I Ditched the Painkillers for a Plant-Based Diet - and It Worked
She experimented to figure out what works for her:
To many people juicing is just another trend but for Natasha it became a treatment. She began by switching from solid foods to juices and smoothies as liquids give her fewer stomach cramps. She tried fruit, vegetables and herbs in all sorts of combinations and in isolation; she made note of the physiological effects and she formulated her own recipes. Then she gradually began to reintroduce hearty meals and to bake her own cakes and cookies. And after trial and error she arrived at what she calls “a plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free, caffeine free, anti-inflammatory, high nutrient, long rotation diet.”
Eating this way is a lifestyle:
But what does it mean for Lipman day-to-day? Well, for breakfast she might have chlorella zoats: finely grated zucchini mixed with oats, almond milk and chlorella, a protein-rich, vivid green alga. Chlorella also inhibits inflammation while oats enhance the body’s response to infection.
Her preferred main meal is brown rice pasta served with avocado, pea and mint pesto. Often in place of pasta she’ll eat zoodles — thin strips of zucchini made with a gadget called a spiralizer. For dessert she might blend frozen bananas in the food processor and sweeten them with brown rice syrup, which is 100 percent glucose. She never uses agave, insisting it is poison because of its high fructose content.
She avoids soy, too, choosing instead to get her protein from hemp seeds, quinoa, homemade almond butter and the chlorella. If she needs an energy boost, she’ll grab a bag of toasted seeds with added maca — a Peruvian root vegetable high in sugar. Every day she drinks a liter of green juice packed with kale, broccoli or watercress and she’s never without ginger, fennel or mint tea. She’s also phasing out grains and she’s experimenting with bone broth because she feels there’s something missing now that she no longer eats meat.
Often in place of pasta she’ll eat zoodles — thin strips of zucchini made with a gadget called a spiralizer.
None of this requires specialist equipment — just a food processor, a juicer and the spiralizer. She gets a weekly delivery from an organic food supplier plus she shops online for supplements like the chlorella and maca. Sure, the research is time consuming, and, yes, she has put a lot of effort into the recipes. But it’s all worth it … because it seems to be working.
Feeling better helped her get a job with Richard Branson:
She’s only six months into her experiment but already the results are extraordinary. “This time last year, I felt I might never be able to get out of bed again,” she recalls. Now she feels so invigorated that she’s into her own apartment and she’s landed a job as a web content manager at Virgin Unite, part of Richard Branson’s empire. Of course she’s not fully cured. She still suffers at least one partial dislocation every day and she’s prone to fainting. She also has to work from home most of the time and lives only five minutes’ drive from her parents because she still needs their help on her bad days.
But for the first time ever she’s in control of her life, and the psychological boost that brings is perhaps the most important medicine of all.