Invenio: Coaching and Mentoring March 2016 - Page 43

Normalising the Abnormal

by Nicci Robertson

Nine out of ten “dieters” will ask “When can i go back to eating normally?”

Going back to eating badly and not exercising will invariably get you back to the state of ill health and obesity that you have worked so hard to remedy. An absurdly simple fact that eludes the most intelligent of individuals.

If we go back 50 to 100 years you would never have found processed meals that you heat in the microwave. Takeaways were few and far between and certainly not a daily staple.

We had not yet learned how to use chemicals to preserve bread or extract oils from genetically modified seeds to make cooking oil. Artificial colors and flavors which tricked the mind as much as the tongue were experimental as the mother of all evil - high fructose corn syrup.

We would have eaten real butter, home baked bread, fresh vegetables, whole milk, eggs and meat that would not have been subject to steroids, antibiotics and stress hormones.

When the food manufacturing and processing industry became the basis of most countries’ GDP, earning billions in revenue, it became important for these manufacturers to find ways to make sure that we became addicted to their wares in the most literal of terms. The psychology of food science is responsible for the state of ill health and obesity that the majority of the modern world finds itself in today.

The core of the issue lies with the mindset that we do not have the time to do it ourselves. And would rather rely on the time saving convenience of pre packaged and prepared foods. Putting our trust naively into the hands of brand that we somehow believe have our interest at heart. The fact of the matter, is that if it is important enough you will find the time or find a way.

What exactly are processed foods?

•If your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, don't eat it.

•If there are ingredients on the label that are not recognisable as foods. (seriously) • Any label that states “nature identical”, simply means “made in a laboratory”

•Anything pre-made on a mass scale such as fast foods, takeouts etc

Some of the many additives and preservatives in processed foods have the ability to compromise the body's structure and disrupt DNA expression. Even simple processed meats and bacon contain preservatives that can alter the DNA of an unborn baby. This is fact, not scare-mongering.

Many are related to the development of skin, pulmonary and psycho-behavioral conditions as well as cancer.

Sulfites have been found to cause and aggravate asthma. Artificial colorings and flavors have been widely reported to cause hypersensitivity reactions promoting conditions such as ADHD, asthma and skin conditions such as eczema and atopic dermatitis.

Baby formulas are possibly the worst as they contain a highly inflammatory combination of sugar and calcium cassinate. You only have to look at the immune system of an infant who has been breast fed as opposed to formula fed. Formula fed babies are five times more likely to suffer from ear and throat infections as well as dermatitis and sleeping issues. All in the name of convenience, if you can call weekly trips to the doctor convenient.

Artificial Sweeteners, specifically aspartame has shown that it can lead to accumulation of formaldehyde and methanol. Both highly toxic substances. Low levels of aspartame have not shown direct symptoms in humans, so it is presumed safe in food products - but who is making this judgement call?

Many of the artificial colorings in everyday foods are derived from the manufacturing of coal tars, have been found to promote hypersensitivity reactions children. Fibromyalgia, headaches, mood swings and adrenal issues.

A major concern with processed foods is the use of preservatives. The most commonly used are butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and sulfites. BHT has been shown to induce tumors in the stom- ach and liver after accumulation over time. If you do not know that it is there, you will accumulate it over time! Sulfites are also a common preservative which destroy certain B vitamins

Pesticides and genetically modified foods have been proven to be carcinogenic and therefore able to cause genetic damage leading to the development of cancer and birth defects as well as stunted growth and low IQ in children.

Trans-fatty acids occur when a food is processed. These fatty acids are found in margarine, veg- etable oils, crackers, confectionary, biscuits, snack foods and even foods that are labeled nutritions or calorie reduced. giving the false impression that they have health benefits. The food industry uses this process because it increases the shelf-life of fats. Trans-fats along with sugar has been shown to increase LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol. Trans- fats have also been linked to certain cancers and dementia.

All this and I haven’t even started on the addictive nature of sugar and its direct line to the dopiate receptors in the brain which trigger addiction.

As consumers, until we change our thinking and start questioning cleverly designed packaging and “healthy”label claims, nothing will change. Don’t wait until you are faced with a health crisis.

essential to start to shift our mindset. Here are my 5 tips for maintaining a healthy relationship with who you are: