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

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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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?

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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.

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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