The Best Diet Ever – Part 2
So last time we talked about the most common question I get asked, “What is the best diet to follow?” I discussed the answer I give every time the question is asked: “It depends upon the physiology of the consumer.” If you haven’t read Part 1 please stop now and go back and read it. We will wait for you before we continue……..ok good job, now let’s proceed.
I said last blog that in this one I would discuss some of the best options to implement to get you on the right road to eating your way to better health. Before I do that I feel the need to further drive home the point that bad food and bad eating is killing America.
We all should know by now that eating bad food leads to poor health. We should all understand that we truly are what we eat, or to break it down we are what we eat eats. To break it down ever further (which I like to do) we are what we digest, absorb, assimilate and metabolize from what we eat. Our food is our fuel, our building blocks to proper function, our healing and repair, our building, thriving and functioning. If we are putting in the right stuff, our body can work at a high level. Conversely if we put in the wrong stuff, we will break down, fall apart and eventually stop functioning the way we were meant to work. That is disease, or dysfunction, or imbalances, or mood swings, or pain, or poor circulation, or headaches, or tiredness and fatigue, or poor sleep, or depression, or Diabetes, or heart attacks… Ok you get the picture.
To prove this point Morgan Spurlock made a documentary in 2004 called SuperSize Me. In it he ate from the menu at McDonald’s every meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner and all snacks for 30 straight days. Morgan was a healthy man prior to beginning his experiment. He proved this by having a checkup along with bloodwork and tests.
Morgan’s tests showed the following:
• 6’2” and 185.5 lbs BMI within normal range (You know how I feel about the BMI chart)
• 11% body fat
• blood pressure normal
• “perfect” reflexes
• cholesterol 168
• triglycerides 87
• SGOT (liver enzyme) 21
• SGPT (liver enzyme) 20
• no evidence of diabetes; fasting blood sugar is very low
• electrolytes, kidney function and liver function are “perfect” (Dr. Siegel)
• “general health is outstanding”
• “above average fitness for your age group”
He then had checkups throughout the month of his eating experiment and saw not only that he felt worse and worse throughout the process, but his health declined. His actual blood test markers worsened dramatically in just 30 days.
The scary part was that he was being evaluated and followed by 5 doctors throughout this process. I preach all the time that as a society our medical system does not place any emphasis on our daily food choices other than the amount of calories we eat. Calories in/calories out they say. But if you have followed us through this journey you know that it is truly not the amount of calories that are most important, it is the quality of the calories as calories are just a unit of potential energy. Morgan Spurlock proved all these points.
Here are some of the predictions from the doctors he was seeing prior to starting the experiment: Dr. Gahnju: “I think the worst-case scenario is that you increase your triglycerides and your cholesterol level, and if you have any heart disease in your family or any underlying heart disease you’re putting your heart at risk.” This doctor was totally blaming any potential issues on his genetics.
Dr. Seigel: “I expect to see an increase in your triglycerides. I think that’s the only thing that will change. There might be some minor variations. But the body is extremely adaptable, and the kidneys will handle any extra salt that you’re taking in and your liver will be able to metabolize additional fats.” This doctor totally negated the importance of nutrition, basically saying that the man’s body will “handle” anything he throws at it.
Dr. Isaacs: “As far as you gaining weight, you probably will. As far as your cholesterol going up, it probably will. As far as you feeling miserable, maybe, I don’t know.” This doctor negates the fact that extra body fat is an overall health risk and leads to feeling poorly and decreased functions.
Their predictions basically negated the fact that a person’s body requires nutrition to work. All they focused on was his triglycerides and cholesterol will probably change and he would gain weight. The classic American medical approach. Have you been in your local hospital lately? Most of the people that work there appear to be unhealthy! But I digress.
As the process went along, Morgan’s actual body physiology and metabolism (the way his system functions) changed. The only answer as to why is the poor quality of food he put in his body. Here are his changes on Day 10:
202 lbs. • Blood pressure 150/90 • cholesterol 225 • SGOT 130 • SGPT 290
That’s right, after only 10 days of eating this “food” a perfectly healthy man totally changed his body function and makeup. His liver enzymes were through the roof and in after 30 days he developed full blown fatty liver disease! A far cry from the doctors’ initial predictions.
At the end of the experiment Morgan was experiencing headaches, gastrointestinal issues such as reflux and nausea, shortness of breath, mood swings, lack of sex drive, sleep disturbances, fatigue and severe cravings. He was actually craving the very “food” that was making him sick! Morgan’s summary of his results: “In only 30 days of eating nothing but McDonald’s I gained 24.5 lbs., my liver turned to fat, and my cholesterol shot up 65 points. My body fat percentage went from 11 to 18%. I nearly doubled my risk of heart disease, making myself twice as likely to have heart failure. I felt depressed and exhausted most of the time, my mood swung on a dime, and my sex life was non-existent. I craved this food more and more when I ate it, and got massive cravings and headaches when I didn’t.”
Morgan Spurlock’s documentary, while a bit extreme, proved the ill effects of poor eating on the human body. Many people will say that they don’t eat at McDonald’s, but is the food at other restaurants really that different? The overwhelming answer is no! You see the restaurant industry’s goal is to make a profit, not to improve your health. Remember that next time you are looking for convenience!
So, what happened to Morgan? Well he began to eat healthy and exercise and his issues reversed and his health returned. His cravings were eliminated, energy returned, weight decreased, liver function returned to normal and he began to crave sex again! All positives and proof that given the right stuff, your body can reverse disease, heal and repair!
I see so many people that complain of the same issues that Morgan developed. The health of America is diminishing and worsening every day. All the health related statistics prove it. Our daily eating is the key to reversing this trend.
What does a healthy eating lifestyle look like? Well it depends upon the physiology of the consumer. There is no one diet or eating lifestyle that suits every single person’s requirements. Because your needs may be different from someone else’s, I recommend you have a thorough evaluation including blood work by someone who concentrates on functional wellness and nutrition. Find a practitioner that will evaluate your results in their entirety, not just look at a few markers and see the highs and lows. I also recommend you begin to implement a few strategies on a daily basis that will get you headed in the right direction:
· 7+ servings (yes that is a 7 or more) of vegetables and fruits per day: Whether you eat them or juice them, put them in you. No one ever, ever, ever has gotten sick or diseased from the intake of too many vegetables and fruits. They are what we obtain the majority of our micronutrients from and these are the drivers of our cellular function. (Beware if you are a poor digester, you will need to cook your veggies and avoid raw greens initially as they can irritate your GI tract.) Again, just another example of my answer “I depends on the physiology of the consumer”. My other rule, take in twice as many veggies as fruits.
· Lean meats only: Animal protein can be great as long as you are consuming good sources, not too much and cooked properly. Only eat meat that is eating what it should eat! Translation: cows are made to eat grass, not corn. Chickens are designed to eat plants, bugs and seeds, not grain meal or processed stuff. Fish are meant to eat other fish and plants, not grain or processed stuff. So, look for grassfed beef, pasture raised chickens and their eggs, and wild-caught fish. It is important.
· Healthy fats don’t make you fat! On the contrary, they can make you thin! Foods like avocado, olives, coconut, healthy oils, nuts, seeds can be of great health benefit.
· Snack in between meals on high nutrient foods. This will keep blood sugars stabile and eliminate cravings and ups and downs.
· Stay hydrated!
· Avoid processed foods. That goes for your kids as well.
· Plan out your meals, snacks, and shopping. Being prepared brings control and health.
· Never eat fast food! There is never an adequate excuse for you to eat fast food or to feed it to your children. Never, ever, ever!
· Learn to cook! It isn’t difficult. Then you have all the control. If you have no clue around a kitchen, check out Coach Holmes and I when we Facebook LIVE some cooking demonstrations.
Ultimately, your overall health and wellness is completely your control. It is not the responsibility of anyone else. Your children on the other hand are at your mercy. If given the option, most kids will go for ice cream, cookies, chicken nuggets and soda. Hence our incredible rates of poor health for our children. You see health can really come down to one word: CHOICES. Do you choose to be or become healthy? Do you choose to help your children be as healthy as they can? I often wonder why parents get frustrated with toddlers who are unruly and cry and scream and cannot control themselves, after the parents just fed them chicken nuggets, soda, French fries, ice cream and candy. After a meal like that, the poor kid is going crazy inside, should we expect anything different?
Here is a challenge: Do the opposite of Morgan Spurlock and try 30 days of clean eating healthy. Do you really have to cake to celebrate? How about a nice piece of salmon and some asparagus! Do you really need a double latte to get you through the day? How about a delicious glass of spinach, cucumber, apple and ginger juice! Give your body a chance to reward you. If you do, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you will love feeling like a BOSS!