And the trend continues
I remember when I first tried “veganism” I fell into this trap. Back when i was about 15 I decided to get health and go vegan for the sake of my sports performance. I started eliminating all pop, junk food, and of course almost all real food; chicken, beef, eggs, dairy. As my hormones stopped functioning I fell into the Junk Food Vegan phase. I remember always trying to make “Vegan Carrot Muffins” which despite my solid effort to add soy yogurt and whole wheat flour was really just an attempt to recreate a sugary breakfast treat. Now I did a decent job of getting in vegetables and fruit, well mostly a lot of fruit and Whole Wheat everything. Whole Wheat bread, cereal, every vegan “protein bar” I could find and more. Despite my bodies cries for help I willed powered my way to eat as much hummus as possible, carrots, broccoli and wheat. I didn’t venture quite as deep into the creative vegan junk food as most. I did learn quite a bit about the balance the body needs in health fat, quality protein and the right carbohydrates. Some of the other vegan friends I met through this 5 year period were quite on the other end of the spectrum. They were in search desperately for meat substitutes like tofu dogs, meatless sausages, and veggie burgers. Luckily I caught on fast and knew my body was craving something more than I was able to let my ego understand and I eventually returned to a more balanced diet of what my body actually needed; animal protein and fats, vegetables and moderate fruit carbohydrates.
And so it continues, again…
Luckily this time I saw it coming. The “it” I’m talking about was Paleo, Raw Food, and even my go to dietary lifestyle Body Ecology. I look around at people trying these “diets” and what they are doing is exactly the same as I did as a vegan. They give themselves a label, “I am Paleo” “Raw Foodist” and yet they consume hardly any real food. They are the recreating all their favorite treats; cookies, muffins, breads, cereals, and things I would never even imagine to make. Now the benefit to these diets is that they have removed some potentially harmful foods such as pasteurized/homogenized dairy, hybridized gluten, and processed sugar. This is effective because a lot of people have developed allergies to these foods and even if not science has proved that these foods are far from optimal. Gluten-free pancakes are pancakes. Just because you’ve removed the more difficult to digest things like sugar, wheat, and diary doesn’t make it healthy. IN FACT, IF YOU WERE HEALTHY YOU COULD EAT THE REAL THING AND DIGEST IT EFFECTIVELY AND NOT HAVE TO SUBSTITUTE IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. This is what people are not realizing. Sure, hybridized gluten is horrible. Even with a strong digestive fire it should be consumed moderately if not at all. But the truth is most people’s problem isn’t the food. It’s their addicted to it, can’t digest it and are stuck in a cycle that’s killing them.
The sugar elephant in the room
What’s the trend here? Well there are a few issues that are commonly being avoided. I’ll list them as follows:
- Sugar Addiction
- Hormonal Dis-function (blood sugar issues)
- Emotional Attachment to Comfort Food
- Digestion Dis function
To start, most people are incredibly addicted to sugar. Sugar in the form of almost every carbohydrate at that. People have missed the big picture of adapting a Paleo, Raw Food, or Body Ecology Diet and that is to eat WHOLE FOODS in their WHOLE FORM. People are still refining their food into flours and powders, grinding it, baking it and doing way too much processing. This processing turns their food completely dead and the refines the flours into fibers that are digested much too quickly very similar to commercial processed foods. Whether its a bacterial, fungal, parasitical, blood sugar problem or even an emotional addiction problem, people are stuck on the sugars and just transfer their bad habits. Hormonal issues that result from lack of sleep, emotional stress and too much sugar will never be corrected if you transfer your sugar addiction. As well as digestive problems and almost every health problem at that. I see this problem even with people who have adapted Body Ecology Diet principles. They specialize. They chose one principle such as not eating dairy, sugar and all gluten foods yet they spend way too much time taking second phase legal foods like squash, avocado, berries, cocoa (see the trend? sugary, addictive foods) and they process it into pancakes, breads, crackers and to use their sugar-free stevia syrup recipes. Again, missing the whole point to eat a healing diet of minimal cooked, minimally processed foods. For example, they don’t eat as much vegetable rich soups, stocks, steamed vegetables with healthy oils and fats, fresh herb seasoned fish and pastured animal proteins.
It is truly a simple solution. Adapt better principles. Instead of focusing on WHAT foods you eat I encourage you to take a look at HOW you are eating. That’s right, I’m taking it back to the philosophy of what you’re doing. Are you addicted to foods? Are you eating to fill a void in place of lack of a Primary Food such as a better career? Do you need to actually correct your digestive system, heal your adrenals, manage your stress or get your life on track? All these things play a much more important role in your health than just choosing “Legal Foods”, whether it be Paleo, Raw, or Body Ecology.
Tips To Eat To HEAL
- Find out your metabolic type- this will help you determine more specifically what foods will help balance your hormones, which will regulate your hunger better, help you physically overcome addictions, and give you real energy not stimulated energy from dark chocolate and carb bombs.
- Try the Body Ecology Diet principles in addition to your unique diet- The Body Ecology diet takes healing beyond food. If you really commit to the diet it’s much more about food. A trend I see in most people is their emotional addiction to food. You will never escape a prison you are not aware you are in. Giving a diet that is free from all ADDICTIVE foods will help show how you are really using food. Is it for nourishment? Or a coping mechanism? The principles will help you overcome emotional eating problems with food, and if you are the type to be constantly recreating the health food junk food chances are you may have more than just a hormonal and digestive issue but something a in your philosophy of eating.
- Food Experiments- When you figure out your metabolic type and start to see how you really react to foods you can start to restructure your plate. You may find yourself changing on a daily basis determined by how your days go. When you experiment with higher carb, lower protein, higher raw food, higher cooked food; whatever it may be, you will start to see how you have to eat to feel best and this a lot of the time can help get rid of addictions and see how you digest certain foods.
- 30 day trial- For just 30 days challenge yourself. Commit for only 30 days of your life to go without recreating junk food with whole foods, not consuming addictive/problematic foods like nuts/seeds, dairy, gluten, sugar(fruit too) and eggs. This will give your body a reset and you will then truly know where your weaknesses are.
- Give yourself a cheat MEAL- Until you become healed enough to actually control yourself, give yourself a cheat meal. Not a cheat day. One meal a week where you let go and recreate the junk food. People are consuming “health food junk food” like Paleo Pancakes, BODYECOLOGY crackers, SCD legal icecream, and so on WAY too often because it’s “legal”. These foods were intended to be consumed moderately. The bottom line is that these foods will never be healing foods. The healing foods that optimize your life are simple whole foods in their whole forms, free of intense processing, blending (with the exception of pureeing soups, smoothies) baking, frying, etc. Food goes beyond nutrition, I understand the emotional power it has to recreate an old favorite but as I stated earlier, it will never feed you nutritionally the way a simpler whole food meal will. So limiting these to special times is going to be the best thing for your physical health. Remember, everything in moderation.Eat real food, the way it was found in nature, the way our healthiest of ancestors found it, the way nature intended.