Healing food – You are what you eat

I first heard the mantra “You are what you eat” on a TV show, titled the same, aired in the UK about 20 years ago. Gillian McKeith was the holistic nutritionist who would take on the UK’s worst cases of poor nutrition and promise them that their lives would turn around in 6 weeks IF they promised to stick to her food and exercise regime. Each case was individually assessed and monitored and NONE failed! The nation was hooked. I was hooked! She now has a show here too, plus 9 internationally acclaimed books, five of which have gone to number one bestseller status.

A bit about her background: After graduating from the University of Edinburgh (UK) with a Bachelors Degree, Gillian McKeith received a Masters Degree from the Ivy-League University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (USA). After Gillian experienced a severe bout of personal ill health and recovery through nutritional medicine, Gillian embarked upon a new path which would change her life forever. She then spent several years re-training in Holistic Nutrition.

All the nutrition information on her TV programs and in her books is supported by referenced and sound research. If you are interested in further nutritional information and studies you may refer to the Gillian McKeith Research Centre (powered by Health Notes) on the Gillian McKeith Website. Www.gillianmckeith.com. She also has a number of other add-on sites with great information on health and wellness and, of course, a sign-up option for her “Club” if you need that extra help and encouragement to get in shape and lose weight (who doesn’t?!) For $16 a month, it’s actually a pretty good deal when you compare it to any of the other weight loss programs out there ($32.25/month for Noom for example.)

Gillian McKeith points out that food is potentially an emotional issue. It can be uncomfortable for some people to have to give up certain junk foods to which they have become accustomed. Gillian’s goal is to make it easier for people to get onto the path of a new life, keep them supported, motivated and inspired. Her life mission is to ‘empower people to improve their lives through information, food and lifestyle’.

Gillian was my starting point with becoming concerned with what types of food I was eating and my general lifestyle, which, back then, was actually pretty active. Since then I have discovered nothing to dissuade me from this path and everything to convince me that our health absolutely depends on what we eat. Your body is a temple! We do also need to exercise, but that is of much smaller significance (some Dr.’s say 80/20, food to exercise.) Every nutritionist or personal trainer will tell you that your weight is controlled primarily by what you eat, exercise has a much lower effect on your weight than food does. Now that’s not to say that exercise is not important to your overall health in SO many ways, but it is not the main player in losing weight.

Over the past 20 years there have been many other stories of illness cured by diet and nutrition, but one I’d like to share with you is that of Ella Mills.

In her second year at University, in 2011, she got a relatively rare illness, Postural Tachycardia Syndrom. The illness had a pretty devastating effect on her life – she literally couldn’t walk down the street, slept for 16 hours a day, had never ending heart palpitations, was in chronic pain, had unbearable stomach issues, constant headaches and more. She tried healing through conventional medicine for about six months but it had little effect on her symptoms and she was still bed-ridden 95% of the time. So she decided it was time for something new and began researching holistic, natural healing approaches. Overnight she took up a whole foods, plant-based diet and cut out refined, processed foods as well as wheat, dairy and refined sugar. It was a pretty drastic change as up until that point her diet had revolved around Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, chocolate, peanut butter and jelly eaten with a spoon, candy and lots of (sugar-laden) cereal and pasta! She started a blog, http://www.DeliciouslyElla.com and everything you see there is part of her learning and healing process.  She is not a trained chef or nutritionist – everything is self-taught and the result of lots of failed experiments. She also totally understands how daunting the idea of changing your diet so radically is, but is living proof that it is the best thing she has ever done. You can sign up for her newsletter (free),buy her cookbooks online, read her blog, follow her on Instagram, whichever you prefer to do. Just be inspired!

She acknowledges that “Eating this way has allowed me to take control of my illness and manage the symptoms, stopping the constant pain, restoring my energy and giving me my life back again. After eighteen months of eating this way, alongside work with a nutritionist and an exercise program from my doctor, I was able to come off all my medication, which was amazing. I’d never have believed that I could come this far simply through a diet and lifestyle change; it is just incredible – better than any drug I tried by a long way. I’ve learnt more on this health adventure than I could have possibly imagined too and I really want to share it with you. It’s my way of turning something negative into something really positive. If I can spread health and happiness with anyone then this is a success!” Amen.

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