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Put that Turkey Twizzler Down!
You Are What You Eat Cookbook - Gillian McKeith
Member Name: Foxy-Lady
You Are What You Eat Cookbook - Gillian McKeith
Date: 12/04/05, updated on 04/06/05 (3527 review reads)
Advantages: It works!
Iíve never really been concerned about my weight - itís just never caused any issues for me. But towards the end of last year, probably October time, I realised that Iíd piled on quite a few pounds and that I didnít really feel comfortable with myself. I was no longer happy with my appearance and no item of clothing could succeed in making me feel better about myself.
As a result, I got on the scales and I can honestly say that I was ashamed of myself. It was the heaviest I had ever been! But the strange thing is, it was such a gradual weight gain that Iíd hardly even noticed.
I decided that I had to take action and do something about it. Luckily, my hubby also agreed that his weight had spiralled too, and he would gladly support me, and join me, in a campaign to lose weight!
My next problem was choosing how to tackle the situation. I have never been a follower of fad diets so I didnít want to start on the Atkins diet or anything similar to that. So I was a bit stumped really....until the solution landed in my office at work. The Ďbookmaní arrived and in his box of goodies was ĎYou Are What You Eatí by Dr. Gillian McKeith. And for the small sum of £5 too. This book usually retails at approximately £12.99 so at less than half price it was certainly worth a look!
The book accompanies the Channel 4 series of the same name and Iíd seen a few episodes before. Some of the results that she has managed to achieve with her patients have been great. All the talk of poop and watching the colonic irrigation scared me off a bit though so I canít say I paid much attention to the stuff she was saying.
Having a quick flick through the bright and colourful pages, I liked the snippets that I read (and the appetising food photography featured throughout) so I decided to give it a whirl. After all, I had nothing to lose....except excess pounds!
At this point Iíd like to say that You Are What You Eat is not a Ďdietí as such - itís a lifestyle. Buying that book has got to be one of the best decisions Iíve ever made....
The opening pages get off to a super start with an introduction featuring the inspirational story that originally spurred Dr. McKeith into becoming a Ďfood freakí. She realised just how powerful food is and made the decision to learn more so she could pass her knowledge onto others. Sheís certainly taught me well!
The theory is that the food we eat acts like fuel - it gives our bodies the energy they need to function well. The You Are What You Eat plan is basically an exploration of the significant relationship between food and health, teaching us to make the connection that good food choices equal good health and poor food selection results in bad health. Sounds like good old common sense but thereís a bit more too it than that.
The book is divided into convenient chapters - simple to follow and easy to refer to. The modern layout and the manner in which it is written is also easy to understand.
One of the first sections you come across is a real eye opener. It selects certain popular foods such as fish and chips, burger meals and tikka massala, and provides a nutritional analysis. This includes the equivalent amounts of fat and sugar in simple terms - spoonfuls of sugar and blocks of lard! We all know that eating an Indian takeaway or a Big Mac meal is far from healthy but we try not to think about it. Seeing the facts and figures printed in black and white has the immediate effect of informing the reader just how harmful these everyday foods can be. Eating badly can inflict so much harm on your body. Itís a well known fact that poor diet effects your immune system but did you know that Ďlow nutrients in a diet puts enormous strain on the liverí?
In You Are What You Eat Dr. McKeith educates the reader about the foods that are good for you and more importantly, why. This also includes the Ďabundanceí food list. Iím not going to tell you every single one as it does in the book but here are a selection of foods that you can eat in unlimited amounts...
In contrast, she also highlights the foods that are bad for you, giving the reasons why. These are called ĎThe Nastiesí and it is recommended that you either delete these completely or significantly cut them down.
Some of the healthy foods donít sounds particularly appetising but itís surprising how delicious they can be. Itís about retraining your tastebuds!
As you read the book it can perhaps seem a bit daunting but there are encouraging real life success stories featured. These are from some of Dr. McKeiths past patients, including a few that actually appeared on the TV show. Reading about the achievements of others really gave me the push I needed to take the book seriously.
The further I read into the book, the more I realised just how unhealthy I was, and I could associate myself with a lot of the things I was reading. Aswell as putting weight on, I had also been feeling miserable in general. I couldnít sleep properly and this was making me really lethargic throughout the day. Iím sure my hubby would agree that I was also being rather moody!
I never even considered that these factors could be the result of what I was eating! It turns out that food has the most incredible influence on your emotional, mental and physical state. Healthy food choices can make you feel great, aswell as look good. There are so many benefits from eating well....it can boost your thinking power, reduce stress, lift your moods and make your body so much healthier. On the other side of the coin, eat badly and this can cause weight gain, accelerate the aging process (!!!) and cause digestive problems.
Basically, bad food acts as a catalyst for other ailments and complaints....some of which are easily noticeable. You Are What You Eat has a really interesting section on the most common Ďbody signsí. These are signs to look out for on your own body that can tell you whatís wrong with your diet!
Cracks, sore areas and a yellow coating on the tongue are all indicators of nutritional deficiencies. Similarly, ears, hands, eyes and mouth can be examined to pinpoint the origin of certain ailments. We all get the odd zit but I never knew that the location of pimples and spots on your body signifies congestion and organ imbalances in specific areas. For example, spots on the forehead are linked to the intestines. In the book youíll find detailed listings along with suggested solutions to try to rectify these various problems, aswell as many others.
Youíll even find yourself examining your poop. ĎHow disgustingí I hear you cry but itís true. You wonít be able to stop yourself as you learn that it can provide an insight into the way you treat you body....
Foul smelling? - Poor digestion
Pellets? - Congested liver
Runny? - Exhausted spleen
These are absolutely fascinating to read but itís even more amazing when you start to eat properly and any small ailments you may have had (like cracked feet, dandruff, puffy eyelids) start to disappear!
Thereís so much information in this book that you couldnít possibly read it and not learn something from it. In fact itís quite difficult to write about because of this. I could rave on about it for ages!
On top of the things Iíve already mentioned there are also lots of other section....top energy foods; food combining (because different foods have varying digestion rates); food intelligence test; additional tips for healthy skin, hair, nails, teeth and gums; information on foods labels and colourings/preservatives; seven day kick start plan; numerous recipe ideas; how to combat stress, constipation (a healthy body empties itís bowel twice a day!), excess gas, eczema, even PMS!
Itís a fabulous book and if you take the time to make some changes you will start to feel the benefits almost immediately, eventually transforming your whole sense of well being. Itís easy to follow in the sense that thereís no point scoring, calorie counting, red/green days or starving yourself. Itís not a diet of restriction and youíll find that you end up eating a much wider variety of foods than you imagined.....and you can eat as much as you like!
A huge bonus is that cravings will disappear because the things that you do eat will be nourishing your body in the correct way.
The ideas are also suitable for the whole family, although I can imagine it may be difficult to persuade younger family members to change their eating habits and ditch the Turkey Twizzlers!
Dr. McKeith says:
ĎDo much of what I tell you most of the timeí
....and I can tell you that itís guaranteed to work. Following the plan properly requires a certain amount of commitment but if you stick to it, the results are definitely worth it. The emphasis isnít on losing weight but on being healthy. Losing pounds is just a positive side effect - and it will happen!
Over a period of about 6 months Iíve shed 2 stone in weight and I can honestly say that I really feel fantastic - and not just because of my new, slimmer figure. Iíve got so much more energy than I used to have but yet I sleep more soundly at night. I seem to be more positive about my life and overall, Iím a much happier person!
Iím not saying that Iím a complete saint and strictly adhere to Dr. McKeiths advice - far from it. Itís working for me because I allow myself to slip occasionally. She does recommend a Ď20% window of naughtinessí when you let yourself have the odd indulgent treat and this is great for me because Iíve always loved my food. Chocolate, pizza, chips. Indian, Chinese, ice cream....anything bad for me! Itís been difficult to reduce my intake but it means that when I do allow myself to have something naughty, I enjoy and appreciate it so much more!
Generally, Iíve adapted the advice found in the book to suit me. I only buy foods that are available in my local supermarket, for example. Iíve never ventured into a health food shop in my life. The occasional detox and colonic irrigation is also recommended to thoroughly cleanse yourself and rid your body of toxins. This isnít a necessity though and itís not something that Iíve tried...yet. I wouldnít be opposed to the idea though.
The main change that Iíve made is giving up ciggies. I have also cut out alcohol to an extent although I still have a good drinking session every once in a while. I suppose you wouldnít have to go as far as this though and Iím sure a lot of you wouldnít even contemplate giving up cigs and alcohol!
The point is, you donít necessarily have to make dramatic changes to your lifestyle for the You Are What You Eat plan to work. Even a few small changes can have impact and make a big difference.
So why not read the book for yourself? Itís full of facts - educational and informative but yet written in a friendly tone. At the end of the day, a bit of effort is so worthwhile and if youíre a bit unsure, you can ease yourself into it gradually. Start by introducing new foods and omitting The Nasties one by one.
Go on, give it a try....and remember, you are what you eat!
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