Dietary Changes – Educate then Eliminate
Caffeine, Sugar, Alcohol, Wheat and Dairy
Notice your attachment to these things this week. As you eliminate them, notice that you have a more accurate gauge of your energy level, so you can pace and take care of yourself accordingly, rather than wait until you reach the end of your reserves and find yourself completely tapped out or sick.
Now,. this coffee lover knows that caffeine masks your energy levels and your hunger, leaving you starving later to which you end up gorging and feeling bloated and full. This cycle makes it difficult to eat small meals frequently as suggested through this program. This week, try your life without caffeine and sugar full stop, difficult as it may be. Consider it a practice of Satya, or truth, which is the second yama in the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Use this truthfulness to see the reality of what your body is asking for and sit with that recognition to uncover your inner radiance.
To most of us, carbohydrates are a confusing category of food that we tend to have a love-hate relationship with. Chemically carbs are different forms of simple sugars linked together. Foods in this category include sweets, breads and even vegetables and fruit. Not all carbs are created equal, however, and the body processes different carbs very differently.
Let’s clear up the confusion and look at the role carbs play in our detoxification program.
We need a certain amount of carbohydrates in our diet. The body requires it to feed the brain! However, any carbs that aren’t used by the body eventually get stored as fat. There is more to it than that, and I am no expert, but this gives you a very brief run-down. Carbs wreak havoc on the hormone insulin and in turn our blood sugars. The worst part is when our insulin levels are high that prevents the body from releasing any stored fat and drives your body to use more carbs and less fat, as fuel. And so what happens? CRAVINGS! The body wants more carbs!
To stop this cycle we have to moderate the insulin response by limiting – ideally, eliminating – the intake of refined sugars and grains.
Here are some side-effects of a prolonged high carbohydrate diet
- Brain fogginess, or trouble concentrating
- Low blood sugar
- Increased fat storage and weight
- Increased blood pressure
Whole carbs are unprocessed and contain the fibre found naturally in the food, while refined carbs have been processed and had the natural fibre stripped out.
Examples of whole carbs include vegetables, whole fruit, legumes, potatoes and whole grains. These foods are generally healthy.
It makes no sense to demonise all carbohydrate-containing foods because of the health effects of their processed counterparts.
Whole food sources of carbohydrates are loaded with nutrients and fibre and don’t cause the same spikes and dips in blood sugar levels.
Hundreds of studies on high-fibre carbohydrates, including vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains show that eating them is linked to improved metabolic health and a lower risk of disease.
So, be mindful of the number of carbs you eat, and when you do get them from un-processed foods such as the ones above.
If you are really struggling to move away from highly processed foods and are needing some support to create some new healthy habits I’d recommend talking to a holistic focussed nutritionist like my friend Rosie James here in Nelson. She’ll do in-person consults and also via zoom if you’re out of town.