For the “at-risk” population of the human species known as the “couch potato,” a drive-up window at a local fast food establishment can be as close as it gets to satisfying the human body’s craving for nourishment.
But for the members of Wilma Shaw’s RESTART® program, a five-week, online meetup that brings together up to 10 nutritionally challenged Puget Sounders in an interactive, video chat session, the mind-body connection is being fed through a desktop or mobile window that delivers a lot faster and better nutrition.
The program, which is highly personalized, lets you digest at your own speed. For the second online session on the subject of digestion, Wilma has class members consume a small bag of blanched, white, sesame seeds. Then set their watches. The big finish happens offline, after 18-72 hours of transition time, when the seeds reemerge at the other end of the digestive pipeline. The goal in this case is to take note of your own digestive throughput. A faster Internet pipeline is simply a bonus.
As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner or NTP, Wilma has an arsenal of tools at her disposal, including food journals, a cookbook, recommended reading, videos, a Facebook page, and a “Detox” workbook. The journey is transformative. A powerful realization is that sugar as an additive to practically every processed food we eat is indeed addictive.
Like drugs of abuse – such as nicotine, cocaine and heroin – sugar spikes a release of dopamine, hijacking the brain’s reward pathway and making users dependent. The brain becomes tolerant to sugar – and more is needed to attain the same “sugar high.”
“Sugar is the new fat,” explains Shaw. “Sugar consumption leads to inflammation including gut permeability, which is foundational to many chronic disease states and autoimmune conditions. Not just the added sugars, but the refined carbohydrates with little nutrition and lots of quickly converted sugar are at issue.”
Wilma can empathize with the frustrations of her students. “I was misled by the FDA, AHA and food companies for many years,” she recounts. “When I started training I lost about 15 pounds, but couldn’t lose any more. I was swimming, biking and running a lot, but always giving my body sugar before, during and after workouts, never requiring the need to burn fat. I didn’t know any better at the time. I do now! I no longer need to consume energy drinks or sugary goos in order to run five miles. After changing my eating habits, I lost the remaining pounds without effort.”
Before pursuing nutritional therapy full-time, Wilma was on a different circuit, earning a degree in electrical engineering along with an MBA and traveling worldwide for the Boeing company. Once, after explaining her new profession as a certified nutritionist to a border guard who was examining her many passport stamps and visas, she confessed, “My systems engineering is now about the person instead of the airplane.”
The RESTART® program is a live, interactive class where you can see and hear other participating classmates online. The nutrition education uses only real food. There are no pills, powders, or pre-packaged goods to buy, although some supplements are available. It is not a quick fix, and not a weight loss or “diet” plan. Just a reality check. Between sessions, Wilma provides email and Facebook support as well as many other useful resources. For many, it is an online journey of self-discovery with tools to use for a healthier lifetime.
- How to prepare mentally, physically, and emotionally to make successful changes to your diet.
- How digestion is supposed to work and simple ways to enhance yours.
- What sugar really does in your body, the stages of dysglycemia (Hypoglycemia, Hyperglycemia, Insulin Resistance, Type 2 Diabetes), and effective ways to reduce your risk of these conditions.
- The truth about FATS and why healthy fats are essential for healthy Blood Sugar Regulation, as well as your general good health. You will learn which fats to eat, which fats to avoid, and why!
- How to move forward from the sugar detox and re-introduce foods in a healthful way back into your daily diet.