Nutritional advice food allergies intolerances gluten intolerance coeliac dairy-free eating healthy for your body

Maxine Cook Entertaining motivational Public guest speaker available private and corporate functions.

A Healthier, Happier You!

A Healthier, Happier You!

There once was a time, quite recently in fact, when I didn't really buy into the "you-are-what-you-eat" philosophy. I used to think I could eat more or less what I wanted, and I'd be fine, that moderation was the key, and that anything healthy was acceptable. I knew that eating too much and not exercising enough would lead to weight gain, but I never really considered the idea that even some of the healthy stuff I was putting into my body was having any negative effects for my health. For instance, eating granary bread was better than white bread, right? Pasta was good; it was a carbohydrate that my body needed for energy, and if I used sauces that weren't too fattening, a pasta-based meal was a healthy meal.

It wasn't until I got really sick, and I mean REALLY sick, that I realised something really important. Just because certain foods are generally regarded as healthy, that didn't necessarily mean they wer healthy for ME.

I was diagnosed last year with a gluten intolerance, after seeking help from what most people would simply term (and possibly disregard) as an "alternative health practitioner". For me, she is the woman who literally saved my life. Mainstream medicine was failing me. I felt really ill; I had all sorts of digestive issues that meant a heavy reliance on drugs to keep me comfortable, and I had other problems too - ballooning weight, skyrocketing blood pressure, irritable bowel, and a diagnosis of being "borderline diabetic", when I never ate a single gram of sugar! All my organs were failing, I was literally dying on my feet, and nobody could pinpoint why. All tests consistently came back negative, so the doctors just kept increasing my meds in line with my increasing symptoms. I left doctors' surgeries in tears on numerous occasions, frustrated beyond belief at being endlessly told that nothing was wrong, when I absolutely knew that I was ill and getting slowly but steadily worse.

Because a gluten intolerance can't be identified in a regular blood test, it was missed for many years, mostly because GP's aren't known for thinking outside of the box and linking seemingly unrelated symptoms. Looking back, a lot of the health complications I've had across my lifespan, including polycystic ovaries, various digestive illnesses and the most wretched, fog-like depession, are now being linked through various studies to gluten intolerance, which suggests that I probably had an undiagnosed gluten intolerance for most of my life. So while I thought I was eating a healthy diet, including good quality bread, pasta and other nutritious foods containing gluten that are fine for most people, those things were actually catastrophic for me. They put my system under so much stress, my organs just stopped coping. My adrenals had collapsed, my circulation was poor, my digestive system was a total mess from top to bottom, my weight was increasing, so was my blood pressure, and I rolled out of bed one morning truly believing I wasn't going to survive another year.

In desperation, I went to a Kinesiologist, who tested me, diagnosed me, and set me on the road to recovery. 18 months after I went to see her, I'd lost two stone, my blood pressure had stabilised, my adrenals were well on the road to recovery, and I was no longer in need of ANY of the medications I'd previously been unable to function without.

It's been a long and difficult process, but I now feel healthier than I ever have before and now I truly believe that we absolutely ARE what we eat! Therefore, to get healthy and STAY that way, we need to put into our bodies the best of what they can handle, and that means getting a grip on nutrition proper, and working out what is best for us individually.

Forget fad diets that generate legions of slavish followers. Those diets usually result in extra weight gain after people come off them, because their bodies have been tricked into thinking they'd been starved, and needed to stockpile fat reserves in case it happened again. Purely and simply, diets don't work. Not for most people, and not for long.

What I'm talking about is a commitment to a long-term lifestyle change that helps us be the best we can be, biologically and emotionally (because the mind and body are interconnected - a healthy body increases brain health). My feeling is that the key to getting and staying healthy comes down to what we eat, and that means finding out what our bodies like and don't like, learning to understand the biological processes around what each person's individual system finds easy to process and what it struggles with. I'm talking about giving your body what it needs - which is a long way different from what it thinks it wants. You might want that piece of cake, for example but you don't need it, especially if your digestive system can't easily process some of the ingredients in it! What you do need is good quality, nutritious food that gives your skin, blood, bones and brain the right nutrients to ensure you function in the healthiest way possible, and I'm definitely not saying "don't eat the cake", by the way! I'm just saying find out first if your system can TOLERATE the cake. Maybe it can't. Maybe there is something else you can have instead that's yummy and treat-like, that your body CAN process easily, that won't cause you the same kind of complications the cake might cause. I want to stress here that it's NOT about deprivation - it's about finding out what's safe for you to enjoy that your unique, individual system can process without pain or stress that can manifest in a variety of health issues you may not think are connected.

I believe that diet is the most powerful thing we can control, as it influences our long-term health. I believe that with the right dietary modifications, a lot of physical symptoms (and some mental ones too) can be alleviated significantly, if not eradicated completely.

The implications of eating the right or the wrong foods are huge. I know people personally who have literally cured themselves of life-threatening cancers simply by modifying their diets. It's been a radical change, don't get me wrong, but it has worked - so much so that one friend with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma, who was given a year to live, is now healthy, happy and loving life, completely cancer-free, two years on. She simply changed her diet, by cutting out what was silently killing her and substituting it all with healthy alternatives that she really does enjoy! And, to my way of thinking, a radical diet change has to be better than dying from something you could have controlled if you just knew more.

That's my aim; to help YOU find out more about what YOUR body needs, or needs to not have to deal with. To help YOU discover what your body loves and thrives on, what it struggles with, and how that stress manifests for you in physical and emotional symptoms. For me, eating gluten for so long put my digestive system under intolerable stress, to the point where I literally couldn't see a future. So I don't hurt myself in that way anymore. I know what my body likes, and what it needs. I know what foods it prefers NOT to have to deal with, and I avoid those things - most of the time! I'm no saint, that's for sure (who is?), but these days I try a lot harder to stay healthy and not put my system under unnecessary stress. These days, I ask myself if eating that gorgeous-looking pizza is going to be worth the terrible pain I will suffer after the fact. I question whether I want to go back to feeling like I did before I got well. Most times I decide it's not worth it, because these days, now that I know what healthy really feels like, I like it! I like being able to sleep through the night without having to get up at silly hours to take medicine to get me through till morning. I like not feeling bloated, sick or crampy.

Mainstream medicine is failing a lot of people, partly because doctors and nurses are NOT nutritionists, they don't always think (or know how) to link symptoms, and they are constantly pushed for time in an over-burdened health system that is struggling to cope. We all need to help them by helping ourselves. We all need to take more responsibility for our OWN health and well-being, and for a great many people dietary change is the primary way they can claim back their health and happiness.

If you are struggling to lose weight or get healthy and you're not getting the answers or support you need from mainstream medical teams, let me help you. As a qualified Nutritionist, I can help you get to that place where you understand what your body likes and dislikes, what might be catastrophic for your health and wellbeing, and how to read what your body tells you, in response to what you give it. Trust me - your body wants to be everything it should be for you - your best friend and your most powerful weapon. Believe it or not, it is actively trying to speak to you ALL THE TIME! I will teach you how to listen to what it tells you, and how to understand and act on the messages it gives you.

The result will be a healthier, happier you. I guarantee it!

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Maxine Cook | * Breast Cancer Funding Success | * Happy Customers Say ... | * MC and Guest Speaker | * The Humble Apothecary - The Power of Plants and Flowers | *COME AWAY TO BALI ! | *NUTRITION for Health and Wellbeing | *SORT YOUR SLEEP! | *WEIGHT Management | My Story | Privacy Policy |
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