My friend passed on this article to me today and I thought I’d share it with you.
Nobody who goes to see Elizabeth Gibaud is feeling very good about themselves.
The nutritionist and naturopath, based at the Hale Clinic in London, is famed for transforming her celebrity clients’ physiques, and claims to be able to achieve weight losses of up to a stone in a week.
But if you arrive feeling a bit insecure, then five minutes spent in her office are likely to send you spiralling into the deepest gloom.
‘Show me your hands,’ she says, as I sit down. ‘Tut tut! Masses of water retention.’ She pinches my fingers disapprovingly by way of demonstration and shakes her head.
Then she stares at my forehead through narrowed green eyes. ‘Your intestines are blocked. There are bumps against your skin, which is a little bit grey. If I slit you open there,’ she says, poking a finger in my lower abdomen, ‘you’d have an overflowing colon.’
Elizabeth knows all this by analysing my face. ‘By reading the hues of the skin and the lines, I can tell what the body is lacking.’
Apparently, horizontal lines around the forehead could indicate liver or gallbladder problems, as well as being a sign that your diet is too oily and rich.
Stress lines in your skin can be a sign you are lacking in minerals and salts, as can a blue or yellow tone to your skin. Brownish skin, on the other hand, can indicate uterus problems. The region around your mouth and chin tells all about your sexual organs — with a spotty chin often a sign of hormonal imbalance.
Purple circles under your eye are a sign that your sinuses are blocked, while blackish circles are an indication you are not getting enough oxygen and should increase the amount of iron in your body.
And open pores can mean there is too much acid in your system, while jowls can be a sign you have kidney problems.
As for me, it’s my puffy eyes which broadcast the blocked state of my colon.
I don’t know whether to giggle or sob as Elizabeth then takes apart my physique. On top of my elephant-coloured skin, swollen extremities and filthy innards is also a sign that I have bad circulation. My kidneys are struggling, I have a sluggish thyroid and my body is acidic because I eat too much protein.
Believers: Elizabeth Gibaud’s roster of A-list clients includes Kate Winslet and Kirsty Young
She also diagnoses that I find night driving difficult. That’s certainly true — but can it really be the fault of my cheese habit?
By now, I’m feeling not only insulted, but also sceptical. I am a doctor’s daughter, brought up to respect only scientifically proven medicine.
Although a roster of A-list clients, including Kate Winslet, Kirsty Young, Cherie Blair and Princess Michael of Kent, can testify to the success of Elizabeth’s methods, she seems rather eccentric, to say the least.
A former actress and ballet dancer, Elizabeth’s hair is dyed orange, and she is wafer-thin with a flamboyant manner. And it seems implausible anyone can assess how much butter I eat just by looking into my eyes. So just as I’ve mentally dismissed it all as mumbo-jumbo, Elizabeth says something that startles me: ‘Bananas, avocados, rice,’ she declares. ‘They’re stuffing up your liver.’
The night before, I’d had a rice and avocado salad, followed by a banana. Despite myself, I begin to believe it may even be possible for me to lose a quarter of my body weight (which has crept up to 12 st).
‘We can get you down to 9 st,’ she says. But she warns it won’t be enjoyable.
She sends me off with a bag full of vitamins and herbal supplements. I also am given a natural laxative.
Two days later, Elizabeth emails me my diet. Instead of a cappuccino, I must start the day on a glass of hot water with lime, cayenne pepper and ginger. Breakfast is porridge with fruit, or yeast-free bread with grilled tomato. For lunch, I can have potato with butter and salad, but no dressing, salt or pepper, while dinner is steamed or grilled chicken, turkey or white fish, and veg.
Stupidly, on day one, I take the children to a funfair, and by some miracle, I find a baked potato stall amid the burger vans. But by 4pm, the lack of my usual lunchtime coffee hit has given me a nagging headache.
After a meagre supper of turkey and steamed veg, I collapse into bed, after drinking lots of water. I calculate I’ve eaten only 650 calories, which is less than a third of what I’d usually consume.
On day two, I go out to a friend’s for lunch and stick resolutely to boiled potato and butter while everyone else fills up on casserole, chocolate cake and champagne.
Strangely, after a week of averaging around 800 calories a day, I’ve stopped feeling hungry and I’m beginning to find the eating plan quite pleasant.
And the results are fast. After a fortnight, I’ve lost 9 lb, and a month in, I’ve knocked off a stone. It’s with relief I hit day 30 and celebrate with a cappuccino. But I find I don’t want to go back to all my old habits.
Even though I can’t get in to see Elizabeth for a further month, my weight stays stable. I’m now lighter by 1st, 2lb, and I’ve lost 6cm off my hips and 9cm off my waist.
As promised, my skin looks brighter and clearer and I feel much more energetic.
Even hard-to-please Elizabeth seems to be impressed. I wait to be showered with compliments. ‘You look five years younger. Your puffiness has gone down, but your intestines are still blocked. And you’re deficient in calcium fluoride. Your skin is getting a bit loose.’ I grin again, but this time with trepidation rather than pride.
Well they do say one must suffer to be beautiful. And I’ll be back for further punishment, because although my self-esteem has taken a second bashing, I am convinced that if anybody can unblock my pesky intestines and tighten my skin, it’s Elizabeth.
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