By Naomi Matsui
Hello, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Naomi Matsui. I host classes in table setting design as well as cooking and catering. My goal is to help people enjoy the presentation of various foods alongside the taste.
After the birth of my second son in 2008 I was distressed about my baby weight. Two years ago for the first time I heard about the Food Sensitivity Work-Up from my friend who succeeded in her diet. I had a test that checked the sensitivity of my body to approximately 300 food items. I then adopted a diet based on my blood type with optimal food combinations. Only three months after starting the new diet, I lost 12 Kg. The shape of my body naturally went back to how it was ten years ago before I had my children.
My New Year’s resolution for 2013 was to succeed with my new diet and get my confidence back. I always loved fashion. After my baby was born I chose clothes based on those that covered my belly button rather than those that I preferred. I sighed, “Oh no. How ugly ugly I look,” while looking at my face in the mirror every day after my bath. People tend to lose their confidence when they have a complex about the way they look. To succeed in my diet, it was important to clear my mind. I decided to mutter to myself in the mirror, “You are beautiful and I love you.” I heard the line: “you are what you eat” in a film called “Food Matter” and I made up my mind to reconsider my eating habits.
It is said that each day 5 billion cells die and as many new cells are produced. In around 200 days, the majority of the body’s cells are replaced. Then I thought of a diet to improve my metabolism and detoxification to help me lose my weight, such that in 200 days I might experience physical changes.
The following are the instructions/explanations of my diet:
Food Sensitivity Work-Up (http://redpaw.net)
The Food Sensitivity Work-Up was recommended by one of my friends, so I took the test. You are tested for sensitivity to 316 food and beverage items. I was asked to hold something like a stick while their computer system responded to my body sensitivity. Then it showed numbers in graphic form. I received the graph of three phased criteria, including foods that do not interact well with my body, foods that are acceptable to eat occasionally, and foods that I should eat daily. The worst food items for me show the number 100.
Blood type diet (http://www.dadamo.com)
A diet called the Dr. Dadamo method recommends distinct diets for each blood type: A/AB/B/O. Of course it is difficult to accept this method without questioning; the whole human beings are categorised into four groups and we also know the extent and speed of digesting foods vary for individuals and different races. I decided to draw on my friend’s experience who succeeded in her diet by following both this method and the food sensitivity diet. There is a dictionary-like pocket size book that has a list of desirable foods and foods to avoid for each blood type. I carried it for referral when eating out.
Elements in Common
I found it interesting that there were commonalities between the list of the Food Sensitivity Work-Up and the list of the Blood Type Diet (my blood type is A). In my case the results showed that it would be desirable to avoid dairy products, gluten and animal protein, and to emphasize vegetables and grain. After I delivered my second child I was intensely passionate about making my own cafe latte. I found a cafe in my neighbourhood where they made wonderful cafe lattes and I wanted to make my own. At the same time, I was taking an organic bread baking class so I baked bread and had cafe latte everyday. I assumed I was doing something really beneficial for my family and for myself because in my mind organic products were nothing but healthy. However it resulted in my consuming an excessive amount of gluten and dairy products.
Later on the test results showed that all of my family (including my sons) had a sensitivity to gluten and dairy. What I assumed was healthy for my family was actually the other way around. At the same time, I was distressed with my baby weight. I then realized that assuming without knowing the truth could have negative consequences.
A technician from the Red Paw Data Services Ltd. told me that almost all of those who had the Food Sensitivity Work-Up reacted to dairy in the past. Right from the beginning cows milk has always had substances that are unsuitable for the human body. If you would like to drink milk, choose goats milk or sheep milk because the substances are more similar to human breast milk. Almond and rice milks are also recommended. These days gluten free diets are popular. There have been instances of individuals reducing weight and mitigating ADHD by cutting out gluten. In my experience I think it is better to cut out dairy and gluten products to prevent harm to the body.
Optimal food combination（http://www.healthy-weight-loss-help.com/food-combining-chart.html)
My friend focused on the optimal food combination. It is nearly impossible to follow this chart perfectly (or there will be nothing left to eat!). However one thing I was careful about was to avoid consuming carbohydrates and proteins at the same time. This was extremely difficult. What do you eat with meat or fish as the main dish in general? In Japan we typically eat the main dish with rice and in this country you have bread, pasta, potatoes and other starches for the side dish which are all carbohydrates.
But carbohydrates and protein is the worst food combination because it blocks digestion, which then causes undigested fat to accumulate. I know five people who followed the chart and succeeded in losing over 20kg, so it is a credible chart. I always liked to eat all the time and I still love eating and cooking food. It is impossible for me to limit the amount of my food intake and go on a diet. Eating is a basic pleasure and human need. Exercising would not be pleasurable if the process was grueling and dreadful. My purpose for exercising was not to lose a great deal of weight in a short time but to be healthy and stress-free (as well as preventing fatigue) and alongside that to lose a small amount of weight. I stuck with the purpose of my fun diet without limiting food.
Raw Food Diet
I focused on the Raw Food Diet for the improvement of my metabolism and detoxification. The raw food diet is eating only uncooked unprocessed vegetables or fruits (foods that have been heated below 46-48 °C). It is said that taking over 51% of raw food everyday is preferred in order to maintain an ideal health condition.
I thought of having only smoothies made with organic vegetables and fruits mixed with protein powder. This was recommended by my friend but at first I thought it would not be enough. However, it actually produced a long-lasting feeling of satiety because of the proteins so I did not need to eat anything else.
My lunch and dinner were the same as always without any limit to the amount but I tried to eat more vegetables. I also ate meat but not everyday in consideration of the optimal food combination. Then I naturally lost weight without extra work.
In the past I have tried various popular diets or exercise routines which claimed to be “effective for losing weight!!” but nothing worked for me. Now I just eat what is suitable for my body and there has been a naturally significant change in my body. It was at this very moment that I was reminded: “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT”.
It has been two years since I succeeded with my diet. Throughout the year, and especially during New Year celebrations, my weight showed some changes as expected as a result of going out for dinner more often and eating food that I would not usually eat. Except for that period I haven’t rebounded from dieting and my health has been great. I get to wear clothes that I like again since I lost weight. Friends who knew me at the time when I put on weight have said,“ You look more beautiful after losing weight!!”
The conventional view of vegetarianism is negative with misconceptions such as “vegetarian food cannot be a main dish”, “vegetarian food is not filling” or “it is hard to come up with a vegetarian menu other than salad”. I took a cue from this to make vegetarian food that people enjoy not only with their tongues but also with their eyes, such that it can be a main dish. Then I started to host cooking classes. Due to my dedication to the way food looks with aesthetics being paramount, I am always very delighted to hear my customers say, “ I can’t believe this is all made with vegetables!”
I will always try to keep to the philosophy of “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT” for mental and physical well-being.
Food/Table Stylist & Private Caterer
By Naomi Matsui