Warning, I’m Going To Say A Bad Word


james-harris-205441-unsplashThere I said it. It seems like almost everyone is on some kind of diet these days. Most of us expect fast results from our dieting efforts. We want fast results in the same way we want everything else to be fast and convenient, even our food.

But hold on! How long did it take you to get into the shape you are in? Weeks, months, or if you’re like me, years. I have come to believe that we can’t lose weight or get in better shape overnight. For some, it took decades of poor eating habits and a little exercise to get where they are now. The key is patience and learning new eating habits, and then maintaining those habits.

I think most people are realizing that our health and resistance to illness and disease are directly related to what we eat and drink. There have been many videos recently that speak directly to the effects of what people eat on their body and mind. Some of my favorites include; Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, What The Health, What The Wheat, Hungry For Change, Fed Up, Forks Over Knives, Sugar Coated, Rotten and many more. For me, there are a lot of truths in these videos and I think they are worth watching. If you have concerns about your health, illness, disease, weight or you just want to live better, these are a good place to start learning.

There are so many diets out there today it is just insane. How do you choose? Each of these diets touts a variety of benefits. They all claim to be right and they all claim they will work for you. If you believe it, I have some beach front property in Arizona that you should buy. Some of these diets include; Paleo, Whole 30, Atkins, Zone Diet, Dash Diet, South Beach and the list seems to go on endlessly.

There are a couple of the above mention diets that I actually like. I like them because the focus is on changing what and how we eat for the long term. I have used the Paleo and Whole 30 diets. I chose them because the focus was on long-term lifestyle changes and health benefits.  Near the end each of these diets, I could simply add one food item at a time back to my eating habits. As I did, I could see the results clearly and adjust accordingly.

For example, I have been allergic to cats nearly all my life. I also had allergies (hay fever) twice every year. While on Paleo and then Whole 30, I eliminated dairy from my diet. The result was that I had no more allergies at all. I thought it was pretty cool not to suffer from these or need doctors or medications to fight them.

Another example is weight loss. While not a quick fix, my own weight has slowly dropped and continues to do so.

Also, by removing bread and other food items that contain gluten, my skin irritations and itching came to an end. Now, my wife makes fermented bread like sourdough for us. Making sourdough bread is a form of fermentation and reduces or eliminates the effects of gluten.

Diet, Food And LifestyleDoctors and medicine, oh my! In several of the above-mentioned videos, there is clear evidence that making longterm lifestyle and eating habit changes can have a tremendous impact on our dependency on doctors and pharmaceutical medicines. There are also many scientific studies such as “The China Study” that clearly point to our foods as the cause of many illnesses and deceases. Doctors and medicine are very expensive and continue to drive health care costs higher and higher. By taking control of our food sources, diet habits and lifestyle, I believe we can reduce or even eliminate our dependency on many drugs and over the counter medicines.

So what to do? Here are the top 10 tips that have worked for our family:

  1. Stay away from the middle isles of the grocery stores and shop the perimeter. Most of the processed foods and “fast food” items are located in the middle isles. The perimeter isles are mostly plant-based and meats.
  2. Choose your food sources carefully. Purchase food items from organic growers, local sources, farmers markets, CSAs and market gardens.
  3. Cook and prepare meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and reduce or eliminate the consumption of fast foods.
  4. Prepare your own food and eat out less often. Many restaurant foods contain preservatives and other things we should not be eating.
  5. Read food labels carefully. Avoid buying food products that contain chemical additives and sugars.
  6. Choose a diet that is sustainable and includes overall changes to eating and lifestyle habits.
  7. Choose doctors and medicines that make use of dietary changes as medicine over pharmaceutical medicines when possible. There are many foods and herbs that target specific ailments of the human body.
  8. Do your own research through videos, studies, and trials.
  9. Cook! It is fun and a great way to spend time with those you love.
  10. Grow your own food. No matter whether you live in town or on a farm, you can grow at least of few food items that reduce your food bill and provide healthy alternatives.

Today, based on what we have learned from research and testing several diets, we have chosen to eat an organic plant-based diet with limited meat and dairy. The health benefits have been remarkable. So remarkable in fact that it has lead us to start Savvy Organics Farm with the purpose of helping others find and make healthy food and lifestyle changes that last.

“Let food by thy medicine and medicine by thy food” – Hippocrates

“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”” – Genesis 1:29

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