Five months after coming off the bike and suffering a nasty head injury I am still suffering from extreme fatigue and am unable to work full time. The doctors can’t really do much, except give me more tests and tell me the results are abnormal, really helpful! They have diagnosed me with a B12 deficiency. After doing some ‘illegal’ research on the internet (the doc is always telling me not to go online and google things!) it seems most the population has a B12 deficiency. As i never has this level of fatigue before the accident, I really can’t see how this can be the cause of it now. So I’ve taken matters into my own hands.
Everyone says you should never look on the internet to self-diagnose, but it is useful to check symptoms and see if others feel the same as you, especially with a TBI. There has been lots of research into gut health and brain health, so I decided to go see a nutritionalist to see if an overhaul of my diet could help. One of my team mates from the Zug Rugby team recently saw a nutritionalist and went on a diet called Metabolic Balance. She looks fantastic on it and is full of energy. I know any healthy eating plan will make you feel good, but what appealed to me about this was that they test your blood and design a nutritional plan based on what your body needs to get itself back into balance. It’s been a medical diet for 25 years and so is steeped in medical research.
Before Christmas I had my blood tested and was pleasantly surprised with the results. They test your white/red blood, kidney/liver/thyroid function, cholesterol and a number of other things. Everything was in balance, except my cholesterol, which was really high (7.6), but we have a history of high cholesterol in the family, so it was overly unexpected.
The foods you are allowed to initially eat is quite restrictive, but it has been interesting researching why I have been told I should eat it. I never knew that blackcurrants are a good source of vitamins for memory and concentration – two of my main problems I am now suffering from. Living in Switzerland you can only really get foods that are seasonal, so blackcurrants are quite hard to find. I have however discovered a company called CurranNZ. CurraNZ is packed with blackcurrant anthocyanins, which were revealed by the BBC as a ‘perfect prescription‘ for brain health and longevity. click to watch – how can you argue with the lovely Angela Rippon? So I’m taking them daily to see if it helps.
This diet is based on eating a balanced diet, and incorporating protein in every meal. What’s interesting is that I’m not allowed to mix proteins in one meal, but should have a different type of protein each time I eat. So nine different proteins over three days – initially this proved to be difficult. I’ve never cooked tofu before and having anything other than eggs for breakfast is challenging. But I’m managing and enjoying looking for suitable recipes.
Some recipes I’ve tried during Phase 2: