When changing to a healthier diet, there are areas which many of us overlook. As I wrote earlier, even when we think we are eating healthily, there are still hidden dangers in food masked by clever marketing and misguiding labeling. ¬¬To illustrate my point, I have used an example below, one which I suspect is close to what millions of people can identify with, and would consider a “healthy diet”.
Example – John’s Diet
John considers himself to be quite healthy. Most mornings he eats cereal with skim milk and toast with jam, has a tuna/salmon sandwich for lunch, and fish, chicken, or meat, potatoes or rice, and boiled vegetables for dinner. By all accounts he is reasonably in shape, but does feel tired in the afternoons, has irregular bowel movements and catches a cold almost every winter. But his daily intake sounds healthy, right? There are only three small meals a day, no snacking, and no junk food. So why isn’t this a great way to eat, and how can it be improved upon? A few salient points come to mind:
1. Firstly, all three daily meals are combined proteins and carbohydrates. This means three incompatible food combinations in a row. The digestive enzymes required to break down the protein is acid, the carbohydrate is alkaline. These two neutralize each other in the stomach, making the digestive process longer and more taxing on the body. The breakfast cereal is hard to digest because pasteurized cow’s milk literally coagulates around food particles in the stomach, slowing digestion. Add toast and jam into the mix, and you have a carbohydrate and a sugar adding more strain to the digestive system.
2. One combined meal of protein and carbs per day should be the limit – that is – if John wants to feel his absolute best. If every meal is a protein/carb combination, the body remains in constant “catch-up” mode, straining digestion and slowing the body’s processes. Meals are thus never completely digested fully before the next meal enters the body, over time resulting in “rotting” food from which the body cannot extract nutrients. This toxic debris gets stored in the fat cells, or ends up as sticky, hard residue in the colon. If left alone, this toxic waste clogs the colon, which over time becomes hardened and “tube” like.
3. If the body has to deal with this too often, it will look for places to store the toxins in an attempt to keep the bloodstream as clean as possible. These toxins then end up being stored in the fat cells (obesity) or form crystals and sit in the joints (arthritis), slow the metabolism and immune system; causing fatigue, sluggishness, and illness.
4. There’s no raw food in John’s daily intake. He is eating cooked, processed, dead, denatured foods. These dead foods are devoid of enzymes, the life force which aids digestion. In the absence of food enzymes, the body is forced to produce its own which are in limited supply, putting a strain on the pancreas and other organs.
5. His food contains hidden ingredients which he is probably unaware of. The cereal and bread both contain sugar, more than he would probably realize. The milk quite possibly contains hormones, steroids, antibiotics and sugar, especially if it is standard, inexpensive supermarket skim milk.
So what could John do to improve his daily intake? He really doesn’t have to do an entire overhaul of his diet, just make a few small changes. Even two changes would make a remarkable difference in his health, his weight, and his overall wellbeing. Let’s take a look:
Homemade cereal would be a far better alternative. He could use raw oats, raw almonds, dates, sun-dried fruit, honey, goji berries, flaxseed, and raw honey – the list of raw, natural ingredients is pretty diverse. Raw ingredients have all the necessary enzymes for smooth digestion. Instead of cow’s milk he could use almond milk which is not only tastier, but also far better than pasteurized cow’s milk for the reasons we have already covered. AND it’s alkaline-forming in the body. An even better choice first thing in the morning is fruit. Fruit is the ideal food for the human body because it goes straight to the intestine, spending almost no time in the stomach. The nutrients from fruit are immediately absorbed by the body, making it the perfect food for energy. If John ate a large breakfast of toast, bacon, eggs & coffee, he would have less energy for the rest of the day, probably needing a few caffeine fixes along the way!
John’s present lunch selection is halfway correct. The tuna and the bread eaten together are the ultimate culinary faux pas, requiring unnecessary energy to be spent. A better choice would be tuna and salad, or just the bread with salad. The enzymes in the vegetables would facilitate the digestion of the tuna, meaning John’s energy levels would remain constant over the afternoon, and a 4pm “pick-me-up” would be unneeded. For a vegetarian option, avocado, humus, or tofu are excellent alternatives. Avocado is a complete meal – high in protein, and full of omega 3, Vitamin E, and a good source of unsaturated fats – the good fat. Tofu, is a complete protein, is low in cholesterol and also has a carbohydrate content which means it is a complete food. (It is important to note that if a food is made up of a protein and a carbohydrate, it is not the same as two separate foods, thus not disregarding the food combination law). Tofu, avocado, or tuna/chicken added to a big, raw, green salad is the perfect midday meal.
Snacking in the mid-afternoon is fine, as long as it is a healthy, easily digested snack. Eating small meals in between meals speeds up metabolism, and curbs the desire to overeat at meal times. The best snacks are: a handful of raw almonds, seeds, dates, or fruit. Fruit should only be eaten in the mid afternoon on an empty stomach, otherwise it sits behind other food and ferments (causing gas, bloating, and general discomfort). Limit snacks to nothing more than a handful and make sure they are eaten at least 3 hours after the last meal.
Ideally dinner would be whatever was missed at lunch, i.e. the protein or the carbohydrate, served with some lightly steamed veggies, or salad. Steamed veggies should always be crispy on the inside, to keep the enzymes intact. Tofu and brown rice isn’t too much of a crime as both are pretty natural, therefore a lot easier to digest than a steak and chips! Have pasta without meat, fish, or chicken. A baked potato, quinoa, or brown rice with a big serving of lightly steamed veggies are all excellent choices.
Here are a few, simple, easy changes to make to your food intake that will make a drastic improvement in your life:
- Introduce raw foods…slowly. Start by having one meal of raw food per day, even adding a raw salad to one of your meals every day. You will see and feel the benefits almost immediately.
- For breakfast have some fruit, or a fruit shake with raw nuts, raw honey, and raw oats. (I will provide some recipe ideas in later articles).
- Separate your proteins and carbohydrates as much as you can, and if combined meals cannot be avoided, include a large raw salad to help it all digest.
- If you are planning a big meal, such as a roast dinner with friends or a BBQ where you know you’ll mix your food combos, prepare yourself beforehand and afterwards with fresh, raw salads, so as not to overtax your body.
- Stop relying on milk and other dairy for your source of calcium. The best sources of calcium are raw almonds, freshly squeezed orange juice, broccoli, and salmon. Sure, there is calcium in milk, but as we saw earlier, it cannot be absorbed by the human body, in fact robbing the body of calcium for reasons I have already discussed.
- Never eat fruit after a meal as dessert.
Thanks for reading and best of health to you!