Today I'm looking forward to sharing my experience with what has been one of the most game-changing principles of the Beauty Detox Solution for me, which is eating 'Light to Heavy'. I'm dedicating this post to my long time friend Alain, who saw the light long before I did. :)
As most people these days, I was brought up with the common belief that it is best to "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper." It's something many of us are so used to hearing that it just never occurred to me that our bodies are perhaps not designed to function this way. So to put things mildly, it was a bit of a shock when I started reading the Beauty Detox Solution and realised that my eating pattern was causing me much more harm than good. Did I ever feel energised and ready to tackle the day from a hefty breakfast with - let's face it - mortifying food combinations? Hell no, I usually felt ready to crawl right back into bed, never mind surviving the day! And after a while coffee and sugary pick-me-ups couldn't haul me back to the surface either.
Looking back at it now, the scariest part for me is that being exhausted all of the time becomes 'normal' and you're lead to believe that you need to reach for sugary or caffeinated processed foods to combat your so-called midmorning or afternoon energy dips because that's what everybody else is doing. No wonder so many of us are suffering from adrenal exhaustion and an entire host of - completely preventable! - diseases.
I know this only too well. Up until a few years ago I was a wreck, getting by and out of bed only on very heavy medication. I suffered from adrenal exhaustion, thyroid problems, severe asthma, inflammation, viral infections,... you name it, I had it. Once I even had fever for eight months straight! I remember feeling so awful and tired when this picture was taken five years ago, I could barely keep my eyes open:
The reasoning behind the Light to Heavy principle is that digestion requires tremendous energy from our bodies and so the easier we can make that digestive process, the more energy it has to absorb nutrients, repair and renew itself and devote that energy to the endless number of simultaneous tasks it's required to do. All of which provide us with a lot more energy and clarity to meet life's demands.
In order to make the digestive process easier, we need to eat the foods that are the lightest (which digest the fastest) first and the heaviest foods (which digest the slowest) last. That way we avoid a traffic jam of fast digesting foods that are pushing and honking their horns (sometimes literally as this causes bloating, gas, putrefaction etc.) to get by the much slower, heavier foods, which won't be digested properly because of all the turmoil that's going on. The foods that digest the fastest are fruits and greens, a bit slower are non-starch vegetables, heavier still are starches (grains, potatoes etc.) and the heaviest foods are protein and fats.
A classic mistake many people make is to have fruit for desert. This causes a major traffic jam and all kinds of digestive discomfort, as the fast fruit will be trying to push by your dinner which consists of heavy, much slower foods. So one good rule to start with is to always eat fruit on an empty stomach or at least 2-3 hours after your last meal. This rule alone has helped me tremendously, as I never understood why I felt so bloated after eating that 'healthy' fruit for desert! Well, I sure do now!
Because yes, I wanted it all! Pancakes drenched in high-fructose maple syrup, three scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns and of course a tall orange juice to wash it all down with… Yikes, it makes me cringe and sick to my stomach just to think about it!!! That's exactly how my friend Alain reacted when he saw the left picture above: "Eva… my stomach!!". Haha… Now I understand you at last, Alain. :)
These past few years my favourite breakfast by far has been the glorious, creamy Glowing Green Smoothie, which is very addictive once you get the hang of making these, but as it gets colder outside I also love different kinds of porridge: raw, like the buckwheat raspberry ripple porridge pictured above, or cooked whole oatmeal.
But guess what, I can still have my pancakes and eat them too! Because when I crave some Sunday breakfast indulgence now and then I just make my own delicious, gluten-free pancakes or waffles and drizzle them with some organic maple syrup. My tastebuds cry for joy and my body's totally happy with that. So it's not about deprivation or denying yourself anything, it is about eating the best possible, natural foods in the right order so that you'll feel and look your best.
I think I can safely say that eating Light to Heavy is a 180 degree mind shift from what most of us have grown up with, but ultimately it's easy to do once you get the hang of it. When you start experiencing all of the tremendous health benefits, you'll never look back. Try it, you'll see. :)
Lots of love,
P.s.: If you have any thoughts, questions or comments, I'm always delighted to hear them and/or help. Meanwhile here are a few examples of what my breakfasts look like - a far cry from deprivation aren't they? ;)