A couple of days ago I was opening a packet of sultanas.
I didn’t even bother looking at the ingredients list (doh – it’s just dried grapes, isn’t it?!).
But no, actually.
Before things worsened to the point that I could eat only 8 foods, I used to carry a long list of ingredients that I could possibly react to.
So the ingredients list of anything I bought (which was very little as I was already preparing most of my own foods at this point) was scrutinised and compared to the list.
And over time, I found that even some types of sultanas contain a glazing agent, which from things I had read on support groups, I could possibly be reacting to.
So first I was really careful which sultanas I bought, until eventually I eliminated sultanas completely from my diet.
Along with most other foods.
Apart from literally just apples, grapes, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms and marrows.
No meat or any other protein.
No oil or any other fat.
Just those 8 foods.
And recently a friend told me that she was speaking to another friend who asked how it’s possible for someone to become able to eat only a handful of foods.
And I can totally see where that question’s coming from.
Because now that I don’t think twice before eating anything I want to eat, I too find it hard to believe that there was a point when I could only eat 8 foods.
But having learned about neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to adapt and change itself and the principle that DNRS – the treatment programme through which I recovered completely – is based on), how I suddenly became able to eat only 8 foods actually makes “perfect sense”.
So neuroplasticity isn’t necessarily a good thing.
The brain can change both for the better and for the worse.
In the case of a limbic system impairment, which is involved in illnesses such as food sensitivities, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, this neuroplastic or adaptive process can result in a wide variety of negative symptoms.
This process happens on an unconscious level and keeps the brain and body stuck in a trauma cycle.
So because my brain and body were stuck in this trauma cycle, my reactions were getting worse and worse and I was reacting to more and more foods.
Also since this was happening on an unconscious level, there was no way I could control this.
I was reacting to negligible amounts of stimuli before even knowing that they were in the foods I was eating.
So my aim became survival.
All I wanted was to get through a day without throwing up and without the debilitating reactions.
So I kept eliminating foods which seemed to be making me ill – all the time trying to look for patterns and trying to understand what the new “problem food” was – without knowing that this trauma cycle I was stuck in was actually the problem.
But again these associations are created on an unconscious level so it definitely wasn’t something which I could control, or which I could think myself out of.
It actually required a lot of hard work through DNRS to rewire my brain and change these unconscious associations.
I know this might all sound complicated, but in the DNRS programme (available by DVD or as an in-person programme), everything is explained really clearly.
Even though I started the programme very sceptical, once I started understanding the rationale and how the programme works, I just knew I would recover from all the symptoms which had changed my life so drastically and which prior to DNRS I was convinced were things I’d need to learn to live with for the rest of my life.
Still although I had started understanding the rationale, it was quite some time before I really understood the power of neuroplasticity.
Opening this packet of sultanas a couple of days ago might sound like something really simple and basic to you.
But to me it’s one other small example of how my brain literally changed through DNRS.
The new me opening the packet of sultanas without a second thought isn’t the same person as the one reading and re-reading the ingredients of a packet of organic sultanas in the summer of 2015 and feeling anxious and worrying that even though nothing I knew I used to react to was listed that somehow I would still react to something and end up being sick (which I then probably was).
And this person definitely isn’t the same person as the one who spent hours in the kitchen dehydrating grapes to make sultanas just to be able to eat one of my 8 safe foods in a different way because the thought of opening any bag of sultanas was just too overwhelming.
This and other examples really demonstrate the power of neuroplasticity.
The anxiety and negative associations which had developed on an unconscious level due to everything that was happening at the time are literally gone.
It might be difficult to explain – and to understand – but if you or anyone you know suffers from a mysterious, chronic condition such as food sensitivities, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, I’d really recommend that you give DNRS a try.
It gave me my life back in more ways than I ever thought possible and it can do the same for you.
You can find out more about DNRS here.
Wishing you all the best always x