Should Dieting Be Punishment?
When you hear the words diet,
do you automatically think of rabbit food and starvation?
When you hear the words diet, do you automatically think of rabbit food and starvation? In the past, I associated dieting with a total restriction of my food intake that it put me off wanting to do it at all. The idea of eating only iceberg lettuce and bland foods put me off doing a diet for any reason.
What if I suggested that if you wanted to lose weight successfully, you could eat almost everything…. Would you think I was nuts?The reality is there are plenty of fad diets that help you to lose weight very quickly, which makes you feel great at the time.But what happens when you start eating ‘normally again’?Is it not better to just eat better from the beginning and make the ‘diet a lifestyle change instead’?
Often people say to me that my products don’t work.But the reality is that they are unwilling to make a small change to their food intake in order to find what triggers their body’s reactions.It may not necessarily be the same intolerance to food as someone else, If you think about how long you have suffered a condition
Years ago, when I was covered from face to thighs in weeping and bleeding Eczema, I sought the help of a Naturopath with his Homeopathy medications to assist in finding my well-being.I was distraught from how hideous my skin had become, my appearance was heart breaking to look at, even for me.I remember my Naturopath saying I was the worst case he had ever seen – thanks! ☹
You can imagine my thought process as he told me we had to start a very strict diet.But my diet wasn’t about losing weight, even though it was the side effect for me. My strict diet was about detoxing my body from the excess steroids and medications I had been on for years to suppress the Eczema that had become toxic in my body.
My Italian diet was altered very quickly for detoxing to become a Vegan Vegetarian one. For one who has grown up eating the Mediterranean type foods of meats, cheeses, pastas, vegetables and fruits with espresso and wine, this was like a punch in the face for my Dad, the Chef, and I. We were both confused and somewhat horrified.He had been lovingly preparing our meals for years and in his mind, meant he had contributed to my being unwell.This was not the case – the toxic build up in my body had caused my reactions in the skin.
The first day and week are always the hardest.All you want to eat is the breads and pasta to fill your tummy.You want to drink the beverages that you were normally drinking instead of boring water with a dash of lemon – right?I didn’t starve myself, that is for sure. My day consisted of 6 meals a day, every 2nd one was a healthier snack.I had lots of veggies, lots of fruit, lots of salad all day. They had no dressings, no salt or pepper, sugars, breads or ingredients which could have irritated my gut furthermore.My Naturopath wanted to ensure that my body was cleared of toxins as soon as possible, whilst he took care of the homeopathy side of things.
During this time, even all-natural honey worked against me. I put a tiny amount on my tongue to taste and reacted so quickly that I was scratching my face and body in the time that I swallowed the honey.It was such an immediate and awful reaction that confirmed how sensitive my body had become during this time.
I ate healthy foods and I was satisfied after each meal.There was cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions, broccoli, lettuce, cucumbers, leeks, lentils, beans, peas, bananas, melon, nectarines, apricots, apples, pears and so much more that I was able to eat.When I felt hungry, I had a piece of fruit for a snack or made a fruit-based smoothie.At home, the salad bowl was huge and full of goodness.The lentils were made without pasta for me so that I had less digestion issues.My parents really made this 4-week process so much easier for me.
By the end of the first week, my skin had become worse.More irritated, more red, itchy, inflamed, weeping and bleeding.I cried so much, feeling more isolated and hideous than when I had started.I bathed every day with my stocking full of bran and wished for the day when my skin would just be normal.I persisted with my eating regime and seeing my Naturopath who was controlling my blood pressure and progress.What I hadn’t noticed is that I had been losing weight in the process.
During the second week of this eating regime, my skin began to change colour.My body had started to calm down, so there was less itching and scratching during the nights.By the third week, I had more new skin, with less redness and irritations.By the fourth week, I was 14 kilos or 2 stones lighter and my skin was like a newborn baby.And now it was time to stop the detoxing as my blood pressure had become lower than normal. Please remember that detoxing and doing a diet with the assistance of a medically trained Doctor or Nutritionist for health reasons should be short and monitored.
My body had rid itself of the medical and food related toxins that had built up in my gut.My skin had cleared completely, with no evidence or scars on my body from what I had suffered.You would never think that I was the same person a few weeks later.There is NO pictures of me during this time – thank goodness for film in my days, where the idea of selfies was unheard of.
Once I started eating other foods again, I introduced them slowly.My Naturopath suggested it was ok to have a Cheat Day where you enjoy the foods you have removed from your diet – that is if they don’t have a negative effect on your health.For me, indulging in dairy free ice-cream and treats one day a week was no longer a problem, as the majority of the time, I was eating healthy.
I carried on with the Food Combination way of eating and found alternatives to what I had been eating growing up.I found during this process that my body was intolerant to dairy products.I had stopped drinking espresso with sugar, tea with milk and sugar, fizzy drinks and eating lots of highly saturated foods.I found it too heavy to eat meats at the same time as breads and pasta.I would choose to eat either meat or pasta with lots of salads and vegies.I no longer craved dairy milk chocolate or desserts, as well as the foods that messed up my system. My body was performing like a well-oiled machine, less sluggish, no longer irritated and not a sign of Eczema.
So dieting should not be a punishment for eating bad foods. Dieting should be part of a lifestyle change that allows you to function properly without carrying excess weights.Try to make sure you include a decent multivitamin and supplements where you feel you are not getting enough nutrients for your body.
This week, a friend of mine mentioned that he was going to do a new diet to lose some weight.We too have added excess weight over the winter months and during our pampering time off in Italy.We have also started to change our eating habits this week.I have introduced more salads and vegies with protein to our meals, less carbs as well as cutting down our portion sizes.We try to eat carbs only in the day/lunch time instead of night time.I am not starving myself but eating fruits as the snacks in between.With this slight change, I have already noticed feeling less bloated with movement on the scales.This adjustment in the daily way food is consumed is better than doing a type of diet that is unrealistic in the longer term.You could risk putting all the excess weight on again, and more.
In Summary, if you want to make a change to your diet, start my reducing the saturated fats, sugars, carbs and processed foods.Eat more greens and salads as they are lighter to digest.
If you are:
• Not Gluten intolerant, try to reduce your carb intake to day time instead of dinner time, to allow your body to process it.You tend to be more active during the day than at night time.
• Gluten intolernant, stay off the breads and pastas, and be aware that many sauces contain gluten.
• Dairy intolerant, there are so many other options to choose from including Soya, Rice, Almond, Quorn, Tofu, Lactose Free and more.Be careful of other ingredients which have hidden lactose, including sauces, dried foods, and even some medications.
• Vegan / Vegetarian, ensure you are getting enough protein from your pulses and lentils.
• Diabetic, the low carb diet has worked for my friend who has suffered Type 1 most of her life.
• Thyroid issues, your diet will be further restricted.
• Iron deficiency, try to stay off having espresso or coffees straight after your meals as it can absorb the iron your body needs.You can get liquid iron from the health shop to add to your Orange juice for that extra boost.Ifound the liquid was easier to digest than the pill form.
• Suffering with skin conditions like Eczema and Psoriasis, then finding your triggers and what doesn’t agree with your body is KEY to your personal long-term wellness. It could be gluten, dairy, sugars, spices, citrus and fish, to name a few, but not necessarily the same as another person suffering the same condition.
If you are looking to fast forward your journey to recovery, you can book your Consult Therapist session. I will help you get the results you want as I have already been on that hard journey. It takes courage to persist with getting the results you want.It definitely has high and low moments but I can empathise, sympathise and encourage you along your path.
If you want products to help relieve your symptoms whilst on your journey, please see the variety of Products Skin Assistance available on the webpage.
You can also request to join the various Facebook groups I have set up: Essentially Lili Nutrition & Well Being & Essentially Lili Q&A – Taking Care of Your Skin. Here you can ask your questions to start a Conversation and find resolution.I share not only what I have studied with the school in London about Nutrition and the Body, but what the other experts write too.You can also check out the previous Blogs regarding the Understanding Your Body, Products, Essential Oils, their Benefits, Managing Stress, Raiding Your Fridge and the funny Pedicure one too.
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Do you have a similar story where dieting got your body back on track?
What diet did you to follow to resolve a condition you were suffering?
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Always love to hear from you, Kind Regards Lili @ Essentially Lili
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