Your Hunger Can Help Keep You Healthy

A healthful diet can set you free from your food addictions and allow you to lose your toxic hunger. The food cravings will end and you will be able to stop overeating. Then, you will be back in contact with true hunger. When you achieve that, you will be able to accurately sense the calories you need to maintain your health and lean body.

I want to reiterate that as you adopt a high-nutrient eating-style by eating lots of healthy foods, it is common to go through an adjustment period in which you experience fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, headaches, gas, and other mild symptoms. This generally lasts less than a week. Don’t panic or buy into the myth that to get relief you need more heavy or stimulating foods, such as high-protein foods, sweets, or coffee.

The feelings associated with these symptoms are not how true hunger feels. It is our unhealthy tendency to eat without experiencing true hunger that has caused us to become overweight in the first place. To have become overweight, a person’s food cravings, recreational eating, and other addictive drives that induce eating had to come into play. Poor nutrition causes these cravings, and nutritional excellence helps normalize or remove them. You will no longer need to overeat when you eat healthfully.

True hunger is not felt in the stomach or the head. When you eat healthfully and don’t overeat, you eventually are able to sense true hunger and accurately assess your caloric needs. Once your body attains a certain level of better health, you will begin to feel the difference between true hunger and just eating due to desire, boredom, stress, or withdrawal symptoms. While the best way to understand true hunger is to experience it for yourself. It has three primary characteristics:

  1. A sensation in your throat.
  2. Increased salivation.
  3. A dramatically-heightened taste sensation.

Not only will being in touch with true hunger help you reach your ideal weight, but you will feel well whether you eat or whether you delay eating or skip a meal.

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Organic Fruits Vegetables - Most Pesticides, Least Pesticides

The concern implicit in this question is about pesticides, and it is a real one. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that the majority of pesticides now in use are probable or possible causes of cancer. Studies of farm workers who work with pesticides suggest a link between pesticide use and brain cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the stomach and prostate.1 However, does the low level of pesticides remaining on our food present much of a risk?

Some scientists argue that the extremely low level of pesticide residue remaining on produce is insignificant and that there are naturally occurring toxins in all natural foods that are more significant. The large amount of studies performed on the typical pesticide-treated produce have demonstrated that consumption of produce, whether organic or not, is related to lower rates of cancer and increased disease protection. In short, it is better to eat fruits and vegetables grown and harvested using pesticides than not to eat them at all. The health benefits of eating phytochemically-rich produce greatly outweigh any risks pesticide residues might pose. That said, it should be recognized that fruits and vegetables are not all subject to the same pesticide exposure. The below chart shows the pesticide breakdown by food, but it is alphabetized and not in order of pesticide content. Spinach, strawberries and celery have the most pesticide residue and are the most important foods to consume organically grown.

 

If it is available, organic food is certainly your best bet to limit exposure to toxic chemicals. If you can eat only organic versions of the top 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your pesticide exposure by about 90 percent. In addition, organic foods usually have more nutrients than their conventional counterparts.2 They also taste better and are generally better for farmers and the environment.

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Reprogram the Way You Eat


As a society, we have programmed ourselves to eat in a way that is unnatural and harmful. We mistakenly prefer the taste of harmful foods. The most natural and healthy way of eating now seems strange, and, as a result, it eludes us. The benefits of eating natural foods, as opposed to processed foods, seem obvious, yet they are lost to many. Here are a few of the common excuses that I hear from patients:

 

  • “It takes too much effort and time to prepare fresh food.”
  • “I don’t like the taste of fruits and vegetables, so why should I even try?”
  • “People will think I am strange if I eat this way.”

Others who may not have voiced these objections were still thinking these or other negative thoughts. It is the substance of their inner dialogue. This kind of talk is not useful. Its purpose is to prevent you from taking action. It is a type of learned helplessness: you didn’t believe you could succeed in the first place. This gives you the rationale for not trying. Right now, resolve to fight those thoughts when they enter your head. Excuses or reasons are not based on facts. They are an opinion formed before adequate knowledge is achieved, and, as you now know, knowledge is the cornerstone to success. Your internal programming and fixed beliefs can have you fail before you even start. A key concept is that our internal programming operates outside of our conscious awareness, yet it influences our thoughts and action.

Psychologists tell us that both these preconceived notions and the inner dialogue that resists change to a preexisting belief are a type of “automatic thought.” An automatic thought is an unconscious process that determines how we interpret the events of our lives. In many people, these thoughts are negative, pessimistic, and completely illogical. They persist because they operate beyond awareness and because they go completely unquestioned and unchallenged. Our automatic thoughts are the result of our core beliefs, and our core beliefs establish our perceived boundaries of what we can and cannot do.

The key to reprogramming yourself is to select an activity that elicits the desired objective, and then perform this activity habitually. As you continue to perform this activity, your skill will improve, your brain will reprogram to the preferred wiring, and your desired outcome will manifest itself. Your brain is not only flexible and adaptable, but it also will restructure itself to accommodate whatever lifestyle you wish to create. This book and the exercises it contains are designed to cultivate a skill and transform some aspect of your brain and your life. The cumulative result of all of these skills is superior health and your ideal weight. Your brain is ready and willing to make the changes

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Important Key Factors Causing Osteoporosis

Diets too high in animal protein and low in vegetable protein: Meat and other high protein foods leave an acid residue in the blood that leads to bone dissolution. To neutralize this acid load, the body calls on its stores of calcium to provide basic calcium salts. Studies show that people with a high animal protein intake can develop a negative calcium balance, regardless of how much calcium is consumed. An important study demonstrated an increased bone loss and risk of hip fracture in those with a higher ratio of animal protein to vegetable protein. The researchers concluded that an increase in vegetable protein and a decrease in animal protein may decrease the risk of hip fractures in the elderly.1 The recommendations are clear: green vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds should be the major source of protein. It is important to note that later in life (after age 70), it is crucial to pay more attention to protein intake. At that point, both too much protein and too little protein are unfavorable to bone mass.2

High consumption of salt and/or caffeine: The consumption of large amounts of sodium and caffeine leads to unwanted excretion of calcium.3 Exactly how this works is not completely understood, but both salt and caffeine increase the rate at which blood is filtered through the kidney. The increased filtering pressure and flow compromise the kidney’s ability to return calcium supplies to the bloodstream.

Smoking:
Nicotine can interfere with hormonal messages to the kidneys, inhibiting calcium re-absorption. The combination of smoking and drinking coffee or soft drinks, together with the dietary factors mentioned, makes the prevalence of osteoporosis in this country quite understandable. Dietary, health, and lifestyle components are working together to cause this drain of calcium.

Vitamin D Deficiency: Recent research studies have corroborated the fact that most Americans are Vitamin D deficient. This deficiency occurred even among a majority of study subjects who were already taking a multivitamin with the standard 400 IUs of Vitamin D. More and more health authorities are recommending that an additional 400 to 800 IUs of Vitamin D be taken over and above the 400 typically present in a multiple vitamin.

Vitamin supplements: In high doses, Vitamin A (retinol) is associated with birth defects, and recent research suggests the dose that causes risk is much lower than previously thought. If Vitamin A is toxic to a person who is pregnant and potentially harmful to the developing baby, it can’t be good for us the rest of the time. Research has shown it is linked to calcium loss in the urine and osteoporosis. For example, an important study found that subjects with a Vitamin A intake in the range of 1.5 mg had double the hip fracture rate of those with an intake in the range of .5 mg. For every 1 mg increase in Vitamin A consumption, hip fracture rates increased by 68 percent.4 Most multivitamins contain about 5000 IUs of Vitamin A, which is equal to 1.5 mg. This means if you conform to the current recommendations, which have become outdated, and get your Vitamin A from supplements, you could be weakening your bones. Instead, the body can naturally self-fabricate Vitamin A by consuming beta-carotene and other carotenoids in real food. Vegetables such as carrots contain beta carotene, not Vitamin A, and the beta-carotene from vegetables does not lead to excessive Vitamin A formation or cause calcium loss.

Poor physical fitness: Our bones are continually dissolving old bone tissue and rebuilding new bone. Interestingly, our bone strength is directly proportional to our muscle strength. Bones, like muscles, respond to stress by becoming bigger and stronger, and, like muscles, bones weaken and literally shrink if not used. It is essential to exercise, and, in particular, to exercise the back. Studies have found that a back-strengthening exercise program can provide significant, long lasting protection against spinal fractures in women at risk for osteoporosis.5

 

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Nice Weather Shortcut

I’ve discovered a great way to quickly store my garden bounty without spending much time in the kitchen during the final days of gorgeous summer weather.

I harvested all the ripe tomatoes plus the zucchinis that I let grow “too big”; the kind that master gardeners would most likely throw onto their compost piles.

After rinsing the vegetables with water, I cut the tops off the tomatoes and quartered them. Then I sliced the huge zucchinis into 2 inch cross-sections, and chopped them into chunks; skin, seeds and all.

I had enough to fill two, five gallon stock pots. I then turned on the stove burners and put on the lids. I didn’t add spices, onions, garlic or anything, and just allowed the tomatoes to break down and make their own juice in the cooking process.

When the zucchinis and tomatoes were thoroughly cooked and tender, I turned off the stove, removed the lids, and allowed everything to cool. When cooled, I put the stewed vegetables into one-gallon zippered bags and stored them flat in the freezer. They look like a bunch of stacked books.

Now I can pull out a one gallon “book” of cooked tomatoes and zucchinis, cut the plastic bag off, place it in a stock pot, and use it as a base for almost anything.

For starters, this past week I made a batch of bean and vegetable soup; adding onions, garlic, Mato Zest, previously cooked lentils and garbanzo beans, fresh cut corn, and a frozen bag of each: collard greens, green beans and brussel sprouts. It was delicious! For my family I added a little bit of cooked, ground turkey and they absolutely loved it! (In another post I’ll tell how I gradually transitioned my family into eating nutrient dense foods.)

I’m almost ready to rip the tomato plants out, till the soil under, and start planting my kale and spinach seeds for the fall and winter harvest.

Here’s to eating for health to all!

Do you have a harvesting short cut to share?

Greens Should Be the Powerhouse of Your Diet!

All foods get their calories from fat, carbohydrate, or protein. Green vegetables, unlike high-starch vegetables like carrots and potatoes, get the majority of their calories from protein. When more of your protein needs are met from green vegetables, you get the benefit of ingesting a huge amount of critical, life-extending micronutrients.

The biggest animals all eat predominantly green vegetation, gaining their size from the protein found there. Obviously, greens pack a powerful, nutrient-dense punch. Some high-green-eating animals—primates—have a very similar biology and physiology to humans. Based on genetic information, chimpanzee and human DNA only differs by 1.6 percent. The desire of primates for variety in their diet supports nutrient diversity that enables them to live a long life, free of chronic diseases. But, without an adequate amount of plant-derived nutrients, immune system dysfunction develops. The results of a compromised immune system are frequent infections, allergies, autoimmune disease, and often cancer. The micronutrients that fuel the primate immune system are found in nature’s cupboard—the garden and forest.

Now that you have delved this far into the field of nutritional medicine, you might as well invest a few more health dollars in your body’s nutrient bank account by focusing on your consumption of greens every day. Low in calories and high in life-extending nutrients, green foods are your secret weapon to achieve incredible health. Scientific research has shown a strong positive association between the consumption of green vegetables and a reduction of all the leading causes of death in humans.1 Cruciferous vegetables—in particular broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy, collards, watercress, and arugula, to name a few—are loaded with disease-protecting micronutrients and powerful compounds that promote detoxification.

To bring your body to a phenomenal level of health, my aim is to deliver these foods to your plate in a variety of ways that make them delicious and increase your absorption of their beneficial nutrients. Greens can be served raw in salads, steamed and chopped as part of dinner, and cooked in soups.

When we steam or boil vegetables some of the phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals get lost in the water, but when we simmer vegetables in soup, all the nutrients are retained in the liquid. Additionally, the liquid base of the soup prevents the formation of toxic compounds that are created as food is browned under dry heat. Many beneficial chemical compounds are more readily absorbed when the food has been softened with heat.2 You should incorporate larger quantities of greens in an assortment of delicious ways as you move up the stages of dietary excellence.

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The Mediterranean Diet is Not as Healthy as You Think

The Mediterranean diet describes a cuisine common to countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It is characterized by regular consumption of fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, and nuts. Red meat is rarely consumed, chicken and fish appear in small amounts, some yogurt and cheese is used, and red wine is very common. One of the most defining elements is the use of pasta and olive oil. Where most of the fat in the American diet comes from cheese, butter, meat, and dangerous trans fats, the principal fat source there is olive oil.

Compared to the American population, those eating this way in the Mediterranean region exhibit a lower risk of heart disease and common cancers. Heart attack rates are 25 percent lower, and the rate of obesity is about half of America’s. The climate and fertile soil allow for many high nutrient plants to grow, which makes most of the dishes rich in phytochemicals. That, in turn, accounts for the diet’s protective effects. Nuts, particularly walnuts, are commonly used in the diet and they are a good source of omega-3 fats and other heart protective nutrients. The use of fish instead of meat also decreases saturated fat consumption and increases these beneficial fats. For these reasons, it is understandable why the Mediterranean diet is considered healthier than the SAD, but it is not without drawbacks. Studying its beneficial health outcomes—along with those of diets in other areas of the world such as Japan, rural China, Fiji, and Tibet— allows us to use the Mediterranean diet’s culinary principals to make a diet deliciously varied and even more disease protective, while avoiding its problems.

One of the diet’s main weak points is the use of pasta. The pasta intake should not be mimicked. There is very little difference between white bread and white pasta, and refined, white flour consumption has been linked to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and various cancers. Whole grains are immensely superior to refined white flour, but they still should not be consumed as a major source of calories. The benefit of the Mediterranean style of eating is the large consumption of fruits and vegetables, not pasta.

The heavy use of olive oil is also problematic because all oil has 120 calories per tablespoon, and those calories can add up fast. It is better to use olive oil than butter or margarine, but olive oil can easily sabotage your success. Ounce for ounce, it is one of the most fattening, calorie-dense foods on the planet. Vegetables prepared in olive oil soak up more oil than you would think, which transforms them into high-calorie dishes. Heavy oil use will add fat to our waistlines, heightening the risk of disease and making losing weight more difficult.

To continue to consume foods prepared in oil and maintain a healthful, slender figure, dieters must carefully count calories from oil and eat small portions of it. Remember, oil does not contain the nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals that were in the original seed or fruit. Compared to the calories it supplies, it contains few nutrients except a little Vitamin E and a negligible amount of phytochemicals. Olive oil is not a health food. The Mediterranean people of past years ate lots of olive oil, but they also worked hard in the fields, walking about nine miles a day, often guiding a heavy plow. Today, people in the Mediterranean countries are overweight, just like us. They still eat lots of olive oil, but their consumption of fruits, vegetables, and beans is down. Meat and cheese consumption has risen, and the physical activity level has plummeted. That way of living is not worth mimicking. The fast food and food technology industries have permeated most of the modern world. These people now follow a diet much like our own, and the rates of heart disease and obesity are skyrocketing in these countries.

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Dr. Fuhrman Talks Eat For Health on "Returning to the Body Mind"

Last week, Dr. Fuhrman was on “Returning to the Body Mind” with Dr. Melissa West, an internet radio show focusing on mind over matter and remembering the importance of health as the foundation of personal growth. Dr. Fuhrman explains why he wrote Eat For Health and why it appeals to so many people.

When I wrote Eat For Health I addressed all physiological, social and other myths people perpetuate in their minds that makes them think they can’t eat a healthy diet. I wrote Eat For Health to achieve a higher turnover, meaning for the people who read there will be a higher percentage of people who feel they can actually do it.

And with that, working with gourmet chefs to make it so phenomenal and so gourmet that I can give these Eat For Health books out to corporations, to people who aren’t even interested in health and they can read this and be convinced and feel when they do it they’re going to get results.

You can listen to whole show on “Returning to the Body Mind” on Contact Talk Radio.

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Eat Foods That Fill You Up - Volume, Volume, Volume!

Our hunger drive craves volume. A key skill that you are developing for your health is the ability to eat large volumes of raw and cooked, high-nutrient, low-calorie foods every single day. This means eating lots of vegetables.

When you are actively trying to lose weight, you should strive to satisfy your volume requirements first, before addressing the other dimensions of hunger. This may feel strange at first because you may not immediately feel satisfied by the higher volume of food. This is because you are accustomed to eating large quantities of high-calorie foods that cause a dopamine rush, a rush that low-calorie foods don’t deliver. However, your body will adjust, be less dependent on the dopamine surge in the brain, and will gradually become more and more satisfied with fewer calories. Give yourself time, and use the knowledge you have gained. Striving to fulfill your body’s volume and nutrient requirements can help you resolve food cravings and your toxic hunger.

The trick to get you to desire fewer calories faster is to eat lots of these high-volume, high-nutrient foods. You are already familiar with these, but many of the foods that you have been incorporating into your diet because of their nutrient values are also great tools in meeting your volume requirements. They include:

  • Raw Vegetables: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, celery, anise, snow pea pods, carrots, beets, cucumbers, water chestnuts, red cabbage, onion
  • Most Fresh Fruits: melons, oranges, grapefruits, apples, kiwis, berries, papaya
  • Cooked Green Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, string beans, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, bok choy
  • Other Non-Green Vegetables: mushrooms, eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, bean sprouts, cauliflower, spaghetti squash

Especially on holidays and days when you know that you will be around a lot of unhealthy foods, pre-fill with these high-nutrient, low-calorie foods. Never go to a party or event with an empty stomach. Eat a large salad with assorted raw vegetables and a bowl of vegetable soup before going to the places that may tempt your desire to eat unhealthily. Being healthy is about being in control. You must control your hunger, and the more low-calorie, high-volume foods you consume, the less high-calorie food you will be able to eat. When you increase these super healthy foods in your diet, you will feel less temptation, and you will be in control of your food cravings and appetite.

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Adjusting to a Healthy Diet - Your Body Will Detoxify

It takes time to be comfortable with the changes in your life. It is not unusual to feel physically uncomfortable as you detoxify in the process of making over your body chemistry with a healthful diet. The more stimulating or harmful your prior habits, the worse you feel when you stop them. When breaking your addiction to salt, meat, dairy, saturated fat, processed foods and other substances, you might feel headachy, fatigued, or even a little itchy or ill, but the good news is these symptoms rarely last longer than a week or two. However, if you are making the changes to nutritional excellence gradually uncomfortable symptoms should be minimized.

Some people are so addicted to stimulating food, sugary sweets, and overeating, they may even feel depressed when they don’t indulge. For example, cheese, salt, and chocolate are all addictive, and it takes a prolonged period of abstinence to beat these addictions. Sugar and caffeine, especially when mixed together, are highly addictive and create a significant amount of discomfort when stopping. Sugar withdrawal symptoms have been demonstrated to be similar to withdrawal symptoms from opiates, including anxiety and tremors.1 I have observed many individuals with a history of severe chronic headaches, who were on drugs for headache suppression, develop fever, backaches, diarrhea, and other severe detoxification symptoms when stopping medications that contain caffeine, such as Excedrin, Fiorinal and Fioricet. Fortunately, their suffering was short-lived. Through high-nutrient eating, these individuals have been able to make dramatic recoveries.

High-nutrient eating was crucial for this result. Toxic wastes build up in our tissues, and we are unable to remove them unless high-levels of phytochemicals are present and the intake of toxins is stopped. You must allow this detoxification to occur. An important hurdle to achieving your ideal weight and excellent health is getting rid of your addictions. After that occurs, you may feel like you have been freed from prison and will find it easier to move forward and be one step closer to truly eating for health.

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What is a Nutritarian?

My desire is to help others get free of food addictions, and reclaim their health. The focus of my writings will be sharing success tips that I’ve learned along the way of getting my own health back.

However, I’ll take occasional detours to respond to any non-medical questions from the comments section of my posts.

I’ll begin with, “What is a nutritarian?”

Dr. Fuhrman clearly explains it in the following article: Are You a Nutritarian? I highly recommend reading it thoroughly, because correct information, not will power, is the key to success.

In a nutshell, a nutritarian is someone whose food choices are influenced by excellent nutritional quality. He/she chooses foods that are high in a wide spectrum of micronutrients per calorie. I’ve heard Dr. Fuhrman call it, “Getting more bang for the buck.”

For example, if the choice is between brown rice or cherries; yams or white potatoes; spinach or iceburg lettuce, the nutritarian will most often choose foods that have the higher nutritional values. Which in these cases would be cherries, yams, and spinach.

The nutritarian lifestyle that leads to optimal health is a direct result of eating more micronutrients, in quantity, quality and breadth, while not consuming excessive calories.

Dr. Fuhrman’s unique contribution to the science of nutrition not only include his simple health equation H = N/C, which demonstrates mathematically that Health equals one’s consumption of nutrients per calorie, but also the biochemistry and physiology explaining how high micronutrient eating suppresses appetite and resolves food addictions and cravings.

I know there are some naysayers who may criticize me for being vain and self-congratulatory, but Dr. Fuhrman insists that I ignore them, and make the point that nutritarian eating is not just about weight loss and looks, but about health. Healthy skin is a reflection of a healthy body, and you can clearly see the difference in my before and after photos above (the right one, a year later after my dietary epiphany).

Let’s dialogue. How has the nutritarian way of eating improved your health? Momentum begets momentum. Even if you’ve just begun the nutritarian journey, any changes, big or small, let’s hear what’s happening to you!

Fruits and Vegetables May Be More Powerful Than We Think!

I’ve heard Dr. Fuhrman say that we still don’t know all the healthful properties of plant foods, and a new study seems to confirm that, claiming scientists underestimate the amount of nutrients in fruits and vegetables:

While the polyphenol content of fruits usually refers to extractable polyphenols, new research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports that the non-extractable polyphenol content is up to five times higher than extractable compounds.

According to studies with apple, peach and nectarine, previous measures to quantify polyphenols may have been limited by the extraction technique.

"These [non-extractable] polyphenols need to be treated with acid to extract them from the cell walls of fruit in the lab," said lead author Sara Arranz from the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Madrid. "If non-extractable polyphenols are not considered, the levels of beneficial polyphenols such as proanthocyanidins, ellagic acid and catechin are substantially underestimated."

I asked Dr. Fuhrman about this and his quick answer was, “Repeat after me, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and beans! When you eat whole foods, you get much more than science has been able to measure so far.” And here Dr. Fuhrman explains why foods like green vegetables are so healthy:

While fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients, the consumption of vegetables is more helpful in reducing cancer because they contain much higher amounts of cancer-protective compounds--especially green vegetables. Among these green vegetables, the cruciferous family has demonstrated the most dramatic protection against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage) contain a symphony of phytonutrients with potent anti-cancer effects.

Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens. These vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing estrogen activity.

In related news, researchers determined nutrients and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, like apples, broccoli and berries, help improve oxygen intake and exercise endurance.

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