Why did I call my business “Given New life?”
That is what is has been for me, a couple of times, firstly when I accepted Jesus as my saviour it changed by whole outlook on life, I went from hate to love, turmoil to calm, anger to peace all in 30 seconds as I was filled with the most incredible love and peace one could ever experience.
Then again when I found that by changing what I ate and not how much my health improved dramatically, I lost weight and became much better.
Then when I started the GAPS diet www.gaps.me and while on GAPS I enrolled for Amino Acid Therapy with Trudy Scott. www.everywomanover29.com www.antianxietyfoodsolution.com Both of which have been instrumental in helping me to heal from a genetically, mentally, nutritionally and environmentally deficient background.
I am sure I am not the only one to suffer because of ignorance, so my mission now is to help others not to fall into the traps I did and become ill because of it.
My journey to health has been long and painful. I could have healed much earlier and my health would not have deteriorated to the extent it did if not for two factors.
- A lack of understanding on how food and digestion affect our health, as these are not taught to us at any stage in our lives, not even in biology class in school.
- The misleading information given by those whose interest is not our health but our money.
I was born the runt of the litter, all the “inherited” diseases in both sides of the family decided I was the fortunate recipient, then others that were not in the “family” decided I would be a good home.
Born with a collapsed breastbone, always dreaming, never able to concentrate, an insomniac (not that I would tell my parents that), always in trouble as I was incapable of understanding social nuance so I was always putting my “foot in it” most times I would just swop feet, fortunately, most of the time I did not realise it and continued blithely unaware, asthma, bronchitis, an ability to succumb to every germ in the broader vicinity, most of them bypassed my weakened immune system, plaguing my existence.
I now know that I was a typical GAPS child that became a GAPS person. (Gut and Psychology/physiology syndrome)
My asthma was cured by a diet I was on for four years as a teenager, now I did not have an excuse to miss school and bunk my homework, asthma attacks are easy to bring on if you know how. I was never naughty, just misunderstood or so I thought, the truth is I was hell on wheels, not out of intent but I just did not understand and could not cope.
I was abused as a child, sexually, emotionally and physically which did not help.
I was afraid of everyone and everything and chronically depressed, to me it was normal to always want to be dead, I fought those feelings to do what I wanted to do or I would die. It became a normal way of life, to give myself a good talking to before being able to do anything.
I took up sailing as a profession, in spite of chronic seasickness; it was just another thing to
fight. As the first female professional sailor on the South African coastline and South Africa being an enclave of the male chauvinist I was under continual pressure to know more and preform better or I would not earn a living. When the Chief sailing instructor came for the yearly inspection of me and my sailing school he would sit there for hours trying to find something I did not know, and trying to find fault with my instruction, he told me he was doing this as because I was a woman I had to know more and be better than the men. Some of the other sailing schools would be watching me and report me for the smallest infringement or mistake so I always had to keep a high standard.
This stress of course took its toll. Hypoglycaemia was my next challenge, caused by the continual stress and my love of all things sweet. Diet again came to the rescue and reversed the condition. Ok, so maybe I should have known by now how important diet was, but no one explained how and why, so I soon reverted to my old friends, chocolates and biscuits for comfort.
we undertook a delivery trip of a Prout Snowgoose catamaran from the Canaries to South Africa with my new husband and two amazing youngsters. On the trip all of us started having health issues, all different, but when my throat was swollen and had difficulty breathing we had to abandon the boat. We were rescued and I ended up in hospital in Brazil for 10 days. The Spanish, Korean/Chinese and Brazilians were fantastic; we owe our lives to them.
Later we found out it was the polyurethane foam backed vinyl that was the cladding throughout the boat, and was powdering which caused the problem. To me it was cosmetic problem so was unconcerned by it, after all the boat was built in the UK and they had health and safety, surely they would not allow toxic, life threatening substances on boats? According to Professor Sparks, the professor of Chemistry at Natal University, who specialized in foam, “it is the only foam that powders and it is not as poisonous as cyanide”!!!!!!
What little health I had now went downhill. Cortisone had caused me to blossom to a rather alarming 115 kg and I developed a long list of symptoms the worst of which was the Arthritis. No matter what I did I could not lose weight. The panic attacks I learned to live with after I met a person who was poisoned with the same substance in a factory 20 years before, he had the same panic attacks with the same triggers the same symptoms. Toluene diisocyantate affects the whole body including the nervous system. He told me that “panic attacks do not kill” after that I learned to live with them.
Chronic fatigue, insomnia, incessant nightmares, crippling arthritis, chemical sensitivities, pre-diabetic and the panic attacks, up to 7 a day, an appetite out of control I spiralled into deeper depression, always finding fault with myself, plagued my existence.
I even patented my own figurative bicycle; it had boots on the back wheel so I could kick my own butt.
I felt every person’s and every animal’s pain deeply, leaving me incapable of helping as I would dissolve in tears.
The problem was that I drove myself mentally to cope and earn a living, I was determined that the incident would not stop me sailing, and so ended up with adrenal fatigue, not helped by panic attacks of course.
Osteoarthritis in my sports damaged knees and Rheumatoid in my hands, the pain I was in was horrendous, I could no longer walk more than a few meters without wanting to cry with the pain, I could no longer hold a book, both my muscles and joints were affected, getting up off chairs was impossible without using my arms to hoist myself out of the chair.
I had arthroscopies on both knees where they removed part of my knee caps and cartilage in my knees, this helped for a little while, and then the pain returned with a vengeance.
Sailing was now becoming dangerous, unable to get out of dinghies, my knees collapsing on me at times, not able to hold the ropes anymore, I was desperate, in continual pain, my livelihood and way of life was at stake.
My surgeon friend commiserated with me and told me the truth about what the drugs they gave Rheumatoid arthritis patients, they use a cancer drug when the pain gets bad which causes parts of the liver to die, the liver repairs itself and grows new parts but these are now cut off from the other healthy parts of the liver and therefore the liver does not function properly, he called it “hobnailed liver” as it looks like hobnailed boots. This causes life threatening varicose veins in the esophagus, which he was called in to repair when they burst before the person bled to death.
The thought such a horrible future was too horrendous to contemplate. I kept off of drugs as much as possible as even the painkillers and anti – inflammatories cause more harm than good he warned me.
I am forever grateful for his honesty as it made me embrace any possible alternatives with great gusto.
A friend of mine mentioned a Nutritional therapist in Cape Town who had treated a friend of his who had arthritis; there was a blood test involved. I got hold of her but because I was in Durban she could not treat me, I found out the blood test I needed was an IgG antibody test. Searching desperately I found local lab that did the test, had 367 foods tested, cost quite a bit but it was the best money I have ever spent, found that 50 foods were “toxic” to me, above average they said, at least I found I was above average in something.
I had a choice, go into a decline about the foods I could not eat, all of which were my favorites, or be happy there were still so many I could eat, I decided on the latter.
I cut out all the indicated foods, all my favourites had to go, but I lost weight without trying, I am the original pig out and get thin story, and my arthritis started to disappear, with the help of a local nutritionist I have rebuilt the cartilage in my knees and now kneel without pain, something the surgeon said would be impossible.
All battles are won in the mind, get the mind right and the rest follows.
After the change in diet we went cruising on our own boat, a 30 ft catamaran, I lost 40kg without trying, no one recognized me when I got back to South Africa after 18 months. My surgeon friend was so delighted; “you don’t even have the knobbles on your hands anymore” was his comment.
Seven pain free years later, still not being able to eat the indicated foods, with more energy but still depressed with panic attacks, I found out about the GAPS diet, after only a month I could introduce foods that would previously caused me great pain or digestive problems. The pain and discomfort had attacked me when I inadvertently ate any of my “toxic foods”.
A friend gave me a talk by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, it made such good sense, I could now see what caused my problems. I recommended the GAPS diet to friends who bought the book and now no longer have issues.
We decided that I should become a nutritionist as this was now of great interest to us both, Mike having Melanoma meant I would have to nurse him one day, hopefully not in the immediate future. I had just qualified when I met a poor Spanish man who’s two and a half year old son had recently been diagnosed with Autism, I told him about GAPS and he burst into tears. His son went from rocking in a corner to interacting and playing in 2 weeks, a year later he is normal running around playing with his friends. His parents did everything in their power to make sure he had the best chance in life, they even moved to a less polluted country with more chance of organic and unadulterated foods.
I knew then I would have to become a GAPS Practitioner so as to be able to help others avoid the pain and suffering so unnecessary, and as I was a GAPS person I would benefit.
After a couple of months on GAPS for a while my depression started clearing and I had more energy.
I become aware of the social blunders I made and now can blush about them, but they are done and in the past so I will not let my past destroy my future
On the GAPS practitioners course Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride mentioned amino acid therapy to help people with depression and addictions, including food, so when I heard food mood expert and fellow South African Trudy Scott talking about it I knew I had try as it would give me first hand in depth knowledge on how they worked.
I enrolled with her and the panic attacks I had had for 13 years after the trip we were poisoned on disappeared in 2 days, as did the chronic fatigue, comfort eating and best of all the depression and overactive mind that kept me awake at night, all just disappeared like magic. I also sank my bicycle.
Was adapting to my eating regime a problem? It did take a bit of adjusting, but once the adaptation was done I found it quite easy, my friends and family (and the majority of restaurants) were very supportive and were happy to help me, they were so impressed with the change in me, many have followed suit, to their benefit.
At the age of 58 am healthier than I have ever been.
These were my symptoms: (which have now disappeared).
Arthritis, both osteo and Rheumatoid
Excessive hunger, always hungry no matter how much I ate, I ate for 3 people at least
Heartburn/excessive flatulence/bloating/stomach pains and cramps
Constipation/diarrhoea for no apparent reason
Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
Eczema /xanthemia/ skin eruptions/pimples/prickles
high blood pressure
Metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance)
Postnasal drip/excessive mucus/throat clearing
Low immune system, (colds/flu every month)
Unable to concentrate
Anxiety for no reason, feelings of doom
Overweight, unable to lose weight
Overnight weight gains/losses
Nausea on waking in the morning
Blurred vision at times
All these symptoms have now disappeared, such is the power of the foods we eat.
I would like to encourage others to give change a chance in order to experience a “new life” too.