'Diet'...or A Way of Life?

Being a yoga teacher, many people approach me and ask - ‘What do you eat? Are you on a particular diet? How can I look like you?”.

My answers seem to have been pretty varied in the past as I did try different so called ‘diets’:

  • Eating a high protein diet

  • Fasting for days

  • Adding all kinds of supplements to my daily routine

  • Working out until I dropped from exhaustion

The most extreme was under the care of a personal fitness instructor/nutritionist. There were weekly measurements (including body fat percentage), weekly pictures posed in a skimpy swimsuit, daily extreme workouts…to the degree of when around the 4th month I stopped having a regular menstrual cycle to not having one at all! At that point the craziness in my head of ‘looking a certain way’ became dangerous and I had to accept the hard facts, I needed to stop what I was doing.

Pictures were taken before, during and at the end - I had dropped a significant amount of weight and body fat, and was hovering on becoming very unhealthy if the ‘diet’ and exercise regimen continued. However, I remember thinking that the visual of what I thought I looked like in the mirror DID NOT change - in my mind I looked exactly the same as when I had started the program. I suppose we only see the flaws when we look at ourselves naked in the mirror instead of the beauty of the whole of who we are.

In 2008 Dr. Gundry authored a book titled, Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution. This book was a suggested read by a family member who said it changed his life. Since then Dr. Gundry has authored several other books. In 2017 he came out with The Plant Paradox, The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods that Cause Disease and Weight Gain.

Seven years ago I went to see Dr. Gundry for a consult, after looking over my blood test results he gave me a list of YES foods and NO foods. I began following the list of YES foods and, because I can be a creature of habit, my staple diet became chicken and canned green beans.

After a year of this being my (almost) daily intake, I started feeling very ill. So much so that the pain of getting out of bed some mornings was almost impossible, EVERYTHING hurt - from my skin to my bones. On a follow up appointment Dr. Gundry said I was lectin intolerant, I have since learned A LOT about lectins. In short they are a protein that plants produce to protect themselves. Our own bodies also produce lectins, however too much lectins can become toxic creating havoc on our physical bodies. I cannot be as clear as Dr. Gundry about what lectins can do, but to me they were causing severe pain. You will find a link at the end of this blog that can tell you more about lectins.

Back to my staple diet of chicken and canned green beans….the chicken I was purchasing was full of lectins as were the green beans…sad face….at the time I was not educated on grass fed meat. The beans, well they are a natural lectin. So the combination led to my pain, 2 weeks of a clean way of eating - my pain was gone. I have had to juggle my intake of choices to know what works with my body and what causes chaos within. With the lectin intolerance, all lectins do not affect my body in a bad way, I have had to find which ones I have a higher intolerance to.

There is no short answer on how/what/why I eat what I do. Growing food for ourselves (if possible) may be a better solution. In the meantime researching best available selections through local Co Ops and Farmer’s Markets may be the better choice. Making informed decisions on what we know will also be to our benefit.

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So, when I am asked “What is your diet?” - I can only point to Dr. Gundry’s books, as for the most part, that is what I follow.

Click here for more information on lectins.