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So I have a confession…
I lost sight of my health and fitness since I began my entrepreneurial journey.
And before you say something like:
If you're not healthy, there is no business.
I get all that!
The reality is that I do not make myself a priority. I wake up very early and the first thing I do is check my phone to catch up on emails or social media then go straight to my computer to get to work.
I also have a family and home to care for.
Perhaps, but I know for a fact that there are many high performing people who can relate to this:
I work long hours. I struggle with balance between my family, ME time and more importantly - my own health and fitness because I have so many responsibilities to people who need me - like my family and work! There are only so many hours in the day!
Since I had my last born daughter a little over two years ago, I lost between 40 and 50 lbs in just a few months shortly after her birth.
And NO, It wasn’t from nursing. I didn’t really have any milk.
I did it by going sugar-free, low-carb, dairy-free, low calorie and VERY low fat.
Oh, and ZERO exercise!
Once I started to feel good about myself, I wanted to build more muscle, so I began going to the gym, but I nearly passed out!
I was not consuming enough calories, so my fitness trainers told me to bring back CARBS and Dairy.
Whoo hoo! YES PLEASE!
Well even though I continued the gym 5 days a week, guess what happened?…
…I gained about 25 lbs in just over 2 months!
But that’s not all…
→I got itchy all over my body whenever I did intense cardio, such as running.
→My IBS symptoms came back.
→I began feeling mysterious pain within my arms and legs.
→I became extremely fatigued.
→I was diagnosed with the auto-immune marker for Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Aside from the pain and diagnosis, the weight gain alone was disheartening. I went from packing my ‘phat’ clothes away, to bringing them all back out!
I hit that number on the scale again that I wasn’t comfortable with, but I had restricted myself for so long – My mental power was non-existent.
I kept trying to find a miracle plan that I’d actually enjoy, in hopes that I could pick something and make it my lifestyle.
In under 2 years, I tried 18 different diets!
How long do you think I lasted on each one?
Maybe a week or two!
After such severe restriction and because my belief system was so messed up about food and what was best for me – I was VERY confused.
Part of me didn’t want to believe that I’d never be able to eat a sandwich again with real bread that didn’t have an eggy texture.
I wanted to believe my friends when they told me that restricting an entire food group, was not okay.
I tried telling myself,
Just accept the fact that you're going to be a curvy woman with a few extra pounds.
But deep down, I didn’t really want to accept that because it wasn’t just about the weight.
I was in pain and getting more and more fatigued.
I strongly believed I had undiagnosed food sensitivities that were making me sick and causing the weight gain.
I would eat clean foods such as lean meats and vegetables all day, then have ONE sandwich and I’d be up by 7 lbs in water retention and instantly appeared 7 months pregnant.
Random strangers even asked me when my baby was due. 🙁
My digestion was lazy and I’d have unexplainable sensations within my arms and legs. It felt like I had cement running through my veins.
But with all the diet fads and so much information from so many people:
Keto, Paleo, HCG, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Fit Metabolism, Vegan, Vegetarian, Potato Diet, IIFYM…
My head was spinning!
I no longer knew WHO to trust or what kind of ‘LIFESTYLE‘ way of eating would be the best for my body and for the long-term that I could sustain.
So here I am again for the 100th time…
Not only do I want to lose weight, I have a toddler that I WANT to keep up with.
I need to reduce the pain and inflammation which I believe can be combatted via diet.
So I found Nicola Di Pietro. An Italian dietician, food scientist and technologist now living in Toronto, Canada who has published a paper about healthy eating, carbohydrates and the root cause of obesity and certain diseases in North Americans, including articles published within fitness on Italian national magazines.
♦ Lectins – Learn WHY grains can damage our intestine and potentially lead to auto-immune diseases
♦ What happens to our body when we eat grains and dairy
♦ Diabetics: you need to understand what can cause your blood glucose and insulin to spike more than table sugar!
♦ Is the FAT in foods making us FAT?
♦ What lifestyle diet should all North Americans be following? (This goes for Coeliac Disease and non-coeliac)
♦ What food do we identify as grain? What should we avoid all together?
WATCH this Interview
0:50 – Nicola’s expertise and credibility in Food and Nutritional Science
2:00 – Which carbs are the bad carbs and how do they affect our body and digestion?
3:15 – FRUIT: Is this okay? Which fruit have a low glycemic index and which fruit are high on the index.
4:00 – What is the comparison of sugars that you receive in Breads vs Fruit?
100 grams of bread will give you 80 grams of sugar.
100 grams of fruit will give you only 10-15 grams of sugar because of the water and fibre content.
4:50 – Potatoes vs sweet potatoes – Are any okay?
5:30 – Polyphenols in fruit and are very good for the body.
6:00 – We discuss the good FATS to eat.
6:15 – Mangos have anti-inflammatory properties and assist in healthy bowel function and repair when eaten on their own.
7:10 – How Jolene lost 40-50 lbs post pregnancy and why she didn’t sustain it.
9:00 – Metabolic Crisis: What happens with low sugar and LOW FAT diets?
10:00 – Auto-Immune Disorders: There may be a connection between auto-immune symptoms/response with foods that contain ‘Lectin’s’. Lectins are is present in grains, beans, dairy and nightshade vegetables.
Are cheat meals ok?
12:40 – We discuss Coeliac disease and if there are tests for non-coeliac gluten intolerance.
14:40 – What happens when you have a glucose or insulin spike in your blood and which foods cause this?
15:20 – The molecules that are causing porous holes in our intestines, which are causing Leaky Gut.
17:00 – What causes arthritic pain?
21:00 – What foods should we AVOID?
22:00 – Breads can cause a higher insulin spike than table sugar.
22:30 – Avoid sugar at all costs! It causes a glucose and insulin spike.
Insulin spikes are the key factor of causing HIGH cholesterol – Not dietary Fat!
22:40 – We discuss a friend who went 80-90% VEGAN to lower his cholesterol.
What happened to his cholesterol results (1 year after) he ditched the animal protein and animal fat to instead add more carbohydrates (such as grains).
26:00 – The Keto Diet – The diet that contains a lot of dairy fat. Is dairy good or bad for the body?
Casein (the protein found in dairy) that causes inflammation, which has similar negative effects such as gluten and wheat.
27:00 – Milk and Lactose FREE Dairy – What is Casein and does milk also contain Lectins?
30:00 – Jolene’s decision to complete a 12 week mission to develop and continue following a low carbohydrate lifestyle.
Want to join Jolene on a 12 Week Challenge?
See details at the bottom of this blog post.
Don’t eat grains, beans, legumes, processed sugar or dairy.
And before you get angry, you best give him the benefit of the doubt because he has some REAL scientific information.
Why Shouldn’t we Eat Grain or Dairy?
Nicola explains the glycoproteins and Lectins that are present in grains, beans, dairy and nightshades that we cannot digest. This can cause Leaky Gut and as a consequence, can cause auto-immune response, including insulin spikes, high cholesterol and weight gain.
I’m now realizing why I felt my best when I restricted grains and dairy.
However, I left one main thing out – Healthy Fats. Which was probably why my hair fell out.
What Foods are GRAIN?
♦ Corn (including corn syrups and canola oil)
♦ Beans (legumes)
♦ Dairy (see note below)
Flours are considered grains in general, so it is important to understand which flours are processed from grain.
Why Dairy is Not OKAY?
♦ Milk (including Lactose-FREE)
♦ All cheese
NOTE: Eggs can be an exception, especially if free-range/grass-fed.
Raw Milk and Goat Milk can also pose serious microbial poisoning threats.
Milk alternative: Canned full fat coconut milk.
You can now find Coconut yogurt in some stores, but check for sugars and artificial sweeteners.
What Lifestyle Diet Makes Sense to Stick to?
Paleo is the conclusion that I’ve arrived to.
Why? Because I documented my symptoms when I followed a low-carb version after my baby was born.
I should have just added healthy fats and likely would have prevented hair-loss and had more energy.
I just didn’t want to believe that I’d have to restrict an entire food group forever. But hey, nothing feels as good as thin right?
Just kidding. It’s even better to feel good and not be in pain.
Will Power & Sabotage
I don’t really want to blame anyone else but myself when it comes to my own decisions to not stay on plan, but for family and friends who might be reading this, and know someone who struggles with weight, digestion or auto-immune symptoms (including skin problems like psoriasis and eczema)…
Here’s what you should know that we know:
We all know that your love language might be to feed us, even when you clearly know that we are struggling with weight or health problems.
Food is social and I know how rewarded I feel when people enjoy my cooking.
I also prefer to eat WITH someone. When they are on a plan – it’s not as fun!
Misery loves company right?!
So when someone is watching their food intake and you say,
You've done so well, a little treat won't hurt you.
The truth is that it literally CAN hurt SOME people and cause:
♦ Painful bloating
♦ Water retention
♦ Weight Gain or Loss
♦ Stomach aches
♦ Lazy Digestion (or the opposite)
♦ Itchiness or skin rashes
♦ Pain within connective tissue or joints
♦ Brain Fog
Put it this way:
With a life threatening illness like Diabetes, would you still push this person to eat sugar?
If the food caused Cancer to grow, would you say,
“Your food restriction is NOT sustainable.”
Likely – NO!
Please do not sabotage or try to convince that a little treat is okay.
Invisible illnesses can cause pain and suffering for days or weeks.
One treat might also be the trigger food where some people lose all inhibitions and think to themselves,
“Well I already screwed up – I may as well keep going!”
Psychologically speaking, a trigger food can cause more cravings or a mental war with oneself by consuming it just once.
Food addiction can be present in both thin and heavier people. It doesn’t discriminate.
Sugar has a similar effect on the brain as cocaine and sugar is in EVERYTHING.
The only way to get away from it, is to only eat whole foods – Plants and animal protein.
So please encourage and support when you KNOW that someone is actively trying to make a change for the positive.
I’ve come to the realization that EVERYONE’s body is different, but the general biochemical principles are the same for everyone.
That being said, Nicola’s studies are pretty convincing as to why I’ve been running into so many people that have similar reactions as I do, when I eat processed carbohydrates and dairy.
I’m now drinking the ‘Kool-Aid’ again and am going Paleo.
So stay tuned, as we’ll have an update for you in 12 weeks to let you know exactly how I do, how I feel and some updated transformation pics.
I’m now ready to TRY again. Are you?
If you want to join me to cut out processed sugar, starchy carbohydrates and eat more healthy fats, veggies, fruits and good proteins to combat weight or inflammation in the form of auto-immune disorders or skin conditions, leave a comment below and we’ll add you to a PRIVATE Facebook support group where we can share food plans, recipes, transformation pictures and more!