Thursday, 25 August 2011

‘Relearning’ How and What to Eat

I am embarking on a new journey with regards to my diet.  I am not changing my diet to loose weight (although that would be an added bonus J) but for health reasons.  Diet is so attached to our outward appearance where really it should be seen as how we are treating our body inwardly.  People who are blessed with a fast metabolism can eat the worst foods and still remain physically skinny, but this does not mean they are healthy on the inside. 

I have struggled since I was a teenager with stomach problems.  I clearly react to dairy, but other types of food make me sick as well and it was totally unpredictable.  I went to gastroentologists, and spent lots of money having tests done, with out any conclusive results or explanation on what I could do to prevent being sick.  The test for gluten intolerance came back negative, so the vague diagnosis of IBS still stood.  What does that mean for someone? What is the solution?

Luckily the solution presented itself to me, and it’s not an easy fix, a pill to take or 1 specific food to cut out of my eating routine/diet.  It is learning a new way of eating.  And that is why I am writing this blog, I feel that I have discovered something so exciting, that many people do already know, BUT many people do not know – so I would like to share. 

In passing I mentioned to my yoga instructor, who is also a nutrition coach, about my issues and she said she could help.  I decided that as I had no solution from a doctor, exploring a new way of eating would be worth testing out, and at worst, at least I would be eating healthier, even if it does not fix my IBS problems.

In July of this year I began on my 6 month nutritional program.  I am 4 sessions into the program and I am already noticing significant differences.  The experience is truly remarkable.  To begin, my coach evaluated my existing diet and established that I was consuming a mostly acidic diet, and because I suffer from anxiety, which is considered a possible cause of IBS, the acidic diet was not helping my digestive tract, leaving it inflamed and irritated. 

Keep in mind I have never eaten ‘poorly’.  Junk food is not a part of my diet but I had no idea how much fruits and vegetables I should be eating.  I also thought, What on earth would I eat if I was not able to eat gluten? Turns out quite a lot.  So far, I have been learning how to add fruits, vegetables, grains and beans into my diet.  And it actually tastes good!

Habits are hard to break, and that is what one’s diet is: engrained habits established from childhood.  It takes a considerable amount of time, energy and most of all WILL POWER to make a change.  I guess my IBS is a plus, in that it makes it easier for someone like me to embrace the change as I have suffered for so many years.  Saying that though, sometimes I still cannot resist pizza, cheese, icecream – things I know for sure will leave me ill for hours following.  It is as hard as stopping smoking or breaking another typical addiction.  For others who do not have digestive problems, it would be even more challenging. 

This is a learning curve.  The first time I made Quinoa it was a disaster.  You cannot be afraid to fail.  You are also not going to wake up the next day and everything you eat will be good for you – it would be far too overwhelming to make that drastic of a change.  My coach does not tell me I cannot eat something.  I have not stopped eating all the things I should not – but I am learning that when I do make the right choice I feel so much better.  I am not beating myself up when I do crave chocolate, or a cupcake, or cookie, my biggest weaknesses.  I try to stop myself, but if I do eat it, I know that as time passes and my body starts to adjust to this new way of eating I will crave it less and less.  I am also aware now of how I feel when I consume something healthy.  I feel light.  I eat a cookie now, and although I enjoy it immensely while eating, after I am AWARE of the acidic after taste of the cookie. 

I truly believe that the ‘western’ diet is where our ailments lie.  Advertisements on packages trick us to make us believe that what we are eating is good for us, when really it is not.  With the risk of sounding extreme – the big food manufacturers seem to have a bit of a conspiracy going on and do not really care about the well being of their consumers.  What they care about is their bottom line. 

If you want to make a change and think – oh its too hard – I don’t have time – reconsider.  I did not think I could do something like this – but I am – and it feels liberating! I am starting to really enjoy food for the first time in a very long time! And I am also starting to learn all about what I am actually eating – education is true enlightenment.

Stay tuned and join in my journey – I’ll post links and more information soon! 


  1. Hi Laura!

    I just wanted to share one of my favourite food blogs with you, in case you haven't come across it already - is also good, though her recipes are perhaps a bit more suited to the English climate!


  2. Hey Laura,

    I'm really interested in all of this too. We are shunning "processed" foods and making our own granola cereal etc. I am mostly doing it for the kids' sake. I never knew any of this growing up - the factory farms, genetically modified foods, antibiotics etc. Check out my blog too. It's:
    I homeschool so that is the focus :)