December 17, 2012

spiritual practice

The more that I talk to people about what they eat and what ails them – the more convinced I am that food intolerances play a large role in people’s poor health.

About twenty years ago, I went to a naturopath. I was tired of being unwell, little niggly things that made my life at times quite miserable. She looked into my eyes (iridology) and told me everything that was wrong with me. I didn’t have to tell her a thing.

The naturopath told me that my immune system was very low because all of my life I had been lactose intolerant. This intolerance resulted in recurring middle ear infections throughout childhood, requiring antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics had left me yeast intolerant.

She was absolutely right. I removed lactose and yeast and my health problems went away. Every time I thought I could cheat, my health went downhill.

Removing the foods I was intolerant to (lactose and yeast), made me so much healthier, but I was still not super healthy. For several years I had been experiencing night sweats. These were so severe that I awoke in a lather of sweat at about 3am and could not go back to sleep. Intuitively I wondered what might happen if I removed sugar. The night sweats went away on the first day. I then decided to remove caffeine and realised that the caffeine was fuelling my anxiety.

The past few years, I have also developed a dislike for cooked vegetables. They make me feel nauseous. I started listening to my body more closely.

I did some research on the internet and found the sage advice of Dr Julie Johnson (aka JJ Virgin) and Dr Sara Gottfried. They talk about the health problems resulting from the Western diet and recommend removing many of the foods we commonly believe to be good for us.  Dr Johnson advises to remove dairy, gluten, soy, sugar (all forms including honey), corn, eggs, and peanuts.

I was getting joint stiffness especially in my hips. The discomfort affected my mobility and my sleep. So, instead of having lactose free foods, I removed dairy completely. Experimenting with various foods I found that I am intolerant to the gluten in oats, but not the gluten in wheat, but I do try to limit the amount of wheat I eat. This reduced the joint stiffness.

The winter just past, I managed to avoid the cold and flu.

When I tell people about my diet, they ask “what’s left?”. Plenty of good tucker – fruits, vegetables, chicken and meat, seeds, nuts, rice, quinoa, coconut milk, coconut juice. Generally, I think this is a somewhat ethical way to be – eating foods that are not as processed and manufactured. Everything we do has an effect on the environment, and sometimes it’s a matter of choosing the path of the least amount of harm. I am very concerned about the production of foods using palm oil due to the effects on the environment, the destruction of a species, and people’s health (

When we eat well, our bodies don’t expend energy processing foods that are producing toxins and causing illness. When we are well everything becomes so much easier.

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