At the ripe age of 16, I started to develop strange reactions to certain foods. My all time favourite, “spag bol”, became my biggest vice and pizza suddenly became a no-no. After convincing myself that I was just being silly, I spent the next 7 years eating these foods and dealing with the consequences. Whether it meant putting my favourite skinny jeans aside for the night or prepping myself for a night of groans and a few visits to the loo – I was sure that there was nothing wrong with me!
The Tip of the Iceberg…
The stomach cramps were just the tip of the iceberg of strange health problems. I slowly started to develop signs of serious fatigue; making it through a full day of school, sport and life was a struggle. So, like all good parents, my mum took me to the doctor who prescribed me with some sort fatigue fighting medicine combined with a 6 month dose of anti-anxiety pills. I had anxiety now too, apparently.
Months went by and the fatigue seemed to ease up slightly; I could make it through the day without the need for a nap but that tired feeling still seemed to hang over me like a wet cloth. Then, in my first year of university I started to develop bad acne – who knew all of these things were connected? I didn’t and the doctors certainly didn’t either! Back to the doctor I went where I was prescribed ONE WHOLE YEAR OF ANTIBIOTICS! My heart breaks writing this, I knew no better than to swallow those pills in the hopes that my skin would clear up. It did, but then it didn’t. Something was definitely wrong with me, but what?
The Hospital Bed…
And then one day, when I ended up in hospital with intense stomach cramps, high fevers, abnormal brain fog and intense nausea. Finally, I was told too stay away from gluten and other reactive foods. At this time, these two words seemed like French to me! Did I have to give up spag bol, pizza, diary, chocolate??? My mind was racing at the thought of all the foods I would have to give up.
So, over the next few months I started to cut those foods out, religiously! But it seemed just cutting those foods out wasn’t cutting it. There was more to my problems, there had to be. I was sure that cutting food groups out wasn’t the way to a healthier lifestyle – surely I wasn’t dealing with the root of the problem, I thought. Why was my body reacting to these foods so badly?
The Day My Life Changed…
Then, one fateful day, I stumbled across a book called “The Microbiome Diet” and my world seem to align once again. I realised there was a world of information about the gut that I needed to wrap my head around. I started to do my research, and when I was convinced that the problems where all stemming from my gut – I had to make the change!
I went on an intense 3 month gut makeover where my life changed 180 degrees. Not only did my body start to heal itself from the inside out, but I learnt that gut health is so much more than improved digestion. I learnt that poor gut health is linked to weight gain, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue, acne, chronic stress, anxiety, depression and SO much more. Why didn’t I know about this sooner?
Now, I’m all about the gut – I think, eat and do gut health! My world has changed for the better – I am still learning to listen to my body and give it what it wants, but I know my gut is on the mend. My energy levels have increased (I still fight fatigue sometimes- my woes are not over), my training has improved dramatically (Yay for no inflammation), and most importantly, the way I think about food has changed.
Food and I are friends again; I love food, I appreciate food and I value the healing power that it has had in my life.
Wanna Change Your Life, Too?
Today, I am passionate about teaching people that there is more to the gut than they’d ever imagined. I want you to join me on a journey to a healthier gut, a healthier mind, and a healthier life! Follow me on Instagram (@the_good_gut_guru) for my top gut health tips and lifestyle advice!