Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Moment on Your Lips Before Things Go Topsy-Turvy

Pizza is a guilty-pleasure food that should constitute a very small percentage of the diet. Photo from Dreamstime.


do you manage eating healthy every day, NYC Healthy Chick?”

My friend’s caregiver posed this question to me recently. The answer is simple. I must eat healthy 90 percent of the time or suffer the consequences. What are the manifestations?

I experience both emotional and physical imbalances like low energy, fatigue, irritability, brain-fog, sleep disruptions, ruddy skin, PMS, constipation, blood sugar highs/lows, candida, as well as aches and pains throughout my entire body.

Trust me when I say these imbalances totally drive NYC Healthy Chick up a wall! During these moments, I feel like Sybil hijacked my body, and all of my multiple secret personalities creep out of nowhere. Looking from the outside in, I hear my innervoice screaming, “What the heck is going on here sista!”

"Sybil" is the novel by Flora Rheta Schreiber based on the experiences of Shirely Ardell Mason. It tracks a woman’s journey with social anxiety and memory loss. After extended therapy using amobarbital and hypnosis interviews, Sybil manifested 16 personalities.

Bagels and cream cheese is a breakfast favorite among New Yorkers but may have unpleasant after-effects for some. Photo from Hy-Vee.

While I don’t really suffer from a multiple personality disorder, I have found that eating as I do still assists me in managing my emotional and mental states. The result is optimal wellness. In other words, I no longer suffer from the imbalances caused by food intolerances. This is not the case for everyone, including an ex-boyfriend. In his case wheat was the trigger

My ex – I’ll call him Jack – was charming, caring and energetic. About 65 percent of the time he ate relatively healthy, drank plenty of water, got adequate sleep and exercised occasionally. However, when Jack’s diet consisted mostly of processed foods, when he didn’t get proper rest, exercise or drink enough water, his polar-opposite personality reared its ugly head. His Sybil turned up one Sunday when we took his 17 month-old to visit his parents for brunch. En route, Jack picked up bagels and cream cheese, a New York City staple food. His mom whipped up eggs, fruit and New Jersey tomatoes.

Moments after eating the bagels (containing flour which is made from ground wheat), my once-charming, energetic and fun mate began wheezing, coughing and was physically impaired on the couch for an hour. Eventually Jack took a meandering walk in a nearby park but spent most of the time parked on a bench while I played with his daughter.

A poster for "Sybil," the film starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward that was adapted from the novel of the same name. It is about a woman who suffered from multiple-personality disorder. Photo from Amazon.

Jack is one of the 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. population adversely affected by wheat intolerances. Wheat intolerance shows itself through a number of different symptoms that could also be blamed on many other allergies, diseases or other food intolerances. Some of the most common complaints include drowsiness, bloating, flatulence, fluid retention and swelling of limbs or joints.

In worst cases of wheat intolerance, sufferers may experience extreme fatigue, depression and obesity. Left untreated, it may even develop into diabetes, Celiac Disease or other ailments that may require lifelong medical treatment. When in doubt, leave wheat out!

A meal of spinach and salmon with strawberry salsa is nutrient-rich and promotes energy. Photo from Whole Foods Market.

In fact, leave wheat out if for only a short while by participating in NYC Healthy Chick’s Wheat Free Week. For the next seven days, eliminate pizza, bread, cereal, pasta, cookies, pastries – anything made with flour. Note whether eliminating wheat helps with your physical and emotional state while improving your overall feeling of well-being. Chances are it will.

Not sure if you have food intolerances? Check out TEDx Austin video with Robyn O’Brien ( The food advocate is author of The Unhealthy Truth. Backed by meticulous research, RB’s book sheds light on the heavily profit-driven initiatives of the American food industry and government policies that have led to the polluting of the U.S. food supply with harmful additives, especially foods marketed to children.

Pizza, pasta, pastry taking you to a bad place in your mind, body and soul? Stop eating them or any foods that take you there.

It's summertime and the grilling is easy with a vegetable medley. Photo from Whole Foods Market.

Clean-eating is the key to solving the mystery of mood-altering states. To that end, following are links to yummy basic recipes that pack a balance of nutrition and energy-producing properties. With Baked Salmon with Spinach and Strawberries, not only will you get your daily serving of greens, but essential fatty acids. Strawberry Salsa as a garnish for the salmon is a refreshing twist on the traditional topping. (

Whose the grillmaster in your house? Here’s an opportunity for someone to show off those grilling skills with Grilled Summer Vegetables. Grilling vegetables is an excellent way to get the most flavor and nutrients out of them. (

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