Friday, July 22, 2011

A Diet Just Right For You

I know that there are lots of people out there wanting to make a change to healthier eating, but don't know what that should look like. You might think that it's going to be too restrictive and the food won't taste good. I challenge you to come along with me—see, taste and be amazed at how delicious and diverse eating healthy can be.

What Do I Eat?
Let's start with the diet I eat. Most of you know my story of beating colon cancer with diet alone when I found myself up against a genetic defect for colon cancer. It drove me to tighten my already healthy diet. I knew I needed to eat more vegetables, and I had a sugar addiction that kept it out of my shopping cart and thus in my cupboard except for (not rare enough) occasions where I would indulge. eat (mostly dark chocolate) until I got sick.

The amount of sugar I ate sent me into a hypoglycemic reaction where my blood sugar got low and I needed to eat to stop feeling lousy. I'm not talking hunger pangs here—something more serious. Happily I no longer have those symptoms.

My (Cancer-Fighting) Diet
  • Any and every kind of fresh vegetable (chard, kale, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, spinach, squash, jicama, etc.) as much as I like—eaten raw at least one meal a day. I never eat iceberg lettuce and rarely eat romaine.
  • Fruit in moderation because its sugar—certainly fruit should not exceed what I eat in veggies.
  • Any nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, etc.) seeds (flax, chia, sesame, sunflower, millet, quinoa, etc.) grains (brown rice, oats, rye, barley, wheat). I eat very little bread and only whole grain.
  • Oils include (extra virgin only) olive (cooking and salad dressings), sesame (cooking) and coconut (baking and on air-popped corn).
  • Condiments: mayonaise, mustard, pickles, olives, sauerkraut (all without anything artificial and no sugar).
  • Herbs and spices.
  • All legumes which include lentils, beans and peas.
  • Sweeteners: pure maple syrup, rice syrup and raw honey are my preferences.
  • ONLY wild-caught fish for meat (salmon, mahi mahi, tuna, tilapia).
  • ONLY organic eggs from cage-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free chickens.
  • NO artificial ingredients of any kind (artificial is poison to a healthy body and cancer loves it).
  • NO dairy except goat dairy primarily for cheese used sparingly like an herb or spice. For milk I use almond milk or Non-GMO soy milk.
  • NO sugar, coffee, chocolate (although I do recipes with pure cocoa on rare occasions—see this weeks dessert Red Velvet Chocolate Squares).
  • For an occasional treat/dessert (not every day), I will eat one Kashi TLC cookie or one small scoop (1/3 Cup) of Coconut Bliss Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert.
All foods organic or free of artificial fertilizers and 
pesticides as much as possible.
    My diet keeps me in the alkaline zone which assures that my body maintains an environment where cancer cannot grow. I touched on the subject of acid/alkaline balancing in my post The Benefits of Green Tea. More about that in a future post.

    Now that doesn't look like I'm depriving myself does it?

    What Should You Eat?
    I would not expect you to be as strict on the meat thing, but you should know that the largest study connecting nutrition with heart disease, diabetes and cancer found that a plant-based diet can save your life. Involving over 8,000 significant associations, the 20-year effort, called The China Study, found that people who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic diseases. People who ate a plant-based diet avoided the most chronic diseases.

    I recently saw Forks Over Knives, a documentary that presents the claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases afflicting us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. The film follows two doctors (Campbell and Esselstyn) in their separate ground-breaking studies (one is The China Study) that reveal the significance of adapting a plant-based diet to be disease free. Cameras follow several real-life subjects who adopt a plant-based diet in their quest to treat their disease. The end of the movie shows all the subjects enjoying a feast of healthy, yummy-looking food (all plant-based) while the narration reveals each had conquered their disease.

    If you DO eat meat, I urge you to buy grass-fed meat that is antibiotic-free and hormone-free. Make sure that the animal was grass-fed its whole life. You know how tricks can be played with words. You may object to buying grass-fed meat that is usually more expensive. But consider the alternative "expense"—sudden death or $20,000 a month for the cost of drugs. Okay that might be the extreme case, but you know people who have depilating disease. Don't be next. Or if you have disease already, change coarse and make changes to get healthy.

    Myth: You need meat to get protein.
    Fact: You can get the protein you need in a plant-based diet.

    The same goes for dairy. Make sure your dairy comes from cows that are grass-fed, antibiotic-free, hormone-free and not fed any GMO feed.

    Myth: You need dairy to get calcium.
    Fact: You can get the calcium you need in a plant-based diet.

    When you make changes, play around with different foods and find out what makes you feel your best. I had to do some adjusting at the beginning, but now feel great and full of energy.

    Come along on this journey with me and many others.
    1. Help send a message to the food industry that you aren't buying their processed c*** they call food.
    2. Grow a garden and have the joy of eating foods you grew.
    3. Shop farmer's markets where you get locally grown food which is usually not sprayed with pesticides or grown using artificial fertilizers.
    4. Wake up every morning full of life and energy!
    Feel free to ask any questions about my diet or what I recommend you eat to be healthy. Scroll down to leave a comment.