When I decided to get some formal nutrition qualifications I looked very hard for the course that was right for me. All of the ones I found in Australia were teaching things I didn’t believe in (ie the food pyramid), and I really couldn’t bear the thought of paying money and spending 2 or 3 years of my life sitting through classes that were teaching outdated and frankly in my opinion, wrong information. So I went with my gut and enrolled in a Holistic course in the USA which did mean that my credentials wouldn’t be recognised here by any professional associations. I’m totally happy about that and here’s an example of why.
My very good friend spent last year undergoing chemo and radiation in a fight against breast cancer. Who knows if it was due to the treatment or not, but she has now developed diabetes. We were talking yesterday and she asked me if I would help her with an eating plan because she had heard so much conflicting information and she trusted what I would guide her to do. I told her that what I would advise would be the opposite of what the dietician would say.And here’s the kicker. At her GP appointment today to go through the “system” and get a referral to a dietician for specialist food advice the doctor said to her “The dietician will tell you to eat pasta and rice and that is a load of crap”.
Firstly, yay for this GP, because this was precisely the first thing I was going to tell her. Secondly, what on earth is going on in our medical system, where doctors are referring onto other practitioners they have no faith in? Why are the specialists still advising this sort of eating which is making our population fatter and sicker? And thirdly, what are people to do, who are they to believe?
It’s no wonder we are confused. We learn from a young age to trust the doctors and specialists, they know more than us. Even when they advise you to eat plenty of pasta and dairy when you know that you feel bloated and uncomfortable and tired when you do, even though you keep putting on weight and your food diary shows you’re not eating too much. If there’s two things I know to be true for the people I work with it’s that 1) we will start at a foundation of eliminating inflammatory foods and then use trial and error to find what combination of food works for you because no one diet suits everyone. It’s frustrating and time consuming and I would love it if there were just a perfect diet prescription, but there’s not. And 2) that the food pyramid guidelines are wrong and they are contributing to the alarming increases in obesity, diabetes, cancer, auto immune disorders, autism, ADHD, asthma, eczema … you get the picture.
We can’t hand our health over to government policies and outdated research anymore. Had I followed the rules I would still have a son who wasn’t functioning, still had asthma, still had eczema, still had chronic dirrhoea and ear infections and still be obese. This is what the specialists prescribed for my son. The fact that all of that disappeared when I started him on a diet outside the food pyramid is, according to them, a co-incidence. The fact that people are healing themselves of auto immune disorders and cancer and diabetes with different food choices is apparently dangerous and reckless.
I am happy that my friend is choosing to question the status quo and is taking control of her health, but I’m really mad. How many others won’t, how many more will be swallowed up as they faithfully follow their specialists’ advice (which should be the right thing to do) and never achieve true health?
Please – listen to your body. Reflect on how you feel after you’ve eaten certain foods. Watch your child’s behaviour and sleep and bowels after they eat certain things. And if the guidelines aren’t working for you don’t be afraid to step outside of them. It’s time we took ours and our kids’ health back into our own hands. I don’t agree we should have to but that’s the sad reality of where we are.
When you are eating foods that make you feel healthy and happy and vibrant, that’s when you won’t be confused any more.
PS. I’m not a medical practitioner. I am a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. All opinions are my own and do not constitute medical advice.