The Wellness Revolution
“Not surprisingly, fruits and vegetables are the two foods with the best correlation with longevity in humans. Not whole-wheat bread, not bran, not even a vegetarian diet shows as powerful a correlation as a high level of fresh fruit and raw green salad consumption… Raw vegetables have the most powerful anti-cancer properties of all food. Beans, in general, not just soy, have additional anti-cancer benefits against reproductive cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer.” Joel Fuhrman, MD Eat to Live
“Eat all the various fruits and vegetables you can. There is nowhere – repeat, nowhere – you can get the injections of anti-aging potions you get from eating fruits and vegetables. They are not trivial creations of nature, but mighty forces to be reckoned with. They possess countless known and unknown agents that transform your cells into fortresses against the free radical forces of aging. Much of what we call aging is really a fruit and vegetable deficiency!” Jean Carper Stop Aging Now!
YES, YOU ARE “THAT KIND OF PERSON!”
For years, whenever someone encouraged me to adopt a whole-food lifestyle, I said (or thought) “That’s great, but I’m just not that kind of person” or “I wish I could, but I’m just not that kind of person,” or even “I know it works for them, but it won’t work for me, because I’m just not that kind of person. I don’t have their willpower, their discipline,” etc.
I was wrong. And if you think that way about yourself, I can assure you with great confidence that you are wrong, too. (This is great news, isn’t it!) You are that kind of person. You’ve just never had the tools you need to make these principles work in your life. (But you’re getting them now.)
For so many of us, the largest obstacles to making the whole-food transition are our faulty, negative beliefs about how we’ll really feel, living on a whole-food diet, day after day.
Next to these blockages, the mild-to-moderate-to-harsh pangs of transitioning into a whole-food lifestyle are nothing. Because, while transition is always temporary, until you remove these mental and emotional blockages from your mind and heart, you are permanently trapped.
I feel this issue is so important, I’m going to address 5 of the most common false beliefs that might keep you trapped if we don’t confront them now, together.
THE 5 MOST COMMON FAULTY BELIEFS ABOUT WHOLE-FOOD LIVING
“I don’t have the willpower.”
Wait! You’re getting whole-food living confused with dieting. Dieting is always hard, hard, hard, while whole-food living is easy, easy, easy, after the first couple of weeks! (It actually gets easier every day after the first 3-4 days or a week of new learning and withdrawal.) Your biggest struggle at first will be detaching from addictive foods and drinks, while you stay out of a dieting mindset and eat, eat, eat whole foods.
Again, your body is probably going to send you lots of messages to eat at first, as you begin giving it the nutrients it has been starving for over the course of years. Your most important key to success is to listen to your body’s signals and eat, eat, eat whole foods in abundance every time you are hungry. Your second most important key to success is the knowledge that after you have withdrawn from the foods and drinks to which you are addicted, you will no longer experience compelling cravings for them.
“This isn’t the right time in my life. I’m too busy, too tired, too depressed over my divorce…”
That’s okay. Just make these changes at a pace that’s right for you. While I’ve challenged you to make these changes in a certain timeline (mostly right away!), you’re in charge. Try having one alkalizing whole-food meal a day for a week, then two every day the week after that, then three… and so on…
At the same time, realize that these changes don’t constitute dieting (which is draining and depressing). They can, and will, give you the energy and emotional balance you need to thrive in crazy, hectic (or even heartbreaking!) times.
“Eating whole food all the time is hard.”
Well, it’s certainly a skill that needs to be learned, but it’s easy after that. (And the learning process can be lots of fun!) Remember: your body cares about consistency and getting a high percentage of its food from nutrient-rich natural sources (90-95%), not perfection.
Once you have a new personal collection of favorite dishes and snacks, get in the habit of keeping whole foods stocked in your home, and learn enough about them to be creative with whatever’s at hand (experimenting with flavors, textures and combinations), you’ll be set.
You’ll find whole-food eating just as easy, if not easier, than the empty-food eating which is killing you now.
“Oh, no! I don’t like vegetables!”
In all probability, you like at least a few of them now. If you don’t, you can be certain your taste signals are out of whack, thanks to sugar and processed food addictions. (Also, clearing your diet of animal products will open you up to pleasurable eating sensations you probably haven’t experienced.)
Once you are free from these addictions, you will find vegetables quite tasty on their own and delicious when seasoned and cooked to your new tastes. Until then, choose from the vegetables you find least objectionable, use my “broccoli cravings” strategy, and keep your ultimate goal in mind: looking and feeling better than you have in years.
“If I eat all I want, I’ll get fat” or “I’ll never lose this weight!”
Nutrient-dense foods are nutrition-rich, but they are calorie-poor. If you eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, raw nuts, and seeds (with an emphasis on your veggies), you’ll address most of the root causes of excess weight:
- Nutrient hunger
- Addictive drives
- Acidosis-protection (your body clinging to fat to try to protect your tissues)
Other causes include:
- Unidentified thirst
- Sleep deprivation
- Adrenal exhaustion
And all of these will be addressed in upcoming Strategies.
The only tendency you might need to watch in a whole-food diet (when it comes to weight) is a potential to overuse olive oil and/or overeat raw nuts and seeds. However, once your body is fully nourished and free of toxins, any such temptations should be mild and fleeting, and without the power of addictive drives.
A NOTE TO THOSE STRUGGLING WITH WEIGHT ISSUES
Whether you are overweight, underweight, a permanent dieter, or simply an embarrassed junk-food junkie, you need to understand one important fact: There is nothing wrong with you. Not one thing.
You have simply been robbed, until now, of your rightful inheritance: the knowledge and opportunity to eat the right foods for you. As a result, your body is functioning at a chronically low level of health, depleted of nutrients, and over-run by addictions, cravings and misfiring hunger signals. And the answer is as easy as transitioning into eating the right foods and out of eating the wrong foods. (In that order!)
During the first days and weeks of your transition, it’s not always easy. In fact, it can be a difficult struggle. But with the right mindset, strategies and tools, you will be able to stay the course and make it through to the other side. There, nutrient riches and freedom from dependence on unhealthy and toxic foods awaits.
As your body becomes truly healthy and full of nutrients, you will naturally and rapidly adjust to your ideal weight. And you’ll break free of the addictions that haunt your now.
Finally, as you maintain your whole-food lifestyle, you’ll stay within your ideal weight range, free of cravings and addictions, and you’ll never have to diet, go hungry or feel deprived again.
MAKING THE TRANSITION
“The modern diet, laden with high-fat animal and processed foods, has taste-stimulating capacities that are greater than a diet of whole natural foods. This excessive stimulation results in neuroadaptation, wherein taste nerves become insensitive to the pleasure of whole natural foods. Consistent consumption of the modern diet has made most people, in effect, addicts of modern fare. The first weapon against the problem of taste-addiction is the knowledge that taste buds re-adapt to whole natural foods within a few weeks.” Douglas J. Lisle, PhD Alan Goldhamer, DC The Pleasure Trap
“YOU MAY EXPERIENCE SOME DISCOMFORT.”
Over the first few weeks of your new eating style, you will “experience some discomfort” (as doctors like to say before they jab you with a needle). This is only a temporary state, a natural part of transitioning into wholeness and wellness.
Essentially, you are withdrawing from substances to which you have become addicted. The good news is, unlike addictions to alcohol and drugs, food addictions don’t alter your brain chemistry in a lasting way.
While a person who has taken amphetamines or tranquilizers for years may experience lasting damage to their ability to be happy and enjoy life, if you’re a run-of-the-mill modern food addict, you’ve simply got a few bumps to get over. And you can do it in a relatively short period of time.
Your first few days will likely be the most uncomfortable (depending on the program track you’re following), and then it will get easier and easier.
The strategies you learn in the rest of this program will help you with your transition, as will getting help and support when you need it, from therapists, health-conscious friends, online discussion groups (like RadiantRecovery.com), and even Overeaters Anonymous.
(You don’t have to be overweight to be welcomed into Overeaters Anonymous. Many thin sugar and fat addicts find a home and the strength they need to abstain from their addictions, as well. If you can’t make this transition without suffering or in a timely manner, please give them a call.)
Even if you have no help or support at all in your new lifestyle, know that time heals all nutritional wounds, once you start doing the right thing. Withdrawal is a time-limited proposition, while the benefits you’ll experience can last you a lifetime. When it comes to loving your new way of eating, time and practice are your best friends.
Give yourself time to adjust and realize that the way you think and feel about becoming “whole-food whole” will be radically different after 90 days, if not sooner. Forget perfection. Embrace consistency and progress!
No one (well, almost no one!) implements this strategy perfectly in their life from day one. Your goals are consistency and progress, not perfection.
Remember, the choice you are making now, to become whole-food whole, has the power to transform the way you look and feel, and to add literally years to your life.