Category: Introduction

Me with my eldest son Oliver
Taken a few years ago with my son Oli.

 

It was approximately 18 months ago that I made a shift in my way of eating, to facilitate a healthier functioning of my hormones. Prior to this I was vegetarian and thanks to my naturopathic training, I was very conscious of everything I ate. My diet was mostly organic, and contained a wide variety of foods that were, for the most part, seasonal. My diet primarily consisted of vegetables and fruit, but also contained large quantities of grains and pulses. I made my own bread, so we ate plenty of that, and meals often consisted of homemade pasta sauces, brimming with fresh vegetables, poured over a healthy serving of wholemeal pasta, or a big cook up of beans and veg or lentils and rice. Oh, and whilst I never subscribed to ‘low fat’ products, I certainly avoided fat. Breakfast would be a large bowl of porridge, made from oats that had been soaked overnight, and a good slurp of soy milk. Mid-morning I would be hungry again, so in would go some rice crackers, dips, and maybe fruit. Lunch, hungry again, so a big salad roll but only with wholemeal bread thank you. Mid-afternoon, more snacks needed, and then a lovely big wholemeal carb rich, veggie rich dinner. Healthy right?

Frustratingly I still struggled with excess weight and unending fatigue. There was always something to blame this on however…. I had been overweight since I was a teenager, it was just my build, I was a single mum with four children, busy, busy, busy. Plenty of excuses and reasons for being the way I was. Who wouldn’t be stressed, tired and endlessly hungry in my position?? One of my often heard catch phrases was “My full button is broken”. When others would say “oh my goodness, I am stuffed from that meal”, I would groan along and agree, however in my head I was thinking “Really? I could eat that much all over again”. I was clearly leptin resistant. ( To understand more about Leptin see my blog post – http://eudaimonia.com.au/2015/08/the-single-most-important-hormone/ )

Cyndi and I on a road trip in August 2015
Cyndi and I on a road trip in August 2015

Fortuitously, having followed Cyndi O’Meara for years, I came across her 4 Phase Fat Elimination Diet, and having such trust in Cyndi alongside the confidence from doing my own research, I gave it a go. Through doing this protocol I lost around 15kg and have kept it off, but best of all I learnt what foods work best for me, and after 20 years as a vegetarian, I discovered that meat was one of them. Oh and my ‘full button’ was fixed, hello Leptin!

So for the past year and a half I have followed a different eating regime. This is a diet that is still primarily made up of a variety of seasonal organic vegetables; however instead of filling up on carbohydrates, I now have good quality protein and a lot more natural fat. Breakfast only works for me if it is high in protein. I mostly rely on eggs and veggies, and occasionally it will be left over dinner. I have noticed that with the protein and fat content significantly increased, I only need to eat about half as much food in a day, thus keeping my ghrelin levels in check. (Ghrelin is the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage.) A big protein rich breakfast at around 7am will see me through to 1 or 2 in the afternoon. At that time I usually only need a top up, maybe a handful of nuts and some fruit or a chia pudding. Then dinner is again a vegetable rich plate with a serving of protein and some fat. This eating regime is working to keep my friendly hormones, leptin, ghrelin and insulin, all in balance.

I would love to say that I am now ship shape and 100% healthy, and whilst I am vastly improved on the version of me that existed 18 months ago, I still have a way to go on my journey to wellness. I know that exercise is my next mountain to conquer. Onwards and upwards!

Edwina Murphy

A Rebel Mum on a Quest to Frikin Awesome Health
A Rebel Mum on a Quest to Frikin Awesome Health

As parents and carers we need to be seduced back into the kitchen where we can fulfil the absolute privilege of feeding our families gorgeous nutritious foods, that quite frankly, have the power to change a generation.

As mums we are going to have to become Rebels. Rebel Mum's Who Say "No Way"! "No way is my family going to end up falling into the complete pit that the current statistics are predicting".

More now than ever, this responsibility requires attention. In the world at the moment we are seeing an epidemic of failing health.

Current Statistics Paint a Bleak Picture ...... but ..... you don't have to be part of this prediction!

On the basis of present trends it is predicted that by the time our children reach the age of 20 they will have a shorter life expectancy than earlier generations simply because of obesity.

If weight gain continues at current levels, by 2025, close to 80% of all Australian adults and a third of all children will be overweight or obese [1].

Diabetes Australia Victoria statistics show 27,000 Victorians were diagnosed with the disease last year, the equivalent of 74 cases a day.

The stimulant prescription rate for Australian children increased 34-fold in the past two decades.

In addition to this more than 40,000 Australian children are on antidepressants and antipsychotics, some for ADHD including Strattera. Strattera is an antidepressant marketed as an ADHD drug with the strongest warning that can be placed on a drug in Australia, a “Boxed Warning” to warn of suicidal behaviour [2].

The 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Careers, showed an estimated 115,400 Australians (0.5%) had autism. This was a 79% increase on the 64,400 people estimated to have the condition in 2009 [3].

The "allergy epidemic" is a major public health issue predominantly facing Western countries, including Australia. There has been a rapid increase over the past 30 years in the prevalence of allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema and food allergy [4].

My intention with this post is not to alarm but to EMPOWER and ENCOURAGE, so that we can make a choice, a choice to defy the predicted statistic, and become a REBEL MUM. As individuals, and as a community, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves and our children in the most vital area of nourishing our bodies. It truly is as simple as 'You Are What You Eat'. This being the case lets choose Vital, Alive, Fresh and Real, NOT Cheap, Fast, Lifeless and Fake!

Once-upon-a-time this knowledge was passed down from grandparents, to parents, to children. Sadly for the vast majority this wealth of knowledge was lost in the emergence of the agricultural revolution and the consequent advent of highly processed, cheap, convenient food.

Google has become a veritable wealth of  information, along with all other forms of media, unfortunately much of it is contradictory and sadly this leaves many feeling confused and dis-empowered  when it comes to this most basic of skills.

So how do we fulfil our sumptuous privilege of nourishing our families?

Who should you trust?

Where should you look for information?

There are many who have paved the way for us, and many who are worthy of imitation. In my estimation Cyndi O'Meara is one such person. I have learnt so much from this extraordinary woman, one of her pearls of wisdom is that "you must start with a philosophy, you can then use that as a base to guide you".

My philosophy has two parts: (And please feel free to steal them!)

  1. Eudaimonia is a moral philosophy that defines right action as that which leads to the "well-being' of the individual, thus holding "well-being" as having essential value and,
  2. Vitalism which sees that all life possesses its own innate intelligence, this allows us to live, grow, adapt, and heal. We are self-aware, self-organizing, and self-healing organisms, and in order to flourish we need to be in tune with our environment. This means, among other things, eating unadulterated, seasonal foods that nature provides.

With this post and upcoming course in April, I will share information I have garnered through my studies in Naturopathy and now as a Changing Habits Nutrition Graduate, but most importantly through my journey as a mother of 4 beautiful vibrant children who have thrived as my wonderful little human guinea pigs over the past 16 years. It would be a great honour to be part of your journey to wellness xo.
 

 

 

References:

 

[1]          http://www.modi.monash.edu.au/obesity-facts-figures/obesity-in-australia/

[2]          http://www.cchr.org.au/adhd

[3]          http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4428.0Main%0Features32012

[4]          http://www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2012/asr2012h.html