What’s the G.O. with your G.F?

It’s time to share the scoop and dish the down-low on how I found my food journey. Mom’s always been a health nut (pun… what pun?) following standard 1980’s/90’s guidelines for a healthy family: lean meat, brown rice, wholemeal bread, low-fat milk, margarine, lots of fresh fruit and vegeables with a few treats sprinkled in between in the name of balance. Despite her efforts, Dad’s transition into middle-age unfortunately saw him contribute to the statistics of heart attacks, bypass surgery and weight-gain – which I suppose, spurred on the low-fat brigade we were proudly part of.Β 

As we researched more about what we were told about nutrition (read: the lies society has been told by the so called ‘health authority’ fatcats as they gleefully rub their wallets), we gradually made changes as a family: butter instead of margarine, raw/rapadura sugar instead of sweetener and grassfed meats where affordable – so as you can see Mom and Dad are a joyous work in progress. Whilst watching a video together on natural cancer treatments last weekend, I gave her a hug and commented how much I absolutely love sharing my penchant for nutrition with her. Please note that ‘Mom‘ is intentional – having grown up in South Africa, I just can’t get my head around now calling her Mum, as is tradition here in Australia!

2 years ago I decided on a whim to lose my baby weight. I started counting points (no names mentioned) and lost 12kgs as a result. This coincided with a gym membership and my interest in fitness flickered. I soon found myself participating in triathlons, 5km & 10km runs – exercising 6-8 times a week and loving it! January 2011 saw me injure my knee inexplicably after a hill sprint session. In April I did my zumba instructors course and 8 straight hours of dancing exacerbated my old knee twinge, forcing me onto my back for a week, literally unable to walk. At this point I started to feel very sorry for myself, lost count of points and saw my weight balloon again and my health simultaneously decline. Instructions for 3 months of ‘rest’ did not go down well. I continued to eat, as much sugar, processed carbs and cr*p as I could get my hands on. Then in June I contracted a 24 hour gastro bug, this was followed closely by a bad 2 week influenza virus (hot ‘n cold sweats, high temps, body aches etc), another bout of gastro, a 2nd and 3rd full-blown episode of the same ‘flu plus 2 more months of swollen aching glands, perpetual headaches and waking up every single morning with a razor blade sore throat. All the while still making an effort to get back into my gym routine, with very sporadic success.

Well-meaning loved ones suggested Doctors, blood tests, anti-biotics and more – 3-4 months of ill health needed to be explained away with medication! Call it stubborness or instinct, I felt that there had to be a less invasive approach – so I started to read. On 29th August 2011, I gave up sugar cold-turkey. I don’t imagine how this could be any worse than giving up heroine?! For 10 days I was grumpy, stuffing myself with protein and litres of water to stave the cravings, moody, angry and was virtually scratching at my face (did I mention I was cranky?) My emotional health improved noticeably after the inital detox but I was still battling my physical health. If you want to give up sugar but are too overwhelmed to know where to start, check out Sarah Wilson’s programme. Next step: gluten and dairy. I didn’t really have any concrete reason why this would make any difference to my symptoms in particular but it seemed it was all the rage so I thought I’d give it a whirl. One of my favourite food blogs was conducting a 2 week grain-free challenge, citing ‘clear up your colds and sniffles’ as the reason. I thought, why not? What could it hurt right? Not knowing much about grains or gluten I was flying blind!

So here’s the clincher… are you ready for this? My first gluten-free and dairy-free day (as well as sugar-free day #15) was Saturday and on Monday… MONDAY, I woke up bounded out of bed, 100% completely symptom free! No headache, no sore throat, no swollen glands, no gastro, no sniffles, no mood (except for elated!) and in total, absolute glowing health!! I was beyond rapt, and completely shocked if I’m honest. I knew food had power – but this much? So soon? If anybody needed me I was on my soapbox shouting it from the rooftops (still am!). I continued reading with voracious hunger and then learnt about the coconut oil conspiracy, as well as the farce of so-called evil saturated fats, the demise of grains, and how your gut health determines your overall health. In the process I lost 3kgs. I then took it 1 step further and did a drastic alkalising detox and lost another 9-10kgs.

With the help of my Thermomix, I now enjoy a wide variety of protein-full, grain-free meals piled high with colourful vegetables, as well as home-made treats with natural sweeteners, small amounts of raw dairy and lots of healthy fats – all the while maintaining my weight without counting one calorie. Although I’m currently in my healthy weight range, I would like to lose a few more kilos of fat and build some lean muscle mass. My knee, in the meantime, is back in the dog box (after emerging for a few months, allowing som gym activity) but as soon as it’s sorted I want to start exploring the world of weights. I follow a very exciting woman on facebook who talks about the turn around in her health and body since taking up weights and I am definitely interested in seeing what my body is capable of!

My greatest triumph to this whole story has been the confirmation I’ve received about my food choices by a live blood analysis test at my naturopath. Not knowing my history she told me, based on studying my live blood cells under a microscope right there in front of me, that I have low-level ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’. She added that since your body’s entire store of blood completely restores itself every 4 months, it looks like it was severe to begin with but it’s healing itself! I then detailed how I’d changed my diet recently and she applauded me telling that I had unknowingly diagnosed myself and started to heal myself! Wow, that’s powerful stuff! Next step: reversing tooth decay, healing my asthma without meds and… world peace!

Soapbox aside now, I do not get it right all the time. Sometimes the odd evil sugar hit finds it way to my mouth, or the overdose of dairy, or even *gasp* some grains and gluten… but I certainly pay for it with almost-immediate bloating, farting (yes, I went there!), stomach gurgling and most disturbingly – awful nauseau through the night. Not to mention that I battle to sleep because of afore-mentioned yucky symptoms and the fact that my stomach is blown up the size of the Goodyear blimp! I’m also not, for one second, implying that my illness matches yours or that my cure will work for you. Every body is unique and every food path must be individually sought out to make sure you have found what works for your body. I would love to hear about your food journey, whether you are taking beginner baby steps & still sussing it all out or whether you are a seasoned veteran, years down your path already.

Signing off now to go feed my family their first raw main meal: Zucchini pasta with raw pasta sauce… wish me luck!

39 Responses to “What’s the G.O. with your G.F?”
  1. Karen Abel says:

    Hi Jodi, thank you so much for sharing your health journey. You have inspired me to embark on my healthy eating-cleansing journey. My Thermomix arrives on Friday – I can barely wait. With my Thermomix in my life and eating fresh healthy meals – I will be unstoppable. Cheers, Karen

    • Hi Karen, so lovely to hear from you – thanks for commenting πŸ™‚ You WILL Be unstoppable and with so many lovely healthy recipes here at HPC, there’ll be no lack of inspiration πŸ™‚ Good luck with the consulting, your passion will help you sell. Love Jodi

  2. Naomi says:

    Interesting story you have…sound very much like our family situation too and we’ve been on the hunt for information for a while and are astounded and disgusted at what we find and how corrupt and disgusting the health system is….my poor sister gets the brunt of most of the health problems in our family…i’ll put her onto you blog and maybe she can share some info with you πŸ™‚

    • I know Naomi, it’s pretty horrific – some of the health advice touted about by foundations and professionals and unfortunately much of it is run by the mighty dollar so it’s often to find the right information for you without being prescribed something! I’d love to make a connections with your sister! Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

  3. Wow, you are doing so well, Jodie!!! You’re amazing – I love your story, and I’m sure it will be an inspiration to many. Well done!! xx

    • Aw thanks Jo, I so appreciate you following and commenting – can’t tell you how much it means to me! It’s true what I said – you’re one of my favourite food bloggers and you played a big role in getting me on track πŸ™‚

  4. This is such a great post! Love reading about your journey and enthusiasm for health – also all these people who have inspired you! Well done xx

  5. Clairebee says:

    I fogot to leave a comment this morning after I’d read this & WOW…..what a truly Grrrrrrrr8 read Sista……just PHENOMENAL & YOU GO GIRL :)))) xoxo

    • Thanks my darling sista! Don’t forget your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to try ONE new recipe a week, ok?! I’m a phonecall away πŸ™‚

      • Clairebee says:

        Yeah funny you should say that & I was thinking about “accountability” today actually….but remember, its not JUST cooking….its procrastination in general with heaps of stuff!…..but YES, gotta start somewhere right πŸ˜‰ THANK YOU though…MUCH appreciated angel…..Mwah xoxoxox

  6. Shara says:

    Hi Jodes!! Love your story!! Your doing a phenomonal job not only for your own health, but I’m sure your kiddies will benefit in years to come too…gotta change the habits of the next generations!! I also happened to read another blog post today on reversal of tooth decay using a process called Oil Pulling….is that what your alluding to or have you come across something else?? All sounds very interesting anyway, would be interested to give it a go…. x S

    • Hi Shara, thanks so much! I know a little bit about oil pulling but not in relation to tooth decay – must look into that… I am cutting out grains ( to reduce phytates, which screw up mineral absorption in the body – check out Wellness Mama for more info) and am dosing up on cod liver oil, raw butter oil (ghee) and Vit D (from the sun of course) . They also have always used a natural toothpaste without chemicals or added fluroride which, they say, coat the teeth not allowing the saliva through to recoat and remineralise naturally. Gab has cavities starting to form, our dentist says she has abnormally deep grooves in her teeth, so it’s this or – drilling holes on my 4 year olds teeth – no thanks!

  7. Robin says:

    Amazing isn’t it?? I gave up sugar just before Easter last year (my church doesn’t call it lent, per say) and just “happened” to hear an author on the radio the same week about the evils of sugar. Bought her book on Amazon used, which contained SO MUCH MORE! Then went the gluten and dairy, respectfully. Dropped 30 pounds and then found Reliv in August. My world changed! Goodbye to heel spur pain in 4 days and a gradual end to joint issues, stress, etc. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY!! Just remember folks, old habits are hard to break and new ones difficult to form. But If you are willing to do what it takes, your quality of life will be more than you could have imagined! And then you can help encourage someone else on their journey; even help save a life or influence an entire generation!!

    • I know Robyn – I literally have goosebumps reading your story! The turnaround in my health was nothing short of miraculous, I was in bad shape! That is so wonderful to read about your own story, it almost validates our choices to know there are other people out there who have had the same 180 simply through food choices – bring on the revolution I say! Thanks so much for following and sharing your story πŸ™‚

  8. Lotta says:

    Hi Hot Pink Chilli!
    Thank you for sharing your story. I have had for some time now a sneaking suspicion about the effects of dairy and grains on my gut and therefore health. I listened to Tyler Tolman and many things started clicking for me. I have been following (lurking- but in a nice way) several raw food and thermomix blogs to boost myself into a position where I can change my eating habits and lifestyle.
    Wish me luck! My aim is to run/jog a City to Surf next year (Perth)

    • Hi Lotta, it sounds like at least you have a clue, unlike me – I knew food choices were important but did not realise to what extent until changed things up, talk about a quick lesson learnt! Hee hee, ‘lurking’ – I love that, please don’t lurk, follow boldly with pride – comments and stories are always welcome. All the best with your training, is that the same as the Sydney one, 14km race? I can’t wait to get back into, but for now I must rest, and eat home-made raw chocolate πŸ™‚

  9. Shannon says:

    Wow Jodes, I loved this article and find you very inspirational, you are so brave to try the cold turkey approach to cutting out sugar, as I have heard it is hellish, I am now going to take up the challenge and I will keep you posted! Love Shan xxx

    • Do it Shannon, you will not be sorry. It was 10 days of hell but now, it seems soooo long ago and I am so glad I did it, it is worth all that initial detox pain. You have to keep reminding yourself, not what you’re missing out on, but what you’re gaining instead. Thanks for following and commenting ‘old’ friend πŸ˜‰ So cool to have you onboard – let me know how you go!! Love Jodes

  10. Shan says:

    Wow Jodes, I loved this post! You are so inspirational and I really admire how you tackled cutting out the sugar “cold turkey” as I have heard that it’s hellish. I am now inspired and will keep you posted as to how I am doing! Please keep up the awesome posts! Love Shan xxx

  11. Marianne Broadgate says:

    Great stuff! An inspiring well-written read and all in line with what I have discovered over the years too. If you want help with your knee recovery let me know. Send me an email. Mx

    • Thank-you so much Marianne, for reading and commenting πŸ™‚ At the moment I am seeing an osteopath who is advising stretching and resting. My physio, after working on it for a few weeks, wanted to send me for an MRI even though both agree that it’s my medial collateral ligament and it is strained but not torn in any way. Are you experienced in this area? Can’t see your email so pls flick me one on hotpinkchilli@gmail.com. Thanks again! Jodi

  12. Julie says:

    So inspiring. I have had my share of ill health over the last 18mths since my son was born. I i i I have recently started to dabble in different types of nutrition but think sugar could be the culprit. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Thank-you Julie πŸ™‚ I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling with your health, I would love to hear your progress as you figure out what works for your body so please keep me posted on hotpinkchilli@gmail.com? I have been so inspired myself by bloggers I was following when I was so sick – so to be able to share my story and have it impact others positively, absolutely makes my day! ❀ Jodi

  13. Sally says:

    Hi jodes, wow seems like things r really going well for u! As yr friend and a qualified dietitian though, I just have 2 comments to make. 1) Have no probs with cutting out dairy as some people do get the symptoms u described. But can I just prompt u to make sure ur getting enough calcium – u need 1000 mg per day. Happy to discuss how to achieve this. 2) saturated fat – class A evidence (ie shown in multiple randomized controlled trials) that it raises cholesterol and increases risk for heart disease. Thats all! Agree that sometimes u have to take matters into yr own hands to find out what works for u, but just want to make sure that what is KNOWN (ie proven) about health is not lost. Keep up the good work, sal xoxo

    • Hey Sal!!! How are you going honey?! How’d you find my blog – so lovely to see you on here! Thanks so much for your comment and notes πŸ™‚ With the amount of green leafies I’m getting in, chia seeds and almonds to name a few, I would say that I’m definitely getting enough calcium (without measuring). Also, I soak all my nuts and seeds nowadays so removing the phytate helps a lot with calcium (and magnesium) absorption. I know there is a lot of concern with sat fats too – the ones I eat are always grassfed and as I understand it, grassfed saturated fats are an excellent source of natural CLAs. Woudl love your thoughts on that too. Such a lovely surprise to see you on here babe. When you coming home?! ❀ Jodes x

      • sally says:

        Hi Jodes!
        Actually starting to like the Berra… not sure when we will be home! Re calcium – a whole cup of almonds has about the same amount of calcium as a cup of milk (although it is less bioavailable as it is bound to phytates etc – so soaking is a good idea). So a cup of milk (or calcium fortified soy) has around 300mg. As you need 1000mg, the recommendation is 3 serves/day. 3 cups of almonds every day is a LOT! Not to mention a lot of calories (2500!!!) if you are watching your weight. As a qualified health professional who has read and evaluated the majority of research out there on calcium requirements, absorption and osteoporosis (I have been working in the area of eating disorders for the last 1.5 years so have developed a special interest) I would strongly encourage you to include some calcium fortified soy milk in your diet if you are not keen on dairy. Even just a cup would help, given that you are eating a decent amount of plant sources of calcium.
        Re the grass fed beef – an area I will need to read up on! When I was working for the National Heart Foundation in 2006/7, this was not even something the expert cardiologists were talking about. So it is a new area and I must admit that I haven’t kept up with it as I haven’t been working in the area. So I’ll have a read and get back to you on that one.
        Not wanting to put a dampener on what you are doing. I think it’s fantastic that you have sought out a solution for yourself. I suppose I am just wary of naturopathic ideals because I hear so many stories of unhealthy, unproven practices and I don’t like the idea of the general public receiving mixed messages from so many different people. But, that’s life I guess, and as you said in your blog, you are not recommending everyone avoid wheat and dairy, just sharing your story πŸ™‚
        Sal xoxo

  14. Mia says:

    O my- this is so interesting to read! I have been on a low carb diet for the past 8 years, and the past 12 months really strict with no (well at least not much) dairy. Gluten is of course already gone since it is LC.
    I SO agree with you and are a pissed (sorry) at all the wrong advice health authorities been giving the last 3 decades. People are getting sicker and head for the grave way too early due to this! Look at the increase in diabetes patients for instance! Your dad is lucky to only have had heart surgery (as is mine) diabetes often come hand in hand with that. And that is AFTER following all the advice!
    In contrast to your point counting, when my last baby was born 13 years ago, I didn’t lose more than 2 kgs in 4 months…and I was of course told I was cheating. I was devastated and blamed myself even if I did everything right and I wasn’t cheating! Little did I know that eating crap (they sell after weight-in) don’t help, it is just sugars and preservatives.
    During that period I screwed up my system totally, I went from someone who never had any problems with my weight to fat and miserable.

    When I found LC I was home, I finally realized that it wasn’t anything wrong with ME, it is what I (used) to eat that was wrong and that was an eye opener. I still struggle with weighing a bit too much but now I take one day at a time. I never eat processed carbs, I can go as far as munching too many nuts or some cheese, buts thats about it. I guess health comes first the older you get πŸ™‚ if I lose weight thats just a bonus.

    I’m from Sweden and there is a movement about eating as clean as possible-LCHF Low Carb High Fat, I’m not sure you’ve heard about it. I live in Australia and here people are (of course) afraid of fats and don’t get the connection of IBS, diabetes, arthritis, colds/flus, over weight etc etc and what they eat. It’s so frustrating! I

    Thank you so much for letting ramble on for so long πŸ™‚ I’ll be back.

    • Hi Mia, Thanks for ramble, I loved it! Yes Australians are definitely still very much afraid of fat and what a shame since it’s soooo delicious! I hear you about the weight thing, since I would also like to lose a few more kgs but ultimately you are still far healthier than when you were counting points πŸ˜‰ You make such a good point about all the crap they sell you AFTER you weigh in, almost like they’re sabotaging you, it’s scary the ingredients in those products. Thanks for reading and following πŸ™‚ Jodi x

  15. Judy Tomlinson says:

    Thanks for your post, lots of great inspiration there. Two things that may help in your journey – for your asthma, I suggest you learn about the Buteyko method of breathing. It takes some commitment, but looks like that is not a problem for you. There are some great trainers around who can help you with that. Regarding your knee problem and exercising – I have been using Crankit Straps for exercise, after my personal trainer put me on to this system. You are using your own body weight, working with resistance on some very sturdy straps. Check out their website. There are obviously some exercises you won’t be able to do until your knee strengthens, but with the right guidance, I hope this may work for you. I love it, and it is a great workout. I am on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, and have some contacts here if that is any use to you.

    • Hi Judy, thanks so much for the tips – I will definitely look into the Buteyko breathing method. My PT actually uses crank it straps funnily enough – she’s a certified crank it trainer, they are evil and awesome at the same time! Jodi πŸ™‚

  16. What a heart (or should I say gut?) warming story, Jodie! Thanks for sharing. Wishing you much more health happiness for 2013. πŸ™‚

  17. charein says:

    HI Jody. i have heard about your site but didn’t know i knew you. From TMX days. so happy your healing journey is great with healthy eating. mine is too. so will watch and search your recipes with interest as it is right up my alley. thanks lovely. xx

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