After a catchup with some of the ladies from the Naked Truth team, I thought I’d take this week’s eco-awareness blog down a slightly more health-related path.

Our health comes and goes, we often cannot help that, we are human after all. While some of us are fortunate enough to live life with relatively few health complications, others (such as myself) might need a bit of educating, support, reassurance or guidance to help get our health back on track.

Personally, I struggle with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), a common hormonal disorder found in women. Since my very first period at the tender age of 11-years-old my cycles have been irregular and thus my unsuspecting health journey to discovering why, began. What I didn’t anticipate was learning about the powers of green, clean-eating, and how simple things such as exercise and a positive attitude could hold far more value and effectiveness towards regaining your health than any mass-produced pill or fad.

For many years I have struggled with pelvic pain, excessive hair growth known as hirsutism (and that’s not because I’m Mediterranean!), weight issues and, of course, very irregular periods. After a barren three years where my time-of-the-month was a no-show, the question of “what the heck is going on here?” was truly prompted.

It turned out that my suspicions of something being a-miss were correct, and earlier this year I was finally diagnosed with PCOS. This disorder is thought to be the result of an overproduction of hormones called androgens, which in turn create cysts that occupy a woman’s ovaries. PCOS sufferers may experience one or a variety of health implications including acne, mood swings, irregular or no menstruation (making pregnancy difficult for many women with PCOS) and insulin resistance (mimicking diabetes and causing weight regulation difficulties).

I have attempted prescribed medication such as Metformin (to help with the insulin resistance) and I have taken various hormone-based pills to “force” a period. After numerous tries nothing would come of it. This all was quite disheartening, as you could imagine.

Fast-forward to late 2019 where my fitness journey began and I am now in a position where both my mental and physical well-being are in a much more positive place. Although regular exercise has been a key component in regaining regular-ish cycles, reducing my aches and pains and combatting my stubborn heavy weight, it was the switch to a more environmentally-friendly and greener diet that really did the trick.

Consciously reducing my meat-intake and focusing on foods that are lean and green not only improved the conditions of my skin and energy-levels, but noticeably reduced my pain (due to their anti-inflammatory qualities) and brought a return of the period I never thought I’d see again. I have a long way to go, and by no means do I follow a lifestyle that resembles anything close to something such as veganism, for example, but I have learnt to be flexible with my diet, and to make conscious choices that keep my health and the health of the planet in mind.

Not only can these simple lifestyle changes flip your life around for the better, they come with the added bonus of being eco-friendly, too. According to Greenpeace, industrial meat is the single biggest cause of deforestation (yikes!). The livestock sector generates the same volume of greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined. That salad isn’t looking too bad now, is it?

But why listen to me when you could take notes from our very own Emma, instead! Emma decided to go Vegan in 2018, partly due to the upsetting treatment of animals caught in the livestock sector and partly due to suffering with endometriosis – a health condition similar to PCOS. According to Emma, her endometriosis pain has noticeably reduced since making the switch to a vegan lifestyle, particularly as cutting out red meat and dairy are no longer the main causes of inflammation. Follow Emma’s endometriosis-awareness Instagram page here: @missemking.

You can also follow Emma’s very own vegan-awareness Instagram page here: @mummysvegankitchen. Posting all things plant-based and vegan friendly, including her own recipes and restaurant reviews, Emma has truly inspired me to get my own butt into serious action on the green-eating front.

Why not try her vegan chicken casserole or give some vegan pancakes a go???

Before I get called veganism’s biggest advocate, I’d like to pass on something that Emma shared with me: “Becoming Vegan and plant-based really changed my life. I have been ill once since being vegan…I don’t feel run down on a daily basis, I know when to eat more plant-based foods due to eating too many ready-made products” – if that doesn’t instil the power on plants in you, then I’m not sure what will! You go, girl.

Being a fantastic sport and also getting involved with the eco-campaign is Olivia, who’s still going strong with her eco-friendly skin care range and blog. Asking about her progress, Olivia told me that she has started to refill jars for pasta and other non-perishable food products in order to reduce the amount of plastic packaging she gets through. This is an absolutely fantastic method of achieving a zero-waste lifestyle, and the Naked Truth team are totally proud of this new, green lifestyle choice!

I look forward to what week three of our very own eco-campaign brings!