One of the principles of life here is getting plenty of sleep. That means going to bed before midnight, probably somewhere between 9.30-10.30pm. Anything earlier is just ridiculous especially when it's still light. Well, for me it is anyway. Since being here, i've been napping mid morning and afternoon. It's only ever been 20 minutes or so but i've felt my eyes go heavy whilst reading and relaxing on a sun lounger. So why is it, when i get into bed, I'm just not tired? However, i fall straight to sleep and don't wake up until my alarm goes off at 7am. You see, back home we eat far too late and we eat far too much and we also eat things we shouldn't late at night. After a nutrition session today, I can see why sleeping on a relatively empty stomach is a good thing but i'm a little worried about how i'm going to integrate this principle into my daily life. As i've said in previous posts, because there's so much time to NOT think about food here, you realise just how much time you do give to thinking about food. Or maybe that's just me. Having that control stripped away from you is rather liberating, especially if you're mad busy with kids and a family to feed because normally, you just can't do this. I can see it's a tough one for most people. But, if you don't really have to give much thought to what other people are going to be eating that evening then there's more time to do the things you love. And if one of those things happens to be cooking, then you're a bit buggered.
Having gone through my eating patterns with the nutritionist today, he said it wasn't too bad in general but there are some tweaks I need to make. And the difficult part is not what I eat and when, it's about everyone else around me, which i'll come back to in a moment. What my new diet should boil down to is this:
1. I should eat a bigger breakfast consisting of protein, carbs and fats. So the egg on toast I currently have is fine, but it's not enough because, come evening, my diet should be very light indeed. And to not feel hungry, I should eat breakfast like a King.
2. My regular unhealthy snacks are what's contributing to my weight/fat gain. They probably equate to easily around 300 calories extra and if you total that up over the course of a month and over a year, that means weight gain. Unless i do adequate exercise, but then I should still try and opt for things like yoghurt (protein) nuts (protein) and fruit or vegetable sticks (yuck. that's one thing i won't be doing, the veggie sticks that is). As exercise isn't something I can always do, cutting down it'll have to be. And at weekends, I'll push myself to do some activity.
3. Lunch should be my main meal of the day, in an ideal world. But that's not always possible, especially in some offices i work in. To prepare my own meal and to take to work most probably requires some kind of reheating to make it taste nice, and that's not possible in some offices, plus I'm not a fan of salads especially wilted ones in lunch boxes, nor am I able to eat so much bread. And eating a substantial lunch in London can get mega pricey, although if there's an Itsu around, the nutritionist said this is the healthiest bet. But excuses aside, i need to try and integrate this as best I can. you see, this is what's going to make the fat come dropping off. Providing i choose the right proportion of protein, carbs and fats.
4. Dinner should be small and consist of protein and fats. No carbs. And this goes back to the earlier point i made about sleeping. You see, the problem when we have a carb heavy meal at night time, our bodies just can't break it down and digest it. The same can be said for red meats. Similarity a raw food diet is also not good for you, especially if eaten to excess, lots of fruit, salads and raw veggies can simply decompose in your intestine and cause horrid side effects such as flatulence, damage to the vessels such as widened capillaries, irritated intestines and terrible formed and smelling stools. Not nice. And as for eating late, Dr Mayr says "Eating a substantial meal before going to bed is like a train conductor who stokes up his engine and then puts it in the round house". Basically, the body, when sleeping, shuts down and anything happening in the organs is stopped or reduced, the digestive system therefore slows right down. All that late night food simply doesn't get digested, it just sits in the tract fermenting and what-not. It also causes you to not have a proper nights sleep - tossing and turning, bad dreams and waking up feeling sluggish and totally unrested are just some of the side orders of this. Of course, this isn't always easy to remedy, especially when you're out for dinner with friends. As i can testify, i'm going to bed on pretty much an empty stomach but i'm sleeping like a baby and waking up feeling refreshed. There is a method in this madness. The problem is, dinner is my favourite meal of the day. Not only do i love cooking it, i love to make food for others but it does tend to be rather late. Which leads me nicely onto my next point.
5. The nutritionist advised me to try the 5:2 approach. Be strict with yourself for 5 days a week, lenient for 2 days. The body probably won't be able to eat as much and may bulk at certain foods that were once a delicacy in my mouth anyway. But if you have a blow out one day, reign it in the next. This approach isn't rocket science but it does mean that totalitarian mindset doesn't have to total make your life a bore.
Anyway, this morning's activities involved further lactose testing (which meant a late breakfast, late epsom salts again) and a rather wonderful reflexology session where i could feel my adrenals and stomach areas are quite painful. Sadly, this only lasted 25 minutes and was over as i was just falling asleep but it was brilliant all the same. This afternoon, i felt i had enough energy (ok, i lazed about by the pool for a bit but you're not made to feel guilty about this as calorie intake is only about 600 a day anyway) to join two of the fitness staff on a Nordic walk, complete with sticks, to the forest. I always thought the nordic sticks were rather the same as using a walking stick but actually, that's not the case. Instead, i had to use them to the back of my arms and in turn, the power from my arms propelled me along. I may not be describing this in the best way but let's just say, it's more tiring then it looks. From my bedroom window, i can see the woods we walked in. They were pretty breathtaking; Jack and the Beanstalk like alpine trees, the smell so captivating and invigorating; we stopped for a moment and i could hear the gentle life of animals taking place behind the scenes. Some people have chosen to live in the foothills, and those classically stunning wooden alpine houses are top notch in this area. The staff confirmed my suspicions, that this is indeed a wealthy area, But then i could see this for myself with the vroom of a Ferrari here and there, like it's a completely normal thing. I managed a good 1.5 hours walk but the heat (it's 36 degrees today) left me feeling a little light headed so we went back. After just myself for company for the last 3 days, it was really nice to get out and talk to people.
Before ending todays post, I just wanted to mention that I broke the rules today. No, i didn't cheat and head to the Spar for a packet of crisps. I spoke to someone over lunch. Gasp! This isn't really allowed but she was eating her pudding (carrot cake? A pudding? O.M.G!) and i'd finished. Anyway, this lady was telling me this is her 4th visit to Lanserhof. It literally changed her life. And the reason why we got talking in the first place is because she apologised for her sitting next to me as at every meal, she's been eating 3 courses. The reason? She's pregnant. Still, her diet is healthy and, i noticed, totally free from dairy. She told me upon her first visits 4 years ago she was literally riddled with problems, namely allergy issues. Really bad ones. One's that made her so ill. And she had no idea what they were. She spent an entire week feeling truly awful with really bad detox side effects (too much coffee is NOT good for you kids!) because of her diet. At one point, she almost left. in the years she's been coming as a repeat customer, she's met lots of other people who can't hack it and who leave after 3 days. their systems are in such a state that the detox is just too much for them. Ironically, these are the kind of people who need to stay. Similarly, she's also met people who have been in and out of hospital, who don't feel any better and who've never got any answers, coming to Lanserhof as their final attempt to feel better and they leave feeling like new people. Amazing! Anyway, she told me the staff at Lanserhof left no stone unturned to try and find out why she was in such a mess. And that's the beauty of this place; everything they do is for a reason and that reason, you should trust. So tonight, i didn't have soup like i was expecting. I was met with tea, honey and orange wedges. Ok, i felt a little disappointed but i know this has been prescribed for a reason. As i write this, I'm feeling a little hungry but I know in a few hours I'll go to bed and have another glorious sleep.
Back to other people. This is what the pregnant lady also said. That it's going to be others who may find it hard to adapt to not only your new diet but also your new way of eating. So she gave me a tip for when i'm eating dinner with others and is one i can pass onto you...you can fake it. Make it look like you're eating at the same pace...but take far smaller mouthfuls. Chew your food in the new way, move your food about a bit and don't feel you have to eat everything on the plate. With a bit of luck, they won't notice.