My nutrition philosophy

I live my life being flexible, open-minded and open to change. And naturally this applies to my diet.

Gradually starting in 2010 I started to make some major changes to my diet and my lifestyle. From eating anything and everything my whole life, at 35 I thankfully developed some health issues. Three autoimmune disorders (I do not like the word disease) one of them is lichen planopilaris (LPP), a follicular form of lichen planus, is a rare inflammatory lymphocytemediated disorder, a form of alopecia. You can read more about it this article I have written back when I was just diagnosed.

So from that time, on advise of my natural health care practitioner Dr Mincolla (more about him here), in 2010, I completely changed my diet and went Gluten Free, Yeast Free, Sugar Free. He also advised against cows’ milk, so I cut down my consumption to barely nothing, just an occasional yogurt and some cheese on my sandwiches. Today my diet has evolved even more, but in 2010, this what has worked wonders for me.

Next couple of years proved to be the most instrumental learning curve of my life. Under Dr Mincolla’s supervision I was changing my diet, my life and my mind. I have always been interested in nutrition, but now I became obsessed with it. Reading, watching, listening and learning from any source I came across –  blogs, magazines, books, movies, videos, doctors, nutritionists, homeopathic and acupuncture practitioners – any source that could educate me.

By 2012 I was comfortable enough to listen to my body, to understand some of the symptoms I would develop and be able to sometimes address and relief them. And with a family of four, I have my own little nutritional practice at home.

I believe a person’s nutrition needs depend on many factors such as gender, age, level of regular physical activity, current health, among basics, but I also think climate and seasons play a role.

When I lived in Southern California being vegan and/or vegetarian seemed so easy, juicing, as well as nice refreshing smoothies and salads were ideal meal choices. Produce was abundant, fresh and local!

Now living in New England I have noticed the same was true for me in the late Spring, Summer and then early Fall, but as soon as it starts to get colder, my body starts craving different foods, warming foods, as well as more protein. On a chilly morning, a smoothie or a juice no longer appeals to me, but I am craving a warm breakfast of roasted veggies and eggs. During the day in place of a salad I want a soup or a warm bowl (Oct 2014 update – grains are no longer a part of my diet, but warm bowl is still an awesome choice for many 🙂 ), as my nutritional needs are changing, I need to listen to my body and make adjustments.

So that is where I stand with my personal nutritional philosophy – we all are different, and as our bodies change, as our environments changes, so our nutritional needs change. We need to respect and listen to our bodies to be well, healthy and to live a full happy life.

To your health,

Elena

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Showing 24 comments
  • mmmarzipan
    Reply

    Very interesting post! I too care far more about nutrition now than I ever did before and, especially being pregnant, I am a massive advocate of the “listen when your body talks” approach to eating- it has helped me tremendously during both of my pregnancies and with this one being deemed “high risk” (due to an SCH diagnosis), diet and nutrition are extra important as they are things I can control 🙂

    • Elena
      Reply

      I also think where we are internally has a huge impact on how we are externally, how we feel how we look, our health and how our life unfolds in front of us. Just yesterday I read this quote from Eckhart Tolle http://presentheaven.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/eckhart-tolle-present-moment-reminder/ and it made so much sense…And I get the best vibe from you through your blog, your writing – thank you for sharing with us that side of you 🙂
      I was a “high risk” with my second one – just had to go with it and trust that God does not make mistakes.
      My thoughts are with you, your baby and your family!
      E

      • mmmarzipan
        Reply

        Great quote! And thanks so much for the encouragement and kind thoughts- very much appreciated! 🙂 x

  • Erick Adamantine
    Reply

    Hey, you and I are not so different. I discovered I had psoriasis about 2 years ago, and ever since then I have been watching what I eat immensely. Sure it is a different lifestyle that what I was used too; I can’t eat dairy, spicy, or cold/dry food because this aggravates my skin and causes the psoriasis to come out, but it is a freeing condition in a way. How? Because knowing exactly how my body works gives me full control over it. This is extremely empowering in that sense.

    Thanks for the visit btw.

    Erick.

    • Elena
      Reply

      I agree Erick! I think it is empowering to be able to help your body heal and get better, and stronger, to know what foods affect it in which ways – for me it also was a life changing experience. I am still amazed at the power food has on our bodies, but most people can not see that until they get sick. My disorder made me healthier 🙂
      I am so happy for you! As you are managing your psoriasis, you are learning to listen to your body and are probably growing healthier for it!
      Thank you very much for stopping by my website!
      Elena

  • jzrart
    Reply

    Thanks Elena for stopping by my blog, One Rich Life, and your like. This looks like a great blog to me. Keep up your great work.

    • bethechange1996
      Reply

      Great post! I totally agree that nutrition is key to stay healthy as well as a healthy lifestyle . Although i am only 16 i have taken interest in watching many of the documentaries out there on health ( hungry for change, food mattters, and some others on netflix) and am starting to be a lot more health conscious, so i find your post to be great! I have been thinking about going more organic and cutting some things out of my diet, so i have a question for you, how has changing your diet changed things for you health wise ?

      • Elena
        Reply

        Hi Bethechange! By the way I love that quote – “Be the change you want to see in the world!” thank you for reminding me of it!
        As far as my health – there are so many things! and since I am turning 40 in June, as you can imagine I have a lot of things that could have gone wrong by now 🙂 and some of it would be totally foreign to you. My daughter is a freshman in high school, thankfully most kids are healthy and all they worry about as far as health is clear skin, sports injuries and enough energy to last them though the day.

        But I have to say that when in 2010 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, it prompted me to completely change my diet as well as my lifestyle, it took time, but I am completely asymptomatic now and that is not what the doctors predicted. I feel amazing – I mean, my energy level is thought the roof – I never get sleepy or tired mid-day, never feel like a nap or a coffee to pick me up. I am in a great shape, mentally and physically.

        To be honest, when my body was given a chance to run on a cleaner, better fuel, with less junk and toxins – my mind became sharper, clearer, I became far more creative. It is actually very cool to try and summarize all that…thank you for a great question! Now I feel like I need a whole new post, just on the effects my diet had on my overall wellbeing. Perhaps I will do that! As I mentioned earlier, there are just too many things to list in a comment. I am already making a list of all the changes – please stay tuned for a new post 🙂 and again thank you so much for forcing me to think with gratitude of all the wonderful changes that have occurred since!
        Elena

        • bethechange1996
          Reply

          Thanks for all the info! And i would love to hear about all the changes you have seen since changing your diet:) It is true that a lot of teenagers do not realize what they put in there body will affect them many years down the road. I have suffered with acne for the last couple years so in my search for trying to get rid of it one of the things i have stumbled upon time after time is the fact that diet has a direct affect on your skin since it is your largest organ. Have you noticed any changes in your skin since changing the way you eat?Cause i have heart that diet definitely helps with promoting clearer skin:)

          • Elena

            Absolutely!
            1. drinking the right amount of water for your weight, you can read about it here – http://elenaselivan.com/2013/04/05/water-you-are-what-you-drink/ ; no sodas, no energy drinks.
            2. no sugar, no white flour, no processed fats – only sugar from fruit, ideally gluten free as much as you can and only whole grains (quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, etc.), fats – olive oil, coconut oil (for cooking), avocado, nuts.
            3. no cow’s milk (if you are big on cheese – try sheep or goat cheese, easier to digest, less issues)
            4. if meal is cooked at home – even a sandwich, it is better than processed foods.

            Have to be careful with allergens. You may be sensitive to nuts, to milk.

            Pick one item – stick with it for a week, see how you feel, maybe go two weeks. let’s say you start with more water/no sugary drinks – go for a week or two. Then exclude sugar, but add veggies and fruit. Then bread, then milk… I hope this makes sense. Gradually crowd out the bad stuff with more water, fruits, vegetables, good protein, good fats.

            Let me know how it goes!

          • bethechange1996

            Thanks for all the good information! All good tips on eating healthy:) I will have to try it !

  • adventurousandrea
    Reply

    Fantastic!

    • Elena
      Reply

      🙂 Thank you! I think so too 😉

  • Be BOLD
    Reply

    Reblogged this on beboldbaltimore and commented:
    BOLDness requires healthy living to do the things you need and want to do! I’m so glad I was introduced to Elena’s blog…. check it out! She’s a health coach and provides some very useful info.

  • sisterecipes
    Reply

    Very inspiring and inspirational post. More and more I am learning the impact and importance of listening to and taking care of not only your body but your mind as well. I really enjoy your blog, thanks for taking the time to visit mine as well. Take care!

  • Elena
    Reply

    Thank you! I am so glad you like the blog and I do hope it will be useful! And thank you for stopping by! Elena

  • loujenhaxmyor
    Reply

    Despite being over a year old, this post was most appreciated. In fact, this site has some really uplifting info. Will return to read more of your interesting topics. Many thanx for sharing this info and for visiting my blog. Peace.

    • Elena
      Reply

      Thank you Arthur! I appreciate you stopping by, and am glad you have found some useful info here!

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