Tuesday, 18 December 2012

My CF Diet

In the next few posts I'm going to share and expand on my own experience with managing my CF. Having four children the way I have, plus managing my CF doesn't come easy. I've made a lot of life changes, created new habits, sacrificed a lot of time, money and put in 100% effort. That being said, it's certainly not impossible or too hard. It's simply the way you do things that make the difference. New habits can be created in 30 days (old ones can be broken in the same amount of time!) You do need a motivation of some sort, a goal. Plus you need will power to stick with it at first, much like starting to exercise. Over time you will reap the rewards.
"Get comfortable with being uncomfortable"
                                                                             ~ Jillian Michaels ~

Let's get it out there: Right now if you are eating the recommended "CF diet" prescribed to us by our dietitians at clinic (and I'm not even going to begin to look into the motivation of these suggestions) then you would be living on foods and drinks containing a lot of high saturated fat, high sugar, high flavours, colour, additives and preservatives, high (bad) salt, refined carbohydrates and not a whole lot of fresh whole foods... then you can assume at first you will not always enjoy the taste of the more natural foods that I eat. However I urge to to look closely into what I'm suggesting and think about how your body functions. It's a natural living breathing body, it's composed entirely of cells. It was never made to process all these new innovative 'foods' that have only been about since the industrial revolution. 1 in 2 Australian men will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85, 1 in 3 women. Why do you think? Why has is been on the rise and getting higher and higher all the time? It's not just a little too much sun! Since the industrial revolution the world has developed quicker than in any other age in the history of Earth. Even though with that has come convenience's and lifestyles that were unimaginable in earlier times, it also began the development of chemicals, drugs, pesticides, carbon, etc. As a race we seem to be getting weaker and weaker. Although some might say our life expectancy is higher than the middle ages, but  I would say it's lower than in biblical times! It also make me go 'hmmm' that Cystic Fibrosis was only "discovered" around the same time vaccinations were invented.... ??? Lot of questions about that! It can't be proven either way, but I sure would love to be a fly on God's wall to know...
"I love burgers, I love pizza. I just love when they are made with fresh, whole ingredients. The ingredients list in pizza should be about 5 items long, depending on the toppings. The ingredients list in school piece is 64 items long–that is a problem.” ~ Jamie Oliver ~
I want to provide some of that  motivation to make some changes! My approach is about doing right by my natural body needs. It needs (cells need) micro nutrients, oxygen, enzymes, vitamins, hydration, minerals, essential fatty acids, healthy bacteria, salt... yes I said salt! Proper salt not refined table salt! I mean good salt, that still contains trace elements and minerals (click on the link for further information). All processed food doesn't contain these essential needs to keep the human body going, let alone a compromised system as we have with Cystic Fibrosis. Bottom line: we need MORE natural food than healthy people to stay strong! I want to thrive not just survive!!

It's my belief, that just how Jamie Oliver revolutionised School Dinners in Britain, so too our CF diets and Hospital food need exactly the same overhaul. To find out more about Mr Oliver's inspiring work click on this School Dinners link. Also for home cooked ideas Jamie has created the 30 minutes meals or the 15 minute meals series for busy individuals who don't cook much. Gordon Ramsey also has written a great recipe book Healthy Appetite. Even if these gentleman's personalities are not your cup of tea, the message is real, true and valid: Eat healthy food to feel better!! There are so many choices out there to fit anyones needs. There's no excuse for not making the change towards a healthier you!

If you only make one change, please be it a Juicer! Juicing can turn you health around and make a huge difference to how you feel. Juices contain all the good things: Vitamins, minerals, oxygen, live enzymes, fibre, micro nutrients, hydration. It's super food for your body! Are you eating a good amount of fresh fruit and veg? This is the quickest, easiest way to get it into you, FAST! I drink at least one litre a day to maintain my health. More if I'm unwell. The best juice I've found for my CF is a combination I call 'Pink Power Drink'!  CarrotApple and Beetroot  juice. My boys love it too! Also if I feel very chesty and thick mucus I have Cos Lettuce , apple and Celery  juice. I also love a little O.J. in the a.m.! The find out more about different juices and their benefits: Fresh Vegetable Fruit Juices book is brilliant!
Click on the produce names to find out all their health benefits.

Joe Cross made an incredible life change for the better by juicing, if you get a chance to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead prepare to be inspired. I've been juicing my whole life, fresh Juice without a doubt has contributed to my longevity. I own three. A Champion, A Green Power and a Oscar juicer. I've found Oscar to be the best, most of all look for a Non centrifugal juicer produces better quality, more healthy juice.

So if your shopping up a storm on Boxing day (26th Dec) do your health a favour; pick up a juicer to make a New Years resolution to a happier healthier you!!


  1. Amen sister! I am so with you on this. I think the typical "CF diet" is so destructive, esp for those of us who are severely PI. I even struggle still with regular food sometimes, even with the max dose of enzymes... if I eat something like ice cream or french fries, it's not good!!! I've actually gained more weight eating a natural diet, too - I've even gained weight cutting out sugar, which I was really worried about. Oh... and we are HUGE natural salt fans in our house!!! I use it on all my food and also drink it in water 2x a day, about 1/4 tsp each time. Since I started doing that a few years ago I have not had nearly as many probs with electrolyte loss, had NO restless leg syndrome, and not nearly so many problems with heat sickness in the summer.

  2. I'm delighted to find others believe the same thing Cindy! So glad to hear of your healthy options too!! I always love to hear how other people tackle 'the beast'(CF). It's brilliant, keep up the good work!! xo

  3. I make green smoothies daily on the same principals - ATM though I'm only breastfeeding my CF Bub so we see off to a good start!!!
    Couldn't agree more with you about Jamie, overhauls needed etc. I would love to help change things!!! ❤

  4. Wouldn't is be superb to see our hospitals offer healthy food to the patient's?!! Recovery time would be quicker & it would help to build up the patient's immune systems & general health. I would love to be able to help make the change too!! Slowly but surely!! Thanks for your thoughts ilovecookingwithThermomix!!!

  5. I am a mum to a 22 month old with CF and I think that the dietician's advice is starting to change - or at least with our dieticians/team at The Royal Brompton in London.

    The last time I saw our dietician she was saying how the CF diet needed to be better and 'healthier' all round these days as people with CF now live longer and so need to be aware of the health issues associated with the general population.

    I has been asking about coconut oil and was told to steer clear of such high saturated fat for our little girl and give more 'good fats' which we try to do anyway (with assorted success in toddler world!)

    It's very very confusing as a new(ish) CF parent as if you read some CF diet guidelines they just talk about doughnuts etc and all fat and calories being good for weight gain - which in some ways is true but looking at the bigger picture it's not good.