An Auto-Immune Update

carla coulson, ranunculas, flowers paris, fleuriste paris, pink flowers, pink,

Thanks to everyone who has written to me and asked me to keep them posted on my progress treating my 3 auto-immune conditions naturally.

I have been wanting to share my latest results from December with you but raced off to Australia to teach a workshop and soak up the sun.

I have continued to eat the way I explained in this post here and live the same way but a couple of habits have crept back in like coffee. I love coffee and it’s been a hard one for me to let go of.

For the first 8 months I didn’t let a drop pass my lips but prior to Christmas and in Australia I was back to having a good coffee 3 or 4 times a week and in Oz almost everyday.

I also started to re-introduce grains such as rice and sarrasin (buckwheat) but in all honesty I feel better without them.

So here’s the score card from December..

Alopecia Areata – Gone, gone, gone.. All 3 bald spots have re-grown and I have a fabulous ‘horn’ sticking straight out of my head where the regrowth is so strong it just grows vertically. Francesco thinks I will soon ‘be growing hair on my back’..

Thyroid Values/Graves Disease – These values were ‘kicked to the kerb’, as my American friend loves to say back in August. All three thryoid values were back in range and have remained there and I have no symptoms at all. You can see the results here and how they changed from my first blood test.

Lichen Sclerosus – This was the trickiest Auto-immune to deal with but I have decided was the easiest way to measure my overall health. When I ate the wrong foods or stressed myself out it hurt like hell. Since early December my dear friend Lichen and I are on the very best of terms. I behave myself and so does he!! All lesions have healed and I have the occasional itchy attack when I eat too many food with oxalates in them.. You can read the details when I discovered what oxalates were back in May here and how I adopted a low oxalate diet.

TSH Antibodies – I started this adventure with TSH anti-bodies measuring 11.9 which I believe indicates the severity of Graves Disease. Over the past months every blood test the anti-bodies continue to drop as my body self heals. My latest test in December dropped again and mumma is getting closer to ‘zippo’. They are now at 3.22 and the antibodies need to be under 1.75 to be home free. This has been the progress..

TSH Antibodies – Dates and Blood Results – Under 1.75 to be in remission

23/12/2014 – 11.9

4/2/2014 – 7.54

22/4/2014 – 6.49

14/8/2014 – 4.86

18/12/2014 – 3.22

Francesco and I decided to do our own form of ‘lent’ this year. For forty days  he would try to give up coffee, wine and ciggies and I would go back to no coffee or grains.

There is another reason too, some of my little lovelies have started their own adventures with auto-immunes (not their choice) and I want to help them make this road easier. So just after Easter I am hoping to have my last blood test and kiss this chapter goodbye.. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime I will leave you with some lovely links especially if you are a mum and you are trying to find some healthy living alternatives for your children.

I love:

The Organic Sisters – Two lovely sisters with children who have had their own health issues and changed their diets. They share wonderful recipes with a simple list of ingredients that work. They also have e-books for lunch boxes and sugar free sweets

Mummamara’s Kitchen – This is a recent discovery through my dear friend Ath. Mara shares great recipes with a focus on family food. Great for kids..

Healy Eats Real –  I discovered Hannah Healy one day on Dr. Google when I was dying for a crunchy biscuit. I found this delicious recipe for Ginger Snap Cookies. I often use chestnut flour instead of the almond and coconut flour.

I Quit Sugar – The lovely Sarah Wilson has made it easy for all of us. There is every cookbook here for kids, adults, cooking in your slow cooker, smoothies and chocolate

Paleo Grubs – has an exhaustive range of meal ideas and you download this dessert E-Book for free

Pete Evans – has developed a ten week program with recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you can’t think of what to do with another root vegetable (aka us poor Northern Europeans in winter) check out his Paleoway

I have gathered all my auto-immune posts together so if you are too struggling with an AI you can read what I have been up to here

Wishing you the very best of good health and I will check back in after Easter.

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” Mahatma Ghandi

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Auto-Immune… Going, Going, Almost Gone

Carla Coulson Loc Boyle, auto-immune

Me by fab photographer Loc Boyle


I have been meaning to write this post for the longest time.

I know many of you are in the same auto-immune boat as me although you may have a different auto-immune condition such as fibromyalgia, vitiligo, sarcoidosis or one of the hundreds of auto-immunes see here (staggering).

I have received loads of emails and questions from my original posts here and here about my progress with my new way of eating and my wholistic approach to Graves Disease, Alopecia Areata and Lichen Sclerosous.

Before I go on, I am not recommending anyone on medication to stop. If you want to change your diet you need to do it with the supervision of a good naturopath or Functional doctor.

One of the stand-out things I have found about auto-immune conditions is that we are surrounded by them, it seems degenerative disease is our generations gift for eating way to much processed food, living a fast lifestyle and not listening to our bodies and not taking enough time out. Ask a friend, family member, work colleague and you will be surprised who is suffering.

I have tried to quantify this diet and my lifestyle changes since January by having regular blood tests and the results have been overwhelming. So overwhelming I kept going.

As a reward after my recent holiday I had a blood test and the news was so fab I wanted to share the results with you.

Thyroid problemResolved!!! When I started this diet back in January my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was almost nonexistent. In December 2013 my TSH was 0.005 and as at Mid August it was 2.240 (so in the range it’s scary). Do the math (cause I am a photographer and not very good at it) but that is a massive jump. See comprehensive test results at the end of the post with monthly moves..

Auto-immune Antibodies – Down from 11. 9 in December to 4.8 in August. They need to get under 1.75 to be home free (in remission) so not there yet but getting closer

Alopecia Areata – Hair growing in all 3 bald spots. Gawd this makes me happy. Lovely little black and grey hairs 3 inches long filling all three baldies!

Lichen Sclerous – Prior to March I was still having problems with Lichen Sclerosous. I ended up in this private forum and discovered Oxalates. A word I had never heard before and one that has changed my life. I added a Low Oxalate diet to my Paleo Diet and I believe going on the Low Oxalate diet was the thing that hastened healing of all three auto-immune conditions.

Is the Low Oxalate diet fun? NO, but neither is Lichen Sclerosous or any of the others AI’s. I had almost instant results once I started this and then my thyroid values moved enormously so I have a sneaky feeling Oxalate is the new black. I think Oxalates are to blame for auto-immune as much as Gluten.. And I never believed in detox symptoms till I met Mr. Oxalate..

Without a doubt cutting Gluten and processed foods out was the first great step I took but discovering the Low Oxalate Diet was the second one.

There is so much great information out there and I will try and share as many links here as possible but all Auto-immune disease stems from a leaky gut so the important thing is to heal your intestine and then your body will heal itself. World expert Dr. Alessandro Fasano explains it here

Snapshot of Auto-Immune

  1. Leaky Gut – We all have compromised digestion thanks to years of processed foods and food intolerances. Sarah Wilson explains it simply here
  2. Inflammation – Is the root of all auto-immune and most disease. Things that cause inflammation are sugar, coffee, refined foods, alcohol and processed foods. Dr Mark Hyman explains it here 
  3. Food Intolerance –Weakens the immune system..seems a large part of the human race is allergic to lactose and gluten.. more info here
  4. Give your system a break – By taking away irritating foods and flooding it with nutrition from whole foods and supporting it with complimentary holistic treatments such as acupuncture, massage and shiatsu.
  5. Get Moving – One of the best anti-imflammatory of all time, you don’t need to run or go to the gym. Walking is great.
  6. Practice deep relaxation – Such as yoga, meditation and long walks
  7. Be patient – Let your body heal itself naturally.. We took a lifetime to get into this situation its going take time to get out of it.

auto-immune, Carla Coulson greens

The Way I Eat

No Gluten

No Dairy

No Coffee,

No Alcohol,

In general no grains or legumes but I do eat rice a couple of times a week

No Sugar (sugar is in everything once you read the labels) this includes almost all sauces

No processed food, this pretty much knocks out everything on the supermarket shelves

Organic fresh fruit and vegetables, a small amount of nuts, organic eggs and meat and wild fish (I eat meat once a week)

Good fats, such as avocados, organic butter, cold-pressed olive oil and coconut oil – this is really important.. I have learnt fat doesn’t make you fat. I have never eaten more fat in my life and it has had no impact on my cholesterol only my waist (it’s thinner).

I started eating fermented foods 

Most auto-immune diets also knock-out nightshades, I reduced them but still put capsicum in salads and ate the odd tomato.

I Stopped:

Using all perfumes and non-organic body products including hair shampoos, body creams

Flouride toothpaste

Being connected 24/7 to social media and working like a maniac

Got rid of all cleaning products in the house and replaced them with eco versions.

I Started:

Walking everyday for 45 mins (exercise is the best anti-inflammatory there is)

Getting 15 mins of sun where I could (to help with low Vitamin D levels)

Meditating twice a day

Making bone broths to substitute eating meat.

Drinking filtered water

Drinking herbal teas, Rosehip for Vitamin C and Nettle for Iron

Bought an earthing mat for our bed – these videos are interesting

Reduced stress and my workload

Supplements:

These are some of the natural supplements that were prescribed to me by my naturopath. I would suggest seeing a great naturopath for your specific health needs.

Cod liver Oil once a day – a teaspoon

Silica

Magnesium

Vitamin B12

Hawthorn

Vitamin D3 1000 u

Grapefruit seed oil

Symptons of Auto-Immune:

Chronic tiredness (like falling asleep at lunch)

Heart palpitations (thyroid)

Anxiety (thyroid)

Chronic Candida

Muscle fatigue (I could hardly climb to the 2nd floor without feeling like it was Mount Everest)

Sleep problems (thyroid)

Baldness 3 totally bald spots on my head (Alopecia Areata)

Itchiness and lesions (Lichen Sclerosous)

Brain Fog and a sense of not being here (thyroid)

Itchiness on the front of my shins

Bumps on the backs of the top of your arms

Phlegm

Millions of small pimples that look like a heat rash but were discovered in the middle of winter

There are a million other systems but these were some of mine.

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

Was it difficult to go on the Paleo diet? and how much meat to you eat? No. I have always loved eating well and had previously bought organic food but was almost exclusively vegetarian unless eating at someone’s place and I didn’t want to cause a fuss. I was eating loads of carbohydrates and almost no protein. When I made the switch I found I was rarely hungry and no longer had sugar highs and lows thanks to the whole food diet and eating good fats and protein. I eat pastured raised meat once a week and make bone broths to put in soups and stews. For me the focus is on fruit and vegetables and I eat a lot of eggs.

What was the hardest thing to give up? For me it was coffee, I love coffee and even now my morning doesn’t feel like it ‘starts’ because there is no coffee ritual. In the past couple of weeks on the weekend I make a big deal of going out and finding a great coffee in Paris and enjoying it like it is truly special instead of using it like a crutch as I did before.

Any setbacks? Yes. Once early on when my system was very fragile I kicked off the Graves again by eating lots of sugary fruit (bananas, pineapple and mango together). I did the same thing this summer when I ate an enormous gelato (first one in 8 months) and nothing happened so I ate another one the next day and then thyroid was off and running again with heart palpitations and exhaustion for a week.

How do I handle travel? I travel regularly for work and take my own food stocks. When I worked in the mountains in Italy for a week I took canned sardines, pre boiled eggs, avocados, baked banana bread (I substitute the almond flour with chestnut flour and go light on the honey) and fruit in case I couldn’t access what I needed when I arrived. Guess what? I couldn’t..

Do I eat out? I rarely eat out preferring my own food!!! Gluten is in everything, in Thai sauces and other foods I love. I eat Japanese and take my own gluten free Tamari, chose things like Omelettes or ask how the fish etc is cooked. Have been caught out with batters and breadcrumbs many times.

If and when I go into remission will I go back to eating gluten? Getting off Gluten has been one of the greatest and liberating experiences in my adult life. I no longer need to walk into the local bakery ever again and the bonus has been a slimmer waist and better health. It has allowed me to reconnect with real food and cooking it in a respectful way.

Any health bonuses you didn’t imagine? I have been plagued with headaches my whole life. Since changing the way I live and eat I haven’t had a headache for 6 months and I have lost four kilos. My husband who has had chronic ‘wake you up at night’ Eczema since he was a teenager has lost 12 kilos and his eczema has gone. He wasn’t convinced about the diet till he saw this film. Now he is the world’s number 2 fan (after me).

Where there any times you felt like giving up? There was a day afterI had been on the Low Oxalate diet for a couple of months when I realised there wasn’t a lot of fun in my life at the time. I had read everything I could on diet, I was not only gluten, sugar, alcohol, coffee, processed food free but also free of almonds, sweet potato, chocolate, figs and many other heavenly foods I loved. I was miserable, from that day forward I decided to lighten up and have more fun, have a massage, go to the cinema and forget my oxalate obsession for a while and be kind to myself.

Is it expensive? Yes, without a doubt I am spending twice the amount of money on food that I previously did and wholistic practitioners aren’t covered in the health care system in France. I cart home a shopping caddy full of fresh fruit and vegetables twice a week but being sick is also expensive. I am investing in my health now instead of later and seeing the benefits makes it worth while.

Any Tips on making the change? The toughest thing about eating this way is that you need to be organised and always have food handy. This means thinking and preparing in advance, always having the fridge stocked and something in your camera bag or handbag.

What reactions do you commonly have when you tell people how you are eating? The most common reaction is suspicion. People tend to not believe you and think you are slightly kooky. Try telling an Italian that the pasta they have been feeding their child it’s whole life is causing him/her harm! It’s like saying the very fabric of their culture is turning on them. Much easier to walk away from it than believe it.

Anything else you would like to add? This has been one of the most empowering experiences in my life. Seeing that my body can heal itself with kindness, good food and love is a powerful feeling. We all make such a big deal about eating like this but it’s simply returning to the way our Grandparents ate.

Want to learn more:

The Perfect Human Diet – A documentary that explains the concept of Paleo eating

The Wahls Protocol
– Written by the doctor who had MS and was in a well chair for years) after one month on her diet she could walk with crutches, after 5 months she rode a bike and after 1 year she rode 50kms. This book explains degenerative disease in simple language and gets into the details of what to eat.. Wonderful.

Minding Your Mitochondria – Terry Wahls Ted Talk on diet and disease

Sarah Wilson – Sarah has a section on her blog discussing auto-immune here

Practical Paleo – A great practical guide to understanding your particular auto-immune condition, what to eat and some great recipes.

Nourishing Traditions – One of my favourite books recommended by a dear friend and tells us the traditional ways to prepare foods.. Love this book

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration – If you want to go the whole way this is a study done in the thirties by Weston Price. He travelled the world to find people who were still eating traditional diets untouched by white man’s food. I loved it.

My Blood Results from December to August

Red Means the values are out of the range

TSH – The accepted Range is from 0.270 – 4.20

23/12/2013 – .005

4/2/2014 – .005

22/4/2014 – .770 (woohoo in range)

14/8/2014 – 2,240 (woohoo in range)

T3 – The accepted range is from 0.93 – 4.40

23/12/2014 – 5.6

4/2/2014 – 4.5

22/4/2014 – 2.50 (woohoo in range)

T4 – The accepted range is from 9.3 – 17

23/12/2014 – 20.1

4/2/2014 16 (woohoo in range)

22/4/2014 – 12 (woohoo in range)

Auto-immune antibodies – The accepted range is under 1.75

23/12/2014 – 11.9

4/2/2014 – 7.54

22/4/2014 – 6.49

14/8/2014 – 4.86

If you are wondering why I have gone to the trouble of adding my test results its because throughout these eight months its the one piece of information I couldn’t find on the internet. Nobody had quantified their results and shown their progress although many spoke of healing.

I did this for all of those like me who were searching for an alternative to the doctor’s standard response of ‘its incurable you will have to live with it for the rest of your life.’

I believed it was possible and I can see it is.

Wishing you all good health and happiness.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

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Please share for the good health of those we love..x

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Grateful for Graves Disease – A Surprising Xmas Present

carla coulson loc boyle

Me fooling around at Bondi by Loc Boyle

Gosh.. I have been meaning to say hello for the longest time and to wish you all a fabulous 2014 but something has kept me from the computer.

After living through an exciting week of my book launch in early December in Sydney and meeting so many gorgeous people, finishing the Get Published Workshop and meeting more gorgeous people I finally found some time to get a couple of things I wanted done including a blood test.

So when I received an urgent call telling me to come to the doctors on Christmas Eve I knew something was up (yeah.. I had already received a copy of the blood test and was onto Dr. Google with the results).

Seems I had something with the terrible name of Graves Disease, an auto-immune disease that attacks your thyroid and makes your heart race (even when hubby isn’t around) and your hands shake and lots of other symptoms you check out here. I clocked in at 11 on a scale where you need just 2 to be positive.

The doctor being doctors scare the crap out of you, tell you you have no choice but a lifetime of medicine and you MUST take it otherwise you could risk a thyroid storm (gees just the sound of this brought Steve Speilberg images to my head of guys arriving in white suits with kalashnikovs to attack my poor defenseless thryroid).

But you see I had already been onto Dr. Google and I had questions of my own, what about changing my diet? what about checking my vitamin levels? am I deficient in anything? etc etc.. A big straight NO was responded and I was escorted to the door.

And by the way I wasn’t feeling THAT bad..well I at least felt confident those storm troopers weren’t on the way over.

Gees.. Merry Christmas Carla!

But here are the reasons I am grateful for my unusual Christmas present.

Grateful to live in this internet age and for the people out there and the information they are sharing about their stories and alternative solutions like Sarah Wilson. Sarah who offers tonnes of tips and advice and also talks to the marvellous Andrea Beaman who ate her way back to good health.

I am grateful for sites like Weston A. Price and even the heavy breathing Dr Johnson (a little salesy at times) and his almost 2 hour video that walks you through Auto-immune and how to heal your body naturally. To friends who told me about Nourishing Traditions an incredible book by Sally Fallon that talks about the studies of Weston A Price and offers create recipes and tips.

Their information gave me the courage to say NO to the medication and to call a naturopath at Newton’s Pharmacy, one of Sydney’s oldest herbalists. The naturopath wasn’t even slightly alarmed, she changed my diet, no gluten, no lactose, no sugar, no coffee, no tea, no stimulants, no alchohol (you getting the picture) but loads of good fats and proteins and whole foods (I had almost been exclusively vegetarian for the best part of 5 years cause I intensely dislike the industrialisation of animals) and she said to have regular blood tests to see what happens. Wonderful herbal supplement to get my intestine working again and lots of food state vitamins. Oh and the really good news was I was told to sit in the sun and eat lots of organic butter. That’s when I started to like this condition!

Here’s the funny thing, I thought I was eating well, lots of pulses and rice, veges, fruit and salads and all of it organic but almost no fats.

I went to see my favourite acupuncturist and more good news, there were things that could be done.

But the wellness package (if I didn’t want to take the drugs) included me changing the way I do things, slowing down, having time out and giving my body and mind time to regenerate and heal itself instead of rushing onto the next thing. I was part of the problem and the way I do things.

So I pulled out the plug (literally) no dinner outs, no running around the city instead I swam, slept and learnt to meditate.

Within 3 weeks I was almost sympton free, even i was shocked. I learnt there were things that could trigger it off like SUGARY fruits (Sarah Wilson and her I Quit Sugar program is onto something) and indoor heated chlorinated Parisian pools.

You are probably wondering why I am telling you this? January is Thyroid Awareness Month and so I thought I would share my story in the case that any of you out there are in a similar boat and as confused as I was when I walked out the doctor’s door.

Also I ask forgiveness if I haven’t got back to you in the past month..

I am grateful to have had a wake-up call when I had always PROMISED myself to change things but never seemed to turn the corner or get to the bottom of the washing basket of tasks to do.

I am grateful for photography that is my balm, my meditation and one of the things that I love most in life and I look forward to a wonderful year of photos, memories and great people.

Thanks for coming along for the ride and I look forward to sharing lots of photography and tips with you in 2014.

Wishing you great health, happiness and photos..

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

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An Untold Chapter In Finding My Way To Photography

carla coulson by Loc Boyle

Moi by Loc Boye

It is easy as an adult to stop exploring. To arrive at a point in your life where your work and daily life routine takes over and the child and dreams within are forgotten.

It took some digging around, having time and experimenting for me to find the thing that got my heart galloping,  photography.

I wasn’t one of those lucky ones that knew from the minute they were born what they wanted to do in life, in fact I thought I didn’t have a creative bone in my body. My parents weren’t artists and we didn’t have a connection with the creative world so I was never exposed to the idea of being a photographer.

But when I knew I no longer wanted to live the life I was living I made that list of possible things to try. I dug into the recesses of my brain looking for things I loved or thought I might love.

George V Hotel Paris Carla Coulson

Copyright Carla Coulson for Simply You

I knew at the time my career wasn’t what I wanted but I wasn’t one hundred percent sure about what I did want to do. I made a list (as I do). It looked like this.

 Learn Italian

Work in the outback

Work for another company doing something I love

Take some time out to think about life

Go to Bali and check out options

Try a photography course

Find Love (thought I might as well write it down and let the universe know I was serious)

I decided to try as many things possible during a year to see if I could find what I was looking for.

Carla Coulson Rawlinna

Taken at Rawlinna and inspired by my time in the outback in WA copyright Carla Coulson

Working on a farm in Outback Western Australia was included on the list because I thought maybe it was city life that needed changing. I added working with a sports marketing team because I thought I needed to work with a different group of people than I had previously worked with, learning Italian was also jotted down because it was something I had always wanted to do. Photography had always been a passion so the list went on and on.

At the top I wrote Italy and of course included something else I was missing in my life, LOVE.

Through a friend I met ‘Doogs’ and I went to work on his farm in the outback in the heart of the Western Australian wheat belt. We were swapping skills, I taught him to use the internet and I fed his chickens who had been saved from a battery farm (never eaten a non-free range egg since). I thought maybe I might like to move to the country and city life was the problem so this was a test.

I arrived straight from the city with my jangling nerves and phone addiction and it took me a week to slow down and sit in wonder at the big open Western Australian skies. I loved walking around the property, jumping in the jeep to go fix a fence or drive a 100km to a friends for dinner. Going to town to get the post wasn’t to be missed and Kellerberin could have been Paris for all I cared. I loved wandering the shops, going to the Post Office (there were people there) or to Dalgety’s (more people there) to get some more farm supplies.

After a month I was another girl, full of Western Australian sunshine and big skies. I had one whole month to wind down, smell the ‘wheat’ and think about what I wanted in life. This experience was priceless and ‘Doogs’ was a kind generous soul but the isolation wasn’t for me.

Diver Positano Carla Coulson

Off the rocks Positano Italian Joy Copyright Carla Coulson

I packed my bags and headed back to Sydney to start another short term job. What I realised when I walked in on my first day was that I no longer wanted to work in an office anymore, the neon lights, the cubicles, the lack of privacy and no big skies – it felt like jail after feeding the chickens!  I stuck out 3 months and then headed to Italy.

The first night I arrived in Florence I walked the streets, stopping in Piazza Signoria. I was on my own and everything felt like it was in slow motion. I hugged myself with happiness. I felt like I belonged.

After the month of Italian school was up I was meant to move on to the next experience on the list but I didn’t want to. I felt like I had barely learnt any Italian and what a shame to go now when I could cancel the rest of my plans and stay here.

It was my second daring decision – to go with my heart and not with my head, first was leaving!!

I had never felt so free.

I stayed on, I continued with my Italian lessons in the morning and in the afternoon I let go of a lifetime of living a certain way. The spontaneity that had been beaten out of me in Sydney by a lifetime of routine and responsibility came back. I said ‘yes’ to every invitation and let barriers that I had built up over years come crashing down.

Italian Joy Cover

Italian Joy Copyright Carla Coulson

In my heart I knew I couldn’t go back to my old life. I had seen another way of living. I still hadn’t found Mr. Right but it seemed inconsequential. I had found Italy. Six months in Italy had changed me, my old life looked even smaller and sadder than before.

Before I left to sort out my affairs, I found a photography school and enrolled. It was my pact with myself. It was a connection to Italy that would force me back. I gave myself three months  in Sydney to sort things out and come back. I was convinced. And as they say “the rest is history”..when I walked into a darkroom almost 8 months later it was love at first photo..

Underwater friends Carla Coulson

Underwater friends Italian Joy Copyright Carla Coulson

Some of you will already know what you want to do in life. Lucky you.

Be happy also if you know what you ‘don’t want to do’ for the rest of your life. Rejoice in the fact that you are aware that there is another life made for you, even if you have to go and find it. This is a wonderful place to be because you have already taken the first steps towards your new life. You know what you don’t want to do.

Make a list and start exploring different creative fields. Remember not to panic if you are doing a job you don’t like today because you already making the moves to change your life just by the knowledge you aren’t happy.

Start exploring and you too  like me may uncover a burning passion you never knew existed.

Write your list of all possible options that you think you might like to explore and start ticking them off.

I hoped you enjoyed this little insight into my journey to photography and I am wishing you loads of luckdust on yours.

 “The law of work seems unfair, but nothing can change it; the more enjoyment you get out of your work, the more money you will make.???Mark Twain

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PS; Please share with others on a new path..

Once Upon A Time In Italy


Once upon a time In Italy,  three little girls (well not so little, on their way to forty) sat around a table in a lovely trattoria in Florence. It was a winter’s night.

One was Italian, one was Swiss and the other was Australian. The Italian was a shoe designer (what else?), the Swiss was an interior decorator and the Australian was on her way to a new life.

They sat around that table with plates of delicious food, wonderful wine and a beautiful friendship. They talked about Italy, food, life, happiness and love.

The Italian, who was always on a plane to a shoe factory somewhere in the world recounted stories of eyes-meeting with gorgeous guys in airports on trains, planes and in metros but still remained mystified why love hadn’t come her way. For once the Australian wasn’t so worried about love she had recently fallen in love with photography. The Swiss, as beautiful as Lady Diana sat quietly as she does, a couple of beautiful shakes of her head  but not wanting to draw attention to herself she said nothing.

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

No-one deserved love more than her. Generous, kind and affectionate she always put everyone before herself and was the greatest friend a girl could have.

Many years passed in between and they always managed to meet in that lovely trattoria in Florence. Then one day the Swiss and the Australian received a call that not in an airport, a train or on a metro but in the Italian embassy in New York the Italian met the love of her life. She married on a beach in Mexico not long after her 40th birthday and within 3 years had two beautiful little girls.

The Australian too met the love of her life and was married in Paris in a leopard skin hat!  And just a couple of days ago in Geneva on a spectacular day only the love-gods could dream up,  the beautiful Swiss married the man who had been searching for her all his life..

And there was no-one as happy as the Australian and the Italian to share this incredible moment. They laughed about those dinners in Florence and rejoiced in finding love and one of the greatest gifts of all, friendship.

Auguri ancora bella mia..

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