The Evolution of My Relationship with Food

The Evolution of My Relationship with Food

What is Food to Me?

To me, food means several things: nourishment for the body, fuel that gives me energy, medicine that heals and prevents diseases, elixir that keeps the physique youthful, art for the eyes and soul, and aphrodisiac to arouse the desire and lust for life!

My passion for food started when I was a child. My mother has a natural talent for cooking. After moving from China to Hong Kong, my mom learned to “modernize” her cooking while watching TV shows. She effectively taught herself and created her own homemade “fusion cuisine.”

Louisa in her childhood kitchen | Louisa Wellness
“Color, fragrance, taste” — these are the three main themes of her cooking. They in turn translate into my own cooking philosophy. This philosophy of cooking for the eye appeal, the nose appeal and the taste appeal became ingrained in me, as natural as the blood in my veins.

Above all, food is the means and the language by which my mother expresses her love for her family. Love in the tummy. This is the seed of my love of food and its magical, alchemical properties.

Chinese people have a long tradition of attributing different medicinal and nourishing qualities to different types of food. So food has always been more than just fuel in my view.
Louisa Wellness | Transforming Health One Bite at a Time
Enjoying a bowl of salad with organic ingredients that I cultivated and harvested with my own hands.

How did My Approach to Food Evolve?

Interestingly, I learned to look at food’s medicinal qualities in a brand new way in my late 30’s, after having experienced a crisis in my family’s and my own health.

Since then, I have been following a highly personalized approach of choosing food. It is one that is rooted in science and based on blood type and genetic attributes.

I didn’t invent this nutritional approach. I am forever grateful for naturopathic doctors Dr. Peter D’Adamo and his father, Dr. James D’Adamo, for coming up with this ingenious concept, which was supported by clinical evidence and the positive results reported by thousands of patients over the past few decades.

The Back Story

How did I arrive at this critical decision in my life, to choose only food that is found to be compatible with my blood?

In 2009, I was diagnosed with huge uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts, and I started looking for natural ways to heal my body. During the process, I found many wonderful tricks and secrets. But I also stumbled many times while I experimented with fasting and with many different kinds of diet, including the raw vegan diet.

One of the most useful healing methods I found was the “Blood Type Diet.” Since I started to follow it closely in 2009, I have healed from a myriad of ailments, many of which had bothered me since childhood. These ailments included digestive problems like stomach aches, bloatedness, and constipation; cold sores, severe seasonal allergies, headaches, PMS, excess mucus, frequent colds and flus — the list goes on.

It is my wish that my content here will provide some inspiration and guidance to those of you who are struggling with chronic health issues but are determined to improve your health and well-being through natural means.

The reason why I have relied on the “Blood Type Diet” — which later developed into an even more personalized approach based on the epigenetics principle — to support my physical health is simple. While “we are all one,” the human race comprises a variety of genetic attributes, including blood types and ethnicity, as a result of the evolutionary needs for survival in challenging environments. Each of us has inherited the specific attributes that our ancestors adopted in order to survive and thrive. And so we’ll do well by feeding our bodies with the “fuel” that best fits our genetic traits.

As such, no one diet can address the specific needs of all individuals. One man’s food is another poison. This age-old adage is not only figurative but literally true!

Eating according to your specific type helps you avoid the “poisons” that contribute to weight gain, low energy, mood instability, brain fog, compromised immunity and increased chances of chronic diseases.

It helps boost your immune system, adjust your weight to what is optimum for your unique body, increase your vitality and longevity, plus a lot more. As a bonus, if you eat only what’s good for you, you will naturally not be wasting money on “edible poisons,” so it will help you save money.

Can the Right Diet Shrink Fibroid Tumors?

Can the Right Diet Shrink Fibroid Tumors?

Many of my readers have asked me whether I was able to naturally shrink the huge uterus fibroid tumors that I had about a decade ago through dietary changes. So I’ve decided to write a separate post to follow up on my health journey, originally recounted in this blog post here.

Dietary Trial-and-Errors

During my half-year trial with the vegan diet, my two fibroid tumors did shrink by 1/3 of their original sizes. I was elated when I saw the ultrasound scan results and used them as a validation for the vegan lifestyle I was fervently pursuing.

But, as I mentioned in this post, the initial success was followed by a backlash of side effects in the rest of my body. And so I continued my search and eventually arrived at the best kind of diet after a long process of self-experimentation and elimination — the Blood Type Diet. After being on the general Blood Type Diet, I continued to fine-tune my diet by experimenting with the Genotype Diet, which is a different system created by the same naturopath who propagated the concept of the Blood Type Diet, Dr. Peter D’Adamo, the author of New York Times bestseller Eat Right 4 Your Type.

The Genotype Diet did not seem to suit me very well so I decided to give SWAMI a try. SWAMI is a software written by Dr. D’Adamo, which is the most personalized approach and combined the benefits of both the Blood Type Diet and Genotype Diet. It gave me a unique food list as well as exercise and supplement recommendations based on my blood type, genetics, personal health history, current health conditions, family health history and more. Once I started following the recommendations of SWAMI, my health was on an upward trend down to the minutest details.

Tricky Emotional Factors

However, when it came to the fibroids, it remained a tricky challenge. For five long years, I was actually able to keep them relatively stable in size. The fact that they did not expand in size was a testament that the individualized SWAMI diet was superb in keeping inflammation and abnormal cell growth at bay. In addition, unlike most women with fibroids who suffer from excessive bleeding and severe pain or cramping during their menstrual periods, I did not experience any of those symptoms at all. In fact, my periods were normal and painless — an immense improvement from what I had experienced ever since I started having them.

But, one day, I felt extreme discomfort — the fibroids were expanding so rapidly in my pelvic cavity that I felt tremendous pressure and bouts of pain. I remember vividly the day when I felt the pain. I had to give a business presentation to an audience who came from all over the world. But the demanding work was not what caused the stress in my system. What happened was that right before I left home for the presentation, I was faced with a shattering truth from my ex-husband, who engaged in a behavior that was totally unacceptable to me.

Shock waves of negative emotions — of anger, disappointment, feelings of betrayal and shame — went through my body in a very short time. What made it worse was that I had to act stoically and pretend that nothing had happened when I went on the podium to give my speech. I squeezed out fake smiles and tried to be as composed as possible, but a volcano of anger was boiling underneath the surface.

After this traumatic episode, I realized that I had to do something about the situation — I needed to take care of the expanding tumors once and for all, and then deal with the rest. An ultrasound check revealed what I had suspected, which was that the fibroids — and the ovarian cysts — had expanded substantially. The size of the fibroids were equivalent to that of a five-month old fetus.

Luckily, by this time, I was given a recommendation for a surgeon who, unlike the nine previous ones I had consulted — was willing to perform myomectomy instead of hysterectomy on me. This meant that my uterus would be preserved, despite the perceived difficulty related to the sheer size and shape of my fibroids.

I was so grateful for this surgeon. At the same time, I was grateful for the naturopathic doctor whom I had been seeing remotely, Dr. Ginger Nash, who specializes in female hormones and reproductive health as well as the Blood Type Diet. According to Dr. Nash, the fibroids themselves were producing excess estrogen, which was feeding back into the hormonal system in a vicious cycle. Since the fibroids were of a substantial size, it would be best to surgically remove them. After that, I could then “focus on health” instead of disease management. This made a lot of sense to me. After trying so hard for so many years and feeling utterly frustrated, I realized that it was time to end this Sisyphus battle.

Post-Surgery Thoughts

The surgery consisted of an abdominal myomectomy and ovarian cystectomy. It lasted for two hours and was a success. I was back on my feet relatively quickly. In fact, I was able to talk normally right after I opened my eyes and have normal bowel movement the next day! Even the nurses were impressed. I attribute the bounce-back to my long-term devotion to feeding my body with only the highest quality of food that was compliant for my blood type. This optimized my digestion and absorption of all the right nutrients my body needed.

During my six-week home rest, I continued to eat mostly beneficial and “diamond” foods based on my SWAMI food list. The healing process went really well. The recuperation time doubled up as a precious opportunity to reflect on what I had gone through in my journey to heal myself.

Before, during and after the surgery, I had gotten tremendous support from my family and friends. I was overwhelmed by their warmth and love, and at the same time really enjoyed being enveloped by this feeling. Receiving love without feeling compelled to give back was something I was totally unused to before this surgery (this was caused by a false belief instilled in me during my upbringing, and strengthened by my mother’s modelling).

I had always been an over-giver and self-sacrificer, and no matter how much I gave, I still felt that I didn’t do enough. Much later on, I realized that this was due to the fact that I was seeking validation from others to make me feel whole — and the way to seek validation was to give of myself and expect appreciation for my efforts. So asking for and receiving love — and enjoying it as my birth right — was a completely foreign concept to me!

I especially remember the words of a friend from the Blood Type Diet/Genotype Diet/SWAMI online community:

“The BTD/GTD/SWAMI may have helped to prevent the fibroids, but sometimes once a disease state is established it just can’t be reversed by diet. You fought the good fight and you are to be admired for that. You can now enter into your surgery knowing you did your best to avoid it, but accept it with grace. Whether or not you reversed your fibroid condition, we all know that you are healthier for all the years on the diet. It’s hard not to worry about what others think, but assure them you are more healthy and fit than you were before.”

These words had meant so much for me and put me at ease. I realized that I did not have to feel defeated for what seemed to be a “failed” attempt to cure myself. Quite the contrary. I had fought a good battle and finally arrived at the right place at the right time. No effort was wasted as my wholesome and personalized diet proved to have given me a solid foundation that led to a speedy recovery.

New-Found Gratitude

Emotionally, what I felt immediately after the surgery was gratefulness. I was grateful simply to be alive!

The physical scar — quite a big one — healed over time, and I was able to finally flatten the bulge in my belly after consistently working out, doing HIIT/running every day for a whole year and eventually going back to my beloved ballet class.

However, the emotional scar took much longer to heal, and I can definitely attest to the fact that unseen and silent emotional traumas could do much more harm to our well-being than physical pain. Having made that comparison, though, I must add that there is never a clear-cut separation between the two. One can contribute or lead to the other, often subconsciously. My experience and that of many others have informed me, that physical ailments and diseases often have emotional roots. While the physical suffering was hard for me, because I had to manage the “inconvenience” of living with the symptoms of carrying heavy tumors in my belly, I actually feel grateful for the experience.

I am thankful for what my body’s innate wisdom was telling me, loud and clear — that something was wrong! Something needed to be addressed, and it was shouting at me with the ever-expanding size of the fibroids. The body was ill at ease, and the onus was on me to become a detective and find out what was wrong in my being. And thus I started an emotional healing journey, which has been ongoing since the day after my surgery.

The Journey of Emotional Healing

Initially, I relied on a wide array of modalities, mostly esoteric and “spiritual” ones, to help me do the digging and strip down layers upon layers to get to the core of my “dis-ease.” I used meditation, the Healing Code, German New Medicine, BodyTalk, Mindscape and countless other “modalities” and self-help books to help myself understand what was causing my body to create a such big tumor in my womb. One idea that stood out came from Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book, “Women’s Body, Women’s Wisdom.” In this book, Dr. Northrup explained the emotional root causes for different diseases that women are most prone to, and the explanation for fibroids is that the creative channel is stuck, as the uterus is the seat for the creative of life.

I was very puzzled at the time when I read this, and could not comprehend the meaning for many years. I thought I was a very creative person — have always been — and wondered how or which part of my creativity became stuck. Little did I know, that my self-expression was muted in the toxic relationships that I had had for a long time. For a decade and a half, I was married with a man who, much to my chagrin, is a Narcissist (and I only realized that post-divorce).

Unbeknownst to myself, a part of me had been suppressed — the sides that wanted to be heard and seen by the world were not allowed to come out, squashed by the Narcissistic personality of my ex as well as my own co-dependency on this relationship. Co-dependent because I had an insatiable need to be validated and an endless insecurity about deserving love simply for being who I am.

As I did not have the tools nor the courage to express my anger and disappointments through the years, I stuffed all the pain down to the womb until it manifested in the form of fibroids. It grew into a baby — a “pain baby” that was crying to be heard.

The Deep Dive

I did not write these words lightly, nor did I come to the conclusion easily. It was the result of an intense and grueling period of self-reflection, self-examination and self-therapy. During the course of my healing, I came face to face with the origin of this toxic relationship. It originated in my relationship with my own mother, whom I discovered to have strong narcissistic traits and with whom I had a co-dependent relationship and from whom I never learned the skills of drawing healthy boundaries.

Over the course of the past two years, I came face to face with all the past traumas and triggers that lived a life of their own in the invisible ties between mother and daughter, and realized that those unhealed parts actually set myself up for an unhealthy love relationship that simply repeated and amplified the same pattern that I had lived in since childhood.

I’m very glad to say that after the tough and invisible inner work, I have finally come to a place where I have left my dysfunctional marriage, found peace with myself and started to make peace with the relationship with my mother. This peace has a spill-over impact on all aspects of my life, so that I can now finally live with the innocent joy that I was born with.

As for the pain and disease that I have overcome, suffice it to say that despite all the healing “modalities” that promised miraculous healing, the one single tool that I have discovered to be the most effective is writing and sharing my own stories. Authentic self-expression is the healing balm that goes deep under the surface, and it gives me a channel for my innate creativity. It also allows me to lean into my pain and sufferings, for the only way to transcend pain is to go through it.

I have also awakened to the power in telling and sharing stories with trusted ones — those who are open to listening and are non-judgmental; those who envelop us with love that doesn’t have any strings attached.

I don’t know how telling this very intimate story of my life would help you understand your own health issues. But I know that what is universally true, is that we cannot simply be healthy and well by treating a disease with “masking tapes” — all that promise to get rid of the outward symptoms. We need to dive deeper, much deeper, into the darkness of our souls, and gather the courage to face whatever demons are there or else they will come back and haunt us again and again, either in the form of physical ailments or mental diseases/mood disorders. I invite you, therefore, to look inwards for all suppressed truths and conflicts, and better still, to share your stories with trusted ones as a means to heal your soul, and thus your body.

In some ancient African tribes, the shaman/medicine person/healer would ask four questions that are equivalent to the modern “intake form” at a physician’s clinic:

  • When was the last time you danced?
  • When was the last time you sang?
  • When was the last time you told a story?
  • When was the last time you sat alone in stillness?

There is much wisdom and power in these inquiries. I hope to leave you with these questions in case you are seeking ways to heal yourself and become whole and well once again. And if you need a non-judgmental someone to tell your long-suppressed story or to guide you through the process of inquiry and healing, please feel free to reach out to me for a consultation. Feel free to leave a comment below or contact me in private. I wish you truly well!

‘Cooking Right for Your Blood Type’ Food Class was a Success!

‘Cooking Right for Your Blood Type’ Food Class was a Success!

Two days ago, I gave a live class on “Cooking Right for Your Blood Type” at the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, New York. It was a great success as the audience was highly enthusiastic about learning what the Blood Type Diet is and how they can apply the principle to eat and cook for their optimal health. They were super curious and asked many questions. Some have experience with the diet and brought with them queries and testimonials. I saw many’s eyes lit up as they started to see the connection between their blood type, what they eat and how that influences their physical health and overall well-being. We had two American sign language interpreters interpreting for the hearing-impaired members in the audience.

Eat Right Chef Louisa at Park Slope Food Coop Food Class - Eat Right with Louisa -  Eat Right Chef Louisa at Park Slope Food Coop Food Class - Eat Right with Louisa -  Eat Right Chef Louisa at Park Slope Food Coop Food Class - Eat Right with Louisa -

Blood type-friendly food served at Eat Right Chef Louisa's food class at Park Slope Food Coop, Brooklyn, New York

All photos by: Natalia Curea

At the class, I demonstrated a couple of dishes with ingredients that were either beneficial or neutral for all blood types (and mostly highly beneficial for all Genotypes). They included my special recipe “Eggwich“–sunnyside-up fried in the ghee made during the event, on a brown rice toast spread with almond butter and Carob Extract. The main dish was bright vegetable stir-fry with onion, ginger, garlic, broccoli, carrots, beet and parsnip as well as baked wild-caught salmon seasoned with ghee, lemon juice, paprika, turmeric, sea salt and dill. For dessert, we had cranberry pear compote sweetened with raw blue agave syrup. The food was very much appreciated, especially the “Eggwich,” as the combination of almond butter and Carob Extract (sweet) together with the egg (salty) pleasantly surprised many!

At the end of the class, free blood type testing kits and brochures for individual blood types were distributed.

Here is a video of the introductory segment of the class, in which I gave an overview of the Blood Type Diet, Secretors vs. Non-secretors and Genotype Diet.

Hope to see you in my future cooking classes!

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How to Achieve Youthful-Looking Skin

How to Achieve Youthful-Looking Skin

The "Eat Right Chef" Louisa - www.eatrightwithlouisa.comRecently, two elderly women commented on how good my skin looks. One of them asked me if I’m 22 or 23 (I’m actually 45)! Well, that just made my day! In fact, a couple of college-age colleagues also thought that I look like an early 20-something. One of the elderly ladies asked me if I do facial massage every day. My reply was: “Not at all. I never go to facials and I hardly use any skincare products except for a little bit of argan oil occasionally. My secret is how I eat!”

As within, so without. Many women spend a copious amount of money on skincare products to make their skin look younger, brighter and smoothie. In Asia, edible collagen capsules and potions are extremely popular, besides all kinds of skincare products like skin-whitening lotions. But the truth is, radiant and youthful-looking skin is a product of a healthy internal system. The key is to work from the inside out through a healthy diet, and from the outside in through a toxic-free environment.

Following an individualized diet plan such as the Blood Type Diet, Genotype Diet or SWAMI will prevent the build-up of harmful lectins and other toxins in your body so the daily toxin-elimination tasks will be efficiency performed by the kidneys, bowel and liver instead of being left to the last resort—the skin (the largest elimination organ), resulting in different kinds of skin problems like breakout, acne, rashes and eczema.

One common skin issue that women experience is adult-onset acne, which is caused by hormonal imbalance. Eating according to your body type will help bring your hormones into balance and clear up your skin. I used to have periodic acne in my 20s and 30s—it was not only painful but so serious that I got scars on my face! No amount of astringent or topical cream helped. But after I switched to the Blood Type Diet, my acne problem completely disappeared.

Other skin issues like fine lines, wrinkles and dry skin are the bane of aging. But there are ways to slow down the signs of aging without relying on chemicals or plastic surgery. One way is to avoid sugar in your diet. Sugar attaches itself to protein, generating harmful molecules called “advanced glycation end products,” or “AGE” (uncanny coincidence, eh?). These molecules compromise the effect of elastin and collagen, which help maintain the skin’s youthful appearance.

It’s important to note that refined carbs also have the same effect. So if you want to maintain youthful-looking skin, cut down on refined carbs! Each blood type has different tolerance levels for carbs. Generally speaking, Type As have a higher tolerance for it than Type Os, the opposite of the spectrum. Complex carbs from vegetables and fruits are much healthier than processed or refined ones. Following the food lists in Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s book “Eat Right for Your Type” and the recommended portion size will take the guesswork out and make life much easier.

Exercising, sweating, sauna and lymphatic massage also help remove toxins from the body and clear up the skin.

Avoid the use of petrochemical-based skincare products and make-up. This will prevent the skin from being constantly clogged as well as prevent toxins from being absorbed into the bloodstream, causing further harm to the body.

Perhaps you have heard the saying that you shouldn’t put on your skin what you wouldn’t eat. Well, just as we absorb nutrients through the digestive system, our skin “eats” what’s being applied on it too. So give it the nourishment that is both safe and beneficial for your skin.

My Secrets

Now let me share with you my youthful skin secrets:

Besides eating right according to my body type and applying a bit of argan oil at night, I do use a minimum amount of toxin-free skincare products and makeup.

After cleaning my face with Dr. D’Adamo’s Genoma Rejuvenating Cleanser, I will usually spray it with the AGE-Inhibiting Toner.

For makeup, I like to use 100% Pure fruit-pigmented products. They are free from paraben and other harmful petrochemicals and consistently score low in terms of harmful chemicals on Environment Working Group’s Skin Deep database.

Lastly, I want to let you in on a nutritional supplement that I take daily that helps reverse the signs of aging—Trehalose Complex. It slows down the aging process on the cellular level and has helped me, among other things, reduce the pigments in age spots.

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How My Father’s Death Awakened My Midlife Calling

How My Father’s Death Awakened My Midlife Calling

On August 12, 2009, my father passed away from a horrible disease — acute myeloid leukemia. His untimely death at the age of 75 sent a shock wave to my entire being. This probably was the beginning of my “midlife crisis” yet I was unaware of it at the time. It took me well over a decade to fully grieve from losing him. At the same time, a strong desire was born inside me to go on a health journey.

Along the path, I became so passionate about using natural, non-pharmaceutical means to turn around chronic conditions and optimize my health that I became motivated to become a health coach.

I had a calling to help others prevent chronic diseases and live their life to the fullest with the support of optimal health and well-being.

On my father’s death bed, he told me to create something unique bearing my own signature. Well, Dad, I’m not sure if I have succeeded… yet. But I surely am working at it by sharing my knowledge and experience with my audience, and working in greater depths with my private clients.

I made a video to commemorate my father on the 8th anniversary of his death. Please take a moment to watch the short video below, which explains why I do what I do today.

Healing Legacy

In addition to honoring my father, I’d also like to honor my paternal grandmother, who was known as a healer in her village in Indonesia. Even though I had never met her, I believe her gift of healing has been passed onto me, fueling my desire to heal both myself and help others heal.

My grandmother used herbs and plants to make natural medicine for whoever fell ill in her community. She also gave food to those in need. Funny I never saw the connection until I discovered my calling in mid-life.

As I celebrate my father and grandmother’s legacy for me, I appreciate the opportunity to share with you the gift that they have left me.​

To view my video, go to:​

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Louisa today with a heavy heart. I’m sharing something with you that, it’s a difficult topic, but it is what makes me who I am today. So two days ago, it was the eighth anniversary of my father’s passing away. His death, marked a watershed in my life in that he woke me up to the reality of how our health is so important and how it’s related to our food and our lifestyle, as well as our emotional well-being.

And so this awakening. Initially took the form of me, looking into the possibilities of making sure that I and my other family members were healthy. What happened was that my dad died of leukemia. And shortly after that, I was diagnosed with benign tumors in my uterus, as well as some cysts in my ovaries.

I was beyond shocked because I have seen my dad go through a grueling treatment process at the hospital. I developed a mistrust for the healthcare system based on Western medicine. So to deal with my own health problems, I decided to look at unconventional ways, which led me to reading a ton of books on natural medicine and healthy diets.

Fast-forward without going into too much detail, that led me into a mission of becoming healthy and helping everyone else to be healthy through natural means. So, that’s what made me who I am today. I’m not all that I do, but I do care so much and feel passionate about what I do, which is to help people like you to achieve optimal health with natural means. I’m passionate about holistic health.

So, that’s what I’ve chosen to do. I feel like it’s a calling or perhaps it’s something that has chosen me. Either way, it has been an amazing journey and I just want to thank my father for this special gift. It’s a legacy from him besides his other gifts for me, including, his appreciation and talent for art, which will always be with me.

So, I conclude this video with blessings for my father’s soul. And, I just want to let you know that his soul lives on in me, and it will be a privilege for me to inspire anyone to go on a health journey and to find beauty and healing in their lives. See you next time.