Over the last few weeks, I have been pondering over the issue of diet and health and honouring my mind, body and spirit. As we progress into the 21st century, eyes are turned towards how food is affecting our health. Top of the list is Obesity and Cancer, followed closely by Diabetes and many autoimmune diseases such as Fibromyalgia.
But above all the rules about what to eat and what not, is knowing the truth for our own bodies that count.
I have studied the subject of food and diet for over forty years, not least because I have a weight and food issue myself. I have been very overweight, and very slim, now at the age of seventy-five I am somewhere in between. Funnily enough, I am the weight that I was when I went on my first slimming diet at the age of nineteen. So, on the one hand, I have wasted my time and effort, but more importantly, I have learnt a lot about my body that I would not have known without having to watch my weight
And I have written books and blogs and done a few radio interviews. And my life has been enriched because of what some may see as a problem. When I see people who are suffering because of misinformation over the years about what works and what does not, my heart goes out to them, because I can see that I too could have suffered because of the lack of knowledge about what suits my body.
I am not talking about any particular way of healthy eating, but experimenting and finding what suits our individual needs. Some may eat meat, others not. Some may eat raw food and others not. A low carbohydrate diet is for many people, and one reason for that is that most carbohydrate food these days is high in sugar and refined.
What is almost certain is that eating the processed junk that saves time and money, whether they are proclaimed healthy or not, is damaging our health.
We simply need to be more aware, conscious and experiment on what suits our bodies, way of life and beliefs and honouring them.
We have been misled for many years now about what we should and should not eat.
Take fat, for instance. In the 1970s we were led to believe that we should not eat fat. There was even a slimming empire based on that and based their diet on no fat at all, and we are still trying to break the habit of eating low-fat products.
But eventually, scientists have realised that low fat is unhealthy and that the body needs a certain amount of healthy fat.
What about those who eat a lot and get away with it?
That is a myth. There are people who seem to get away with it, but eventually, find that they have not. My husband was skinny all his life, but after years of a bad diet, he had Type 2 Diabetes.
However, I have observed that people with no food issues are aware of when to stop eating, what to eat, have consistency around food and probably eat very little. Even those who we may think to eat a lot, and remain slim and fit have a point where they stop eating for a while. Most people with weight issues, most likely have a history of dieting one minute and binge eating the next.
But I believe that finding the truth about your own needs is paramount for healthy eating. I wonder how many people who live on the processed junk sold to us, give a thought to the damage that they may be doing to their health?
So, in general, I am convinced that if we eat a healthy diet, we are already somewhat conscious.
Now I have realised that at least for me, I want to take this a step further, and turn my consciousness into honouring my body, mind and spirit.
I do this by asking myself before I eat three questions.
Am I honouring my body mind and spirit by eating this particular food?
If my creator was standing in front of me, would I offer this food to them?
Am I eating this for comfort or nurture?
Let’s take them one at a time.
Am I honouring my body mind and spirit by eating this particular food?
In other words, I have studied and experienced the results of eating wheat. I know that I can eat a little, especially products made with Spelt flour. But because I had an eating disorder, namely Bulimia, in the past, I know that it can lead to a binge, and secondly, it bloats my body and leaves me very uncomfortable and lethargic. So; would I be honouring my body? No because of the damage it can do to me. My mind? Yes, because it leaves me in a foggy state. My Spirit? Yes, because I feel that I will have dishonoured my body.
If my creator was standing in front of me?
Is this food pure enough and as clean as I can make it? Or is it Frankenstein food that can damage this wonderful creation that is taking me through my time on earth?
Am I eating this for comfort or nurture?
Well in a way they are both the same up to a point. But if I am not really hungry, and eating for comfort, is that viable at this moment? Will I be able to stop at just one or two, or go on to a binge? However, if I am really hungry or my body clock is telling me something, then eat.
I may add here that there will be times when our body craves something. Usually, that is a sign that we need something in that particular food. Also, four o’clock in the afternoon is a very popular time for sugar cravings. I usually have a cup of tea with some stevia in it. (However, there are some people who would not be able to do that because it would set off a craving for sugar.)
So there are no rules with healthy eating. We need to learn about what is suitable for our body. There will be times when we get it wrong, but that is the part of the learning process.
And to do this, we can learn to trust that process.
I am still learning, but can suddenly see where I have been going wrong.
At the end of my book, The Truth Has Set Me Free; I talk about how I finally overcame my problem of depression. And it was to stop beating myself up over being depressed in the first place. And it is just the same with what I eat.
What I have been doing all my life is trying to live by a set of rules, and in some regimes, you could call it dogma. When I have gone wrong in the past, I have beat myself up because I haven’t stuck to my diet, I have gone onto binge eating and not caring. I am writing this to myself as well as anyone else.
So now I am finding that those three questions have become a daily habit that has made me more aware, and perhaps it may work for many others too.
Just to make it clear, for many years I considered myself a Carbohydrate and sugar addict.
But just recently I have become aware that sometimes I enjoy certain foods. And perhaps I need to be kinder to myself. However, there is more behind the addiction than meets the immediate attention. So for example, an addict to alcohol may never be able to have just that one drink. Or the drug addict can never have just the one fix.
The word addict is used commonly in the 21st Century, and I am beginning to think that it just may be too common.
Let’s start with the Wikipedia description of addiction.
Addiction is a brain disorder characterised by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences.
The most frequent addictions and those who do the most harm, because they affect people around them too, leading to crime for the individual who needs their fix; are alcohol, drugs and gambling.
But we now use the word addiction to many other things. Such as sugar, food, internet games and so on.
But do you think that there are certain words that have become distorted from their true meaning? Are we giving the name to certain behaviours that are really quite harmless, and is only a desire for something nice, particularly for certain foods or our favourite computer game. Is the word addiction becoming overused?
I know that addiction can begin with not just liking something, but finding that it gives us a high, and we are more aware now of making sure that we don’t become addicted to certain activities. Even reading books has become something to be wary of. How often do you hear people say that they are addicted to reading, running, walking, exercise, and many healthy and useful activities?
Words can mean different things to different people.
Take the word “Diet”. It simply means eating regime. So we are all on a diet! But this word has now taken on negative connotations. Because we now know that slimming diets are futile, and we need to simply change our eating habits.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have written a lot about “not dieting”. I have three books on the subject on Amazon Kindle. And there are many blogs about it on my website. http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com.
I am the first to say that dieting is futile and that healthy eating for a lifetime is the best way to go. But the point I am making here is that we have made “diet” almost a dirty word.
So I wonder whether we are doing the same with the word addiction?
Are we too worried that behaviour, or liking something means that we are becoming an addict?
Let me give you an example.
Recently a friend said to me that she has started to have a scone in the afternoon for her tea. And followed this with the words “I’m becoming addicted to them.”
Then a few days later the same friend said to me that I (meaning me) am becoming addicted to oatcakes. That was because she had heard me say often lately that I love humous and oatcakes and often have that for my lunch. But it was my reaction that startled me. I immediately went on the defensive and said that actually I had made the packet last a month!
Why did I do that?
Because I have been struggling with addictive behaviour around food all of my life, and now that I consider that I am mostly in control (another word that has negative connotations for addicts and dieter alike) I felt that she was being unfair and insinuating that I was an addict. But her remark was not meant to be derisory.
I see a society that is making us into victims, using the word addict to control our behaviour. We stop kids from enjoying games on the computer because we fear addiction. (I do believe that needs to be limited of course, but we need to think more about why.)
We are beginning to feel guilty if we eat cake in public. And many find themselves using words such as good, bad or too much cholesterol, or worry that they are becoming addicted.
We are still in the grip of not eating saturated fat, and the biggest sellers in supermarkets are still low-fat products. Even though it was proved two years ago that it is not harmful unless processed. Natural yoghurt, butter, olive oil, and other saturated fats are good for us. But in my generation, there are many sick people who lived on low-fat products for a very long time in the belief that they were doing the right things. Better to eat the grey, dull, so-called healthy margarine than butter which tastes good and does you good.
But I digress. I wonder how many of us deprive ourselves of the occasional treat of cake or a scone because we fear addiction.
After a lifetime of dieting, and feeling guilty over eating certain foods, and fearing that people will think I am an addict, I have been pondering recently about whether I really am an addict to certain foods, or whether I simply like them.
I must admit though that I need to watch myself. Because the occasional treat comes around to more than just occasional, I easily pile on the pounds. But, is that really addiction? Or do I just need to be more careful?
I haven’t got the answer of course, because I still have to control what foods I have in the house because I know for sure that sooner or later I would eat them all. Probably in one go!
But I count myself Free. That means that I have learnt what freedom really means. If I want a scone when I am out, I have one. If I need painkillers to dull the constant pain of Fibromyalgia, I will take them. If my husband needs strong painkillers at times, it is a comfort to both of us that we have the ones that work.
I might reiterate here about the advice we have been given down through the years about what foods are good or bad for us. The debacle with eggs twenty years ago led people to believe that they should not have more than two eggs a week. That was eventually disproved.
We all know the one about red wine and how the advice changes from day to day in the press.
Cholesterol is also a sworn enemy. But did you know that the body needs cholesterol? It is our friend. And no, it won’t be controlled by diet. Yet we have been conned into believing that we should keep the levels down. But the older you are, the higher your cholesterol is naturally. It is the body’s way of healing. Yet authorities are hell-bent on making even the frailest of us keeping our cholesterol levels down.
In case you are wondering why I say this, listen to Zoe Harcombe talking about it. She was the woman who wrote the paper three years ago, on Saturated fat, and led to a lot of media cover about Butter not being harmful.
And what does Society use to make us believe all this? Fear! Pure and simple. And the word Addict is a very useful tool for them.
So am I an addict? Well up to now I have said that I am, but now I believe that I simply love refined carbohydrates, but I need to limit the amount that I eat.
I also love games such as Colour by Numbers, and also Solitaire on my computer. Recently I have been playing them and listening to audio-books at the same time. But all that means is that I have a desire to do that to help me relax. I just need to be careful that I do not spend more time than is sensible, to prevent me from doing the other things that I love.
So, perhaps we need to be aware of how much we deny ourselves the things we desire, by worrying about becoming an addict.
But please don’t see this as carte blanche for having anything you want, to the detriment of your wellbeing. I am only sharing my thoughts, not teaching!
If you want to know more about the way to find what diet suits you as an individual, try this;
Before you embark on any programme for losing weight, it is worth while asking yourself why?
Once you decide that you are in no doubt that you want or need to lose, and you are not just jumping on the proverbial bandwagon of not accepting and loving yourself, the next step is to make an intent. But we shall talk about that in another article.
There are many reasons why people want to lose weight. Among them are the following:
A special occasion
Your own wedding
Modelling or dancing
You are obese or really overweight
You just want to have a flat belly
Post baby fat.
Post illness or surgery
Read on and consider which ones you think apply to you.
Do you look at yourself in the mirror and wish you were seven pounds or so lighter?
Are you being realistic about this?
Have you ever been 7lbs lighter than you are today?
If so, how long ago was it?
Do you have two sets of clothes, one each of the bearing of the 7lbs, or its absence when you have starved it off?
Will being 7lbs lighter help with all other problems in your life? If so, which ones are they?
Would you really be healthier? Would the 7lbs less help with such things as arthritis, for instance?
How would you plan to lose the 7lbs?
What are your plans for your future eating habits, when you have lost it?
In this day of television, magazines and social networks, it is becoming more common for girls even at the age of ten to be looking at themselves and asking their friends if they are fat. Recently I was with a thirteen-year old in a restaurant, asking her mother how many calories were in a particular food on the menu. She has taken on board the message that to have a rounded womanly body is unacceptable.
Young girls talk endlessly about what they look like in a particular outfit, fretting more about whether it makes them look fatter than the colour or style. A lot of damage is done through peer pressure, and a lot of misinformation is handed out too!
People suffering from eating disorders, such as Anorexia or Bulimia often begin their problems by worrying about calories. But losing weight by counting calories is a myth and this subject will be covered in more detail later in the book.
Consider how much you allow other people to influence what size you think you should be.
Nearly every day newspapers or magazines feature a celebrity who has either put on or lost weight. Too much on or too much off. Do you think it is fair that these celebrities have to live their lives forever having to worry about being caught on camera and personal details about their bodies discussed by all? Sometimes it can just be the camera angle. Or a certain look on their faces and the camera has caught something that the journalist interprets the wrong way. But it sells papers, and that is the excuse they give time and time again!
What is so tragic about this is that people are taken in, especially young girls and increasingly young men too. In June 2012, there was a story about a fourteen-year old girl who had committed suicide. She had developed Bulimia and even though she was beautiful, she had been worried about her weight. She had ended up loathing herself! After this event, one or two magazines started to change their ways, but still the tendency is to spot the skinny celebrity and how she did it.
Consider what you think about how the media treats celebrities.
Which magazines could be having a negative influence on you and how you perceive your body?
A SPECIAL OCCASION
Do you have a holiday coming up?
Are you going to a friend or a relative’s wedding?
Are you going to be the mother of the bride?
So you want to lose weight for that. Do you really think so? Because if you are only losing the weight for the holiday bikini then you will most likely soon put it back on again. If you buy an outfit for the wedding, lose the weight, look and feel your best after a lot of starvation and then put it all on again, would you consider that to be a waste of time and money? The outfit worn only once ends up at the back of the wardrobe!
Consider how many times you have done this, or know someone who has.
YOUR OWN WEDDING
You really want to lose weight so that you will look your best on the big day, which is understandable, and many people do it. But my observation is this; time and time again, the bride or groom or even both go on a diet. They may even join a slimming club to do it.
They get down to the desired weight, and they walk down the aisle looking their very best. Then when the reception starts, it is time to let their hair down, and all thoughts of the diet are put into the past, and forgotten. It doesn’t matter anymore; they achieved their goal for the day so now it’s time to eat, drink and be merry. The diet is over and within a matter of days the weight starts to go back on and within weeks they are right back to where they started before the diet!
Why do people do this? After all, the couple loved one another enough to decide to get married before the diet! They then decided that they really needed to change. They needed to look better than they already did. So in order to commit to each other they needed to look different?
That one day as a slim person was good. They looked good. They were slim. But suddenly once they were married it didn’t matter. By losing that weight, they lowered their metabolism. Their bodies went into famine mode and started to preserve every little bit of fat, and from the wedding onwards it is downhill all the way! They have got themselves into a lifetime of struggling with their weight for the sake of one day!
What are your thoughts about this?
Have you or someone you know ever lost weight for their wedding?
How successful were they and did they keep the weight off afterwards?
What excuses did they have if they put it back on?
Do you consider that it was worth it?
Are you thinking of losing weight for your own wedding? If so, maybe you could consider what I have just said and decide that this won’t be just another diet, but will be a change of
MODELLING OR DANCING.
Many people in these professions are living on starvation diets. They strive to be an unrealistic weight, which can lead them to becoming emaciated. Models have become so thin that they seem to look all skin and bones. Eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia are very common within these professions.
Have you or someone you know been in danger of doing this?
In these cases, many people need professional help.
What are your thoughts about this?
YOU ARE OBESE OR REALLY OVERWEIGHT
Now we come to the people who really need to lose weight. They are obese or overweight more than the odd stone. They may have already been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Perhaps they may have had a heart attack or some other heart problem.
Or they might have got to the point where getting about is very difficult. Seats on public transport are getting too small, or they cannot walk very well. Their joints are playing up and painful.
These people have a vast choice in how they are going to do it. There are so many diets around that they just do not know where to start. Each diet is giving them different information.
The magazines feature people who have lost the weight, and they look terrific! I featured in one myself and had a wonderful day having a makeover and being pampered for the photo shoot, and it made me feel fantastic!
Bookshops and the internet abound with different diets. Headlines in the paper scream at you. Special editions include a new diet. But most of them are just a different version of a low calorie regime.
Whichever diet you choose, if you survive beyond the first few days and stick to it strictly, and it is your first diet, you will lose weight. You may lose 10% of the weight you want; you may lose it all. If you do get close to your goal, you may find losing the last few pounds just as big a struggle as the whole diet put together.
If you are with a slimming club, you may, as I have a few times, have the members cheering and clapping when you can shout “I’ve done it!” It’s a great feeling! Then the leader hands you your badge and explains the maintenance programme, and so begins the struggle to keep the weight off!
However, it is well known that 98% of people who lose weight this way put it back on again and many people put on even more than they have lost. I don’t want to play devil’s advocate here for those who are perhaps already struggling with losing weight on a diet, but you may want to think about what you are going to do when you reach your goal.
I am not saying at this point that you should abandon what you are doing. Just consider what you are doing is for life, and use the thoughts in this book to help you to map it out.
Find a way of eating that will be for life and not just to lose weight.
Remember the statistics say that 98% of people who lose weight, put it back on again and more besides.
This is because they are not adopting a new lifestyle and way of eating and the way that they think!This is worth repeating.
Think about your plans to keep the weight off, once you have lost it.
Read and research to find out what you will think would suit you if you could choose how to do this.
This book will give you a framework to make a start on designing a diet for life.
POST BABY FAT
Women are designed to have babies! Even if they do not want a baby by choice or cannot have them for some reason, women’s bodies have all the biological necessities for reproduction. Even before you conceive, your body prepares itself every month, just in case.
Women’s hips are wider than men’s. Her thighs are thicker. (That is why you will find that if you try to wear men’s jeans the waist is disproportionate to the hips and thighs.)
Her fat storage system is different; that is why men lose weight more easily than women.
When she has given birth, she is expected in nature to breastfeed the baby. So she preserves her fat and needs nourishing foods to do that.
The womb takes six weeks to revert to its nearly normal size. She has flabby skin around the abdominal area, which if she is lucky or works out at the gym will gradually retract back and leave her with a reasonably flat stomach. But most women find it very difficult and may not ever get that flat stomach back. So what do women do?
A lot of them put up with it, because they are too busy or tired to do anything about it, which is natural.
Or they go on a restrictive slimming diet!
Consequently, they are not getting the proper nourishment that their body needs at this time. Often they just give up and stuff themselves with takeaways or whatever they can get their hands on!
Women can end up feeling that somehow there is something wrong with them, when they see celebrities getting their figures back within a very short time. They fret and worry and talk endlessly about getting to the gym to get back in shape. Why?
I wonder if it is because they are trying to live up to a higher standard than nature intends. If she eats properly with good, nourishing, real food, she will find that she is nourishing the baby properly, and herself and her family. She won’t have to join a gym for weight loss, although she may want to tone up! She certainly will not do all this on crisps and takeaways!
But she will stand a better chance of gradually toning up and being healthy if she does not go onto a restrictive calorie counted diet.
If you have recently had a baby and are struggling with this, what ideas have you had to lose weight?
Do you have a plan for healthy eating?
AFTER ILLNESS OR SURGERY
Due to lack of mobility, boredom or just people bringing them too many chocolates, people often lose weight at first during an illness or after surgery and then proceed to put it back on and more besides.
Women who have had a hysterectomy often put weight on due to hormones being disrupted and causing depression, but more often than not it is because of eating comfort foods and because of boredom. However, if it is just the hormones then the amount of weight increase should be no more than about 5 lbs.
This can apply to any weight gain when hormones are involved, including taking the contraceptive pill. Many people who are grossly overweight will blame the fact that they are on the pill. But the difference is really only a few pounds.
I’m afraid that the rest is because of what they eat, which is more than likely processed, refined carbohydrate.
Take an honest look at the reasons why you think you may have put on weight if you have suffered from an illness or disability.
I JUST WANT TO HAVE A FLAT BELLY.
Nature designed women to be rounded. Only fifty years ago, Marilyn Monroe was hailed as a star. She would be referred to as a celebrity in modern times, but Marilyn was outstanding. The reason for this was her figure, of full breasts, narrow waist, wide hips, and a rounded belly.
What was referred to as an hour glass figure.
She was the equivalent of a size fourteen these days.
Not that we have to put up with a bulging belly, but we were not designed to have the flat belly that we seem to think we should have!
Now, fifty years later women have become famous for being the opposite. They want to look boyish, and they want to “choose” how to look. Fighting against what nature designed them to be. If they have big breasts, they want small ones, or if they have small breasts, they want big ones. They certainly do not want a rounded belly!
The Oxford Companion to the Body, which can be found on the internet, talks about the extremes that people go to, to change their body shape. Extreme dieting leads on to Eating disorders.
Plastic surgery is used to the ultimate degree, not only changing noses or face lifts, but tummy tucks, thigh tucks and so on. Millions of pounds and dollars are spent on trying to look good.
There is more and more discontent with the way we look. Some older celebrities look hideous as they attempt to hold back time.
Although much of this reading is directed towards women, men reading this can read between the lines and see where it can apply to them too. Men of course need to look at their belly, as that is where they generally store their fat. .
Many of us have lost the ability to accept our bodies and images for what they are. Society is obsessed with being thin. Lives are dominated by diets, what to eat and what not to eat.
Yet we are still in the midst of an Obesity Epidemic!
We have wandered far away from being natural humans. Our stores are full of junk food. Our bodies are unacceptable. We need to get back nearer to what nature provided for us. With both our body image and with what we eat!
We need to celebrate our bodies, not keep fighting them!
Which parts of your body would you change if you could?
Consider carefully whether you are being completely realistic?
Stand in front of the mirror and look at them one at a time and consider whether any of them could be changed in a natural way.
I have also decided to add in another factor for older women.
As our body grows older, there is no doubt that it will do everything it can to preserve itself.
The Primal need in our bodies will save and store as much fat as it can and as we get older and the body begins to break down, that will happen all the more.
Therefore, if you are over the age of about sixty, you may need to settle for a slightly higher weight than your mind is telling you to be.
So from that we can conclude that we have been led up the wrong path with NHS guidelines saying that we must be below 25 to be healthy.
The same can be said of our cholesterol levels. We do not need to constantly concerned about keep them low. But that is another matter, although it does give us some indication about how we have all been like sheep and led astray as far as our health is concerned.
So, while considering whether you really need to be constantly worried about losing fat, add this latest thought to your list.
Many of you will know that I see myself as an expert on food issues and addictions to certain food.
I have written books about it and numerous blogs and even designed a workbook to help people. A lot of my work has been entitled around “What does food mean to you?”
I am an expert because I have been obsessed with food and weight issues for nearly fifty years. And that means that an awful lot of calories, pounds and food has passed my lips.
My bulimia has been anything from living on virtually nothing to eating an entire loaf of bread spread with butter and jam in an afternoon.
Seven years ago, I came across a diet that made sense to me. This way of eating helped me to break away from sugar and carbohydrate addiction, by controlling my intake of those foods.
But, it was all coming from the outside; in. Even though this diet made sense, and there was loads of support, conferences and a forum. As well as the books, recipes and menus, seven years later I have still fallen back occasionally to the old ways. I have still fallen back into the habit of being obsessed with my body weight.
In the last seven years too, I have been working on my personal and spiritual self. It has been quite a trip.
In fact, when I sometimes read the stuff that I have written, I wonder if it was me that wrote it. But at present, I seem to be in a phase where I am catching up with my own advice.
In the last two months, I have been reading, learning, studying and practising with a chap called Dr Joe Dispenza. He has written several books, but I started with one called “Breaking the Habit of Being You.”
He explains that no matter how hard we try if we don’t change our thinking and core beliefs about ourselves, we cannot change the ingrained habits of our way of thinking.
Changing our thinking has been talked about over the years, in connection with Spiritual development. We hear about the Law of Attraction, Quantum theory and the laws of the Universe.
Yet all of these will not work completely unless we are willing to meet them halfway. This can be with illness, lack, addictions, broken relationships, and so on.
JD has gone a step further and explained HOW we could change our thinking, by changing our brains.
When I started to read his books, I became aware of the large amount of headspace my food issues was filling up. I had often tried to change my thinking around several shifts that I have wanted to make in my life. But somehow there has been something lacking.
For me and countless others, Joe has hit the proverbial nail on the head.
If you want to know more, you would have to listen to him on YouTube or read his books. But basically, he works on using the brain, body and mind together, by meditation. Choosing what you want to change, you then do the meditation, and state your intention.
He explains in details why it works, and at his seminars and workshops, you can see the activity in the brain, on the EEG machines that he uses. It is all carried out scientifically and not just pseudoscience.
So, I began carrying out his instructions, and now, two months later I am finding that my attitude to food is changing dramatically.
For example, I am now eating a lot less and satisfied quicker. I am enjoying my food, and am not afraid of it anymore. When fear sets in I simply say the word “Change.” Doing this brings my awareness to what I am doing and why. I am no longer in the fridge or cupboard wondering what to eat between meals.
I am bringing foods into the house that I would not have before. Yes, there is still a way to go with that because there are still some foods that I fear will bring on a binge. But that will change with continual everyday meditation and choose to use the word change when I find myself in the food cupboard, and I am not hungry.
Most surprising is that I find that given a choice between eating what I know is good for me, and some other food that I have banned from my diet in the past, I am actually choosing the good food.
I surrendered my anxiety over what I eat because I was still in a kind of diet trap. I was still using the diet to control me, instead of allowing my body to say what it wants.
There are probably people who are thinking, “If I did that I would be totally out of control because the sugar would trigger me off.”
I was saying that too until I decided that I wanted to change enough to make a difference in my life. In the past, I would have been afraid to let go, because the addiction was controlling me.
But now I realise that I want to have dominion over my body. Which has not meant that I am dictating to it what it has, but because I am also respecting its needs, my body is responding with “Thank you for listening to me, I can now let you know what I want!”
And rewarding me for making me aware of the times when if I fancy something sweet, I can have it. Without the fear of losing control.
For many years I have been cooking separate meals for myself and my husband. I still do occasionally, because there are some things that he likes that I don’t.
But there have too many occasions when I have cooked separate meals, and simply do not want mine, and yet would fancy his. It dawned on me that perhaps I would be healthier if I had a little of what I have cooked for him rather than sitting down to something I don’t fancy. Why go on torturing myself, because I am afraid of food!
People with weight, self-image and food problems, have a complicated relationship with food. I have been telling myself all those years that I love food. But the constant input from various diets and slimming clubs has made me afraid of it.
We hear so much about what is good for you, or what is not so good. The media bring mixed messages to people, no wonder we get confused.
We all need to eat. We need to eat nourishing foods and enjoy them. Above all, we need “Soul Food!”
That means that we need to nourish our mind, body and soul. Eating out with friends is a good example of that. Are you eating out with them because of the food, or because of their company?
When I have been not eating particular foods in the past, I have felt almost cast aside. Now I can just eat a little of what the others eat and just be seen as having a small appetite.
Are you eating something that has been slung together for the sake of satisfying your physical hunger? Or are you eating something that has been lovingly prepared?
Yes, there are times when we are in a hurry and may turn to some fast food. But that does not mean that it cannot be nourishing.
However, I digress. The point is that I have realised a wonderful change in my attitude to food and my body since I began the meditations with Joe. It is not Joe that is making the difference, but my intention of making the change. He simply gave me the tools.
I am making good use of those tools, I know that I have a way to go, fifty years of dieting and not eating certain foods, will not be changed overnight. But the important thing is that I am now aware of what the problem has been.
If you are stuck in any area of your life and want to change it, whether that is lack, addiction, or an illness, take a look at Joe Dispenza. I am aware that he is not the only person teaching quantum, but his teachings have hit the spot for me.
Joe Dispenza has written, “Evolve the Brain.” “Breaking the Habit of Being You.” “The Placebo Effect”.
Recently he wrote “Becoming Supernatural”, and he is touring the world presenting a workshop on it. I am looking forward to attending his London workshop on April 14th. 2018.
I was diagnosed with the early signs of Age-related Macular Degeneration four years ago. At a regular eye test, the Optician told me that I had something called Drusen, which appeared as little white fatty spots on the picture of the back of my eye. He advised me that I should take supplements which he recommended and so I did that.
Being of a tenacious nature and having an enquiring mind, I began to do my own research about this condition and also found out what support was available.
The news was not good because AMD is apparently un-reversible and steadily gets worse. It is genetic and often caused by smoking. The advice was also to eat plenty of greens stuff, and the jury was out on supplements.
Two years down the line after having new prescription lenses and finding that they did not help my vision, I went to the University in Plymouth, where I had volunteered to be a guinea pig for students, and they found a layer of Wet behind the macula. I was sent straight away to the Eye Infirmary, where they said that it was not yet bad enough for treatment (injections in the eye) but that they would monitor it and start injections when it deteriorated to a crucial stage.
Meanwhile, I was experiencing a great deal of stress in my life, which I will not go into here.
On the positive side, the wet was not getting any worse. I was also watching what I eat, and kept mostly to a natural diet, not eating much of the refined and processed products that pretend to be food these days.
Then, in October last year, the source of the stress left my life. In December I went to the Eye Infirmary who told me that they would not need to see me for another three months as opposed to the usual four weeks, because there was still no change, and they would be discharging me on my next visit if there wasn’t any further change. (I found out from the University that it meant that the wet MD was not getting worse.)
On my last visit to the University two weeks ago, they did a scan, and found that the wet had disappeared! Apparently, the effects that stress can have on Wet AMD is not very well researched or recognised. But the tutor said that she would be telling researchers about my case.
To sum up then; my vision is a lot better. The wet has disappeared. The progression is not as much as was first feared. None of this is my imagination because it is there on the scans. I am now using the distance vision glasses again and managing a lot better.
I claim that the reasons are; because I eat a healthy diet; I do not take expensive synthetic supplements anymore; The enormous stress has disappeared from my life; And I practice Spiritual (not religious) development.
It is a talk by a Chris Knobbe.MD. And just about sums up what my own experience with MD is except for the stress factor.
He has been studying the effect on AMD from our appalling modern diet. He gives correlation studies on this.
I could tell you what he says, but the best way for you to find out is to watch the video. It is quite literally an eye-opener.
He does not claim that we can all repair our eyes, but what he looks at is how we can prevent it and reverse it in the early stages with a natural ancient way of eating.
The four main culprits that are very significant in our modern diets, starting from the early sixties are; White flour, Vegetable oils, trans fats, and sugar.
If you think about it, those are the ingredients in our modern day diet of mainly processed foods.
In the USA the food intake percentages are; Plant foods, 12%: Animal Foods 25% and Processed foods 63%.
He shows the correlation between the increase in these processed foods and MD, from very few cases in the 1920’s to the present day prevalence of it.
He gives a list of diseases that are increasing in the countries that have these monster foods, among these diseases are; diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Obesity and autoimmune diseases. All are amounting to something called metabolic syndrome. Now, with his lengthy research and correlated findings he wants to see MD added to that list.
Because of my own experience, I believe him. I left off the supplements last September and increased my daily intake of green foods. I eat a good diet, and I am aware of my emotional and mental conditions too.
In case you are wondering about my diet, I will say that before seven years ago, I was consuming a lot of the four foods he mentions. White flour, sugar, vegetable oils and trans fats, loomed large in my way of eating. I was a victim of the slimming diet industry, and yes; diet foods contain these ingredients. I dieted on and off for over forty years until I discovered how to eat for my health.
Which reminds me; a lot of Baby Boomers are the ones who were told to eat low-fat foods. That advice happened in the late 1970’s when we were all foxed into becoming low fat eaters. The food industry jumped on the wagon, and it has become conventional to avoid fat.
For the last seven years, I have mostly kept to a natural diet. I eat very small amounts of sugar or even sweeteners. I base my intake on plenty of plant foods and vegetables, one piece of fruit a day, natural yoghurt, (not low fat) animal products, eggs and some amount of natural fats such as butter, olive oil and coconut oil, nuts and seeds. I eat very little in the way of bread but have quinoa and a small amount of rice or oats.
These foods have become my normal way of eating.
Please have a look at the video, before you make any comments or judgements. I do not claim to know it all, but Chris Knobbe.MD, and Dr Harcombe and a good many other researchers and authors certainly know enough for the authorities and many medical professionals to sit up and start to take notice.
If you want to read any further about a healthy and natural way of eating, and why, the following list of authors have written extensively about the subject. Just google them!
Dr Zoe Harcombe; Robert Lustig; Gary Taubes; Dr Verner Wheelock; and much more about the damage that sugar and our faulty way of eating in the 21st century.
Hi there folks. Do you want to change your life with these two FREE books?
Do you wonder why you get drawn in every year to the mad mad feasting over Christmas, then Fast or starve for the New year?
Every year is the same isn’t it? Beginning around the first of December, it is “Eat drink and be Merry, for January 1st; we DIET!”
How many of you are swearing that you will never do it again? That you will go on a diet to end all diets, and never put on weight again.
But there is a way out of this never ending cycle. Where you can enjoy your food; all food, but understand your body and what it really wants.
These two books will set you on the path of freedom from dieting. They will also point out why we are all in this state of health in the twently first century. How to sort out the conflicting advice, and decide for yourself, with some knowledge of why you are in the trap, and what is best for you. It seems that every writer, club or expert, claims that their diet is the way to go. But these two books will make you become aware of why we behave as we do around food.
They are not special diet books, nor do they tell you what you should eat. They simply inform you of the politics of Dieting and also how food has evolved into the state it is in now.
Once you become aware of how you are being driven to eat the foods that you know are not contributing to good health, then you are on the track to food freedom.
Just to let you know that as promised these two books are FREE on Amazon for the next three days, starting today 2nd January.
As a writer and blogger and somewhat in my everyday life, I am an expert in two fields. Dieting or not, and anything connected to death.
It suddenly struck me today that there is a sort of link between them. Take Dieting for example.
Some people get into worrying so much about their weight that they do indeed die. That is the case with the psychological disease anorexia. This dangerous condition is often started with the desire to be thin and develops into a full-blown fear of food, any food.
But I would like to point out at this time of the year especially, that it is time to put dieting to death or rest.
It is the same every year, isn’t it? Feast until you drop over Christmas and the holiday season, then go on a diet to lose weight. How futile is that?
But this trend is mostly political. Do you think that you would indulge so much every year if there were not so much temptation? Do you think that you would feel the need to diet if you did not see the adverts to diet, by the same people who gave you all the foods that tempted you in the first place?
Isn’t it time to be able to make your own choices, and let your body tell you what it wants, rather than be thrown off course by all the conflicting advice out there?
How did we get here? How did we become a society that is led by the Food giants and corporations to eat the foods that are doing the damage?
Because I too was a victim of this sort of thinking for forty years, I have written two books on these subjects. I am now into my sixth year of taking control of my diet thinking, and even though I have not been perfect, I reckon myself to be an expert in the subject.
And if I can get the technology on Amazon right, they will both be promoted FREE from January 2nd for three days. I will post another blog when they are available, but for now, can I Ask you to ponder over what I have said?
Meanwhile, if you are in a hurry, you can buy them. Or of course you can browse and see what they are about and wait until January 2nd.
On Saturday September 16th 2017, I attended the Macular Society conference in London with my daughter.
Right from the time we stepped outside the Tube station, I was astonished at how well they were organised. As we stopped to look at our maps of the location of the conference, we spotted two people in yellow teeshirts with Macular Society on them. Every hundred yards all the way to the hotel, on every corner, there were more yellow teeshirted people many with flags to attract our attention.
We were greeted at the Hotel by warm friendly volunteers and shown where everything was. Including coffee and pastries.
The exhibitions were many and helpful and as we entered the main conference room, my daughter remarked that she was impressed by the 600 people who were proactive and not just sitting back and being visually impaired.
At 11 am the conference began with a welcome speech. Followed by three speakers. The first gave a simple illustration of the mechanics of AMD, using a packet of biscuits as an example. When the lowest biscuit in a packet is stale, it crumbles and disintegrates. This is what happens in our eyes, and the cleaning cells wear out and crumble. (Not absolutely accurate, but that is the gist of the talk.)
The next speaker was a consultant from Moorfields who was more scientific. And due to restrictions in time he had to speak very fast. But he gave examples of the many experiences of how AMD can progress, both from the patients point of view and the consultants. He also said that while we question why there are so many cases now, we need to bear in mind that we have an increasingly ageing population. Our bodies are not meant to last that long! Which you can agree with or not.
The third speaker gave a talk on Charles Bonnet syndrome. People with AMD can hallucinate. Some hallucinations can be dangerous, for example one may see a brick wall in front of them that is not there. But there could be the day when there really is a brick wall! There can be clouds of butterflies or people with odd clothes or shapes. They reckon that it is the brain compensating for the loss in sight. There is research going on about this, but no answers yet. However, at question time a woman in the audience said that, she had had hallucinations for some time, but since she had developed another age related disease they had faded away, and she wondered whether there was a connection and the brain was now concentrating on the more serious disorder. The Speaker was very interested to hear about this and was going to talk to her more afterwards.
At 1pm, we broke for a delicious lunch of rolls, sandwiches, wraps and fruit. Coffee was in full flow all day long.
After lunch we went to the workshops of our choice. We went to the one on supplements and nutrition. Very interesting. The best thing that you can do with supplements is to study the AREDS reports. I will do a seperate blog about supplement and AREDS in a couple of days.
As far as food was concerned, eat the rainbow, which is what I have said in other blogs before. Include lots of veg, the darker the better, and fruit also darker the better. Red meat, (not processed) is good, especially liver.
It was emphasised that once we have MD all we can do through food and supplements is to slow down the process. But that if we take on a healthy lifestyle early in life AMD along with a lot of other diseases can be delayed if not eradicated. I will add that I believe that even if we do go on to have any disease, if our bodies are healthy in the first place, we stand a better chance of recovery or at least we help our bodies to fight it.
It was also emphasised, how much smoking can damage the eyes.
So for those reading this that don’t have AMD, bear in mind that it is another reason to live healthily.
We then went back to the main conference room and heard another speaker on the latest research. They are now in a position where they can announce success with two people who have received stem cell surgery. Their eye sight was quite bad but they have now said there is an improvement. There are now another five waiting for surgery. It will be about five years though before they will be putting this treatment out for the public. Even then, at the moment it will only be available for the most suitable criteria.
I could not help but wonder what will happen when NICE get hold of it!!
But, my daughter who stands a big chance genetically of getting AMD was encouraged by the day and learnt a lot about how to lessen the chances of it happening. Especially the amount of time and money that is going into research and finding a cure.
There was an awards ceremony for the best team within Eye hospitals, kindest and most helpful Opthamologist, and the various volunteers within and out of the MD Society.
All in all a wonderful day, and all for less than £25 I must add.
I for one am going to become a paid up member of this marvellous society. You will see their leaflets and booklets with loads of information, in yellow and black enlarged print in the Eye departments of your hospitals. I have come accross their literature in my capacity as a volunteer for my local Guild, Improving Lives. I also belong to one of their loca groups who meet monthly.
There is a helpline for those who are worried and want to talk to someone. And there were also the numerous volunteers who guided us to the hotel, were around with their smart black clothing and scarves or ties with the logo on them, to help and support in many ways in the conference and hotel, many of whom have MD themselves, and prove that life does not end with this condition. We can still contribute to society in a way that will encourage those who are badly affected, and prove that.
So, watch this space for lots more to come as I learn more, and experience myself what can happen in our everyday lives with AMD. Everyone experiences it differently, but it is useful to find out from others how they overcome it.
There are groups on Facebook and here are the links.
Do you eat plenty of vegetables, especially the green ones?
Do you know how many people are blind in the UK?
Do you have parents or grandparents who have AMD?
Do you know what your risk is of getting AMD or any other visual impairment?
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration.) is becoming more common in the 21st Century because people are living longer.
Macular Degeneration as it is commonly known is the breaking down of the macula which is the part of the retina at the back of the eye that provides sharp central vision.
People with this condition can suffer increasingly blurred vision which leads to problems with reading printed or written text, colour, (particularly contrast) and difficulty recognising people’s faces. If you only have AMD and nothing else wrong with your eyes, you will not go completely blind. But you will lose your central vision.
There are other conditions with the eyes such as cataracts, glaucoma and Diabetic retinopathy. I recently heard a story about a chap who went for an eye test, and this was how he found out that he had Type 2 Diabetes. For an optometrist, our eyes are like reading a book. But as a friend of mine pointed out to me just today, you do need to be assertive and make sure that you ask the right questions, and what you can do about any conditions that they come across.
Also only today I heard of someone who had been scared by what the optometrist had said. That there is no cure for AMD and he was in the very early stages of the condition.
It did frighten me when the optometrist told me that I was in the early stages, but I put that fear into action by finding out what was available to help me. So don’t be put off by what they tell you, especially when they say there is no cure and there is nothing that can be done. They may be right that there is no cure, at least at the moment, but there is plenty that can be done to make life easier. I am afraid that many consultants and eye specialists have a habit of doing that, but they fail to point out that there is support available.
If you do find out that you have the early stages of AMD, you can take sensible precautions to take care of your eyes and help to slow up the process.
By wearing glasses or goggles and a hat to keep the sunlight out of your eyes. By learning what aids are available so that you stand a good chance of managing the condition.
So, the earlier you find out, the better. You may not notice anything wrong in your day to day life, except perhaps you may find that reading is blurred even with your reading glasses on. I found out from a regular eye check.
And don’t think that it is an old person condition, some people develop AMD in their twenties or thirties. I know someone who had junior onset AMD at the age of eight.
As a matter of interest here are some interesting facts for the UK. (You can google statistics or facts for your part of the world if you are not in the UK)
In the UK around 600,000 people currently have vision impairment caused by AMD, and around 70,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. (nearly 200 per day)
Over two million people in the UK live with sight loss.
Total sight loss in one eye is not counted against the legality of driving.
People with sight loss in one eye are not considered partially sighted.
Total sight loss is rare, only about 4% of people with vision impairment are totally blind.
Sight loss, in general, affects people of all ages but especially older people. 1 in 5 aged 75 and 1 in 2 aged 90. (This is in degrees of sight loss, from mild to being registered blind or partially sighted.
In the UK there are only 5000 guide dogs.
Every day more than 75 new people are formally registered blind or partially sighted.
75% of blind and partially sighted people of working age are registered unemployed.
There are plenty more statistics that you can find, and some of them are quite revealing. Many people, including myself for many years before I had this condition, get confused when observing people with vision loss. They cannot understand why the person can see some things and not others.
I cannot go into the details here, but I have written some of what I experience as an example here;
As far as the legality of driving is concerned, it is a minefield. The law may say that you are safe to drive with a vision impairment, in fact, some people with an impairment may be able to see the required reading of the number plate. But the insurance company’s may have something else to say about it.
For example, I was told twelve years ago that I could drive under the law. I have other things wrong with my eyes as well, and one of them is double vision when my eyes are tired. I was issued by the Eye Infirmary with a pair of glasses with one lens blacked out (don’t ask about the technicalities please!) and told that I could drive while wearing them. If I were in an accident, I would be covered by the insurance as long as I was wearing them. If I were not wearing them, then I would be liable.
No-one seemed to take into account that wearing them was a hazard for me because I could not see properly with them on. So I had to make a choice not to drive at all. Driving for me, just as it is for millions of people, was freedom and giving it up was painful. But not as much as if I had taken the risk and failed to drive safely.
The main purpose of this article is to point out how important it is to look after your eyes. The main cause of AMD is not known. But the contributing factors are genetic, diet and smoking.
It is a myth that we can get AMD from bad light or too much exposure to computers, etc. But UV light is a factor and another reason for protecting your eyes in the sunlight. The jury is still out on whether computer and smartphones can cause AMD, but there is evidence surfacing that you can suffer what is known as Digital Eye Strain. Eye strain, however, is not a contributing factor to AMD.
Looking at my earlier reference to contributing factors, let’s look at the genetic factor more closely. The genetic factor is only an increased risk. It is not a guarantee that you will get it. But, if you have someone in your family, particularly your parents, with MD, then you need to be extra vigilant with eye care. Get plenty of green leafy vegetables which contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two antioxidants stored in the macula.
As for the other two, diet and smoking; just give up smoking, and eat clean as well as including the green vegetables.
And last but certainly not least. GET YOUR EYES CHECKED REGULARLY. At least every two years. Don’t take your eyesight for granted.
One of the most difficult things for me as well as the other 600,000 people in the UK to come to terms with, is that except a miracle, my eyes are not going to get better than they are now, and they are going to get worse over time.
At the moment, because I have developed wet AMD, I am waiting for my eyes to get worse before I can begin to have injections to make them better. Don’t ask!
The only things that I can do are; to make sure that I get the nutrients I need; to shield my eyes from the sun; to eat clean and to take the supplements that I take, to try and slow up the progress.
It is important to stay positive and just let AMD be part of my life and not rule it! But that will take another article, and again let me refer you to the link for my other blogs on AMD.
Have you ever considered how the food we eat has evolved?
Have you ever wondered why our food today is laden with sugar, salt and other preservatives?
In this new book, you will discover how our hunter-gatherer ancestors existed and what they ate, before the advent of farming, domesticating animals and mass production of food.
Hi There. This is a post especially for the USA (Amazon.com) with an extract from this book with regards to some of your history of food.
Taken from Chapter 6. The 50’s; Things improve.
Things looked a little different on the other side of the Atlantic at that time, though.
In a list from an article called “What were Americans cooking in the 1950s?”appetizers are mentioned. This was unheard of in the UK except among the better off. People would not have needed their appetite stimulated; they were hungry enough.
Among them, I found such items as fruit cup, Melon Ball Cocktail, Seafood cocktail, Pastry snails, silver dollar hamburgers, bacon wraparounds. Followed by about 30 more choices.
Another 30 or more different soups and salads, including for the soups, tomato, chicken and corn, onion, oxtail, cream of celery. And for the salads, stuffed tomato, three- bean, orange and Bermuda onion, coleslaw and cold potato salad.
Main courses consisted of grilled kabobs, scalloped chicken supreme, beef and corn casserole, American lasagne, fluffy meat loaf and baked ham with glaze. Salmon steak, chicken-a-la-king, spaghetti with sauce and ham and vegetable casserole.
Vegetables were often served with butter, cream sauce, sour cream sauce, canned soup, and topped with breadcrumbs or dried onion flakes.
Desserts consisted of such items as chiffon pie, coconut cake, peppermint candy, cake, banana chiffon cake, apricot soufflé and banana chocolate cake.
Those were the days of the first barbecues in America, too. While the Brits were still tucking into their fish and chips wrapped in newspaper or baking potatoes at the camp fire, the Americans were setting up their barbecues and cooking steaks, chicken wings, and barbecued ribs. Certainly worlds apart from the UK.
In the UK children were often given a penny to go to the fish and chip shop for a bag of “scraps.” These were the bits that came off the fish while being cooked in the deep fat fryers and came to the surface when they were being cleaned.
The 1950s brought about changes in the way that we cooked. It became a chore and something that just had to be done in the quickest and shortest way possible.
In the 50s dieting was seen as something to make you more attractive and to obtain a lovely figure. Women were happier to be a bigger size than in the later years. An icon of the fifties, Marilyn Monroe, was a size 14 (or American size 12.) She was known for her hourglass figure and her beauty.
The 50’s were an era when lower fat foods started appearing on the market, but the emphasis was on naturally lower fat foods and not specially made.
The word “fitness” was not used for many years yet, and exercise was something you did as a pastime. Exercises were known as procedures rather than routines.
I remember a dieting product called AYDS which involved eating a sort of toffee before you had your meal, which was supposed to fill you up and take away your appetite!
Did it work? What do you think?
I have mentioned what the American were eating many times in the book. Including a history of what the South Americans were eating before the Agricultural Era.