My menu choices

Hi and thanks for stopping by to read my blog.

Although I have been cooking for 40years I have seen different seasons with the way I cook. I first started cooking back in school days and had 8 of us to cook for on a very limited budget. That started me learning about  frugal meals and how to stay within a budget.

When I moved out of home I was then confronted with cooking for myself and I was busy at work doing 10-15hour days depending on what job I was doing at the time. So buying meals at food courts or fast food options were the go back then.

I also got annorexia due to life events I wasn’t dealing with at the time and sought out help from a counsel for which I am eternally greatful for as she helped me fully recovered from annorexia.

I also learnt how to do catering cooking for over 100 kids at camps whilst on my vacations.

I then got married and quit work and within 2 years we had started a family and within in the next 3 years after that I was back to cooking for 5 of us as we had 3 children under 5 yrs at the time. Which brought another set of challenges as my husband was a shift worker at the time on a 7 day roster so there were work meals, kids meals and my own mouth to feed at various times of the day.

i went and got formal training as a caterer and was qualified to open my own small restaurant or cafe but with family life it never happened. Instead I used those skills to volunteer with catering for church events and functions. I even started doing weekend party catering for small kids theme parties at the time but as a mum with 3 young kids myself had to give it up.

After having children my weight issues went downhill fast and I was not able to lose weight but rather was gaining it which started off yo yo dieting. I finally got up the courage to ask a dr for help with my weight issues to which he replied “get off your backside and go and exercise “. I went home in tears but God showed up in a big way. In my letterbox was a brochure promoting Christian weight loss program called First Place (which has just in 2019 changed its name to First Place For Health anda totally new program is being launched as I type this with all new information including mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. )

This started me on another season for the next 9 years as I was a part of a First Place program not just as a member but leading groups and training leaders. I got more out of the emotional and spiritual side of the program but along with the physical aspects of eating healthy balance meals with exercise I lost kilos but would regain again. Another cycle but what helped me was the group support. Late last year I rejoined after having major health issues .

In 2006 I got very sick with a rare heart condition and my lungs had shrunk literally and was diagnosed 3 yrs later with a rare form of lupus called shrinking lung syndrome which also had other autoimmune symptoms of other rarer diseases. So my whole way of eating had to change once again, as the weight gain came with medication like I had never had before. Drs wanted me to have lap band surgery to which I refused to do. It wasn’t for me. I was also on warfarin at the time but now back off it. So I had to learn the warfarin way of eating with watching INR levels each day. I was told I was prediabetic so the Mediterranean Diet was recommended to me.

The drs then put me on optifast which saw me get back within 5kg of my goal weight but I was not able to sustain it long term and when I was put back on prednisone at the time, I  saw my weight ballon to the heaviest I had ever weighed in 2010 due to lung surgery and medication I was on. Since then I came off prednisone and reduced 22 daily medications down to 5 that I currently take today.

I have created  my own recipes since the surgery in 2010 and have  lost 15kg but I still have another 30 to lose to get back down to goal weight.

In 2016 I heard about the paleo diet and decided to give it ago. I even met chef Pete Evans in Sydney personally and from there began doing the paleo way program. I started losing weight again but when my health issues started flaring up so did the weight. Yo yo again.

I got a Vegepod and started to grow my own vegetables with organic soil and no pesticides or things sprayed. I only use crushed organic free range egg shells and Epsom salts to boost the soil nutrients. It has given me something new to do and I take pride in being able to cook straight from the vegetables in Vegepod.

In 2018 I found some new information re autoimmune diseases and discovered I was reacting to nightshade foods which the websites were recommending stop eating them to stop inflammation in my body. I have had huge success since coming off nightshade and started eating Keto diet. I now know what my trigger foods are that set off arthritis, joint pain, inflammation in my body. My body retains fluid so I also have that to deal with and it’s a lot worse in summer and winter.

Since rejoining First Place For Health program in December 2018, I have started to lose weight again 5kg in 5 weeks but then came Christmas and Summer which never agrees with my body. I have started swimming every day. I am watching what I consume and have managed to keep on track over the holidays season. Fluid retention has reared its ugly head again with hot humid days now we are in summer. So it’s a n3ver ending battle daily but I’m a lot better now than where I was back in 2010. I may never be fully cured of my sickness but I know my limits and if my body says rest I rest.

I have also discovered in recent months Lectin free foods which help with inflammation. So i will be exploring it more in the days to come. I do believe food can help cure diseases.

If I have learnt anything re diets it is this …food is just food. It’s fuel for the body.

It has been said to me “We don’t live to eat, we eat to live!”

What we put into our bodies does matter and can assist us not having chronic health conditions for years to come.

I have recently taken on catering jobs volunteering at church again in the last 2 years and have enjoyed providing healthy meals for others to enjoy.

I look forward to seeing where my Food journey takes me in 2019.