Wednesday, January 9, 2019

What happened in December?

Marty returned to work this morning, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to catch you all up on the holiday happenings.

It's been a wild December, with my Mum making a big move to Queensland, we did what we could to help out. Since we're only a couple of hours from the home she's now selling, we could get down there and make it look all pretty for prospective buyers.

Then, while Marty had a little time off from work, we spent a week up at Mum's new place, in the sun and sand.

The roadside honey was delicious!

Marty with his feet in the water.
It was lovely up there, so green and the humidity was quite bearable. Actually, we're both glad we took our jumpers with us, because it got a little chilly at night. It made a wonderful change to the weather at home, since it's so hot and dry, there's not much green left. While we were gone, the forecast said 43°C (109.4°F) at home, and I know we're consistently warmer than the forecast ever says. Many plants simply cooked in the heat, despite being irrigated on a timer.

Luckily the chooks fared ok, although somehow a fox (I guess) took our elderly hen, Toupee. It was sad, but thankfully everyone else is ok. The electric fence is usually fox-proof, so it must have been one desperately hungry fox!

Areas of raised dust.
We drove home to be greeted with the usual dusty dry conditions. The photo above was taken north of us, near West Wylong. That's soil, and it seems to have become a new normal. They just call it "areas of raised dust" in the weather forecast. It occurs when the soil is left exposed, around here it's done by plowing (which for some unknown reason, we've seen plenty of this December), or letting stock eat at the same ground for far too long, until there's no cover left. It upsets me, but money comes first in this world, not soil heath, not animal/stock or even human health.

Speaking of human health..

I'm always researching and learning about all kinds of things, and health and food is one of the most important things. I know that you are what you eat, and since Marty came to live in Australia, we've been trying to fix my health with diet. We've tried an elimination diet that my Doctor had us on for 6 years with some good results, but our energy levels were never great, and I still was in pain for too much of my life. We tried Paleo when we moved here to the farm, and the goal was to grow as much food for ourselves as we could. Thinking it was the poor quality food we were eating.. but that left us feeling really terrible, and in order to get more energy, we went back to eating sourdough bread and even started adding lentils and beans to our diet.

Still not satisfied with my health, poor strength or lack of energy, I did some more research and found out about the Carnivore diet. So, after a bit of re-training my brain, to begin to accept that meat is nutrient dense, that we don't need plants after all, and that yes, it really could be that simple.. Marty and I got stuck in.

We've been eating meat for about a month now, and there have been days where we can really feel the benefits of this way of eating. Super energy, super strength (I did the first chin-up of my life!), less anxiety and depression, and no pain anywhere. Other days haven't been so great, and I've had short bouts of fibro pain and on others it feels like we're walking through mud. So, yes, we're still in the transition period, but it seems to get a little better every day. So far, though, this is an improvement on how we were feeling before, so we're sticking to this for a while.

Given the change in diet, our whole perspective on things has changed a bit. It'll be interesting to see what happens over the next few months! Right now, I'm less worried about having water in the tanks, because we're not relying on the water to grow any of our own food. As long as we've got enough to wash our hands and water the chooks (and Squeak!) then it's enough. Besides, since when did worrying bring the rain anyway?

Will update again soon. :)


  1. Parts of NSW always had dust storms - mostly in the Ag-belts. When I lived there as a kid, it was on the coast (Coffs Harbour) so we didn't get that. It was always green. But it was expensive to live there too. Queensland was much less expensive, but the places that were once green (like near Toowoomba) aren't so green, these days. The coastal areas, still seem to catch all the rain though. I hope your mum sells her place, without too much hassle. Prices in rural areas have dropped lately.

    In relation to diet, something you said on my blog, got me thinking. Is it possible you are gluten intolerant, or sensitive? Intolerant means you cannot digest gluten at all (Celiac). Being gluten sensitive means you CAN digest gluten, but it still causes a lot of uncomfortable side effects - like aches, pains and brain fog. In the first case, you have to avoid gluten, in the latter, you're best to.

    The fertility issues I suffered, earlier in life, turned out to be gluten related. As the two times I fell pregnant naturally, happened when life changing events, suddenly altered my diet. I couldn't eat the gluten I was used to (one was a flood event, another was a depression event). Many years later - well over a decade, I discovered from a Celiac I met, that infertility in women with that disease, is a scientific reality.

    I had taken myself off gluten by choice for many years. So when my doctors tested me for Celiac, it came back negative. But I'm not going to eat the stuff again, just to get a diagnosis. Have your doctors tested you for gluten intolerance?

    I tried the Paleo diet too, and had fantastic results with improved health, but like you, it didn't fix the other issues I had. It wasn't until I went gluten free, grain and legume free, dairy free and avoided nightshades (I still eat them, but only occasionally, and in very small quantities) that I saw any dramatic improvement in my health.

    I know my problems stem from leaky gut though. Meaning most of the foods I ate (even healthy stuff) cannot be absorbed properly by my body. Thus causing all the symptoms I know you're familiar with. I wasn't able to go on the GAPS diet, for many reasons - which is a diet designed to heal the gut lining. But over time, increasing the amount of fermented foods I eat, avoiding heavily processed stuff (like dairy milk and anything with additives) I've actually been able to improve my health.

    Also, a lot of movement helps. When I get aches and pains - I go lift some weights to build muscles around the joints. I used to get lower back, hip and knee pains. Exercising the quads, glutes and core muscles though, and the pain is all but gone. It's the muscles I work out, that hurt now, lol.

    Even though an elimination diet, was pursued already in your case, I know the focus is more on the "foods", than the strategies of building up, gut health. That's why the GAPS diet, never fails. But you have to be on it, for something like 2 years to really rebuild the gut lining. I hope your new diet continues to help. In my experience, it never hurts to try these different diets out, but it's ultimately the lining in the gut, that's the real cause of failing health. If I wasn't diabetic, I'd go full GAPS diet.

    Anyway, I hope my sharing may help in some way. If nothing more than to let you know, having the quality of your life controlled by food (even the healthy stuff) is a reality for others too. So it doesn't feel so isolating. You will get to your solutions, by continuing to pursue your health. Cheers for 2019 M&M!

  2. Hi Chris, some topics just can't be written in a few sentences! :)
    We've been through the gluten free diet, actually, we were gluten and dairy free for 6 years. There were many other things restricted on the old diet, too, but those were the main two. It did help a great deal with my reoccurring infections and illnesses, but in the end, we suffered with lack of energy, and some other health issues just weren't going away.
    Then Paleo/Primal came up, and we tried that and again, we felt like we were walking through mud most days. Eventually we went back to eating organic sourdough rye bread just for the energy. We did "ok" on that, but still not great.
    I was always too scared to try GAPS, because of the work involved with all the broth making and food restrictions. It sounds funny, but eating just meat doesn't feel restricting at all, it's so simple and satisfying. Everything else is just filler or it's a challenge that Marty and my bodies can do without - at least until we feel strong and healthy once again.
    Here's hoping for health for everyone in 2019. :)