This was me- a 21 year old about to go to drama school and looking forward to life on the stage…
To today a naturopath and nutritional therapist passionate about naturally healing body mind and spirit!
I love Fermenting…
So I think you have probably gathered by now that I love fermenting and I love to teach all about it, talk about it and most of all taste all the things I create. I started fermenting for personal reasons. As a naturopath I understood the benefits of bacteria for your digestive system and immune system. But it was only through fermenting that I started to really understand the benefits they have to support the liver, balance hormones, regulate weight distribution, and energy production.
My story starts a LONG time ago. I was a teenager and I was suffering from the usual mood swings, digestive issues that you put down to terrible diet and hormones! I left home at 18 (this also meant a massive change of country, culture and lifestyle) which was hugely stressful and I felt homesick up until… well maybe really until I moved back home two years ago! Again at uni there was a terrible diet (cooking jam toasted sandwiches and eating coleslaw on toast for a long time!) massive blood sugar issues, and HUGE weight gain. I put it down to alcohol, massive reduction in exercise (at school I was always playing hockey, netball or swimming) and plain stress. However I failed to appreciate I was also put on the Oral Contraception pill when I left home! This is when medicine did me a massive favour.
I remember the beginning
I went to talk about my blood sugar issues and requested a glucose test at age 19 (my best friend at the time was a type 1 diabetic and he used to test my blood sugar levels with his machine ‘for fun’). The nurse laughed at me and completely dismissed me- she was the most condescending woman I think I have ever met! Anyway I thank her for 2 reasons. I am pretty sure if I had been tested I may have gone down a pharmaceutical route and my life may be very different now- however instead she instilled in me a deep rooted distrust with the medical system and a reason to look elsewhere for answers- and I found them, in nature.
I found my answers in nature…but it took me a long time to find them!
Along my journey- which was long and hard with huge ups and downs (17 years to be exact!)- I have constantly looked for ways to get balance back. I have tried to eliminate sugar- which worked for a while but has not been the driver. I have tried to increase insulin resistance with chromium, alpha-lipoic acid (helped I think but from a liver support/anti-oxidant point of view), tulsi (Holy Basil in capsule and tea form- which made huge changes for me to help me to start to relax) and again sugar reduction (I now know to w=use whole sugars with all the necessary vitamins and minerals to use the sugar in the body- see here). I have tried to heal my digestive system with glutamine, anti-inflammatory nutrients, to probiotics and elimination diets (gluten and wheat were always the front runners for me with some other things in the mix sometimes). I have done weed, seed and feed protocols (parasite elimination programs), detoxes, food combining and all sorts of ways to try and regulate my digestive system and balance my weight (I have always been apple shaped!) and nothing has really got me as close to normal as fermenting has. I have had two kids and breastfed them to one and beyond. I consumed my placenta from my second child (read here). I have taken magnesium, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, fish oils and so one for years in different forms and different doses and I keep coming back to foods.
real food makes me feel GREAT
The other side of the coin of course has been my emotional and self-esteem issues. Fear and shame (guilt) tended to rule my life and decisions most of the time. I am the person who ALWAYS leaves things to the last minute (two dissertations of 5-10 000 words both done in 2 weeks). I always try to do everything, sometimes in order to please everyone and partly so I dont miss out). It is mainly through Bach Flower remedies and EFT that I have had a big breakthrough with those needs now too. I can feel good about saying no (still work in progress), am good at giving back to myself (have identified what calms and grounds me) and I am able to also know when to learn from past mistakes and let them go. It is not a co-incidence that these two parts of my life are healing at the same time.
I have had a wonderful and rich life full of joy and love- but to feel love for myself…just feels amazing!
I feel different, I act different and I look different. Not just to others but most importantly to myself. It is important for me to share this with you because I would love you to try and find the tools you need on your journey and fermenting can help make huge shifts in several areas of your life. Being a naturopath, nutritional therapist and personal trainer has certainly helped me and my quest for knowledge. However having the experience is the real key for me to be able to help you, my family and my clients find their way too.
I am moving forward with direction, purpose and energy
Fermentation is a huge piece of the puzzle. It made me see my future as bright, strong and healthy. I have energy, I have balance I have hope and direction. If it can help you on your journey I have put together everything I have written so far on the subject. I hope you can find some inspiration, support and confidence to give one of them a go. I would love to hear your stories and for you to share your favourite recipes in the comments or on any of my various social media outlets. Even an email would be wonderful to hear and share.
If you haven’t already- please check out my ebook- Culture Your Life; Kefir anf Kombucha for Everyday Nourishment. This book includes not only information on the wonders of bacteria, why and how they work. But also 45 recipes that I have developed and use all the time in my own life. From drinks, to foods, ice-creams, cosmetics, and household cleaning products!