There are many reasons I started HairBoutique.com so many years ago, but one of the reasons was my own lust for gorgeous hair. In that vein, I have been very fortunate to learn so many great new tips about hair that have helped me grow and maintain my hair at its optimal health for many years. I have tried to share my hair, beauty and related experiences along the way. Which is why I am writing about my current fat flushing journey in this article.
My Hair & Skin Issues
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I tend to be a raving workaholic manic. Not only do I drive HairBoutique.com 24-7, I also have been the CEO of a Dallas based telecom software company since the mid 90s. In my spare time I write for different hair, beauty and related magazines including 101 Celebrity Hairstyles (shown to the side), Radiance, Blush, Quick & Easy Hairstylist Ideas and Black Hairstyles. Sometimes I do sleep but never even close to enough. I also tend to eat on the run grabbing a raisin bagel with my morning Starbucks and a sandwich with my daily Diet Coke. Yes, hair vitamins and EFAs have helped me neutralize some of my life related stress and keep my hair somewhat intact. But even the best vitamins and pills can only do so much. They can't address the root of the problems, only neutralize the results and help hold the tide.
In the last twelve months the telecom industry has been crashing and burning around me and my software company. I have been working longer and harder to keep the company healthy and focused. This has taken a noticeable toll on my health and body. My skin started to break out and nothing seemed to help. Dr. Cheek, my fabulous Dallas dermatologist prescribed topical solutions and antibiotics. They helped for awhile but then my skin went on total strike.
The final straw dropped when I was so tired that I wanted to sleep but couldn't. When I did sleep I did not sleep soundly. I hit bottom on my stress journey and got sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Enter Ann Louise Gittleman
In the early 1990s I started working with a type of movement therapy known as the Duggan-French Approach (DFA). An offshoot of the Ida Rolf movement, DFA utilizes bodywork that effects a total healing on the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical bodies. Until the untimely death of Janie French last summer, I had been working with a DFA practioner for ten years with incredible results.
At one point during my early days with DFA both Annie Duggan (206-361-7554 & leave a call back message regarding the DFA work) and Janie French encouraged me to read Ann Louise Gittleman's Beyond Pritkin book. I read the book and then religiously worked with a nutritionist in Dallas that followed Gittleman's program closely. After just six months on the program I felt fabulous, was at my lowest adult body weight and my hair was lush and super healthy. My skin was clear and soft. I still worked like a maniac but in a healthy way. If that is possible.
Fat Flush Plan
I managed to follow the original Gittleman nutrition plan for about three years. Then the nutritionist disappeared to go live in the mountains somewhere. I continued to eat on the program but started to "cheat" a little without the eagle eye of my former nutrition nazi. I would sneak in caffeine and Diet Coke until it became part of my daily "must have" food plan. Other liberties followed. I slowly disintegrated until I completely forgot the plan and regressed to my somewhat unhealthy eating habits that included those nasty carbs. I still took my hair and other vitamins which helped somewhat to neutralize my newly rediscovered habits although not completely.
Janie French, my DFA practioner every week for close to five years died suddenly in the Summer of 2001. It was a terrible loss for the DFA community and for me personally. I stopped doing any bodywork and started even a faster decline into my bad health pit.
Several weeks ago I was cleaning out a closet and found my old Beyond Pritikin book. The good health memories came flooding back. I decided to check out what Ms. Gittleman was up to and discovered her new Fat Flush Plan that was released in late 1981.
Ms. Gittleman preaches similar truths to those I learned from her Beyond Pritikin book but she streamlines, at least in my opinion. The Fat Flush plan seemed a lot easier for me to get through in one read. Basically she adheres to the belief that the liver is the central operating processor for the entire body. When the liver is malfunctioning from too much caffeine, nutri-sweet, alcohol and emotional stress it basically goes on strike and acts up. When your liver is acting out its frustrations with mistreatment your skin will break out, your hair will get dull, dry and scrunchy and you will gain weight. Check - been there, done that.
Two Week Flush
After buying the book on Amazon.com I decided that I would try to go back in time and re-adopt her food program. The hard part was giving up my daily Starbucks, my Diet Coke and a occasional Shiner Bock or glass of bubbly (I live in Texas after all).
I allowed myself two weeks to wean myself from my liquid bad habits. Then I worked on giving up my fav bad foods like chips and hot sauce, Whataburger fries and Blue Bell anything.
After my initial caffeine detox headaches I was ready to commit to the two week initial program with a renewed determination. I started the first day sucking down the required hot lemon in water and the cranberry juice with flax seeds. Yum.
I have been on the program for close to one month and I am ecstatic to report that I feel great. My skin has completely cleared up, my hair is feeling better than it has for awhile and I have lost some inches around my waist and hips. I am sleeping better and deeper. In fact, during the first few days of the fat flush I fell asleep on night and sleep for a straight 12 hours. While I will never live down the teasing by my business partners (I usually only sleep 2 hours a night), it felt amazingly great. I could actually get used to a good 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
Does this fat flush program work? I can't speak for everyone and can only comment on my own experiences. This is basically my second time around with the Gittleman nutritional plans so I can certainly reminisce about past successes, which were tremendous and long lasting.
I realize now that Ann Louise has the right idea. The downside to the program is that it does require more food preparation and purchasing additional nutrients. It does require more time and attention but it is definitely worth it for the obvious results.
Yes, I still take my HairTopia and EFAs like I did before, but I have added some of the vitamins she suggests that will help my liver. I also have substituted herbal teas for black teas. I have even remembered from the past that using a straw with my morning hot lemon water saves the enamel on my teeth. Now I just wave at Starbucks as I drive by in the morning.
Other Great Benefits
Besides newly loose jeans and business suits, clear skin and better hair, I have noticed that I do not get hungry during the day when I follow the food plan. I also have as much, if not more energy, then before. If anything, my energy seems more balanced and less volatile. It does help that I am trying to go to bed earlier and sleep longer.
So why am I telling you about all of this? In many ways I have been preaching about the importance of healthy eating for gorgeous hair and skin since the beginning of HairBoutique.com. In the past I have recommended dumping the baddie foods like complex carbs, sugars, alcohol, caffeine and diet colas whenever possible. Or cutting back for the sake of your hair. However, I am now living the success on a daily basis and am more religious than ever in my belief that good food, proper rest, plenty of water and good supplements will help grow gorgeous locks. It will also make you feel fabulous. So hey, go out there and flush some fat. Your hair and body will love you for it.