A Life Changing Nutrient Rich Diet. (Confessions of an X food addict) By Laura Winters
Photo by Laura Winters
If you have an interest in improving your health you can learn how switching to a nutrient rich diet can benefit every aspect of your life. Most of us are stuck in the conventional American diet, ( view video produced by students of Dr. Schuster's online Human Nutrition course.) a diet that is fast, convenient and nutrient deficient. Most of our common diseases are linked to our dietary lifestyles, colon cancer, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity to name some major ones. The good news is that you can change that even if you have a disease right now, in many cases you can help to heal your own body or improve your condition by educating and then applying what you learn to effect a transformation you never dreamed was possible.
This is my personal journey of what I have done to effect a healing transformation in my own life:
I was born in southern California the daughter of an actress and a top casting director at Universal Studios. The way I looked and my weight became an obsession early on in my childhood. I was an emotional, compulsive eater, using food to assuage anxiety and insecurity. I was never really fat but I did have chubby periods that I despised. At the age of 16 I began working full time at a health club and became both an aerobic instructor and personal fitness consultant lasting 20 years. I am a recovered EDNOS, (see video, ABC News) one who used food restriction, excessive exercise, binging, and purging) to keep my weight in check.
My nightmare with the compulsive binge-purge syndrome began when I was just 14. It didn't take me long to realize that I was in bondage to a disease that could be triggered simply by taking a bite of food that had sugar, white flour, or any kind of high fat, high carb, junk food. Once I took that bite I was compelled to binge and would eat until I was stuffed with food and then would immediately force myself to vomit. I had a hard time getting my feeling out in those days and stuffed my emotions the same way. Binging was how I coped subconsciously. Stuffing myself with food and purging gave me a temporary feeling of relief. It took me a long time to realize that what I really needed to do was learn to comunicate my true feelings in a healthy way. I struggled with this for 16 years never being able to find a permanent solution. I had become a Christian at age 27 but nothing seemed to help permanently, not prayer, not Over Eaters Anonymous meetings or self help books on bulimia. Even when I became pregnant with twins at age 31, I could not stop binging on food periodically. It was during my pregnancy after binging and throwing up that in desperation I prayed, “God, I just can’t keep doing this, I’m pregnant with twins, please help me.” The obsession was broken right then and there. Knowing I had two other lives growing inside me made all the difference and somehow with Gods help I was able to go the rest of my pregnancy without binging and grew my sons safely inside me until they were born in 1993. At their birth they weighed 9lbs. 4 oz. and 6lbs. 12oz and were completely healthy and the most wondrous sight I'd ever beheld. After that the “binge and purge urge” was reduced to a habit I could choose to engage in or not just as believers can choose to sin or not.
Even though I only rarely binged anymore I still had fluctuations with my weight which was a continued source of frustration especially since I exercised regularly. I used to fantasize that just as I never had to drink alcohol again wouldn’t it be great if I could just take a “nutrient pill” so I would never have to deal with eating again and wrestle with the cravings and over eating tendencies I had. I have battled with food gaining weight and losing weight just like everyone else. As an addict I have learned a lot about food. Processed foods made with sugar, refined carbohydrates, food products made from flour, indigestible fats such as Hydrogenated oils and artificial chemicals such as food coloring, or preservatives and MSG laden foods are addictive substances and can trigger strong food cravings. Many people are hooked on these substances and as a result become nutrient deficient. It's a cycle that keeps you trapped because you eat in response of your cravings for certain foods but your body is not getting the nutrient's it needs which result in more food cravings! Most over weight people are nutrient deficient. I reasoned if my body could get all the nutrients it needs in the right amounts the cravings I experienced would stop. Because I knew that certain types of foods affected me either negatively or positively I made up my mind at 49 that it was now or never, I was going to take care of my body and get serious about my health before I developed any chronic health issues. I began by eating foods that were unprocessed had no additives, preservatives, chemicals, antibiotics, or hormones injected into the animals I ate that were processed for food. For example, I’d eat old fashioned oatmeal, mix in flax seed, a sprinkling of raw nuts, seeds, cinnamon, and coconut oil. I cooked on the stove, (no microwaving, as this destroys the enzymes and other nutrients in the food which are vitally necessary for our bodies.) I switched from cows milk, to almond or coconut milk. I began to eat all kinds of fresh fruit, vegetables and organic full fat yogurt. I made beans, lentils and brown rice, ate salads with all kinds of vegetables added, free range eating chicken eggs, chicken and fish and very little red meat that was not shot up with hormones as I mentioned before. I did this for 3 weeks and then went to a birthday party with my son. Someone offered me a piece of cake and I put the frosting to my lips without taking it into my mouth. I could still taste it and smell it and it tasted like chemicals and not food to me. I did the same thing with the cake part and it too tasted like chemicals and not food. I found it interesting that it only took 3 weeks for my taste buds to change that much, because if I had done the same thing three weeks before it would have smelled delicious to me. A couple of days later, my son, Marcus wanted a muffin at a grocery store and I took a bite. The muffin hit my stomach like a rock and I didn’t like how I felt. That experience encouraged me to begin listening to my body and it began to tell me by trial and error how it felt and what it needed. I continued to refine my diet, as I was still drinking a lot of commercial brand coffee with honey and half and half.
We all have weakened areas in our bodies that are prone to “break down,” for me it is my bladder. I came down with a bad urinary tract infection and had to go on antibiotics. Coffee is always a main culprit when I get one and this time was no exception. I gave up coffee reasoning, “Do I really need to eat and drink things that are going to give me grief later? I switched to an organic coffee, (Organogoldscam-noway.com) my son turned me onto, which has ganoderma lucidum from the reishi mushroom infused in it and is known as a superior Chinese herb for centuries and has many health and healing properties. I began to go on the Internet and research herbs and foods that heal the urinary tract. I also noticed I was having circulatory problems as my left ankle would swell with fluid which I found alarming. I got on herbs that heal the circulatory system and also began to grow wheat grass which is an incredible nutrient power packed food when juiced. I bought books on natural healing with food and herbs such as Linda Pages, “Healthy Healing” (you can order it on Amazon.com) and began to understand how incredible natural food and herbs are and how they heal. I had about 12 fibroids growing in my uterus, and my doctor recommended I get a hysterectomy so jumped back on line reasoning that for every health issue there must be a natural solution and found a natural remedy for uterine fibroid tumors called Nattokinase, which is derived from soybeans and has properties known to be able to shrink fibroid tumors. As I began to take Nattokinase all the excess bleeding and cramps I had lessened and then disappeared and one year later with ultrasound my doctor showed me that all of my fribroid tumors had shrunk to practically nothing. I never had to have that surgery, and once menopause hit I found black cohosh and other herbs to help me through it without having to take artificial hormone replacement therapy. Because of my personal success as things began to improve for me I became more and more fascinated and convinced that the way to health was indeed within anyones grasp. I have kept on with my research and began to buy more organic products and eggs that were natural and where the chickens or meat animals were not shot up with steroids, antibiotics and hormones. My health improved dramatically and I effortlessly went from a size 9 to a size 6. I lost a total of 19 lbs without going hungry or feeling deprived in any way. I haven’t been a size 6 since I was 16 and wishing I had a problem with anorexia instead of bulimia! I am now at my ideal weight, the weight I was designed to be at. Looking better is great but I consider that as a “perk.” What really matters is how I feel, my energy level, increased vitality, stamina, strength, and endurance. I am in the best shape of my life and if I could stand beside my 20 year old self, I would clean her clock!
Here are my 3 golden keys that will result in a transformation of your health if they are used:
Golden Key 1. Food is medicine and herbs are food and medicine. Eat only nutrient-dense foods, ( Healthy food guide by Pouilas Kudriavcevas), that are organic, free of pesticides and not genetically engineered! Delete everything that is over processed or added to by man or not naturally grown from unaltered seeds such as GMOs that research is proving to have horrible health consequences. God made food and herbs to keep us healthy, keep your food as close to the way He made it as possible. Eat more “living foods,” fruits and vegetables. Physical Symptoms are a clue to something out of balance in your body. Seek natural solutions that will actually get at the root of your problem at the celluler level and not mask it as conventional drugs will.
Golden Key 2. Aerobic exercise that works your heart rate to a point where you can talk while doing it, thus keeping your heart rate low. You need to keep it up for at least 30 minutes non stop. This kind of exercise burns fat and releases the God-given chemical “Endorphins" see video , Exercise the Brain by Watchwellcast.), into your blood stream. Endorphins will give you energy, and a positive feeling that will last for hours. I love to work out because of it. My system is ultra sensitive because I have been working out for most of my life. Sustained aerobic exercise will benefit you in countless ways, self-confidence, stamina, endurance, happiness; for the most part I’m in a pretty good mood most of the time which helps me deal with the challenges of life one day at a time.
- Kinds of exercises: Walking, biking, a treadmill with an above average incline so you can climb, a step work out, jogging, swimming, skating, yoga etc. Weight-bearing exercises such as weight lifting to keep your muscles and bones strong and fit and should be done every other day, to give the body a 24 hour period to repair and recover.
Golden Key 3. Commitment and Consistency. This one is the one that makes the others effective and life changing.
I am in my early 50’s, ( me exercising) and am beginning the second part of my life. I want to live that second half of my life kicking butt and going after every unresolved issue I have not dealt with up until now. The way I feel has always affected my choices; the old adage, "You are as young as you feel," really is true. Something else that will begin to occur once you begin to “honor your temple,” is greater mental clarity. I have never been so mentally clear in my life and it truly boosts my confidence. I am continuing to learn and research. I enjoy writing and sharing my discoveries with others and am pursuing my interest of becoming more knowledgeable, in nutrition combined with fitness training to encourage people who want to change their self-sabotaging life styles. It['s important that you do a personal inventory on what motivates you to do what you do. What are you addicted too? What are your weaknesses, temptations, and strengths? Be honest with yourself about this. There are no quick fixes and it will take time and the development of new habits.
I believe health is a choice and a gift from God. Once your health is lost, no amount of money can replace it. It is so unnecessary. Most health conditions can be reversed and completely. Our bodies are truly wonderfully and fearfully made. You are made up of trillions of individual cells, and each cell needs nutrients to function the way God designed your body to function. When your body is deprived of the nutrients it needs on a daily, weekly, yearly basis is it any wonder why you get sick, gain weight, or develop serious health conditions and disease? The biggest problem is a dysfunctional palate or taste buds. When you eat candy or cake or white flour products, too much salt, processed and chemical additives in your food your taste buds become corrupted. The taste is addictive and stimulating and your taste buds tell your mind, yummy! Your body however is saying quite another story, “Is this the fuel we’ve got to work with? If you keep feeding us this slop we are not going to make it much longer!” Over time the effects of your nutrient deficient body begins to take a toll. Your immune system weakens, and your body can’t fight and you get sick and develop chronic health conditions and later disease. Those first symptoms are the body’s way of trying to get you to wake up. Most of us run to the doctor for drugs which temporarily treat and mask the symptoms but do nothing to resolve the steady deterioration of our health. Antibiotics continue to work less and less because our meat and eggs and dairy products are shot up with them. Getting off man made chemical drugs and conventional methods of dealing with health issues unless it is an immediate life threatening emergency and trying a more natural approach to healing will take a longer period of time, however it is a real long lasting solution in the long run. Natural healing with herbs and nutrient dense food will get at the true source of your health condition and eventually heal it or improve it greatly and that is no scam! The body naturally goes to work to heal itself if given the proper tools, the right foods and herbs.
Begin by deleting all the chemical foods, you consume, anything with artificial ingredients. Your taste buds will change like mine did. I like so many foods I didn’t like before. I look forward to eating now and I eat as many as 5-6 meals per day. I eat 30 minutes after getting up in the morning and make sure I eat every 3 hours so my metabolism stays high. So many people work stressful jobs that require a 4 hour or more wait until they can eat, which puts your body in stravation mode. When you do eat any excess calories get stored as fat. If you eat every 3 hours your metabolisim becomes more efficient and balanced. If you eat food combinations that support the different digestive ensymes you will help your body process and digest more efficiently as well. I don’t count calories, or weigh myself. For the first time ever in my life I am free. For a bulimic, compulsive over eater that is a great experience and one I get to enjoy every day now. I know that if I can conquer over my old habits, addictions and choices anyone can. I want to encourage those who have lost hope or are still trapped on that never ending hamster wheel. You can truly effect a change in your dietary habits. Think of yourself as your own personal researcher and personal patient. It's fun, exciting and empowering when you begin to see the results which will begin to happen in as little as three weeks.
When you begin to look for herbal products seek out reputable companies that have a high standard of quality. You want to find products that are organic, toxin and chemical free and are also throughly researched.
I invite your feedback and hope this article helped or encouraged you! Look for my next article on The Science of Aging, Fitness at 50 and beyond, by Laura Winters