If you have any digestive problems, skin rashes or strange bumps, acne, memory problems, fatigue, high blood sugar or high blood pressure, the way you look at food needs to change now. If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, migraine headaches, crohn's or irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, or heart disease, your food lifestyle needs to change today. If you have family members with any of these diseases or disorders and you eat like they eat, your food needs to change.
I didn't say overweight or obese, because there are people, especially children and teenagers, that are fat on the inside and thin on the outside. They appear thin. like they can eat anything, however, the amount of visceral fat (fat in and around the organs) is in abundance. I will discuss this concept and the dangers of visceral fat in another blog. Just remember, that a person may be able to eat a lot of food and not gain weight, but they may be undernourished, fat inside and sick.
The two tweaks for 2015 are eliminate grains and add in fermented foods. Normally, I would suggest just adding the good stuff in and eventually the "bad" stuff finds it's way out of the diet. This time I'm going to recommend removing grains WHILE adding in healthy fats and fermented foods. Our country is sick, our world is sick and our food is our best chance at turning it around. I know some people may think grains do not affect them, so why eliminate them from the diet? We are discovering that gluten and gliadin bind to receptors on brain cells and can lead to the immune system attacking the body (auto-immune disorders). While you may not experience bloating, diarrhea, or constipation; you may be have symptoms of stiff, achy joints, irritability, headaches, allergies, asthma, skin rashes, acne, mood swings or fatigue. Some people are extra sensitive to gluten and would be best off eliminating all grains; others may only need to drastically decrease portions size, frequency of eating grains and eliminate gluten rich foods such as wheat, barley, rye, spelt, triticale and kamut.
Removing wheat from your diet will take some work at first because it is in everything. It most likely will require you to do more eating at home and preparing meals. It will also, cut back 350 - 400 calories per day and you will feel more energized and craving foods less. Once you discontinue eating wheat the cycle of addiction can cease and you will operate more smoothly each day. When we consume large quantities of grains and sugar our pancreas must release insulin to move the sugar out of the blood stream and into a storage space (adipose tissue). Wheat increases your blood sugar more than a candy bar, therefore large amounts of insulin must be released into the diet. The body is storing this as well as it can into visceral fat, which will cause a release of inflammatory cytokines (chemicals that stimulate immune response), and will increase the production of estrogen and prolactin. This latter hormones help females with breast development and milk production, which is why men may experience "man boobs" from eating too many grains. Wheat also has a morphine - like effect on the brain and acts as an appetite stimulant - yes, it makes you want food!
So, maybe you only are concerned about the 20 extra pounds sitting around your midsection. These 20 extra pounds may have been here for years, fluctuating with each diet or killer exercise stent. Try to remove all grains from your diet (replace with raw nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, and vegetables) for four weeks. Notice how you feel at the end of four weeks and how effortlessly the weight is dropping off.
Next, add in fermented foods! Probiotics have gotten a lot of great press in the past few years, but we should really look to our food for help. It's nice that the allopathic community is beginning to understand the importance of these good bacteria, however, pharmaceutical companies are trying to turn it into a drug as well - you have x disease you take x bacteria. Unfortunately, our body is designed to work more globally than take this for that, it's take this and ALL THIS (good and not - so - good) happens. Our body has more microbiota growing in and on it than it does human cells; we are designed to work with these friendly bacteria. The fermentation process allows for bacteria (sometimes yeast) to breakdown foods enough to release beneficial enzymes and nutrients for our bodies. Microbiota in our intestines actually produce some vitamins for us and make it easier for us to absorb other vitamins and minerals. It is beneficial to eat some pickles or fermented antipasta before your meal because the bacteria coat your digestive tract (helps fight off any pathogens in the food or utensils), and stimulates the release of digestive enzymes along with bringing healthy enzymes to the party.
It is great to ferment your own vegetables, but if that is not for you here is some advice on what to buy already prepared. Read the label. It should only contain the vegetable, water, salt and maybe some other seasonings (like dill, garlic, red pepper flakes). It should not contain perservatives, food coloring or things you cannot pronounce. There are many types of fermented foods; kombucha, sauerkraut, pickled beets, kimchi, pickled eggs and beef, kefir, yogurts (full fat, no sugar (fruit, honey, sucrose, aspartame, etc added, live cultures) and much more. If you like fizzy drinks, but are removing those toxins from your food, try kombucha - it is fizzy, flavorful and adds good bacteria to your body. You do not have to drink an entire bottle, like you would a soda.
If you are ready for some big changes to your health in 2015, here are some great ways to begin; remove the grains and add in fermented foods. You have nothing to lose (except weight, medical bills and pill alarm) and everything to gain (health, energy, vitality, youthful skin, and more) by making this tweak in your food lifestyle. Most of us set resolutions, so why not set one to try this for 4 - 6 weeks and notice the changes. I recommend that you make a list of all the health complaints you made in 2014 - backaches, headaches, rash, anemia, low energy, low libido, depression, high blood pressure - then write down what you would like your health to be in 2015 - vibrant, full of energy, 30 pounds lighter, no allergies, glowing skin, thick hair (did I mention wheat has been linked to hair loss), etc. After you experiment with this food change for 4-6 weeks notice how many of these symptoms disappeared and how many of your health wishes are coming true. Then, choose to stay with this lifestyle change or not. If you find yourself eating a wheat or grain product, pay attention to how you are feeling the next few days. It may be as small as a stuffy sinuses to as big as full-body aches and depression.
Healing from the Inside Out,