Next week I’m going to Mexico. Does this mean I’m going crazy depriving myself, thinking I have to starve in order to look great on the beach? No. I never do that to myself anymore, I am happy with a healthy body and will never harm my body by depriving again.
Do I still want to look great though – or as least as best as I can? HECK YES! I always have my tummy to work against. I lost over 100 pounds and had two large children – being stretched out this far does leave excess skin. I will be honest and although it is embarrassing, it is a fact some of us with poor skin, or those of us who have just stretched it out beyond coming back, have to deal with. I’ve had it looked at by doctors and trainers and I always get the same response – it has to be surgically removed. I’m okay with that though. I can’t control that right now but what I CAN control is everything underneath the skin. When I’m working out often, eating right and toned through the rest of my body I feel so much better. I won’t wear a bikini – that’s okay. I can rock a sexy one piece though and feel good about myself.
I’ve been extra careful and eating very clean (I normally allow myself a day once a week or so where I eat a little bit more than usual or indulge in something great at a restaurant, etc.) As well as bumping up my exercise a bit and switching it up from my regular routine (which I switch up anyways but I’m trying something totally new the past couple of weeks.) I want to feel as confident as I can and get great pictures to remember with my amazing boyfriend in my first trip to a tropical paradise. I also plan on indulging down there a bit so I want to make sure I am in great condition so I don’t come back with several extra pounds to battle against.
This week I wanted to try something new. I always try to stick with Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food List and I believe this is the way to eat for life, for health. I admit that while I should eat fish a bit more often than I choose chicken or turkey, as well as adding in red meat/pork once and some dairy once or twice a week, I eat according to this food pyramid otherwise. I believe it is the way to eating for health, for disease prevention and it just makes you feel amazing! Our intestinal tracts work like they should, chronic stomach issues often times go away, body aches and pains diminish, energy improves, blood labs improve, all from eating this diet.
I’ve been researching anti-inflammatory foods lately, namely the Gerson Diet. I was approached by a personal chef client to help them prepare their foods on this extremely strict, extremely intensive diet that is an alternative treatment for cancer. The research is compelling and this client is interested in curing their body through food.
This prior weekend, while cooking at a wellness/therapeutic retreat, one of the attendees was telling me her amazing story. She as well is on an anti-inflammatory diet, although not as strict or intensive as the Gerson Diet. She is an ex-female professional boxer who is in phenomenal physical condition. A year and a half ago she was in a horrible accident and was crushed by a semi truck. She physically pulled her body out of the wreckage and bruised her own spine, in addition to the other parts of her body that were damaged by the accident. She has been committed to healing her body with food, along with physical therapy, as she believes this is the best medicine. She eats such beautiful foods – and a lot of it! She is very petite but strong and fit but the foods she eats are so pure and the body handles so well, she eats however much she wants and doesn’t have to worry about putting on weight. Most of the foods I prepare for the weekend retreat are all healthy, gluten free and healing foods but she brings along a few things in case she can’t eat something or to amend her food choices to keep her body fueled and healing. She has containers full of gorgeous steamed beets in an herb dressing, roasted garlic cloves she enjoys whole, sweet and creamy. A beautiful pesto she spreads on carrots. Almond butter slathered on bananas. She enjoys the salad bar I prepare for lunch with fresh greens, tomatoes, avocado, balsamic vinaigrette or creamy avocado dressing with quinoa
This is how we should look at food. As the life-giving, healing gift it is.
I love these weekend retreats I get the pleasure to cook for. It is so different than an all-out indulgent heavy food feast where everyone feels bad after and sits around holding their guts. Instead everyone first feasts their eyes upon the glorious colors of beautiful fruits and vegetables. Every dish is beautifully colored and vibrant, naturally. Then they smell the beautiful aromas of naturally prepared food, bright and strong enticing. Then the tasting begins. Everyone moans and “ahs” over their bites, enjoying the simply prepared but amazing meals. Some are used to a diet of more processed foods and so they get to give their body a break over the weekend. Others just get to sit back and enjoy the meals being prepared for them as they are usually the ones having to do all of the work. It is the best feeling to nourish these people, see them so happy and feel how much good this food is doing for them. It is my small part I get to play in their weekend of healing and growing, mind, body and spirit.
This week I am making my menu entirely up from this list, of alkalizing foods, completely anti-inflammatory. (From the AlkalineFoodList.com)
Parsnips (high glycemic)
ALKALIZING ORIENTAL VEGETABLES
Banana (high glycemic)
Berries (except for blueberries)
Whey Protein Powder
ALKALIZING SPICES & SEASONINGS
Alkaline Antioxidant Water
Apple Cider Vinegar
Fresh Fruit Juice
Soured Dairy Products
Calcium: pH 12
Cesium: pH 14
Magnesium: pH 9
Potassium: pH 14
Sodium: pH 14
I am including quinoa from this list, which are foods that in some charts are on the acidic side, others on the alkaline side. So they are somewhere in the middle and seem to still be a healthy addition to an everyday diet. For this week I am choosing to not include most of these items.
Organic Milk (unpasteurized)
I will let you know how I feel but I have to say – just looking at this list gets me excited and I can’t wait to see how I feel! Not too many switches but here are a few I will have to make.
- My morning bowl of steel cut oats is switched to cooked quinoa. Instead of a splash of milk to moisten and re-warm (as I always cook a big batch to rewarm during the week) I will just use the juice from the frozen blueberries to keep it moist. (Quinoa is on the list of more acidic foods, as are most grains. BUT quinoa is not actually a grain, it is a seed and I believe it will be a beneficial addition to the week. You don’t have to eat entirely alkaline foods, our bodies do need a balance.)
- No dairy at all this week (not a big deal but I usually have Greek yogurt a couple of times per week and a good piece of cheese once or twice per week.) Just to see how I feel after cutting it out then adding it back in. Hopefully no difference, I LOVE Greek yogurt and good cheese from time to time!
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*Do not start any program without consulting your doctor. Mesa de Vida/Chef Kirsten make no claims for your health and accept no liability for your choices. This is my educated opinion and results may vary. This is a menu based on only fruits, vegetables, nuts and quinoa and should be only healthy for your body, but I am only speaking for myself, I do not know your body.