I have been a very headache-prone person for as long as I can remember. We’re talking daily, almost-migraine headaches. They come on quickly and last all day, and I consequently get ‘foggy’ and feel as though I have to work hard to think through the headache. They’re always accompanied by a wickedly strong desire to curl up and sleep for days.
However, the last two weeks I have been completely additive free (except once, which I will discuss) and…….. HEADACHE FREE!!!!
This has been mind-boggling, as I really could never have imagined going two weeks without a headache. It has been heavenly, and so relieving. I have had more energy and have been happier!
It is now clear to me that my headaches are not just something I’m stuck with, as I have assumed for the longest time. And that instead of trying (and failing) to treat the symptom with headache tablets, I can treat the cause and not suffer! I had started suspecting recently that my headaches had something to do with all the additives and general fakeness that is in our foods these days. Well, this last couple of weeks has served to strengthen these suspicions immensely.
I now believe that there are many additives to which I am particularly sensitive – but I also believe that any of the additives with sulphur in them are the worst offender for me. This includes sulphur dioxide, which is in apricots and dessicated coconut (and therefore anything that these products are in, such as muesli, premade cakes and biscuits, snack bars, etc etc… It’s an awfully long list!) and some other things. It also includes sulphites, which are very commonly added to meats and especially lunch meats (sliced ham, turkey, salami…). Which brings me to the day that I failed my mission. I was at my parents’ place a few days ago, and trying to make a sensible lunch choice. Lucky for me, there was still some homemade bread from the thermomix demo I hosted earlier in the week. There was a block of cheese (good; no anti-caking agents). And there was some salami. Risky, but oh well. Best I could muster, and I had a real hankering for salami. So, I fashioned myself a salami and cheese sandwich. Sure enough, within half an hour, I felt a wicked headache coming on. Followed rapidly by that all-too-familiar wave of exhaustion. It lasted the rest of the day, until I could finally crawl into bed. Salami. Four slices of salami. It’s not like I sat there and ate a whole log of the stuff!! But nonetheless, I was virtually written off for the day. Given the fact that the two weeks prior to that I had been 100% additive free and headache free, this was just further evidence of what the frankenfoods were doing to my body.
Obviously, since the salami episode, it has not taken as much motivation to say no to anything suspicious (read: anything that hasn’t been made by me) and given me a lot more enthusiasm for this additive free adventure. Because although I love cooking, having to cook everything from scratch does get a bit tiring. But now I can see clearly that it is worth all the time, energy and effort. Unless I want to spend a day feeling absolutely miserable for myself. …That was sarcasm, my dear readers.
Admittedly, it is a little harder to get Mr T on board. At home, he is fine. He eats what I eat and I eat what he eats. No issues here. It’s when we visit Grampies and Nanna, or Great-Grandma or Great-Nanna, or pretty much anyone. Humans seem compelled to offer small children biscuits. Or cake. Or promite sandwiches on bread containing soy (uh oh!) and at least a handful of additives. And although Mr T does make very good fooding choices, he won’t turn down any of the aforementioned treats. But I do seize the moment to discuss the choice whenever it is appropriate. I don’t stop him from making the choice. Today he ate a few biscuits with a friend, and when we hopped in the car he burst into tears and sadly told me he was oh so tired. I explained to him that yes, you know that biscuits will make you feel that way, and opened up a calm dialogue about why we need energy and what kinds of foods help us to get the right amount of energy. He doesn’t seem to be as affected as me (no headaches, and shorter duration) but I have been noticing that he does get quite tired shortly after eating some processed foods. He makes better and better decisions all the time, and I am so proud of him! One day a couple of months ago, the attendant at the petrol station gave him a bag of red frogs (one of my many nightmares!) and Mr T put it in the bin the minute we got to Grampies’ house. He even asked Grampies to come and watch him do it! I just about burst with pride (and relief)! 🙂
My point in all this is to demonstrate that change is worth it! No one’s body likes to be bombarded with artificial stuff all day. Did you know the average person consumes TWENTY additives per day? And that because of the number of additives found in staples such as bread, spreads, lunch meats, cereals, snacks, bottles of pasta sauce, etc., that even people who cook most of their meals at home (note: home-cooked, not home-made) still consume NINETEEN additives on average per day?!? This is crazy!
Just a few short years ago, I could never have imagined being where I am today in terms of my fooding principles. And I certainly could never have imagined a life without headaches!!!! Yes, I am over the top. And yes, it is difficult. But is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. Not just for me, but for Mr T, and the rest of my future-brood.
All it takes is one small change, followed by another. It can be daunting, or it can be easy. You decide! 🙂