“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn.
I’m starting this blog to share my journey towards being the happiest, healthiest version of myself.
As a teenager I didn’t care much about what I ate, demolishing a whole Terry’s chocolate orange in one sitting, an entire tube of Jaffa cakes in the next. My brother would count how many smarties he had left so he would know if I’d stolen any. He was the squirrel, able to save his chocolate for later; I was the pig, scoffing mine down in one go, and then searching for more.
When I was 13 my dad passed away from a rare genetic condition which caused tumours (called pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas). During the early stages the doctors kept sending him away, dismissing it as back ache. By the time they knew it was cancerous, it had spread all over his body and it was too late. I watched him degenerate from a healthy, fit, hard working father with a successful business, to a frail, thin and gaunt man.
The gene mutation was only discovered in 2006 and after years of thinking that my dad died of cancer but not knowing it was hereditary, I continued not thinking too carefully about my health. Over the following years, I experienced some strange symptoms; hot flushes, heart palpitations and headaches. It felt like I was going through an early menopause! Eventually, my mum did some reading on the internet into my dad’s condition and my symptoms seemed to match up with it.
6 months later I was on the operating table having an apple sized tumour removed from near my left kidney, which has left me with a lovely scar all the way down my tummy! Luckily, it was not cancerous and had not spread, however more tumours could grow at any time in my life.
Since then, I have started to focus on my health a lot more to hopefully reduce the chance of further tumours and to be in the best shape I can to do the things I love – like climbing mountains and scuba diving!
I started by progressing into a vegetarian diet, mainly for ethical reasons. I now eat a delicious vegan diet with no animal products at all, exercise regularly and have never felt better. I don’t get colds or digestive problems anymore, my hair feels healthier and my skin brighter. I still eat chocolate – although it’s dark chocolate, or homemade chocolate now and not in such large quantities!
This blog is about all of the things I am passionate about – food, fitness, travel, nature, animal welfare and sustainable living.