You Are What You Eat represents an increasingly popular diet plan authored by holistic nutritionist Gillian McKeith. Though the actual diet relies on previously founded holistic principles such as clean foods and proper food combining, McKeith's presentation gives readers a lucid explanation of just how food choices serve to lay the foundations of overall health. The purpose of the You Are What You Eat diet plan is to put healthy foods into a soon-to-be healthy body. After all, who could expect to experience perfect health eating a sub-par diet?
You Are What You Eat Principles
Gillian McKeith has written several books on the topics of diet and health. What is unique about You Are What You Eat is that this plan does not present just a diet, but an entire lifestyle change. The book, alongside its recommended cookbook, can be purchased at Amazon.com and also at McKeith's official website.
Persons interested in following the You Are What You Eat plan will need to commit to a health regimen that involves:
- A clean diet based on whole foods and fresh produce (initially vegetarian)
- Food combining principles
- A regular exercise routine
- A slight detox program
- A complete elimination of certain unhealthful or processed foods
McKeith's You Are What You Eat diet is quite restrictive, but also balanced. For the first eight weeks of the program, dieters will consume a solely vegetarian diet that depends mainly on:
- Fresh raw fruits and vegetables
- Nuts, seeds, and plant oils
- Fresh raw fruit and vegetable juices
After eight weeks of this produce-based regimen, dieters may add sources of lean protein such as fish, eggs, some dairy, and chicken into the mix. Animal proteins should be derived from organic sources. Be aware that the actual dietary principles are far more detailed and interested parties are encouraged to read the book.
McKeith is an advocate of the food-combining theory which states that certain combinations of foods can either promote or inhibit proper digestion. Starches and sugars should be consumed separately from proteins. Fruits should always be eaten on an empty stomach. Following such principles is believed by some to streamline the body's enzymatic activity and, thus, prevent indigestion.
Food combining is not a new concept and it has been touted by many alternative and hygiene practitioners for decades. You can view the science behind combining principles at SoilandHealth.org's Hygiene Library.
You Are What You Eat stresses the importance of regular daily exercise to improve lymphatic flow and increase circulation. A 30 minute walk is advised on a daily basis as is an afternoon 20 minute period of aerobic activity. This aerobic activity can include rebounding or dancing.
Though McKeith's detoxing regimen does not need to be done every day of the diet, the first eight weeks encourage colon cleansing procedures. The You Are What You Eat plan rests firmly on the concept that the "bad" must go before the "good" can take over. Moreover, some forms of spiritual detoxing or pampering are also recommended. These activities may include meditations, spa rituals, or pampering.
A Strict Elimination Policy
In order for the "bad" lifestyle principles to truly leave an individual, a strict elimination policy is encouraged. Dieters will be saying farewell to processed sugary foods and caffeinated beverages, and will now be relying solely on many home-prepared meals. This immediate relinquishing of sugar and caffeine-related habits may result in some intense withdrawal symptoms. Dieters are encouraged to plow through these difficult detoxification periods and not look back.
The You Are What You Eat diet cannot be considered a fad diet. This plan requires a complete overhaul regarding how consumers view their food and lifestyle practices. The foods recommended by the program are balanced and packed with nutrients. However, this diet can be extremely difficult for a variety of reasons:
- In many cases, foods must be prepared at home according to precise stipulations. This can present difficulties for frequent travelers or individuals engaged in a fast-paced lifestyle.
- Food combining is tricky and can make meals even more complicated.
- This diet also recommends many dietary supplements, some of which can be expensive.
- Detox recommendations such as colonics and colon cleanses are not always safe, nor do they always promote positive results.
Talk to Your Doctor
Many of the supplements and practices promoted by McKeith rest on holistic literature and not widely recognized scientific studies. Though including more fresh produce in your diet can be a healthy move, always talk to your doctor regarding any dietary changes and especially any "detox" measures you may be considering in the future. Some supplements and exercise programs are contraindicated for certain medical conditions and so your doctor should be informed regarding such elements as well.