That was me back in 2017. I was at my heaviest weight, at 209 lbs. For a forty-nine-year-old at five foot-seven inches, this was way too much weight. On top of the weight, I was suffering from fibromyalgia and arthritis. Most of us just accept our health demise, tell ourselves it?s just what happens as we age, but I was determined to learn more and do better.
What propelled me to make changes? There were a couple of things that motivated me. A new CEO was coming into the company where I had been working for quite a while. I found out he was a CrossFit nut and I knew I could not keep up with someone of that caliber. Secondly, I was watching my mother-in-law decline from dementia and diabetes.
I knew if I didn’t get my health and my husband’s health under control, we might be facing the same fate as she was. I got to thinking, I don?t want my kids having to take care of me because I didn?t take care of my health. I know there are things that may be out of my control, but now I know I can control obesity, arthritis pain, fibromyalgia, gut health issues and many other health issues that seem to be plaguing a huge majority of us.
As I was facing all these realities, I came across a book called The Plant Paradox, by Dr. Steven Gundry. In it, he talked about some of the reasons why we may not be able to lose weight and it is not our fault. I was intrigued! And relieved. I am not an avid reader, but I read this book in record time. It all made sense. I was able to relate to so many of the stories. Many of them seemed unbelievable, but I believed them, nonetheless. I came home from a business trip and declared we were eating the Plant Paradox lifestyle. My husband had no idea what he had agreed to, but he was willing to give it a try.
The lifestyle begins with Phase 1, an elimination diet and moves on into Phase 2. Once you get to Phase 3, you can start to reintroduce some of the problematic foods and see how your body reacts. The foods you eliminate are grains, sugar and lectins. Lectins protect plants from animals and insects from eating it. It emits a ?poison? which can end up wreaking havoc on our gut wall which is only one cell thick. Once toxins build up in your gut and it leaks, it permeates into your blood stream causing all kinds of health issues. It didn?t take long to start feeling great, have more energy and drop weight. I lost six pounds the first week. The next step was to keep it going while being on the road.
My previous career took me across the globe, flying all the time which does not equate to healthy eating. I was determined. I bought a lunch box and started bringing my own snacks on the airplane. When eating out, I stuck to fish, salads, or chicken dishes. I wasn?t able to be super strict while traveling, but when I got home, I stuck to the plan. This meant eating a variety of mostly green vegetables, minimal fruit, grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken and eggs. Avocado and other good fats is part of the plan. I avoided foods like tomatoes, eggplants, white potatoes, peppers, high inflammatory foods. Corn, soy, wheat, oats, even quinoa are big no, no?s with this lifestyle. While it may sound restrictive, I have learned to create so many easy to make dishes with so many other ingredients I never heard of or at least, never used before.
As of November 2020, despite the pandemic, I have managed to lose 65 lbs. and maintain the weight loss. I have never looked better and felt better in my entire life. I make pancakes, muffins, delicious side dishes and as I write this article, I have lamb chops marinating in Coco Aminos, a substitute for soy or teriyaki sauce. I can?t wait for dinner! If you need help feeling better, shredding a few pounds or just can?t figure out why you suffer with strange health issues, it?s time to connect with me. I am happy to help you navigate this lifestyle change to better health.
Allana Pinkerton is a NASM Nutrition Coach, Health Enthusiast & Motivator
You can follow her journey and see what she is cooking up in her kitchen at @allanapinkerton