Most of us are in the pursuit of optimal health. We get sidelined by the odd chocolate bar, bag of chips and hamburger – but I do believe the quest for health is a noble enterprise. That being said, there are many different ways to obtain this ‘utopian’ lifestyle. I’m not a fan of radicalising your nutritional intake – especially where green smoothies, fad diets, caloric wars and restrictive food practices are concerned. Food is meant to be enjoyed right?
That being said, I decided to go forgo three of my favourite foods to partake in Changing Habits, Changing Lives program. Why? Because I am a fan of Cyndi O’Meara that’s why. Cyndi is a prolific Australian nutritionist and a staunch supporter of leading a health-first lifestyle. Her advocacy of nutrition is as long as her academic qualifications. The passion she has for people to gain inroads into their eating habits, sees her wading knee deep in research. And, for that – I am impressed. Anyone can espouse the merits of why we should eat better. But, to explain the science behind it, that’s worth it’s weight in peer-reviewed essays.
The Wellness Summit took to the stage in Melbourne two months ago and a dear friend of mine ‘suggested’ we go. Two-for-one tickets are good like that. When Cyndi started talking about my once favourite food (chocolate eclairs), I was hooked. Not only did she articulate why particular dis-eases are occurring, but explained what we can do to start taking the control back. If we don’t look after our bodies, who else is gonna do that?
On a health high, I signed up, paid for the program and let it sit for 2 months. After all, I’d just come back from Singapore and
ate indulged my way through the delicacies below.
- Mashed potato with mushroom sauce (side dish) served with Macaroni cheese and mushroom. Think of the dishes like your favourite band. I’m thinking of The Cure, well maybe more uplifting than that. Royksopp. The green salad was like a back-up singer.
- Toasted sandwich with mashed potato, smoked cod and greens (from this great cafe)
- Sago, glorious iridescent sago with fresh mango and shaved coconut ice.
2 weeks ago, I sat down listened to the 1.5 hour webinar, read the 128 page PDF book and decided to embark on the journey. Yes, it’s comprehensive because it’s not ‘gimmicky’. It’s not a ‘buy this juicer’ or ‘drink this protein shake for seven days straight’. It’s about eating whole foods.
Besides, It’s less than 50 days of my life and from the testimonials and methodology behind it – it works. People are saying exactly what the program states “it’s changed my life and created new habits”. That’s gotta be a good thing. One can only intake a high sugar, simple carbohydrate diet for so long right? At what point do you turn into walking glycogen factory? Not for me thanks.
Now, I’m not going to be a puritan here and this is where I like Cyndi’s approach. This protocol is about gaining long-term results. You can have food, great food – it’s about educating yourself to make better choices and understand the impact certain processed foods (and how they are made) have on your body – your personal body, no-one else’s. The program itself requires discipline. But if you focus on what you can, rather than can’t have – that’s a start. I personally had to freeze things and eradicate them from the cupboards. A spring clean of sorts.
So, how have I coped? How will you cope if you try it? Here’s me so far:
- I feel light. Not like trip-the-light-fantastic light, but I don’t have that heavy, overly satiated feeling that comes when I get stuck into bread, pasta, rice, rich food and potatoes. It’s a great feeling, although looking at photos of bread makes me feel like I am looking at a family album of long-lost cousins. Where did you go?
- You do actually feel full. Initially I thought, 100gm of protein twice a day with loads of veggies? What the? Surprisingly, I’ve been okay. I thought I would be ravenous like I normally am. But nada, not the case.
- I enjoy the ritual – drinking sea salt (yes!), probiotics, minerals – feels cleansing and beats hitting sugar laden drinks for energy.
- Range of food – I thought it would be restrictive, but having a set list of what you can eat from makes life easy. My cooking time has reduced and it’s a pretty efficient program.
- My fruit and vegetable intake has increased dramatically. I was eating nowhere near what I should’ve been.
The cons (we need them, c’mon we all LOVE a bad guy)
- There’s a gnawing feeling sometimes. No matter how much herbal tea I drink, it doesn’t dissipate sometimes. I’ve taken to the odd black coffee here and there (after five weeks without) and that helps it subside.
- If you don’t prepare food and need to get something – you really have to think and be disciplined. It’s easy to get a sandwich and be done with it.
- And lastly, I’d love to eat a banana and peanut butter. Perhaps some buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup and berries and a lasagna. That’s all.