8. Insomnia and a Kidney Beret

I don’t care what Instagram says, healthy eating isn’t fun and it certainly isn’t sexy. The truth is, ‘come to bed eyes’ should be more aptly named ‘sauvignon eyes’ because let’s face it, no romance ever blossomed over a wind-inspiring Green Smoothie. No babies were ever made after a playful evening of carrot batons and Wheatgrass shots. No dalliance into debauchery ever concluded with kale. No life-loving, adventure-seeking being ever said ‘hey, you know what’s really fun? Broccoli.’ (Unless of course, the broccoli is attached to the end of a bungee rope, or Snickers bar.) That’s not to say I haven’t tried to be green and lean. Every January I successfully detox for a week, and celebrate with a vat of Pinot Noir and a Chinese Takeaway for four, for one. But for the first time, I’ve got a legitimate reason to try, and I can’t find a legitimate reason not to. And so my foray into eating clean began with a hint of cynicism, a dollop of dismay and four sleepless nights.

The Super Doc (Doctor Lanham at the London Lupus Centre) suggested it was time to stop taking Tramadol because after three months, the stuff was doing nothing for my mojo. He also gave me a trial prescription for steroids in the hope they might encourage my immune system to perk up. Concerned that five days on the ‘roids would inspire immediate beard growth, an appetite for Call of Duty and a penchant wolf whistling, I decided that I should counteract chemicals with pure goodly goodness. I raided Amazon for books with (smug) pretty girls on the cover – they all seemed to be holding a yoga pose and green juice concurrently. Multi-tasking majesties. And their faces (smug faces) shone with the dew of their early morning Pilates, and their eyes sparkled, and their teeth twinkled and their plentiful hair curled like magnificent Unicorn manes. They glowed from their insides out, with livers exquisite enough to be worn as broaches and glistening clean colons that would make the most delightful necklaces. I didn’t just want to look like them, I wanted to be them (or at least wear their shiny organs as jewellery.) And as my salubrious sisters sang to me from their recipe book covers, I realised I shouldn’t have come off the Tramadol quite so quickly.

For FOUR NIGHTS I lay awake, counting sheep until there were none left. My body ached with exhaustion, but how could I possibly sleep when I was so busy re-enacting scenes from Trainspotting? The Tramadol had taken more of a hold than I had thought and the ‘roids were preparing me for a wild night out I was never going to go on. A sleepless haze distorted my days but I was determined to carry on regardless. Getting dressed felt like participating in the Iron Man finals. Commuting to work was a mission to the underworld with Hades on my back. Eating was essential in order to take my pills, but it’s ever so tricky to fry an egg white omelette from foetal position. Life seemed to be getting harder and curly kale wasn’t helping. Narcotics and healthy eating is a juxtaposition Irvine Walsh obviously hadn’t considered when he was writing Trainspotting, which is a shame because I could have done with a point of reference and the glowing girls weren’t helping.

When I found myself waking up on Regent’s Street having fainted amidst indifferent tourists, it was time to head back to Super Doc (with an awesome new recipe for sweet potato brownies.)

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Nothing says FUN like celery! (said no one ever)

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2 thoughts on “8. Insomnia and a Kidney Beret

  1. I can see in your pile of books that you have Deliciously Ella- I found her story inspiring and showed it to a friend who’s best friend has M.E- it changed her life and now she has created her own recipe blogg- please give it a look. I also have a friend who controls her MS with diet- she is amazing how she manages to work full time as a class teacher and deputy head. My mum controls her arthritis by diet. I really hope you can get success through a natural diet – read here for inspiration love Thalia Xx https://createdbyqueenie.wordpress.com

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    • Thank you so much for your comment, and for forwarding me the blog! I’m now following Created by Queenie, and can’t wait to give the recipes a go (particularly the raspberry shortbread!) I absolutely believe that food can help to heal the body and soul, and I’m really enjoying the challenge! Thanks Thalia x

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