The Word “Diet”
When you see the “D” word, what goes across your mind? Only eating stuff you don’t like? Going hungry? That’s what it’s always been, right? “Dieting” always has a negative connotation, almost torture to try to get the excess weight off, and usually with little or no lasting results.
So ditch the “D” word. From now on, look at food from a different perspective. When you start looking at what’s in the grocery aisles, just decide if it is real and unprocessed (for the most part) or if it’s highly processed with a list of ingredients that goes on forever with completely unpronounceable words. If you just make the decision to buy only real food, things will change, and not just weight loss. That’s just a happy side effect. Real food creates real health.
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Barbecue Those Sacred Cows
(Thank you Gary Carpenter!)
(Thank you Gary Carpenter!)
The principles we’ve been raised with are now proving to be all wrong, stuff like:
- If you’re overweight, you’re just eating too much. Wrong.
- Or, you need to exercise to lose weight. Wrong again.
- How about fat is evil? Wrong.
- And its partner, cholesterol is evil and causes heart disease. Wrong-O.
- Then my favorite, you need more “healthy” whole grains. So VERY wrong.
All of these pillars of the old paradigm are biting the dust. So if you’re laboring under these misconceptions, fear not. It’s not your fault you carry extra weight- you’ve been eating what’s put out there in the name of health. And better news yet, if you have been diagnosed with some version of chronic disease (diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, etc.), you may be able to reverse it.
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Optical illusions look like something they aren't. I think it's safe to say that this whole dietary mindset of the past 50 years has been a dandy; it looked good and made sense, but it wasn't as it appeared. Eat more carbs and less fat for health? Nothing but an illusion.
We have a whole new perspective developing now with the most current research proving that it’s our carb-heavy diets that are creating untold damage. The finger of blame is now pointing squarely at grain-based carbs and sugar as the causes of our health crisis that often manifests first as excess weight, (though not always). There is a healthcare revolution underway, with thousands of people finding out that they can regain control over their health.
Excess weight is just a symptom of other health problems either in the making or already showing themselves. Diabetes is the big daddy, with heart disease closely associated. And now links have been proven that connect Alzheimer’s to this kind of carb-heavy diet, as well as osteoporosis.
One of the newer catch phrases sums up one aspect of this- “You can’t outrun a bad diet.” Meaning, exercise is worthless for weight loss. This isn’t to say exercise is worthless, because it certainly isn’t. But you just won’t lose weight that way. And the reason exercise is so hard for someone with extra pounds is that the food they are eating guarantees lethargy. Weight gain is specifically linked to eating too many grain-based carbs and too much sugar. There are other factors like inadequate sleep and stress, but carbs are the main factor. And we are surrounded with them.
We’ve been told to eat “heart healthy whole grains” for decades. The only advantage to whole grains is that they turn to sugar more slowly than refined flour, slowing the insulin spike. But they still turn to sugar, and they still cause an insulin release to deal with the resulting glucose. And so they still cause weight gain as well as a whole host of system-disrupting effects.
Official dietary advise coming from the government, from agencies like the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association, and from our educational institutions as well as the entire medical establishment all stems from advice based on faulty research from decades ago, advice based on faulty assumptions: dietary fat both makes you fat and causes heart disease, and carbs are an important part of a healthy diet.
So we’ve been inundated by the processed food industry with their “food” concoctions flooding our grocery stores that have done nothing but ultimately undermine our health on a huge scale. And that along with bad advice ingrained into our thinking for generations has left us with an absolutely horrific health care crisis as a result.
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(Can you hear the angelic choir?)
But things are changing. People are finding out they can take control of their health largely by ignoring official dietary advice, and changing their lifestyles. And it pretty much boils down to ditching the sugar and processed carbs in favor of real food. And by real food, I mean the foods that are around the perimeter of the grocery store- the produce, meat and the dairy departments. I’m NOT talking about the bakery!
Now there is a lot of variation in approaches- Keto, Paleo, South Beach, Atkins, all basically LCHF (low carb, high fat) and I’m sure there are others. The balance of meat, vegetables, fruits and dairy varies between them, but the one overriding principle that they all have in common is that grains are strictly limited if not eliminated entirely. A quick internet search will show how pervasive the whole low-carb approach is becoming, and personal stories abound with accounts of lives turned around. I can personally attest to the improvement in my joints- arthritis isn't the huge problem it once was after stopping the wheat flour products.
There is no calorie counting, no deprivation (except for carbs). You eat to full; the only difference is that you change WHAT you eat, not how much. And adding healthy fats back into your diet will assure that you eat to feeling full, and greatly improve your health by giving your body what it needs in the way of fat soluble vitamins and cholesterol. (Yes, you need cholesterol. Your liver wouldn't make it if you didn't.) And you honestly don’t need to spend any money on these low carb programs unless you just want to.
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Make a New Plan, Stan
(Thank you Paul Simon!)
(Thank you Paul Simon!)
Eat real food- meat, fish, chicken, cheese, eggs, vegetables, yogurt, anything that is relatively unprocessed. As for the dairy issue, some tolerate dairy, others don’t. That’s an individual choice and one of the main differences between the low-carb approaches, but beware that the less fat in the dairy product, the more sugar it’s likely to have. So if you drink milk, make it whole milk. Many point out that milk is processed. Yes, but do you see a list of unpronounceable ingredients? No. And the fermented versions- cheese, yogurt, kefir- are quite healthy if you can tolerate them. Dairy is a personal choice, but frankly, I couldn't do low carb without it.
Obviously the less our food supply is tampered with, the better. The sugar industry is promoting their product as “natural”, but it’s about as unnatural as it comes- it’s very, very highly refined, leaving a product that is nothing like sucking on a chunk of sugar cane. Our bodies were never intended to deal with refined sugar, much less the volumes we consume now. Flour is another highly refined product and made from wheat that's been modified to the point that it causes all kinds of body chemistry trouble. And commercial baked goods start with refined flour and are then generally loaded with all kinds of extra ingredients for texture, color, shelf life, whatever.
If you can afford the organic stuff, do it. If not, don’t sweat it. Just be reasonable, start pulling back on all the cereal, bread, crackers, pasta, etc., and go for the actual food. Carb addiction may not be easy for you to break, but it’s so worth it in the end. When you go to restaurants, you can get meat and vegetables, or order a big bacon cheeseburger with no bun, and buttery vegetables instead of the fries. It’s incredibly filling and won’t kill you. And many fast food places are low-carb friendly now. Just ask and pack a metal fork. Plastic forks are worthless.
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Because our society is so thoroughly inundated with grain products sold as “food”, it may be a real challenge to stop eating them entirely. Meaning you may need support. There are plenty of resources online including Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, blogs, websites, Youtube videos, etc., etc., etc. Links to some are below, then you can see who some of these people follow to find more. And there are health coaches out there for hire if you are so inclined. Perhaps start your own support group with like-minded friends.
Something else you can do is to change doctors and find either a functional medicine or integrative medicine office. They approach health from a lifestyle perspective, and yep, they take Medicare and insurance. And they are trained to get your health back through lifestyle changes.
Do whatever it takes, and you can see your health do a turn-around, reduce your trips to doctor offices, and as a nice bonus, lose some weight.
Real food creates real health.
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I am a reader, so I first bought these books. These authors are major players in the healthcare revolution, have plenty of internet presence, and most have YouTube videos you can check out first to get an idea of what they promote. I've provided all the links.
Diet Doctor, a guy on the cutting edge of this lifestyle/healthcare revolution. His website is loaded with recipes, meal plans, videos, personal success stories including diabetes reversals, and plenty of other helps, and there is a paid membership option. He also has a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and Youtube videos. His book, Low Carb High Fat Food Revolution, is one I haven't purchased yet for myself.
Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD, the Empowering Neurologist. This is one of the primary resources I found that explains the effects of modern wheat, specifically on the brain. Perlmutter has a website, Twitter account, Facebook page and YouTube videos.
Brain Maker is another by Perlmutter explaining the effects of gut microbes on brain function.
Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. This is another indispensable reference for information about what wheat will do to you. He has his regular website and blog, a Twitter account, Facebook page and YouTube videos.
His latest book, Undoctored, offers help to repair the damage grains do to your body and to become smarter than your doctor. He has a separate website for his Undoctored program.
Fat Chance by Robert Lustig, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist. His book explains body chemistry where weight gain is concerned and why the old paradigm of counting calories and exercise are ineffective. He has his own website, Twitter account, Facebook page and YouTube videos. His video Sugar, the Bitter Truth, is a classic.
The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of our Bodies and Brains.
Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, an investigative science and health journalist. This is a basic primer on the science behind weight gain and loss. He has his own website and blog, Twitter account, Facebook page and YouTube videos.
The Case Against Sugar is another must-read.
Alzheimer’s Antidote by Amy Berger, low-carb nutritionist and writer. This book makes the connection between carbs, sugar and the resulting insulin resistance, and Alzheimer’s. Berger has her own blog site Tuit Nutrition, Twitter account and YouTube videos. Her work is groundbreaking and vital. If you are interested in prevention and/or know someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s well worth buying.
Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz, a science journalist. Another great book that exposes the “fat is evil” myth. She has her own website, Twitter account, Facebook page and YouTube videos.
Food Is Better Medicine than Drugs by Patrick Holford, health and nutrition expert. Holford has written a whole host of books; here's his amazon page. He also has his own website, Twitter account, Facebook page and YouTube videos.
The Obesity Code by Jason Fung, MD. Fung is at the forefront of the nutrition/healthcare revolution and has written several other books including The Diabetes Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting, has his own website IDM (Intensitve Dietary Management) a Twitter account, and YouTube videos.
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Documentaries on Netflix and YouTube
The Magic Pill is one of the newest documentaries out there that demonstrates the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet. Also available on YouTube for $3.99.
What's With Wheat is an expose on our modern wheat and its effects on health. Also available on YouTube-
A Healthcare Revolution- Science and research are making advances in diet and health, but the medical institution isn't. We need a revolution.
Alzheimer's, Dementia and Statins- Statins are dangerous drugs that cause memory loss and muscle damage.
Cholesterol- Mother of All Scams- The whole cholesterol scare has been based on faulty research and has been exploited by pharmaceutical companies to keep an otherwise healthy population on their drugs.
Breakfast Cereal Diets- Really??- Why eating cereal can't possibly help you lose weight for the long term.
Restless Leg Syndrome- Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms- My experience with RLS and what has helped me.
Sugar- The Real Villain- This was my first blog post on this subject; some information is repetitive, but there are other points made, as well as links and a list of sugar substitutes.
They Told Me He's a Quack- Several people I have found out about that have gone against the tide of public opinion and "expert" advice and have given thousands of people help and hope.
Water for Health- Why we need water to stay healthy.
Why You Can't Trust the Medical Industry- The entire medical industry has been corrupted by greed. It pays to be skeptical.
Hormone Balance and Estrogen Dominance- Regularly prescribed HRT has serious side effects; there is an alternative.
Arthritis and Osteoporosis: They CAN Be Reversed- Two conditions that can be reversed naturally as proven by doctors who have treated their patients with natural supplements.
Phonics and Dyslexia- Information that can help dyslexic adults as well as children, and a post about the phonics-whole language wars and why phonics wins every time hands-down.
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