I’m in New York right now. I know. I still can’t believe I’ve been writing those words and geo-tagging that location all week.
Having had this countdown in my head for 12 months and an even louder ticking about three months ago, I decided to make some changes to my lifestyle. Not massive changes. Just tweaks that were overdue in being tweaked.
If you know what I mean.
When life gets busy for me, I drop some of the balls I’m supposed to never drop. And late last year, life got so busy for me that those balls were dropping faster than a Saturday Night Lotto draw.
It wasn’t until I stepped back and looked objectively at what I had loaded on to my life – my worklife specifically – that I realised that I was so far out of balance that I didn’t even know where to start looking for those dropped balls.
But look I did.
I looked at myself … mmm hello mid-40s mum you need to make a few changes. And pronto.
So I did.
I made changes to my deskbound-ways; I made changes to the way I cared for my skin; I made changes that gave me more me-time; and I stopped and and a good hard think about what I was ushering into my belly.
I didn’t become all evangelical about it. I just needed to do it. FOR ME.
Has it been easy?
Not on your life.
Has it been worth it?
Thanks to the good people at Golden Circle*, I’m going to share with you the best bits of The Great Health Kick of 2012 in four parts over the next eight weeks. Why?
Because we’ve only got one body. We may as well treat it the best we can.
For Part 1 we’re going to talk about food but before we do I’m going to share with you a bit of my health history.
I’ve never specifically blogged about it before but now seems as good a time as any. I’ve had a diagnosed thyroid condition for 14 years. I say diagnosed as I suspect it was going on about a year before a GP told me I wasn’t going crazy. That having a six-hour afternoon nap was NOT normal. That putting on 6kg in a week was NOT normal.
Girls, we are our own worst enemy. We dismiss tiredness and any general malaise type of feeling, when in this case a simple blood test confirmed a very under-active thyroid, which was some years later confirmed as being caused by the auto-immune condition, Hashimotos.
Now, Western medicine helps out by dishing out some drugs to mimic a thyroid function (which I need because I no longer have one) but then I went and became resistant to that medication, didn’t I? And ended up on a cocktail of two. This cocktail helps to a certain extent but what I’ve learned over the last two to three years is that medication is nowhere near enough. That you can still have thyroidy days and that what you put into your body and how you look after your body can impact greatly on what it gives back to you.
In regards to food (I’ll talk about the E word – exercise – in Part 2), I’ve learned that by making some dietary changes that boost my compromised immune system instead of making it work harder, my body tends to better toe the health line. What I’ve also had to come to terms with is that if a normal-thyroid functioning person ate what I did, then they’d be up to four sizes smaller than me. It’s tough but it is what it is. I can only work with what I’ve got.
What have I done with food to keep my auto-immune condition in check**?
1. I’ve been gluten-free for two years. Gluten is fine for people with uncompromised immune systems, not so fine for people like me. I walk into a bakery and it’s like walking into a sea of gluten. Don’t get me started on fresh pasta.
2. I keep a check on my alcohol intake. Stop guffawing right night. I can hear it from here. Yes, I know I’m always Instagraming photos of cocktails and champagne but the truth is I keep the big nights few and far between, choosing instead to have one, maybe two drinks at a time on the weekend. I SHOULD give up altogether and I do go through periods where I do for a month at at time (last time was May-June). If I do have a few more than a couple of quiet ones at home, then I know in advance that I will pay for that fun the next week with lethargy and puffiness that will last up to a week.
3. I eat unprocessed whole foods. Yes, if you look in my pantry you’ll find two-minute noodles, cereal and rice crackers … but it’s all for the kids. If I stick to eating food that is fresh and free from any synthetic additives and I cook like our grandmas used to – only better – because we have better access to ingredients then I have way more energy and am not looking to sugar to give me a quick hit to get me through the day.
Three things. Pretty simple when you look it on the screen like that.
In the past few months I’ve been more conscious of these three things than ever before. It’s made a huge difference. I wake up with energy. My eyes feel clear and look brighter. And I’m less puffy from inflammation – that is one of the symptoms I experience when I’m not treating my condition – and body – with the right ingredients.
And I felt at my best to not only do this trip but to enjoy every minute of it.
**I’m not a doctor so please seek out your own independent advice. This approach has worked for me and is a combination of advice I’ve received from supportive GPs, dieticians natural therapists – and definitely not from the endocrinologist whose advice to me when I asked why it was so difficult for me to lose weight was, “just stop eating”. Yes, it was the last thing he ever told me. I walked out in tears and never went back.
* Golden Circle has released a new juice range – Golden Circle Healthy LifeTM Fruit Juice – which contains a unique combination of probiotic cultures clinically shown to support your natural immune system. Eating well can also support your natural immune system. And, yes, as you’ve just read, boy oh boy does my immune system need all the support it can get.
It’s the first of its kind of juice in Australia, offering a dairy-free dose of probiotics without added sugar or artificial flavours and colourings. Every serve contains 1 billion beneficial bacteria, which work in your gut to support your natural immune defences.
The juices come in Breakfast and Apple & Mango flavours in either a 1l or 300ml bottle. Both flavours got the thumbs up from the Styling You household but for my money, I’d choose the Breakfast juice all the way. Which works out well as the youngest in our household is more keen on the Apple Mango flavour (doesn’t like orange, apparently 😉 ). You’ll find them in the chilled section (they need to stay chilled to maintain their effectiveness) of major supermarkets in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Styling You in conjunction with Nuffnang and Golden Circle is giving away a Golden Circle Healthy LifeTM Fruit Juice prize pack with each post in this series. Each pack contains a $50 Woolworths gift card and a 14 day Fernwood Fitness membership.
To enter, answer the question: How would you incorporate Golden Circle Healthy LifeTM Fruit Juice into your diet? Leave your answer in the comment section below. This competition opens on August 7, 2012 and closes on August 17, 2012. For full terms and conditions, click here.
But … I know you want more. There is a major giveaway happening as well. At the end of this four-part series one reader from Styling You, Foodwatch or Scoop Nutrition (the other lovely ladies taking part) has the opportunity to win a $1000 lastminute.com.au experience voucher. All you need to do to is comments letting me know what you think of Golden Circle Health LifeTM Fruit Juice. Full terms and conditions here.
I KNOW! Get entering.