With all the concern in North America about diabetes and obesity there is now a flood of information out there on how you can find every kind of diet “fix” and new ones popping up weekly it seems.

Do they work?

That’s the topic of discussion today.

Know that old axiom…you are what you eat? I used to scoff but now I know it to be true for myself. When I reshaped the way I ate, I benefited from the way it improved my own health, melted away the weight, and stopped a majority of the pain I was in.

I have learned through that experience that when we eat too much sugar, we get a fungus factory throughout our bodies that lives off the sugar (see my blog Sugar, I’m Breaking Up With You).

When we eat too many animal products, such as meat and dairy, we invite heart disease and diabetes to the table.

Too much of the “white” foods have been processed to “death”, meaning they have nothing left of the natural nutrients to nourish our bodies.

As fast food chains spread across the globe, we can track the rise in the “rich man’s” diseases that used to plague the refined families in history because only they could afford meat and dairy more frequently back then. Canadian Dietitian, Leslie Beck talks about this in her book, The Plantbased Power Diet.

There is science to back up the claims that eating a certain way can change your health and change how you feel about yourself and your life.

Let’s look at why that is and how you can take charge of your own weight issue, hopefully before your doctor gives you the “you need to go on a diet” talk. Although, getting a professional opinion BEFORE making any changes to your diet if it has been a while, is just good practice.  A doctor can run tests to ensure there are no pre-existing dangers to your health, like heart disease, before you take up exercise for example.

So, let’s start with heart disease which can develop when we eat fatty foods and there is a buildup of calcified material and plague in the arteries. Now blood can’t get through the narrowed arteries at the right pressure and if signs are ignored (such as chest discomfort, dizziness and sudden fatigue)…it’s a ticking bomb waiting to go off in the form of a heart attack or stroke.

Now, Diabetes, as in Type 2, on the other hand, is diet related in most cases. It results when the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin. Did you know this is a hormone? Its job is to clean the excess sugar from our blood and these days, it’s no wonder Diabetes is on the rise with sugar added to just about everything packaged.

before 2000

Before Photo (2000)

Thankfully I did not want to wait to get any sicker or heavier then I was! I took charge of my health care after 15 years of misguided tests and professionals not knowledgeable in the way the body can be supported to heal itself.

I will admit it was not overnight and I was frustrated often when a diet didn’t work or I did not get the results I had hoped for. I learned it was not so much what I stopped eating as it was what I added to my diet that was the key to my turn around in health. That is the reason I went on this path of total and passionate discovery of what does work and why and I will share my experiences, my sure determination and the taking back of my power with you.

The caveat to this story, you ask?

No two people are the same in chemistry, physically, mentally or emotionally and so different results can always be expected. What can be certain is that we need to reshape the way we think about food if we are to understand how to eat the right fuel for the body we came here in.

There is wisdom to the old ways of dealing with health care. Take many of the earlier cultures and their knowledge that external causes of illness can be contributed to poor quality or polluted foods, as well as lack of sleep and internal causes such as emotional state and energy imbalance. Eating the right foods that are grown on a plant, rather then made in a plant, and in the right quantities is the best approach to issues with weight or disease.

I have found that following the advice from my acupuncturist and eating a diet that is 80% alkalinizing and 20% acid forming keeps my body in a pH balance (just like a fish tank) that has kept weight off and I no longer get sick every few weeks like I used to! I keep the pH Miracle book and its companion, The pH Miracle for Weight Loss in my reference library and share the insights of Robert and Shelley Young often with my clients.

This winning combo for my body means is I eat 80% of my diet from foods that are on the clean list and 20% of foods that processed but I choose when to eat those. Like when I have a craving for something salty…I turn to GMO free tortilla chips and salsa.

After 2014

After Photo (2014)

So, I now read the labels and make better choices of foods going in my body and still give it what it asks for. I have coconut ice cream once in a while as a treat instead of the standard ice cream I used to eat every single night and my body thanks me for that! I can almost instantly feel my body is not getting what it needs or is getting too much of the wrong things when I don’t follow this #reshaped habit. I use the signals my body gives me as the clues to how good a job I am doing at caring for myself. That is why it is so important to find out for you what works for your body and it explains why there is what seems like a million different diets out there.

Now, let’s talk about the energy of food. Everything, as we know, is made of molecules and those molecules need energy…they store it too. If we eat foods that still contain energy, we thrive very well…if we don’t…well you can answer that!

Did you know that what you can effect what you think about?

Eat donuts at your coffee break and you get a brain fog that impairs your cognitive function and drags down your mood for the rest of the afternoon at the office. Eat a salad with protein (this can be a bean or lentil salad too) and you can power through the work load to late afternoon and be more productive in your work performance and happier too.

Why is that? That is because proteins have amino acids that the brain needs to turn into those neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine, your happy brain chemicals.

No prescriptions required!

Your coworkers are sure to take notice and ask what is different in your life. So save the donuts for after the work day is done and you will see results quickly and one day you may just forgo them all together. Before long you will be an expert on which foods make you feel energetic and which ones make you feel tired and moody.

Sometimes it is a food sensitivity that can be the culprit in making us feel off so a food elimination diet is usually a helpful tool in those cases. Any Naturopath can explain how to properly go on an elimination diet for a certain amount of time. My experience with this helped me find out that I am sensitive to wheat, dairy, soy and corn. This is not surprising as these crops are the first to have been modified to GMO seeds and the dairy industry took up pasteurization and giving antibiotics to the cows which ends up in the milk.

When I look back over my life and chart the path of my healing from arthritis, yeast overgrowth, acne, kidney stones, adrenal fatigue, 8 ulcers and the leaky gut I am still recovering from…I am extremely grateful there are people out there who have shared their stories with others and have put out the articles, books, blogs and videos for me to find!

It is the people who kept the faith in the old ways of using intelligence for our health care and communicated it to everyone else that have helped the most. I hope I can be a link in that chain for others on their healing journey.

*The opinions of the author offered are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or other health program.