Improving your diet
It is easy for me to tell you what not to eat. The hardest question is to tell you what you should eat. Eating is such a personal thing that this question is impossible to answer.
In this article I am going to talk about moving from a bad diet to a better diet.
The worst food ever created is dairy. No one should eat dairy ever. My main reasoning is experience. I have taken many people off of dairy and I have seen huge improvements and never have I seen anything bad happen.
Why is dairy so bad?
Is it because it is filled with hormones and chemicals? That probably has a lot to do with it. Or is it because that milk is meant to feed cows not humans? That is another argument which is probably also true. The bottom line is that dairy causes inflammation.
It is the protein in the dairy, specifically the casein and to a lesser extent the whey, that causes inflammation in so many people. Even if you can’t “feel” a problem from dairy it is probably causing inflammation on some level.
Lactose free milk does not make a difference because I am not talking about the lactose here. I am talking about the proteins (casein and whey).
Also, low fat makes no difference because I am not talking about the fat.
Butter and ghee seem to be OK because they don’t have protein, ghee and butter only fat. I don’t seem to see the same problems with those products.
So if you can’t do anything else to improve your diet simple stop eating processed sugar and all dairy. Yes, that includes yogurt and dairy from goats and sheep.
The reason I include goat and sheep products is that I just don’t have enough data to tell you otherwise. A lot of what I tell people is what I have seen myself in practice. I have not had enough people who eat those products to tell you if that is a problem of not. So it may or may not be an issue. There are too many arguments on both sides.
Soy milk, rice milk and almond milk are not dairy. That being said, they do have a lot of added sugar. Here is a good rule. “If it tastes sweet it probably has sugar.”
Some people seem to like soy cheese and rice cheese. This could be an OK substitute for some people. Soy products have their own inherent problems but again we are going for a better diet here. Not necessarily a perfect diet.
Daiya Cheese seems to taste the best of the fake cheese, but only if you melt it. It is made from tapioca. That is a root and therefore a carbohydrate. So it may taste good be careful if you are restricting carbohydrates.
Processed sugar is terrible. I can’t say enough bad things about it. Do I really have to give you examples? If you don’t know how bad sugar is then you must be living under a rock. Please Google it.
Can I eat fruit?
Some people can and some can’t eat fruit. This is all relative. For instance if you have been eating chocolate bars and switch to apples I would say that is an improvement. However, most people would be better off to eat less fruit and more vegetables.
For most people a few pieces of fruit a day is OK. However if you have a real health issue like chronic fatigue or candida then it would be better to get off of fruit until you are healthier.
Citrus and bananas
Also know this: Many people are sensitive to citrus and bananas. You may not know you are sensitive until you try getting off of those items and you find that some of your health issues improve.
Remember that you are trying to eat a better diet not a perfect diet.
Grain and gluten
The next thing (and more difficult thing to do) to do is to stop eating grain, or cut down.
At least you should understand what grain is and does to you.
Grain is wheat, oats, rice, barely. They grow like grasses. The problem with grains is that many people are allergic to the protein in grain. In wheat the proteins are called gliadin and glutenin, together they are known as gluten.
So that is why many people do better on a gluten free diet. People who know that they have gluten issues tend to eat things like rice and other non-gluten grains.
The problem is that ALL GRAINS HAVE SOME TYPE OF PROTEIN AND THEY ARE ALL SIMIALR TO GLUTEN. So depending on who you are, you may be sensitive to only the gluten from wheat, which is technically called “Gliaden.” However you might have a problem with the gluten that is in rice which is called “Glutenin.”
Oats have their own protein that is similar to gluten.
Corn is not even technically a grain but it too has a protein that is similar to gluten.
Nuts and seeds while not having gluten can antagonize gluten issues.
Grains that don’t aggravate people as much in my experience are:
Quinoa (technically this is not a grain)
Based on this allergic reaction to the proteins in grains, people get inflamed, and inflammation is the root of most health issues.
However, even if you are not allergic to these substances they will still make you gain weight simply because they break down to into sugar in your body and if you don’t use them they will be stored in fat cells.
So based on what I wrote above, if you don’t eat grains then you will probably be better off.
Why is everyone allergic to grain and gluten today but not 30 years ago?
I don’t know but I suspect it is the GMO’s and how they process the grains. I have met many people who go to Europe and are able to eat bread. So something is strange in this country.
Non gluten foods:
Sometimes this helps. But remember, non gluten foods may be better from an allergic prospective but they are still carbohydrates and they are not “weight loss foods.”
The other thing about non gluten foods, in my opinion is this. In the effort to get things to taste like bread they often put too many ingredients in the products. The more things you eat together the more potential you have for problems.
There are hundreds of diets out there in the big wide world and almost everyone agrees on this:
Don’t eat dairy or sugar,
Don’t eat grain but if you do then be careful and find which ones you can eat and how much you can tolerate.
And yes there are some diets that tell you to eat a diet that includes dairy and grain, but those diets don’t work for many people. If that kind of diet works for you then you are lucky.
Nuts and seeds will cause you problems.
I understand that nuts and seeds have great nutrient value. The problem is that most people simply don’t have the digestive power to break them down.
These nuts and seeds travel through your digestive tract and they irritate the valve between your small intestine and the large intestine. It is called the ilio-cecal valve. When this happens, literally the feces and the fumes from the large intestine travel backwards into the small intestine, polluting it. This can cause all sorts of symptoms such as shoulder pain, hip pain, neck pain, sinus problems, flu like feelings, bloating rashes and breast pain. It is the most common thing I see in my office.
It is not that you are allergic to the seeds and nuts, it is that the foods are scraping through your system, irritating it physically.
Raw vegetables can cause the same problem. They are too hard to digest for many people. Nuts and seeds are worse. (The outside of strawberries are covered in seeds)
Even raw fruit can irritate the valve. However, I don’t find raw fruit to be a problem unless you are really in very poor health.
Most people should cook most of their vegetables. You could also juice them in a juicer or a juice press (not a blender.)
If you must eat raw nuts or seeds then soak them first.
If you want to eat raw seeds or nuts then you MUST soak them for 24 hours and then blend them in a blender. Or you could buy seed or nut butters.
Beans are different from person to person. They are part carbohydrate and part protein. On the outside of beans are things called “lectins.” Lectins are the beans natural pesticides. They kill bugs but can also irritate you as well. By the way, seeds and nuts also have lectins.
Different people will be allergic to different lectins. There is a book called “Eat Right For Your Type.” This book based your entire diet simply on lectins. For that reason, I think the book generalizes too much and I don’t recommend it for your overall diet, however if you are really trying to figure out which fruits, vegetables and legumes might agree with you then the lists in that book could be helpful as a place to experiment from.
In the end I think trial and error is the best way for you to figure out which foods you are sensitive to but the lists in that book are a good start.
Blood tests for food sensitivities:
You could get some good information from these tests but they are overly expensive and you can get better information by seeing what works for you. Food sensitivities change depending how much you eat. Also, I have seen too many false negatives in those tests. For instance the tests say wheat is OK but the person clearly has a reaction to it. So in my opinion, don’t waste your money unless you have tried everything else.
Don't feel bad, we are genetically programmed to eat all the time.
Think about your relationship with food. From a basic primal level we are eating machines, we are programmed to eat all the time. I know that I am always hungry. I could eat almost any time. Writing this article is making me hungry.
It is unnatural to turn food away. This is probably the only time in the history of mankind that food is so plentiful that we can eat as much as we want all the time!!!
Also this is the only time in history that we have had the ability to eat incredibly spicy, salty, sugary foods all the time. We are simply not designed to eat that way all the time so we are combating our natural urges to eat as much as we can and as stimulation as we can against our educated brain. Urges usually win. That is the problem we all face. We need to turn down the stimulation. Our society is one of stimulation, TV, sex, food.
So you are not a failure if you fall off the good eating plan. Just keep getting back on.
I think the most important thing you need to do to keep up a good diet is this:
“YOU NEED TO BE PREPARED” You always have to have something healthy to eat with you at all times.
That is probably the biggest secret to staying on a good diet.
I ALWAYS have protein drinks and green drinks with me. You can keep deli meats (we can talk about the chemicals later) hard boiled eggs, water, low-carb protein bars, tuna salad, chicken salad, nut butters, and seed butters with you. I always have a thermal bag with me with those items inside.
When I am prepared I am OK.
Here is a page that I have that is a simple way to stop the cycle of stimulation. Click here
People always ask me about variety.
My answer is that even when you ate junk you probably ate the same 15 same foods anyway.
Also, don’t eat until you are full.
Eating til you are full is another primal thing we are accustomed to. It seems that no matter how much I eat, when I am done with my meal, especially if it is sweet I want something spicy. Then I want to calm the hotness with something cooling, which is sweet.
For me I know that I like something sweet after I eat. So I have a chocolate flavored protean drink that I have after my meal that serves that purpose. It will never be as good as chocolate cake but it stops the hunger cycle. Find something you like that is a little sweet but high in protein.
What about taste?
I might be less finicky about taste than you but one thing I know is true is that taste is relative.
If you are eating a lot of sugar and cheese and heavy sauces then a piece of meat or some grilled vegetables will taste bland. However, if you are drinking vegetables juice and protein drinks all day then a piece of chicken with some spices and some grilled onions will taste great.
The fewer foods you mix together the better. We are so used to extravagant tastes that we get from mixing all sorts of ingredients. Our bodies were not designed for this and you will digest better if you keep things simple.
Food combining is the idea that certain foods specifically don’t digest well together.
Eat fruit alone
Protein (meat, fish, chicken, eggs) can be eaten with vegetables
Grains can be eaten with vegetables
As of this writing I don’t have recipes on the web site, eventually I may, but there are so many books out there with recipes.
Find a book on the “Paleo” diet or the Mediterranean diet. These diets won’t have sugar, dairy and will be light on the grains. You can start with that, if you include my rules and I think you will find that there are plenty of things you can eat.
The key for me is to always have something healthy nearby.
Eat your biggest meal in the morning and make sure it has protein. Eat you smallest meal at night. If you snack at night make sure it is protein.
These are the basics on eating. I will talk about calories and fat burning and weight loss later but right now I have to go because I am getting hungry.
Some people need support in eating right. For this reason Yve Hart has set up the 40 day green cleanse where she walks you through changing your diet. You do it in an on line group setting.
We work together in that she helps you get your diet on track and I handle some underlying casues like herbs, hormones, parasites, fungus metals, your nervous system and other aspects of detoxification. I find that my services are much more powerful if your diet is cleaner.