For the past three years or so I clearly noticed I was having symptoms or health conditions one after another to the point where my body couldn’t keep up. Even after seeing SO many doctors and health practitioners, nothing seemed to improve.

The icing on the (not so nice) cake was on my honeymoon, a trip that was supposed to be fun, delicious and romantic, instead, I was in bed for most of it and eating watermelon (not to say watermelon isn’t delicious). I was scared and angry and knew I couldn’t keep living this way.

Another big tell tale sign was my skin – my face has been covered in cystic acne for 3 years now on and off which is very foreign to me having had clear skin for most of my life. And no, it’s not hormonal issues, it’s a streptococcus and epstein barr issue combined with other stuff. This (yet again) has really tested my Self Love Junkie ‘walk my talk’ work.

Some days I can barely look at myself and find it hard to love what I see in the mirror and just breakdown in tears. These days are getting less as I come into acceptance. Also, in those circumstances I would only stare into my eyes and choose to believe what God says about me.

Once I feel the love and compassion I start to acknowledge the qualities I do like about myself. For example: “I love how brave and persistent you are.” The key is to find something that you genuinely love and appreciate about yourself, whether that’s a personality trait or a physical characteristic. And to understand, even with the imperfections, like every other human, you’re still worthy and loveable exactly as you are.

If you’ve experienced long term health conditions you would know that eventually you feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself and not living up to your full potential which can feel heartbreaking.

Hundreds of hours of research and thousands of dollars later, when we got back home I decided to get further (non traditional) blood work done because western medicine had failed me. Without getting into the whole nitty gritty and complications of it all, basically my body had reached immune dysregulation. Which meant a number of things, I had high histamine levels so I couldn’t get laser on my legs (ladies, you know how tragic that is), body couldn’t bounce back from viruses, salmonella etc. chronic fatigue, insomnia, allergies, dizziness, depression, too many to list here but you get the drift.

What I’m trying to say here is, when the body is filled with toxins from viruses, pathogens, bacteria etc, and if it cannot effectively eliminate this toxic build up, the body goes into inflammation. If this continues these fatty deposits turn rancid and form into tumours and I dare I say, then cancers. And then we have the labels that happen – auto-immune, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances, etc.

I knew in my gut there was something majorly off on the physical level. I had done so much emotional, mental and spiritual work that even that wasn’t giving me the relief I was looking for (apart from prayer!).

Further, the body can only handle a certain level of trauma and stress for a short amount of time before it starts to die off. If the body is in a negative state it’s difficult to heal and EATING CLEAN or LIVING HEALTHY WAS NOT THE ONLY ANSWER FOR ME and evidently, my body proved that to be true.

I was passed that and needed something more intense like a detox. So I took 6 weeks off from ‘normal life’ and did a juicing detox program under the guidance of a health practitioner. Did I become entirely healed after those 6 weeks? No because it’s taken years for my health to be where it’s at today. But it did give me the jumpstart that I desperately needed.

I’ve spent close to 5 years researching these health concerns (and many others) as to why I had all of these symptoms which the doctors would just label and tell me that I was fine or there was nothing else I could do.

For me, my health crisis has been years in the making – it was the previous trauma stored in my body, my lifestyle, what I ate and drank, my mind, and nutrient deficiencies that put my body out of balance. I worked too much. I didn’t rest (only when my body forced me to). My mind was intense and overanalysed with jittery thoughts. And I felt stress almost daily (and without realising it because it became my normal).

I’m sharing this because there are 4 important lessons I’ve learned through this looong journey that I really want to share with you:

1. Work out what is the best healing diet for you
The nutrition and wellness field is not black or white. Do your own research and follow your gut with what resonates with you. There are many paths to healing. One size most certainly does not fit all. I’ve heard people heal only eating cooked food (Ayerveda healing and cleanse) as well as on raw or a combination of raw and cooked. The fact remains that some people will do better with a cooked cleanse than a raw cleanse and vice versa. For me, adding in more raw foods has helped me tremendously and one man who has contributed to my healing is Anthony Williams aka Medical Medium. In addition, I learned from Dr. Motley to eat an anti-inflammatory diet to decrease my brain fog and inflammation (and so many other things, he’s AMAZING). These are the common foods that he says causes the most inflammation: (excerpt from his article Brain Fog and Digestion)

  • Wheat (gluten and gliadin proteins)
  • Corn (Zein protein)
  • Soy (soy flour)
  • Dairy 
  • Night shades
  • Processed sugar

Overall, I like to keep it simple: eat more life force, that is, freshly prepared seasonal foods, staying away from inflammatory foods when your body is in crisis is critical, and good supplementation to help your body where needed.

2. Stop blaming yourself for being sick
The personal development industry can make us feel guilty by saying that we manifest everything, including our illness. This does not help. While I believe in the power of the mind-body connection and that the body can reveal where we’re holding onto trauma, mental stress, or limiting beliefs in the form of disease (producing an acidic body)…at some point when we’ve done all the healing from our emotional trauma we are left to deal with just the physical. So please, stop blaming yourself for ‘creating’ your sickness. When we know better, we do better.

3. Stress and exhaustion
Mentally if you are stressed for a prolonged period of time, the fight or flight response which produces cortisol, if not eliminated from the body deposits into your cells producing an ideal environment for disease. This was the direction I was heading. It was the prolonged cortisol and stress (trauma) that put my body into oxidative stress and my previous diet. I was not eating enough antioxidants and life force foods to balance out the inflammation. From personal experience and the work I’ve done in this area, the more I believe that the biggest issue is (bad) stress because there’s also such a thing that is healthy stress which is good for building resilience. However, bad stress takes away our happiness, health and peace and also moves us away from who we really are and living our full potential.

4. Work out what a right life is for YOU
Discover who you really are – what are your deepest needs, happiness, and peace? And then express who you are on the deepest level while nourishing your body and soul. Infuse beauty and joy into your everyday, finding ways to stop and smell the roses so to speak. Work towards how you’d like your daily wellness and self-care routine and rituals to look like. And learn to get those running wild thoughts out of your head and onto paper to create something meaningful.

As a result of my journey I’ve cleared my life of what made me feel stressed, unhappy or out of alignment. I have a daily healthy mindset ritual. I’m currently on a plant-based anti-inflammatory diet, try to manage a low stress lifestyle, detox my lymph system regularly (a must to avoid toxic build up), on high quality supplements, and I infuse daily ‘luxe mini-me moments.’

These luxe mini-me moments could simply be having something delicious with a cup of tea, surrounded by pretty things and good books that deeply nourish my body and soul.

Which is why I am SO passionate about living a life that expresses who you are on the deepest level and loving what you see in the mirror. Because when we feel good we can pursue our passions, have better relationships and just be happier doing life.

Overall, our bodies heal holistically. It’s all of us – mind, body, spirit and soul and if one part is out of balance the entire system becomes out of balance.

I’m not perfect. I’ve deterred many times off my healing diet but I notice my symptoms crawl back. It’s another journey that is teaching me many things. It’s not easy, some days I just want to stay underneath my covers but thankfully, those days are becoming less.

If you’re currently experiencing health challenges, I know so many people are suffering from chronic conditions, you’re definitely not alone. I’m here to support you and encourage you that it’s not a forever thing (and I know it can feel like it at times) IF you do what is needed for your body.

You will heal. You are in the process of healing. You are not to blame. You are worthy to heal. You deserve to heal. You do not need to be punished and stay sick. You are not your sickness or your illness. You are a child of God and therefore a beautiful divine being of the light.

I would love to know which lesson resonates with you the most right now, 1,2,3 or 4?? Just comment below. 🙂

With so much love and compassion,
Irene

❤️