Throughout my life – as probably most American women will tell you – I’ve struggled with my weight. In the mid 90’s I became a vegetarian – a Pescetarian to be exact. Since I left home in 1990 I’ve focused on a low fat diet. In more recent years I’ve turned my focus more towards organics and natural foods – but still low fat. Before I became pregnant – and under the advice of my naturopath – I slowly started to incorporate meat back into my diet. I’ve felt like I’m well informed when it comes to basic nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. But the question has always loomed – why then, with all of my athletic activity – can I not lose weight and maintain a healthy weight?
My naturopath has done every test in the book – really – and other then low amino acids i am healthy healthy healthy. Then just a couple of months ago she recommended a nutritionist she’s been working with to me. The thought had never occurred to me before but i absolutely loved the idea so I went to see her.
I’m sure like in most things there are all types of nutritionists- but I am really glad that I found Jennifer -because of her philosophies on food, her training at Bastyr and knowledge of the worlds eating habits – I feel like I’m learning so much every time I go to her – and I agree with everything she has to say.
I went into her office with an open mind – letting her know that I thought I knew some things but obviously I didn’t or I wouldn’t struggle with it so much so I was ready to erase what I thought I knew and start over. She looked at my diet – what I eat daily and how I’ve eaten over the last 20 years. What my cravings were and how I felt. She did those things that “white coat” type of nutritionists don’t probably do – looked at my nails, my eyes, my skin, my teeth. She looked at my activity level and then we talked.
I could go on-and-on, sharing all the wonderful insight she shared with me but it might take to long….so the short of it is: This – she believes – is part of the problem in America. My cravings were text book and my issues were common with a lot of her clients. Her opinion is that because I’ve been on a low fat diet for so long in my life – and my activity level has been so high for so long – that even though I may eat all day my body is always in starvation mode because it’s never getting what it actually needs. I’d heard that before – many times – relating to other people…but I thought that because I was aware to eat my meals and my snacks and fuel myself for my sports I didn’t fit that category…..the problem is though that I haven’t been fueling myself with the fuel that I need. Her example was that farmers fatten pigs that they’re taking to the market by putting them on a diet of low fat milk – it drives the pigs to eat more then they normally would.
SO – my first task. Get rid of all my low fat food and switch to WHOLE MILK, WHOLE MILK YOGURT, CHEESE, BUTTER BUTTER BUTTER, OLIVE OIL, NUT BUTTERS, AND MEAT. (maintaining my excellent veggie/fruit intake) These are foods I haven’t allowed myself to have in ages!
And – I have to tell you – it is GREAT! I feel full all day. I don’t think about food anymore. I realized that I have had this frantic feeling about food for years….something i never noticed until it was gone. I can have a little something of something and feel satisfied because my body has what it needs. I can’t begin to explain how great and freeing this feels. I’ve recognized that it’s not just the hunger but also the whole experience of eating is so much more satisfying now….I’m truly amazed.
Today I went and saw her again and my next task is to now gain control of the portion sizes (which I’ve already started to do because i’m so much more satisified with such a smaller amount of food) Begin to switch my meals to bigger in the morning and mid day and just a small meal at night. And eat MORE red meat! Twice a week is what she says. yikes! (my zinc is low and it still seems that i need more protein then what i give my body)
This all goes SO AGAINST what we’ve been learning in America for so long now – the difference she says is the quality of the fats. If you’re eating good quality fats then they aren’t harmful to you. It’s the bad quality fats (trough fed cows for example compared to grass fed cows) that is causing the problems. I could go on and on – again i feel like i just came from a mini nutrition class! I’ve been eating organic for a few years now but to hear the nutritional difference….to know there’s more then just the pesticides…..and the low fat myth! now I’m not even making sense anymore =)
So anyway – I wanted to share this with you because it feels so new to me. I believe that different things are going to work for different people – but this feels so right for me. About as opposite as I can get from my friend Laura who has been thrilled with her vegan life! I’ll let you all know how it goes and share more interesting tips and facts she shares with me. But I’ll leave you with this. She said, “If you only have one rule around eating it should be this; If it hasn’t been around for 100 years or more – don’t eat it.” It’s as simple as that.