My relationship with food has kindled all kinds of emotions over the years - from pain, guilt and anxiety to happiness, gratitude, enjoyment and a feeling of pure nourishment. Through my own health recovery process I believe I have managed to find the perfect balance that works for me. Importantly, I recognise that when it comes to lifestyle and nutrition medicine, given that we are all unique individuals, what works for me may not work for others. Advice and guidance must be tailored to each individual's unique needs. That being said, and despite not being a nutritionist myself, I would like to share my own story on what has allowed me to feel empowered and encouraged to take responsibility of my own health and how I have found passion, happiness and strength through food.
Battling with unexplained stomach aches, inflammation, uncomfortable fullness, confusing thoughts and a lack of energy in day to day life was an extremely worrying, painful and frustrating experience for me. During this time of vulnerability, in discovering that I had developed a gluten and dairy intolerance after seeking out support from a naturopathic nutritionist, I came to understand how inter-connected everything is. I recognised how I could use nutrition to address not only the symptoms I was experiencing but the actual root causes of my weakened state of health and well-being. It was a complete learning curve for me. My introduction to this approach to health not only created an immediate foundation to my healing process but also a growing drive to want to learn more, experiment more, eat more and most importantly - begin listening to my body more! The sudden change in diet wonderfully opened up a myriad of delicious and nutritious food options, radically strengthening both my physical health and psychological well-being.
I was taught that Naturopathy promotes the belief that dis-ease comes about to promote healing: problems occur that take us in the right direction to align us with our search for meaning. In implementing this approach people are encouraged to understand their history and how they have become ill, ultimately helping them develop a deeper understanding of themselves and to encourage them to accept a greater responsibility for their own health care.
In becoming acquainted with the practice I was educated in the art of self-care and of the steps I needed to take to restore balance to my body, to bring peace to my mind, and to reconnect with natural cycles. The approach placed an emphasis on all aspects of life, encompassing: lifestyle, environment, physical health, as well as mental, emotional and spiritual balance. In adopting this multidimensional approach to my own health, not only was my physical condition addressed but all factors relating to my health and well-being, with each being considered equally as important to detoxifying and cleansing my body.
To strengthen this process of healing an emphasis was placed on using the most natural, least toxic and least invasive methods with a particular focus on using food as medicine, particularly live foods, herbs, plants and super-foods. A plant-based diet was encouraged given the indisputable support it has received in enabling people to heal and stay well more effectively. Understandably, there's an appreciation of the variations in individual needs and lifestyles and as such recommended dietary therapies differ from person to person. This was made clear to me from the very beginning, with my own journey of growth and nourishment being based solely on assessments of my unique interaction with nutrients and my surrounding environment.
Whether you are undergoing struggles concerning your own health or simply recognise that this is an approach you could take to nourish your body and to flourish in your life, becoming familiar with the practice of naturopathy can be the beginning to a very empowering and exciting journey of self-discovery and good health. Myself, I have found pleasure through food, energy through food and strength through food. It is my love for food, my ever-growing nutritional knowledge and drive to use it as a preventative tool to better health and avoid ill-health that excites me and makes me want to share this passion with those around me.
I plan to study a holistic nutrition course in the near future and have started to expand my learning experience through co-creating a food blog celebrating delicious, colourful and nutritionally packed meals (link to blog: https://www.tuttifruttitastes.com/)