Rachel Norwood – Three Principles Practitioner

The Gentle Path to Fulfillment

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Hyperprotein Diets

These diets often fall into the category of “dissociated” dieting as they recommend, generally speaking, eating only one food group, usually animal protein and cutting out any other kind of food substances. But, as Dr. Joe Leonardi author of “Obesity Undone” points out, if you only eat one food group cutting out all the rest then you will lose weight – but to what cost?
Yes, these diets are efficient but they are also highly dangerous. Let’s take a look!
(I have to admit that these diets tend to put my sense of humour off-kilter!)

The efficiency of these diets is proven to their adepts through the rapid weight loss with no sensation of hunger – you lose weight and you’re not hungry! How fabulous is that?
The metabolic mechanism of these diets is very simple. By only eating protein, be it animal protein or protein drinks, the pancreas is not solicited and therefore produces either very insignificant amounts of insulin and even none at all.
I explained previously weight gain with regards to insulin production. So here, very simply, the process is reversed and the body is obliged, as glucose is the “fuel” that our bodies run on, to draw from the reserves stocked in the fat cells. Basically, the fat cells are retransformed into glucose to fuel the body hence the weight loss – in very simple terms.
However, after a short period on this kind of diet, negative symptoms begin to appear. They may seem harmless but believe me they are not!

The lack of fibre in the diet induces constipation and in some cases severe constipation resulting in intestinal invagination – the intestine folds in on itself. The symptomatology of that is abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and rectal bleeding. More severe cases can lead to necrosis and septicaemia resulting in coma and death.

Often these diets will recommend a large consumption of water to compensate for the lack of fibre and your body will most likely be screaming for water in order to aid the digestion of the protein and eliminate the constipation. But the over-consumption of water, particularly when it is accompanied by a lack of essential nutrients, can lead to cerebral oedema, a condition similar to hydrocephalus (water on the brain) leading to, after other unpleasant complications, central nervous system dysfunction resulting in seizures, brain damage, coma and death.

The imbalance of nutriments due to the lack of variety leads to severe vitamin deficiency resulting in fatigue, lethargy, headaches, nausea, vomiting, blindness, scurvy, rickets, impaired blood coagulation, anaemia and a whole host of other vitamin deficiency related illnesses. In short, you are suffering from malnutrition and you’re risking death.

Another unpleasant and very common complaint linked to these diets is a bad case of halitosis. Now, halitosis is unfortunate in itself but, above all, it is a sign that something is wrong and here’s why.
Our bodies are programmed to produce insulin very naturally; it is a process that is supposed to happen when we eat. Now, these diets, as mentioned above, reverse the process entailing a very minimal and even non-existent insulin production. The body, being obliged to draw from the stored glucose in the fat cells, will break down the fatty acids resulting in a high concentration of ketone that in turn leads to the production of acetone due to the decarboxylation of the ketone bodies.
Prolonged use of these high-protein ultra low-carbohydrate diets, can produce ketosis, in which acetone is formed in body tissue. Ketosis, which is the prolonged excess of ketone bodies in the tissue and the blood leads in its turn to ketoacidosis.
Ketoacidosis is a pathological metabolic state where the pH of the blood undergoes a substantial decrease. In layman’s terms, your blood turns acid, also known as blood poisoning.
Oddly enough, ketoacidosis is one of the main markers of type 1 diabete and oddly enough entails bad breath – the breath smells of nail varnish or paint thinner. Interestingly, acetone is an organic compound used in nail varnish and paint thinner. Before we go any further, ask yourself if you would deliberately ingest nail varnish or paint thinner – I thought not!

In short, on this kind of diet you are, in fact, putting yourself into a diabetic state. Diabetes is a debilitating illness of which, not only there are metabolic symptoms, but can also result in blindness, stroke, gangrene and amputation, just to mention a few of the accompanying dangers.
Untreated, diabetes results in ketoacidosis, due to the increased fat metabolism following the shortage of insulin.

This acidosis, the blood poisoning, attacks all of the major organs in the body resulting in kindey and liver failure, brain damage, pulmonary arrest and heart failure – coma and death are the usual symptoms!

Make no mistake about it and weigh up the consequences very carefully when considering one of these hyperprotein diets.

Are the benefits worth the risks?
I don’t believe so!

Copyright “Nurture and Nutrition – The Gentle Path to Definitive Weight Loss”


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Food – “Wants and Needs”

A couple of evening’s ago I was on a conference coaching call with Michael Neill and one of the subjects that was discussed is the difference between “wants” and “needs”. Now, Michael explained this difference as, and I think this is really just common sense – meaning I am sure that you are already aware of this, a “want” being something that you would like but has no particular consequence (no negative consequence) if you don’t have it and a “need” being something that is necessary to do or have lest there be a bad consequence. An example of a “want” for me would be living in that amazing house on the edge of a lake but if I don’t I’m not any the less happy for it and a “need” would be making sure I pay my electricty bill or I run the risk of having the electric company cut the power.

You could define a want as something internal to yourself that can bring you some kind of pleasure, and a need as an external element needing to be dealt with

There are many elements in life that could enter into both of those categories as a want and a need, food is one of them.

We need to eat food for our health, to maintain our cellular structure and body functions. We want food because it tastes nice.

Now, the difficulty that a lot of us have is combining the food “need” and the food “want” in a manner that is both healthy and pleasurable. There is so much advertising out there, selling us “produce” that is pleasurable but not so good for our health – even worse when the advertising carries mixed messages presenting foods that are not good for us, selling the pleasure element and attempting to maintain the idea that their produce is healthy.

I was discussing with a client this morning about how certain foods had become, for me, symbolic of failure – failure to lose weight and failure, consequentially, to feel good about myself – I will be writing about this more in detail at a later point.
The click for me was when I realized that the foods I had symbolized as failure, a lot of which happened to be the foods necessary for health and weight loss, that the negative symbolic that I had created only came from me, my own thinking.

As a Three Principles based coach, though here we are discussing the essential nutritional elements linked to food, we have to admit that there is a fair bit of psychology going on behind the way we eat – our self-image, symbolic food attachment, etc – a lot of that due to our upbringing and, to my mind, the constant media images that are sent out to us.

I can’t help but think this: in the past, taking the US as an example though the problem is now far more widespread, a burger and chips was a special treat reserved for a special occasion, a barbecue in the garden with the whole panorama of accompanying fries, pies, tarts, etc. And those foods, those kind of special occasions were costly.
In our minds those foods are still a special treat but we are out looking for treats on a very regular basis and those foods, that are not particularly healthy on a regular basis, have become available nowadays for two a penny – so not only are they a treat they are a very cheap treat

A shift in the connection that we have towards food goes a long way in helping us make the right choices and being happy about them. Having the knowledge of how our bodies work and the effect that foods have on our systems, albeit positive or negative, combined with this shift in the mindset is really the key, from a Three Principles coaching perspective, to obtaining the results that you would like to see.

Just as a reminder, here is the video from a few months ago on “Preconceived Ideas – What Should Be On Our Plates?”

Namaste and Here’s To Your Very Good Health 

With Love,

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Nutrition – The Humble Egg, The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful – Unscrambling the Myth

Yes, the humble egg is once more under attack – goodness knows why!
The media titling of a recent Canadian study suggests that “eggs are as bad for your arteries as smoking” – the media do like to scramble everything they get their quills on if they believe they have something to crow about, I admit the article ruffled my feathers a bit! Unfortunately for those who don’t actually have the time to go further and search out the write-up of the actual study, they ultimately will end up with the opinion that eggs are rotten! In fact, not at all – eggs are really good for your health but first let’s take a look at the study…

The original title of the study before the media got their pretty little claws on it was “Egg yolk consumption and carotid plaque” – so eggs yolks specifically! The study was done in conjunction with the analysis of artery damage due to smoking as a means of comparison. The age group of the patients under study was on average 61.5 years – not really representative of a whole population, the patients were already in treatment for atherosclerosis. There is no information given on the lifestyle, smoking and/or eating habits of each patient. Quote from the study “The study weakness includes its observational nature, the lack of data on exercise, waist circumference and dietary intake of saturated fat and sources of cholesterol other than eggs, and the dependence on self-reporting of egg consumption and smoking history.” The study concludes “Our findings suggest that regular consumption of egg yolk should be avoided by persons at risk of cardiovascular disease. This hypothesis should be tested in a prospective study with more detailed information about diet, and other possible confounders such as exercise and waist circumference.”

Ooops, sounds to me like the study’s findings are a bit cock-eyed! We don’t know anything about the patients’ lifestyle habits, we have no information on what was eaten with the egg yolks, we don’t know if the egg whites were consumed at the same time, it is not clear if the people under study were smokers but the tone of the study leads to believe that they were, there is no information on alcohol or sugar consumption. The study concludes that people at risk of cardiovascular disease should avoid egg yolks! The grammatical use of the conditional “should” in this case is interesting!


The media have certainly, in my opinion, singed their feathers on this one. They have clearly taken a study that was done on a specific group of people with a specific health problem and have attempted to fry the egg without any justification. What it boils down to is the use of sensational headlines in order to sell newspapers and the possibility of financial support from certain large companies who would like us to believe that the problem is “fat” related and not “glucose” related. The media has egg on its face and it is time to eat crow!

One of the media articles concludes saying “egg whites continue to be excellent!”

I have to say though that what shocks me the most in all of this is that these so-called scientists are simply repeating information that came to light thirty or so years ago. There is no new evidence to support their findings. It is important to say that when they first studied cholesterol way back when, they were unaware at the time of the fact that there exists two types of cholesterol – one that is bad (LDL) and one that is good (HDL). The initial studies on the egg all those years ago showed that it contains a phenomenal amount of cholesterol – thus the previous scientists are forgiveable as they didn’t have all the information to hand. The Canadian scientists today…. one wonders which came first, the scientist or the evidence to support their studies?

Here are a few simple egg facts that I would like to share with you :

Yes, eggs contain a high amount of cholesterol – both LDL (the bad) and HDL (the good). The LDL cholesterol is mostly contained in the egg yolk, the HDL in the white. The consumption of the yolk and the white thus balances out the overall cholesterol levels as there is, magically as nature knows how to do things, an equal amount of each type of cholesterol in each part of the egg. Phew!

There is however a difference, that has to be taken into account, with regards to the type of eggs. Battery-hen laid eggs have higher amounts of LDL cholesterol and are practically devoid of any nutritional value. Wild-hen laid eggs are a perfect source of nourishment.

The egg always has been, and remains to be, a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and protein – in fact it is a little health cocktail in it’s beautifully shaped shell containing high amounts of the major nutriments that our bodies require and here’s the hitch! The most part of these vitamins, minerals and oligo-elements are found in which part of the egg? Yes, the yolk!
In an egg is found vitamin A, almost all of the vitamin B group, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium. It is jam-packed with iron and is a rare food-source of vitamin D. The protein content is similar to that of meat and is more easily assimilated by the human body.
Eggs are also rich in omegas 3 and 6, necessary in the prevention of cardiovascular risks, oddly enough these omegas are contained in the yolk! Eating an egg without the yolk, just eating the white, has about the same nutritional value as eating cotton wool or baby-chick fluff.

The egg is classed in the group of superfoods that absolutely should be included in our diets.

However, important to note. We must pay attention to the quality of the eggs. Yes, I know that organic, wild-hen, free-range eggs are more expensive but let’s face it, what we are looking for in food is the nutritional value. My philosophy is to buy better quality of which you don’t have to eat perhaps quite so much – let’s not forget that food is our first medicine.

It is also important to pay attention to the cooking methods. You will have noticed that overcooking an egg produces a greyish/green tinge around the yolk. This is due to the oxydation of the iron contained in the egg. The yolk requires a higher temperature than the white to solidify – a boiled egg with a runny yolk is then (supposedly!) easy to accomplish. Also, cooking over a certain temperature can saturate the polyunsaturated fats contained in the egg along with the destruction of the liposoluble vitamins – so be careful with the cooking method and the temperature.
Also, eating starchy foods with eggs will generate the stockage of the fats found in the egg which is not so good for the waistline and if you’re still worried about the cholesterol levels, try omelettes with mushrooms/salmon/tuna – all delicious and all have a very good reputation of reducing LDL cholesterol levels. Accompany the lot with a delicious salad, chuck in some tomatoes for the colour and a little avocado, sprinkled with some nice vinaigrette made with olive-rapeseed-nut oil and you finish up with a fully balanced meal from a nutritional point of view and I can assure you, you won’t feel hungry for quite a few hours.

I think I may just have that for lunch 🙂

To crack open the truth once and for all. It is not the consumption of foods containing cholesterol that is the problem. Studies, serious studies done by independant non-government financed scientists, have shown that by reducing the glycemic load (sugar and starch) to an absolute minimum reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and an increase in HDL cholesterol is notable. The HDL cholesterol is good for our arteries and thus plays an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Here’s how to know if you have eaten “too many” eggs – you won’t feel the desire for them… How easy is that?!

PS All egg/hen related humour is completely and eggsactly intentional 🙂

Namaste and Here’s to Your Very Good Health ♥

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The Power of Innate Well-Being


As human beings we have three very basic needs for our physical and emotional well-being, eating, drinking and sleeping. Can be added to those three basics, warmth and friendship but if the first three are covered, then we have all we need.
It is an undeniable fact that eating properly, drinking fresh water and sleeping enough hours play an important role in our well-being. Those three elements affect greatly our body chemistry. Don’t get enough sleep; you are going to feel tired and grumpy, lethargic, perhaps even a little sad or depressed. Lack of sleep affects the brain chemistry, as do the other two elements.

If I am, personally, lacking sleep, I find myself more inclined to have negative thoughts and, more importantly, to give importance to those negative thoughts. I have mentioned previously that as human beings we have the free will to choose which thoughts to give power to. It is our thinking that creates our reality, or our perception of what is going on around us – this is why you have people who can be living in the most abject poverty but who are still happy within themselves and others who can have everything that a person could ever want materially but who are deeply and profoundly unhappy.

As children, we take things in our stride – circumstances can change but we adapt and continue to feel that innate happiness and well-being within ourselves. Notice when a child gets upset. Oftentimes he or she may just be tired or hungry. What’s important is the fact that one second a child may be in tears and the next second laughing. A child does not have the learned ability of latching him or herself onto a negative thought – a child allows the thoughts to pass, fresh thinking is just around the corner.

We are, in fact, just one thought away from true happiness.

As we grow up, we learn the “pursuit of happiness”. We need “success” – but what is a successful life? Is it the balance in your bank account? The car you drive? The holidays you go on? The house you live in? These are only outer exhibits of financial gain and in no way are a guarantee of a person’s happiness. For me, success is living in a feeling of innate well-being, knowing that no matter what happens on the outside, we all have the ability to tap into our inner resources of energy, peace and wisdom.

There is a world of difference between happiness and pleasure/enjoyment. Having the car you want may bring you pleasure but will never give you that long lasting sense of well-being. Pleasure and enjoyment can only ever be temporary, you will get used to driving that car, it may break down and you may feel a sense of annoyance, anger, and deception.

I am talking about that steadfast and unshakeable sense of well-being that no amount of material gain can bring you.

Now I am not saying that money is not important, it is important and necessary. We live in a society where money is indispensable, if only for those simple basic needs of eating and having a roof over your head. If you wish to offer a birthday present to someone, you need money. You need money for that car that would bring you some pleasure and enjoyment. You need money to visit that far off country that you’ve dreamed of travelling to.

What I am saying is this. When you can reach within yourself to that place of knowing that your rock solid well-being is not dependant on having all the material things, you open a door to endless possibility. At one point in my life I went through a phase of not seeing the point of doing anything, not because I was afraid of anything but simply because I was feeling so well in myself that I didn’t feel the need to do anything – I didn’t need anything to feel happy, happiness was already there just as it is already there in each and every one of us, but for our thinking. The insight I had was realizing that I can do things simply because I enjoy them. Writing is pleasurable, talking with people is pleasurable, going for a walk on a beach is pleasurable, driving in the countryside is pleasurable but without those extra things, I would still feel very happy and at peace.

When you know within yourself the difference between happiness and enjoyment, not only do you gain an enormous amount of resilience but you also open the door to trying anything you would like to do. Because your own happiness is not dependant on “such-and-such” coming to fruition, you then simply have the enjoyment of making a go of it and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t really matter. We lose our attachment to outcomes.

But I will say this… For all those things that you would like to do or obtain – having a sense of inner well-being and peace will allow you to tap into that source of inner wisdom that we all have and you won’t even need to make the effort to “make things happen” – you will trust in the unfolding whether things seem to go the way you would like or not…

Namaste ♥