Posted in Real Life

The one about eating well – weekly update #6

Happy Thursday. So as I mentioned last time, Friday 24th is going to be a messy day of eating drinking and making merry. I fully expect to fall off the healthy eating wagon almost before I wake up but rather than putting off my new regime for yet another week I’ve already started and decided to post a blog a day early in celebration.

Not only am I feeling virtuous by way of the fact that I have walked the dog and been in the gym three times this week but I’ve also spent time putting recipes together for my healthy eating plan. It’s absolutely not a diet because that suggests a short-term fix, it’s more a structured change in how I perceive food and use it to fuel my body.

I have the autoimmune skin disorder psoriasis. I have also suffered in the past with psoriatic arthritis. Whilst I no longer suffer with joint pain other than the odd twinge and the remnants of damage from historic flare-ups, my skin has steadily got worse over the past couple of years.

I have tried almost every drug, combination of drugs, herbal remedy and old wives tale. I’ve tried light therapy and every emollient and cream known to man. The ONLY thing that has worked for any length of time is eating differently. So here we are.

I stumbled across the Pagano program about eight years ago and it worked absolute wonders for my skin and had the added benefit of significant weight loss. As with all things, I fell off the Pagano wagon and never got back on. What I found the most difficult was sticking to such a strict regimen and it was very much all or nothing for me. I saw such a dramatic improvement in my skin I thought for a while that I was cured. What I failed to realise was that I needed to keep to it for good. So this time the aim is to take most of the suggestions from the regimen and stick with them, letting myself have occasional days when I’m allowed the freedom to go out with friends for a meal or enjoy an evening off and a few glasses of wine.

So I thought I’d just quickly outline the plan because it would totally work for everyone, not just those with a skin problem, as a way to lose weight. I’ll give you a quick run down of the ideas behind it together with a meal plan for a typical day.

Dr John Pagano helped and healed people suffering with psoriasis, arthritis and eczema with a regimen that has achieved abundant remarkable outcomes. The regimen, examples of results, reasons why and meal plans are all contained within the book Healing Psoriasis The Natural Alternative – John O A Pagano DC.

Simply put, the science behind Pagano’s regimen is related to how the body reacts from the inside to what is put into it. Toxins released from within the gut cause the auto immune reaction and resulting skin problem. As psoriasis happens from within it needs to be cured from within. Therefore topical creams, light therapy etc are all symptom relieving but not curing.

The book and regimen contained within it detail lots of ways to kick-start the process from colonic irrigation to a three day apple diet which enables the body to expel the maximum amount of toxins prior to starting the diet properly. These are absolutely not for me and whilst I did the three day apple thing last time it’s not something I’m committing to this time. It just means the evil toxins sitting in my body now will take a bit longer to leave. So be it!

As this post is already becoming significantly longer than I had anticipated here’s a quick, general run down of the baddies and goodies in terms of food types.

The Deadly Seven

  • Saturated fats
  • Nightshades (especially tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes and hot spices)
  • Sweets (sugar in general tbh)
  • Cigarettes (doesn’t apply to me)
  • Alcohol (definitely applies to me)
  • Junk food (also applies to me and I’m surprised cake isn’t singled out)
  • Fried foods.

The Glorious Seven

  • Fresh water (with sliced fresh lemon or lime)
  • Vegetables (fruit and veg should be the majority of the daily diet, vegetables are the builders and fruits are the cleansers)
  • Fresh fruit (the cleansers)
  • Animal protein (fish, chicken and lamb)
  • Pro biotic yogurt
  • Olive oil
  • Wholegrain breads, rice and pasta

The aim is to pick foods with low carb and sugar content and to try and stick with the kinds of foods we all associate with losing weight; fruit, vegetables, chicken, fish and lean meat. Swapping out white bread and white rice and pasta for wholemeal seedy bread and brown rice and pasta, only drinking freshly squeezed or pressed juices, avoiding juices from concentrate and fizzy sugary drinks. I’ll also be avoiding red meat and processed meats, gluten, caffeine and sugar as much as possible.

If you read Pagano’s book in a systematic and rigid way like I did last time it’s pretty challenging. However, if you think about it logically all you are really doing is thinking more carefully about what you eat, taking care to avoid trigger foods for inflammation and being kind to the inside mechanics of your body.

Together with the new healthy eating plan I’ll be exercising by walking the dog each day for at least twenty minutes and spending time in the gym for at least thirty minutes, three times a week or more. And when I say ‘spending time in the gym’ I actually mean working out as opposed to standing looking at the equipment, watching tv and sighing. So before I go, here’s what a typical day will look like for me food wise:

Breakfast. Pro biotic yogurt, a handful of blueberries or raspberries with some honey drizzled over. A wholemeal muffin with a poached egg on top. A cup of decaf tea

Lunch. A light salad comprising of cooked chicken or tuna, egg, romaine lettuce, cucumber, beetroot and avocado. Light salad dressing. A slice of brown seedy bread. A glass of pressed apple juice.

Dinner. Chicken pesto. Made with onions, chicken, green pesto, half fat crème fraiche, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, brown pasta, black pepper and grated Parmesan.

Snacks. A small bunch of grapes, a handful of almonds and dates, peeled and chopped apple and pear.

Doesn’t look too terrifying does it? I have meal plans to put together for about ten days in total which I will rotate. The joy of this is that every evening meal is a good hearty evening meal for the whole family and not just lettuce leaves and carrot sticks for me. I’m actually looking forward to it. Of course it helps that next week our new kitchen arrives so spending time cooking in a gorgeous new space will be bliss.

So that’s me done for this week, I have a present to wrap and a bag to pack before a girls night away. Have a good one and wish me luck ….

Big love, Jules x

Posted in Real Life

The one about the uphill climb – weekly update #5

Well it’s been a while but I’m back and although I feel a complete fraud calling this a weekly update the plan is to get going again. Ready? Let’s get 2020 started.

Christmas was lovely. It’s my favourite celebration. I love the build up, shopping for gifts, gathering with friends and family, the delicious goodies. And once Christmas was done we spent a long weekend in the Lake District. We overindulged and we made precious memories with our lovely family.

As the last decade ended and the new one began, it was my birthday. And touching very briefly on the fact that I’ve now reached the age my beautiful mama was when she passed away, it has been a little emotional for me. I have no frame of reference now in terms of what she would have been to me and what our relationship might have been like. What I’m reminded of though is how important it is to be healthy in order to live a longer life.

With the fact that I am now firmly in my 50s I recognise that it really is time to get started on living that healthier and more active life. Over the last couple of years I have put on weight. A couple of years ago I had some trouble with my knee that resulted in a consultant confirming that I should expect surgery. However with exercises from a physiotherapist, using an exercise bike daily for twenty minutes and the use of a personal ultrasound machine I cured the problem myself over a number of months. So now I have only minimal joint issues related to a bad spell of psoriatic arthritis and I am absolutely ready for what will undoubtedly be an uphill climb to lose weight.

It sounds so easy right? You eat healthy food, have smaller portions, leave fat and sugar in the supermarket where it belongs and exercise more. Simple. The reality for me however, is that I go out for meals, catch up with friends and get tempted by cocktails and all the goodies associated with “having a lovely time’. I put off going to the gym even though it is literally in my house and kid myself that walking the dog for twenty minutes every day is enough.

So here’s the plan. The weekly-ness of the blog is back and each week, whether you want to hear it or not I’m going to share my little victories, together with my little setbacks! We’re all human right? I’m not expecting an overnight miracle but I am expecting to meet the challenge and here’s why.

Last weekend, we were in Grasmere (the home of an unusual gingerbread that set every single one of my teeth on edge but which was delicious nonetheless). It rained a lot. However, on the Sunday afternoon we had a break in the weather, donned our warm clothes and sturdy shoes and set off on a walk. Now, since my aforementioned ‘knee trouble’ I’ve exercised but not to the extent of anything even close to hill walking. With my trusty camera around my neck and a short-lived jaunty spring in my step, we set off together. After an hour or more we came to a turning point. My brother stood beside me and explained. ‘We can go on up there where the view is better for photos’ he said, pointing in the direction of a steep, seemingly endless path ‘or we can go back the way we have just come’. It was approaching 3 o’clock. Light would fade in an hour or so. My legs and ankles were already struggling. I felt the rest of the group were far fitter than I and I didn’t want to hold anyone back or be embarrassed at how slowly I was walking in comparison to my super fit, marathon running sister in law. My face was freezing. We were already reasonably high up and the views were lovely. And there it was. A decision to be made. Take the easy route and turn back or keep going, onwards and upwards and be rewarded with the more spectacular view? It was an easy choice in the end. ‘Let’s keep going’ I said. It was a stony, uneven path in places and I totally had moments of regret as we continued on. However we reached the highest point of our walk and I felt a feeling of unbridled joy. I thought back to the times I could barely get out of the chair and realised how far I had come and how rewarding the more difficult route was with it’s stunning vista.

I know that losing weight will be a similar uphill climb. I know there will be setbacks and choices to be made. I know some days I will fail miserably (January 24th…. I see it coming already!) and other days I will surprise myself with what I can do. But I’m in it for the long-term win and for the resulting spectacular view. Bring on a healthier 2020. Come and join me why don’t you. How can you possibly regret it?

Big love,

Jules x