So here goes my first ever post on my first ever blog!
My name is Anastasia (Anula for short). I am part British and part Greek (Cretan to be exact).
I have been fortunate enough to live and breathe the love of food ever since I was a dumpy little toddler due to my Mum’s amazing home cooking. I have cooked for as long as I can remember and although I have always eaten home cooked wholesome food I started really learning about the food we eat and creating my own recipes a few years back when I randomly decided to acquire every food intolerance under the sun. Following on from this I made the decision to cut out refined sugar completely from my diet.
Almonds and Chickpeas are also a no go for me simply based on how groggy I feel when eating them. Everyone is different and I would never tell anyone to stop eating something completely. It is up to you and your body to decide that.
Looking one step further and purely to be healthy I try to limit refined foods in my diet. These can cause you to be lethargic and bloated so why would I choose that when I can have food that tastes just as good but 10 times better for you? I also really believe that if you eat right your body is ready for anything and you are in a much better position to beat any pesky illness that comes your way. Having said this I am in no way a saint and I do have a bit of a weakness for amazing breads and of course pitta so I make allowances from time to time.
My food strife’s
I am one of those annoying people who doesn’t know what relaxing is. I always have to try every hobby I possibly can(even if it only lasts a week). So me being me I thought it would be an amazing experience to start rowing……….why not? I started to really get the bug and thought I was doing pretty well, if I may say so myself. A few weeks in the inevitable happened and I fell in to the River Thames(don’t worry I promise it will all make sense soon as to why i’m going on about a river and a rowing boat…….
Following my ungraceful fall I never thought that there were any risks attached. just embarrassment and the shivers from that blimming cold river. However 2 days after my clumsy mishap I got what I assumed was food poisoning. At the time I blamed it on an undercooked poached egg at Carluccios (sorry guys). I was ill, I mean really ill and then it never seemed to go away.
For around 6 months I was being sick 2-3 times a day, constantly exhausted and the headaches were draining. I had about a million doctor’s appointments and tests yet all they seemed to come up with is that it must be acid reflux…………. I mean really? I got to the point where I was on 13 different pills a day each one to treat the side effects of the other and I had had enough. Keeping any type of relationship or job was nearing on impossible. This was not how a young girl in her 20’s should be living and the whole feeling sorry for myself thing was wearing pretty thin.
Having lost my trust with our healthcare system and being bored of them trying to convince me that I was fine I started to do some research. I cut out various food groups such as wheat and dairy but not much changed. So the research continued and I started to look at online forums.
I mean someone must have had this before right? I know I’m a little bit of an odd ball but surely not by that much. And it turns out that I wasn’t alone, there have been so many women who have spent months if not years being unwell from sickness and nausea, chronic fatigue and constant migraines. There are heaps of discussions online about the exact thing that I was experiencing and it was all related to food. There where so many people who couldn’t eat so many different things, my eyes opened up to a new level of food intolerances.
Many women claimed that alternative therapists fixed them and life has been hunky dory ever since. So with help from my little friend google I found a local Lady who is a nutritionist but also practices in Kinesiology. I had no clue what this was but I was at the point of trying anything so I went along.
When meeting this very calm and poised lady she lay me down and did some stuff with magnets, hovering them over my body and pushing different pressure points. I would be lying if I said that I felt optimistic at this point in time. She then placed various vials over my stomach and tested my body’s strength against them through pushing my leg down (again ehh?)
After all this testing it turned out that I had a very serious invasion of parasites attacking my body and that the only exposure I had to such a high level of these critters was my earlier fall in the River Thames. She explained that in turn as my body was trying to fight off these parasites it had also started to reject certain foods, thus causing my current state. The main food that my body was rejecting was Sugar, Cane Sugar to be exact. At this point I was pleased that someone was giving me answers but still unsure of my confidence in this method. Being happy to try anything so I took an ointment she prescribed and I cut sugar out of my diet 100% along with Chickpeas, Eggs, Almonds, Red wine and cow’s milk.
About a week after going cold turkey the nausea and headaches were still there but I hadn’t been sick once so I kept to it. After 2 weeks the nausea was disappearing. This was the most amazing thing; I can’t even begin to explain how good this felt. After about a month my energy was slowly coming back and the headaches were disappearing. I had my 6 week follow up at which time they therapist advised that I can start to introduce all the foods I had cut out slowly. So I went ahead and tried one by one but as soon as I tried sugar again I went back to feeling AWFUL!!!! So I made the decision right then and there to cut out sugar for good. This all happened over 3 years ago. It took me a good year to get back to being me but since leading a refined sugar free diet I have never had more energy or felt healthier, I won’t lie cutting out sugar was probably one of the most challenging things I have had to do. It affected my social life and my day to day convenience but as soon as you get used to it then it becomes second nature.
Since saying bye bye to refined sugar I have tried to introduce Almonds and chickpeas into my diet but the results are the same, a bloated horrible mess so I bid adue to hummus as I knew it!
I am not going to go too much into fitness as this is a food blog after all but exercise is very much part of my balanced lifestyle. When I was 20 I underwent some major surgery on both my ankles which left me in a wheelchair for a little while(yes I know I am a walking health disaster). Following on from this surgery I was told that I won’t be able to ever run or do any high impact sports again, nor can I take long walks on any uneven ground. So those romantic beach walks are out of the question…..
As keeping fit has always been important to me and how my choice in exercise was always running or hockey I felt a bit stumped and got a bit lazy. The older I got the more I realised that exercise is again a balance (I am going to annoy you all with this word by time I’m done) My ethos in fitness is to feel healthy, not to look like I live at the gym. I also don’t think there is a right or wrong type of exercise and would never preach to someone on the matter. It is about what works for you.
Cardio and Strength training is what works for me so Yoga, spin and mild weight training is my little drug cocktail. Although I love exercise and do it as much as I can, food will always be my number one source of enjoyment so I had to strike fitness modelling off my career possibility list. It’s a hard life to be a foodie.