I am sharing this in the hope that it resonates with women who have also noticed these symptoms of finding it difficult to lose weight, fatigue, brain fog and are ready to find out what’s going on with their body. It wasn’t until I took control of my own health journey and became my own doctor that I became empowered and was able to make the right choices for my personal health circumstances.
There is strength is vulnerability and knowing that when we share our own stories we can empower others to make simple changes too in learning from each other. Diabetes, obesity and not being able to lose weight, has such a stigma attached to it that the more we talk about it, the more we can share tips that can improve our health!
This is what I became passionate about! I’m normally an introvert but when I found my joy in cooking from scratch to nourish my body, this gave me the confidence to want to share this with the world!
So, a little about me…
I developed Gestational Diabetes in my second pregnancy in 2019. However, I have a feeling I also had gestational diabetes in my first pregnancy in 2016, but the tests were slightly different then. Like a lot of mothers, I thought that gestational diabetes was something that I wouldn’t need to worry about following the birth of the baby. It would simply go away… However, there was a lot happening during this second pregnancy that led to me to delve a little deeper into exactly what was happening to my body. My father sadly passed away two months before the birth of my second child. He had type 2 diabetes, as well as an autoimmune condition and towards the end, kidney failure. I had seen the damage that diabetes can do to the body, not only at the end of life, but the many years leading up to it. Uncontrolled diabetes, high blood sugar; can damage internal organ damage as well as nerve damage. It’s such a slow, progressive disease.
I learnt that if you have gestational diabetes, you are five times more likely to develop diabetes five years after that pregnancy. This statistic shocked me and with my dad’s passing it was this that helped me take health into my worn hands and make the best changes to improve. Just because you have a genetic predisposition to becoming type 2 diabetic, it does not mean that is definitely going to be the cards handed to you. It is possible to reverse and slow down the progression and hopefully, never becoming type 2 diabetic.
Now, I have found so much joy in this healthy lifestyle I lead, that it has become intuitive and easy.
I stock my larder with easy options I can make quickly to nourish my body. I am a produce led cook and eat seasonally. I don’t often meal plan and simply cook what I have in at that time.
Physical stress and mental stress can affect the body too. In 2002, I was involved in a fatal car accident where I was the only survivor. At 19, in my first year of University studying Law, I was a passenger in a car crash where the 3 other occupants, including the driver, died. I was very lucky to survive and had to be resuscitated. I had a right compound femur fracture, where my femur came out of my right thigh with a clean break. I remember the doctors telling my mum that they didn’t know whether I would lose my leg or even come out of the theatre. At the same time as I was in this car crash, my father was also terribly ill having developed an autoimmune condition after being prescribed and taking statins to reduce cholesterol. I honestly don’t know how my mum was able to deal with the situation of her husband in hospital as well as her eldest fighting for her life, but then mothers are the strongest of all on this planet aren’t we?! This physical stress and mental stress had a huge impact on my gut health. I was also taking anti-inflammatory drugs as well as antibiotics, which I realise now, damaged my gut health.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with the blanket term IBS. After a colonoscopy, I was found to have ulcers in my small bowl as well as high ESR inflammation makers from my blood tests. No root cause was explored. After becoming ‘my own doctor’, in 2019, I looked back at this blood test of 2016 and it also showed that my HBa1c (a 3 month average glucose reading) was 5.9 (over 6.0/6.2 is pre-diabetic). Women in the UK who have gestational diabetes are offered an hba1c test 3 months after the birth of the baby. Mine in 2019 was also 5.9- the same as it was in 2016. Type 2 is a slow progressive disease that can take many years to become diabetic, and by then so much damage can be done to the body. No one told me that I was on the verge of becoming pre-diabetic in 2016 and even in 2019 my GP could not offer me any support as I was not classed as pre-diabetic.
I sought help from a nutritionist to help me learn what insulin resistance was, and like other metabolic diseases like PCOS, there are ways to improve insulin sensitivity! My last blood results showed that I no longer have high ESR inflammation blood markers. I have lost 4 stone in weight and my hba1c is well within normal levels at 5.4.
They say that if you can be in remission for 5 years you can say you have reversed diabetes. Well, whilst, I will always love eating this way, and will never go back to my previous way of eating, it will be lovely to know that I have improved my longevity!
An inflamed gut can be a sign of insulin resistance and this is why not only do I lead a clean, low inflammation diet, gut health is also so important to me. My health is just defined by my weight. It wasn’t until I looked within and learnt to nourish my gut that I learnt to love myself and everything kind of fell into place from there. My diet and supporting gut health go hand in hand. So what do I mean by this? I lead a clean Keto lifestyle- moderate protein, plenty of healthy fats and lots of low glycemic plants and variety to feed the good bacteria in the gut. Taking probiotics and prebiotics as well, incorporating little by little, lots fermented foods and raw cheese into my diet too is helping.
Any mother knows how busy our days can be taking care of the needs of our children. There are days where I don’t always have the luxury to cook something nourishing from scratch and this is where Boost Balls have helped me in my personal journey especially when I want to enjoy a sweet treat within out a sugar spike! Their Keto Bullet Mocha ready to drink shake is great on the school run- I love them ice cold from the fridge. I love their 100% organic cocoa nibs over yoghurt and their bites make a perfect sharer with girlfriends watching a movie or to take to the many birthday parties we are now going to with my little ones!
My aim is to feed my microbiome and not my cravings. Incorporate healthy fats to allow your body to release satiety hormones, leaving your fuller for longer. Listen to how your body feels after the foods you eat and eat more of what makes you feel good and energised!
Intermittent fasting (16:8) has also helped improve my insulin sensitivity. I adore the food I eat and have developed more confidence in the kitchen- it is so fun to nourish my body. This is the greatest form of self-love and respect.
If I can do it, so can you!
Navneeta is an inspirational woman who has embarked on a wellness journey, after gaining a greater insight into the meaning of true health, encompassing the mind and body, with everything coming down to supporting good gut bacteria. A gut health fanatic as well as leading a low inflammation lifestyle, Navneeta has improved her insulin sensitivity after developing gestational diabetes following her second pregnancy, lowered high ESR inflammation blood markers following a diagnosis of IBS, as well as losing an incredible 4 stone in weight over the last 2 years.
Navneeta is now a Health and Wellness advocate, sharing her personal journey to health, on her beautiful Instagram feed https://instagram.com/lets_eat_better_together