Published on Wednesday 23 January 2013
As it’s the New Year 2013, I’m going to share a very personal story with you. It’s a tale of how I have begun to conquer stress, and all the psychosomatic symptoms that go with it. My journey towards optimum nutrition, began in 2004, when I turned 40, and coincidentally, also discovered kundalini yoga, which I now teach in London and Kent.
As a baby I had suffered from atopic ezcema and IBS, then as a child, I would go to school bound up in bandages to cover the weeping sores of my chronic ezcema. I hardly ever participated in sport and was rarely able to use the swimming pool at Oaklands Junior school in Weeds Wood.
To alleviate the symptoms I used Hydrocortisone and other stronger steroids which thin the skin.
As I got older, at 17 moving to Paris to live, my ezcema got worse, now covering my face and making my eyes swell up so much I could hardly see. Although I didn’t realise at the time, their heavy use of refined white flour in baguettes and sauces was sending my skin into crisis mode.
With chronic ezcema, it is also difficult to move, as the skin becomes immobile, and the pain is akin to being stabbed by tiny hot needles. This severely compromised and disrupted my quality of life. Also, if ever I ate unusual food I would sometimes be spending the whole day in the loo, or always rushing there at short notice.
Before awareness of how diet can affect your health became mainstream, (pre 1990s) the connection for me was never apparent.
Fast forward to 2005, with much worsening symptoms including muscle and joint pain, and a chance encounter with the wonderful Rhoda in Holland and Barrett in Chatham, I booked up an appointment to have a food allergy test. I was told I was allergic to wheat, dairy, eggs and the Belladonna family of vegetables (aubergines, chilies, potatoes etc) and E160 colouring agent.
This was the turning point. It took me a good three years to discipline myself to eliminate these foods completely, and to check for their content in foods, such as sauces and bulking agents.
My epiphany came on New Year’s Eve 2007/8, when, I proved to friends the level of my allergic reaction by eating a Yorkshire pudding. Within miutes my eyes were swollen and tearing and very itchy. I vowed to adhere strictly to the diet as my New Year’s resolution. By March 2008, my ezcema, IBS, muscle and joint pain and Candida had all disappeared, and I had lost 20 kilos. From weighing 11st6lbs, I now weighed just over 9st.
To say this revolutionised my life is an understatement; the psychological effect of losing all these afflictions was incredible. I became a different person, more positive more open to new challenges. It also completely changed my relatonships; I became more assertive and less reliant on others, and less self-pitying.
Often I wondered if I should reintroduce these foodstuffs into my diet, so last Saturday I booked an allergy update with Jennifer, nutritionist with InHarmony, at the Health House in Chatham, opposite Argos. She was amazed at my transformation and thrilled to see that I had no vitamin, mineral or essential fatty acid deficiencies, despite my strict diet. She said the allergies were all still present, and that I should avoid them for the rest of my life. She also encouraged me to go for 100% adherance, as I admitted that I sometimes enjoyed kettle chips or the odd petrol station cappucino! Who knows what I will acheive if I manage this? And who knows what would have happened to me if I hadn’t eliminated these foods? Allergies seem to worsen with age, and even compound themselves, so you can become allergic to more things the longer you ignore the symptoms. Quite frightening!
Nowadays however I do manage to eat quantities of ‘normal’ food with no adverse reactions. I have cured myself!
That, and of course practising kundalini at the George Vaults in Rochester High Street on a Saturday morning 10-11am and at my own Haig Sanctuary at 37 Haig Ave Rochester ME1 2RZ on Tuesdays at 7pm, £5 per person. This helps to keep me focussed and calm, reducing stress. In fact, I do believe that the kundalini yoga opened the pathway for me to transform my life! Come and join us! For more detail of classes and day spa workshops, follow the link below to my website.