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It’s Not Always Sunshine & Bloody Butterflies (But Yay, Plant-Based Picnic Was Awesome!)

This is a familiar feeling. Laying (semi) flat on my back (thank you robobed) feeling absolutely horrendous. I know this isn’t a post about recipes, but I really want to share all aspects of my healing journey with you, especially when things are more difficult. Healing is a long and difficult process, and while we sometimes make incredible strides, we often face heartbreakingly difficult setbacks that we just don’t talk about enough when we’re trying to ‘inspire’ others.

Last Friday I went out for dinner with my friend Lucy to the Wild Food Cafe and I was so excited. I had seen that they were serving a raw ‘steak’, and having been missing steak big time, I was just dying to go. Squeezed into a corner, Lucy and I tucked in. The steak was fine. The mushrooms were exceptional. But Lucy’s raw pizza (as always) was to die for, so we ended up sharing meals. Even though the pizza is rather histamine heavy, and I have reacted in the past, I don’t really think about that so much anymore. About an hour and a half after sitting down, feeling happily full, I started to get a wave of fatigue come over me. I had ‘drunk eyes’ and said “I’m so tired” in response to everything Lucy said. Without realising that was all I was capable of saying. All of a sudden my joint pain shot through the roof, I felt sick, dizzy, peculiar. My skin felt like it was being stabbed by a million needles. Something I hadn’t experienced for months. Something I was hoping I’d never have to experience again.

I wasn’t sure what was going on, but we left and I made it home. Maybe it was a really severe allergic reaction? I could barely get my clothes off because my skin was hurting so much. I was shaking, and barely could figure out what was going on.

And then the depression sets in. Unlike many people I know, I have reactive depression. It comes about as a result of my health getting worse. It’s so frustrating when I work so hard every day at healing and then just slam straight into a brick wall. It’s difficult, it’s frustrating, and it’s demoralising. Especially when you think you’re doing so well. That’s the curse of the chronic illness.

I know that recently I have been taking on a lot. I have a full time job (responsibility=stress), my whole Nutritiously Natasha thing is starting to gain more traction and I want to capitalise on that by speaking to and meeting all the people I can, as well as a number of other smaller projects I’m involved in. I know this is probably too much, but it doesn’t feel like it is. I’m getting better at resting, but I still am an ambitious person that has so much to offer. I can’t always just make myself stop. I don’t want to. So maybe it’s partly that. I have also been eating out more (less control over the food I eat) and haven’t been juicing/drinking as much tea as I should. Mainly because I’ve been to tired to do so.

I’m proud of myself that I managed to get through yesterday’s picnic, and that people couldn’t tell just how ill I was. That’s a skill that I have picked up over the years. Fake it til you make it. There’s no way in hell I wasn’t going to go to that thing. I put in so much effort, and seeing just how many people came (60-70ish?!) was insanely ridiculous. So yes, it was my (co)baby, and I needed to go.

Day three with essentially no food is now upon me. Even drinking a sip of water is causing my body to cramp up and my nausea to go through the roof. I’m dizzy to the extent I was in my old (bad) POTS days, I have a horrid upset stomach (although there’s nothing in there to upset it right now – puzzle me that!), and my brain isn’t really working at all.

I’m not sure if I’ve picked up some kind of bug, I’ve got a weird amalgamation of old symptoms for some reason, or if I’ve got some whole new thing I need to learn to deal with. I hope this clears soon. Otherwise it looks like I’m back on the easiest diet in the world. Rolls eyes.


11 Comments on It’s Not Always Sunshine & Bloody Butterflies (But Yay, Plant-Based Picnic Was Awesome!)

  1. Cara
    September 8, 2014 at 3:54 pm (3 years ago)

    Hey girl, I am inspired by your honestly and your strength to keep going after the things that you want. Between the job,and passion projects it sounds like you have a lot to deal with. I can relate somewhat but I am sending you tons of good vibes and am on my way to read your huffington post article on Instrgram. xoxox Ihope you heal up soon!
    @caraskitchen on IG

    • Natasha Lipman
      September 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Cara,

      Thank you so much, that’s so incredibly kind of you to say! xx Btw, totally love your Instagram!

  2. Jessica
    September 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Natasha, I’m a new reader of yours (love what you do).

    I’m so, so sorry to hear about your recent health problems! What’s happening to you sounds utterly terrifying and I think you’re taking it like a champ. Thank you for trusting us enough with this by sharing it with us and please don’t ever think that you shouldn’t – it’s your blog, your space and you can talk about whatever you want.

    I really hope you feel better soon, darling and that someone gets to the bottom of this, fast!

    • Natasha Lipman
      September 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Jessica! Don’t feel very champ-like today, but I think we’re all entitled to a day of feeling sorry for ourselves every now and then 😉

  3. Caroline Mentzer
    September 9, 2014 at 8:29 am (3 years ago)

    Hi Natasha,
    It’s a total bummer when you have a health set back, but I just try to look at each one as a lesson to learn from. Every day is a new challenge. I appreciate your honesty and strength of character for carrying on. I’m loving your blog and what you do. Best wishes.

    • Natasha Lipman
      September 11, 2014 at 1:44 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Caroline. That means a lot! x

  4. Lydia
    September 11, 2014 at 11:34 am (3 years ago)

    Hi Natasha,

    I love your raw honesty in your posts. I know you might feel horrendous but just finding the strength to share your pain and struggles with others is so inspiring. You aren’t alone and we are all here to help you. Keep writing, keep doing what you are doing and still believe. Never give up xx

    @lydia_mccall on IG

    • Natasha Lipman
      September 11, 2014 at 1:44 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Lydia. That’s really incredibly lovely of you. I guess my feeling is that so many people are going through similar things but we often only hear the very good or the very bad. Why not share it all?!

  5. Megan Lyall
    October 1, 2014 at 8:15 am (3 years ago)

    It is nice to know everyone has setbacks. I’ve only been seriously ill for a few months (though slightly for years!) and have waves of not believing in the diet (sulphite free, low salicylate and low histamine) and then do a little “experiment” like you did and find yes I do need to stick to it. The pain (or fear of repeat pain) may actually be the way that my body is helping me to stick to the straight and narrow and find what is individually good for me and what is not. I have trouble with getting too hungry as well possibly because research suggests bile can liberate histamine and when there is no food in your system it could be working directly on your gut lining (that is my theory anyway!). I like your suggestion elsewhere on the blog for a food diary which I do keep but find that actually as I go on the detail I need becomes greater, I need to record not just what I eat and what I do and when but how I prepare the food and how long it has been in the freezer and what the temperature is outside and the pollen count etc.

    • Natasha Lipman
      October 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Megan!

      I totally know what you mean. For me, I’m usually pretty good until my body just slams against the wall, and then I find it reallllly hard to get back on track! Although those are the times you need to be better than ever!

      Finding what works for you is the most important thing. There is a lot of research out there that suggests that eating more spread out throughout the day helps with detoxification, but for some people little and often helps them.

      I remember when I first started my food diary, I literally wrote down EVERYTHING that was going on. There were lines and questions and cross links. I look at it now and find it hilarious, but I think it really helped me at the time. Unfortunately our bodies are so reactive to all kinds of stimuli, that it’s super useful to understand what roles they play and what roles the food plays!

      • Megan Lyall
        October 2, 2014 at 7:39 am (3 years ago)

        Thanks for your reply, food is a good one to start with as it is something that I can be in control of unlike viruses caught from the children, pollen counts the temperature outside and so on. Also for me food makes the greatest difference. Good luck with your journey!!


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