The California Diet
All of the above diets have one thing in common; you will most likely loose weight on them. Yet they do not promise to keep the weight off. What is truly required to loose weight long term? What happens to the body once you finish the diet and return to your normal lifestyle? This last question truly is the key to success.
Lifestyle changes are required in order for you to not only loose the weight, but also to keep it off. A three or a six week diet may help in the beginning, yet if you return to the eating habits that created the weight gain in the first place you will not be any further ahead.
We must also understand there are so many toxins added to our foods (even vegetables) that food choices must be at the top of our list. Ask yourself why does a tomato last in your fridge for an entire month? You bring it home and notice it is fresh, plump, red and gorgeous. You place it into the fridge, only for it to get buried beneath salad, celery, onions and cucumbers. A month later you discover the red treasure exactly where you left it looking as beautiful as you the day you brought it home.
Food Choices and Combinations
Obviously this is a wide ranging topic and far too much to delve into here. Id suggest seeing a Registered Nutritionist for some good solid advice. They will recommend alternatives and help you to decipher confusing food labels.
Digestive Enzymes do the body good
An Iridologist based in London, Ontario claims the reason lower abdominals begin to sag around mid life has nothing to do with the amount of crunches we perform. She explains if you think of your intestinal tract like your kitchen sink. If we look at a bulging or bloated lower abdominal region it simply means you plumbing is backed up. Unfortunately fixing our pipes is not as easy as calling a plumber; it takes one year for each decade lived to bring health back to the intestines. She advises people to take a digestive enzyme found at any health food store to help the body digest foods it may have troubles with. Alternatively eating pineapple which contains the enzyme bromaline and kiwi both hold similar properties in aiding digestion.
Ayurveda claims all disease comes from the digestive tract; the mouth to the anus. It is undigested food mass (Ama) which becomes a toxin to the physical body. For healing to occur we must heal our lower selves. Ayurveda suggests using turmeric or cayenne pepper found in your herb cupboard; both aid in digestion and tumeric reduces inflammation. However, it can be an aggressive choice causing the release of Kapha (loosely defined as phlegm).
The question we need to ask then is what kind of a plumber we need to restore health to the intestines?
A change in diet for most will help. Here are some things to eliminate or remove from your daily diet:
Whole Wheat (a good alternative is rice or rye)
Cakes, cookies, muffins
Sugar (find a natural alternative, but steer clear of ANY products containing aspartame)
Take out food (old fashioned home cooked meals are the way to go)
Anything that constitutes non-food (chips etc.)
Highly processed foods
Allow yourself to have these things occasionally, but not all of the time. Nor would I suggest the entire container or bag when you do allow yourself to indulge.
Be sure to include some protein into every meal. Here is an excellent protein shake you can add to your regime:
Breakfast or Anytime Shake
1 cup mixed berries
2 tbsp flaxseed oil (yes, we do need oil and fat in our diet!)
1 scoop concentrated whey protein* (Proteins+ is an excellent product; be sure to find one that is 100% concentrated whey protein as they do not have as many fillers in them)
1 cup rice or soy milk
Blend and enjoy!
*If you have troubles with dairy products and are unable to ingest whey protein substitute it with tofu.
Please note: If you are already ingesting whole flax seeds note flax oil holds different properties. Flax seeds help to remove slough from the intestinal tract; whereas flax oil aids in liver function. The liver has over 500 jobs in the body, so use your oil and let your liver sing!
The bottom line in weight loss is to be food wise. Read the labels before you buy anything. This may be a chore the first few times, but after awhile it will become easier and you will be in and out of the grocery store in no time.
With the addition of an exercise regime you will find pounds melt away easily.
*This is not a substitute to physicians advice. Consult your health care provider for additional advice.
Tammy Lawrence-Cymbalisty is the owner and operator of TLC Services. She has been exploring alternative healing traditions and techniques for the past 25 years.