​A Personal Journey- ​The effects of stress response, and how I ate my way through the Amazon to discover a world full of colour, life, super foods- and purpose!

When I was 32 I went through what I would say is still to date, my life’s greatest challenge, or perhaps greatest awakening, both on a personal and physical level.  My then long term relationship ended- in a very emotionally detached & shallow way.  Way before the end of that relationship, I was very unwell, not just emotionally, but on the inside- physically. 
An unhealthy relationship had me under so much stress that as a “healthy looking” athletic woman who trained for triathlons- who loved to jog 4 kilometres just to GET to training, and back again, I was far from healthy.  At 32, i suffered a trans ischaemic attack- which is essentially the warning sign of a stroke- simply due to prolonged stress.
I was admitted to hospital with my symptoms, and after spending 6 days in hospital, and every conceivable test done on my body and brain-  doctors found nothing, giving me the “all clear” – I was given a perfect bill of health.    I realised I had just been introduced to the literally death-defying symptoms of stress.  With symptoms of what doctors thought was a stroke being the only clue.

The effect long term constant stress and the subsequent elevation of cortisol, has on your body sets your body on an unfavourable pathway of cascading inflammatory responses….. 

  • Blood vessels restrict- which in itself can lead to cardiac episodes, even heart attack.
  • Increased stress hormones- including that of cortisol.                                                                                                    When we have a constant release of cortisol, we no longer get that sharp increase of cortisol- the ‘bell curve’ effect at various times across the day.  It is with the bell curve of cortisol, that the body will also release T2 helper cells- T2 helper cells are apart of our immune system- cells that assist in the prevention of cancer.   

Prolong stress = prolonged cortisol = no bell curve = reduced release of T2 helper cells = compromised immune system = susceptibility to sickness- even cancer.   

Because of stress people!  Little old (or so you thought it was) stress greatly increases your risk of cancer and heart disease.

  • Increased insulin levels- with an increase of this fat storing hormone comes weight gain, leading to “Syndrome X”. Syndrome X as coined by my mentor and MD doctor Sandra Cabot, is a collection of symptoms and medical signs that we find in one patient. 

All 3 of these above mentioned factors lead to atherosclerotic build up, calcification (hardening) and subsequent narrowing of the arteries and heart disease.  

It was the stressful events leading up to and inclusive of 2006, which was to mark the end of my years where I did not value myself as much as I should have.   What we sometimes put up with in a relationship is truly baffling, often dysfunctional and if you are not careful, someone will suck the very life out of your trusting heart, taking your trust with every manipulating egotistical word, until all of a sudden, the person you are is gone- thankfully a strong heart will stand themselves up- after a few vodkas 😉 or whatever works for you, joining the NAVY, sleeping with the same sex, going over seas- what ever it is, no matter where you go- at the end of the day, you need down time, time to work on you- your personal journey in this life- to recognise the lessons you have learnt or are to learn.  Growing wisdom, going inward- far to many people do not want to feel, they do not want to feel the pain or discomfort of feelings.   Personally, for me-  after a few months of vodkas (Im keeping it real here folks) I chose celibacy for close to 6 years- and self development.  I didn’t jump into bed with another, nor did i EVER think jumping straight into another relationship was ever going to be the answer- because essentially, that is what got me into this relationship to begin with!   I had already done 7 years with someone else prior to this 8 years-  phew, time for Kylie time after 15 years of two men.     I went inward, i worked on myself- i let go of the need to earn money,  I brought meditation into my world, i began taking classes in all sorts of genre.  I dropped the value i put on physicality and became aware of my inner dialogue, and most importantly- i listened.  I just listened to others, and my world- it opened up- up and up and continues to expand in its happiness and acceptance.
Strong souls- that have chosen in this life to feel, chosen to seek truth, chosen to find their joy and purpose, chosen to live with transparency and integrity, will eventually stand and shine brighter and wiser, more compassionate and understanding for the experience.
You can only thank someone- a catalyst, who began the process, who opened you to so many emotions- no matter how shattering.  

Our experiences are what we choose to have in this life, the contracts we make before we are birthed, they are the lessons we have agreed to learn in this life time.  Taking responsibility for everything that happens to you- YOU create your world, you are the manifestor of your life- your experience.  Sometimes people are too afraid to make the initial sacrifices in their life to make great change.  A house move, a holiday, none of these things change anything- change is an inward conscious continual journey.  Growth, change and consciousness IS the journey of your life- is the meaning of your life.  One must not look outward, or to another, or to having a child- inward is the answer.

A very wise soul whom I love dearly said to me once “Its not until you are broken that you are open” (Faeriality)….old news now- but its always new to someone.

So after my 2006 hospital admission- a few months later, i was invited to a wedding- in Chile!  Why not I thought- so I was off, but if I was going that far, I was going all the way. I was blessed enough to work for a sports agency who was very supportive and gave me the months I wanted/needed off.   I spent a week in Chile with the Bride and Groom- attending their wedding at the Presidents palace in Chile- I still can’t believe the grandeur or that I was even in a palace!  With Pamela and Renato off on their honey moon, it only left one thing to do- finish my holiday, I had Peru, the Amazon, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Uruguay to go!  Solo.  Before I left I’d booked nothing but a Mountain bike tour in Bolivia and a ticket to a soccer match in La Boca Argentina a few days before my return flight out of Buenos Aires.

It was whilst push biking, walking, busing and the occasional flight across the Andes that I discovered a world full of new foods I had never heard of let alone seen down there in our great southern land.  Along my way I stayed within a remote part of the Amazon forest at a place called Explorama Lodge.  Of a night, in our lodge made of local wood with simply calico material drawn across as protective ‘windows’ you would hear the sounds of the animals as you went to sleep- and the squeals of the monkeys that waited you outside your door of a morning.  And yes- the spiders!  That term “as big as dinner plates”?   – aaargh- body shudder! So true.   
(Spiders represent change, so i really dont mind our eight legged friends these days- they too have a message for if they turn up, a place and purpose in this life!!)

It was when I was at Explorama lodge that I was fed predominantly raw local foods- Explorama was very remote- 300 kimometers away from the closest town of Iquitos.  300 kilometers into the depths of the amazon- boat access only of course. 
We have major immune system dysfunctions in our western culture and civilization, auto immune disorders, hepatitis, herpes, eczema, psoriasis- all kinds of things going on.   How can we knock that stuff out?  Well I tell you one thing; western medicine is not going to be able to figure out how to knock it out, because they are on the wrong theory totally- they are totally out to lunch literally metaphorically AND metaphysically!  When you step out of the Western World you see the true nature of life, standing on the edge of the Amazonas river as those clouds roll in like set of waves across the forest -like clockwork every afternoon they drop their fall and roll back out immediately, you begin to grasp the eco system of the planet, the natural organic way we need to live to thrive as humans- if we are to survive as a specie.

Sacha Inchi Seeds!   Also known as Inca Peanuts or Savi Seeds- grown high in the Amazon rain forest of Peru.

Sacha Inchi seeds look like nuts, tastes like a nut but is really a seed.  Now we are pretty hard pressed to find seeds with a positive Omega 3/6 ratio – Flax seeds and Chia seeds have a favourable higher Omega 3 than 6 content, however Sacha Inchi Seeds also have a favourable Omega 3:6 ratio. 

The oil content of these seeds is 45.1 percent omega-3, 36.8 percent omega-6, and small amounts of oleic, palmitic, and stearic fatty acids.

A rich source of protein- in fact a complete protein.

Really high in Tryptophan an amino acid that promotes a positive mood

High in fibre- containing around 20% of your daily intake

High in anti oxidants including Vitamin E & A

​And of course- they are a seed- so they are gluten free.

There are so many choices of foods out there that are enjoyable to eat, that are actually nutritious and useful for positive cellular regeneration to help keep us out of disease states for as long as possible.  I read a great analogy in a book a few days ago- it went like this:
If the diagnosis of ‘terminally ill’ has forced us to re-think our priorities for living, it has served a valuable purpose.  Positive changes in how we appreciate that time, how we think, and eat, and act are likely to follow.  Some of these changes may even bring us back to health and postpone our eventual termination”
We are all headed to the same destination- don’t you want to put that off as long as you can?