For the last 3 January’s, I have joined in with the many for a detox and dry month and been pretty disciplined (with the exclusion of a day for my birthday celebrations). I have always felt so much better after the excesses of December celebrations.
However, this year has been slightly different. December wasn’t really a month of celebrations and while I had the odd glass of wine, I was very careful and conscious of not ‘drowning my sorrows’; alcohol a drug and bad influence that would only make matters and me feel worse. And rather than gain a few lb’s, I had lost significant weight, so there weren’t the usual drivers for me to kickstart January dry.
In fact January became rather wet and fun! I let myself off the hook when it came to alcohol and I didn’t suffer the usual tummy problems, headaches or illnesses that I had suffered throughout the year. Now that may be do with the fact that I was plied with beautiful South African wines (not a pinotage in sight!). And to cover my skinny ribs, I accepted cake, chocolates and indulged my sugar cravings without guilt.
And then as the Universe would have it, earlier this week, in my youtube recommendations was an interview with Dr Mark Hyman and the sugar crisis across the nations.
It was fascinating. His hour long interview left me thirsty for more and so I bought his book. 2 of his books actually. (https://youtu.be/xgWBKJsJtk0)
His words rang true to so many of my beliefs, especially when there is so much noise around detox and eating healthy, eating clean…. What is right, what is good, what is wrong and what is rubbish! But he is a doctor, treating people in a ‘wholistic’ way. He looks to find the cause, rather than find the symptom through functional medicine and working with the body as a whole.
“Create health, don’t fix the disease.”
I love that. Create health. I know I am at my happiest when I am at my peak healthiest. I feel energised, bouncy, lean and fit. Ready to conquer anything.
He believes firmly that food can create health and rid the body of any disease. That food is ‘information’ to the brain as to what genes to turn on or off, genes that promote health or genes that promote disease.
“The biggest single input that you have in your health, by far is, what you eat.”
I also love how he talks about what matters is WHAT you eat, not HOW MUCH. The same calories from drinking a glass of wine or eating a kit kat doesn’t trigger the same genes and process in your body as eating the same amount of calories from broccoli or greens. Me and Mark – we are on the same wavelength. Calorie counting may help some form of weightloss, but not always health. Plus, it takes all the joy out of eating by making you a slave to to food by thinking about it all the time. It’s not for me anyway. Health first.
He also dispels myths around fat and sugar. Sugar is evil; spiking insulin as well as the addictive part of the brain leaving you wanting more. Good fats are essential; speeding up metabolism as well as triggering the part of the brain that makes you feel satisfied nutritionally. We all know now, that ‘low fat’ is just another way of saying ‘added sugar’ and should be avoided.
And one of the discussions I have always been conflicted by, meat or no meat? Paleo or Vegan/Vegetarian? He picked apart the studies which found people to be unhealthy if they ate meat and concludes that if you chose a group of health conscious, active people there would be no difference in health to those who ate meat from good sources that were grass fed and those who ate a plant based diet. Hurrah! I no longer feel guilty eating steak.
But after this few weeks or month of ‘letting myself go’, it is no wonder that this morning I feel like crap. I have a headache, watery eyes, tickly back of throat and a sniffle. All signs that a cold is creeping in.
‘FLC syndrome’, Mark calls it. And he can fix it. With a 10 day detox plan to reduce sugar and introduce lots of good wholesome, Low GI food in “a science-based approach to ending food addiction and creating rapid, safe weight loss and long term optimal health.’
10 days. Easy. 2 days to read the book and stock my cupboards right. I love a good plan for health! And I know my body is ready for a bit of a rest…