Creating a whole-food lifestyle is the most powerful strategy you can use to stop the accelerated aging process and repair much of the damage already done to your face and body.
When you become “whole-food whole,” you actually reverse what people believe is the aging process! (It’s really a state of nutrient depletion!) Filling your plate and your body with a delicious and satisfying variety of whole foods on a daily basis will dramatically improve the way you look and feel, in as little as a few days or weeks.
THE FIVE WHOLE-FOOD GROUPS
- Fresh Fruits
- Beans & Legumes
- Whole Grains
- Raw Nuts & Seeds
These foods have been the mainstay of our diet for hundreds of thousands of years, except for times of scarcity, when we have eaten animal flesh to survive.
Whole foods are exactly what your body needs if you’re going to look and feel your best, safe from many (if not most!) of the ravages of time most people consider inevitable. Best of all, they’re plentiful and diverse! There are thousands of tastes and flavor combinations you can experience eating the 5 Real Food Groups!
WHY WHOLE FOODS SLOW THE AGING PROCESS
Whole foods are rich in antioxidants, along with tens of thousands of other critical nutrients and phyto-nutrients (the majority of which are missing from animal products and processed foods).
They counteract the effects of those nasty free-radicals-run-amuck we talked about before. And unlike foods rich in animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, etc.), they don’t create super-aging cross linkages.
Instead, they offer us the healthiest possible protein and calcium we can put in our bodies: vegetable protein and calcium.
And whole foods are packed with fiber, the world’s most effective colon cleanser and water’s toxin-scrubbing partner.
Finally, they promote the right acid-alkaline balance in our bodies, combating what many people consider the root cause of most accelerated aging issues.
If you make whole foods the majority of your diet for the rest of your life, you will live a very different life than you would have, otherwise. (And probably a longer one, too!)
Forget the four food groups. Even say goodbye to the new, trendy food pyramid. The science is in, and has been for decades. All of the nutrients you need, including abundant protein and calcium, are richly present in a vegetable-centered whole food diet. (Only the food lobbies want you to think differently.)
GENUINE SUPER FOODS:
MAKE DARK GREEN VEGETABLES YOUR DARLINGS
Dark green vegetables are among the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet, genuine “super foods.” No anti-aging program could possibly be complete without an emphasis on their unique, unmatched nutritional power.
They’re packed with antioxidants, amino acids, protein, calcium, vitamins, minerals, folic acid, and thousands of critical phyto-nutrients (many of which we have yet to fully understand).
They fight free radicals, as well as bone deterioration (osteoporosis) and a host of other lifestyle diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, along with just about any other malady you can name. Calorie-for-calorie, dark green vegetables contain far more protein and calcium than animal foods.
And thanks to their veggie packaging, the protein in them doesn’t promote cancer or leech calcium from our bones, as does the protein in animal products.
In addition, they’re rich with fiber, as well as chlorophyll – the almost magical ingredient that keeps plants vibrant, fresh and green, even in relentless sunlight!
These “dark green darlings” need to show up in your diet as the main ingredient in a big bowl of salad every day, and on your plate at lunch and dinner, every day, as well.
(I eat my salad in late afternoon, an hour or two before dinner, and it really makes a difference in my energy and mood all evening long, probably thanks to the vegetable protein and chlorophyll. I feel good, also, knowing all the wonderful things it’s doing in my body, both now and over the long-term. I vary my salad experience by varying the veggies I toss in and the dressings and herbs I use to season it!)
With intense orange vegetables running a close second, dark green vegetables are the most powerful anti-aging foods on Earth.
Even if you took hundreds of supplements a day, you could never replicate what they do in your body, because we simply don’t have a way to re-produce or synthesize most of the good things they contain.
Mix them. Match them. Toss them in salads, stir-frys and soups. Cook them with onions, garlic and other delicious seasonings. Even throw them in the blender with fruit and a banana to make a smoothie bursting with anti-aging power. (Well, actually, only try this with fresh baby spinach!) Make them yours. Dark Green Vegetables
- Bok Choy
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Dark green leafy lettuces
- Mustard Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
- Swiss Chard
- Turnip Greens
MAKE THE MOST OF ORANGE (& YELLOW) POWER!
Packed with antioxidants, these incredible vegetables are second only to dark green vegetables, when it comes to sheer “look-great-feel-great-live-longer” punch.
They contain the greatest concentration of beta-carotene (one of the planet’s most effective free-radical fighters) available in any foods. Perhaps even more important: they’re rich with all of beta-carotene’s critically-important supporting phyto-nutrients. And this is key, because although you can get beta-carotene in a supplement, you can’t get the multitude of chemicals that actually make it work for you without making these life-giving foods a substantial part of your daily diet.
How much should you eat? Well, three or four servings a day is a great target, but you can eat more, if you like. There are people whose opinion I greatly respect who think it’s not a bad idea to eat enough orange and yellow vegetables to maintain a slight orange tinge on your hands and feet.
You don’t have to go that far, but it won’t hurt you, if you do! Orange & Yellow Vegetables Include:
- acorn squash
- butternut squash
- hubbard squash
- sweet potatoes
THE POWER OF THE POTATO
A potato with its skin on (scrubbed and de-eyed, if possible) is one of the world’s most perfect foods. Rich with complex carbohydrates for sustainable energy, perfect proteins, and hundreds of mini-nutrients, a potato is to a piece of bread as steel-cut oatmeal is to cake. It’s an anti-aging, feel-good-look-good powerhouse! (And it fills you up without filling you out!)
Best of all the humble potato is one of the world’s greatest serotonin boosters, as Kathleen Des Maisons fully and beautifully explains in her outstanding book, “Potatoes, Not Prozac!”
Red, yellow or white, a potato a day is always right!
Yes, they are real. And so are spinach cravings, kale cravings, collard-green cravings, carrot cravings, yam cravings, and so on!
Best of all, they can be yours (at no cost)! All you have to do is start eating them. After you’ve eaten them 3-4 times, or so, you’ll start liking certain things about them. After 3-4 more tries, you’ll probably find yourself thinking about them when you’re hungry. (It’s true!)
Before long, you’ll experience real, honest-to-goodness mouth and throat cravings for these dark green darlings and powerful orange veggies. These cravings will be so strong and compelling, they’ll motivate you to get your booty to the kitchen right away.
I am a true sugar addict, and I can tell you that cravings for vegetables can be every bit as strong, if not stronger, than cravings for sugar-laden foods. (They’re certainly a lot better for you!) They’re different, because they’re actually healthy nutrient hunger expressing itself, rather than toxic withdrawal. But they’re every bit as real and powerful!
I went through an interesting period several years ago, when I first put this theory into practice. I made myself eat a little bit of broccoli one day, then a little more the next day, etc. After just a few days, I didn’t have to make myself eat broccoli. I didn’t even have to remember to eat broccoli. Cravings would hit by afternoon, and I would find myself searching for broccoli (or another “green” answer) before dinner.
Now, my broccoli addiction is a joke in my family. They give me a hard time, but they’re proud of me, and it has rubbed off on a couple of them, as well!
I’d say it’s a miracle, but the fact is, it’s completely natural. The way things are meant to be. Your body loves vegetables. And if you’ll stick with it, before long, you will, too!