There are two main reasons for this post.
- To hold me accountable and to document my progress with my new nutrition plan
- To clear up any confusion as to WHY I am doing this nutrition plan
Let’s start with what the plan is. It’s called the GAPS diet. GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome and was developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. Basically, my digestive system is in poor health. When I am stressed, I eat a lot of sugar and refined carbs. Read my previous post about my sugar addiction for a little bit of a background. In addition to this, I have bipolar disorder. I don’t want to take medication for the rest of my life, and I am very aware that good nutrition and regular fitness are very important for both physical and mental health. I decided to take a mental health coaching program from a holistic wellness coach who has bipolar disorder, and has successfully managed her bipolar without medication for one year.
I started the program with her almost two weeks ago, and officially started the GAPS diet this past Wednesday. My coach, Nellie, recommended this nutrition plan for me because I need to get my digestion under control. Every symptom I’ve been having is directly related to an unhealthy gut. I have candida, which is a fungus that overgrows when we consume too much sugar and refined carbs. I have almost every single symptom of it (and now it all makes sense!):
- chronic fatigue
- digestive issues
- difficulty concentrating/foggy brain
- irritability, mood swings, depression, anxiety
- seasonal allergies and itchy ears (I’ve never had itchy ears before- so weird)
- strong sugar and refined carb cravings (oh my gosh, it’s awful)
- skin rashes — I have had hives 3 times in the past 4 weeks. A couple nights ago, I woke up at 4:30 am with severe hives on both my arms. Here’s a picture (it was not pleasant and rather scary, actually):
It’s not only physical, but also mental. The GAPS diet is used for people with various mental health conditions, like depression, ADHD, schizophrenia, and so on. Having bipolar disorder, the GAPS diet is perfect. I told Nellie that I would be completely open and be the client (I’m used to being the health coach), and try out what she recommended for me. It has worked for her (and countless others), and I am really excited to see how it helps my mental stability! And of course the healthy body and weight loss will be great. 🙂
It really is a different feeling when you’re eating for health as opposed to eating for weight loss. It’s so much easier. Don’t get me wrong though, it is by no means EASY. It’s been four days and I am struggling. Sugar addiction is no joke. I crave it and I get really moody when I don’t have it. But I am finding alternatives, and today has been a really great nutrition day! So I feel optimistic about it.
While on the GAPS diet (however long I decide to be on it- at least five weeks), I cannot have grains/gluten, dairy, sugar, anything processed, and soy.
This leads me to the second point of this post.
I have been a health coach with Herbalife for exactly one and a half years in May. Herbalife has completely changed my life, and I am forever grateful for the company, the products, and the people who have helped me lose weight and go after my dreams! However, Herbalife meal replacement shakes contain soy. It was never a problem for me (like I said, it helped me to lose weight and feel amazing!), but I told Nellie I would be completely open, so that means stopping Herbalife for the five weeks or so that I am her client. I was hesitant about it at first, but not only am I paying my coach for the mental health coaching, I am committed to finding ways to treat my bipolar disorder holistically. Why would I do this program, and spend the entire however many weeks/months not doing what my coach asked me to do? As a coach, I know how frustrating that is! Having clients who you spend time on and give your all to, but they just won’t do what you ask them to do. I would be a hypocrite. It’s like what Seth Godin (my favorite blogger) said,
“If you don’t have the time to do it right the first time, then you don’t have the time to do it over.”
Because I am doing a nutrition plan that does not allow soy (which therefore does not allow Herbalife meal replacement shakes, except allergen-free, which is totally fine), I do not feel authentic when talking about it at this time. I get that some people will not understand this. That since I have been with Herbalife (and I am successful with it), I should only promote Herbalife, no matter what. And okay, I do get that for some people. But it doesn’t feel right in my heart promoting something that I am not currently doing. It is not authentic. It denies me integrity.
I will eventually introduce certain foods back into my diet, like my Herbalife shakes (trust me, I miss them!). I still love the products, I can still share about my experiences with them, and I still love the company. My current nutrition has nothing to do with Herbalife as a company or even a product. My current nutrition/situation has nothing to do with anyone or anything BUT ME.
I am still coaching clients. I am still building a team in Ohio. I feel good about the decision I’ve made, and I don’t have to explain myself to anyone. I just figured I’d clear a few things up. 🙂
I will be posting updates about my mental health coaching and GAPS diet weekly!