Christmas pics with interspersed health talk.

December 26, 2010 § 9 Comments

I’m always a big grinch in the lead-up to Christmas, but when the day arrives, a sheepish smile spreads across my gimpy features as I delicately unwrap gifts on xmas morning, and watch my loved ones do the same. Even better, is sitting around a simply laid table in the stillness of a sweltering Australian afternoon surrounded by excellent food and charming, intelligent and slightly intoxicated individuals.

2 tiny bursts of flavour as grown on our balcony, still warm from the sun.

Mum has a Kombi fetish. She evidently carries the dominant hippie gene that has been passed down; although I can’t say I share the same enthusiasm for novelty salt & pepper shakers.

Amongst the happy snaps, I thought I’d share a little health-related happenings of late. After all, this is a health blog if I remember correctly, with a decidedly photographic slant of late.

One of the reasons my healthy-living libido dropped a few weeks ago, and the blog became decidedly undernourished, was that I became sick. Sick with some kind of viral infection that, while not severe enough to lay me low, persisted with irritating, uncomfortable symptoms. In fact, on day 10 of the raw food trial I started coming down with these flu-like symptoms; my nose was gushing like Victoria falls and at the same time, I turned to cooked comfort food to satisfy an errant cookie craving. In hindsight this was probably part of the entire detox process, and I’ve also read that illnesses that you’ve had in the past can resurface before leaving your body for good. I had quite severe glandular fever when I was about 16 (mononucleosis) and I felt perhaps this was again rearing it’s fugly head.

Since then it’s safe to say, I’ve been a cruel mistress to my already immunocompromised insides. Compounding the sickness, i’ve been eating super clean for one week, then downing an array of franken-foods the next (some not even vegan – no meat of course, but ice cream and cheese may have featured). I don’t feel I have to stick to a rigid vegan ideal (however I would never touch cringe-worthy cage eggs or pig-fat soft serve); it’s more that my innards have been subjected to a roller coaster of dietary randomness, with foreign foods not seen for months, interspersed with super-food smoothies and wholesome raw goodies.

In an oversized nutshell, I have felt decidedly unhinged and have called into question both my general health, and the respect that seemed to be altogether absent in my dealings with my own body.

Why was I sick when I continually invest so much into my health?

Am I deficient in something?

Did I go into the raw diet too fast and cause myself greater harm than good?

Why do I find myself constantly placing undue stress on my body (ie. eating way too many sweets in a sitting & effectively sending my body into crazy adrenal overload)?

Why why why why why for the love of all that is sprouted why?

For if there’s one thing i’ve learned, it’s that how we eat is just as important as what we eat. I have a rudimentary understanding of food combining and the importance of proper elimination; I realise that eating some things in combination with others can inhibit the absorption of certain vitamins; I know that if we eat while stressed, we are unable to digest food effectively; I believe that overeating places stress on the body and contributes to ageing and other chronic illness; I feel we need to allow ourselves a little room for fun, frivolity and freedom because happiness is crucial to health, and vice versa.

I could talk about these things until I was blue in the jowls, however putting them into practice has proven more difficult.

So with my recent resolve to avoid orthorexia and be more flexible in my dietary needs (without giving up my predominantly vegan values and committment to health) I also made the decision to:

a) improve my immune function and make sure I am not missing essential factors in my diet.

b) bring more mind into mind/body wellness. A repeat offender for ignoring mental health in favour of the physical, I am taking the lead of individuals I admire and bringing some yoga and meditation into my life. My new mantra is OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM….nom, nom, nom.

c) play nice with my body. Don’t bully, belittle or badger; criticize, castigate or condemn; denounce, degrade or disparage…

d) quit alliterating. It’s doing my head in.

With bizarre illness still kicking on, in a pretty muted, fatigue-ey, throat-ey, gland-ey kinda way, I went and stocked up on Astragalus (for immune function), milk thistle (treat possible liver inflammation from mononucleosis) and Zinc (also for immune function, amongst other things), dosed up on Spirulina, barley grass and seaweeds, have been trying to include adequate protein, and lots of fresh fruit for vitamin C (as always). I’ve also been doing yoga each morning, and sometimes of a night, and generally trying to focus my attention on pacifying my peevish mind (ah, seem to have already reneged on committment d).

Treating your body with kindness may just be the best gift you could give yourself. What do you all think about this approach? Ever had health doubts or moments of questioning your own resolve?

Onto lighter topics, look what Santa brought maj! Isn’t he a hip, rockin’ dude? The speediest, flashiest model of VFF’s no less. I have vibram envy.

Camera bag!

Leftovers from christmas eve dinner. I made a fairly scrumptious quinoa salad from a recipe here. And also a strawberry & baby spinach salad from Golubka – please go to this blog now. It may just be heaven in html.

Dissecting the goods.

Typical aussie bouquet of natives.

Clean plates.

Hope you all had a beautiful, relaxing holiday x

§ 9 Responses to Christmas pics with interspersed health talk.

  • I was just browsing ebay for camera bags, and hopped on over to your blog and look what I saw! Ah Katey, I understand, I really do!! I can word vomit about detox, raw foods, food combining, you name it – but right now I’m nursing a crappy food and alcohol hangover and I feel like a phoney when I fall off the wagon (which happens embarrassingly often). I know I’ve been treating the turn of the year as a fresh start, but then using that as an excuse to eat really poorly until then which isn’t good…argh.
    I believe as well that it has to be a total body-mind journey, and that it’s not all about the foods we put in (or eliminate for that matter). I think it definitely can pay to be a little flexible just to enjoy yourself (especially socially), as stress and negativity etc can be acidic as well. I’ve definitely got to start learning to play nice with my body as well – too often I find myself hung up on physical flaws, but learning all about how bloody brilliant our insides are has helped!
    PS raw foods do stir up a fair amount of mucus in the body… maybe a contributing factor to your bout of flu-ishness? I’ve never had that kind of detox symptom (and trust me, that’s not because I don’t have mucous-ey crap in me to stir up), only because I don’t think I’ve ever been able to commit to eating so cleanly for an extended period of time like you did. Plus I have a little help in the elimination department (although it’s a bit of a waste of money at the moment while my diet is so crappy).
    I always leave your blog thinking that you have a wonderful attitude towards the whole health journey 🙂
    PS photos look freakin amazing!

    • bonne_santé says:

      Thanks Kate – always leave the most thoughtful comments 🙂
      I am with you on the ‘i’ll start eating clean after such and such event’ mentality. A pretty common attitude I feel; we won’t be too hard on ourselves just yet!
      Good luck with the camera bag shopping – i was carrying mine around wrapped in shirts and the like…I looked like a total pro unravelling my zoom lens from amongst an old singlet. A bag is a teensy bit more convenient, definitely! Also, considering it is worth more than my total possessions combined, I would top myself if anything happened to it. Oh the responsibility!
      It’s awesome seeing your beautiful pics on the blog/facebook. Love it!
      P.S your dad getting a bowl screen kit for xmas = funniest shit ever! Well, maybe not for him.

  • aubrey says:

    This is the most true honest beautiful post.

  • Beautiful post! We all ask those questions I think- no matter where we are in the journey to balanced health. I think a lot comes from the fact that even beginning to live the way live starts with a questioning of the accepted norms- and so we continuously seek to find a balance that can work with our goals and with how we want to live within our community (or family).

    • bonne_santé says:

      Thanks for commenting Meghan! I often find myself asking WWMTD? (What Would Meghan Telpner Do?) so your advice is gladly accepted! 😀

  • Jacci says:

    those are the funkiest VFF’s i’ve ever seen. I’m experiencing a very strange sensation of simultaneous food- and shoe- lust.

    Hope you’re Christmas was merry!

    Say hi to your Mum from all of us here at the Allanson Residence.

  • Lindsay says:

    Great post — I’m thinking a lot about this too as the holidays have got me swaying back and forth between super-healthy and junk I don’t even want that I’m eating anyway…

    There’s got to be a middle ground, and that’s what I want to find in 2011! Thanks for putting my brain muddle into words!

  • Great post girl! I have been there too, well actually feel like I am facing health issues again. But I am trying not to stress too much about why I am feeling the way I am, but it is hard to analyze what is going on. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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