I attended a pamper party last night; Tsogo Sun hosted a group of ladies in the beautiful Palazzo Hotel penthouse suite! It was a night of great food, drinks on tap, fantastic company, manis, pedis and massages, jeesh! What more could a girl ask for? Each treatment took place in a different room within the suite. They had a makeup artist working his magic on our faces and across the hall from him; the ladies could book a 20-minute session with one of two BodyTalk practitioners.
I had heard about BodyTalk before but I had never experienced a session myself, I was curious and skeptical as to its methodology and outcomes, so I was very excited to finally be trying one. While this is not the point of my post, for the sake of understanding I’ll briefly explain what BodyTalk is. As the name implies, the system allows your body to speak and through the guidance of an experienced practioner, your body reveals things that you may not consciously be aware of.
“BodyTalk is a simple and effective holistic therapy that allows your body’s energy systems to be re-synchronized so they can operate as nature intended”
The therapist emphasized the need to celebrate my individuality and suggested I let go of “self-judgment and embrace my unique attributes”. It all made sense to me on an intellectual level but I must admit that I left feeling like, while it wasn’t a complete waste of time, she didn’t exactly reveal anything that I wasn’t already aware of…That was until I had to sit down and write this blog post.
See I don’t consider myself the judgmental type, well, not recently. Rewind to a good five years ago and many would argue otherwise. But I’ve spent the last five years trying to change that very thing about myself and so it was quite disappointing yet liberating to realize that the judginess has somehow crept back into my consciousness. Disappointing because lets face it, who wants to be the judgy type? And liberating because the realization thereof means I can actually do something about it.
So onto the point of my post….For the last two weeks I have been involved in an online campaign for Kellogg’s called #StartYourGreat. Kellogg’s aims to help South Africans start their days off great and in doing so help people realize their goals and dreams by encouraging them to simply by share them on social media using the hashtag #StartYourGreat. I loved the idea of making dreams come true and wanted to be a part of that process however the conundrum (a nutritional one at that) was this: how does the presenter of an holistic health show, a gluten-and-grain-intolerant health enthusiast, lend her voice to a food item that many in her health and nutrition circles would associate with being the antithesis of the food items she advocates? I tussled with the dilemma for hours until a quick chat with my hubby and a few friends provided the clarity I needed.
See I had become so gung-ho in my belief that certain food items were “wrong” or “right” that I had forgotten a health philosophy I had learnt many years ago: “One man’s meat, is another man’s poison”, simply put – we are all individuals and that includes our nutrition.
The truth is, like many South Africans, I grew up eating Kellogg’s Cornflakes, All Bran and then in my early twenties, Special K. In fact some of my fondest childhood memories feature Kellogg’s Cornflakes – I remember my younger brother waking me up on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons on KTV; the two of us salivating as we watched the milk getting warmed up in the microwave because our first bowl HAD to be made with warm milk, followed by another made with iced-cold milk!
Fast forward 15 years or so and I would be diagnosed with intense gluten intolerance, leaky gut syndrome and a multitude of other gut-related issues. Cereal was now an absolute no no on any of the recommended dietary protocols, along with any form of gluten, grains or dairy. I removed these items from diet and immediately experienced a great measure of relief from eczema, IBS, acne and other health issues. And as is often the case with any zealot, one experiences an intense desire to share one’s journey with as many people as possible. Sadly this sharing is often imbued with a heavy dose of self-righteousness, in short, we wholeheartedly believe that we have “seen the light” and that our way is THE only way.
Honestly, I get it, because along with the immense relief we experience as a result of this journey, combined with all the other positive changes we encounter, comes a desire to convert the entire world, often to the detriment of current relationships.
But the reality is that when it comes to nutritional choices, my food could be your poison and conversely, what harms me could very well be perfectively fine for you. That is a humbling lesson, one I continue to learn daily. And thus the nutritional conundrum has been somewhat resolved – at the end of the day while we agree that breakfast is one of, if not THE, the most important meals of the day. What we choose to eat at this meal should above anything else be something that gives you the best start to your day. This means it should meet your nutritional needs, be enjoyable, affordable and accessible, and while I may not be able to start my day with a bowl of Kellogg’s All Bran/ Cornflakes or Special K, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t, particularly if you have no known side effects when eating cereals.
My recommendation would be that you add to that bowl of cereal some ingredients that buffer or reduce the glycemic load in other words we’re trying to reduce impact on your blood sugar levels. Try making a bowl made with a palm-sized amount of cereal and have almond milk instead of dairy milk or better yet why not have two boiled eggs, before or after, to ensure you have a meal that consists of fats, carbohydrates as well as protein? Or try making this muesli.
At the end of the day, nutrition is a complex subject that absolutely fascinates, and perplexes, me because more and more people, from experts to judgy zealots (like I was), are beginning to realize that there really is no one-size-fits-all approach. Ultimately, the key is to find what works for YOU, in other words, #startYOURgreat!