You may have seen in the news that Simon Cowell is almost a vegan! I try not to get too excited about the latest celebrity ‘diet’, however, this one caught my attention. What I found interesting is his reason for the ‘radical change in diet’. After falling ill in 2017 he was advised by his doctor that he had ‘every good allergy going’. As a result, he has cut out meat, dairy, wheat, and sugar and feels much better!
In my profession you will hear us talk a lot about getting to the root cause of a clients condition, but what exactly does that mean? Using Mr. Cowell as an example, this could well be a case of where this is NOT happening.
Putting Simon Cowell aside for a while please imagine this:-
For the last 20, 30 years you have quite happily been munching away on croissants and donuts but you start to notice your energy levels are not what they used to be and you are getting undesirable stomach problems. You turn to Dr. Google and decide that you really should eat a bit healthier.
Monday morning comes and you have a plan – you are going to remove all white carbs and sugary snacks. From now on breakfast will be eggs with spinach and throughout the day you make sure you have at least 5 to 10 portions of fruit and vegetables – well at least you think you do because let’s be honest who really knows what a portion is?!
You tick along nicely for a while, weeks even months, but then you notice that some of your old niggles have returned. You keep getting dizzy, your joints hurt, you are bloated, your sinuses are blocked and you keep forgetting where you put the keys!
You read that milk is bad for you so you stop adding it to your tea. Oh and caffeine is bad so you stop having coffee, it tastes crap without milk so is no great loss anyway! Eggs are bad, they cause high cholesterol (er do they) so they are now off the list. You have cracked it (no pun intended) and you feel amazing – back to your old self. However, all the joy of eating has been robbed from you and you are now living off celery juice!
This may sound extreme, but trust me, we see this played out in the clinic all the time.
So, what is the solution? You need to address the root cause. You do this by allowing an expert to interpret the clues your body is sending which are your symptoms. They are a signal from your body that there is underlying cellular dysfunction, which can be multifactorial. If you are reacting to an ever increasing list of foods it is the equivalent of your immune system grabbing a megaphone and shouting, ‘hello, I could do with some help here, I’m struggling’!
I would like to encourage you to not ignore or suppress symptoms – they are your golden ticket to preventing a more serious condition presenting itself years down the line. If you suppress them you are just kicking the can down the road.
I am sure that Simon Cowell feels great now he has removed these allergenic foods, it will allow his immune system to have a break. This, however, should only be a temporary measure while the underlying issue is being investigated and treated.
Nutritional Therapy is NOT about indiscriminately taking food groups away from people, and I personally don’t take a hard line view on any food. I want my clients to be able to enjoy food without fear and I work hard with them to cultivate a healthy relationship to food. This is why I like to work with clients long term and get them to really notice how they feel eating certain foods as it provides clues to underlying drivers. I also recognize where food can be helpful and what are its limits so I will promote good sleep, stress reduction and the importance of fresh air and being in nature for example.
Please don’t wait until you have a multitude of debilitating symptoms before you go to your GP for a diagnosis. My hope is that with the support of a Registered Nutritional Therapist you practice preventative medicine. You will learn how to give your cells the food, water, light, environment, and companionship that they need to thrive – in return they will reward you with an abundance of health and vitality.
The body is strong and adaptive and works incredibly hard to be in balance. Sometimes it needs a bit of extra support which is where we come in.
So please, don’t live on just celery juice, seek out the help of an expert.
Simon Cowell………..call me!
Just to be clear, I am not discouraging anyone from becoming a vegan, that is not my point, veganism is not (necessarily) a dietary intervention it is a personal choice and a lovely one at that.