Being knocked down with acute liver inflammation 9 years ago is easily the best thing that has ever happened to me. I was seriously unwell; lethargic, jaundiced, a digestive system that was shutting down and liver function tests (LFTs) that were through the roof. Things were looking grim.
I missed months of school, had zero energy and couldn’t keep any food down. I was severely jaundiced and quickly became used to weekly blood tests as doctors tried to explain why a normally healthy 17 year old girl was so unwell. I was told I would need to have liver biopsies and go on steroids but that I’d need to be prepared that this was potentially an auto-immune hepatitis that I would suffer with all my life. Ugh.
I felt confused, angry and afraid. No one really had any idea what was wrong. Or why.
I am so (so very!) blessed that I was introduced to ‘The Liver Cleansing Diet’ by Dr. Sandra Cabot. As I poured through liver-cleansing information, recipes and tips and tricks (yep – 9 years on the post-it notes are still intact!) I remember feeling so excited by the prospect that my body could in fact heal itself.
I completely changed my diet to include lots of raw vegetable juices, salads, brown rice and fresh fruit. Out went the processed food, white bread, caffeine, dairy products, red meat, refined sugar, trans fats and alcohol. All of it. It was difficult at times (no Lindt?!) but the results blew me away. Within weeks I was feeling amazing; my energy levels were back to normal and the inflammation completely subsided. On top of that, my stomach was flatter and my skin glowed. Hells yeah!
Long story short: I am so incredibly proud of myself and grateful that I had the guts to say no thank you to surgery and steroids and biopsies – and instead, I chose to give my body space and time to heal by resting, exploring holistic healing therapies and transitioning to a whole foods diet.
And it did. The effect was almost immediate; no more sugar, dairy, alcohol (yep I celebrated my 18th birthday stone cold sober), trans fats or processed foods. An introduction (to what would become a lifelong love) of things like tahini, vegetable juice, rye bread, tuna, cashew cream, dandelion tea and – today’s recipe star – LSA, saw my body heal and repair and restore.
Within the first fortnight my LFTs dropped and in just months, they were completely back to normal. I’d also lost a bit of weight (puppy fat really – come on, I was 18) and my skin was clear and glowy-like, for the first time in forever.
Amazing right? OK – onto the food!
LSA is a high-fibre, nutty mixture short for linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds. 9 years ago, there was no way you could buy this pre-made in a supermarket, so I made it myself. Today, most supermarkets are starting to sell it (and your health food store will definitely stock it) but I still think a homemade version is much tastier and definitely fresher.
LSA is delicious sprinkled on porridge, in smoothies, salads or desserts. You can use it to bulk out baking as a gluten-free substitute for flour and it’s delicious mixed with raw cacao, honey, coconut and coconut oil and rolled into bliss balls!
So, yes. I am incredibly grateful for the not-so-fun health (and life!) challenges as they are always a gentle (or not so gentle) message from our bodies that we need to make a few adjustments.
The course of my life would have taken quite a different path if I didn’t have the firsthand experience of the power of whole foods at such a young age. It’s such an important message to share – which is why I do so with such vigour – and I hope that you enjoy this liver-cleansing recipe as much as I do and maybe even transition it into your daily diet. Enjoy!
You will need
1 cup linseeds (brown or golden is fine)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds
What to do
In a food processor or high speed blender, combine all ingredients and process/blend until fine, crumbly mixture is formed.
Tell me, have you ever experienced something challenging that inevitably changed your life for the better? Share in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!