I was on a mission after our return from Los Angeles. I was going to find a means to help me get healthier. My first step, finding Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. What I wanted most from that book was Jillian’s story about her battle with hypothyroidism. I went to Barnes & Noble to find it after my first day back to work and left with a copy of it.
I read and read and read with interest, sympathy, shock, relief, and a host of other emotions. I was reading a story similar to mine in the times throughout the book that she writes about her struggles with her weight before even getting a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. She also writes about how food and our body communicate with each other to determine how it will metabolize and get used by the body. DING DING DING DING. We have a winner. A whole foods diet.
Our bodies are made to process whole foods and use them to the benefit of our health. Our diets have changed after thousands of years, an industrial revolution, and moving off of farms into cities. Our bodies weren’t made to process the refined foods and processed foods that have become staples in our diets. Those new staples will send one hormone in our metabolic system which will cause the other hormones in the system to adjust their functioning. This causes the diseases that are so prevalent in our society now. Diabetes, obesity, allergies, hypothyroidism, heart disease, cholesterol problems, high blood pressure. Think about it. These weren’t prevalent diseases several generations ago when most people still lived on farms.
We are also bombarded by the toxins in our environment. Pesticides, dissolved particulates in our drinking water, toxic cleaners. You get the idea. In 2004, my maternal grandmother, Granny, was diagnosed with liver cancer the day I was returning to Kentucky from my paternal great-grandmother’s funeral. Granny decided to fight the cancer and to take whatever treatment the doctors suggested. She was definitely a fighter. She was 80 years old and determined to live to be 100. She passed away 7 weeks later. From what my aunties told me, her doctor said she had the cancer for at least 2 years before it was found. We were all pretty shocked when she was diagnosed and trying to figure out how in the world she got something when there was no family history. I mentally went through her life while visiting her for the last time. Trying to think what could have caused the cancer. My mind went to the cleaning supplies and all the other toxic stuff we are exposed to on a daily basis. Granny wasn’t a smoker or a drinker. In fact, her only vice was ice cream.
I began purging toxic items from the apartment as soon as I got back. So, I didn’t have much change to do when I started reading about the effects of the toxins on our bodies. Nor was I surprised. It just confirmed my belief. Although, now I also see that the processed and refined foods she ate most likely played a role in her cancer.
Refined foods convert to sugar and enter our blood stream faster than whole foods do. This spikes our insulin levels rather than the gradual change in insulin when we eat whole foods. This also creates a craving for more of what we just ate. Some of us will eat more and more and more because the refined foods don’t turn on the hormone that tells us that we’re full. You’ve done it, haven’t you? Over-ate and your belly just hurt from all the food sitting in it. Eating whole foods ensures the hormone telling us we’re full gets released before we get that overstuffed feeling.
Want to know more? Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_mc47Y83hY A friend posted it earlier this week in Facebook and I’ve been sharing it with everyone. The message I took away is sugar makes us fat, not fat. This is the message that Jillian conveys in her book and that Mark Hyman, M.D. conveys in his book, UltraMetabolism. Our bodies need fats to keep our insulin level in our blood stream and to help process the foods we eat. It’s not about low-fat, it’s about the right fat. Omega-3 and olive oil. Those have become new staples in my place.
Before I even finished Jillian’s book, I started removing processed and refined foods out of my diet. Normally, a change in diet would have me screaming, “Are you kidding me? I can’t have that?” I don’t do well with deprivation of any kind. I chalk it up to my starving student days. However, this was about my health. About trying to get me from feeling 80% to 100% again. I did this with gusto and verve. I embrace change and go with it, rather than fight it. My last job taught me this. My last job also taught me not to fear change when I resigned.