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Your Life: Eat well and feel great; In day two of her brilliant guide, tough-talking TV food guru DR GILLIAN MCKEITH reveals how revolutionising your diet can transform your health - and improve your looks.

Byline: DR GILLIAN MCKEITH, Adapted by Clare Goldwin

EVERY year we spend hundreds of pounds on cosmetics to improve our appearance, but what we eat can have more of an impact on the way we look than any make-up.

Yesterday I got you started with the basics of my plan. Today I show you how to eat yourself to fitness and health and how easy it is to improve beauty from within. The flab will come off, too.

Every day I see people who arrive at my practice for the first time looking haggard, with dry, dead skin, spots, straw-like hair and broken nails. Months later, these same patients return looking revived, with beautiful skin, lustrous silky hair and strong, long nails. You, too, could see such amazing results if you follow my plan.

First, find out what your body's telling you...

The tell-tale body signs

Tongue

THIS is an important indicator of health. The tip correlates to the heart. The right side indicates the gall bladder and the left side the liver. The middle reveals the condition of the stomach and spleen, and the back the kidneys, intestines, bladder and womb.

A healthy tongue should be smooth, supple and slightly moist, pale red with a very thin, white film.

A crack down the middle means your digestion is not what it should be. You are most likely to be nutrient-depleted. I bet you are often bloated after eating and a victim of energy slumps in the middle of the day. Eat soups, stews and blends that are easy to digest and don't guzzle fizzy drinks or drink liquids at mealtimes.

Teeth marks round the sides can indicate an impaired digestive system and a spleen deficiency. Eat kidney beans, barley, lychees, oats, carrots, parsley, celery, parsnips, chicken, pumpkin, fish, sweet potatoes and turnips.

A sore tongue is a sure sign of nutrient deficiency - often iron, vitamin B6 or niacin. Try nettle tea.

A burning tongue is a sign the stomach is lacking in gastric digestive juices. Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal.

If you have a swollen tongue or one with a thick white coating, there is too much mucus in the body. Cut down on dairy foods.

Horizontal cracks are a sign that you don't absorb nutrients properly and is often accompanied by a lack of energy. Take a vitamin B tablet or echinacea drops to help eliminate toxins.

A thick yellow coating indicates excess heat in the gut and means you don't have enough healthy bacteria in your body. Drink two cups of sage tea a day for a month.

Hair Dandruff can be due to yeast overgrowth or deficiencies of vitamin B6 and/or selenium. Take two dessertspoons of flax oil a day or anti-fungal herb pau d'arco.

Ears If you have cracks behind your ears it's a sign of a zinc deficiency. They take months to correct, but start with a daily teaspoon of liquid zinc supplement mixed in juice and eat pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and papaya.

Hands If your nails are broken, split or chipped your liver may need help. Try two capsules a day of herb milk thistle and eat plenty of broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, whole grains and chicory.

White spots on nails are a sign of zinc deficiency. Snack on pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

For swollen fingers or puffy hands, eat plenty of food high in B vitamins, such as brown rice, sunflower seeds and avocados.

Eyes Dark circles under the eyes usually indicate food allergies and possibly weak kidney energy. Drink two glasses of cranberry juice a day for a week and eat plenty of barley, salmon, trout, blackberries, blueberries, onions, spring onions, beetroot, parsley, celery and kidney beans.

Mouth Cracks at the corner of the mouth are a sign that you don't have enough vitamin B2. Drink a glass of carrot juice with a teaspoon of spirulina every day and eat plenty of dark green leafy vegetables.

A puffy lower lip is a sign of digestive stagnation, even constipation. Drink warm herbal teas and hearty vegetable soups.

Limbs Small, pimply bumps on the arm indicate beta-carotene, B complex and essential fatty acid deficiency. Eat fish and miso soup.

Red spots on the front of the thigh mean a possible vitamin A deficiency. Try a good multi-vitamin tablet daily and eat carrots, halibut, red pepper, salmon, sweet potatoes, watermelon, parsley and broccoli.

Leg cramps mean your calcium levels are low. You may have a magnesium deficiency, too. Take 750mg magnesium and 500mg calcium supplements a day.

Cracked feet indicate possible rising yeast levels . Massage feet with flax oil.

Excessive yawning

and sighing

You are probably running on empty and may be suffering from low blood sugar. Take 15 drops of ginseng tincture (Herbal Authority Siberian Ginseng Liquid Herbal Extract, 60ml, pounds 8.49 from Holland & Barrett) in a tiny amount of water after meals.

Extracted from You Are What You Eat: The Plan That Will Change Your Life by Gillian McKeith (Michael Joseph, pounds 12.99). Celador Productions Ltd 2004. To buy a copy at pounds 10.99 (p&p free) call Mirror Direct on 0870 0703 200.

SHIFT UNWANTED FLABEAT early. Late-night eating is a recipe for weight gain because the body stores more food during sleep.

DRINK eight glasses of water a day. It's a natural appetite-suppressant.

EAT the good fats and rubbish the bad. Good fats are found in avocados, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, fish, nuts and vegetables. Bad fats are found in red meat and butter.

DON'T skip meals and always eat breakfast. If you want to raise your metabolism, you have to eat at that time. If you don't, a signal goes to your brain that food is scarce.

DO not go on fad diets. Dieting slows down the metabolic enzyme function in the body. Your fat cells bloat, become toxic and store in your tissues. You lose muscle tone and get depressed.

EXERCISE. Burn that fat. Exercise raises the metabolic rate, so calories are used up faster.

GET your metabolism going. First thing in the morning, drink a cup of warm water with a squeeze of lemon.

CUT out alcohol. It weakens your liver, the basic organ for fat metabolism,

TAKE a good multi-vitamin. All overweight people are deficient in major nutrients.

AVOID sugar, which lowers the metabolism, and cut out wheat, because many people are intolerant to gluten.

IMPROVE YOUR HAIR & NAILS

BECAUSE hair is mostly made up of keratin protein, good protein levels must be guaranteed. To maintain glossy hair and strong nails eat beans, seeds, grains and fish.

Minerals are also required for hair maintenance - the most abundant sources are sea vegetables such as seaweed.

Silica, which forms part of the starches that make up hair, is found in vegetables such as onions, garlic, green leafy vegetables, carrots, cucumbers and bell peppers.

Hair growth relies on the kidneys. If your kidneys are strong, your hair will be strong.

So drink adequate quantities of water, avoid salt and eat foods such as walnuts, black beans, salmon, trout, rose hip or ginger tea, chives, beetroot and celery.

A healthy nail should be strong, flexible, pink and blemish-free. Common signs of nutritional deficiency in nails include thin and brittle nails, splitting, white spots, vertical ridges, poor growth or very pale or transparent nails. If the nails are weak or show signs of abnormality, it could mean a problem with the liver.Gillian's good gut guide

WHAT comes out is very revealing about what's going on inside.

Greasy stools that won't flush show a liver imbalance. Try taking a teaspoon of spirulina every day or start sprinkling linseeds on your salads or into soups.

Foul-smelling stools are a sign of poor digestion and food stagnating in your large intestine. Start taking a digestive enzyme capsule with every meal or drinking more veg juice - try two carrots, two sticks of celery and one cucumber.

Skid-mark stools have too much mucus. You are lacking good-quality fibre in your diet. Reduce your intake of mucus-producing foods such as dairy products and alcohol.

If you are producing rabbit-dropping-like pellets, your liver is congested. Take two capsules of milk thistle three times a day.

Light-coloured stools are a sign you have difficulty digesting fatty foods. Eat more food with essential fatty acids such as fish, avocados, pumpkin seeds and seaweed.

GET HEALTHY TEETH AND GUMS

HORMONAL imbalances, mineral deficiencies and poor dental hygiene make gums susceptible to bleeding.

Teeth, too, are put under strain, often caused by mineral depletion. If your teeth and gums have been affected, you need to start strengthening them as soon as possible with appropriate foods and supplements.

Teeth, like strong bones, require calcium, which can be obtained from sesame seeds, seaweed, dry figs and soy foods. Although milk and dairy products contain significant amounts of calcium, they are insufficiently absorbed by the human body.

To give your liver a boost, implement a diet low in fat, avoid alcohol and drink fresh juices including aloe vera (try Holland & Barrett aloe vera juice, pounds 5.49 for 540ml), cucumber, carrot and apple.Your anti-stretch mark plan

MORE than 80 per cent of women get stretch marks at some point, either from pregnancy or weight gain or loss. Men can get them too. Hereditary factors play a role, but the tell-tale red streaks or silver-white thin scars are often due to lowered levels of zinc - so eat pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and papaya.Edible anti-stretch mark cream

INGREDIENTS

Half avocado (ripened and soft)

6 capsules vitamin E

4 capsules vitamin A

2 tbsps olive oil

2 tablespoons aloe vera gel (try Holland & Barrett aloe vera juice, pounds 5.49 for 540ml)

5 drops liquid zinc or 2 capsules 50mg zinc powder (Try Boots zinc capsules pounds 3 for 60)

(Add lemon juice to preserve the cream)

METHOD

1Mash avocado until it forms a creamy paste. Open the capsules of vitamins E and A and pour contents into the avocado cream. Add all the other ingredients and mix into the paste.

2Mix well, then rub into the relevant areas. Allow the skin to absorb the cream for 30 minutes every day.

It won't get rid of stretches that are already there, though it may help lessen their appearance. It also has an incredible softening and nourishing effect on the skin.

TOMORROW: FOODS TO BOOST YOUR SEX DRIVE AND BANISH STRESS
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 10, 2004
Words:1735
Previous Article:Your Life: SIMPLE STEPS TO GORGEOUS SKIN.
Next Article:Fears for cliff fall boy, 18.


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