Ruminating on my last blog surrounding the sugar issue, I began to think about food in general and its impact upon us humans.
There are the dieting fads with marketing so effective they prey on the vulnerable streak of basically all women and some men, cajoling their audience into believing that trying this diet will help you lose ‘X’ amount of pounds. In addition to this, the problem we face is that we have been brainwashed to believe is that a specific appearance and size is the norm and we are subsequently judged on that if we don’t fit or conform to that label.
So as I went about my weekend I continued to think about this food concept. One of the questions which kept recurring was, ‘how do we know what is right to eat?’ On various occasions I have questioned repeatedly ‘should I be eating this?’ and dealing with the guilt afterwards. This is because I have read so many articles which contradict others in proven scientific research. So the real question to ask is, ‘who do we believe?’
Take poor old chocolate for example, it’s had both good and bad press with an ever changing reputation. Before deciding that as cocoa is a bean and could therefore count as one of your five a day and dashing out to get the biggest bar of Cadbury’s you can find, read the article below. Possibly one of the most amusing but well documented articles I have found incorporating the numerous scientific findings over the last few decades. It includes the pros and cons of eating such deliciousness despite not providing a definite answer!
With regards diets, the acknowledgement which I find predominantly overlooked is the fact that each and every one of us is utterly unique. In personality, genetics, culture, how our body responds to certain foods and liquids, what ailments we have etc etc. From an advertising perspective, how can companies be so bold as to assure that this will make us lose weight or make us healthier? Does that not make it false advertising? Each of us will respond differently and what will be successful for one person will not be for another and goodness knows I am living proof!
As a child I was allergic to practically everything at one stage or another. You name it: potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate, dairy, fruit, wheat, sugar, tobacco, gluten, meats, a number of vegetables, E numbers, colorings and flavorings. I tried a surfeit of allergy testing types: food under the tongue, kinesiology, food on the skin, food elimination and then reintroduction and I think I may even have had a patch test at one point. Plus I’ve tried many diets including: wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, ketogenic, general low carb and ayurvedic.
For me, the ketogenic diet which I tried as a method of seizure control made me feel my healthiest self. With a high fat, medium protein and maximum of 25g of carbohydrate per day it is similar to the Atkins diet. Waking up to a fried breakfast dowsed in butter and drinking double cream if I couldn’t find a suitable lunch much to the disgust/entertainment of my friends at work and eating enough cheese to make Wisconsin proud, was perfect for me. For my sister who is lactose intolerant, this would be her worst nightmare! The pros to this way of eating were: exceptional skin, dandruff eradication, my digestive system was free of pain and cramps, my stomach was happy, my lethargy and tiredness departed leaving me with more energy than I knew what to do with and health issues that I wasn’t even aware of cleared up and I noticed this because they weren’t present anymore. The cons? I had dreadful cravings even though I had passed the withdrawal stage and this was something that didn’t subside. Although I loved the diet, the cravings sent my intuitive warning bells ringing. If something is effective my body should be in harmony and at that point, it wasn’t.
So as I continue to walk blindly and clearly lost down the path of food, I simply try to keep a healthy balance. Knowing the basics such as low sugar, organic where possible and low carb seems to be as far as I have got. I don’t dare mention the fact that some foods sit perfectly alongside one thing but not another, that just takes it to the next level of complicated!
So I’m left trusting my intuition by listening and seeing what my body is telling me through its external response. After all, our skin is the mirror to the inside of our bodies.