In my journey of looking for the solution to my weight issues I have learnt a lot about nutrition and my body from each diet I started. I even learnt lessons from the failures.
- I learnt to be successful you need to find a way to release trauma or stress that can be holding you back from achieving your health goal but then you also have to find the right nutrition that works for you to fuel your body.
- You need to find your real motivation for gaining back your health and something more meaningful than just – I want to rock a pair of skinny jeans. It is even better if you can align your reason with your life purpose – that will give your reason so much more power to guide you when you feel yourself wavering and thinking about devouring a Big Mac.
- Keeping a food and feeling diary is important for understanding how your body reacts to foods physically and emotionally.
- I learnt if you quit simple sugars you stop craving sweet things although if you start eating it again – well it is like you are a drugo looking for your next hit.
- By label reading I learnt most packaged food contain sugar so unless you quit eating them you can never control your sugar cravings.
- I learnt that my body prefers low carbs as I was windy and bloated if I ate bread or pasta
- I learnt I love salads and live food although this lesson takes a couple of weeks of adding to each meal before you realise it is something you start craving.
- I learnt drinking too much alcohol finds you not caring about a healthy eating plan.
- I learnt I hate counting calories.
- I learnt I like to eat and that some meals make you feel amazing but others have you feeling heavy and tired.
- I learnt if I eat nothing but fruit for breakfast I seem to want to graze all day.
- To succeed in any new diet or way of eating requires one to be organised to some degree.
- Staying hydrated is important in a weight loss journey.
- Chemicals are bad so Organic is best although if the budget won’t stretch or not available just wash the vegies in apple cider vinegar.
I signed up for a life coach programme with Nikki Bowen www.nikibowen.com who, along with treating the mind with the all-important trauma clearing, also introduced a way of eating that was scary to begin with as it was an all or nothing approach of giving the sack to all foods known to cause inflammation. Once embraced it took all the lessons I had learnt and bundled them into one new way of eating that my body loves.
The list of not allowed foods:
- No wheat
- No dairy
- No potatoes
- No fruit – for 6 weeks
- No processed foods
- No sugar or even the healthy sugar alternatives
- No booze
Mmmmm so what can I eat
- Fresh or frozen vegetables
- Meat, chicken and fish
- Greek yoghurt
- Healthy fats like coconut oil, ghee and olive oil ( although olive oil not to be used for cooking)
- Coconut cream/milk
- Almond milk
- Chili, garlic, cinnamon, cacao, Herbs and spices
- Coconut flour/almond meal
- Tamari sauce (replacing the use of soy sauce)
- Lemon and lime juice
- Chick peas
That might sound very scary for some and I did find it a little daunting but with a little clarification and label reading I expanded the list to the above, finding foods that could be incorporated to make some amazing meals that nourish but also are delicious. After about 6 weeks it was ok to re-introduce a piece of fruit and the occasional healthy sugar alternative. I also have relaxed on the dairy to the point if I am in a restaurant and cheese is added to a salad – I enjoy it without stress. I also have to admit to some vodka sneaking into my soda water when socialising or even a glass of wine miraculously finding its way into my hand. Life after all is meant to be enjoyed but I ensured I was strict for a detox period.
Through being organised and making double the amount when preparing dinner I also have a healthy lunch so was even saving money as I previously used to always buy my lunch. My partner, although not sticking to it religiously, has embraced the way I eat enjoying the meals and loves taking his lunch and has enjoyed some weight loss as a by-line. I am always looking at recipes and working out how it can be adapted to fit my eating plan.
Paleo recipes are an amazing resources of meal ideas although technically there are a few differences between what I eat and the paleo way of eating but only a few changes are required as there are some similar principles.
- Instead of honey recommended by paleo followers I use rice malt syrup, stevia,dates or coconut syrup as they are low in fructose which is important for weight loss – although it should be noted making things with these sugar alternatives should be saved for occasional celebration meals and not for the first 6 weeks
- I make hummus but chickpeas are a legume which is a no-no in a paleo diet
- I am happy to add peanuts to a stir fry or making a satay sauce although again they are a legume
- I eat some quinoa sometimes as well
- I don’t think paleo allows greek yoghurt either
Examples of the type of meals I enjoy – I certainly am not feeling deprived and I include a variety of vegetables with most meals so I doubt anyone could say I am lacking in any nutrients. I work full time and most of these meals don’t take a long time to prepare either.
- Homemade pumpkin/sweet potato and walnut muffins
- Omelettes and frittata
- Homemade toasted nut and seed granola
- Bacon and eggs
- Pancakes made with alternative flours and even one recipe using no flour
- Hummus or tzaki with carrot sticks
- Homemade bliss balls
- Chicken and avocado in coconut cream over zucchini pasta
- Curry served over cauliflower rice
- Lamb shanks served on sweet potato mash or cauliflower mash
- Steak, fish, chicken or chops with salad
- Baked salmon
- Garlic prawns
- Chicken and vegie stir fry
- Lamb roast with sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin and cauliflower and even making a creamy sauce blending cauliflower with coconut cream to replace the white sauce I used to love with a baked dinner
- Spicy mince wrapped in lettuce – so version of San boy chow
- Shepherd’s pie but using sweet potato mash instead of potato
- Buy a BBQ chicken and a salad or make the salad
- In a pinch I can buy a Hamburger but throw away the buns – although I would only choose to do this from a shop that appears to use good quality hamburger patties
I think you will agree that the list of meals is only limited by your imagination. If it is of assistance I have shared some of my recipes, food diary and have supplied photos of some of the things found in my pantry that help me eat in this manner.
So how has this eating plan been of benefit to me?
- Dropped 41kilos and still going
- Lowered my blood pressure to enable me to stop taking medication
- Inflammation in joints and muscles eased so can now enjoy a massage without cringing
- Sleep better with more deep sleep according to my fitbit
- Stopped snoring according to my partner
- Enabled hanging up the sleep apnea machine
- Less wind which my partner also appreciates
- More energy
- Empowered to exercise which speeds up the benefits
So if you have had enough of feeling like crap or decided it is time to stop killing yourself, maybe this eating plan or even some kind of variation would work for you?
Are you ready to start listening to your body?