My free-from life… Michaella Mazzoni

Self-diagnosis leads recipe creator and blogger Michaella Mazzoni to an improved life without refined sugar…

Self-diagnosis leads recipe creator and blogger Michaella Mazzoni to an improved life without refined sugar...

For months I was in chronic pain that affected my feet, legs, arms and hands. Normal daily things like walking, holding my phone – which as an avid Instagrammer, you can understand that there was emotional pain too – using a knife and fork, holding my new baby nephew, doing my hair and writing were impossible for me to do without extreme pain.

After seeing doctors, consultants and a neurologist, who ran various blood tests, MRI scans, nerve conduction tests that looked for auto-immune diseases, MS, brain tumours and cysts, vitamin deficiencies and a host of other conditions, there was no conclusive reason as to where my symptoms were coming from.

All of this resulted in unanswered questions, continued chronic pain, pain killers and the extremely frustrating phrase ‘your body appears to be healthy’ being repeated to me. There was also the one sentence ‘your brain is spotless’ which was flattering, but still didn’t help to explain where my pain was coming from.

One weekend, I went away with my boyfriend and we ate terribly; I’m talking takeout pizza, fast food, cookies and sweets. If it was processed or high in refined sugar, you can bet I ate it. In the days that followed, my pain was stronger than ever and it got me thinking: If all the tests are pointing to the fact that my body is healthy, is it possible that I am putting something into my body that is upsetting it?

The more I thought about it, the more plausible sugar as the cause seemed to be. Food allergies at their worst can kill people, or at least cause great physical discomfort and there was a noticeable change in my symptoms when I ate something high in refined sugar, even things I baked myself from scratch.

So I decided to do an experiment – completely cut out refined sugar from my diet and focus on food which was high in nutrients instead.

The result was astounding. After less than one week my pain was completely gone and I had taken myself off my painkillers. I also lost five pounds in weight. Now, seven weeks on, my pain has not returned, I am sleeping through the night, my skin is clear and I have lost a total of 20 pounds – all because I’ve eliminated refined sugar from my diet. No extreme workouts, no depriving or starving myself, just good, natural food with no refined sugar – it’s that simple!

Cutting out refined sugar from your diet is an up and down experience: you’ll laugh – this is so easy, why didn’t I do this earlier? – and you’ll cry – this is so hard, give me a doughnut immediately! But the difficult stage is not forever and the results are totally worth it. Before I embarked on this journey I had read about others who gave up sugar and the ‘withdrawal’ symptoms they experienced. Being totally honest, reading about these symptoms I was like ‘yeah, right, no sleep, how dramatic!’ But seriously, withdrawal symptoms are real. I had a permanent headache for five days straight, my sleep was disturbed and the cravings, oh the cravings. A particularly weak moment involved me holding a packet of Oreo’s up to my face and inhaling, deeply. Suddenly though, after the first five days, the withdrawal symptoms went and I felt amazing, with a new energy I have never had before.

I didn’t want to stop enjoying my favourite treats like chocolate, muffins and cakes, so this has led me to be more creative than ever with my recipes. As a result, all the recipes on Michaella’s Kitchen are totally, completely, refined sugar-free, but with zero compromise on taste.

I would love for you to join me and to share your experiences along the way. I promise, it isn’t as hard as you think and the results are amazing!

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