It’s so frustrating. Bombarded with ads for foods we know are bad for us, we still scarf down double hamburgers loaded with cheese and bacon, topped with added fries. After inhaling every delicious morsel, we lean back and think, “I really should start to eat right — tomorrow for sure.”
Been there. Done it.
I remember telling my nurse practitioner friend over coffee and bagels, when that “tomorrow” arrived for me,that I was sure the right diet would be a key to conquering my cancer. Of course she agreed. A healthy diet helps prevent or treat cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other illnesses. Don’t doctors always tell us to “eat right and exercise?” But what in blazes does “eat right” mean?” Considering most practicing MDs today have not had more than a few hours of instruction on nutrition (if that much), I submit they could not correctly describe the particulars of a healthy diet if their lives (or ours) depended on it.
WELL, WHAT SHOULD I EAT?
I determined to find out and follow through with whatever I learned. I’d been on diets before, too many in fact. This time it was different. I would bet the farm on whatever I discovered.
My first challenge was to find the best cancer fighting diet out there. Some said to decrease the amount of animal products, others said to avoid them entirely. The latest information on good nutrition is so confusing that Dr. Mark Hyman wrote a book titled FOOD What the Heck Should I eat? (You met Dr. Hyman on the link in my first blog “Mother Nature Rules”).
Despite differences here and there, all my nutrition research led again and again to whole food, plant based diets. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods was a common thread, no matter if you wanted to cure cancer, keep blood vessels open, control diabetes, get off insulin, fight depression, etc.
I figured any whole food plant based diet that reduced toxins, chemicals, fat, sugar and salt was a step toward better health. Not everyone needs to be a vegan, although that is the diet I finally settled on for me.
The documentary and book Forks Over Knives and the research of T. Colin Campbell Ph.D. (China Study) made a lot of sense to me. While others follow different nutrition experts, they all agree, to one degree or another, that lots of organic (when possible), whole foods and plants are necessary for a healthy diet.
WHAT’S A WHOLE FOOD AND DO I HAVE TO GRAZE FROM NOW ON?
“Whole food” means food that is not processed. It does not come in a box or can. Just read the labels on food packaging and you will realize almost every packaged food item comes loaded with chemicals. Even an innocuous term such as “natural flavors” can legally hide numerous chemicals that are far from “natural.” I discovered the word “natural” on any food package means absolutely nothing, as I learned from the book I’m Mad as Hell and Not Going to Eat it Anymore! by Christine Pirello.
Even a can of organic beans can be problematic because the can lining could contain BPA (bisphenol A), a potentially harmful chemical found in plastics, canned good, toys and other items. Here’s the scoop on BPA: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-bpa#how-to-avoid-it. And that’s just one offender. I tell you, it is a battle out there and the uninformed consumer is a sitting duck.
“Plant based” simply means that vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, legumes are the basis of what is eaten. The food is yanked out of the ground and arrives on our plate the way God created it.
Besides losing weight on whole food, plant based diets, many find they feel better and health problems disappear. Even little steps in right direction can make a huge difference in quality of life.
I admit it was not easy to change from the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) loaded with fat, sugar, and salt, meat and dairy (Yum!) to a whole food, plant based plan. I occasionally “go off the ranch” when in a restaurant that offers few or no healthy choices. Turns out, S.A.D. food is not as good as I remember it, and the next day I’m back to my plants.
Here is a short video from Dr. Greger (another of my favorite resources) about how a plant-based diet reduces obesity that leads to not only diabetes, diabetes induced diseases, but other illnesses as well. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-based-diets-recognized-by-diabetes-associations/
BEWARE OF FAKE FOOD
Now America’s giant food industry has discovered our new interest in plant based food, so it developed a burger from “plants” that looks and tastes like a real hamburger. People who have tried it, rave about how tasty it is. Before you run out and try the newest fake food, visit Dr. Mercola’s site where he discusses this tasty treat. I read the entire article (not just about the new burger), and frankly, it is beyond scary. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/07/03/fake-food.aspx
We consumers hold the purse strings. We can no longer afford to be uninformed, since large corporations use scientists to………………(read the article).
Have you thought about changing your eating habits?
What are your downfalls?
How do you handle parties?
Share your story!