I was asked the other day about my ‘fussy’ eating habits. A client has a sister who is also coeliac and it can cause a few disagreements in the kitchen.
I think everyone is free to eat what they choose and you can still make the best choices for you in any situations without being an A-hole about it. My diet is unique, not just for being coeliac but also because I choose to eat a certain way that fuels me best. I still get enjoyment out of my food just not in the same way others might.
First of all I’m not a dietitian and I have no desire or place to tell anyone what to eat. I’m a nutritionist so I can teach how to eat for youthful skin, to power up your workouts and how to avoid flu forever, because it’s just basic science. We all know that we need food to live but it’s understanding why and how best food combining works.
I have a guilty secret. I pretend to eat well and train well but really I eat rubbish and lie about it. Errrr (wrong buzzer) But this is what some people would like me to say. The truth is I couldn’t be who I am or look the way I do if that was true. I eat well, I look after my body and I reap the full benefits. When you look at everything I’d put my body through over the years in the past I should look like a wreck, which is why I work so hard now to combat that now. The amount of sugar I ate on a daily basis was toxic, not just unhealthy, toxic. Sugar was never my biggest problem. The amount of cigarettes I could get through whilst stressed at work was insane. I would physically light one off the other till my break was finished. That’s not so easily erased. But again, not my worst enemy. My biggest problem was I didn’t know anything about what I was eating. I thought diets would help me loose weight and low fat was healthy. I had no idea of the ticking time bomb I was feeding every day.
So coeliac’s, where did we come from? Why are there so many around these days? When I was younger there was only one girl at school with diabetes who couldn’t have the puddings at lunch time. Now everyone seems to have food allergies, intolerances or restricted diets. Why? The fact is when I was younger there were less chemicals in our foods, less mass produced fast food. If you look at the back of the bread packaging and it says azodicarbonamide, that’s a substance used to make plastic. Plastic! We’re spreading jam on the same materials used to make yoga mats and feeding it to our children every morning. It’s an ingredient currently used in the bread used in a globally known sandwich shop. Of which we have SIX of these shops alone in my home town. All the fresh veg and meats they’re well known to provide does nothing to combat you eating the same ingredient that is used to make shoes. Anyone fancy some toast? Of course it’s not in every bread, but once you’re aware of this info, you can then make different choices for your family.
When I was little there was a rumour that someone found glass in a well known candy. From everyone at school loving this candy, the very next day it was banned. For safety reasons? It was never actually proved it even happened, but that’s how powerful the mind is when you give it enough reason. That’s why eating healthy is a doddle for me. I know I screwed up my organs and I know the long term effects of my past choices so I’m doing everything now to counteract this. The choice for me not to eat sugar cane anymore was simple once I came to terms with the fact I had an addiction to it. Believe me when I took a step back and felt the withdrawal symptoms it made me realise just how strong a hold it had. It would have been so easy to give in when I first cut back but, the shakes, the bad moods, the heart palpitations were telling me something serious. This wasn’t right, this was something I’d become so used to I didn’t even realise. This was doing serious damage.
So do I expect everyone to rally around my food choices? Cook only what I can eat? Scrub their kitchens just in case of cross contamination? Nope. I eat what I know is best for me. If it’s not available when I’m out I always have snacks or wait till I get home. Friends tend to come to my house for food because it’s easier for me and I’ve learned some tasty cooking skills they enjoy. I would get bored pretty quickly if I didn’t make my food exciting. I’d rather be honest with the people who mean the most to me. As for others I don’t judge anyone’s food choices and it always makes me laugh when people feel the need to defend what they eat. Honestly you do you and I’ll do me. But it’s when people defend their choices for their children, that’s what’s interesting. If you stock the cupboards with unhealthy snacks for them, what are you teaching them? Why would you eat healthy and feed them plastics, additives and chemicals used in cleaning fluids? That pop in the cupboard with high fructose corn syrup, it does more damage to your liver than alcohol. Yes that’s right, your children would be healthier drinking alcohol than that pop. Food for thought…
Being away from home or at an event doesn’t have to change a thing. It’s up to me what consequences I face so I make my decision based on what I want my outcome to be. It’s the addiction to the rollercoaster that was behind my bad past choices. If I went out and had too much to drink I would be inebriated enough to indulge in an unhealthy takeaway. Then I would wake up with all the food guilt in the world, feel exhausted, have no energy for anything and enjoy a nice sofa day. Great if that’s the outcome you want. These days I choose to eat before a night out with friends. I go somewhere I know we can eat well and take time to enjoy it. Then go out, stick to alcohol free drinks, leaving when I’m ready. There’s a pride in waking up the next day feeling good then going off to enjoy the buzz from a good workout. It’s that simple.
Do I miss chocolate? Honestly no. It’s like asking an ex smoker if they miss smoking. The stink of smoking, the expense of it, the nasty phlegm filled morning coughs, standing out in the cold. I always felt anxious for the next cigarette and even knowing it was harmful far outweighed anything when you’re in need of a drag. Chocolate can’t possibly be compared to cigarettes can it? These days I can enjoy the flavour of cocoa in different ways but I just could never imagine wanting to eat another family sized chocolate bar to myself again. Actually it makes me feel physically sick. It would be sickly sweet now because I’ve been off it for so long, like emptying a seeetner in your mouth. More to the point my body would reject that much sugar and it was feel awful. I know this because I tried the 80/20 method a long time ago so on a weekend I’d indulge and I’d just feel horrible. The shakes, the headaches, bad stomach and massive sugar dips. No thanks…But Fin, you don’t have to eat a giant bar, you can have a piece…that’s my problem, it was never a piece. Sugar is my drug of choice. I have tried to moderate it but after years of trying I just couldn’t do it anymore. I have far too many benefits of it not being in my diet. I don’t do sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup or any other sweet substitute either. An alcoholic can’t just enjoy a small glass of wine and I’m ok with cutting out the sweet stuff. It’s been that long since it’s been in my diet that honestly a bananas taste like toffee to me. Natural fruit sugars, fructose and milk sugars, lactose work for me. My carbohydrate sugars, glucose, are chosen mindfully too. My blood sugar is stable, my metabolism is high, my energy levels are through the roof and the sleep, oh baby the sleep, read on..
It’s not just the physical and mental advantages I feel from my diet. Yeah it’s great not having that afternoon dip, I love bouncing around like tigger in my classes and I know my skin is looking better than ever but it’s the sleep. OMG the SLEEP!!
Nothing and I mean nothing has meant more to me than knowing I can control my daily rest. This isn’t for everyone. I get that we all have different lives but for me, this kind sleep is heavenly. There’s no TV program that can’t be recorded. There’s no event that can’t put on hold. When I need my sleep, I get it. Not every night I’m tucked up so early but on the days I need it, it’s more powerful than any food cravings. Waking up at 5am and leaping out of bed like it’s Christmas feels amazing. The brain is switched on like every bulb has been renewed on the Times Square Christmas tree. I’m rested, I feel it through my bones and I’m ready to thrive all day. I just didn’t get it before but I do now and there’s nothing worth giving that up for. What’s amazing is also knowing what foods to eat to induce such a restful sleep like this.
How would your life be different if instead of brain fog you could choose crystal clarity. What if you never got the flu? What if instead of not being able to wake up in a morning you woke up feeling immediately switched on? How many times have you had food guilt, regretted your choices or felt uncomfortable or sick after eating? Imagine it all gone, never ever ever feeling bloated again. That’s why Nutrition is so easy. All the food addictions I had before can be switched to healthier choices in an instant just through the power of choice.
So what do I mean, don’t be a food a-hole…I don’t give anyone unsolicited advice, I’m not stood on my soap box, you chose to read this on my website and what you choose to eat is none of my business. My choices are mine alone and I don’t ram my opinions down anyone’s throat. I lead by example and people ask me about my choices. We all have the power of these choices. We don’t need to be experts but having a small amount of knowledge is what makes a difference. If you knew it was your morning toast that caused your asthma problems, how would that make your u feel? If you knew in the future a serious asthma attack would be your cause of death, what new choices would you make now? I’ve seen family members die from lung cancer and from unhealthy nutrition so it’s really easy for me to make these choices because I’ve seen the outcome first hand. I’m adding years into my life and to those around me by leading by example. Do I cheat? Have a break? Do I sneak out and eat badly just for the hell of it? Hell no, this is a standard in my life now. Like everything, once you make a choice of the life you want, you take small achievable steps to make it happen. Once you feel this kind of vitality in your body, it then becomes a standard.
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