Hello beautiful people!
Today I would like to share my story about my nutrition change. Let’s begin by saying I’m Italian and our beautiful country main diet is based on grains. Yes, we do eat pasta every day for lunch, pizza is our favourite and bread go with whatever we eat. Even though nearly all my life I’ve been eating like that, I never really experienced any disturbances. I haven’t lived in Italy for the past 7 years and although my nutrition has changed I was still eating grain based product, until I started experiencing last year digestive issues. Heartburn, acidity… how many people today suffer these disorders? Too many. So I stopped and wondered: all my life I’ve been eating a gluten rich diet and nothing has ever happened. I used to say I had gastric fluid of an Anaconda, meaning I could eat whatever I wanted at whatever time and also massive quantities for a girl of my age! Despite that I was skinny and fit. I remember when I lived in the USA I was constantly asked: how do Italians keep fit with all that pasta they eat? And I used to smile because I was one of those.
Your lifestyle choices never produce and immediate result. With time things will accumulate till the point your body forces you to stop and think. Symptoms are the way your body communicate with you and if you just ignore them by covering up with medication, then you are only telling your body to shut up. And stay assured, those symptoms won’t go away until you give your body the attention it deserves.
With time I started to read more and more that gluten is an enemy for our intestine, it’s highly inflammatory and leads to leaky gut. But how, as an Italian, could I give up the pleasure of bread and that crusty pizza, those delicious pasta dishes? It sounded unreal. Let’s say I was refusing the idea and ignored my symptoms for a while focusing on positive thinking and self healing. But that alone wasn’t enough, so disturbances kept carrying on.
Overall, apart from my love of grains, I was quite healthy, eating plenty of veggie dishes, fruits smoothies, teas of all sort. Ginger, turmeric, lemons were staples of my routine and so on. Despite that my body was still crying for help. I tried to hide those uncomfortable symptoms but at a stage I had to face it. I was tired to live with constant acidity and got angry at my self every time I indulged in glutenous biscuits or bread etc.
I was annoyed by the fact my will power couldn’t be strong enough and I wasn’t able to control my cravings. So finally it came the day I said STOP to gluten and dairy to begin with, as I know that as well can be very inflammatory. I did a massive shopping of alternative products, like almond flour, coconut flour plus a whole bunch of other things to satisfy the lack of grains. I got nut butters, mixed seeds, quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seed, flax seed bran and litres of coconut cream and milk.
Let me say that if you live alone, it’s so much easier to be in control of what you eat, but living with my sister and husband, each time they would prepare that mouthwatering pasta, or sandwich, usless to say I was hit hard. Then let me also say my sister bakes amazing cakes and pizza. This one you can call it torture! But I decided I had to train my willpower muscle so I resisted…only for a week. Until it was birthday season for me and my sister so I couldn’t help but indulge into those amazing tiramisu and cakes she made.
Ahh I felt so annoyed I gave up. I must say in a week to be honest I hadn’t seen particularly improvements in my digestion. I was also doing special yoga routines for digestions and even some crazy Asian exercises I found on YouTube. Well soon enough I realised if I wanted to get this right I had to be strict with my self and completely eliminate all sources of gluten and diary. So I did. Now it’s been about 3 weeks I’m in it, and finally all symptoms have disappeared. I feel totally good. The best of it all is that I never feel that crazy hunger like before, because I replaced my nutrition with high fat and protein diet with ZERO sugar and very little carbs, such as basmati rice.
I learned a whole bunch of new recipes and discovered tastes and dishes that can be just as mouthwatering as a Lasagna. Wait a moment, maybe note exactly like a Lasagna, there’s no comparison for a proper Lasagna made by Nonna. But still these new way of eating led me to experiment and play with a lot of spices and I love to combine exotic flavors like coconut, lime, ginger, coriander. Using plenty of garlic and onions, herbs, healthy fatty food such as coconut and olive oil, nuts, avocados and anti inflammatory ingredients.
I also learned to bake white flour free and sugar free, and I was amazed by the results. I never loved too sweet desserts, that white glaze on the top has never called my attention. I discovered Vanilla, Cinnamon, Honey, Coconut can satisfy your sweet tooth just like a cheesecake or tiramisu would. Then we have this amazing technology of Internet: millions of videos and recipes on line.
With substitution you find these days it’s really not hard to reinvent your nutrition.
A note on that. I must admit it’s way more expensive to eat healthy. For example: a pack of white flour you can get it for 60p, a pack of almond flour I got it for 12£. A pack of sugar cost definitely less than 1£, a box of stevia is nearly 5£. You know today being healthy tend to be a fashion more than a choice of life, so the production needs to take advantage. It’s true some of these products require more work and they have less demand than the traditional ones. But still it shouldn’t be this expensive to eat well! Then you go in the cakes/biscuits/cereals section in a supermarket and you can buy a dessert for as less as 2 or 3£. What will you choose? Eating well nowadays costs, but it’s a price I’m happy to pay knowing I’m looking after myself and nourishing properly.
More and more people today are obese but undernourished. We eat for pleasure more than to nourish us. We eat in hurry, maybe at the desk while working. We forgot to stop and flavor our food. We buy ready meals and frozen food. Microwaveable meals for a quick grab and go. Is that the meaning of food?
I invite you to do an experiment. Next time you eat, sit down breathe and relax. Make room on the table. It’s you and your food. Do a short prayer and feel grateful to have that meal on the table. Ask the universe to bless it and make it the most beneficial for you. Then as you start eating close your eyes and focus on the taste, on the consistence of your food, on the pleasure you feel while eating. Be distraction free, no phones, no TV no reading. Just you and Mr. Food. Choose whole foods and follow this rule: if man made it don’t eat it. Only eat what nature made.
We are what we eat, food has the power to make us healthier or sicker at each bite. What will you choose?
Let me know your thoughts!