Good nutrition is essential
WARNING: Drastic changes in diet, even when they are positive changes, often result in healing responses (aka healing crises). These healing responses can be uncomfortable, and, in very rare cases, can even be fatal. I am not recommending these dietary changes for anyone who is not under the care of a qualified medical professional. I am simply educating you on the type of diet that I suggest, and the diet that my family and I have been following for many years.
Below is my list of foods to eat, moderate, and avoid. There may be exceptions to these lists based on your specific situation, but these recommendations are pretty consistent across the majority of people. The “Foods to Eat” list contains foods that feed your body. The “Foods to Moderate” list contains foods that your body does not need, or at least does not need in high quantities. The foods to avoid are harmful in any quantities.
Foods to eat
Organic when possible – I recommend 85% of bulk diet is from Foods to Eat with the majority of that coming from vegetables and fruits.
- All vegetables (raw or frozen)
- Fruit (raw, frozen, or dried)
- Beans (must be adequately cooked)
- Unsalted raw nuts (No Peanuts)
- Brown/Wild Rice
- Organic non-salted Seeds (especially hemp, chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin)
- Red Potatoes
- Nut butters
- Oils – Olive, Flaxseed, Avocado (cold-pressed or expeller-pressed)
- Almond Milk
- Date Sugar (just ground up Dates. Studies suggest this is the healthiest sweetener)
I am also a big fan of juicing fresh, organic produce
Foods to moderate
Organic, Grass fed, or Wild Caught meats only.
- Sweeteners – Agave, Maple Syrup, Honey
Foods to avoid
- Foods with chemicals (always read the ingredients on processed foods)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Refined sugar
- Peanuts/Peanut butter
- Salt (Salt is essential for life but we get sufficient quantities from the good foods that we eat. Hypotensive people can benefit from more salt than the rest of us).
- All GMO foods
- All oils except as specified above
In my Aggressive Health Solutions Workshop I cover the justification for why these foods are in their respective categories.
I rank good nutrition as the second most important physical thing you can do to improve your health (right behind eliminating stress, anxiety, fear, and anger). Good Nutrition has two different aspects. First, it means to eat the foods that provide your body with what it needs: vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids, and probably myriad things we have not even identified yet. Second, good nutrition means avoiding the foods that are detrimental or toxic to your body. There are many hundreds of scientific studies that reinforce the health benefits of proper nutrition.
I am not a believer in the American Board of Nutrition’s Food Pyramids or Food Plates. In fact, I feel the same way about many of our government’s nutritional recommendations. I was a Certified Nutritionist earlier in my career, but I let my certification lapse once I became convinced that lobbyists had more influence on government food recommendations than nutritionists and scientists. The good news is: the science is out there, and it is very clear and consistent.
You may be surprised to find no animal products on the “Foods to Eat” list. Most of us have heard the long-time rumors that vegetarians must be extremely careful at food combining to get complete protein; that animal protein is superior to plant protein; that you won’t get enough calcium without dairy products; etc. These myths have been scientifically debunked decades ago, yet somehow they persist. Some people suspect it is due to a concerted effort by industries who stand to profit when people consume their products. Which brings up an excellent point – when you read scientific studies, you must check to see if there is a conflict of interest. Just as the tobacco industry funded numerous studies that showed no correlation between smoking and lung cancer, other industries have been known to fund studies that show their products are not harmful, or even health promoting. It used to be easy to determine the source of funding, but industries have become very clever at hiding their funding so conflicts of interest are getting very hard to spot.
All that being said, I am still an advocate for a small amount of animal products. After seeing hundreds of bloods from vegans, and vegetarians, I find a common pattern of deficiencies in their diet. Most of the scientific evidence suggests we should not consume animal products, but my clinical evidence suggests small amounts are conducive to good overall health. And, scientific evidence does suggest small amounts (70 grams or less) are not harmful to most of us and are actually helpful to seniors.
I recommend getting your nutrition from your food, though I do recommend Vitamin B12 to vegans/vegetarians and I do recommend Vitamin D3 to almost all Americans. Your body makes vitamin D3 from sunlight, but at higher latitudes, supplementation is probably necessary. Required doses of B12 are so small that most plant-eaters get their share from the bugs and dirt they accidentally ingest while eating plants. Animals do not make B12, it comes from bacteria. So, most of the B12 you get from eating animal products comes from the bacteria in the animal’s digestive track. In case you’re wondering, the bacteria in your body makes lots of B12, but it happens too far down the colon to be absorbed. I am not normally a big proponent of long-term supplements. I much prefer you get your vitamins from your plant-based diet. But in these two cases, I think supplementation is wise. I also recommend short-term supplementation for specific purposes.
Is it hard for you to avoid junk food?
Eating a nutritious diet soon becomes a lifestyle habit. In time, you will not miss the unhealthy foods. But it can be very difficult for some people when they are just starting out. Once you have overcome your health issues and are on a “maintenance diet”, I do not expect you to be religious in these food choices. I’m not. If I go to someone’s house for dinner I would often rather eat a small amount of foods in my “Foods To Avoid” list than offend my host. But when the choice is mine, I always avoid them. If you are not willing to take significant steps to feed your body, my ability to help you will be significantly diminished and I am probably not the best person to work with you on your health.