Process of Elimination…

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I am just going to jump right in and talk about something quite personal. This subject is extremely important to me, and any one who has ever had issues with digestion would know exactly where I am coming from. The discomfort that comes with digestion and gut issues can be all consuming and stressful. For me personally… I have never been so desperate to find the answer to my issues. Unfortunately the general practitioners that I saw here in Sydney listened briefly, had a look at my physical composition and told me I was fine. I was so not fine! I wanted to scream at them!! They weren’t around at night when I couldn’t sleep due to the discomfort. I was so sick of getting ignored! I had to take this problem into my own hands…

I have always struggled with my digestion.. without getting too detailed, I suffer from many of the symptoms described in those suffering with IBS. If you were to ask Monique, she would be able to tell you all of the ins and outs (literally) of my daily struggle. Monique being the gorgeous friend that she is, listened and offered encouragement, secretly hoping that I’d find a cure so she no longer had to hear about my ….crap.
The amount of thought and attention to what goes into our diets is finally paying off though in the form of healthy digestion and.. elimination.
I am going to be completely honest here, I struggled with addiction to laxatives over the years. Even being extremely health conscious, I fell into that trap easily. Here was the typical scenario: Start work at 3:00pm, operate 5 flights, arrive for the overnight at 8:30pm, eat a late dinner, sleep 6 hours and wake up feeling bloated and uncomfortable. At 5am I would be unable to use the toilet because there was no time and I couldn’t relax! I would then operate another 5 flights before ending the shift mid-day. During cabin service I may have had the urge to go, but it is unacceptable to leave the trolley in the isle and go running to the toilet while your passengers sit there waiting for their cups of coffee. I should probably mention that Monique and I work for a regional airline and we are solo flight attendants on 34 seater prop planes. The flights are typically short with quick turnarounds which can make for a non-stop day. This schedule combined with the expansion and compression of gas in the gut with all of the take-offs and landings during the day left me reliant on laxatives. So long as I took that tiny pill at night before bed, I would use the toilet in the morning and I would have less bloating and discomfort. I never really thought about the long term effects, or the problem at the root of all of this, I was only seeking temporary comfort.
All of this was happening, and on top of it, I was chronically ill! The common cold was far too common.  Then it dawned on me! 60-80 % of our immune function lies within our digestion… So there it was. Maybe this is obvious to others, but geez, it took me long enough to figure it out!
I took a radical approach! First of all, I stopped taking those horrible laxatives. Second I did a five day green smoothie detox consisting of only green vegetables and raw ginger and turmeric. I began making Kombucha (thanks to a friend setting me up with my starter scoby). I also started taking a very high strength pro-biotic.  I combined this with cutting my coffee intake and eating a primarily raw, completely vegan diet, free from all grains and flours. I started having colonic treatments to strengthen the bowel itself, and I continued to exercise nearly every day, and guess what?!!  My guts started working!!! My health and energy seemed to sky rocket! I realised I was finally on the right path, and without any of the expensive, unhealthy, conventional medications and “cures”. I wish I could say that this change occurred overnight, it didn’t. It was a long process, and often uncomfortable and frustrating. But here’s the deal, I wanted permanent results! And like anything valuable, it often requires a lot of hard work. If it was easy, laxatives wouldn’t even exist. So now I have a healthy, functioning digestive system and as a result my whole outlook and energy has improved.
All this said, it leads me to one very valid analogy. During this time I had some personal issues with a very toxic person in my life. What I realised is, the process of elimination is extremely important in all realms of ones life. Elimination is just as important as the quality of what we introduce, wether it be into our diets, or our inner circle of friends. We can change our diets and become extremely conscious of what we are eating, but we must make sure we remove anything/anyone that may upset that beautiful balance that leads to optimum health.

Cheers-Amber

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A Brief Introduction

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I would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves. My name is Amber and I am 32 years old. Originally from San Diego, California I moved to Australia nearly five years ago. I have 3 children, ages 12, 7 and 3. I came over from the U.S for a boy. We were married for 3 years but unfortunately things didn’t work out…. but our youngest boy Dane is a blessing so no regrets! I met Monique at ground school for the airline we both work for over two years ago. Monique is 28 years old, born and raised in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia. After finishing ground school in Wagga, she moved to the Eastern suburbs of Sydney.

Its hard to describe our friendship as anything more than “meant to be”. Sometimes you just meet someone and everything just clicks? That was the case with Monique and I. She is my sister in every sense of the word… the only thing missing is a blood relation. We started this journey of health together a year ago, striving to find the perfect balance to support energy for a physically taxing career and looking for ways to boost our immune systems. Working as flight attendants, we are constantly exposed to germs. Working at altitude in a confined area with an abundance of germs, combined with the exhaustion that comes with shift work had caused both of us to be constantly fighting virus after virus. I had the added bonus of small children at home who seemingly catch and spread one cold after another. We began our search out of frustration and near desperation. Initially we quit all sugar, including fruit. All grains and processed foods were eliminated. This was a really good start, however, I still was feeling unwell and my digestion was suffering from all of the animal protein. It was about the time that I nearly burst an ear drum at work, flying with yet another sinus infection that I decided to try something new. I bought a Nutri-Bullet and did a five day green smoothie cleanse. During this time I was at home sick, watching movies like “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and “Food Inc”. These movies changed my life. I made the decision that I no longer wanted to support the meat or dairy industry. So I became completely vegan. Monique being my sister and dedicated to doing this journey together, came along with me! We have maintained the no sugar approach while making Paleo/Vegan dishes that are delicious, comforting and satisfying. Packing breakfasts, lunches and dinners for our flights when we are away on overnights as well as learning what we can order out at restaurants has been a fun challenge for both of us.

So there you have it, thats us in a nutshell. We hope that you will benefit from some of our experiences as we explore the world of health and nutrition together.

Cheers-Amber