December 7, 2011

You are what you eat!

Today I went to see a nutritionist. It's something I've been meaning to do for a very long time, but I've kept putting it off for various reasons. But my eczema on my hands was getting worse and I was getting increasingly more and more tired, so it was time I did something about it. Also, I'd been watching The Food Hospital series on Channel 4 and it really spurred me on to try and treat my ailments through food.

Before my consultation I had to complete a questionnaire which included what symptoms I had, a short food diary and my general health and wellbeing. It was actually quite difficult to answer some of the questions as you have to be very honest. For example, I didn't tick the box which said I was an irritable person, but Steve said that was definitely a box I should tick! Charming!

The consultation lasted about 1.5 hours and I came away having learned a lot. I had already suspected that my blood sugar levels were all over the place and I now have to make sure I am eating a lot more regularly to make sure my energy levels remain constant, rather than peaks and troughs.

A surprisingly diagnosis was my eczema and tiredness might be caused by a dairy intolerance. My parents are Chinese and it's widely believed that because milk is not regularly drunk in China this has led to a lactose intolerance. So even though I was born in the UK and brought up on a mixed Western/Eastern diet, my genes are saying that dairy is not good for me.

So I need to do an elimination test, which means cutting out all dairy for 4 weeks. This will mean trying soya and rice milk for the first time! Apparently it takes 3 weeks to get accustomed to the taste of soya milk, so this will be interesting! When I think about what I have to cut out of my diet (milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, yoghurts) I don't think it's too bad and it could be worse having to give up something like wheat or my real weakness potatoes!

I am also severely lacking in B-vitamins so I need to get a good quality B-vitamin complex supplement.

I also need to increase my intake of fruit and vegetables, eating at least 3 different types of vegetables at dinnertime. This won't be difficult as I really enjoy eating veggies and it will force me to be a bit more adventurous and try new things to stop getting bored. More oily fish and olive oil will also help with the omega oils for my skin.

So, I thought I would blog about my new diet and it will be good for me to keep a record of my progress. But the diet is going to start on Monday as Steve and I have a nice foodie weekend planned so I don't want to miss out!


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