12 October, 4:16pm, Hout Bay, Cape Town.
That was the exact date, time and place that my life changed.
I was at my girlfriends parent's house visiting her folks when my phone rang and my doctors name flashed up onto the screen. I had been waiting a week for her call to tell me the results of some blood tests I'd sent off a week earlier.
The news wasn't entirely positive.
"Your insulin levels are off the charts," she said. "they're the highest I've ever seen in any of my patients."
Well that's less than good news.
She went on to tell me that this meant I was both Carbohydrate Intolerant and Insulin Resistant, meaning that my body doesn't utilise carbohydrates in the correct way and (in my understanding) instead of transferring them into glucose for fuel it transfers them straight into fat, specifically around my belly. It had caused my insulin levels to skyrocket to almost double the recommended "safe" limit.
She told me that from now on everything had to change with regards to what I ate and if we didn't make a change soon I would be diabetic in under two years and would have a heart attack inside eight.
As I write this I'm 29 years old. That's not something I thought I'd hear until I was at least in my 50's. That was a massive wake up call for me. And it was one hell of a shock too.
I had been slowly shifting my eating habits towards a more reduced carb lifestyle over the last few months anyway so the jump itself wasn't as cold turkey as it might be for most but it meant cutting out things I had on a daily basis that are still really hard to give up. Luckily for me, I have never had much of a sweet tooth so the sugar side of things has been fairly easy to steer clear of, but man, its those potato chips and fries that I am in mourning over. Woolworths' bright pink packet of Prawn Cocktail chips no longer graces the top shelf of my cupboard, instead replaced by a few packets of Pecan nuts and a tub of coconut oil my girlfriend graciously bought me.
I know there are many others like me who have been living this lifestyle for a significantly longer period of time and I am in no way an expert, but I have embraced this challenge with open arms and my intent with this blog is to share my victories and my struggles with others like me and others who might be looking in at what can be achieved. My hope is that it will be a helpful resource for those who might be stuck in a rut with creative cooking, as well as a place where people can encourage each other with their stories of their experiences with this new lifestyle. And that's what it is, it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle.
I have never been someone who's ever been able to keep up a healthy eating plan for any prolonged period of time, I've always cheated with a tasty snack here and there thinking to myself "What's this little snack really going to do?". But when you're asking that kind of compromising question 5-6 times a day then the answer is "A lot."
I'm currently 2 weeks and 3 hours into my journey and I am going strong. I have not cheated even once because the severity of the situation has created in me a desire for change like nothing else before this ever has. And the proof is already there for all to see that this really is working for me. I'm already 5kg's lighter, but more importantly I'm getting healthier every day, feeling more alert, I'm sleeping better and I'm making sure (as much as anyone really can) that I'm going to be around for a long time to come.
Join me as I embark on this new road, and if you like, leave any helpful tips or stories in the comments section below.