon.
Jessica used the cream, and nothing improved so the Doctor referred us to a dermatologist and an appointment was made.
The patch was getting larger each day and more were appearing. After researching Vitiligo, and understanding it's potential skin damage, , we quickly decided to seek another opinion.
This Doctor also confirmed Vitiligo and Jess's blood work showed that her antinuclear antibody was extremely high and therefore she was also susceptible to other autoimmune diseases. This Doctor once again confirmed, that there was nothing medically that could, to stop the growth.
I'm not much of a "nothing can be done" girl! and I really couldn't sit back and not feel like we were doing something.
I believed that if I could find one person that had cured autoimmune, then we could too. I started looking at natural health solutions and for people who had found success with diet and lifestyle in managing/curing autoimmune disease.
Using food to heal was not completely unfamiliar to me as I had been lucky enough in my 20's to experience a family member successfully use food/health to assist in her cancer recovery.
This experience had been life-changing so I was already a huge believer in the body's ability to naturally heal itself.
I had also applied these principles to health challenges I had experienced over the years, so now faced with Jessica's health challenge, once again I thought... Let's "Just Eat Real Food"!
Such a logical place to start as we already had a healthy diet filled with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
I mean how hard could it be? hmmmmm
THE PLAN WAS:
1. For four weeks, ditch all processed foods, refined sugar and some dairy and grains. Basically anything White...
2. That we would do this as a family. All six of us to support Jessica
3. That we would commit to this 100% for the four weeks
and we did...
IT WAS HARD BECAUSE:
1. Many of the everyday foods (especially snacks), that we had thought were healthy and advertisied as healthy e.g., crackers, cereals, muesli bars and yoghurts, etc. were just SO full of sugar, so unfortunately off limits.
2. Cooking Real Food for six from scratch, 3-5 meals a day was difficult with such a busy family schedule.
3. Checking labels was time-consuming.
4. Determined to ensure the children did not feel deprived, I replicated many treats in a healthy way and this was time-consuming.
5. The initial cost of getting new products was frightening, the products quite confusing.
6. School lunches with no bread were so challenging!
7. I was determined to let the children be children and not feel different and continue to enjoy the food.
It is funny as I read above as most of these hardships have now been solved and I now have such a great toolbox of "cheats" to get through even the hardest of challenges.
THE RESULTS AFTER 4 WEEKS..
Let's just say it was WOW! WOW! WOW!
Miss 13's, Vitiligo stopped growing and has not grown since.
Master 13's pimples disappeared, and we worked out specifically what caused them. Very cool!
Hubby and I lost weight about 2-3 kilos - BOOM!
Miss 13's tummy was no longer bloated, and her persistent tummy issues, headaches and brain fog were gone.
My two young boys - I am pretty sure were so much calmer
We all had so much energy!
So, we were hooked and the most important decision we made at this time was that we would be a
"Real Food Family" just 90% of the time. The other 10% was guilt-free "whatever".
This was to allow the children to go to play dates, parties, family outings and gatherings and not have a "special" diet and feel deprived or different. It was to allow us to have an ice cream at the beach, a pie at the footy!
Of course, Jess who is now 15 almost 16 chooses a more 95% real food regime to ensure she keeps her autoimmune disease under control.
To have experienced this healing first hand was amazing and my small interest in health grew to a humungous passion.
I realised when I left the corporate world 16 years ago, that my goal in life was to help others. My business of 12 years - BellyBiz Shapewear has done exactly that by allowing me to coach and talk to ladies every day about their life concerns and wobbly bits.
So now after 3 years of perfecting (ie simplifying) a "real food diet and studying to become a Certified Health Coach, it is time for me to share this information too in BellyBiz Health. I have also developed the Zesty Girl program for us girls who are burdened by our busy lives and expectations and are stressed and time poor - It's about getting our Zesty back!
So this is my ultimate passion is to..
1. Make a REAL FOOD LIFESTYLE, Simple, Quick, Affordable and YUM!
2. Help woman get their zest back!
My role is to stand by your side and give you the steps for easy implementation and fast results so you can live your best life..
So this is the "my why", in my next article I discuss "your why"... I hope you will join me - HERE...
Jess's MEDICAL Update:
Once we got to see the Dermatologist, he was surprised that the Vitiligo had stopped spreading. He offered us a stronger steroid cream to try and encourage repigmentation of the skin. After he confirmed that it was unlikely to work and had nasty side effects, we declined. Whilst he was not open to discuss our Real Food diet contributing to the stabilising of the Vitiligo growth.. He did notice that the skin on its own was re-pigmenting and said: "whatever you are doing... keep doing it!" :)