After 20 years of unimaginable fatigue, memory blanks, confusion, and frustration, Amy Crawford was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Armed with this diagnosis and a biochemist’s report featuring “off-the-Richter-scale toxicity” in her body, Amy was determined to be well by any natural means.
Leaving her day job in the recruitment industry, Amy headed home to Tasmania to live with her parents while recovering. Shortly after, in 2012, she began blogging about her healing journey, detailing her many lessons, experiences and heavenly recipes. “Today, my blog has transformed into a wellness hub, focusing on all elements I feel most passionate about – wholefood, clean living and boundless energy,” she tells us from her home in Melbourne.
What’s the link between food and toxicity?
“By eating organic food, we’re easing the toxic burden on our bodies. Day to day, we’re surrounded by environmental toxicity that we are unable to control. At the very least, we can control the food we consume. Also, food packaging can wreak havoc with hormones, energy levels and our immune system. Don’t turn a blind eye to the synthetics and chemicals contained within food packaging and plastics that can leach into food.”
What do you wish everyone knew about healthy eating?
“That what’s right for one person is not necessarily right for another. I believe wholeheartedly in bio-individuality and making dietary choices based on what makes you feel good, not based on the current trend.”
What foods do you avoid? Do you feel restricted?
“I removed processed food, sugar, chemicals, gluten, alcohol and caffeine for a good couple of years at diagnosis. Now that I’m on top of my health, I don’t feel quite so restricted diet-wise because I allow myself the odd treats when called for! For 80 to 90 per cent of the time, I’m good. I find this sustainable given I work from home and can easily prepare most of my meals.”
What are your pantry staples?
“My biggest weakness of all is activated nuts and seeds. I love them for their versatility, nutrient value and, most importantly, their taste and crunch. Coconut oil is another favourite, a healthy saturated fat said to aid weight loss, build the immune system and improve skin conditions. Also, I drink a glass of water with lemon and apple cider vinegar every day. Apple cider vinegar is a favourite and it’s said to assist with detoxification, weight loss, digestion, skin problems and a whole host of other issues.”
What do your friends ask you to cook for them?
“Oh my goodness, do people love my self-proclaimed signature dish, the sweet omelette! Not only does it sustain me until lunchtime but it’s just so good – a great protein source and one that prevents afternoon sugar cravings.”
Tell us about your delicious eBooks.
“The first in my series, A Nourishing Kitchen, is full of gluten-, sugar-, and grain-free wholefood recipes for any time of day. It’s an awesome starting point for those looking to learn more about simplifying their diet and how to nourish their bodies naturally. The second in the series - and just recently launched - is A Nourishing Morning - I’ve done what I can to recreate the naughtiest of breakfasts in the healthiest way possible!”
What advice do you have for those with CFS?
“Be self-compassionate and simplify your diet. Feed your body with foods as close to nature as possible. Your body needs all the help it can get to heal (naturally), so why not feed it nature’s medicine?”
Amy Crawford's top picks:
Kitchen Farmacy Editor Kris Franken
Kitchen Farmacy is our food lover's blog where good health and great taste come together. Each fortnight we'll feature a health and wellbeing foodie blog, with recipes to nourish the soul and body. Here's to eating well (and satisfying all kinds of cravings). View previous Kitchen Farmacy blog entries.