Popping the Food Bubble Nutrition Program Feedback
1. Did you have identified problems upon entering the Program?
When I entered the program I was an emotional and physical wreck. I had spent the previous year overtraining, not knowing that I’d had an undiagnosed disc injury for a number of years. I had chronic inflammation from fibroids and other gynaecological issues, and a lot of chronic stress in my life. I couldn’t train much due to injury, so I decided to undertake an aggressive six-month medical treatment to put my body into (temporary) chemical menopause, to stop heavy bleeding and treat fibroids. This debilitating treatment (being injected with the cancer drug Zoladex) caused side effects like: rapid weight gain, extreme sleep deprivation, extreme fatigue and brain fog, hot flashes, migraines and nausea, dyspnea (shortness of breath), panic disorder, and bone pain. I couldn’t recover from exercise at all: I could barely hang the washing out. For many years I had also experienced bad hypoglycaemic episodes and digestive issues.
2. Have these problems being resolved since starting the program?
My goals entering the program were simply to take a holistic approach to healing my body, and to improve my energy levels and sleep. I needed guidance in eating a more nutritious diet that reduced inflammation, so that once Zoladex treatment ends, I am as hormonally and metabolically healthy as possible. I was consistent with my nutrition and targeted supplementation. Almost immediately, my hot flashes disappeared and my digestion improved. I stopped having bad hypoglycaemic episodes, and now know how to avoid them. My energy levels improved and my brain fog eased, and I stopped almost falling asleep at my desk at work from exhaustion. My dyspnea disappeared, and the migraines and nausea eased. My (Zoladex induced) panic disorder disappeared. After three months, I started sleeping better and more, a huge achievement, given months of extreme sleep deprivation prior. Before, my sleep was very restless, my adrenals would wake me up at 3am every day and I would be unable to get back to sleep. Even the heaviest medications did not assist me in sleeping. Eating more calories of the right foods to heal my adrenals, eventually had me sleeping better and for more hours, and waking up feeling more refreshed. I was able to tolerate exercise again and recover better from it, so I started easing back into training again with a coach one day a week, recently building up to two days a week. I’m starting to regain my strength, my work capacity in the gym is increasing, and I’m recovering from exercise instead of feeling wiped out. Dramatically reducing grains, wheat and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids have also reduced allergies and inflammation in my body.
3. What were you eating prior to starting the program?
Over the years I’ve done a lot of low calorie and fad diets. In the year prior to the program I ate a high calorie but bodybuilding style diet, heavy on chicken, grains and wheat, cruciferous vegetables and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, protein bars and powders. I was exhausted and living off multiple black coffees, diet cola and energy drinks every day. I had severe episodes of hypoglycaemia and couldn’t recover from exercise anymore. I felt I was losing strength because of autoimmune and bleeding issues. I got sick of eating this way and sick of food in general. Eventually I was too exhausted to care about my nutrition. My body was in a constant state of inflammation.
4. What are you eating now?
I’m eating Greek yoghurt, eggs, cheeses, 2L of milk a day (usually home made chocolate milk), pulp free orange juice, heaps of fruit that is ripe and in season as well as dried fruits, NuGel, white fish and shellfish, liver, kumara, potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumber, dark chocolate, natural ice cream, cocoa, honey, white sugar, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, sourdough, jam and marmalade, raw carrot salad, red meat once or twice a week and white rice maybe once a week.
5. How long did you spend in calendar time on the Program?
3 months, but I see myself eating this way for the rest of my life.
6. Was the information presented understandable and credible?
I learnt so much about health and nutrition through this program. My ideas about nutrition radically changed, as my body responded positively to the changes I made to my diet. I was able to understand easily why I was eating this way and how it would help me. I had been interested in the work of Dr Ray Peat for some time, but this program makes his work accessible and understandable. From this program, I was informed enough to be able to do my own research into ideas to further improve chronic health issues I experience.
7. Was your coach for the Program helpful? What grade would you give him/her? (A – F)
A+. Kitty is a generous, kind, practical and wise coach. She was (and still is) a hugely positive force in my life during this program, at a time I was really struggling. She is smart and plain spoken. With her guidance I was able to attain huge health improvements, while undergoing an aggressive and debilitating medical treatment. We both can’t wait to see how much better I feel again, once the treatment is over! Through her coaching in this program, I was able to recognise the role of chronic stress in my life and how it was impacting on my mental and physical health. This program gave me the energy and space I needed to eliminate or reduce many environmental stressors, set boundaries and disengage from toxic relationships. I focussed on healing my body in a holistic way, and that included prioritising my emotional health. Kitty was supportive of me stopping training altogether for as long as I needed, in order to heal and rest my body. After this period of rest, I was able to get back to training sooner than I expected, because of the increased energy I had from my nutrition. Through conversations with Kitty, I was also able to recognise what I needed from coaching and programming for powerlifting (unfortunately I live too far away from NuStrength to train there!), to help me manage my health issues and recovery, and to get stronger instead of burning out again. Kitty was always available when I needed her through the program and she checked in with me regularly.
8. Is it easy to procure the foods you need and prepare them for the Program you are now using?
I found it really easy to procure the foods I needed for the Program. I am saving a lot of money on groceries and eating more simply, but the foods I’m eating are more delicious! As I have been quite unwell, I do hardly any cooking at this stage — meal prep is simple and saves me a lot of energy and time. I was prompted by this program to think more deeply again about ethical and sustainable food choices. I shop from my local farmer’s markets often, as well as Aldi.
9. Have you seen an increase in resting temperature and pulse while on the program?
I did see an increase in resting temperature and pulse while on the program, but I think the medical treatment I’m having sometimes causes it to dip. I took more notice of how my temperature and pulse responds to certain foods, and I’ll continue to track these measurements in the future to hopefully see even more of an improvement.
10. Summarise your experience with the program.
This program has been really life changing for me. My passion for delicious and nutritious food has returned, and renewed my interest in nutrition. Eating this way has given me the energy to get through a really debilitating medical treatment while working full time, and return to powerlifting training after six months off. Everyone has noticed the improvement in my energy and mood recently. This program gave me the energy I needed to advocate for my health with various specialists, and be more autonomous in the health decisions I make. I have more energy to assert my emotional needs across other areas of my life. I deal with stress much better, emotionally and physically.
11. Would you recommend the Program to others?
I have already recommended this program to others and will continue to. Regardless of your gender or health, if you want to improve digestive, hormonal or metabolic issues, or even just feel more energetic and get stronger, this program works. You need to give your body the consistency and time it needs to heal. I will continue to work with Kitty in the future once my medical treatment is over and I’m ready to lose body fat again in a slow and sustainable way. Healing my body is a work in progress.