Last week's visit to my nutritionist was extremely edifying. Sally
is such a font of wisdom and information, I always come away feeling energized, newly motivated and armed with a plan. I brought a food log that chronicled every morsel I had ingested for the week prior and we discussed my ongoing uphill battle with my weight, as well as with a general malaise that I could describe only as "a loss of faith." Sally advised me on food, supplements, exercise and meditation, and then she practiced iridology. This is similar to reflexology, in which the feet are held to contain a blueprint of the body, except for the blueprint is in the irises. It's truly amazing what can be discerned through this ancient practice. Sally also uses kinesiology to gauge food sensitivities and supplement doses. If you have no idea what I am talking about or think this all sounds nuts, I recommend you check out Sally's book, Vibrant Living
, and her series of DVDs, which fully explain her holistic approach to health and wellness.
I have been seeing Sally a couple times a year since 1999, and she has helped me enormously with various issues at different times. She introduced me to juicing and to vital supplements like vitamin D, calcium, fish oil and digestive enzymes, and I believe this has helped me maintain my health and balance through many physical and emotional changes, including the deaths of both my husband and my mother in 2003. I have also gone through menopause with very few, if any, symptoms...other than some extra pounds. And I'm working on that.Sally said that overall my diet was full of good quality food (no surprise there) but she did suggest a few tweaks and told me I could be eating smaller portions. I have been hesitant to do any fasting or reduce my intake drastically because my other guru, Christiane Northrup
, warns that this can screw up your metabolism, making it possible to maintain your weight on only 1,000 calories a day! But Sally explained that as long as you eat frequently enough, your metabolism has plenty to go on. She also reminded me that certain foods need to be eaten together in order to be properly digested. And she put me on this
thyroid supplement.Here are some of my takeaways that you might find relevant or helpful:FOODBreakfast options - 1/2 cup yogurt + 1/2 cup berries + 2 tablespoons ground flax seed; 2 whole eggs + vegetables; a smoothie made with coconut water + protein powder + berriesSnacks - vegetable juice; fruit; fruit + cheese; hummus + raw vegetables; nut butter + celery or appleMeals - salad or cooked vegetables + protein; turkey burger + avocado + tomato + cucumber; 3/4 brown rice + 1/4 cup lentils + 1-2 cups vegetablesWhat's important to notice here is how proteins (and grains, if there are any) are always eaten with fibrous and alkaline fruits and vegetables, which really help your body process them properly. Sally recommends eating single proteins, so not consuming multiple meats and cheeses. She also says that if you eat meat, do it with lots of vegetables, never starch. (So long, pasta Bolognese!)I suppose this regimen could sound horribly Draconian and dull but it hasn't been bad and, remember, I am
trying to drop some pounds. I haven't been 100% strict—I enjoyed a scoop of sorbet after dinner on Saturday, and I included a little goat cheese in my eggs yesterday morning. But when I made paella, I didn't eat the rice, and I've had no alcohol or flours of any sort.Beyond the diet, I've been doing about 20-30 minutes of meditation every day to help clear my mind and calm my nervous system. I enjoy the guided meditations on yogaglo
(an online studio with great teachers and classes), especially those with the super-mellow and thoughtful Harshada Wagner.And, perhaps most importantly of all, I am doing my best to get an hour of vigorous exercise every day, whether it's hiking, biking, weight training or a kenpo
video. After reading this article
in the Times, I realized yet again what a hugely crucial role exercise plays in keeping fit—body and
mind.I'll leave you with another option for breakfast, a spicy scramble of tofu and vegetables that is probably not something you think of outside the context of some hippie restaurant, but which is actually quite delicious. Free your mind and the rest will follow...
suggested vegetables: fennel, squash, tomatoes, beans, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes
suggested greens: chard, spinach, kale, mustard, lettuce
— sesame seeds or sunflower seeds
— chopped cilantro
— diced vegetables and sliced greens
— ground turmeric, coriander and cumin
— minced ginger
— minced onion or shallot
— minced garlic
— ghee or olive oil
— extra firm tofu, drained
— sea salt
Blot the tofu with paper towels and cut into 1/2" cubes. Heat some ghee or oil in a large skillet and saute the onion or shallot and garlic until golden, then add garlic, ginger and spices. Saute until fragrant, then add diced vegetables and greens and cook until tender. Add tofu and mix well, cooking until flavors are blended and tofu is hot. Plate and garnish with cilantro, a sprinkling of seeds and some sea salt.