real food (4)After attending a Gut health seminar held by Pete Evans in Sydney at the end of January, I left feeling inspired and determined to improve my health and wellbeing. The way he explained how our gut is like our 2nd brain therefor has so much influence on the way we feel and how we thrive, it just resinated with me. I then started my journey to a healthier, happier me.

My goal changed from simply wanting to be ‘skinny’ to wanting to live a long and healthy life & I believe my change in focus is what led to my success. There are so many ways to lose weight these days, take this pill, drink these shakes, order these premade meals. But they teach us nothing, we never learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and although we may become thinner it doesn’t mean we are in fact healthier.

Although I returned from Sydney with sheer determination it was still difficult to start with. I had withdrawals from eliminating refined sugar, gluten & anything processed from my diet. Which I’m embarrassed to say, made up a large portion of it.  But I persevered and after only a week or 2 I felt better than ever, I no longer had those sugar crashes or cravings due to my body needing that artificial fuel that only sustained it for short periods.  Instead it was being fuelled by nutrient dense food that sustained it for hours at a time.

I stopped needing to snack, I had more energy, I started thinking clearer, I was less anxious and my mood lifted. I began to love the person I was becoming and the huge bonus was the steady weight loss I was achieving, all of these things motivated me to continue on my journey.

The biggest thing I noticed when eliminating gluten was that I no longer felt bloated nor had that sluggish, heavy feeling I once accepted as ‘normal’. I couldn’t believe how much one particular food group that has always been pushed upon us, could make you feel so yuk.

Then I began to learn all about fermented foods and beverages, things like Organic Sauerkraut, Kimchi, water & coconut Kefir and my favourite, Kombucha. Forget the probiotics you get in a pill, these right here are a probiotic power house and my new clean eating lifestyle provided them the perfect environment to live, multiply and thrive! Now that my gut health had drastically improved, everything else in my body began to work so much better.

The Fibromyalgia (a painful auto-immune condition) I had suffered with for years, no longer ailed me. I didn’t have to get my prescription for anti-depressants refilled & my anxiety was no longer there. I couldn’t believe it, I no longer had to rely on medication to ease my aches and pains and emotional issues, food was the answer all along!

Something so simple and natural and not to mention delicious, was the solution to so many problems. With this new understanding my passion for my new way of life grew even more, I had to share it with everyone. So I created my Facebook page ‘Clean Eating with Jess’, I wanted to create a community where I could share all my delicious recipes with the world, to show people how easy, yummy and beneficial clean eating is. I always had that feeling of wanting to shout it from the rooftops, so social media was the next best thing and I’m enjoying every moment.

With any new venture in life, it’s always great to have some guidance from like minded people. So if you need some help to motivate yourself, I urge you to attend seminars & workshops or seek out people who share the same passion for healthy living, it really does make the world of difference to have support and encouragement.

So after 8 months of loving my body by fuelling it with nutrient rich foods, getting outside and enjoying the simple things. I’m proud to say I’ve lost 16kgs, dropped 3 dress sizes, I no longer require medication and I’m a bundle of positive energy with big plans for my future.

Life is short, you only get one body, so love it, nourish it and reap all the benefits that will come from it.

This is how real food changed my life.

xx Jessica Barentsen

Find me on facebook here Clean Eating with Jess

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