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Is there life without ice cream?

Quinoa (Keen-wa) can be topped with cheese and broccoli, or whatever you like.

by Tom Chillemi

It’s amazing our bodies last as long as they do considering all the use, misuse and abuse we subject them to.

Aches come and go and are easy to ignore. A few extra ounces add up to pounds so slowly its hard to perceive.

But it’s hard to ignore the sluggish feeling of having no energy.

In my case it seemed almost hopeless. I tried, to no avail, to diagnose how I had gotten in this shape. What did I need to change?

But what’s important is not what’s behind, but what is ahead.

I needed a miracle. That’s when my wife came to my rescue. She has gotten into the health loop through yoga and knew of a master nutritionist who told me all the things I had been doing wrong.

I came away from the consultation with a bag of supplements and an new appreciation of how the body functions—even when it’s treated badly.

Not only was I not getting needed nutrients from my diet, I was eating the wrong thing at the worst time. It was time for me to change and to eat to live, instead of living to eat.

I had a bad ice cream habit. In the middle of the day I would think about that dish of ice cream I would have at night—the absolute wrong time of day to eat sweets or carbohydrates. They cause a glycemic spike in my blood sugar and then the CRASH!

I needed to “throw a log on the fire at night.” Sleep is when our bodies repair themselves.

Eating high glycemic foods meant I was crashing in my sleep.

People know to fertilize their plants, but do they do the same for their body?

Eliminating grains was another recommendation. Here again, I was a “bread-aholic.”

Carbohydrates, such as bread and cereals, cause a glycemic spike. By eliminating them, I was forced to eat foods that were good for me, like beans and greens.

I discovered quinoa (keen-wa). It’s a seed from South America and a relative of beets and spinach. It contains good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

Quinoa has a subtle, neutral flavor and can take the place of rice, or in my case, bread. It’s dense properties makes it very filling. I felt full about halfway through a cup serving. And, there was no crash.

I’ll drink to that
Water is essential. Some hunger pains are associated with thirst.

Divide your body weight in half and you have the number of ounces of water you should be drinking daily. Caffeine drives water from your body, so limit intake and drink more water to make up for the loss caused by caffeine. (Make sure your “sweet tea” is decaffeinated, especially in summer.)

If I can do it, just about anyone can.

Another recommendation was taking an Epson salt bath. It’s a time-tested remedy for sore muscles. Just relaxing for 10 minutes in hot water is therapy for muscles and a way to quiet your mind and nervous system for sleep. (See profile on yoga on page 14.)

So what does all this mean? First, if I can do it, just about anyone can.

Secondly, there is a whole lot to learn about the body. People know to fertilize their plants, but do they do the same for their body? Start today, and your benefits will begin that much sooner.

And, trust me on this—there is life after ice cream.

posted 02.23.2012

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