Are Food Imitating​ Products Taking Over Your Diet Without You Realizing?

Our ancestors did it best.

Thousands of years ago man would forage from nature and the environment for nuts, seeds, berries, plants, birds and small game. This was real food.

However, as technology took over we interrupted this natural process. After world war two convenience foods become the norm, yet this was originally created for storage longevity and ease of preparation on the battlefield.

And now unfortunately, over generations, this has evolved into what we now as a nation call “food”.

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Ok, so let’s go back to the definition of food in the dictionary.

Food – any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth.

Nutritious substance? A very high percentage of the food we eat today contains no nutritional value whatsoever, hence why we remain so hungry most of the time, only then craving more “food” imitating products yet again because we are nutritionally starved.

As we have been brought up as children, (myself included), our perception of what is food, is warped. I grew up thinking “food” was coco pops, fish fingers, pizza, cheese strings, nik naks and pop tarts. Sure, I ate some fruits and vegetables and home cooked meals as well but the above was what I and all my friends ate.

Through my adult life I thought I ate a “healthy” diet but my perception of what “food” was then included special K bars, low-fat high sugar fruit yoghurts, low-fat microwave meals, granola bars, Walkers baked crisps, dried fruit and cuppa soups.

Newsflash! That is not food! Simply food-imitating products. THIS IS FOOD!

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Real food comes from nature. Real food contains just one ingredient. Real food is made by nature, not by man. Real food is doesn’t have ingredients, real food IS ingredients.

Let’s take pop tarts for example. Here are some of the ingredients taken from Kellogs website:

  • Bleached white flour
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Sodium acid pyrophosphate
  • Monocalcium pyrophosphate
  • Soy lecithin
  • Dextrose
  • Caramel colour

Do you know what any of these are? Simply chemicals. So much of the food we eat today are chemicals created by man to resemble a food product. If I handed you a tablespoon of pure chemicals would you each it? No, well it’s the same thing.

My aim as a Health Coach is to try and turn our perception of what food is now, back to the perception of what food was by our ancestors.

Here are a couple of my fail-safe rules for eating real food again:

  1. Choose food with one ingredient, like butternut, and make food with a combination of other single ingredients.
  2. If you can’t pronounce it then don’t buy it.
  3. Real food doesn’t have a label.
  4. If it’s made by man avoid it but if it’s made by nature enjoy it.

It really is that simple. It’s time to return back to the way we ate before the food industry ruined food.

#Food #Nutrition #HealthCoach #WholeFoods #Health 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Positively Colourful Two Weeks!

Now let’s see, where did I leave off from my last blog? Ah yes, I was taking everything back to basics after becoming completely confused as what to do for the best anymore. Enough was enough, it was time to take what I had learnt over the past few years and use what had worked and disregard what hadn’t. I needed to stop getting consumed by sudden “miracle cures” and follow what I knew worked deep down. And funnily enough, after all this searching it tended to be the simple things in life.

As I began my week I sought out my trusty gratitude journal and set out to make an entry every morning to start my day off with a grateful heart. In the end, after having a few busy days I would just say it out loud in my head when going about my morning routine. I realised I had recently spent so much time looking over the fence at what I didn’t have in my life, that I had totally forgotten just how many beautiful blessings I do have. Ok, it may not be perfect right now but really, whose life is? Sometimes I think Facebook has a lot to answer for as we all parade our lives only at their best and never at their worst. You very rarely hear about how you are distraught from your latest argument with your boyfriend that you don’t trust or how you hate your job and will each day to be over. Don’t worry, I’m guilty of this too, but for that reason I’ve tried to cut down on my Facebook time these past two weeks to try to become more grounded with reality.

I finally managed to get back to some gentle yoga classes that did me the world of good. My body needed to stretch and feel alive again whilst my mind really appreciated the hour of calm and serenity I experienced. Unfortunately I think some of the classes led me to visit my trusty friend the Chiropractor due to some muscle tension I was experiencing, but the doctor explained that initially I will experience some pain when I exercise again as my neck muscles are so weak. However she did give me some exercises I could do to work on this.

I also managed to get back to doing some volunteering work for the charity Feline Friends. They host monthly adoption days in which we try and find our furry friends a forever home. It felt so good to socialise with the other crazy cat ladies after missing out on the last few adoption days. In addition to this, (to my husbands delight), I volunteered to be an emergency fosterer to a kitty that had been picked up off the streets and desperately needed a temporary home. Now how could you say no to this face?

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Well exactly, I couldn’t, so little Maria made herself at home in our spare bedroom. After all, they do say that cats are therapeutic. So in effect it’s a form of healing I would say. Well that’s what I told my husband anyway!

After being angry at Dr Joe Dispenza for not delivering me the perfect America trip, let’s just say we weren’t on speaking terms. I know this is silly as it was a HUGE ask, but Dr Joe had made me believe that anything was possible. Ok, it didn’t go so well but before my holiday his meditations had really given me such a boost in confidence, so much so that I started to believe that my life could be pain free again, and it was actually happening. After reflecting on this, I decided to start doing his meditations again and I am pleased to say they have really helped. Suddenly I am beginning to feel like I hold the power again to my recovery, which has felt wonderful.

The biggest change I’ve made was to my diet. Here is an example of what I have been eating;

Wake up – No more tea for me and instead a lovely glass of either cucumber or celery juice!

Breakfast – A smoothie normally consisting of a banana, apple, almonds, chia seeds, spinach and water.

Morning snack – Homemade banana and walnut bread, an apple with some almond butter or an egg.

Lunch – A large salad full of spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, beetroot, seeds and quinoa, nuts along with a variations of pomegranates, mango, apricots or apple.

Afternoon snack – Another fruit and spinach smoothie or some homemade quinoa and chia seed bread.

Dinner – On the days my husband is away I’ll eat completely vegan and when he returns we vary from meals with meat and fish. He has also enjoyed a couple of my Vegan dinners, which is surprising, considering he is South African!

After dinner snack – If I’m still hungry I’ll have some yogurt with some more nut butter or raw honey.

I have to say eating mostly Vegan has been a lot easier than I thought. However I presumed that by eating no wheat, no grains, no carbs and a small amount of dairy that the pounds would of drop off me, but no, quite the opposite in fact. I don’t own scales but my jeans definitely don’t lie, that’s for sure! It puzzled me for a while as to why but I suddenly realised that I was eating alot of nuts. And I mean ALOT of nuts. I then read somewhere that you should only consume five almonds in one day! Ops, well considering most days my husband has found me with my head in the fridge eating almond butter out of the jar I think I might have found the culprit. Let alone also having nuts in my smoothies, snacks and sprinkled on lunch. Ok I admit it! “My name is Christie and I have an addiction to almond butter!” Now its time to step away from the nuts for a while I think.

Ok, so i’ve put on a few pounds which of course never makes a girl feel good about herself but the funny thing is, that for the first time in a long time i’ve had two weeks majority headache and migraine free! So whats better? A few extra pounds with this new  diet and no pain? Or being a size 10 but still suffering? For now i’m just happy that I’m feeling good and thats the most important thing. I’d love to get back to the skinny old me “pre illness  e” that would fit three body attack classes in a week and had real defined abs that I could see. But that’s not me anymore and it also doesn’t represent the journey I have been through. You know how when mothers give birth and their scars represent the bravery, courage and pain they have endured to bring a beautiful life in to the world? Well I look at it the same in a funny sort of way. All that I am now is because of what I have been through and I should be proud of that instead of being embarrassed by the fact my bikini body isn’t exactly perfect.

Another exciting aspect to the two weeks has been that I started my life coaching course which has been great. It’s given me a new focus thats something other than my head and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed studying and learning something completely new. It’s going so well that I even got an A on my first assignment!

So I can say right now i’m in a good place being grateful for all that I have in my life, grateful for my body getting me to this point in my journey and grateful for every healthy day I am blessed with. Life is suddenly starting to look so very beautiful again…

#Health #Nutrition #Simplethings #Meditation #Yoga #Voluntering #Vegan #BodyProud

Let food be thy medicine?

During my recent trip to the United States and the difficult run of migraines I experienced whilst away on my travels, I decided a visit to a chiropractor was in order due to the fact my neck had completely seized up. After finding a local clinic online which looked suitable, I attended my appointment in which all I required was an adjustment to relieve my neck stiffness and reduce my headache. As I settled into my chair the Dr set straight to work by gathering my medical history and details of how my migraines were impacting my life. I gave him the usual spiel of the therapies I had tried and tested over the years, in which he intervened with “Can I ask you what your diet’s like”? I explained that I considered my diet to be very healthy and that I avoid the various food triggers that cause me migraines. He then went on to ask if I drank milk and dairy products, ate white bread, pasta, crisps, crackers, cereals and grains? And finally, if I ate any sugar? To all of the above (as any normal person would) I answered “yes, all of them”! With a convincing look upon his face and whilst scribbling notes on his clipboard, he concluded that my diet may be half of my problem.

The doctor went on to explain that there are certain foods which cause inflammation and other foods that fight inflammation. The pro-inflammatory foods can create illness and disease in our bodies as most of the food we eat is not digestible or actually remotely healthy for our bodies at all. The list he then went on to read out was basically my diet down to a tee! Foods such as oats, cereals, various fruits, tortilla wraps, bread, milk and pasta. The list went on and on… What on earth was there left to eat I wondered? The Dr suggested I look into an ancestral diet and to read up on the matter in my spare time. So that’s exactly what I did…

Strewn across the sofa with my usual space age anti migraine head-gear firmly in place, I started to browse on my iPad which foods cause inflammation and reduce inflammation. I was surprised at the results!

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So here we go! The best foods for reducing inflammation are as follows; celery, bok choy, beets, ginger, blueberries, pineapple, kale, broccoli, spinach, salmon, walnuts, coconut oil, chia seeds, flaxseed and turmeric. And now the foods that increase inflammation include; processed foods and meats, refined carbohydrates, sugar and omega 6 fats.

Now if you’re anything like me, I had no idea exactly what refined carbohydrates and 51f8qEVBlUL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_omega 6 fats were? Whilst beginning to research this and after googling an ancestral diet for headaches, I stumbled across a book online that caught my eye. It was called “The Migraine Miracle” by Josh Turknett and it explained how, by altering his diet by reducing these pro-inflammatory foods, he managed to heal himself completely from migraines. This wasn’t intentional, instead his aim was initially to improve another health condition and as a results of this change he realised that over time his migraines had simply vanished! So after excitedly clicking “order book” on my kindle, I settled down on the sofa ready to learn more about this new diet.

I have to say I finished the book in just two days as I couldn’t put it down. It left me pondering if, after all this time had I only been making my headaches worse with the food I was eating? So the first half of the book talks about the different types of migraine, your trigger threshold and the usual suspects to avoid. All of this I have heard one hundred times before but Josh makes it an interesting read and shows you how easy it can be to “release the beast” (as he calls it!).

Now comes the interesting part.. the diet! He firstly explains that millions of years ago our ancestors simply only ate what they could kill and grow out of the ground. Over time due to agriculture and modern methods of food processing we have been introduced into eating many different forms of grains. Many of these grains are in fact toxic to our bodies and we shouldn’t be eating them. They are then made into refined carbohydrates which basically means a lot of sugar can be added to them in the process. This then makes up what we know today as white bread, crackers, pasta, cereals and so on. He then also explains how our bodies nowadays are using sugar as our main energy source rather than fat as in years gone by. This then causes your blood sugar levels to rocket and drop sharply throughout the day, this will occur several times a day due to the sugar in the foods we are eating. For migraineurs this is exactly what we don’t want, as a drop in blood sugar or fast rise can be a trigger. I know this has happened to me before. Of course the book explains all of the above in huge detail, so if you’re intrigued to know more, I suggest you get yourself a copy. Anyway, back to the diet. Josh breaks down the changes you will need to make in to six simple directives which are as follows:

  • Eliminate Foods with Flour (Wheat, Barley and Rye) and added Sugar

I know what your thinking! No more delicious bowls of pasta or beautiful crusty baguettes! I had a mild panic when I read this first one, but if you start to think about it, so much of our daily diet includes foods with flour. Toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and then maybe a nice pasta dish for dinner! That’s without the crisps and crackers for snacking on! He explains that it is the flour from the gluten grains that you should be avoiding, however gluten-free grains could be used in moderation if you so wish. This one was going to be hard, that’s for sure!

  • Eliminate Processed Foods (Or only eat Whole Foods)

In simple terms just ask yourself “Is it something that you could hunt and kill, or grow in the garden?” If you answered yes, then you can eat it! Anything that requires processing or being made into a food product is a no go. For example snack bars, crackers, cereal or fizzy drinks. I guess with this one it’s all about preparation and making the correct snacks rather than reaching for a cereal bar for convenience.

  •  Eat Mostly Animals and Plants

This one is pretty simple. Eat animals and plants! This includes fish, game and even the organs (if you can stomach it, but I know I can’t!). Our ancestors used to eat the high energy plants for obvious reasons but nowadays as long as we have a balanced diet we can afford to eat from the amazing array of vegetables in our supermarkets. Delve in to the leafy greens section and go crazy!

  • Cook With Butter, Animal Fat, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil and Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Basically your task here is to avoid all seed or grain derived oils. For example Canola or vegetable oils. This goes back to those omega 6 fats I mentioned before. These create inflammation in our system which we are trying to avoid. Instead you now get to cook with lashings of butter or delicious coconut oil. I knew this one wouldn’t be a problem for me as I already adopt this rule due to previous migraines being triggered by these seed oils.

  • When Eating Fruit, Favour Berries of Various Sorts over the Sweeter Stuff

Being honest I knew all fruits contained sugar but I didn’t know which ones contained the most. Basically If the fruit ends in “berry”, then you are allowed a small quantity of them. Otherwise fruits such as apples, grapes and bananas will shoot your blood sugar up followed by a sudden drop which could potentially induce a migraine. Josh explains that the higher sugar fruits are best to be eaten within the context of a meal so that the rise isn’t so substantial. No more mid morning bananas for me!

  • Drink Mainly Water

As we know, water can do you no harm so it’s our best friend to migraineurs. Unsweetened tea is allowed and coffee (with full cream only). Alcohol he advises to completely cut out for the first few weeks but once your migraines have disappeared you could introduce it again if you so wish. I know for me wine is a huge trigger so I think I will always stay clear of this one.

So that’s basically the diet in a nut shell! I know what you’re thinking, what the hell can I eat? Well now you can enjoy bacon, eggs and sausage for breakfast every day without a side order of guilt. Perhaps a salad for lunch with lashings of full fat cheese, chicken and avocado? And for dinner, how about a beautiful steak with a full fat creamy peppercorn sauce with vegetables? Once you start to look in to the possibilities, it’s actually very exciting. Knowing I would be allowed to snack on cheese, nuts and meat to my heart’s content sounded pretty good to me! Josh explains that all low-fat options will have sugars hidden in them, even milk. So instead you have to stick to the full fat rule. Fine by me!

I know you probably have a few questions at this stage such as “Won’t this raise my cholesterol?” and “Surely all this fat isn’t good for me”? Well Josh addresses every concern you may have in the book and will put your mind to rest. In fact this diet is proven to be much healthier for you than your average low fat diet that we are all told to live by. “Fats are bad for you” we hear so often, but maybe they are actually our friends? There’s only way to find out! So wish me luck and I’ll update you shortly with how I am getting on…

 

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#TheMigraineMiracle #Diet #GoodFats #Health #Migraines #NoCarbs #Protein