Even though it was the first time I had heard from it, the book was first published four years ago and is a New York Times best seller. The writer, who studied agricultural and animal science, began to observe animals and how food could be used in a systematic way with a specific purpose to shape the body the same way a sculptor would shape clay.
The more she learnt about animal nutrition, the more she believed that some of the same principles could be applied to people. She couldn’t understand how these principles hadn’t been applied before.
While studying horses she observed that some are easy to keep, as it is easy to maintain their weight or even get them fat with small portions of food. Others called “feed-throughs” can be fed over and over and yet find it difficult to keep their weight up. The difference between them is metabolism. According to Haylie, in animal science there’s a concept called feed-to-gain conversion. How do you feed a steer for the best marbling and distribution of fat? How do you feed a horse to optimize muscle fibers and making it an excellent race horse? This is the scientific knowledge about animals that the writer begins to study to apply to the human being. This way, she decides to focus on wellness instead of illness by integrating one of her favourite pastimes: food and, therefore, changing her professional course.
Some of the book’s principles that resonated the most with me:
1- Food isn’t our enemy, but our medicine. She explains us that nutrition is the only thing we can count on to build our bodies, to create a healthy heart, strong bones and muscles, as well as good skin, hair, and nails. It is the fuel to manufacture the hormones that regulate everything in our bodies. It’s not just energy. It’s life.
2– Our metabolisms are slow mainly because of our modern way of life. Food is our necessary fuel to get us going again. We must heal our metabolisms. Through years of study and clinical practice she has learnt how to make your metabolism stand up and pay attention, how to make it work and burn fat.
3– Pleasure stimulates metabolism and the body needs more, not less, for a true recovery. Through systematic food rotation which is defined in specific days and at strategic hours, our body will transform thanks to resting cycles and active recovery. The body will remain alert, nurtured and revitalized.
This way, she suggests walking along a healthier and lighter path in a safe and natural way.
How do we put it into practice?
To direct the body into the path of health, she suggests a strategic 28-days plan. Every week you’ll find three different phases.
Phase 1: Unwind stress and calm down adrenal glands. It takes place on days 1 and 2 (Monday and Tuesday). Lots of carbs and fruit. Exercise should be a vigorous routine focused on cardio.
Phase 2: Unlock fat and build muscle. It takes place on days 3 and 4 (Wednesday and Thursday). A lot of proteins and vegetables. You can’t eat neither fruits nor grains and exercise should be based on weight-lifting focusing more on strength than repetition.
Phase 3: Unleash fat burning. It is high in healthy fats and lasts three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). It’s based on three foods: fruit, protein and healthy fats.
These phases must be repeated during four weeks.
Rules: The Don’ts
1- No wheat.
2- No corn.
3- No dairy.
4- No soy.
5- No refined sugar.
6- No caffeine.
7- No alcohol.
8- No dried fruit or fruit juices.
9- No artificial sweeteners.
10- No fat-free “diet foods.”
Personally, Haylie motivated me with her book. I was moved by it when I read the first part of the book where it describes how our metabolism works and why it is generally slow and not working to its full potential.
The don’ts are hard and reminded me of the Clean method I made a couple of years ago. I started with the diet this week and feel it will be a necessary healthy shock for my organism. I’ll let you know how it goes…
Photographs by Biru Capurro. Translated by MA.