Six months after moving to England from Guyana in 2001,I developed a skin rash on my face,and my body was covered with unexplained spots. My menstrual cycle changed from a normal twenty-eight day cycle to a fourteen days cycle, with very heavy bleeding. I felt awful and was very self-conscious. On top of that I gained a massive amount of weight over a very short period of time. I just could not understand what was happening to me. Thankfully, many months down the line, someone introduced me to a lovely lady call Allison who used a holistic approach to women health. She helped me restore my body and gain my confidence back. She was truly a blessing to me. Allison educated me about avoiding process foods, non organic mass farmed animal proteins like chicken, beef, pork and fish, and dairy. She will always say to me “don’t consume it if it’s not organic, because they are reaping havoc with your health”. Me and my friends nick named her “the no flesh lady” she was vegan by the way.
You see, my body had reacted to the change of diet and lifestyle after moving from Guyana to England. In my early childhood years,I grew up on a farm near the border of Venezuela among the Amerindians natives. By the way, my grandmother was from the Arawak tribe. So I ate mostly home cooked organic whole foods. Freshly picked fruits and vegetables – root vegetables like yams, plantains, cassava, eddoes, sweet potatoes, freshly caught fish from nearby non polluted creeks and rivers and wild meat hunted by the natives, eggs from the chicken we reared, cassava bread made by the natives. Me and my little sister Melisa would spend hours out in the fields picking and eating fruits, nuts and wild berries and so on…get the flow? We grew up healthy, never got ill apart from common colds but not very often.
In my mid teens, me, my brother Samuel and my youngest sister Milesa moved to the city – Georgetown to continue our education. But as you can imagine life in the city was different in many ways, its not as “pure” as in the country. But fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish was still the oder of the day.Mum made sure we ate pretty much the same kind of foods as we did back home in the country. She would send us a basket or a box of food every week with the passenger/cargo ferry coming from North West to Georgetown – she made sure that we had the foods we loved ‘just like mums do’.
Fast food was never a big part of our culture back then as it is now. Snack for us was pickled mango, gooseberries, golden apple or just plain simple fresh fruits picked from our farm or our neigbours and friends gardens, plantain chips and tamarind balls, and we drunk water or homemade fruit juices. However, sugar is a big part of our diet back in Guyana as it is one of the country’s main exports. We had occasional sweets treats and’ very occasional’ chocolate treats. While here in the UK, foods are more highly processed with Trans fat, high in sugar and salt and added artificial sweeteners. Dairy and wheat are highly consumed as compared to Guyana. Fast foods and ready-made meals are very much a cultural thing here. So when the change came, my body screamed out loud and hard.
Allison got me back eating ‘Real Foods’and taking supplements and used a natural progesterone cream which she made herself to re-balance my hormones as my daily regime.And the progesterone cream aided weight loss too which was a bonus. Since Allison has migrated and I no longer get my cream from her, I now buy mine from here.However, after I got married and moved to Somerset, life changed and so was my life style.
Fast forwarding a bit…..I have developed food intolerance to dairy and wheat after a treatment of antibiotics for my third miscarriage in 2007.
Later that year,I was diagnosed with an auto immune disorder call lupus anticoagulant.It’s where small blood clots develop in the uterus, the placenta can be cut off; leaving the fetus void of the oxygen and nutrient supply it needs to survive. So this had caused me multiply miscarriages (five in total). Not only did I have to deal with the feeling of loss, confusion, and sadness, looking for answers and questioning God –why me?. I also had to work through the resentment towards my pregnant friends, colleague or any women that would “fall” pregnant every time they sneezed. It got better over the years, but some days it was still be hard to think about it.I had gained so much weight between miscarriages, so much so that my consultant told me I had to lose weight for a chance of a healthy and full term pregnancy – so I did. I lost over five stone through a weight lose programme.