Lent: Days 17-19 and Third Weigh-In
We have been on the road the past two days attending a homeschooling conference in Richmond that I will write about more later. It was another challenge in how to stay on my diet (with food that you really can’t buy anywhere) while socializing.
I was so busy at the conference attending lectures, chatting and shopping that I didn’t seem to mind my small meals for the day.
Today was a fast day. I found myself a bit wiped out from all the activity of the last two days. So between the fasting and the exhaustion, it was a low-key Sunday punctuated by cleaning the house.
Today was also a weigh-in day!
I was not really expecting to lose weight this week so that was a nice surprise. The main difference that I have noticed so far with this diet is that my flexibility in yoga is dramatically improving! I have been doing my yoga for one year now and even though I do the exact same routine every other day (alternating with Tracy Anderson) there are still days that my muscles feel so tight. Lately, I feel super-stretchy for no reason related to exercise.
I did some research on this and found that many yogis swear that good nutrition impacts flexibility. Some say that removing gluten from your diet helps (I essentially have been eating gluten-free). Some say that removing dairy from your diet helps (my diet has also been dairy free so far). Some say that good nutrition and lots of vegetables generally helps reinvigorate the cells and make them work better. Some say that eating vegan has been shown to increase flexibility (although, interestingly, being vegan also reduces your ability to build muscle mass and your ability to lift heavy weights, which you need animal protein to do).
I also did some research this week on another point of this diet that I was curious about. It’s All Good is written to eliminate nearly all of the major food allergies/sensitivities. Before doing this diet, I have to say that I didn’t really give any credibility to removing gluten, sugar, dairy, peanuts, soy, etc. from the diet. I suppose I expected an allergic reaction to be something like my face swelling up or a rash or something dramatic. This type of diet is supposed to reduce “inflammation” in the body. I decided I needed to understand what “inflammation” means.
As I understand from watching YouTube videos from various chiropractors and nutritional doctors, dietary inflammation means that your cells are being slowly damaged by the unhealthy foods you ingest. It is like eating a very slow acting poison that may not take effect for 20 years. The longer your cells are bathed in non-nutritional foods, the more damage you will incur. For most of us, too much sugar is the biggest problem. Too much bad fat is second. Nutritional doctors claim that when you eat these unhealthy foods, they slowly destroy receptors on the surface of your cells. When these receptors die, your cells are less able to absorb good nutrients and excrete waste products. Over time, the cells can die or cause diseases like diabetes and cancer.
If your cells are feeling malnourished because they are damaged, they may send your body signals that you need to eat which can result in obesity. Nutritional healers claim that the more healthy food you eat, the less you have to eat because your cells are getting all the nourishment they need from even a small amount of calories.
There are numerous foods you can eat that reduce inflammation in the body. Vegetables are obviously helpful as are good fats like omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils and antioxidants found in things like blueberries, goji berries and the spice tumeric. As an experiment, we are going to try adding fish oil and curcumin (turmeric) to our vitamin regimens (as recommended in this video , starting at chapter C4, by Dr. Michael Murray).
*Note that vitamin regimens are extremely controversial with medical doctors and some doctors claim that we should not be taking vitamins at all. Always check with your own doctor about the vitamins and supplements and diet you choose to follow.
One last piece of nutritional research I came across is about the “low carb flu.” This is the low energy, lethargic feeling people tend to have when they first switch from a normal diet to a healthier low carb/low sugar one. This article tells us that low carb flu is generally temporary but that its effects vary from person to person. How badly you will experience low carb flu depends on how quickly your body can switch from burning carbohydrates for energy (which all of us are fairly good at) to burning fat for energy (which is far harder). This switching process is called “metabolic flexibility.” The body’s ability to switch to fat burning may depend on genetics but apparently anyone can improve their metabolic flexibility by exercising more.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend! We had many beautiful 70 degree days here in Virginia and the daffodils are starting to come out!