“Because any diet which includes dark chocolate, red wine, goat’s cheese, avocado and black coffee, and involves health potentials like this has me super interested.”
If your ear is to the ground regarding health these days, you will have heard about lectins already. The first time I remember reading about them was in The Blood Type Diet, which honestly was too complicated to follow in a practical kitchen. And this from someone who has embraced many different diets, seeking health and answers to life’s common diseases.
Fast forward a few years (bear with me, this might be a long one..) and Dr Stephen Gundry entered my life. Indirectly of course, and I was less-than interested in my health at the time, so I paid scant attention. In my (delusional) mind, my strong background in health should last a lifetime, and I could (should) get away with being lazy about self-nurture for awhile, right? Wrong Suki, so wrong.
The theory is that lectins create an inflammatory response in the body because they are clever, naturally occurring pesticides – designed to prevent bugs and animals eating them. Unless we have strong allergic reactions to these foods, we’re unlikely to notice tiny negative side-effects of these lectins, which build up in our bodies, added to which, our hunting/farming lifestyles have progressed at different rates than our already compromised immune systems. Any intake of penicillin, steroids and antibiotics has the potential to drastically unbalance us for months or years. Things is, most people have become so used to suboptimal health that they are never really able to pinpoint what is wrong, let alone remember when they last felt really great.
The second time Gundry made an appearance was when more friends started following The Plant Paradox which eliminates all lectins. The positive results were clear to see, yet I was still disinterested in making the effort back into the world of health again. A few months later, as I witnessed more exciting transformations, this tiny mysterious part of my brain switched on, I began reading the book, and that was it – my health brain reignited!! Initially I failed terribly – I hadn’t read the book fully – the more I read and understood, the easier the diet became. For the first 3 weeks I felt the results inside, but there was little visible evidence externally. But then my body began changing shape slowly. Any aches and pains disappeared, my back problems vanished, and I started to feel strong and clear.
Unfortunately, going gluten-free is not the answer. In fact, many replacement foods many be as problematic as the original gluten containing foods.
My initial trial was in Vietnam, and then I continued when I returned to Bali – letting go of my staples – cashews, corn chips and chickpeas! Gundry is having incredible results with his clients from Alzheimer’s, to diabetes, cancer and arthritis – illnesses which are supposedly incurable. It’s mind blowing.
There are however huge holes in his theories. He has little understanding of cleansing, and he doesn’t believe in fruit or fresh juices. Like any diet which allows healing – macrobiotic, raw vegan, vegan, paleo, keto, bulletproof, blood type (and on and on) the ‘right’ foods are excluded. And recommending the use of microwaves – hey, if it helps thousands of people heal from degenerative diseases, that’s awesome. But understand that it has limitations.