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Success Story: Kate McCullough, Digestive Pain & Discomfort

It all started in early 2015 when about once a month I would get really bad diarrhea and stomach pains. I thought I might be gluten intolerant so I went gluten free for months with still no improvement. I decided to be extra sure I wasn't allergic to gluten by going to the doctor in July 2015 to get an allergy test for gluten, but it came back negative. The doctors had no idea why I had all this stomach pain and did not know how to help me. So all year my digestion was just not right and the amount of times I was getting diarrhea and stomach pains just kept increasing until January 2016 when it got really bad. I was going to the toilet 5-6 times a day, everyday, I had the worst stomach pains every time I ate and I had no idea what was going on. I went to the doctors again to try find an answer and then sent me to get some blood tests and stool tests which all came back fine so i had no more answers as to what was causing my digestives issues.

After suffering for a month of this I decided I needed to try get some other help, so I and saw a Ayurveda consultant, who put me on a strict diet and told me to cut out a lot of foods and mainly eat cooked foods including lots of rice, lentils/dhal and cooked vegetables and to only have 1 piece of fruit a day which had to be cooked. I found this very difficult to follow but I was determined to get better so followed what she said. But I only got worst, the stomach pains increased, my bowel movements increased, I felt so tried and low on energy all the time I just didn't know what to do anymore. My body was clearly telling me that it was not happy eating this way and something need to change. 

Then I met Shukul Kachwalla at a vegan potluck in Auckland and found out he had a nutrition workshop coming up in a week and I knew I just had to go. I went to the workshop run by him and his brother and learnt an incredible amount of knowledge and took everything they said on board and left with confidence they they could help me get better. I followed what they said, which was mainly raw till 4, as many raw fruits and vegetables as I desired during the day, and cooked vegetables/starches for dinner, while avoiding grains to really give my digestions a break. Just after doing this for 2 weeks everything had changed. I had no more stomach pains, i was only going to the toilet 1-2 times a day, I had all my energy back and I felt like a new person again. Its amazing how just simply eating how our bodies are really designed too everything just naturally falls back into place. I can pretty much eat everything now with no problem, but still feel my best eating as much raw fruits and vegetables as I wish, while limiting the amount of legumes and high fatty foods. I will treasure the knowledge they taught me forever and know they will always be willing to help me if I had anymore issues. 

So I just wanted to say thank you so so so much Shukul and Shamiz for sharing your knowledge with me and helping me turn my life around for the better, I am forever thankful for what you guys do to help me and so many other people like me. If anyone is having any sort of digestive issue or just wants to know how to live a happier healthier life I definitely recommenced seeing these guys!!!

Thanks again for all your help - Kate

Where should we get our Iron from?

If something is in excess that doesn’t mean it is good for us! Lets talk about iron absorption with red meat compared to plant foods. Funny how people think just because something is more absorbable it should therefore be better for us. Heme iron and non-heme iron. There is a big difference. Heme iron is obviously from dead flesh (blood) and non heme from plant foods!

Because the human body has no mechanism to rid itself of excess iron we have evolved to regulate this. Iron is absorbed through our intestines and if iron stores get too low the intestines know when to boost the absorption, if iron stores are too high then the intestines block the absorption to maintain us in the sweet spot! This also only works with the primary source of iron in the human diet from plant foods (non-heme).

Heme iron from dead flesh however cannot be regulated by the body and therefore absorbs straight through the intestinal wall even if there is excess iron in the body. This is when the body gets into an iron overload and creates all sorts of problems and sets the body up with a higher risk of dis-ease.

So the body has no control over iron absorption when eating animal flesh. This is why Vegetarians and Vegans tend to be lower in iron when it comes to blood tests because the 'normal' range is elevated due to all those people eating flesh which in turn boosts there level of iron in the body without knowing it is much more harmful for them.

In terms of how much the body can absorb we believe that it is very hard to get an exact number from the foods we eat because you can't really say that this plant food has this much iron in it so my body will absorb all of it. Iron absorption also depends on how many other nutrients that plant food has because all of the nutrients from that plant food work together to get absorbed. If you eat a variety of WHOLE foods (Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains and Legumes) you will get the exact amount of iron the body needs so that you can be in that sweet spot :)

Get your Nutrition by Going Green

Day 1 of the GoGreen expo talk! 'Get your nutrition by Going Green'. There was a great turn out and we hope some people learnt a few new things about sustainable plant based nutrition! We talked about the environmental impact of the food we eat and covered key nutrition topics such as protein and calcium. The whole foods plant-based lifestyle is the healthiest way of eating that has ever been studied and is far more effective in promoting health and preventing disease than prescription drugs, surgery, vitamin and herbal supplementation, and genetic manipulation.

 

Plant based nutrition provides us with the best solution for our health and for the environment. Did you know that 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction is caused by animal agriculture? Also, it takes 660 gallons of water to produce 1 hamburger.

 

You can view the video of the full talk by clicking HERE.