Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Why has Healthy Eating Become So Confusing?

As those of you who read my blog regularly will know, I am currently trying to ‘eat healthy.’

I’m doing this to improve my well being as I hope in turn this will help me better manage my health. It’s also a great thing to do anyway. Good food helps your body function at its best. It’s common sense that eating well will make us look and feel healthier.

What exactly does eating healthy mean nowadays though?

Healthy Eating Cook Books

If you read my post on my healthy eating journey you will know that last year I completed the Candida Diet. It really was the most challenging thing I had ever done. It sounds mad to say that about food doesn’t it but it’s true.

The Candida Diet is an exclusion diet designed to clear a yeast infection. I wasn’t certain I had a yeast infection and in hindsight I’m sure I didn’t but I wanted to rule it out as the cause of my CFS symptoms.

It excludes anything that is or can be turned into sugar. No sugar, maple syrup, honey, fruit, potatoes, rice, pasta, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, sweetcorn, chick peas etc.

It is tough to do. Everything must be cooked from scratch so you’ll spend a lot of time in the kitchen!

Healthy Eating Cook Books

I managed it for two months without cheating at all. I wouldn’t say I felt better during that two months however I reintroduced foods very gradually and during the third month I felt improvements.

So why did I stop?! Many reasons but going on holiday was up there with the biggest offender.

So, the Candida Diet is good but impossible to manage and almost certainly it makes too many exclusions to be good long term.

So, what is a manageable healthy diet plan that may help me?

Well based on the main rule of the Candida Diet I would think cutting out sugar would be a good start. I have been trying that for the past couple of months but if you read my weekly diaries you know I’m failing miserably.

I’m failing partly as I was too strict with my rules. I’m also struggling to commit to it as it’s all basically guesswork and there are no guarantees of success.

Right so we cut out sugar but what types? I think most people agree carrots should be ok! Fruit is generally allowed too, even in the strictest of the sugar exclusions books I have, ‘I Quit Sugar’. In this book the only sweeteners allowed are fruit, rice malt syrup and stevia. Stevia and Rice Malt syrup don’t contain fructose. Fruit does but the added benefits make it worthwhile. On this plan, you can eat everything else except processed food of course.

Healthy Eating Cook Books

I think no processed food is the only obvious rule, every healthy eating guru agrees with that one. So, that is my rule one.

Rule two, no fructose except fruit? Well not according to Deliciously Ella, the Hemsley sisters and Davina McCall. They say simply cutting out refined sugars is enough. So, maple syrup, honey, dates etc. are fine. But is natural sugar really any better than refined sugar?

Deliciously Ella certainly thinks so, her plan has cured her of a chronic condition. Ella is vegan though so her plan is more challenging to follow than ‘I Quit Sugar’ although it’s also tastier thanks to the natural sugars. Ella also avoids gluten.

Healthy Eating Cook Books

The Hemsley sisters eat meat and animal products but they don’t have grains.

Healthy Eating Cook Books

Davina simply avoids refined sugar and limits gluten.

Healthy Eating Cook Books

So, if I try and follow all their advice it’s going to be as limiting as the Candida Diet, maybe even more so.

These are just the plans I have books on. There is also the Paleo diet, Fodmap diet and I’m sure 1000 others to consider.

See why I am confused?!

I know from experience a diet change will benefit me I just don’t know where the hell to start?!!

It surely shouldn’t be this difficult to navigate?!

Healthy Eating Cook Books

As for the old rules, throw them out of the window! Fat is now ok, if it’s good fats. If you’re not vegan you can even enjoy cream without any guilt as it is sugar free!!

3 years ago, I would have laughed my head off if you suggested I could manage to go vegan. Now thanks to Deliciously Ella I feel sure I could manage it. I would miss things, eating out would be a nightmare and cooking a family meal all but impossible. Yet if it were just me, I could do it. Ella’s recipes are so tasty and I have enjoyed each one I have tried. But will it help me or is it unnecessarily extreme?

Healthy Eating Cook Books

I adore good food, I always have. I love eating out and finding new restaurants to enjoy. On holiday the food makes or breaks it for me. Imagine never enjoying Cadburys chocolate again or a good afternoon tea or a croissant or any of the treats I love.

Healthy Eating Cook Books
But imagine feeling better? Less fatigued, more energy, better skin etc. That would be worth it.

I just need someone to tell me the rules. I can commit to it, I just need to know I’ve followed the right advice.

Any ideas? How do I eat healthy?

Thank you for reading.

Kelly x

Please note this is only my understanding of the advice given in the books mentioned.

                                          Cinnamon and Coconut Granola



  1. Eating is all about balance. I'm no dietician but I don't believe that completely cutting out food groups for anything other than medically diagnosed health issues where, cutting them out is proven to be effective - an allergy for example, is a good idea.

    Making meals from scratch is a huge part of eating well in my opinion - you can control what goes into the food and that helps you cut out all the crap that goes into processed meals.

    If you feel restricted then it's not good, you shouldn't feel guilty for eating a pastry! Everything in moderation.

  2. There are far too many conflicting diets out there now and I've spent the last year bouncing from
    Weight watchers to the body coach to clean eating alice. I've finally learnt that it's all about balance and to not worry or fear things like fats and carbs. Folllwing decent fitness bloggers like Chessieking and Gracefit have massively helped with this!

    Great post :)

    Laura // www.dramaqueenconfessions.com

  3. I love how you addressed how confusing "healthy" can be. For me it is about balance as well as getting to know your body. Dairy is hard for my digestive system to process, so I try my best to avoid that. Otherwise fruits, veggies, good carbs, and proteins are incorporated throughout the day. If it makes my body feel good and I enjoy it, then why not you know?

    Xx - Shelby Sides



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