I grew up in a small town in England, where my Mum cooked simple meals with a lot of peas and carrots. Lunch was white bread with the fiber added back in, but when it was cold we were served school lunches with lumpy custard. My Dad grew a vegetable garden and taught us how to make Fairy Cakes. My Nannie baked Shepherd's Pie, cooked the only boiled cabbage I will ever eat, and lost her husband when we were all too young. My Grandma gave us sesame crackers and dried apple for snacks, and taught us about the ocean.
We moved to the big city of London for secondary school, and Grandad introduced us to avocado, quails eggs, and cheese and wine after dinner. I stopped eating fruit with my lunch, spent my pocket money on chocolate from the vending machine at school, and woke up exhausted after sleeping eleven hours each night. I learned that my Grandma could not eat gluten, and for a few years drank goat's milk because it partially alleviated my Psoriasis.
I went away to university, and became skinny just by walking. I tried to give up gluten, but repeatedly failed when the cravings took over. My future husband and I spent two blissful weeks together. Next year, we eloped and I moved to a town in America, where I discovered walking was dangerous and pop was more abundant than water. I consumed a huge amount of hidden sugar in foods considered healthy and gained too much weight.
I worked retail and caught Mononucleosis/Glandular Fever. I became physically weak and lost some weight from sickness. In recovery, I started to uncover true healthy eating, then found out I was pregnant. I read, I learned, and read some more. I kept my weight gain to a healthy amount, exercised as much as I could, and delivered my beautiful healthy baby girl.
With my baby girl still new to this world, a trip to the ER told us that I could no longer continue to eat the way I had been. The migranes and fevers told us to avoid dairy, gluten and soy. And then I started to get my energy and strength back.
I now take the steps two at a time, wake up after a night with a newborn better rested than I have felt in years. I feel full, can savor flavors again, and do not despair at the sight of food. I am happy and can see the color and the joy in the world. The small things in life are visible to me again and I appreciate them.
I am grateful to be free.