“Va Va Voom” — the 10 day energy diet by Jackie Lynch — #pelvicroar review (Part 2):
Last June, I attended one of “Positive Pause’s” menopause sessions and first met Jackie. She is an excellent and very experienced nutritionist and some of her tips (such as cashew nut butter in porridge) made an almost instant difference to some of my most challenging menopause symptoms.I was inspired by the changes and decided to buy her book, “Va Va Voom”, which covers more general nutritional issues and tiredness in particular.
I have reviewed the book previously but let me just outline the most important points from my perspective:
— It is easy and enjoyable to read
— It manages to balance solid, evidence-based information with a conversational, easy-to-read style
— It is practical and down-to-earth
— It has a fantastic self-assessment at the beginning to identify your individual needs
— It offers realistic solutions that allow you to enjoy your food and your life! My favourite is to drink red wine rather than white as it has less sugar and is therefore less disruptive to your blood sugar balance. I like to shorten this to “drink red wine”, although I suspect that isn’t exactly what Jackie meant!
The central theme of the book is a ten-day diet plan that helps to boost your nutritional status, reduce fatigue and other unwanted symptoms, and support you in working out what foods and drinks may be causing you issues.
Having had success with some of the tips, I decided that I would follow the ten diet as carefully as I could – both to see how I felt during and after it as well as to enable me to complete this review!
I set aside ten days where I had limited social events that involved eating and drinking outside of my house or workplace. This is really important if you want to throw yourself into this ten day plan. I followed Jackie’s advice completely – she includes recipe ideas, shopping lists, advice on preparing the kitchen to avoid temptation and lots of information on exercise, stress management and lifestyle tips to help you feel your best and support your body during the plan.
The overwhelming point to make is that it really is not as difficult as I expected! Even the detox day, which was a suitably low-key one (as advised) was actually a pleasure rather than an ordeal. I took time to prepare a really good salad for lunch and it felt more like a treat than a restriction. I rarely felt hungry during the plan and the breakfasts in particular worked incredibly well.
I tweeted about my progress on a daily basis and had very encouraging responses from Jackie. This was very motivational and I would recommend that you either try to work through this book with a friend or two, or enlist someone to check in with you and encourage you during the plan, in case you do find aspects of it challenging.
The plan went so well that I have continued with many aspects of it over a month later, and will continue to do so.
The book suggests that you integrate three points from the plan into your everyday life. I am actually doing more, as it worked so well, but three is a brilliantly realistic and achievable goal. So what are my changes?
1. Drink only one coffee a day, rather than two or three. I found this was the item that affected me most and I had significant withdrawal headaches on the plan, even with my modest intake (and I rarely drink any other caffeinated drinks)
2. Avoid breakfast cereals. Having tried most of Jackie’s breakfast ideas, I found them so much more satisfying than cereals that I now prefer omelettes, porridge and avocado on rye bread as my breakfasts of choice. I then snack much less during the morning!
3. Never let my blood sugar drop out of control. I plan healthy snacks that won’t lead to sugar highs and lows and never get too hungry.
I have finally started to lose the last 6 kilos that have been stubbornly resistant and I think that this is due to my improved blood sugar balance allowing me to snack less, as I just don’t get as hungry! The closer I stick to Jackie’s rules, the less hot flushes I get. I was away over the Easter break and as my diet strayed, the hot flushes flared up. I am now getting them back under control with diet and it is such a relief to feel that I do have some power over them.
This book is truly excellent for all kinds of reasons and I would recommend it to every woman!
Written By Myra Robson