My Food-sensitive Life Age 16 Yr 12 1963 Dip. Nutn. October 4, 2022 by Joan Breakey Blog Reaction when becoming very cold I spent my last year of secondary school going into the second year of a Diploma in Nutrition and Food Service at the new Sebastopol Technical School in Ballarat. I had one happening that was most distressing at the time. I did not understand until much later where it fitted into being food-sensitive. In the 1960s we had to sit for three hours for many exams, and on one occasion I got very cold.After we finished my good friends took me to the senior teacher who rang for my parents to drive the half-hour in from the country to bring me home. I remember being tucked into bed with a hot water bottle and had the extraordinary feeling of my feet being all that I could feel below my neck. Over hours my body returned to normal. Later I was aware that my body’s metabolism meant that I was warm while I was moving, but got colder and colder if I sat still, and this was often enough while studying. Since I was generally easily distracted and restless, I often found active things to do that gave me warm-up breaks from studying. Later in the diploma course I was a willing subject for a metabolic test and learned that I have a higher than average metabolic rate. This means I need a higher than usual energy intake to keep my weight within the normal range. It wasn’t hard when I was staying at a hostel that provided great food, and doing cooking classes as part of the course. In the school holidays I had a wonderful job working in a very pleasant coffee shop. But I had to learn that when I was studying for long periods I could get very cold. Clothes that felt lovely and warm when I began to write up a project or practical work report were not enough if I stayed at work for more than an hour. I learned to carry extra clothes even on hot days so I could get rugged up after a swim in Melbourne. Later when working with my small hyperactive patients I heard many reports of children becoming sick, irritable and very unhappy around the cooler time of day – around 4pm – and used what I had learned to help mothers prepare for theses changes with cooler air that did not affect other children.I loved all subjects and was in my element in the kitchen, and loved physiology and the social science subjects. But the physics teacher had to work hard to help me understand enough for a pass. I was lucky to be in a small class and had highly competent teachers. We became adept at planning meals, so recipes were learned as well as learning just how to manage making sure all ingredients were read to serve at exactly the same time. This is quite a skill as any new cook knows! I enjoyed all the related subjects especially planning a house so that all matters related to the storage of different possible ingredients were best placed for the cook. I remember the teacher reminding us that we would become people who would always want a well designed kitchen. I later used to imagine how I would change the various tiny, old or even a corner of our bed-sit to be the perfect kitchen when we lived in as students a few years later. When we did manage to have our own house, I was happy later to have less fancy house furniture but had a full deep freeze separate from the refrigerator as soon as we could manage these.I enjoyed my Christmas break working in a nicely-lighted snack bar. The owner always employed the food service students and we received a different type of training. As a teenager I also enjoyed life with my wonderful sister (pictured with another peeping in the background,) and enjoyed bike riding, tennis and dances, country balls.