Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been obsessed with health and leading the most natural, organic and clean lifestyle possible. Many facts triggered this decision to drastically change of diet, first of all my constant tiredness, messy skin, weight gain and above all health issues. I was constantly in and out of the doctor, getting sick after each trip. It was simply impossible to go on living like that.
Travelling the world comes with great perks, but there are some downsides to it as well. The constant travel makes it hard to maintain a proper, balanced diet. For the longest time I’ve been over indulging with the idea that this is how I make the most out of each journey. We run around all day from a meeting, to a shooting, to an event, to the next airport, with phone calls and 20 new e-mails every hour. So most of the time have very little free time and eat on the go.
With all the stress, I felt the need to “let it go” and “enjoy” by eating whatever I wanted. But since we are always in a state of stress and always travelling, it became a constant habit. We’d be busy all day, would grab a bagel or some cookie in between shows or meetings and then in the evening when we’d finally have an hour of free, I’d have the heaviest meal possible.
And so last year around fashion week not only I couldn’t close my dresses or fit in my skinny jeans anymore, I also had a very unfortunate burnout which I’ve never talked about on Kayture, only my closest friends and family knew about it. In January, by visiting my doctor for the 1000th time, I found out that not only was I dealing with excess stress, I also discovered that my body had a defensive reaction to all the wrong food decisions I took and the instable nutriment intake, I became gluten intolerant. Gluten being a hard to process protein contained in many foods, in excess can become very nocive and indeed over time the body can start rejecting it, just like you can have diabetes over time by over indulging with sugar.
That’s the way my body decided to fight against that. It blocked access to all these foods that I was eating practically everyday. When I understood that, it was a shock to me and a real alarm clock screaming in my ears. I couldn’t believe it. I was eating bread at each meal, not to mention that cookies and cakes were my religion. So many things I had to say goodbye to… So at first I was pissed. I felt like it was so unfair until I finally got the lesson. There should be pleasures, the problem is that most of us associate indulgence with very heavy and rich, high in sugar, meals when it can be much, much better for you than that.
Moreover, this got me interested in the causes of my problem and I started realizing that I was doing it all wrong for the longest time. I didn’t care at all about my health, I just wanted to get a quick satisfaction. For months, I researched what a healthy lifestyle should be, and how I can be gluten intolerant yet still receive pleasure out of food. The goal was to increase the immune system, fight stress, get rid of my skin issues and loose those extra pounds that felt so heavy on my body.
I started working out : pilates, running, you name it. But yoga is the one which blew my mind completely as it made me understand how body and mind are equally connected together :
What you put in your body should be as clear,
clean and pure as you want your mind to be.
So I started by getting of course rid of all gluten and questioned each product I had in my fridge wondering first of all if it contained gluten and second of all if it’s really good for me. What I realized is that… I had absolutely no freaking clue of what’s in all these foods and therefore of what I put in my body!
I got an app on my phone called “The Whole Pantry” (you should get it like right away) and I read aaaall their case studies about processed foods, GMOs, super foods, sugar and etc. So first thing I did was to trash all processed foods I had, the Philadelphia (which I thought was healthy) the processed salad dressings full of gluten, special K cereals, marketed to be healthy but are full of sugars and aaaall of my supposedly “healthy” granola bars, again all packed with gluten, sugar and god knows what. I thought I had healthy things in my fridge, when I really didn’t.
My diets is now as organic as possible. I still have some macarons or ice cream (preferably fresh from a bakery shop I trust) from time to time but I could never, even if I was starving, grab a snickers bar or kit kat. I’d instead go for an organic, ideally raw, dark chocolate bar with some organic, unsweetened peanut butter. Processed food is the worst, it’s cheap but you have no idea what’s in it. Companies use so many chemicals to make margins on the fabrication of those foods and the more you eat those industrially processed products full of sugars, the more you crave them as they’re smart enough to put in chemical solutions which will get you severely addicted.
Many researches show that
sugar is a common narcotic
It’s a modern drug, popularly commercialized to which we are all sadly addicted when we start eating it. That’s just how our brain reacts and why kids love sweets : our brain analyzes it so easily, it triggers the pleasure button (tin tin tin* yummy! again!) while it takes much more time to appreciate vegetables. Sad but true story which of course all big food chain companies understood and used at their advantage.
I am no nutritionist, but I’ve researched subject for months and I know for fact : you’ll notice that if you do a sugar rehab or even better processed food rehab for at least two weeks, you’ll be surprised (as much as I was) to see that you absolutely won’t crave any of these foods anymore. I know I don’t anymore and I am being 100% honest, not just skinny bitching and convincing myself… Trust me. Instead, it will seriously seem disgusting to you and you’ll have the will to boycott all these GMO’s like I kind of do.
There’s an incredible conference that Jamie Oliver gave where he explains all of this and how schools should be pursued in justice for putting those snack machines in the middle of cafeterias and how from the youngest age, kids are getting used to the taste of sugar, making them physically and mentally addicted. But that’s just how economy work, companies need to continue making profit and selling millions now and later so putting a selling machine in a school is getting all these future young adults addicted and aware of what processed sweet tastes like from the youngest age. They’ll be their most loyal consumers. Smart strategy, no? But question is why do schools accept that when these snacks will only give kids a quick sugar rush and then lead to tiredness, stress and anxiety? Some say, they are being paid by those food chains, we’re almost 99% sure.
Fact is : sugar is everywhere, in salad dressings, in bread, in drinks… Did it ever happen to you that you’ll eat your snickers bar and crave 10 more? Or have your coke and crave entire packs of cookies? Well try eating a full avocado with some drizzled organic olive oil, lemon and pepper and we’ll see if you’ll still want that cookie. Or if you’re more into sweets, then have a banana, have two if you want, and add on top of it organic almond butter, goji berries, strawberries, raw cacao nibs, and we’ll see if you want more ;)
I want, no, I NEED to take the time to tell you all of that because I feel like it’s such a crucial subject. Realizing all of this literally changed my life, and as cheesy as it sounds, it’s so true. My family and friends witnessed it and it’s positive repercussions : it go them all questioning their own decisions and now I can I see them take full control of their diets.
I’ve never felt that good in my entire life.
Plus I’ve never been more aware of what goes in my body. I’ve extended this philosophy further to my skin care (we discussed it previously here) as well as to medicine. Same story, god knows what’s in all of this and taking an antibiotic always lead me to have another illness 3 days later. There are so many natural remedies available against the flu, headaches or even stomach aches, Whole Foods or organic markets are the perfect places to find all of that. But then again, I can’t respect more the advances made in medicine and there is indeed a point where you need them, I’m just trying to say : be careful with what you put in your body and don’t put anything you don’t truly need or don’t know where it comes from. Furthermore, with a healthy diet, you shouldn’t get sick at all :)
Last but not least, I also decided to stop eating meat completely, essentially for ethic reasons but also because meat has been proven by several studies to increase stress levels. I could write you guys a full article about it too haha! At first I thought that cutting off meat would make me lack in energy or in iron… I instead gained energy. I compensate with fish, eat a lot of tofu, quinoa and lentils. I’ve tried being vegan for a month and I must say that being a big lover of fish, eggs and honey, it was hard but I am interested to keep trying as I feel like it’s a much “kinder” way to eat. I don’t wear fur, but leather is so hard to avoid. One day perhaps, more designers will have alternatives (Stella McCartney does an amazing job at that).
The finality of all this is : pay attention, be kind to yourself and make smart decisions. Don’t be a blind consumer, be a clever one and you will only see the benefits out of it. Feed yourself with foods that were made with love, all that good energy will go in you, but also all it’s real nutriments, vitamins and enzymes will help you fight everyday life with bags of strength. With that being said,
I am happy to share with you some
of my favorite healthy, gluten free snacks
to hopefully show you how health
can perfectly go along with pleasure!
1. Berries and Almonds
Light, fresh and crunchy, that’s one of my favorite snacks because it so simple yet delicious. I’ll usually have a mix of berries or just one sort but it’s most of the time my breakfast and a perfect way to start the day as it’s not too much so your stomach won’t get too big (if you eat too much in the morning, your stomach will bloat and you’ll crave more food during the day) yet enough to get me started in great mood.
Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and Manganese (essential in detoxification), they have also great anti-inflammatory properties. Raspberries and Blueberries do as well but are also is very rich in dietary fiber (which helps digestion and nourishes tissues). Almond are rich in vitamin E, B, have many essentials minerals and are the healthy fats you need for your body.
2. The Green Smoothie
Ever since I’ve been on this health path, I couldn’t stop using my blender to create delicious smoothies. I haven’t got my hands on a juicer yet but while in L.A, I drank green juices all day long. At first I couldn’t imagine myself drinking that, especially when it only contains vegetables. But to get used to the taste I came up with a smoothie that does contain fruits and therefore adds a little sweetness to it.
My favorite green smoothie of the moment contains, three cups of baby spinach, 1 stack of celery, half a banana, some fresh raspberries (to your taste, depends how sweet you like it) and chia seeds. I’ll add to it also a cup of water. If you want extra sweetness, you can also add one spoon of raw organic cacao powder, perfect before a work out. You can get chia seeds at any organic health shop, some pharmacies also sell it.
This smoothie is filling, full of vitamins, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying. Chia is high in fiber, rich in omega-3 fatty acids (essential for maintaining metabolic and heart health). The amino acids in Chia seeds regulate mood, improve sleep, promote healthy weight and being rich in protein are perfect for vegetarians.
3. Almond Butter & Sliced banana
My favorite guilty, oh wait, no so guilty pleasure. I love having a gluten free biscotte with two spoons of almond butter and half of a sliced banana. One tablespoon of almond butter contains as much protein as you would get from the same quantity of meat (!) and is an excellent source of fiber. One teaspoon of almond butter contains more than 25% of your daily requirement of Vitamin E, regulate blood sugar (reducing your risk of getting diabetes), are known to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and control blood pressure. Last but not least you can get more omega 3 fatty acids from almond butter than from peanut butter!
I love to slice some banana on top of it. Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin (the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter). They also regulate blood sugar and produce stress-relieving relaxation and are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids!!
4. Dried Apricots, Cashews, Walnuts and Apple
Just as simple as it is! Apples are my favorite snack ever, sometimes I’ll have 3 a day just because I genuinely love them that much. I always keep them in the refrigerator, that way there’re super juicy and fresh when I have one. Apples are filled with soluble fiber which has shown to reduce intestinal disorders and some types of cancer. It helps control insulin levels, it cleanses and detoxifies.
Cashews and Walnuts are packed with nutritional content and are those healthy fats you want and need. Dried apricots are a very good source of iron and are above all delicious! They have so many hidden properties to fight stomach flues and promote a beautiful skin.
5. Egg white omelet with spinach and broccoli
Cheers to egg white omelets! High in protein, low in carbs and completely fat-free (if only the oil you use to cook it with), they are the perfect, filling buddy you could get. I cook mine on olive oil (just a tiny drizzle) and love having some spinach and broccoli in it.
On top of that, I’ll always have a side of avocado to go along as I am so addicted to it! Avocados are nutritional powerhouses providing with numerous potential health benefits full of healthy fats, proteins and vitamins. YUM!
6. Sliced Fruits
Nothing better than some sweet, delicious sliced fruits anytime of the day. I am obsessed with Watermelon, Cantaloupe which contains a large amount of Vitamin A, one of the best natural antioxidants for human body. So due to this antioxidant property, it fights against different types of cancers keeping you disease free and healthy. I also love having some sliced Pineapple, it’s very is low in calories but is still a storehouse of several unique health promoting compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health!