Saturday, 12 October 2013

Vitality and Vanity - Good and/or Evil?

Three weeks in on a new way of eating and I am feeling like a new woman - well, almost.  There is still a lot of the old one left! Going gluten free was not a BIG stretch in my home with three other family members following similar diets.  Sleuthing for hidden gluten has been an education, however, and has instigated many interesting conversations in our kitchen.  As we emptied drawers and shelves to accommodate gluten free tools and appliances, we discovered hidden corners harbouring crumbs and molecules of gluten. Out went our favorite wooden spoons and spatulas as we embraced more washable plastic. A new toaster and cutting board found space in an already crowded pantry and the bread knife is now washed with each and every use before being popped back into a drawer.  The vigilance could be likened to Sherlock Holmes and Watson.  Sherlock had many Ah Ha! shouts of victory while Watson shook his head in amazement and then followed instructions - you can use your imagination on who played what role!

The biggest challenge in all of this has not been the annihilation of every speck of gluten; it has been how to continue to lose weight while doing it!  I have started on a new leg of my journey this past three weeks.  One change is that I have left Weight Watchers. Scary as that was (it is a very healthy program), it didn't seem to be working for me anymore (or I wasn't working it too well anymore!) and with the major change in my diet, it felt like I needed to branch out a little. Ironically, in January 2012, I read a book by Patrick Holford called The Low-GL Diet and thought, WOW, this is what I am going to do.  I bought the book (a small one with just an overview and recipes) and embarked on a gluten free diet - yes, almost two years ago - partially! I did not lose weight (that was the "in part" piece!!). Enter Weight Watchers July 2012 and the weight came off until this spring.  Now knowing what I know, I am facing this new challenge with all of my analytical powers in gear!

I am back on the Low GL Diet - bought the big book with all the details and dug in. Why? Well, as I said, with my propensity towards analysing everything to death, I have been researching gluten free and weight loss.  I have discovered many views of eating with two main focuses: weight loss and healthy living. From various diverse sources - all the way from Jillian Michaels (of the Biggest Loser fame) to Michel Montignec and Patrick Holford, both with decades of science and practice behind them.  Montignec and Holford have the science down pat, and both hold the degrees and longevity that I trust.  Michaels has focused on oxidation speed (another topic) but the eating plans are all very similar.  This is a balanced eating plan eschewing the poisonous Dr. Atkins but, at the same time, explaining why our fascination with low fat diets is making us fatter and both lean very well to gluten free eating.

So, over the next several months, I will be integrating Holford's science into my life.  Google him for more info if this starts you thinking or just follow along!  To date, I have lost 6 lb. in 2 weeks - much attributed to getting gluten out of my life (did you know that sensitivities and allergies make you gain weight!).   The true test will be measured on my scale tomorrow! But true victory right now is I feel fantastic! Enter VITALITY! The unexpected proof of this new vitality is on my facebook page - "Vanessa's Mom looks just like she did when I was in Grade 7!" Enter VANITY! Thanks, Chuck! but I think I feel even younger than that!

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