From day one we are told to eat right for good health, by our parents, our food administrators, doctors and so on. Oddly, however, it is not always clear what is right. Most recently, Dr Mark Hyman in his Eat Fat Get Thin challenges the long held belief that fat is not right and to prove his point says, in so many many words, let your body do the talking. It will tell you what’s right.
Usually not one for such fad diets, I jumped on board and recently completed the 21-day challenge, which is actually a total body reset. Whose idea was this anyhow? Actually it was Paul’s, having read about it in The Sunday Times, his holy grail of newspapers.
Kicking and screaming he came along for the exercise, too, and I think he’s glad he did. As for me, not sure where I got the wherewithal to do it, considering the speed of life nowadays, but yahoo, I did it, and am seven pounds lighter and a couple of inches thinner, too, and much wiser about the food chain.
On the matter of the former, my father, bless, worried that I didn’t have any weight to lose. Nothing to speak of, I admitted, but I had gained a few toxins that were seriously weighing me down. The truth, however, I confessed, was that weight was the last thing that attracted me to the diet, it was the body reset that got my attention.
Having indulged in comfort foods, containing gluten, which I’m intolerant of, while spending more time than usual in the US, I had begun to feel a bit foggy again. Who can resist Sara Lee coffee cake, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and anybody’s honey buns and… you get the picture.
Thus, the 21-day plan was just what I needed to tune up, so to speak. Like any regime that proposes a certain outcome, there were food restrictions but not what you think—no calorie counting to speak of, no starvation at all. Thank Goodness. But off the menu were most of the normal culprits: refined carbohydrates, gluten, dairy, processed food and sugar. But fat, normally, their associate, was the star of the menu, good fat that is.
Dr Hyman’s book is about eating more good fat to not only get thin but also to feel better and prevent wretched illness, including heart diseases, cancer, dementia and diabetes. Make no mistake about it, I’m not in a position to endorse EFGT, it’s far too involved for that after one short stint with the programme, but I can say this: it worked for us. Also, it blows some of the food myths out of the kitchen such as that fruit juices are as healthy as the fruit they come from and that nuts (pecan, brazils, almonds, walnuts, etc.) are fattening. Not so, on either account. Fruit juice is liquid sugar and nuts are just naturally good. But of course, if you are a nut allergen, nuts are off the menu, too.
And fortunately for me, I am not. So within a week’s time I had eaten all of my Georgia pecans—all of them. And as much avocado and olive oil as I jolly well pleased, along with vegetables galore, and reasonable portions of poultry, oily fish, and grass fed meat. The options for recipes were endless, one of the reasons the plan worked for me.
But it does come with its cons, if you will. Planning is absolutely necessary. It is not for the willy-nilly. And aside from not having any access to fresh Georgia pecans for the last two weeks of the diet, I felt like Superman without my kryptonite for longer than I thought I should have. So I had a visit with my GP and found out that all was well, but quickly ascertained that my kryptonite was likely added sugar, not just from all those coffee cakes but other processed foods, too, and was doing more damage than good. So it was just as well that I ran empty on it. And another dislike about EFGT was taking loads of food supplements but admittedly, this was crucial.
Would I take the EFGT challenge again? Let’s hope I don’t have to because the book is a great resource for learning more about what is really good for the body and what is not. And as the author writes, there is no better doctor than your own body—it tells you what you need to know. It is up to you to listen to it.
Right… mine is calling for a coffee break and a gluten free, fine chocolate. Off I go.