First- a caveat: I am not a health professional and this is not to be taken as health advice in any way. This is all written from personal experience and my short stints of research only. Of course this is an open forum and I welcome any questions and discussion.
When we were in New Zealand we stayed with our friend's mom, who happens to be a certified holistic medicine specialist. One of the things included in her practice is nutrition counseling to alleviate health problems and underlying issues. We learned a lot and one of the things that stood out to me is that while Western medicine usually treats the symptoms, Eastern medicine attempts to treat the cause of the symptoms.
As a health freak myself, I thought I was on top of health knowledge but there is so much that my smug self did not know until we stayed for this lady for several days. More importantly, we learned how my hubby can alleviate his chronic allergies by altering his diet with the ultimate result of reducing his exposure to a consistent stream of medicine. Also, after several months of poor food planning and feeling generally low levels of energy myself, I wanted to give it a try. Sounds good, right? I thought so.
Our nutrition counseling consisted of the three following parts, which I will describe below:
- Food combining
- Blood type diet elements
- Candida cleanse (I'm not participating in this)
1. Eat fruit separately, or 30 minutes before your meal. It digests quickly and if it is in your stomach with other foods, it will ferment. The only fermentation I like is in my wine thanks.
2. Starches can be eaten with veggies
3. Protein can be eaten with veggies
4. Fats are neutral and can be eaten with starch, protein, or veggies
5. You may eat the ancient grains with protein i.e. quinoa or amaranth
6. Beans, grains, and nuts must be soaked before preparing/eating.
The goal is to aid digestion and give your body a break. This completely counteracts what I have known to combine grains with protein to stay full, but does NOT eliminate any food groups- just the order in which they are eaten.
The Blood Type Diet is a 'diet' if you let it be. Based on Eat Right for Your Type there are certain foods that are good for certain blood types and this method of health counseling has been used to help people lose weight and feel better overall. As my hubby and I are at healthy weights for our height/age/etc. we are following elements for health reasons. Here are some of the practical elements that we have taken away from the method:
1. We are no longer eating chicken and instead eating fish, beans, eggs, and nuts for protein sources
2. We have taken out cow's milk products (both of us), while I have been eating some goat's milk dairy once or twice a week
3. We are both gluten and wheat free
4. Alcohol and coffee are out but green tea, veggie and fruit juice, and lots of water are in.
The Candida cleanse is designed to help get rid of the bad stomach bugs that mess with digestion and could bring our systems to a state of disorder. During this cleanse, overly starchy foods, animal proteins, refined sugars, and most sweet veggies and fruit like corn and grapes are to be avoided. I am not participating in this part, but it is meant to help restore a state of order to the body with replacement of good probiotics at the end of the cleanse for my hubby. I hope this works!
The Game Plan:
We will attempt to do this until the end of February (my birthday!) to give ourselves ample time to see if this works. I hope to gain more energy and lower my dependence on sugar. Hubby's goal is to alleviate his allergy symptoms.
So far, it has been a week without coffee (gasp) and into our meal plan and everything is going relatively well. I noticed that I am sleeping better and feel like I have more energy. The food has been great- I have not missed anything except for chocolate and the smell of coffee wafting out of Starbucks makes me cry a little bit. I have had a couple of days of poor planning when I had to scramble to find food, but I am flexible and things have worked out. We also went out to dinner last night, and while it was a bit of a challenge, we were able to enjoy our food and the company without looking like freaks. We have each noticed a slight weight drop, but it should level off soon.
I hope to provide updates as well as some of the new things I cook, although I have been able to enjoy my favorite foods as I have before. And I brainwashed hubby into the world of almond butter. I look forward to any feedback and questions along the way too!