Do you always struggle to lose weight, no matter how many calories you count or how much exercise you do? The Core Balance Diet, devised by Marcelle Pick, could be the…
Do you always struggle to lose weight, no matter how many calories you count or how much exercise you do? The Core Balance Diet, devised by Marcelle Pick, could be the solution to your dieting woes… Most practitioners have given up on counselling women to change their diets; it takes too much time and it’s far easier to write a prescription. But the beneficial effects that nutrition and positive lifestyle changes can offer are far cheaper and longer-lasting than a prescription.
Food is a potent medicine on its own. If you combine good nutrition with moderate daily exercise and safe supplements, you can and will make huge improvements to your health that will shrink inches from your waistline.
The following guidelines are designed to clear away clutter from your diet, to stabilise your blood sugar and hormones and to quiet the extraneous ‘noise’ in your internal conversation so that you can listen to your core symptoms more clearly.
For some women this plan may be all it takes to allow their bodies to feel safe enough to let go of toxic weight.
The information presented below is an introduction to the Core Balance Essential Plan, which is to be followed over a 14-day period, and consists of foods to eat abundantly, foods to eat in moderation and foods to limit or avoid, plus a list of recommended supplements, herbs and spices. For the full 28-day programme, please refer to the book (details at the end of this article).
When following the Core Balance Essential Plan, each meal should be balanced: approximately 30 per cent protein, 30 per cent healthy fats and 40 per cent complex carbohydrates, mostly from vegetables and complex grains (with a lot of fibre thrown in).
The essential eating plan is designed to keep your metabolism humming and your belly filled, but if you find you are really hungry, make a big pot of potassium stock (see the next page for the recipe) or miso soup and sip throughout the day. Or, if you’re constantly craving certain foods, try these craving busters.
To try if you are craving
Sweet and creamy
Avocado guacamole or have a spoonful of healthy nut butter instead
Liquorice tea with ginseng
Take 1,000mg of L-glutamine and/or drink kudzu tea
Drink a cup of hot water, lemon juice with cayenne pepper, or a miso soup
You need to be reasonable when it comes to portion size. Eat slowly, taking time to chew and swallow and give your brain time to register the contents of your stomach. This takes about 20 minutes. So stop before you feel stuffed! One way to measure your full portion of food per meal is to cup your hands together in a bowl. That’s about how big your stomach is. Serve yourself that amount of food, then wait 20 minutes. If you are still hungry, help yourself to more. Your stomach can stretch to accommodate a lot of food at one time, but overeating shocks your metabolism and sends your insulin into hyper-drive. Our goal is to soothe your body, not keep it in high gear. Here is a list of the foods you’ll be eating in moderation or in abundance. Use it as a guide to serving sizes, as well as a reference for your shopping list.
Foods to eat in abundance
• Leafy greens
• Non-starchy vegetables
• Lean protein – turkey, chicken, duck, bison, tofu, soya protein, rice protein, whey protein
• Complex grains – whole wheat, buckwheat, oats, groats, rye, spelt, amaranth, quinoa, millet, barley
• Wild and brown rice
• Nuts and nut butters
• Monounsaturated oils
Foods to eat in moderation
• Fish (because of high mercury levels, no more than once a week; for the same reason, smaller fish, such as tilapia, sole and orange roughy are preferable to larger fish such as tuna or swordfish)
• Polyunsaturated oils
• Saturated fats – butter, animal/poultry fat and skin, coconut and palm oils; keep these to a minimum if you have heart disease, high cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
• Dairy – hard cheeses, cottage cheese, ricotta, yoghurt, cream, soured cream
• Lean beef, pork, lamb (organic if possible)
• Starchy vegetables – artichokes, corn, fava beans, root vegetables (except celeriac and fennel, which you can eat in abundance)
• Celtic sea salt
• Maple syrup, brown rice syrup, honey, stevia
• Wholegrain breads and biscuits, preferably gluten-free
• Kelp products (for iodine)
Foods to limit or avoid
• High-fructose corn syrup
• Trans fats, damaged and rancid fats
• Partially hydrogenated fats
• Artificial sweeteners
• Artificial chemicals/preserv atives – BHA, BHT, MSG, food colouring etc
• Sweets and chocolate
• Processed milk products (skimmed milk, low-fat milk)
• Smoked/preserved/canned meats
• Baked goods – cakes, biscuits, pastries, scones, pancakes, waffles etc
• Refined-grain biscuits
• Fried foods (crisps, chips)
• Refined sugar, white flour, white rice
Daily supplements, herbs and spices
• A high quality multivitamin with calcium and magnesium
• Essential fatty acids
• A probiotic with Lactobacillus acidopholus and L bifidus in the billions (take with water five to 15 minutes before eating)
• Seaweed or kelp
• Thermogenic spices – ginger, cayenne pepper, mustard, cinnamon, turmeric – use to season foods
• Eat three balanced meals and two snacks a day.
• Eat adequate protein at every meal, especially breakfast.
• Start the day with a cup of hot water, lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper to stimulate the secretion of bile from the liver and rev up your digestion for the day.
• Eat within an hour of waking; finish eating by 7pm if you can.
• Chew thoroughly so your saliva has a chance to work.
• Eat as many leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables as you want.
• Limit dairy products to just four servings a day and choose raw or lightly pasteurised milk or goat’s milk, yoghurts, cheeses and other organic products.
• Eat healthy fats, particularly foods rich in omega 3s like deep-water fish, sardines in oil and flaxseed, borage, hemp, sesame seed and wheatgerm oils.
• Eliminate all ‘white’ food – refined sugar, flour and cereals.
• Colour your world – dark green, deep red, purple, orange and blue – because colourful foods have a greater nutrient and enzyme concentration.
• Remember to hydrate – drink at least eight 250ml glasses of filtered water or non-caffeinated herbal tea a day.
• Limit caffeine to one or two cups a day, preferably from green tea.
• Avoid soft drinks, including undiluted juice; drink herbal teas or bubbly water with lemon or lime instead.
• 3 litres water
• 4 large potatoes with skin, washed well, chopped or sliced
• 300g carrots, chopped
• 250g celery
• 150g onion, chopped
• Additional leftover vegetables, such as kale, Swiss chard, leeks, beetroots and beetroot tops, turnips and green or yellow beans
• Fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and garlic
• 2 tbsps lemon juice or to taste
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Optional: 2 tsps miso paste or 1/2 vegetable stock cube
Place all of the vegetables, herbs and garlic in a large saucepan and cover with water. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Cover and cook slowly for 45 minutes, or until all vegetables are very soft. Remove from heat and strain through a colander, into a large bowl or pan. Refrigerate liquid. Warm before serving, adding miso paste or a crumbled stock cube, if desired.
Spotting caffeine on the list of foods to limit or avoid may have given you more than a moment’s pause. I’m okay with one cup of coffee in the morning while you are on the Core Balance Essential Plan, but know that weaning off caffeine for a period of time is always a healthy choice. If you need more than one cup, try changing what’s in the cup! See below:
Herbal teas for all reasons
• To invigorate and boost digestion: cinnamon, ginger, green teas, fennel, gentian, gotu kola, lemongrass, peppermint, red A good cuppa raspberry, sage, slippery elm
• To detoxify: alfalfa, anise, dandelion, fenugreek, gingko, liquorice, nettle, parsley, red clover, uva ursi
• To boost immunity: birch bark, echinacea, elder, feverfew, garlic, goldenseal, marshmallow
• To calm and relax: borage, chamomile, dong quai, hops, kava kava, kudzu, passionflower, valerian
To make a delicious infusion preheat a two-litre teapot and a mug with hot water. Fill the kettle with cold water and heat just until boiling. Empty teapot and add two to three tablespoons of herbal leaves or flowers (or to taste). Fill the teapot with just-boiled water. Let it steep for three to four minutes. Empty the mug and put the infusion through a small, tigh mesh tea strainer. Serve with lemon.
Please note: if you are on prescription medication, diabetic, pregnant, or breastfeeding, do not ingest herbs or herbal teas without discussing them first with your GP.
Natural Health Loves Cho-Yung Tea, £39.99, a natural aid to weight loss, and Teapigs organic matcha super power green tea, £25, a great metabolism booster green tea, £25
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