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The No Diet
by Susan Harrow
When freedom means there's nothing left to eat!

I really don't want to put a negative spin on this diet. The NO is like that cheerful and affirmative NO that comes from our little two-year-olds when they are so busy establishing their identity - this, not that, as the Buddhists would say. But when I first read the prescribed diet handed to me by my doctor, it didn't look like there was anything left to eat.

However, this diet has not only cured me of the worst case of candida my doctor had ever seen (now he's happy to tell me, "You were a mess!"), but it has also helped me establish a whole new healthy identity. There are advantages to learning to say no.

For me the basic elements of the diet are:
*no wheat, yeast, gluten
*no dairy
*no sugar
*no processed food

Think about this for awhile and read a few food labels and you will see what I was up against. The original diet description also eliminated coffee, eggs, meat, fruit, corn, peanut butter, ketchup, vinegar and some other items. It's hard for me to imagine now that I even said yes (or is it no?) However, I did have a friend doing the same program at the same time and I think the buddy system just might have saved me. I can still remember running to her house as fast as I could when after months of the diet she had somehow concocted a tasty vegetable lasagne that met all of our requirements.

The 80/20 maintenance program means that 80% of the time, I stick to the elements above, and 20% of the time I can walk outside the boundaries. This works for me but may not necessarily work for others. Since I am not allergic or celiac, my body seems to be able to tolerate some excursions away from NO. It is also amazing to observe how the mind defines and redefines that 20% when faced with fluffy, crusty French bread, New York style pizza dripping with cheese or strawberry cream cake. However, my body now has its own voice and reminds me of my commitment to health, wholeness and longevity (there's still lots of work to do on this planet).

I would be happy to consult with you about your own healing journey. I am not a doctor or dietician, but I've learned a lot along the way. I've read a million labels and investigated all kinds of products. I enjoy cooking because I love eating great food and can offer you some sage advice (no herb intended), but I'm not a recipe keeper. At the very least, if you need a buddy or support person, I'd be happy to be the listening ear either by phone or email. After all, when it comes right down to it, we're all in this together!

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