WARNING: this post is not for those who want excuses. We will be providing some serious motivation here and a healthy dose of tough love. This post is only for those who want nothing less than the absolute BEST LIFE for themselves and are willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get there....
"Your Stomach Shouldn't be a Waste Basket"
How's that for an opening line?
In what ways can your stomach become a waste basket? Well, ever heard of JUNK FOOD? What do we usually do with JUNK? That's right, throw it in the GARBAGE CAN...
Then why in the world have we allowed the food industry to convince us that it's okay to put into this beautiful body of ours and that it won't be stored there as TRASH and build TRASHY bodies?
Somehow, we've let ourselves be convinced that junk food, A.K.A. processed food, is an acceptable fuel for our bodies.
I know people, mostly men, who are sticklers for what kind of gas they put into their cars. They insist that certain gases run cleaner and therefore go out of their way to put higher grade fuel into their cars. Then these very same people will jump into those very same cars and drive themselves to a fast food drive through and feast on food that was made in a laboratory factory somewhere near the New Jersey turnpike.
Eric Schlosser, in his book Fast Food Nation, talks about how these foods are artificially produced to taste good with chemicals manufactured to smell and taste like or even better than the real thing. And David Kessler, in his book The End to Overeating, talks about how food processors and restaurants use the combination of fat, salt and sugar and LOTS of it, to make foods addictive so we keep coming back to buy more.
Trouble is, none of those foods offer nutrition and in fact, cause nutritional imbalances and deficiencies which lead to cravings, weight gain, mood swings and illness.
We deserve more. We deserve better. We deserve to put the highest grade quality fuel into these magnificent bodies so that we can maximize our potential to the fullest by having the highest energy, stamina, health and beauty so we can go out and live life and reach our purpose.
So I ask you: How much do you love yourself? How much do you respect yourself and feel you are worth? Shouldn't your food choices reflect that? Or do our food choices reflect low self-worth which shows in conforming to what "everyone else is doing" so that we can fit in and be accepted, but in so doing, our bodies become bloated and misshapen and we end up hating how we look and become sick in the process?
Yes, our friends define who we are and we choose who are friends are, and thus, ultimately we define ourselves by our beliefs about what we deserve. True friends want you to be healthy and happy and will support your health goals.
We also can learn to manage stress in healthy ways such as stretching and deep breathing, watching our thoughts about stressful situations and not catastrophizing or blowing things out of proportion and by treating ourselves to massages, going for a run, listening to relaxing music or talking with a friend. All stressful situations are temporary, and we need to make sure we are eating high quality food and getting enough sleep so that we are in top condition to meet the challenge.
Friends, I'm going to be blunt. And I put myself in the same category, so it's not my finger pointing at you, but it's all of us. Processed food is as much as a drug in the body and is just as addictive and recreational drugs and pharmaceutical drugs are. Drugs are made from natural substances and are refined and concentrated to the point where it's a mega-dose to the body. So are processed foods.
In the book The Pleasure Trap, Dr Doug Lisle talks about how processed food, with no fiber to slow down it's absorption,causes this huge serotonin pleasure hit in the brain and is every bit as addictive as drugs. Sugar, salt, white flour--are white powders just as cocaine is....and they all come from something that originally was a natural product, but the refining process created a monster out of it.
There have been studies showing that substances like MSG (monosodiumglutamate) cause weight gain and kill off brain cells by exciting them to death. Some get migraines from MSG, and David Kessler says that MSG is one of the substances responsible for making restaurant food taste so much better than home cooked food and thus so addicting. Just like a crack addict, we get addicted to the next high and we go through withdrawals when we don't eat it.
Then we've been fooled into thinking that this weight gain is all our fault. Somehow, we are supposed to magically be able to moderate ourselves into eating "just a little bit" of this food to prevent weight gain. It's crazy mixed messages and highly manipulative ones, that the food industry is sending. Even the weight loss industry colludes with this message by still giving us portion sized processed meals that leave us feeling starving and we keep on falling off of these "diets".
The exercise industry then steps in with it's crazy messages such as "you can eat as much as you want as long as you exercise it off" or "you can eat what you want as long as you are moderate---"moderation in all things" is one of the most ill-advised and oft-repeated messages and it keeps people from reaching their goals.
This is false. It's as false as me telling you that just a little bit of cocaine or crack or heroine won't hurt you.
Or a little bit of arsenic. Or a little bit of gasoline.
We have been fooled and dare I say, lied to, about the effects of processed foods on our bodies. And, just as the tobacco companies have known for years how addictive their products were and wouldn't admit it until a whistle blower proved it with e-mails and documents, I can tell you that with the profits that these food industries are making, they know how addictive their foods are as well because THEY DESIGNED THEM THAT WAY ON PURPOSE SO THAT YOU WILL BUY MORE.
I know that sounds cynical, but use your common sense and take a look at the state of your body and that of those around you. How are our bodies handling processed foods? Not well at all
Moderation of these foods is not the answer. Total abstinence is the answer. Eat only foods that you would recognize as coming off a plant, from the ground or off a tree. Minimize or eliminate as much as you can any food that has been reduced to a liquid, had the fiber removed or had artificial chemicals added to it.
I have made this change and I have noticed a difference. I eat only fruit, vegetables and sprouted legumes.
My skin and the skin of others that eat the way I do is what I notice the most amongst other things. Bodies that are dealing with processed foods do not have clear, glowing skin. Those who put high quality foods into their bodies, do. It's that simple.
Not to mention better elimination, less allergies, more energy, I could go on. You will feel satiated. There is no craving that you can't fill with whole natural plant foods. You can make ice cream out of frozen fruit. Savory hearty comfort food from grains and legumes. Sweeten your life with dates and an infinite variety of fruits. Be creative.
Just like a drug addict, you will go through withdrawals and aches and pains. This is to be expected. But you will find a new joy in your food sobriety and it will bubble up from deep inside of you.
I've been totally unprocessed now for almost 45 days. And I won't be going back. Now, keep in mind, I was eating what most would call a "healthy" diet. I was vegan and ate low-fat. So why was I still processed? Well, salsa in a jar has sodium chloride in it. Vegan restaurant food has MSG in it. And, pasta is refined flour. I had to get honest with myself and realize that vegan was not enough. Chef AJ in her book "Unprocessed" helped me to appreciate that refined foods, vegan or not, DID NOT BELONG IN MY BODY and were creating cravings and "emotional eating" when all that was really going on was that my body was not designed to put that kind of fuel into it. So, I made a commitment to go 90 days (I'm half way there and don't see myself stopping) and come hail or high water, I was going to not eat foods that were in any way shape or form processed by a human.
When you lose resolve or are temped by friends or triggers such as holidays or movies or other situations that normally derailed you in the past, here are two motivational pictures that has helped m e to stay on track:
I know most of you have no problems what-so-ever saying no to drugs. I know that you would walk away from friendships if they insisted that you take heroine with them or meth.
What we need to do is change our mental paradigms in the way we view processed foods and put them in the same categories as illicit drugs and say to ourselves: I DON'T EAT THAT. Not when we are stressed (just like a drug addict would do), not when we are celebrating (just like an alcoholic would do), not when we are lonely or depressed or sad or any other time. But Not EVER.
We need to find healthy alternatives and plan ahead for success by having enough good quality fuel ready for us at all times.
If you feel weak and lose your resolve, come to this blog and reread this post for motivation. Take the unprocessed challenge with me and see if you notice a difference, too. Finally, feel what it feels like to gain control of your life and achieve the body and health you've always wanted. Sure, it takes planning, but you've planned for other things before so you can handle this.
Find your "why" and write it down and start to raise the standard for yourself of what you deserve and what you are worth. As Tonya Kay always says: "This is not a discount body".
Don't live a discount, processed, junk-food life.
Peace and be well. With love, The Fruit Doctor.