Do you feel like you are living in the 'Matrix' and everyone just doesn't seem to get it? Eating junk food does NOT a healthy body make.
After my family went through a period when everyone seemed to be falling ill from whatever sickness or bug was going around at that time, my second daughter had a continuous 6 month stomach ache that 7 doctors and specialists couldn't resolve, my father-in-law suffered horrendous unrelenting allergic hives for months. Even me! (I have ever gone through a period of 9 years when I didn't fall sick at all, not even taking a panadol once!) I was catching colds and just feeling unwell generally.
I have always thought that I was eating a reasonably healthy diet and I was providing my children with the most nutritious foods available. NOT!
I happened to read the book 'Wheat Belly' by Dr William Davies and I fell down the proverbial rabbit's hole. Since that fateful day 6 months ago, I have read more than 25 books by far-sighted doctors who advocate a nutritional and lifestyle approach to healthy living. (Thank you Audible & Kindle, I couldn't have gotten so much reading done otherwise. You get your first book free from Audible.com!)
The short story is this :
Cut all or as much sugar as you can from your family's diet. That includes any product that has ---ose on package labels eg sucrose, fructose, maltose etc or ---saccharide and especially HFCS or High Fructose Corn Syrup which has been shown in research to cause cancer cells to proliferate and multiply like crazy. Check for other code words for sugar.
Reduce your intake of carbohydrates to about 60g per day if you can. I estimate that to be about 6-8 large spoonfuls of rice a day. It is not as hard as you think it might be. I have cut all wheat products from my family's diet (Wheat causes leaky gut and numerous health problems) and changed our rice to Basmati rice which has the least amount of arsenic among all the different rice available as well as the lowest glycemic index. We still eat potatoes and sweet potatoes in much smaller amounts. The strangest thing is that the less carbo you eat, the less hungry you feel. That is due to the fact that you are not on the roller coaster of peaks of blood glucose after meals & low blood sugar 2-3 hours later.
Consume more healthy saturated fats and STOP eating hydrogenated vegetable oils. I don't know about you but I used to stand in the supermarket aisle selling cooking oil for ages trying to figure out which was the best oil to buy. Well, here's the answer : Coconut oil. For light cooking, you can use extra virgin olive oil. For any oils that are mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated, high heat from cooking especially deep frying causes oxidation and the oil then becomes carcinogenic when consumed. We use other healthy oils like flaxseed oil, apricot kernel oil, almond oil etc for our salads.
Start your day by drinking a cold-pressed juice in the morning and ending the day with a healthy salad mixed with nuts, spices, condiments, cheese, yogurt and any of the healthy oils. You should drink and eat the rainbow, that is include a mixture of all the different-coloured vegetables and fruits - white, yellow/orange, red, green and purple. Apparently, when your juice is cold-pressed, the cell membranes are broken and the phyto-nutrients and enzymes are released to be readily absorbed by your body. I juice about 2 large basins of fruits and vegetables most mornings, enough for my whole family. I include as many different vegetables and fruits as I can find, about 10-15 varieties for each juicing.
Exercise and reduce your stress. Apparently, stress is the primary cause of illness because it compromises your immune system and drains your body's vitamins and minerals. You don't need to run marathons, even just walking and natural movements are beneficial. I also discovered that jumping on the trampoline is an excellent way to move your lymphatic system. If you are a couch potato, you are in lymphostasis, your lymphatic system is not moving at all. Your lymphatic system is a major part of your immune system, that's why whenever you feel under the weather, your lymph nodes swell up.
Lose any extra weight you are carrying around your middle, if your waist circumference is more than your hip circumference, you are likely to be pre-diabetic, if you aren't diabetic already. Just cutting your carbohydrates and substituting with healthy fats keeps you from feeling hungry and switches your body to mobilizing the burning of your body fats. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but fortunately it is true, Eat Fats, Get Thin! The carbohydrates and sugar that you consume is broken down to glucose in your blood, this elevates your insulin level to clear away the excess glucose which gets turned into fats and triglycerides in your liver, leading to a fatty liver, elevated triglycerides and so-called bad cholesterol (which is actually just glycated LDL=glucose attached to an LDL molecule) and insulin resistence.
Gary Taubes - Calories vs Carbohydrates: Clearing up Confusion over Competing Obesity Paradigms
In case you are worried that my poor family is starving to death without bread and cereal for breakfast, rest assured that my kids are now having the most nutrient rich superfoods for every meal.
I have gone almost completely organic, even growing some of our vegetables and most of our herbs in our garden, fertilized with the pulp from my juicing of organic fruits. I filled my home with healthy superfood snacks like seaweed, nuts and berries, bean crackers with various vegetable dips etc.
A typical breakfast for my kids can include :
Full cream milk (raw whole milk does not exist in Singapore), sometimes mixed with greens powders. Check for trans-fat and sugar, I still haven't figured out why there can be trans-fat in milk!?!! I buy UHT milk as it is not reconstituted and there are no additives.
Eggs cooked in different ways from half-boiled to omelettes with chopped vegetables and full fat cheese.
Non-preservative bacon and sausages.
Brands chicken essence
Multivitamins, Vitamin C and B complex, DHA Fish oil and Probiotics
My husband is a very open-minded doctor and a fabulous cook, so we have been having modified (sans sugar & wheat) Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver food most nights when he cooks. Our steaks taste better than even those from Morton's Steakhouse, I reckon. Go with organic grassfed meats where possible, which has a high DHA and came from happy cows. New Zealand meats are the safest as they have very strict laws governing their meat production, has the cleanest environment in the world and was the only country with no mad cows' disease.
If you are trying to figure out if you should go vegan or go paleo, here's a fast way to figure out what to do. According to Dr Weston A Price, Dr Francis Pottenger and Dr Ernst Gellhorn, there are no communities in the world which thrived on a high carbohydrates diet, however there were many societies that thrived, according to their environment, on a high vegetable fat diet or a high meat fat diet (Massai in Kenya & Inuits in Alaska) or a balanced high fat diet (Polynesian). The diet consisted of 80% fat to 20% protein and negligible carbohydrates, maybe 5% from fruits and vegetable sugars. Each of us has been anthropologically evolved to eat a certain way: more veg, more meat or balanced. Just try and remember what you loved to eat when you were a kid (besides sweets and chocolates!). I found I was more of a meat eater.
Dr Nicholas Gonzalez - What Should I Eat?
If you haven't noticed yet, I love reading textbooks. Here are some of the interesting ones I am working through at the moment. I am trying to avoid any antibiotics and medications for my kids and we are probably going to forgo the flu shots this year & test how high dose vitamin C & B will work.