Ironically my initial research into diet relating to health was in isolation from my research into ethical eating, I hadn’t joined the dots but I quickly found the two go hand in hand. All of the same topics kept coming up. The prominent fact was that a plant based diet is at the route of all stories relating to diet preventing and combating health issues (diabetes, cancers, blood pressure, heart disease the list goes on). That fact has heavily influenced this blog. I love this story from Ella, she transformed her diet and in doing so transformed her health and journey. Her cook books and ideas are amazing and easy to follow.
Shared for Ella’s website – this whole journey started as a reaction to an illness that I was diagnosed with in 2011, called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. The illness had a pretty devastating effect on my life, both mentally and physically. Physically, my autonomic nervous system struggled to function properly which meant that I couldn’t control my heart rate and blood pressure properly (my heart rate would go from about 60 when I was sitting to 180 or so as soon as I stood up!), I also had a whole host of other issues form terrible stomach problems to constant headaches, lots of allergic reactions and chronic fatigue – so I spent almost all my time on my own in bed. I had just turned twenty at this point, and I felt so alienated from my friends, I really struggled to get my head around what was happening and I cut myself off from everyone and allowed myself to sink into an incredibly unhappy place. I was taking a lot of medication, but sadly it didn’t do much for me.
After a while I realised that I needed to try and help myself as much as I could. I started reading and learning about diet and lifestyle, and the way that these factors can help manage illnesses. I was incredibly inspired by what I was finding and decided to change the way I was living to see if it would help. I cut out processed foods from my diet and took up a whole-foods, plant based diet.
Changing the way that I ate was so hard. It was a massive change for me, as my student diet had revolved around ice cream, chocolate, cereal, pasta and a whole host of other processed foods. I was a real sugar monster and I couldn’t really cook! I had never eaten quinoa, kale or almond milk before and I certainly didn’t think about reading ingredients lists on foods. Over time (about two years) I was able to manage the symptoms of the illness and eventually come off all the medication. I’d simultaneously started seeing a nutritionist and undertook an exercise program from my doctor, both of which really supported this process.