Clean Living

Clean Living: How it all Began

Hello! As our little community begins to grow it occurred to me that perhaps I should introduce myself properly.

My name’s Sonia and I launched The Green Apple Club in October 2015. This clean living website is the result of many, many months of work and the mild neglect of my incredibly supportive family.

Invincible in my 20’s

From the age of 18 until the age of about 28, I spent a lot of time and a lot of money getting drunk, smoking, eating crap and pretty much doing whatever the hell I wanted. In many ways it was an enjoyable time, it was fun and I didn’t worry too much about the consequences of my lifestyle, after all I was young, slim (ish), had a decent disposable income and no significant responsibilities. I felt invincible.


In my early 20’s I had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in my lung) – the doctors told me I was extremely lucky to have survived this event. They also told me that the DVT was the result of a combination of being on the Pill, smoking, eating crap and not exercising. But despite the close call, it didn’t stop me smoking, eating crap or not exercising. I carried on regardless (invincible remember?).

Not long after this I started suffering from chronic migraines, one a week, every week. I’ve been on many different medications to try and help control these migraines and although some worked more than others, the migraines were still ruining my life and I didn’t know how to make it better.

I was 30 when I had my first child, 32 when I had my second. After their births I was several stone overweight, suffering debilitating migraines every few days, and dealing with a breakout of Rosacea that sapped what remaining self-confidence I had left. I really didn’t feel great at all.

The clean living turning point

At the same time as this, my daughter was suffering from a number of behavioural problems and this lead to me doing a lot of research into how different types of food affected her. I believe that she is sensitive to certain preservatives and additives, but this is a story for another day. The relevance of this to the tale I am telling you now is that this is when I became interested in food and its effect on the body.

It occurred to me that food might be having an effect on me too, on my migraines, weight and skin problems. I knew that the only way to find out was to cut out the foods that I thought might be responsible (sugar, preservatives, sweeteners in particular). I did exactly this for two months and at first it was almost impossibly difficult. I had to find new food to eat, I was cooking every day and I missed a lot of my old food. (It is very difficult to avoid preservatives, sugar and sweeteners if you eat processed food.)

Artifical sweeteners give me a migraine within 24 hours of eating or drinking them
Artifical sweeteners give me a migraine within 24 hours of eating or drinking them

But, two months later and my skin had cleared up, my migraines had gone (literally vanished, none for the whole two months) and I lost the baby weight that had been so hard to shift.

I was shocked at the effect that certain foods were having on me, and by the fact that I was completely oblivious to this for so many years. It was this revelation that led me to create The Green Apple Club. A place where other people can also learn about how the food they eat affects them.

These blog posts won’t all be about me I promise, in fact I hate putting my photo up on the internet! I just thought a little background might be useful.

Thanks for reading, I’d love to hear from you if you have a similar story to share!

Sonia Nicholas

Leave a Comment

We would love to hear your comments, but please keep them respectful and friendly. Differences of opinion are fine, but we will not tolerate any trolling, abuse or judgment of other people's choices.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *