01/03/2013 12:56 GMT | Updated 01/05/2013 06:12 BST

Food, Diet and Self-Nurturing - Returning to True Health

My story was repetitive - "I won't give up my latte, wine, Champagne, brie, gelato, rye bread, chocolate, pizza or pasta - I just can't, what would I eat?!"

By hanging onto these vices, I made myself very sick. When I was 35, I was diagnosed with severe candida, pre-diabetes, obesity and chronic IBS. I was depressed, anxious, uncomfortable and exhausted. My body was screaming at me to stop what I was doing to myself. Finally, I listened. My specialist recommended I abstain from all of the above for three months and then test again. It was amazing how much healing took place in those three months. It was challenging, confronting and eye-opening. I could heal myself - totally empowering!

Over the last ten years, I have chosen to see food with a natural, common-sense approach.

What would happen if we felt our bodies before we did our weekly shop? What if we asked our body what it needed - not what it is craving? What if I only eat when I am hungry?

This exploration is not a new approach to food, it's something we all know - something we are choosing to forget. By forgetting what we innately know, we are eating ourselves into illness and disease at an alarming rate. Food is needed to support and nourish us and give us the vitamins and minerals we need to be truly healthy, a fact we have forgotten in our indulgent lives. It's great that the world is realizing that the skyrocketing incidents of obesity and diabetes are having. Our health care systems globally are struggling to cope with our self-inflicted illnesses.

Having been on the brink of a lifetime of medication, doctors and inevitable surgery, I absolutely know that feeling of helplessness. The totally cool thing is that there is always a choice! For me, it starts with how I plan my menu, shop for food, prepare a meal and eat. These simple actions have all become part of my self-care medicine that includes gentle exercise and gentle thoughts about my body. When I shop knowing that the food I am buying is going to honour my body with every mouthful, I start the journey with love for myself.

We have always had the power to choose another way to live. We are all so amazing and can absolutely choose to turn exhaustion into vitality, chronic disease into true health and skepticism into understanding.

All food that I eat now is full of flavour, variety, nutrition, vitamins, minerals and nourishment. They are simple and totally amazingly wonderful for your body! They are also totally 100% free from gluten, dairy, sugar, yeast, alcohol and additives.

I had a wonderful baby aubergine curry in a tiny roof-top café in Pushkar, Rajasthan in India and it goes something like this ...

In a blender, make a paste with 1 large brown onion, 6 garlic cloves of garlic, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons garam masala, 2 teaspoons turmeric, coriander stalk and root from one bunch of fresh coriander, chilli to taste (I use 1 teaspoon of dried chilli, but use as much or as little as you want!) and a 1 level teaspoon of good quality sea salt.

Fry the paste in some coconut oil with 8 broken cardamom pods and a tablespoon of mustard seeds and for a few minutes to bring out the flavours. Then add 6 fresh tomatoes, cover and simmer gently for half an hour.

Then add your favourite vegetable or meat, or both! My favourite is aubergine, just like the one in Pushkar. I've also made it with fish and spinach - amazing. What's so lovely is that you can make it your own.

Simmer gently for another 20 minutes for vegetables or fish and 30-40 minutes for meat. Serve with lots of fresh chopped coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime juice. And papadams of course!