Follow your gut – in every sense

The last month has been a combination of events that will change my life forever for the best!

I don’t like to glorify busy but I guess you could say that’s what my life is like – a (weekday) single mum of 2 boys, I work 3 days a week, study through IIN, & play hockey twice a week.

Over the last 6 months I developed an increasingly worse rash on my face. Adult onset acne with no cause claimed the GP & pressed a script into my hand. That claim was seconded by a dermatologist, who also gave me a prescription for 3 months of tablets plus a cream so strong it would strip layers of my skin off. So I went to a Naturopath. My initial reaction was that there must be a cause. I’ve never had bad skin in my life (not gloating here), so why at 34 years of age, eating the healthiest I have in my life, am I lumped with this? 

The Naturopath & I narrowed potential causes down to: diet, stress, mould (due to a leaking roof which $5,000 later has now been fixed), allergy or deficiency. 

I commenced a 4 week elimination diet with no gluten (goodbye bread my old, loyal friend), no dairy (think of the cheese!) & no spices (not easy for someone who adds chilli to everything). 

I had to add in organic eggs every second day – whereas previously I ate eggs about every second year, not an exaggeration. I also had to add in sustainable seafood every second day. 

This was the first diet I have ever done & I have to say, to anyone who has done a diet, how the hell did you do it?! I turned over packets & nearly cried at mentions of minute traces of dairy, I jumped for joy when I found out my mayonnaise was gluten-free, dairy-free & free from cane sugar or corn syrup. My 5 year old within weeks started pointing to jars & saying “look Mum, you can have this, it says gluten-free”. At the same time I think my sons resented me a little when their requests to go out for pizza were declined, cos, you know, if I can’t have pizza, you’re not torturing me by making me sit & smell my favourite mushroom & goat’s cheese pizza, salivating like a savage dog, while sipping on a glass of water & asking if the salad dressing is gluten-free.

I’ve learnt a lot: both my sons like rice bread, which is cool when we want to lay off the gluten a bit. My older son likes seaweed (hello, iodine). I find organic eggs ok, they’re somehow not as “eggy” as non-organic. I’ve learnt free-range eggs are an absolute scam. I’ve been buying more organic fruit & veg than ever & despite the price I feel everyone is winning: I’m supporting local farmers, if all of us buy something organic every day, we are growing demand & subsequently bringing prices down. I can still find a way to get my “treat” fix – hello About Life raw vegan chocolate beetroot cake & raw vegan peppermint slice. 

I concurrently started studying through IIN & it was fortuitous that “crowding out” was an initial concept as it has helped me. I’ve added in more veggies, organic eggs, seafood & seaweed. I look through photos of my food & don’t feel it’s one of deprivation, in fact, it feels quite abundant. 

In my second appointment blood tests returned a few ticks but a few crosses – namely a vitamin D deficiency & zinc deficiency….so it’s supplements for me for both until I can get the levels up to a level that I can maintain through lifestyle & diet. My skin is looking a lot better – no raised dots & minimal redness, but it still has a bit to go. 

Follow your gut – both physically with what you put in your mouth, but also metaphorically – I wasn’t happy with a diagnosis of something with “no cause” so pursued alternate routes. 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE note this is my experience only & I have the utmost respect & admiration for every Doctor & Nurse I know. I just felt on this occasion it may have been lifestyle related due to a few things happening in my life around the time the rash began appearing. If in doubt, see your Doctor. I am not qualified to give advice on anyone’s health.