What is more important, what we eat, or what we don’t eat to be healthy? In search of a healthy diet.

In search of a healthy diet. What is more important, what we eat, or what we don't eat to be healthy?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Most of us are getting ready for the winter that never comes. Dr. Steven R. Gundry

My first pot of bone broth is on the stove. I’ve boiled bones for soup before but I never went out and bought bones just for soup. Everything old is new again. Knowing what is true about diet and healthy living is confusing on all sides as we are told to eat various ways to be optimally healthy.

Bone broth is supposed to be good for our bone health and also some are saying good for our digestive health. It may be good for individuals with leaky gut, irritable bowel, Crohn’s disease, and some people are saying it helps with their oral health and might help prevent tooth loss. Weston A. Price advocated bone broth for dental health.

Finding soup bones at regular grocery stores isn’t that easy but I have a supermarket called Nations near me. They have lots of bones, marrow bones, cow’s tendon, pig snout, pig’s feet, chicken feet, neck bones, chicken carcasses with the meat taken off. I opted for beef neck bones.

Roast the bones first the directions stated, and then I placed everything in my stockpot. I was going to buy a new stockpot yesterday because the metal is breaking. Then I thought of the people who get all the latest and greatest gadgets before they do something instead of just doing something. I opted to buy the bones and make a batch of bone broth instead of hunting for the perfect stockpot. Some say you should boil the bones up to twenty-four hours. This means I had to take my stock off the stove, put it in containers, find a spot in the fridge and put it back on this morning to simmer for the day.

I went down to my studio to do some art on Saturday evening but instead of painting, I read Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution. He has a new book out I looked at yesterday The Longevity Paradox How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age. One of the things he recommends is fasting.

All disease begins in the gut. Hippocrates

I fasted one day a week years ago, it may be time to bring this back. Intermittent fasting I’ve embraced and find it works for me. Fourteen to sixteen hours between dinner and breakfast most days. I do drink black coffee in the morning, and it isn’t supposed to interfere with the fast. Some people say we can have bone broth during a fast.

Religious people who fast are said to be healthier than those who do not. Generally, that would be thought to be the main difference in their eating habits, lifestyle, etc.

I looked for bone broth in Dr. Gundry’s books and didn’t find it but he does have a podcast The Dr. Gundry Podcast (episode 27) and he does agree it is scientifically proven to be good for our gut health, but he cautions too much of a good thing is not a good thing. This is one of the big messages in his books. Meat is bad because it is good for us, and vegetables are good for us because they are bad for us. He has a recipe for bone broth in The Plant Paradox cookbook.

He thinks the best thing we can do for our health is to keep our insulin levels low. He finds that the patients who have gone on a bone broth diet, how much bone broth they are using isn’t mentioned, their insulin levels have gone up. What will this mean over time, he isn’t sure, but he thinks it won’t be good. That said, he makes bone broth but doesn’t consume it every day. He believes it may be good as a short term fix but not necessarily to consume every day over our lifetime.

Moderation in everything is probably in order. Is there a perfect diet, or is there always a tweak or two we can make to improve our health? Here again, we may have to settle for the “good enough” not “perfect” diet. Can we do the best we can, with what we have?

You are what the thing you are eating ate. Dr. Steven R. Gundry

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The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age Hardcover – Mar 19 2019

by Dr. Steven R Gundry MD (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews


 See all 7 formats and editions

We are what we eat. Do our choices create our health? Are there changes we should make?

Do our choices create our health? Are there changes we should make? We are what we eat.

Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food. Hippocrates

I’ve been pulling up posts from last year now that I’ve passed my one year anniversary of blogging. It’s interesting to see what was on my mind a year ago. There is no corresponding post for today from last year. Maybe we were too busy getting ready for a wedding. Watching what we were eating so our bathing suits would look as good as they could.

We worked hard to get a few pounds off for the wedding but they have crept back on. The weight I lost when I cut out the cream in my coffee and moved to a more plant-based diet has stayed off.

I’ve been bringing eggs, cheese and meat back into my diet. I picked up The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry, and then his earlier book Dr. Gundry’s Diet Revolution. I never embraced veganism but I did embrace plant-based. Deprivation doesn’t work for me. I choose what I eat, and I don’t pass up something I really want. If every day was a buffet it would be hard, too many choices means too much food.

Dr. Gundry tells us “Meat is bad for us because it is good for us, and plants are good for us because they are bad for us.” This is the food paradox. He tells us we can outwit our genes, which kill us off once we’ve outlived our usefulness. This phenomenon is genetic pleiotrophy, meaning genes that activate one sequence of events during part of our life cycle activate the opposite events when called upon to change direction. He says, “The foods of developed nations are so “good” for our genes that they are “bad” for us and our entire society.

He tells us we should:

Fool our genes into thinking that we are not fat enough to kill yet.

Convince them we’re not working overtime, struggling to survive.

Get them to reverse their effect so they undo the damage they – with our help – have already done to our body.

He tells us our diet allows us to grow faster, become stronger, and females can produce babies at younger ages and have more of them. But, all this high-calorie food has a price, because of the “calorie counter” for each species on earth. Within our master computer is a program that monitors the number of calories we consume and compares it to a standard that allows each human (like all other animals studied) to grow, reproduce and raise young, and then get out of the way in order to conserve precious food resources.

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. Jim Rohn

Dr. Steven Gundry is a heart surgeon who realized that bypasses and stints aren’t the answer to heart disease, diet is. He said even though he ran twenty miles a week, and put in an hour per day at the gym he still weighed 228 pounds. He was still plagued with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and frequent colds. He says his activity level, food consumption, and “pain” all conspired to inform his genes that he wasn’t a very successful animal, which he says activates killer genes, as does taking more than our fair share of food.

I’ve believed we are what we eat for a long time. Dr. Gundry puts a new spin on it. When he turned fifty he realized that the people he was operating on looked a lot like him, they were all part of the “Big Boy Club,” men who weigh over 220 lbs.

Where we carry our fat is important. Dr. Gundry says, “Fat on your ass, you are built to last. Fat in your gut, you are out of luck.”

He says we miss the point in the controversy over meat versus plant-based. The anti-nutrients in plants, when taken in the correct dose activate the hormesis response which prolongs our life with low doses of poisons that effectively tell our genes to protect us.

Marmoset monkeys which eat nothing but fruits are unable to reproduce in zoos unless their diet is fortified with 6 percent animal protein. It turns out the perfect zoo fruit was missing the worms and bugs naturally present in fruit in the wild. So it would appear some animal protein is a good thing.

Dr. Gundry’s diet is a balance between high protein and plant-based. He tells us the ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats is critical in balancing inflammation and anti-inflammation hormones. Ground squirrels won’t go into hibernation if the ratio is disrupted in the laboratory.

He says there is a contest between individuals and their genes, in earlier periods individuals were the winners, and species were the losers. Our modern way of eating is the perfect diet to increase our species but to cut down individuals sooner.

For years diet has been an experiment for me. Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution and Plant Paradox is just a continuation. Does he have all the answers? If we tweak our diet and lives resulting in progress isn’t that what we are looking for?

We are what we eat so let’s not be fast, cheap, easy, or fake.

If diet is wrong medicine is of no use. If diet is correct medicine is of no need. Ancient Ayurvedic proverb

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, health, and love.

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Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline Paperback – Mar 3 2009

by Dr. Steven R. Gundry (Author) 4.1 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews


 See all 9 formats and editions

When we choose our food, we choose our health. We are what we eat.

We are what we eat. When we choose our food, we choose our health.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Let food by thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food. Hippocrates

Yesterday when trying to edit the photo for my blog a comment that said I needed to reload the photo popped up. After three tries I was locked out of my Word press account. Panicking a little, although it is not life or death if a post gets out or not. I went into admin and after proving I wasn’t a robot got into my WordPress account but still couldn’t edit my photo. I chose one that was right side up and posted.

The upside is, my son showed me a better way to access and edit my photos, so even though I still have the problem with Word press I will have a better method of editing my photos. We don’t know when a problem presents itself that we may learn something from, we wouldn’t have learned without the problem.

This can happen in all areas of our life. When a heart surgeon Dr. Steven R. Gundry feels he can help more people through nutrition than surgery I’m willing to experiment with what he says and figure out if it works for me. He thought he was eating a healthy diet, running and weight training but when he tweaked his diet he got healthier. Since starting Plant-Based Whole Food (most of the time) in 2015, I am healthier.

Leaky gut is what he promises this diet will heal. Leaky gut is something I’m sure I’m dealing with. This is the reason I am tweaking my diet.

Today is the start of my daughter’s and my three day Plant Paradox kick start. Because I spent yesterday with my sister, we aren’t ready. My daughter had to leave for work by six thirty. She said she didn’t know what to take for lunch so she grabbed something from the fridge.

Certain members of the family are looking at us like “Why are we doing this”? As an experimenter of food, and perhaps now a commenter on it, it is an important part of my journey. We are what we eat, and certain foods affect us in certain ways. The Plant Paradox is a plan to help us figure out what plants may contribute to certain problems we have. By listening to our body we can nourish it and remove what is not nourishing to it. This is a continuation of the experiment with food I have been conducting for years.

When we look at the robustly healthy older adults in their eighties and nineties we wonder how they got that old, that healthy. They aren’t always people who never had a health problem. They are often people who have taken their health in hand and worked with their body instead of against it.

Those who have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to have time for illness. Edward Stanley

Mom didn’t eat much fat because of a gall bladder problem for forty years. She watched what she ate instead of having her gall bladder removed. When she ended up with high cholesterol and my Dad didn’t, she started eating more fat.

It isn’t just luck that Mom is as healthy as she is. Part of it is how she has managed when she’s had problems. She’s eliminated foods from her diet that bother her. She has gone whole weeks on cream-of-wheat porridge while she figured out what the offending foods were. She didn’t go to the Doctor for a pill, she figured out what her problem was and fixed it. You can’t do that for everything but a lot of our lifestyle diseases are caused by what we eat, and they won’t be fixed until we change our way of eating. Everyone’s body is different, what works for one may not work for all.

Mom can’t eat canola oil, hazelnuts, or cherries. Spinach is a healthy food that can cause problems for people prone to gout. These are all healthy foods. We can be working hard at getting healthier but if the foods we are eating to make us healthier aren’t ones that agree with our body we may be going in the wrong direction.

This is not a one size fits all. Our ancestors figured a lot of stuff out so our ancestral diet will likely work for us, but often there are certain diseases accompanying certain ways of eating. Many of us are no longer of one ancestry; we may have more to figure out or less.

If we start from the premise we should be healthy, and if we aren’t there is a reason, and if we look for it we can find it, we might be on the road to health. We have a place to start. Will we live to a healthy hundred if we do this, not necessarily? If we can live till we die as healthy as possible that’s good enough for me.

Is nutrition the answer to everything, probably not? Can we make our food work for us instead of against us? Can we figure out what those foods are?

Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments. Bethenny Frankel

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, health, and love.

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The Plant Paradox Quick and Easy: The 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Live Lectin-Free Paperback – Jan 8 2019


Reclaiming our health with our choices. No one can make us healthy but our self.

No one can make us healthy but our self. Reclaiming our health with our choices.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Ann Wigmore

My husband asked me, “When are you starting your Plant Paradox Diet”?

“Eating plan”, I corrected him. Monday is the start of the three-day kick start. I will report our progress periodically. If anyone wants to join us, feel free.

Because I’ve been plant-based since September 2015 (mostly vegan) this isn’t so hard for me. I’m bringing some foods back. He offers vegan and vegetarian options and believes too much protein isn’t good for us. I’m not interested in getting back into a meat-heavy diet but small amounts of grass-fed beef, pasture raised chicken (not sure where to source this), omega 3 eggs, wild fish, and seafood coming back into my diet and getting healthier sounds like a win, win to me.

Dr. Gundry is even telling me I can bring some dairy back into my diet. French, Italian, or Swiss cheeses, and also goat, sheep, or water buffalo cheese, and ghee (clarified butter).

I’m being told to peel my potatoes, eat white bread instead of whole grain, pressure cook my beans and lentils, and eat white rice instead of brown.

I’ve been playing around with his program, filling in my food journal and the other day I noted I felt better, and I hadn’t been feeling bad. One of the things I’ve had is an inflamed tonsil and it looked better yesterday. Last night I ate something that didn’t agree with me, so it makes me think he is onto something. We need to listen to our body, but first, we need to get rid of everything that bothers us, get our immune system off high alert, so we can notice when we’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with us.

The basis of good health is always real, nutrition-dense food – all other therapies depend first and foremost on the diet. Sally Fallon Morell

The Plant Paradox isn’t the first book to talk about lectins. I pulled out my books on Eat Right for Your Blood Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. Dr. Gundry and Dr. D’Adamo’s list of lectin foods are very similar. What I like about The Plant Paradox is the connection to our health begins in our gut.

Good oral health and good gut health seems to be where we should put our emphasis. Good oral health isn’t just about going to the Dentist and flossing and brushing regularly although that’s important. Nutrition is the other pillar of good oral health.

When Dr. Weston Price visited peoples with excellent dental health before they adopted a modern diet they didn’t have excellent dental health because of their oral hygiene, but because of their diet. From what I have gleaned Dr. Weston Price’s recommendations and Dr. Gundry’s recommendations are similar.

Dr. Gundry is recommending we look at traditional diets and find what worked. Why are seeds and skin not included in Italian tomato sauce? Why was white rice the staple of millions instead of brown rice? Why was bread made with sourdough? Why was white bread the staple over brown?

We in our hubris often think traditional societies didn’t know anything. “That’s an old wives tale,” we’ll say about a traditional way of doing things. We are trying to relearn what societies learned over thousands of years. Do we really think health wasn’t important to our ancestors? Can we reclaim our health through better choices?

The problem is not so simple as merely cutting down or eliminating sugars and white flour though this is exceedingly important. It is also necessary that adequate mineral and vitamin carrying foods be made available. Dr. Weston A. Price

People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food. Wendell Berry

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Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine: Improving Health and Longevity with Native Nutrition Paperback – Apr 1 1997



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Knowledge is power. A food journal helps us determine what foods work for us and what foods work against us.

A food journal helps us determine what foods work for us and what foods work against us. Knowledge is power.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. Jim Rohn

If we have nagging health problems we need to become detectives. I have been a health detective for years. One of my tools is a food journal. After going plant-based with the Starch Solution I relaxed my food journal entries but didn’t stop them entirely.

As I get ready to start the Plant Paradox Plan the food journal is coming back into play. If you are like me and sometimes a nagging problem presents itself it is hard to go back mentally over the last few days and examine every morsel that entered my mouth.

With a food journal, it’s easy. What is so great about the food journal is over time if you note every time that problem presents itself you can see if there is anything you ate every time it happens.

If our immune system in on extra high alert it means our immune system attacks when something is similar to what it is defending us against. This is why it sometimes attacks our own tissue. When we get our immune system back on normal patrol, we will still want to know if something we eat ramps it up to high alert.

If we believe that health is our natural state, and illness, pain, congestion, headaches, migraines, unexplained weight gain or loss, poor sleep, acne, psoriasis, or any other of the health problems we are sometimes afflicted with are not our normal state. Then we need to figure out how to get our body back into its normal state.

It may seem like a big leap to think small things like plant lectins could be the cause of all our problems. Small things become big things. Everything starts somewhere, what if Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox has some answers, even if not all the answers, is it not worth trying?

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. Margaret Thatcher

This is what I am thinking. My daughter is looking over the list of Yes and No foods and thinking what is she going to eat? The strictest part is a three-day kick start, followed by a six-week phase two. After that is where it gets tricky. Some people will be able to bring back some or all of the foods with lectins in them in small or large quantities depending on how their body reacts. Other people will find their symptoms return if they eat certain foods.

If we keep a food journal it will help determine which of the foods bother us. There are ways to cook certain foods with lectins to mitigate lectins. When we pressure cook beans and legumes lectins are rendered safe to eat for most of us. Everyone will have to be their own lectin control board. Some of us may find white bread we make our self may be okay, others may find commercial bread okay, some may find bakery bread okay but only from some bakeries. Others will be able to eat any bread and baked good they like.

We may find we have one offending item and every time we treat our self to it, we develop symptoms. Knowledge is power. It is our choice to try something new. It is our choice to see if improving our gut health improves our life.

What if when we change our diet to what we think is healthier, and most of it is, but we might incorporate a problem food or two that causes us problems.

What we may be sensitive to may be one of the things we love most or something we hardly eat. It may be the newest health food that promises to be the answer to our health problem but instead creates one.

Our body is unique, what works for some of us, will not work for all of us. We need to beware of cookie-cutter solutions. Our ancestors came from different places, ate different things, our immune system may be on high or low alert.

Knowledge is power, and if we keep track of what we eat, how we feel when we eat certain things or eliminate certain things we can determine how to make ourselves healthier. We need to quit looking for only one answer. Everyone may have part of the answer and we have to put it all together to be as healthy as we can be.

One of the worst things we do is believe all we can do is live in misery. It may be the truth that some things we just have to live with. We also might have a lot more power to change things than we think, and what if it starts with what we put on our plate? Can a food journal become your best friend?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao Tzu

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, health, and love.

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The Plant Paradox Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes to Help You Lose Weight, Heal Your Gut, and Live Lectin-Free Hardcover – Apr 10 2018

 


Healthy food will keep us healthy. What is healthy food?

Rose photo

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Those who have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness. Edward Stanley

My youngest sister called me up yesterday. “What do you think of oatmeal for breakfast?”

“I think it’s great and is one of my go-to breakfasts.”

“Dr. Hyman says oatmeal spikes our blood sugar and makes us hungrier.”

“I uh, well…” I didn’t know what to say to her.

Three and a half years ago my son challenged me to the three-week vegan challenge. He introduced me to the book The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall.

I took the challenge not because a vegan diet is healthy. It can be, but just cutting things out of your diet doesn’t mean it is healthy. Following Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution is healthy. By loosely following The Starch Solution, staying off dairy, eating very little meat, I lost 25 lbs in three years of not dieting.

Dr. McDougall believes all healthy, long-lived populations live on starch as the main ingredient in their diet. This is rice, beans, lentils, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, corn, and grains. He believes we are “starch eaters.”

His starch-based diet differs from a vegan diet and a plant-based diet. We have an enzyme in our saliva which digests starch. We differ from apes and chimpanzees in this regard.

The glycemic index is an index which measures how fast a food spikes our blood sugar. The idea is that foods that spike our blood sugar are bad, and foods that cause less of a spike are good. Sugar which is 50% fructose spikes our blood sugar less than starchy foods.

Dr. McDougall’s table on the glycemic index.

Low Glycemic Index doesn’t necessarily equate with healthy

Junk food with GI less than 40                

Chocolate cake (38)

Nestle Quick Strawberry Drink (35)

No Bake Egg Custard (35)

Sara Lee Premium Ice Cream (37)

Chocolate Mile with Sugar (34)

M&Ms with peanuts (33)

Pizza Supreme (30)

Egg Fettucini (32)

Fructose – a pure sugar (19)

Healthy Foods with GI greater than 80

Nabisco Shredded Wheat (83)

Corn Meal Porridge (109)

Jasmine Rice (109)

Brown Rie – Calrose (87)

Corn Thins (87)

Baked Potato (85)

Boiled Potato (101)

Parsnips (97)

Carrots (92)

Dr. McDougall believes fat, not sugar causes diabetes. From my own experience, it seems weight gain happens when high fat, and high carbohydrates are eaten in the same meal. This is why low fat, high carbohydrate (starch) and high fat, low carbohydrate diets both works for weight loss.

Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments. Bethenny Frankel

There is a lot of division on which of these two diets are the healthiest. What appears to work for me, makes me feel better, lost weight, etc. is the Starch Solution Dr. McDougall recommends. Starch is satisfying.

After about forty when the weight started to creep on, I started watching what I ate. Food journaling became one of my strategies. Low carb is very hard to stick to. It sounds great in the beginning all the meat, eggs, cheese, and green vegetables you want. This way of eating gets old very fast.

Suzanne Somers has a diet which is a combination diet. A meal can be either a starch/low fat or high fat/protein low carbohydrate. Fruit is eaten separately on an empty stomach. Food combining is not a new concept Harvey and Marilyn Diamond introduced this concept in Fit for Life in 1985. This way of eating did not keep me as slim or healthy as I wanted. One of the reasons is it isn’t necessarily a diet focused on health. Suzanne Somers recommended not eating the starchiest foods. It could be healthier, but often my mindset was, how can I eat “that” and get away with it.

The Starch Solution is focused on health. Dr. McDougall has many articles free on the internet which talk about how changing to a starch-based diet deals with most of the health concerns we have, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, etc. If you have a health problem and Google Dr. McDougall and that health concern he probably has a video or article on it.

The mistake I made was cutting starch out of my diet as I tried to keep slim and trim. Bringing starch back into my diet has made me slimmer and trimmer. Somehow starch has been equated with bad carbohydrates. Bad carbohydrates are processed foods, high sugar foods, no nutrition foods. Let’s bring back potatoes, oatmeal, grains, rice, beans, lentils, corn, yams, and bananas. Cut out the high sugar no nutrition foods, the processed foods.

Dairy and meat are not recommended by Dr. McDougall. We will not get healthier by not eating something. We will get healthier by eating good nutritious food our body can digest. Can we all digest the same foods? Probably not. Figuring out what works for us is part of our journey.

One of the things mom told me is not to diet. I followed her advice after a few years of trying to diet and not getting what I wanted. When I quit dieting I was slimmer. Then when forty came I got on the roller coaster of dieting. Now, no longer dieting, eating starch, I am healthier. We don’t do well when we are hungry and dieting makes us hungry. Eating starch is satiating, gives us energy, vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, everything our body needs.

We were healthier as a people when we embraced starch. As we’ve gotten away from starch we’ve become less healthy. We don’t need a new way of eating; we need to get back to the old way of eating. If we have a little meat with our starch or don’t, it isn’t a deal breaker.

The answer to my sister’s question is eat more starch, oatmeal is a starch. The glycemic index may have its use, but what it did is make the healthiest food we were eating (starch) into the villain. Those of us who followed those dictates are less healthy because we took the starch out of our diet.

The McDougall challenge is to eat more starch.

To take his challenge, simply add to your diet any one or a mixture daily of the following without taking anything away and see how you feel.

4 cups of steamed rice

4 cups of boiled corn

4 mashed potatoes

4 baked sweet potatoes

3 cups of cooked beans, peas, or lentils

4 cups of boiled spaghetti noodles

12 slices of whole grain bread

Finally, someone telling us to eat what we love. Don’t slather it in a lot of fat, because too much fat with your starch will make you fat.

Are we as healthy as we think we should be?  Through experimentation, we can find what works for us. Are we up for the starch challenge?

Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Michael Pollan

The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! Paperback – Jun 4 2013

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food is medicine, medicine is food. Choose the right food most of the time.

Let food by thy medicine stock photo

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It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet. Margaret Mead

We don’t know what we don’t know, sometimes we don’t acknowledge what we know and sometimes we pretend what we know isn’t how it really is.

I’ve been doing this lately with dairy. Probiotics are good for us and probiotics are in cheese, so cheese should be good for me, and even though I know I’ve done better while being off dairy, maybe I could bring back cheese.

One of the ways to see if something bothers us is to not eat it for three days and on the fourth day eat quite a lot of it. If the food is something you could go into anaphylactic shock, do not do this! I would like to be the person that can eat anything and it doesn’t bother me. It seems I’m not that person.

If we find we have a nagging or worse pain after an indulgence of some kind. Especially if that indulgence keeps calling its siren call to us we may have a problem. Let’s have more, more, more. It may be one of our favorite foods. We even may say to our self, as long as it doesn’t bother me too much, I can have it once in a while.

If we want to live a happy, healthy, pain-free life as we age, we have to listen to our bodies. We have to figure out what the peculiarities of our system are, what affects us, our mood, soreness, stiffness. Our body is trying to communicate with us, we need to listen.

Our family may think we are crazy but we need to stick with our detective work. Keep a journal of what we eat and how we feel. Don’t accept that we should just take pain pills, instead try and figure out what is causing the pain. When we believe we should feel good, and there is a reason when we don’t, we are half-way to solving our problem.

The more processed foods we eat the more detective work we will have to do. We may even have to do an elimination diet. My mother would only eat cream of wheat porridge while she figured out what bothered her. Cherries are something she hasn’t eaten for years because even one cherry bothers her.

Food has the power to heal us. It is the most potent tool we have to help prevent and treat many of our chronic diseases. Dr. Mark Hyman

When we become overstressed our body releases hormones and other chemicals including histamine, the powerful chemical that leads to allergy symptoms. Stress doesn’t actually cause allergies, but it can make allergic reactions worse. Stress and allergies go hand in hand according to Los Angeles based ear, nose and throat doctor Murray Grossan MD.

It could be when we get flare-ups, we have too much stress in our lives, and we are reaching for those comfort foods that cause us problems. Sugar is also fuel to allergies. Refined sugar causes inflammation and stresses our immune system. It is enticing to reach for a cookie or chocolate but that may only fuel our downward spiral.

Valentine’s Day was just last week. I know sugar is a problem for me. The chocolates were a gift, no one else likes those white chocolates so I finished them off last night. We talk our self into eating things we shouldn’t all the time. Just one won’t hurt, but often it’s never “just one.” It is probably true that “just one” wouldn’t hurt us. Our body could tolerate “just one.”

Many of us tend to “binge.” We will stay away from the things we should until we break down. Then we scour the house looking for a fix. The more we eat of the offending substance the more of it we want. When we find the foods we can’t have just one of, we may have found something we have a problem with.

We may fight with our self. Do we have to give that up too? We tell our self, life isn’t fair. It’s too hard to be healthy, pain-free, or in a good mood. Until we wean our self off the offending substance and enjoy life without pain, moodiness, stiffness, etc. Then we become complacent, we forget how bad we felt when we last indulged. We tell our self yet again, we’ll just have one, and we are back on the roller coaster.

We know we should let food by our medicine, and medicine be our food. Our health is created with our fork and spoon. This is the good news! It is also good news that healthy food is the most economical food. When we get rid of the foods that don’t make us healthier our food bill most likely goes down.

We may not all agree on what the healthiest diet is. Most of us are in agreement on what the unhealthiest things we eat are. We should eat more plants is pretty much agreed with across the board. Beans, rice and potatoes, vegetables and fruits should make up the bulk of what we eat. Most of us know this, yet we succumb to the siren call of foods we know we should stay away from. If we at least acknowledge when we are off-course we can take charge of what we put in our mouth. We can make better choices.

If we don’t take responsibility for what we put in our mouth, who will? Eat better, feel better! The good news is it gets easier the longer we make better choices. We are what we eat, how can we be anything else?

We pay the Doctor to make us better when we should really be paying the Farmer to keep us healthy. Rethink health care. Robyn O’Brien