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Why I’m Over The Whole “Wellness” Thing

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When I first started my Instagram account it was a way for me to keep track of the drastic changes my illnesses had desperately forced me to make to my diet. I had already been blogging about my experiences with EDS and my new diagnoses, but this was to be a new foray into an almost constantly updated daily diary. I quickly found that it was a way to connect with people, get inspired and learn from others who were experiencing similar things. After all, being chronically ill in your teens and twenties when you’re supposed to be out starting a life can be soul crushingly miserable, boring, and isolating.

After spending months reading books, blogs and articles online, I started snapping close ups of quinoa salads, juiced my first ever green concoction (it did take some getting used to) and made smoothies in my tiny food processor with the first almond milk I could find at the supermarket. I was a wellness noob. But talking to other people on the #EDS #POTS #spoonie hashtags and starting to explore the #vegan #plantbased #healthy accounts provided me with motivation and support to continue researching the potential benefits that changing my diet could have on my heath.

At this point, my digestive system simply didn’t want to work. I hadn’t been able to eat for months without being in excruciating pain, I’d been suffering severe allergic reactions to everything, my blood pressure would bottom out when I tried to move, I could barely function, and all of this was on top of the chronic pain and almost daily subluxations and dislocations that I had been experiencing most of my life with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Like I didn’t have enough to bloody deal with!

Mountains of different medications, anti-depressants, and psychotherapy didn’t seem to help. My body was rejecting the drugs, the anti-depressants made me psychotic (although the psychotic reaction after the second attempt at trying an SSRI while as an in-patient actually snapped me out of the deep-darks of my depression at the time, so that’s something right?!), and I was desperate. I’d stopped working on my own projects and just couldn’t do anything except be in bed staring blankly at my laptop. I felt like my body was failing, which was causing my mind to turn to mush, and as a highly motivated and ambitious person, this meant that, essentially, my life was over.

I started figuring out that I often got the most irritatingly rare and frustrating side effects from medication. Even when I would ask a doctor to list everything that could possibly happen, I’d rock up a few days or weeks later feeling a million times worse with side effects they hadn’t told me about because “no one really gets them”. At one point I think I was seeing six different professors, a therapist, my GP, a psychiatrist and I was just getting more and more unwell. I hate feeling powerless, so I decided to try and make some changes to see if I could, in a small way, make a difference to how I was feeling. After all, I thought, it couldn’t hurt.

And so my relationship with Instagram began. At the time I was also trying to convince myself that changing my diet was something that I wanted to do. Yes, of course, I wanted to try and find things that would help me feel better, but as a massive foodie and someone who always turned to food when I was the most unwell, suddenly seeing myself as a gluten-free, refined sugar free, green juice addicted vegan felt absolutely absurd. As a result, I announced to my family and friends that I needed to brainwash myself into believing this stuff to make it easier for me to deal with. I’m quite stubborn, so I can’t just convince myself of something when I’m a bit iffy. I need to believe, yo.

And up to a point it worked.

Of course, when you first make such dramatic changes, you’re bound to struggle, especially when you change a lifetime of eating habits overnight. I had to slowly introduce high nutrient and anti-inflammatory foods that wouldn’t send my histamine issues through the roof, while making sure not to set off my digestive problems. The only energy that I had was spent on experimenting and preparing food. My newly purchased juicer was in almost constant use, and the sound of machines constantly whirring mixed with smell of broccoli pulp drove my parents mad.

I started volunteering for a charity, and I remember that after half an hour in the group induction, I was in the loo crying because I was too ill to do anything. But I needed to, for my mind, feel like I was doing something that wasn’t just staying in bed. How awful it all made me feel made me more determined that I needed to do something to help myself.

I watched every documentary about health and wellness I could find online, read as many books about veganism and healing foods as I could get my hands on. I spent hours every day copying recipes that I could adapt to my weird and random allergies to try out. I still have hundreds stored on my computer that I haven’t looked at since.

I became obsessed.

And the scary thing is, for a while this obsession helped me so much.

I became fixated on the idea that I could feel better (probably never cured, but better) if I ate the way that I saw the glowingly happy and healthy people on Instagram and Youtube and in my books ate. Dairy was the devil. Gluten was poison. I just didn’t need meat.

I remember a point feeling so weak that my mum took me out for a piece of grilled chicken and her remarking just how much colour I suddenly got in my cheeks. Funnily enough, my friend said the same thing to me the other day when I had a piece of steak for lunch.

But I kind of ignored that at the time, because after a few months, I started to feel a difference. I had been slowly introducing high nutrient foods that were higher in histamine into my diet on a long rotation, and after some time I stopped reacting to them. Being able to tolerate some avocado without my throat closing up was extremely exciting. I was able to start eating small meals with the help of having green juice beforehand. I was able to start trying more and more food and experimenting so much more. I wasn’t rolling around on the sofa in pain after half a banana, and I could actually go out at least once a week for a few hours. While it wasn’t much, I was starting to feel so much more like a human being again. It felt like a miracle. Suddenly my body was becoming sensitive to what I put in it; I was becoming in touch with my cravings, what I felt like I needed, and I could sense the reactions I was having to everything I was eating.

At the same time I switched out all my ‘traditional’ beauty products. While I was never a big wearer of makeup, I was a fan of luxury face creams, and wouldn’t go out without a dash of Chanel lipstick. I spent months just using water before my system felt calm enough to start trying natural products. We had to switch all the cleaning stuff in the house too…even now the smell of ‘normal’ cleaning spray makes my skin start burning. I’m staying with my parents at the moment, and my mum told me I need to go to my flat for a few hours so she can clean! I genuinely believe that cutting out a lot of the chemicals that can be found in traditional beauty products (that’s everything from soap and toothpaste to deodorant and mascara) to ones made from only the most natural ingredients, played a huge role in getting my histamine issues under control, and it’s something that I will continue to do because I immediately can feel the difference when I “cheat”.

During this time, I continued to share my daily experiences on Instagram and interact with people from all over the world. I honestly never thought I’d get many followers, so the first milestones of 50, then 100 were pleasant and exciting surprises.

I then started to get really “into” Instagram. Instead of just snapping ugly dishes, I tried to experiment and make my food pretty – something I’d never done before. I started following accounts that just posted pretty food for inspiration. I wanted to get more followers, so more people who felt alone could hear about my experiences, and feel that there may be another way.

Posting on Instagram proved to be an extremely cathartic and healing experience, especially as I started to be more creative with the pictures that I took. I felt that there was a huge amount of support out there, which meant a lot (especially on bad days), but even from the beginning there was something simmering underneath the surface that made me feel uncomfortable.

Undoubtedly, when it comes to health, it’s easy to deep-dive into obsessive patterns when you’re trying to find something that will help you. Even in the early days of posting, people would judge what I chose to eat and offer unsolicited advice of foods, diets, supplements, exercise routines, and even diagnoses based on the small amount of information that I was choosing to share.

As I started getting some more followers, and people started wanting to interview me or write about the path that I was taking, I always tried to make it clear that I was constantly experimenting, and what I was doing was working for me at that time. I wasn’t specifically recommending this to anyone else. Medication had made me feel worse, so I didn’t take it. From the age of about 16 I realised that painkillers didn’t do anything for me, so I didn’t take them. The only medication I stayed on for a while after I started Instagramming was midodrine to help me with my blood pressure. While the side effects (three times a day) made life uncomfortable, I just wasn’t well enough to give it up right away.

A lot of people seemed to be fixated on the drug-free, food as medicine “cure”. While I understand why this was, especially in the way I may have sometimes presented what I was doing, it was never my intention to tell anyone that what I was doing was in an attempt to cure myself. It was, and still is, my attempt at finding ways to manage what is wrong with me. If I can manage my symptoms as much as possible, and I don’t do things that will cause me to be in more pain and more unwell, that’s good enough for me. I never said that people should stop taking medication if it works for them, that doctors are evil, and that food is the only way forward. It was just, unfortunately, that meds at the time didn’t help me and I needed to find things that did. Even if it was only a little bit. Unfortunately, when people try to write about those of us who are trying to manage complicated conditions in “non-traditional” ways, especially for large publications, things often get sanitised for the mass-market and trivialised in ways that are easy for most people to consume, but often frustrate people with illnesses. I do recall some people with my conditions criticising me and others for saying that diet has helped with some symptoms because it almost makes it seem like the conditions are something we have control over, which, in some way, diminishes their suffering. This was never the case, and again, I never believed I can cure something that is structural in my body (this all comes down to my funky collagen), but it’s undeniable that to an extent, I can find some things that help sometimes.

So, I was, say, six months into Instagramming, and I was off my meds, I was eating a lot of really healthy delicious food every day, I’d made some amazing friends, had a job, worked out, started some really cool projects and was amazed at how much better I was feeling compared to just one year beforehand. I felt like things were under control.

And then they weren’t. My body just suddenly stopped working.

I think one of the things about trying to use food and lifestyle changes as a way of healing and looking after yourself is the mental shift. You feel so unbelievably out of control when you can’t walk for more than a few steps without your knee coming out, or you don’t know whether you’re going to be able to function when you wake up in the morning. So by making a conscious decision to focus on diet, I felt like I was finally in control of something in my body, even though I was definitely heading towards a serious problem with orthorexia at the time.

Despite the fact that I was doing everything right (or so I thought), my body still stopped working. I got so down in the dumps and miserable and confused. What was I doing wrong? Why had eating this way worked for all these people I followed and admired and my body just hit a brick wall, stuck out its tongue and yelled “nope” at the top of its lungs?

Well, duh, that’s the nature of chronic illness.

It was only then that a lot of the nagging things that had been bothering me about Instagram and the wellness scene started to bother me even more. Because I was suddenly not in this artificially shiny space of perfect bodies limbering up in Lululemon while sipping a “detox smoothie”. Not that I ever truly was, but I’d been hit with the harsh reality that no matter what I did, I can’t always out-run (or out-juice) my body.

One thing that I have always tried to do is be honest about my symptoms and experiences with what is happening to my body, both the good and the bad. And for a while, there was definitely a lot of good. I was seeing some great improvements and feeling significantly better than I had in years. When I started writing about my struggles, I started to get a lot of comments that made me uncomfortable.

I think it’s really important to highlight that while changing your diet and lifestyle are really key in managing health problems, they are not a guaranteed fix. And of course, no matter what, going from the pretty standard Western diet to one that focuses primarily on fruits, veggies an whole grains is going to make most people feel better for a while. I’m sure there are many people who are now thriving in the long term from making changes, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work out for everyone. However, the way a lot of things in the wellness industry are portrayed, especially on social media (but it’s infiltrating the mainstream press too) I believe can be quite dangerous to the average person just looking to make themselves feel better.

I’m getting increasingly concerned about the hyperbolic, inflamed language used on social media when it comes to wellness. I’m fed up of reading how “going vegan/paleo/whatever” will cure me. It didn’t. 

I’m fed up of the judgement, obsession & badly researched, unsubstantiated comments, things that are peddled to often vulnerable people who are desperate to feel better. I get comments every day about my lifestyle (too much fruit/too little fruit/eggs are evil/my attitude etc) from people who know nothing about me, short of the small amount that I try to share to help people going through similar things not feel so alone.

I’m fed up of reading that the ability to participate in a ridiculously intense workout is only in the mind. So all I need to do is tell myself that I can run around the block and my knee totally won’t fall out. Right? No. Just no.

While I do admit that taking care of your mind and challenging yourself is important, the sanitised, easily digestible soundbites and images that are shared by perfectly manicured celebrities can often lead us to make decisions that may not be the best for our health.

When you make dramatic changes and do things recommended by inspirational Instagrammers and they don’t work, you feel like you’re somehow doing something wrong. But you’re not. What we don’t hear enough of is that we are all different. What works for one person might not work for someone else. If it was that easy, we’d all pretty much be doing the same thing by now.

Because I’m a very research minded person, I generally spend quite a bit of time looking into things before jumping head first into a new diet or routine. And I always go into it knowing that it’s an experiment. Being vegan worked for me for a bit, but now I know that my body needs animal protein, and it’s struggling with grains. I don’t use labels. It’s too much effort and too ridiculous. I’m trying to find a balance that keeps me happy and tries to make me healthy, and ultimately that’s all anyone can do. We all need support and structure to help us find the right path without jumping into the latest fad that we start seeing all over our iPhones. You can’t open a glossy magazine without being confronted by the latest wellness trend, and while there is usually some evidence as to the value, the flippant way these trends are often presented don’t really do us any good.

And so, I’m kind of fed up with the whole official “wellness” thing. While I’m not criticising a lot of the amazing people who do great work, the current explosion in the commercialisation of wellness paired with a lot of well-intentioned but misinformed people spreading information like wildfire across social media, I think people need to be made more aware and be more careful about the advice they choose to listen to. And likewise, people need to be more conscious about the advice they choose to give when ultimately they don’t really have any place to give it. From journalists to bloggers, we all have a responsibility to not sensationalise healing journeys, and to be cautious and smart about the information we put out there.

This community should be about supporting each other, no matter what, recognising that we are all different and have our own challenges, struggles, successes, quirks and triumphs. We should be honest and open about the good and the bad, and hope that in our own way we can help people achieve the things that they’re looking for as much as possible.

23 Comments

23 Comments on Why I’m Over The Whole “Wellness” Thing

  1. Sandy
    March 9, 2015 at 12:21 pm (3 years ago)

    Well said. You do what works for you and forget about the rest. Who needs to put extra pressure on themselves?!

    Reply
    • Natasha Lipman
      March 9, 2015 at 8:11 pm (3 years ago)

      Agreed! Thanks Sandy.

      Reply
  2. Corah W
    March 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm (3 years ago)

    My story is much the same as yours! I’ve been sick since I was 15, now 34, with a supposed fibromyalgia diagnosis which turned out to be Lyme Disease (diagnosed 2 years ago; although sometimes I wonder if that’s the only issue as I just don’t seem to get better at all no matter what I do). I’ve lived everyday with a pain level of at least 6 throughout my entire body constantly plus a million other symptoms… had the same experiences with psychiatric meds too… I have terrible depression issues from all of this but psych meds me cray cray. Have spent most of the last 18 years in bed or my lounge chair, infuriated because I too am a naturally driven person who really WANTS to work and accomplish things, but can’t manage. I’ve tried to go to college on 3 separate occasions but had to drop out each time as I just couldn’t do it. I now have a PICC line and do daily IV infusions despite my aversion to long term antibiotics, but I’m desperate… so far it’s not working though.
    About 4 years ago I started health blogging to document my own experiences/experiments with my health… at first it seemed exciting, but the longer I was inside the health blogging community and researching my own health issues, the more confused and frustrated I became. So much we bloggers put out there is just our own opinions or poorly researched as you said, and people were taking it as gospel truth… it really got under my skin. I started guest posting for some popular blogs and the more I got to know these ladies, as lovely a human being as they are, they were a mess… blogging for years and super popular but barely holding the strings of their life together and just as sick is I was yet propping up an image of perfection to the blogging world, somehow convincing others still that they knew the way to health. One confessed to me that she hated blogging but she just couldn’t stop. My conscience got to me and I could no longer continue blogging because I just couldn’t find a way to share my journey without leading others down a path that was perhaps not the best choice for them. Plus I was becoming seriously orthorexic myself… if I couldn’t eat a perfect meal, I would just not eat because the anxiety was so severe… everything was poison unless it was organically grown in the pristine Alps. I was also going nearly mad with all the e-mails and private messages from people who were convinced they had the secret to helping me get well from Lyme Disease. So, I shut my blog down and have spent the last year just trying to figure it all out for myself. I do miss blogging sometimes as I have a writing bug but I think if I ever return to blogging it will be in a much different way. Thank you for getting this message out there… it needs to be heard! Wishing you healing in the depths of your being and joy unspeakable even if physical healing never comes.

    Reply
    • Natasha Lipman
      March 9, 2015 at 8:13 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you, Corah!

      I definitely agree – and thanks for sharing your story – it’s refreshing to hear from someone else who is experiencing the same disenchantment. I definitely think more people need to stand up to it…”wellness” is so in vogue right now!

      Reply
  3. Ceri Jones
    March 9, 2015 at 4:29 pm (3 years ago)

    Thank you Natasha for taking time to share your journey. I am hoping (and seeing) that the new trend emerging is that people are respecting others choices, and that each individual should and can make up their own mind about what works for them and makes them feel good. Balance is a refreshing thing. I am hoping that people will just blooming leave you to it!
    I lost my Mum to a terminal cancer just 3 years ago and in the time since have felt constantly plagued by the fact we didn’t attempt to change her diet to a ‘healing’ one. Its taken my a long time to come round to the fact that actually the diet would not have changed the end result – though miraculously for some it has.
    For me personally, eating and promoting a healthy (mostly) lifestyle has not given me washboard abs, slender limbs – a figure to die for. Many who eat healthily and look that way, would likely look that way if they ate a pile of shit! Again, I have to remind myself we are all engineered different, and that just paying attention to yourself and shutting all else out is the best path to follow (or unfollow), and try not to get stressed out about it.
    I eat what makes me feel good, and will continue to do so whatever the ‘trend’
    Hoping you’re feeling stronger as soon as , you’re an incredible force!
    Ceri x

    Reply
    • Natasha Lipman
      March 9, 2015 at 8:15 pm (3 years ago)

      Aww thank you so much, Ceri! I’m so sorry to hear about your mum. I also know what you mean about the body image side of it too – the only time I’ve ever been what I call super slim was when I literally couldn’t eat anything. Even when I was eating super healthily, I just don’t have one of those long, slender body shapes. It sucks, but what makes it worse is trying to convince yourself that you can! We’ve all just got to try to be as happy and healthy as possible :)

      Reply
  4. Ruth
    March 9, 2015 at 4:37 pm (3 years ago)

    Thank you for the post Natasha! I totally agree with your sentiments on how easy it is to sensationalise people’s stories, and how quickly people jump into labelling things like gluten as “bad for you” judging on what they’ve read online. What works for you should come foremost and I try very hard not to get brainwashed by all of the various health fads out there, but it’s difficult when you’re told (sometimes aggressively) that this is what worked for some big personality, therefore implying it should help you too. Hope you’re doing ok and your mum managed to succeed in her cleaning efforts 😉

    Reply
    • Natasha Lipman
      March 9, 2015 at 8:16 pm (3 years ago)

      Agreed! Gluten is not the devil 😉 Thanks so much for your kind words, and I definitely agree. Ah, and mum managed to get some done while I was at the Harry Potter Tour today 😉

      Reply
  5. Besma
    March 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Natasha,

    Reading through your story was quite the (sad) eye-opener – the health and wellness community should always be a supportive place that anyone can find solace. I’ve slowly become a part of it, which I’m loving for the most part, but I do get confused at times when wellness is used as a pawn in a corporate game – for example I was approached by a loan provider to promote their company through altruism – I mean, they want me to give people financial advice! It’s crazy really.

    As for yourself, I’ve enjoyed following your journey and hope you do find what makes you feel good – it’s the way I operate, and advocate mindful eating, understanding food, its traceability and how to enjoy making/eating it! So long as you feel happy in yourself, that’s what’s really important.

    Wishing you the best,

    Besma (Curiously Conscious)

    Reply
    • Natasha Lipman
      March 11, 2015 at 2:38 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Besma! Thanks so much for your kind words…and a loan provider..?! How bonkers!

      Reply
  6. Lorna
    March 10, 2015 at 9:02 am (3 years ago)

    Well said Natasha; this is a really thoughtful and thought-provoking piece.
    I do strongly believe in food as medicine in the sense that your body will be able to cope with illness better with a healthy diet than with an unhealthy one, but that’s not to say that food is a cure for illness and additionally, what constitutes a ‘healthy’ diet is open to discussion!
    I agree that it’s not about labelling yourself and all about finding balance and what works for you.

    Lorna | naturally-bee.blogspot.co.uk |

    Reply
    • Natasha Lipman
      March 11, 2015 at 2:38 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much Lorna! I just hope more people feel the same way.

      Reply
  7. Jen Farrant
    March 10, 2015 at 2:29 pm (3 years ago)

    Another great piece Natasha. I am eating wheat free, sugar free vegan most of the time, but not strictly. I feel a lot better when I am eating well, but equally need to allow myself to go out and have fun when my body lets me. I am also so bloody hungry eating like this! But I think more veg in my diet is a very good thng, even if I go back to eating meat and a couple of days a week bread too.

    Also, if my body decides it is having a rubbish day it will have a rubbish day, no matter what I do about it.

    I can accept it rather than fight it and give it lots of healthy things but that is the best I can do.

    Also, I have taken instagram off my phone because my life isn’t awesome and full of yoga on the beach. I can have as much Positive Metnal Attitude as I want but it isn’t going to suddenly give me more energy because my collagen is faulty at a genetic level. All the positive vibes in the world isn’t going to alter my genes!!

    Reply
    • Jen Farrant
      March 10, 2015 at 2:34 pm (3 years ago)

      also I live in Thurrock just outside of london, uk, grim and grey, not california.

      Reply
      • Natasha Lipman
        March 11, 2015 at 2:40 pm (3 years ago)

        ” If my body decides it is having a rubbish day it will have a rubbish day, no matter what I do about it” – you’ve hit the nail right on the head! I think all we can do is try not to harm ourselves and figure out what works best, but it is a constantly changing and difficult process.

        Sometimes I just want to completely give up the internet and my phone, it’s all becoming a bit too much!

        Reply
  8. Karen Rubins-Lawrie
    March 12, 2015 at 10:36 pm (3 years ago)

    Well said. I went gluten free as part of a study to see if it helped my chronic pain. It made me so unwell it was unbelievable, apart from struggling to work I was practically bed bound, couldn’t string a sentence together or even read. So I had a KFC. It didn’t solve my problems, I’m still very ill, but I feel a whole lot better than when I was gluten free. I’m constantly judged by others for my ‘bad’ diet but I eat my five a day, drink loads of water and enjoy a slice of toast in the morning!

    Reply
    • Natasha Lipman
      March 13, 2015 at 11:31 am (3 years ago)

      Oh wow, that’s so interesting. I know that the first time I tried gluten free because of chronic pain was a total wipeout because I just bought all the gluten free products in Waitress but they were full of rubbish! I’m glad you’ve found something that doesn’t hurt you more!!

      Reply
  9. Sulayma
    March 16, 2015 at 3:38 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Lovely,
    I never comment on blogs, but as I lay in bed at 11:18am unable to function and trying to figure out how to be at least a bit productive today, I feel compelled to show some love and support. Although I’m still waiting on a geneticist appointment to figure everything out, I can empathize to some extent with your journey. I did jump on the vegan wagon when my body first crashes (wasn’t hard since I was a vegetarian anyways) – going healthy and organic wasn’t hard either because I was never one for junk. I was an athlete and a personal trainer and my focused career is in physiotherapy. So imagine the helplessness when my body stopped performing, 30 minute walks and hanging out in a pool is thankfully what my body has been able to accomplish lately. That said veganism was good for a bit but it didn’t do the job, I was lucky enough to become best friends with someone who has over 20 years experience in this field, also an ex vegan. She was a gift from heaven to me – her words: your body needs the basic building blocks to heal – and what is that? – gelatin and lots of it. It’s anti inflammatory and it helps to heal and regenerate. Bone broth, ghee, and Great Lakes gelatin (which I put into everything) – of course eating meat which I gag doing but I still do it because the difference has been like night and day. Everything grass fed and organic (ghee is best made at home using grass fed organic butter) – unfortunately I’m allergic to all dairy but ghee is quite amazing and has endless healing properties without the lactose and casseine. I don’t share much about my journey, but I’ve followed yours for a while and it’s been inspiring. It also took lots of guts to write this blog. So I wanted to share with you a little bit of what has been crucial in my healing, it’s not pretty, or colourful, or even delicious – but it has worked for me, and the few others in my life who have been struggling on a plant based diet. Your specific diagnosis is collagen related – so give your body collagen to heal, regenerate, strengthen. There’s nothing I like about eating animals – and it’s torture every time I have to drink bone broth in the morning – so I don’t share this information because I love it, I share because I believe in it, and also because when I’m running low on it my body craves it. Obviously doing things you love to do is a must so keep following your heart in life and celebrate the small victories. As for myself my resting period is coming to an end and I now have enough energy to get up and cool for the week, a few months ago after a day like yesterday, I would be bed bound for at least 3 days. Small victories my love :) and always listen to your body and what it needs, that’s your best judge. Thank you for being you, for giving hope, and for sharing and always being an inspiration.
    (I’m not saying you must take my advice, im just sharing what little I know and what has worked and I pray this is helpful on your journey to recovery – there are many blogs and papers out there who cover these topics with recipes).

    Reply
  10. Donna
    March 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm (3 years ago)

    What you write is very true. I have found many benefits from changing my diet and taking natural supplements. It has taken me from being bed bound to being able to do normal things. However, I still consider myself ill. I am still unable to work. But I would say I am at least 60% better off than I was. I try to be clear that I am not looking to cure myself but looking for a way to live as well as possible and manage my symptoms as best as I can. I am also very aware that it is one piece of a very complicated puzzle. However, I would never preach to someone and comment on what they eat. We are all individual and we can all make our own decisions. I will write about what helps me but let others make their own mind up

    Reply
  11. Bertieandme
    March 26, 2015 at 8:51 pm (3 years ago)

    Brilliant post, I really enjoyed it and appreciate your honesty. I love that you can admit that your initial treatment plan helped for a bit, then didn’t – so many bloggers just won’t do that! I’m intensely cynical about the whole “food as medicine” trend. I’ve been pesco-vegetarian, eaten organically, used very few chemicals or things like make-up or moisturizers, for nearly 30 years yet I still got sick – and remain sick.

    I love that some other commenters have stuck up for gluten. Yayyy for pasta 😉 I wrote a whole blog post on how wheat is not the devil. And I’m going to stick up for dairy too – yayyy for Yeo Valley organic milk and butter, cos they’re delish and two of my ‘safest’ foods. Though obviously we’re all different on what we can and can’t tolerate.

    Jak x

    Reply

3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Why I’m Over The Whole “Wellness” Thing

  1. […] each other for the choices that we make. I’m not saying at all that healthy eating is bad, it’s just the cult of #eatclean that I have a problem with. I’d highly recommend this awesome piece by Angelica Malin for more on […]

  2. […] chronic condition. Wellness was something I latched on to when I was very ill, an experience that Natasha Lipman has also written about. It’s the restrictive mindset and low calorie intake encouraged […]

  3. […] I don’t blame veganism for my eating disorder – my restrictive habits predated this lifestyle change and were triggered by various symptoms, life events and low self-esteem. I eat and weigh more now than I did in 2013/14, before I gave up dairy and meat. However, I take issue with people who promote veganism as a means to lose weight or miraculously cure health issues. In a video call with chronic illness blogger Natasha Lipman earlier today, we agreed that wellness culture and veganism can be dangerous if used in this way – by High Carb Low Fat Instagram “influencers”, for example. You can read more of my thoughts on this here and Natasha’s perspective here. […]

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