11 May The Juice Queen’s Diaries
Confessions of a hedonistic yogini…
It’s the beginning of Summer 2018, 1 day past the full moon, day 1 of my period. I’m tired and my skin looks dull. I’m 41. My children are 18 and 14. It’s time.
I know about health. I know lots. And I like to enjoy myself. Sometimes I drink, smoke, occasionally take recreational drugs, stay up all night, eat cake for breakfast or at 3am…judge me depending on your hierarchy of sin I guess. I believe in going fully with the flow and loving every moment. I work super hard on things that fire me up. I love helping and healing people. I give out a lot. If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. This applies to work, love, partying — everything. I’m only going to be here once (in this form) as far as I know and like Frank said, I’m doing it my way. I practice yoga, I’m dedicated though not a purist and that’s hard for some to understand, luckily that’s not my problem. All things in balance I say and that is why I juice.
Food is medicine. I know this. And good supplements are pre-emptive medicine. I learned how important this is about 14 years ago.
When my son was a few weeks old, before I knew all the things I know now, he had his first inoculations. Shortly after that, he started throwing up after every feed, had almost constant ear infections that gave rise to 2am hospital visits and generally transformed from a content baby that fed and slept really well to a sick and fractious one.
I had a 4 year old too and found it increasingly difficult to cope. He’d breastfeed really well for about 20 minutes then as soon as he sat up would projectile vomit the whole lot. This happened 3 or 4 times a day to the point that I used to lay bath towels on the floor in his room before I fed him. He’d sleep for a few minutes then wake again because he was hungry. The same thing would happen and I would run out of milk. I think I used to cry almost as much as he did.
His weight dropped off the charts in the little red book they use to measure all the things that prove whether you’re a good parent or not, I actually mean all the health statistics, but yes I felt judged. I gave up on Doctors after a bit. The only thing they offered me was antibiotics, confused looks and impatient disregard. I felt like a somewhat loopy and frustrated nuisance. I knew it wasn’t reflux and I knew I wasn’t mad. And I still had a poorly baby that I desperately wanted to make better. So we went to see a homeopath. Before you stop reading, those of you who are eye rolling — this story is not about how homeopathic remedies changed mine or my son’s world and made everything ok. The jury is still very much out for me on homeopathic medicine, I find it to be like every other form of remedy or healing — when it’s the right one it works, when it isn’t — it doesn’t. So, this tale isn’t going that way, relax. What this lovely man did say is that in his 40 years of experience, he had seen this type of reaction quite a few times and it was usually as a result of the cocktail of injections (6 in 1 !!!) given to the baby as a matter of course when they are around 8 weeks old. The combination of drugs amounts to a huge attack on the fragile and new immune system causing it to reject benign molecules contained in some foods.
In 2018 this feels like common knowledge. I mean we even have a whole Free From aisle in the supermarket now. But in 2003, not so much. Luckily I love research and information assimilation (no, really, I do) so I began to read everything I could find out. Medical journals, studies, anti-allergenic formula milks that were only available on prescription, how a gluten-free and dairy-free diet was a protocol for people with autism, the different parts of dairy that one could be intolerant to (whey or casein), how the gut had its own nervous system, how certain molecules can pass the blood brain barrier and cause chemical imbalance and mood reactions, it was entrancing and time consuming.
There was so much trial and error.
I think that realizations and learnings sink down layer by layer over time depending on one’s self-confidence and ability to absorb new learning. I’m a good learner but I wasn’t so self confident in those days. For some reason I would hesitate to make a fuss if the nursery fed him milky custard with his pudding even though I knew he’d either throw up in the car or have a 2 hour tantrum that evening (yes intolerances can do that). Somewhere in my mind I’d rationalised that because it wouldn’t put him in hospital, it wasn’t a proper allergy and thus I’d be somehow overdoing it to complain. This is upsetting to me still, that I would have so little confidence in my own instincts as a mother that I’d refrain from speaking up and my son would suffer for that. But he was my teacher. I often say this. And it’s a happy ending so…bear with.
Over time, the research continued, diet in our household changed, I did my own experiments on myself, I noticed I was quite intolerant to some foods too — dairy and wheat in particular. As I began to eat what I was preparing for my son, I changed. Eczema cleared, energy levels increased, weight dropped off. I started to make the connection between a high and well functioning immune system and the body’s ability to cope well with foods that may have been considered troublesome beforehand. It was as if a veil had been lifted.
My son is 15 this year and stronger than ever. He doesn’t touch cow’s milk or cheese, he can’t stand them and he has a very keen sense of what food his body wants and will thrive on. He goes to the gym and is fit and healthy. He drinks juice too — carrot, apple and ginger is his favourite.
Why am I telling you all this? I didn’t actually intend to tell this story. Though in the telling I realise the enormous influence it has had over my life choices and path to this point. Food literally made my son healthy again after injections damaged him. Good food choices keep me clear of skin disorders I have had since childhood and balance me out emotionally when my body is paying for moments of less healthy fun. In constitution I’m quite sensitive — digestion and immunity-wise, when I don’t pay attention to my diet and don’t take supplements I do get ill — even when I’m being healthy in all other ways…
I want to tell you the next part of the story too…the healing, the integration of every part of me, the parts I was ashamed of, the party girl, the juice queen and healthy yogini, the mother, the ex-wife and how I stopped segregating my behaviours into good and bad and how balance happens…(to be continued)