Carla Coulson, Carla Coulson Photography, Carla Coulson Coaching, Business coach, blog, this is better for you than green juice

This Is Better For You Than Green Juice 

 

Dear Folks, 

The past four years have been beyond interesting in all things growth for me. Thanks to three different auto-immunes Alopecia areata, Graves disease, and Lichen Sclerosus, I got to take a VERY good look at how I was living my life.

I pulled up a train crash speeding at about 100km an hour before it hit a wall and in the process have learnt some of the most marvelous life lessons of all time. 

Jumping off a cliff into a new life 18 years ago, leaving Australia for Italy and a business for photography brought me so many insights into who I am and why I am here. There was so much to learn once I woke up from the trance I had been living that I couldn’t wait to get started. 

There was photography and Florence, museums and art, a new way of living and being. And there was so much love and joy. 

Love for life, for the small things, the world around me and the adventure I was on. The joy was daily in riding a bike through the streets of Florence, in learning a new language and the belly laughs for the mistakes I made and finding a community.

 

Carla Coulson, Carla Coulson Photography, Carla Coulson Coaching, Business coach, blog, this is better for you than green juice

 

But somewhere in between Florence and the auto-immunes, my life got way more serious, I moved to Paris, got busy trying to make it work and being back in a big city. 

I credit the auto-immunes with giving me my joy back. They gave me the kick up the bum I needed to take responsibility of my life again and start living it the way I wanted to live it. 

I got back on the JOY TRAIN. 

And yes I did and do eat a million fruit and vegetables, Yes I did stop all those chemicals and loads of other things (YOU CAN READ ABOUT IT HERE) but the healthiest thing you can do for your nervous system is to laugh, to share, to find joy and to allow yourself pleasure with a capital P.

Isn’t this the best news you have had all year! Yes folks, the green juices are fabulous but your nervous system needs a break from doing, from the stress of work and life and all things serious. It needs to dance and ride bikes, it needs to laugh till tears come out your eyes and your stomach hurts, it needs to play football with your kids and lie in a park and do nothing. It needs to paint and to garden, to smell the roses and to go fishing.

 

Carla Coulson, Carla Coulson Photography, Carla Coulson Coaching, Business coach, blog, this is better for you than green juice

 

The more little breaks you give that poor shot to pieces nervous system of yours, the more it will fire up the hormones we need and get them doing what they are meant to be doing instead of freaking out and flooding our body with cortisol. 

So lovelies, light a candle, buy yourself some flowers, book a massage because it’s good for you.  

Five Tips for Getting the Joy Back

  1. Remember what makes you happy and build it into your daily or weekly life, it can be as simple as riding a bike or gardening
  2. When you feel like life is too much ask for help or when someone offers it accept it. Doing it all on our own is no longer a badge of honour
  3. Build something that makes you feel good into your life. You decide how often. A swim, a massage, a walk in the mountains or a dance lesson.
  4. Make frequent breaks in your day.. Yes you are allowed to rest. Sit down for 10 mins if your job is on your feet or vice-versa get up from the computer and do some stretches. Take time to meditate or do nothing, lie on the grass and look at the sky.
  5. Disconnect – being connected all the time keeps our nervous systems on call. So make some rules around the use of your phone and social media so you can be present with the ones you love 

 

The super big bonus of letting your nervous system calm down is that you let a little light into your heart and soul. And when the light gets in you get a little piece to your puzzle.

Sending love and light

Carla x

Related Post: Why We All Need More Greek Kefi

My Journey To Better Health – Goodbye Auto-Immunes

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Photo of me by Loc Boyle

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS POST IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, IT’S BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. PLEASE SEEK THE ADVICE OF A REPUTABLE NATURAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER AND DOCTOR.

Dear Friends,

This has nothing to do with photography but if you are interested in health then you might enjoy reading on.

I have been meaning to share this news with you for a little while and many of you have written to me since I first posted about discovering I had 3 auto-immune conditions in 2014.

I know it probably feels odd to talk about such a personal subject but what I realized is how many people are afflicted with this stuff. Once I wrote my first blogpost it felt like a pandemic. Wonderful peeps shared their stories with me and I realized I wasn’t Robinson Crusoe!

After 3 years on a natural diet, all three auto-immunes have been kicked to the kerb! No thyroid, no alopecia and no lichen sclerosus (and I promise you no-one wants this) and no auto-immune antibodies. If you were in Paris last week and you saw a gal cha cha chaing down Rue du Rivoli, that was me.

auto immune, alopecia, thyroid, graves disease, lichen sclerosus, Black and white photography, photography workshop, italian photography workshop, travel photography workshop, travel photography workshop italy, portraiture, fashion portrait, movement, carla coulson, creative coach, creative entrepreneur, photographer, photographers life, italy, photography workshop puglia, beginners travel photography workshop, photography

Photo of me by Loc Boyle (you too would be laughing like a manic if you were trying to balance

on a moving boat on the Amalfi Coast LOL)

Many of you may recall or have read one of my other posts where I posted my thyroid values as the months and years passed, they continued to improve as my body started to heal but almost 14 months ago they started to swing in the opposite direction (yikes). It was everything I had read and almost expected but I had to admit I was a little bit disappointed that this wasn’t finishing quicker.

There were moments where it got really hard and not only was I on a Paleo diet (with very little meat) but then I took it to new and exciting levels and went on a low oxalate diet, which meant green juices for me were like poison. The diet wasn’t the only thing I had to change, I had to change the way I did things. I had to let go of trying to be superwoman and start building breaks, time out and time off into my life and schedule and asking for help when I needed it.

This has been a great challenge for me but the secret sauce in getting well. Your nervous system can’t heal if you are constantly on overdrive and pumping truckloads of cortisol into your body daily.

So for the past 3 years I have been gluten free, I eat industrial quantities of vegetables and fruit, eat little processed foods such as bread, pasta, snacks etc (even gluten free ones). Gave up coffee for a year but started having one or two a day, have the occasional glass of wine and never went back to using any products in the home that are toxic. Oh and I laugh, dance and ride my bike as often as I can.

I have learnt to meditate (a work in progress) and made exercise a non-negotiable!

What this journey has taught me:

1. If you can find a naturopath and a doctor to work together with you it’s the best way forward

2. What works for me mightn’t work for you. All of us are different (that’s the good bit) and our own unique chemistry requires our own unique recipe

3. We are responsible for our health (not a doctor) and we should ask questions and do our own research and find someone we trust to help us improve it.

4. Fun, laughter, joy is the best cure! There was a moment when I was miserable, when I was scared of food. I was frustrated when I would find another bald spot on my head and eating such a reduced diet. One day I realized I wasn’t having any fun, so I booked a massage and made sure I did some fun stuff each week and started taking it a little less seriously.

5. The human body is the most amazing organism on the planet and if we treat it with love and respect, it can respond.

6. Exercise is better than Advil! I always thought the statement about ‘listening to your body’ was a bunch of BS but hey if you are willing to listen to your body, it will tell you everything you need to know. I learnt that walking, biking or doing aerobic exercise would get rid of scratchy ‘acid battery’ knees and it does reduce inflammation.

7. I realized how little I knew about food. About what it does to us and it has been the best 3 years of my life reading, watching and learning about how powerful food is.

8. I thought ‘how unlucky I was’ when I was sitting in the doctor’s office 3 years ago and what I realized instead is ‘how lucky I was’. How lucky I had this little cosmic slap in the face before things really got out of hand. How lucky I was that I could pull up this speeding train wreck that was heading into a deeper darker place.

9. Controlling your breath by slowing it down, calms your nervous system. I realised there are so many situations where I literally stop breathing,  like when I am taking a photo or even when I am working at the computer. I take time out of the day to retrain this habit.

10. Meditation has been a godsend literally! I love to think it does more than one thing and one of the big bonuses is the direct line to the universe.. When you slow your mind down, get our of your head space and into your heart all sorts of amazing stuff comes to you. Great ideas, solutions, inspiration and your desires all happen to me after meditation and now I have the habit of looking skyward and saying thanks..

11. It’s all in your intestine! The way home to good health is repairing your tired, exhausted intestine. Bringing back the right flora to life so it can do its job.

You will find a lot of material about what I did and resources on this post HERE including many of the books I have read and the things I have tried. If you are starting your journey today take heart, there will be dark days but I can promise you there will be such a great sensation of taking care of you,  there will be so many bright, pain free days ahead of you, every cucumber and salad will be worth it.

These two books are two of my favourites

The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls
The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush by Andreas Moritz

The past 3 years have been a gift in every sense. I have been pushed way out of my comfort zone, frustrated, desperate, sad, happy and elated.  The experience made me shape up and take a good look at how I was living. It started me on a road to greater places, deeper understanding of why I am here and the real power that lies within each of us and hell it took me sooooo long to to crack that open.

Instead of a meltdown it turned into a spiritual awakening, for which I will be forever grateful for. Not only did I get better health but it cleared the fog and allowed me to see my future and where I wanted to go so much more clearly.

Sending you love and wishes and good health always.

Carla x

PS. For the thyroid folk the first and the last test results

Latest tests 2017            Original Test Values in 2014

TSH – 1.79              <0.005
T4 – 16.7                 20.1
T3 – 4                      5.6
TRAB – 1.5              11.9

Related Post: Why Photography Is Good For Your Happiness

The Power Of Food

Carla Coulson Loc Boyle small

Me at Bondi in Sydney by Loc Boyle

I promised myself I wouldn’t turn this blog into a food/health/auto-immune blog but couldn’t resist sharing a little update with you.

You may remember from this post that I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (which is an auto-immune disease) in December and at the same time found a bald spot  (Alopecia Areata) in the back of my hair. Oh and there is another one at the other end of my body called Lichen Sclerosus that begs you too scratch all day!!

The doctors wanted to kick this under the carpet as ‘hereditary’. My mum and all her sisters have vitiligo, my uncle had Psoriasis another Uncle has Sarcoidosis,  my sister has vitiligo and my cousin has had Alopecia since she was in her 20’s.

Well, it is almost 2 months now that I have been on a Paleo Diet, no grains, legumes, milk products, no sugar or processed food. No coffee, alcohol or stimulants.. Just good old veges, fruit, nuts and seeds and protein..

A couple of weeks ago I checked in with my French doctor (always an interesting experience). There was a lot of head shaking (you need to take drugs), whipping out of the prescription pad and ‘non non non’ this natural thing is no good.

But I don’t have any symptions I insisted. My acupuncturist had been working on my gut and my head (think of woody the woodpecker and his beak knocking on my bald spot) and my hair is starting to sprout and the itchiness in my nether regions has subsided.

I begged her to let me take another blood test and then we would talk about it.

Begrudgingly she  agreed.

On weigh in day (cause that’s what it felt like) I was doing  ‘Oh what a feeling’ Toyota jumps (the Aussie’s will know what this is)  all the way down Rue du Rivoli hugging my results to my chest.

Fruit-and-vegetables-for-sale-_MG_5203_Carla-Coulson

Fruit for sale in Puglia by Carla Coulson

Not only had 2 out of 3 Thyroid values entered the ‘normal range’ but they were buried right down there in the middle smug as can be no longer teetering on the outside. But the big news was my auto-immune antibodies had almost halved.

Reading blood results are like reading the deep sea scrolls for the uninitiated but in French they are extra tricky so I thought I better check with my doctor.

More head shaking, she couldn’t believe the results. I secretly think she thinks I am taking medication and not telling her. She has given me another months ‘leave of absence’ before she threatens to bring out the prescription pad.

I walked out of that doctor’s office feeling Round 1 to the organic farmers..

As well as changing my diet I am changing the way I do things. No instagramming, Facebooking in bed! Nothing happens before my morning walk and 20 mins of meditation and yes Carla you can actually take a lunch break.

I have dragged my sore and sorry body to Yoga for the past 2 months and enjoyed the experience of going slow and realised how broken my body is after all these year of carrying camera gear on my back for hours and days at a time.

But most of all ‘hail’ to the human body that after decades of battering responds to kindess so quickly.

Some links you may like:

My favourite books Practical Paleo and Nourishing Traditions Natural Treatment Solutions for Hyperthyroidism and Graves Disease

Websites I enjoy Mr Paleo himself Loren Cordain at The Paleo Diet  Rob Wolf Sarah Wilson Paleo Mom Dr Amy Myers

Sending my deepest love and thanks for all your well wishes each and every day.

Stay tuned for more photography..

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” Hippocrates

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Please feel free to share with anyone this may help. xx

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