Hi, I’m Natasha, I am a Mother, Wife, Author, AIP blogger, Family Chef and an Autoimmune Warrior!
This is my incredible healing story:
In 1998 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, and later with chronic anaemia and Addison’s disease.
After 17 years mismanagement in my treatment by mainstream GP’s resulted in my being extremely unwell and barely functioning. I was so sick and tired I couldn’t literally function, I was at times incapacitated and could not even get out of bed. I had severe pain in my legs and body, I could hardly sleep at all and it was all taking its toll on me. Mentally, emotionally and physically I was a mess and falling apart. It was so bad at times I really thought my husband and son would be better off if I just left one way or another, I was that bad!
All this pain and grief came at a very high cost, it affected my husband’s (Stephen) career as he had to be absent from work sometimes to look after us. Eventually, it impacted Stephen’s job that he was forced to quit his wonderful career as the in-home aged care manager for the Sunshine Coast, to stay home and look after our son and me. This left me absolutely devastated, as the financial burden was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, at that stage; I was seriously considering some desperate things.
In 2014 I was going through one of the worst flares of my illness. I believe major changes and stressors in my life brought this on.
I relentlessly researched trying to find the key to what I was missing to help me regain some normalcy and enjoyment in my life. I researched for thousands of hours spent thousands of dollars trying numerous supplements and treatments. Changing to natural hormone replacement therapy in 2009 made a small difference; however, I still remained chronically unwell.
One day as I researching I came across Dr Terry Wahls TED talk about minding your mitochondria; this was my light bulb moment!! It clicked; this could be the key I had spent so many years searching for!! I became obsessed, I read everything I could about the Autoimmune Protocol and Paleo, and I figured, in my haze of brain fog I had nothing to change but the way I ate! I decided, with what I was dealing with that it was better for me to go full AIP straight out of the gate!
Although, even with wonderful US recipes and inspiring posts going full AIP alone with no home-ground support was probably one of the hardest things I have had to do. Due to all the recipes, information, products etc were more for a US reader. The first few weeks were gruelling, to say the least. I already had a very clean diet and lifestyle so it wasn’t too much of a leap. Once I found my rhythm and got my head around the do’s and do not’s it got progressively easier.
I had a small advantage in that I am quite an experienced cook, and for the most part could adapt and substitute recipes to Australian produce and the available products, and convert lots of my recipes to the AIP. I have been cooking since I was 8 years old and have over ten years experience in working in one of Brisbane’s top fine dining restaurants. I was about to go full-time in the kitchen then I found out I was pregnant. So I am a full on foodie and love cooking. I am definitely one to read many recipes and create my own interpretations.
The hard work and perseverance eventually paid off. After only 4 weeks I had the best blood work results in 17 yrs! My doctor who had been practising functional medicine for 30 years was astounded. He commented that he’d never seen such an improvement in such a short time period from just changing diet alone. After 14 months I was contacted by my doctor to arrange an appointment after some blood tests, and I was scared stiff; I was so used to receiving bad news from tests. Well, let me tell you what the doctor told me left me in tears, and I cried and cried, he said the words that I thought I would never hear – it looks like all your autoimmune diseases are in REMISSION! I said to him OMG the AIP has really worked, he looked at me and winked saying “it might have helped”.
Another amazing recovery happened with my husband Stephen. He was 117 kg (260lbs) and had in 20013 been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (his blood sugar was 26 mmol/l = 468 mg/dl) and diverticulitis. He was prescribed 2000 mg of Metformin a day for diabetes and became really scared and didn’t know what to do, the consequences for the future was not good! Sitting in an office all day in front of a computer was not a healthy way to live. After watching me working so hard to prepare all my meals for the AIP, Stephen suggested that he would eat what I ate so as not to purchase and prepare different meals for him. Within 6 months on the AIP Stephen had reversed his type 2 diabetes and diverticulitis and stopped taking his medication. He has lost over 30 kg (66 lbs), he looks 10 to 15 years younger and his energy is amazing. He says he feels like a new man and he even looks like one too!
I still continue to have some ups and downs as I have a lot of healing to do, however, now I have some hope I will not give up, AIP for life!!
We have now helped so many family members and friends with their eating and lifestyle choices. So many of them when trying my food asked me to write down the recipe and or show them how to cook the meals I made. Lots of them suggested I write a cookbook. I was so encouraged that I decided to do just that, and Stephen and I set about helping other people change their lives using food as medicine and decided that this is what we should do to help others overcome and have victory in their lives.
So, after being on this AIP journey for nearly two years now we decided to create a cookbook, website and blog to help people find Holistic Healing through Food and Lifestyle, Utilising Autoimmune Protocol Principles.
My passion is to share all the knowledge, tips, recipes and products that have helped me on my journey for people to achieve wellness and recovery from chronic diseases. Also, I want to be honest and not give anyone false hopes, everyone is walking their own journey, and if I can share my story and knowledge to help smooth their way it would give me great joy!
Using food as medicine I am totally convinced that everyone can benefit from the AIP lifestyle. After being on this AIP voyage for so long I decided to create www.harmony-hunter.com/, Holistic Healing Through Food and Lifestyle Utilising Autoimmune Protocol Principles to assist people find the missing key and provide an Australian perspective to those with chronic diseases or those who simply want to live a vibrant healthy life.
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Yours in Health & Harmony,