September 10, 2013

My Food Philosophy: Holistic Health

La Boqueria Market, Barcelona / June 2013
'Let food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be food.' - Hippocrates 
I’ve rewritten this post a couple of times over – careful not to overshare but wanting to be honest.

I have had a turbulent relationship with food, my weight and self-esteem. Rewind three years ago, and I was still a teenager riddled with anxieties about her body and plagued with low self-esteem. I was caught in a vicious cycle from approximately age 13, where I would (always secretly) diet, lose weight, plateau, eat my feelings, regain weight. Counting calories (and then later diet pills, laxatives, starvation) consumed my thoughts.

Every year I took at least a couple months off school, because I was always sick. My immune system was essentially non-existent, my skin was sallow and pale,  I would break out into acne and rashes, my mind was foggy and worst of all were the terrible mood swings I suffered. It became impossible for me to escape my emotions, I hated what I saw in the mirror and I hated myself.

All of this, I attribute to my then-diet. My diet was highly processed. I was uneducated in nutrition, and misled by advertising to believe that products labelled diet/low-fat/low-sugar/low-calorie were healthy. In the context of a product, out of a box, off the shelf, with a label - these terms are not synonymous with health. Just as fast food is artificial, these foods are loaded with artificial sweeteners, sodium, food preservatives, colouring, flavouring. There was nothing nutritious about the food I was eating, and the condition of my body and health fully reflected this.

Present day, I eat a nutrient rich, plant based diet. My diet is not always perfect, but I am very conscious about making good food decisions and focus on eating whole foods. I used to focus on the quantity of the calories I was consuming, now I focus on the quality. I have no doubts that the chemicals in the foods I used to eat played absolute havoc with my clarity of mind and emotions. (Not to mention I was always starving – how can any positive thoughts find room in a brain that can only think about when it will be allowed to eat again!) I have made a ritual of eating, and I have become so mindful of this that I can almost feel the cells in my body being nourished with every mouthful. Food is no longer my enemy, and I can enjoy it.

I never deprive myself of food - the eternal sadness which used to consume me (potentially also chemical imbalance in my brain) have disappeared, I am motived and full of energy, I have clarity of mind, my skin glows, my eyes sparkle, I’m never sick and I have lost around 10 kilos – all of which has stayed off, regardless of how much I eat. The countless changes and benefits that my body has undergone since adopting this lifestyle and since altering my relationship with food, have been so extreme that I could never go back to my old diet, and return to that starved and undernourished girl. Food is literally my medicine and has healed me of all my previous ailments.

Make no mistake – while I mention that I did lose weight, I am in no way advocating this as some quick-fix weight loss solution. This is a holistic health lifestyle approach that first and foremost seeks to nourish the body therefore increasing vitality, and serving to prevent illness (rather than curing illness with medication.) It requires far more time, commitment and dedication than microwaving Jenny Craig meals but it is a lifestyle that I have adhered to because of the way it’s made me feel. It has completely changed my outlook on life and the way I value myself, so the decision to stick with it has not been based solely on the way it’s made me look.

It’s important to me that I share my experiences and spread the knowledge which I have acquired along the way. A misconception exists that ‘diet’ products are healthy, but in reality these products are void of any nutrition and are literally poisoning our body and minds. I believe if the food industries weren’t controlled by the government, people would receive a more sound education in nutrition, and effectively, with this deeper understanding, would cease to be misled by food advertising.

I wish for people to see their self-worth and value their bodies. I hope for people to invest more time in their health, so here on out, I will post at least one entry per week outlining tips for wellbeing, reviewing health products I’ve tried or recipes which make up the staples of my diet.


  1. Hi! I really like your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster Awards! You can find the rules and my questions to you here;
    Hope you'll enjoy nominating others!
    Love, Annika

  2. Really amazing post!! I found this so relatable and inspirational. I've nominated you for a liebster award, if you would like to take part check out my blog for the details.
    Demiana xo

  3. This is such a great post, I have been considering changing my diet for a while now, not because everything i eat is unhealthy, but because its hard to keep up with preparing healthy meals all the time when you have such a busy schedule. I am determined to make a change though!
    saida xx

    1. It really does take a bit more time to eat healthy compared to cooking out of a box - it just takes planning! I'll be posting some tips in the near future - good luck xx

  4. It seems we are in alignment in food philosophies. I eat a whole foods plant-based diet and it's bettered my life so much to rid myself of animal products and processed junk. My body and mind feel better.

    1. I will never tire of hearing this! I wish people were more aware of the benefits of eating whole foods x

  5. Where do you think you got your body angst from? My mother was/is anorexic and has very warped ideas on bodies and nutrition. I learnt to (finally) eat better when I was trying to conceive and going through IVF. I eat meat, however my diet is now the 90/10 rule. 90% healthy whole foods. 10% allowing myself a icecream. I am 45 and lost all of the baby weight I gained within three months and credit whole foods.

    1. I'm sorry to hear that about your mother. I know the effect that negative influence can have on your self-worth - I think a lot of my body angst came from my mother being on diets my entire childhood and never thinking she was good enough (when she definitely was.) From there I imagine it escalated from the images the media drummed into my head as being 'perfect' and 'beautiful.' When I think back about the medias influence on how I viewed my body I feel a little silly, but when you're young and impressionable these things really do affect you. I think the 90/10 rule is fabulous if it works for you - we definitely know what's best for our own bodies and should follow a lifestyle that suits us best, as long as the majority comes from eating whole foods! Congrats on your progress and all the best for you and your bub xx