Outrageous Health and Fitness 2: Forever
December 2, 2012
Earlier this year, I suggested the "New World Economics Guide to
Outrageous Health and Fitness."
3, 2012: The New World Economics Guide To Outrageous Health and
It wasn't too complicated. Just four-to-six days a week of good hard
exercise, a raw food diet, and an herbal cleansing program. This
might seem difficult, but actually I would say that it is easy -- it
is a very effective way to produce results. I would even say that,
arguably, it produces the best results that could theoretically be
achieved. I suppose you might do better with more exercise, but you
can figure that out yourself.
A lot of fitness programs are marketed with something like "get in
the best shape of your life in just 90 days!!!!" -- as if the speed
was important. This appeals to some basic premise, that eating well
and moving your body is a burden, so you want to get it done as soon
as possible. And then what .... stop? Go back to your old habits? I
suppose that's what most people think, that they are "done" and now
they can "stop," which is why some alarming number of dieters (I
think it is over 95%) end up yo-yo dieting. They go right back to
where they started.
Guess what: this is forever. It is like quitting smoking. Do you
quit smoking for "just ninety days!!!" -- and then start smoking
again? No, it's forever. If it's forever, it doesn't really matter
if it takes three months or six months or a year, because you have
plenty of time.
I don't mean that you have to maintain a six-days-a-week intense
fitness schedule forever, or eat a 100% raw food diet forever. But,
you can't go back to your old patterns either, or you will get your
old results. Nor should you want to. You "graduated" from that state
of consciousness. Do you want to go back to elementary school again?
Didn't you learn anything from being fat, unhealthy and out of
Since I finished my seven-month fitness program at the end of May
2012, I've continued the six-days-a-week workout pattern, which has
become, I am happy to say, a new habit. Mostly, during the summer I
was involved in trail running, with some biking. I also did one DVD
workout per week as a core/crosstrain workout, and had some yoga
here and there, including a week of intensive yoga in November.
Recently, I decided to pass the winter months here in upstate New
York with a new DVD program, the famous P90X. I started that, but
actually it doesn't suit me. It is mostly focused on resistance
training, which builds bulk. I am mostly interested in cardio
activities, and a lot of upper body bulk is just extra weight.
Still, why not. I am mixing it with some road running (cold!), so
that I don't lose my running conditioning. We'll see how that works.
Over the past six months, I've been chewing over the idea of
"forever," or at least, for some extended period of time.
Personally, I like working out every morning. In fact, I've been
sliding towards seven days a week, with a gentler stretch or yoga
day for recovery. The combination of a nice stiff workout, a fruit
smoothie, and a hot shower puts me in the best kind of mood for the
rest of the day, and indeed is a lot of fun in itself. Why stop what
you like? If anything, my ambitions have expanded: I have quite a
schedule of activities for next year, which will take many weeks of
preparation. (The first big event is the Letchworth Gorge trail
marathon in late May, and I will have to start training hard no
later than mid-February to do that.)
I think I will update some of my recent thoughts about exercise,
diet, and the other topics we wrestled with last June.
There's a tendency to focus a lot on exercise. I think exercise is
vital, and it should be done every day, or nearly so. However, I
think it can be quite moderate and still produce good results. A
simple walk of 3-5 miles per day is enough, maybe with a little
upper body and core work once or twice a week, like a DVD workout. A
walk of 3-5 miles still takes 60-90 minutes, though. If you run the
same distance of 3-5 miles, you can get it done in half the time. If
you live in a Traditional City without a car, you might get your 3-5
miles in just from walking around town. You aren't going to get the
kind of results that you would get from a program like P90X or
training for an Ironman triathlon, but it will tone your body and
put you on the path to fine health. For most of us, the big muscles
are mostly just peacock plumage anyway, and I'm not so sure I like
washboard abs on women. Bikini models don't do that stuff. I would
recommend some kind of intense program for anyone, men or women,
below the age of 65, just because it's more fun when you go for it.
But, I think you can get results that are perfectly acceptable with
a lot less intense exercise.
However, I think that what you eat is a lot more important than
people assume. People treat diet like some kind of add-on to their
exercise program, but I think it is the other way -- the exercise,
particularly exercise in excess of a little walking and some upper
body work, is the add-on. I would say the path to "outrageous health
and fitness" is 70% food and 30% exercise.
Get really serious about what you eat.
Scott Jurek is one of the best ultrarunners of his generation. He is
the seven-time winner of the effective National Championships of
U.S. ultradistance wilderness running, the Western States Endurance
Run, which is a 100 mile course on hiking trails across the Sierra
Crest. He is also the present U.S. record-holder for the 24-hour
endurance run (165.7 miles). He knows as little bit about "working
out." When he went to write a book on how he got to where he is, he
called it Eat and Run.
Buy Eat and Run at Amazon.com
Jurek is a vegan, and spends more time describing the actual recipes
he uses than his workout schedule.
I am not making this up. Focus on eating, as much or more than on
your exercise schedule.
The easy -- conceptually easy -- path here is to simply eat raw food
indefinitely. It is the best possible eating pattern, in my opinion.
If I was a single guy, I would probably do this, if only because
there's no cooking or cleanup involved. I like raw food a lot.
However, raw food is something of an artificial diet, especially for
those of us north of the Tropic of Cancer. Before you could get
oranges from California, bananas from Costa Rica, spinach from
Mexico and pineapples from Chile, you couldn't eat a raw food diet
year-round in a place like upstate New York, or even in Georgia. (I
suppose it is not impossible, but it would mean a lot of dried
fruit!) Our European-style diets reflect the climate of Europe -- a
climate where it was necessary to store food from the end of the
growing season, at the end of October, to when the first crops
appeared around the beginning of July. This meant things that didn't
spoil over the winter, like grains, sugar, cheese, sausage, and so
These climatological issues are not really a consideration for me. I
eat local when possible, but I am happy to buy bananas in February.
But, I actually am intrigued by cooking, in a general sense. I see
cooking as part of the entire evolution of humans, for the reasons
outlined -- how do you feed yourself through the winter? Also, my
wife is a very good cook, and I like to eat what she makes. She
makes very healthy food, mostly vegan with a bit of fish, but
cooked. We want to produce a conceptual outline not only for a
fringe of long-term raw foodies, but for the general population, or
anyway, more typical people. Something they can do not just as a
six-month program, but for the rest of their lives. What you do
after the six-month program.
So, what I want to talk about here is: constructing a diet. By
"diet" I mean an eating pattern, not a weight-loss plan. (You can
make it into a weight-loss plan by adjusting the quantities.)
We have all heard the things that you are not supposed to eat. Don't
eat this and don't eat that. This is good, but these are rules in
the construction of a diet. They don't tell you what to eat.
After finishing my seven months of raw food, I had the option to eat
anything. So, what should I eat? I talked about this problem
29, 2012: The Omnivore's Dilemma
One of the great things about the raw food approach is that there is
just one rule: it must be raw (and vegan). Inherent in this one rule
is a lot of don'ts. If it's raw, then, without thinking about it,
you are already accomplishing a long list:
No processed sugar
No GMO foods (most GMO foods are grains and beans)
No pasteurized foods
No processed foods
No weird chemicals
However, I now allow myself a much broader range of options. That is
my choice, and it introduces a lot of new avenues of action. I call
it "degrees of freedom," borrowing from the terminology of
mathematics. With more degrees of freedom, everything becomes a lot
more complicated. A loooot more. How shall I approach this, and
still maintain most of the advantages of a raw food diet?
I think Michael Pollan's books on this topic are quite excellent. He
investigated the topic for several years, and came up with three
principles. Note again: only three. The human mind really can't
juggle too many of these rules. Pollan's rules are:
Not too much
His arguments were summarized in a New York Times article here:
However, I went and bought his books:
In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto
The extra discussion in his books is worthwhile. Buy the books. I
will summarize Pollan's arguments a little bit.
Eat Food: This means, basically, no processed food. It should
be something that your ancestors could have made in their own
kitchen in the year 1900. Something that "looks like" what your
ancestors would have eaten, like a cherry pie at your grocery store,
does not count (just look at the list of ingredients). Mostly, this
means that you make it yourself from scratch, or you have someone
else do it, like in a restaurant. Your shopping should be mostly raw
materials like fruits, vegetables, flour, oils, meat, spices and so
forth. Things that do not have a list of ingredients. Be very, very
careful when shopping for anything that has a list of ingredients.
Even things like plain white bread can have a lot of funny things in
it. I recently bought some tortillas, without looking at the label.
Hey, it's a tortilla. Flour and water. But, it wasn't a tortilla, it
was a "wrap." The label said: "high in protein! high in fiber!" Eh?
Wheat flour doesn't have much protein or fiber. Well, it turned out
that this "wrap" was made from wheat flour, oat bran, and soy meal.
Plus, there was some added gluten to made it all stick together. Can
you make this in your kitchen? I can't. Did people make this in
their kitchen in 1900? Absolutely not. Avoid this stuff, even if it
touts health claims. Eat Food.
Let's call this Real Food.
Pollan observed that most traditional cuisines have actually
provided excellent health benefits, and of course are aligned with
the foods of the area and their seasonality. French people seem to
get by fine on French cuisine, without adverse health effects.
Mediterranean (Greek) people are fine on Mediterranean cuisine.
Chinese people are fine on Chinese cuisine. Japanese people are fine
on Japanese cuisine. Eskimos, who ate nothing but raw meat, were
quite healthy on their traditional diet. All of these wildly
different approaches seemed to work. Of course, you have to eat the
way the French eat (Not Too Much), and also recognize that actual
eating patterns in those traditional cuisines may have a lot more
vegetable food (Mostly Plants) that you might at first assume. The
showcase meat/dairy dishes or fancy desserts that we tend to focus
on are actually a smallish portion of the overall diet. For example,
most Chinese food is eaten in small quantities over rice. The rice
is actually 70% of the meal. However, in the U.S., we discard the
rice and just eat the topping, which is often some form of fried
meat. This is like discarding the pasta and just eating the sauce,
or discarding the salad and just eating the dressing. Also, these
traditional cuisines can be very, very sophisticated (France -- yes,
Britain -- no), which is to say they taste really good, which is a
lot more interesting than some crude "healthy" food like steamed
The 1900 standard also applies to food quality. This means that all
of your food ingredients should be at least as good as they would
have been in 1900. Today, this means "organic" and "craft-raised"
and "grass fed" and all of that, including meats from animals that
have not been fed GMO feeds if possible. Yes, it costs more. Pay up.
Not too much: You can eat cheesecake, roast beef and french
fries, and drink brandy if you want. Use the Julia Child or Paula
Deen cookbook if you want. Just not too much. This has three
meanings. First, portion size. If you eat cheesecake, how much do
you eat? Maybe it should be a lot smaller. You might enjoy it just
the same anyway. Also, it means: how often? Don't eat cheesecake or
ice cream or french fries every day. Maybe once a week, or less.
Finally, it obviously means: not too many calories. You can still
get grossly fat on "healthy" food.
Mostly plants: Although meat and cheese are not banned, your
food should be mostly plants. Have a little portion of beef, and a
large portion of roasted sweet potatoes, onions, bread and salad.
Most days, maybe you can skip meat altogether.
Despite being a raw vegan advocate, I am not that opposed to meat. I
eat meat today, but Not Too Much of it, and not every day. I
probably get less than 10% of my calories from meat, using it
mostly, as Thomas Jefferson suggested, as a flavoring. Sweet and
sour pork? Sure, a little bit (three ounces of meat?), as a topping
on brown rice, the way it was intended. Many traditional cultures
ate a lot of meat, especially those in far northern climates.
Although meat is not as good, generally speaking, as vegetables for
a diet, nevertheless, it is a natural food. There are a lot of vegan
foods (anyway, no meat or dairy) that are a lot less healthy than a
good quality piece of sirloin. Like french fries, a Snickers bar or
a Mountain Dew. I think we should get away from the Big Piece of
Meat in the Middle-type of cooking that is common in the U.S. today.
Maybe eat meat twice a week or so, and then only four ounces.
(Mostly Plants.) When you do eat meat, try to get the best quality
you can find -- comparable to what people would have eaten in 1900.
Today, this is "craft-raised" grass-fed natural beef from something
like an Amish farm. Yes, it is more expensive. Maybe twice or three
times as expensive. Pay up. You're only going to eat four ounces
twice a week, so it's not that big a deal if it costs $12 a pound.
By the way, Tony Horton, the P90X guy, was a vegan for many years,
and is now "mostly vegan."
Horton: the Perfect Healthy Diet
To summarize: we can eat any kind of traditional cuisine, such as
French or Italian or Chinese, but, instead of skewing towards the
meatiest and fattiest examples of that cuisine, as Americans
naturally do because of their self-destructive meaty/fatty habits,
we will skew towards the more vegetable-oriented end.
So far, we are just collecting ideas, which we will use in the
construction of our diet.
Now, let's actually construct our diet. You can construct it however
you choose. It's your diet! If you want to be vegan, then go for it.
If you want a lot of meat, but still want to maximize the
healthiness of your diet plan, then do that (maybe that is a
"caveman" diet). Pollan made a whole book of Food Rules, so you can
consider that in the construction of your diet. But, after you are
done constructing your diet, forget about the rules, and
just follow your eating plan. We can only deal with so many rules,
so your only rule is: follow your eating plan. Your eating plan
should include all the food you eat, including some way of
dealing with "exceptions" if you want to do that.
I decided to eat a diet that was something like this:
50%+ raw fruits and vegetables
I've been doing this for roughly six months now. It's not hard.
garden vegetable salad with a raw dressing (no
meat, cheese, etc.)
other raw fruit
nonsweet vegetables like cucumbers, celery and
homemade pickled foods
dried fruit (occasional)
40% vegetable-heavy cooked food (occasional meat)
various cooked vegetable dishes (vegetable
means no grains, things like potatoes, squash, tomatoes, cabbage,
onions, carrots, beans, peppers, fruits, nuts and so forth)
miso soup (has a fish broth)
rice (white and brown)
bread, pasta (occasional)
generally speaking, minimal white
flour/sugar/dairy, i.e. baked goods other than plain bread.
all of it is Real Food; no processed food
10% Real Food (no processed food), but not particularly healthy
baked goods other than bread (muffins, pies,
The percentages are loosely based on calories. You have to be
careful, because the unhealthy stuff can have a lot of calories, so
you have to keep the quantities small or make it something of a
rarity. 10% of calories might seem like 5% of quantity. Salad has
almost no calories, but it has to be included anyway. (Go to
Calorieking.com to measure calories.)
There are a number of things which might seem healthy, but are not
necessarily all that great:
white bread (no nutrients, processed white flour)
breakfast cereal (simple grains, no nutrients)
cranberry muffin (a zillion calories, due to lots
of oil and sugar. The rest is white flour.)
banana bread or zucchini bread (same as a muffin,
just a different shape)
iced tea (if sweetened, can have as much sugar as
Pepsi. This includes brands like Tazo. Can also include caffeine.)
green tea (basically Asian coffee)
blueberry pie (mostly white sugar, crust is white
flour and butter)
salad with meat, cheese and/or creamy/cheese
dressing (this is just meat, cheese and oils on a bed of lettuce)
vegetable soup (can have a LOT of salt -- use a
potassium salt instead)
milk ("liquid meat," nonfat milk typically
contains highly processed powdered milk solids, use 2%)
yogurt (concentrated milk solids and white sugar)
granola (oats, honey and butter -- not much
different than a chocolate chip cookie)
maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, malted rice,
and other intense sweeteners (exactly why is this better than dried
cane juice? Use in moderation.)
In general, I would avoid the "white foods": white flour,
milk/dairy, salt and white sugar. Use whole grains when you can, and
always avoid GMO foods (Eat Food).
I would suggest a few things that seem unhealthy, but are maybe not
so bad as people say (in moderation):
I'm not saying that bacon is good for you. However, at 50 calories
per slice for fried bacon, it is perhaps not as bad as a blueberry
muffin (can be 600 calories, from white flour, sugar and oil), and
might have a more useful nutrition as well (especially protein if
you want that). I would take bacon -- a real food -- over any
processed foods, including ones that claim healthy benefits. I am
not particularly convinced that animal fats (bacon, lard) are any
worse for you than the equivalent vegetable fats (canola oil),
especially when used at higher temperatures. There are quite a few
issues regarding heating vegetable oils -- animal fats might
actually be better for any high-temperature use, which especially
includes frying but also baking. I would definitely take lard
(rendered animal fat) and butter (organic) over "vegetable oil
shortening," which is 100% trans-fats. But, if you just stay away
from frying and baking (with oils) in general, that tends to resolve
a lot of those issues. When you do use vegetable oils, look for
organic and natural products. Many generic oils are from GMO crops.
Mercola on why heating vegetable oils is bad for you.
Another nice thing about the Raw Food approach is that you don't
have to deal with all of these issues regarding heating of oils. The
only real use of oils is for salad dressings, and that is typically
a high-quality non-GMO oil like extra virgin olive oil. Consider
some flaxseed or hemp oil for salad dressings, which might have some
Eat raw nuts instead of roasted nuts, because of the same
As you can see, nothing is strictly off limits, as long as it is a
Real Food. (Of course you can make it off limits if you want. It's
your diet!) It's all about Not Too Much: the unhealthy stuff has to
fit in my rather small 10% budget. 10% works out to about 2000
calories per week, which is one large or two medium-sized meals,
four large desserts, about 13 servings of alcohol, and so forth.
Mostly, this is eating out -- at restaurants, friends' houses etc.
Some people organize this by having an "anything day." One day a
week, they can eat things that are outside of their dietary
guidelines (but it still has to be Real Food, and Not Too Much).
Then, you don't have to count calories or remember what else you ate
that week. Just look at the calendar. Simplicity helps.
We still don't have an eating plan. But, the outline is taking
The fact of the matter is, most people have a rather repetitive
diet. They tend to eat the same thing over and over, whether it is
beer and pretzels, pizza and hamburgers, or fruit smoothies and
garden salads. Thus, what you really need are about twenty
recipes of things that you like, which fit into your overall
framework. Most of us eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, so that means
maybe five breakfast recipes, five lunch recipes, and ten dinner
recipes. Of course you can add more later, but that is a good place
to start. This is your actual eating plan. It is what you
actually eat. For me, it is easy:
three pieces of raw fruit before workout
fruit smoothie after workout, typically some combination of
oranges, bananas, frozen berries, apple juice, and occasionally
some raw "superfood" supplements like rice or hemp protein, maca,
I'm happy with this every day, so I don't need any other recipes.
More fruit, often a pineapple or melon, clementine oranges,
grapes, avocados or something in season like peaches. Sometimes a
garden salad with a homemade dressing (often low-fat).
Plus, some small amount of vegetable-heavy cooked food, possibly
miso soup and a little rice, and some kind of vegetable dish
(often leftovers from previous dinners).
This also doesn't really require any recipes, as most of the
cooked food is leftovers from previous dinners.
Afternoon meal (occasional):
Raw fruit or nonsweet vegetables like celery, carrots and
cucumber, often using a little mustard or similar as a dip.
Large garden salad with a raw dressing (homemade)
Vegetable-heavy cooked food
Now we're cooking, so we need some recipes.
As we choose our cooked food recipes, here are some principles to
Don't try to imitate some other, unhealthy food. No soy burgers or
"tofurkey." (Soy burgers are a processed food anyway, not Real
Food.) Definitely no "raw muffins," or "macrobiotic cookies." If you
want a cookie, eat a cookie -- just Not Too Much. And if you don't
want a real cookie in your diet, then just exclude it altogether. If
you want some kind of sweet, portable snack, how about some Medjool
dates? You might like it a lot more than a cookie anyway. (I do.) We
don't want our food to imitate some other meat/dairy/white
flour-intensive food, but to be delicious just as it is. For
Spaghetti with marinara sauce (tomato, basil, oregano)
plus onions and mushrooms
In my opinion, most vegan/vegetarian recipes that you might find in
cookbooks stink. They simply don't taste very good. Many are rather
laughable (and not very successful) imitations of some kind of
meat/dairy dish. Supposedly, their healthy virtues make up for this
failing, but you can have healthy, vegetable-based food that also
tastes great too. There are some excellent recipes in books also, so
look around and be picky. Don't eat stuff that tastes bad just
because it is "healthy." Because our British/American diets tend to
be so heavily meat/dairy based, look to recipes from other cultures.
Japanese cuisine has a zillion excellent vegetable recipes. So does
Indian, Malaysian, Thai or Mexican cuisine. You can tell it is a
good recipe because people eat it just because it tastes good. It
might be very healthy, but that is not the point of it at all.
Thai green curry over (organic) brown rice
Tomato vegetable soup, combined with "artisanal" bread
Vegetable chili (delicious on its own, not as a "beef chili
Burritos with black beans, rice, salsa, avocado, and grilled
Roasted potatoes, seasoned with herbs
Baked beans with maple syrup and onions
Lentil soup with cumin and onions
Bell peppers stuffed with rice/tomatoes/onions
Avocado sashimi (yes, this is a real recipe popular among normal
Japanese people, not a "fish sashimi alternative for vegans")
Ratatouille soup (tomatoes, zucchini, onions -- no water, spices,
salt or pepper added. Believe it or not, it's awesome, when you
have best-quality ingredients. Thank you French people!)
The most important thing is: you should like it. A lot. You should
like it more than pizza, hamburgers, french fries and Doritos.
Which, actually, is not that hard. When you acquire an enthusiasm
for ripe mango, and make that a part of your daily eating patterns,
a Dorito tastes pretty horrible actually.
So, to summarize, make an eating plan that you like. An eating
plan is a collection of actual recipes that fit your overall
framework, and the proportions of your overall eating pattern.
It is what you actually plan to do, in exact detail,
not a collection of don'ts or other general principles.
Obviously, you can have a plan that is very different from mine. You
can have a ham sandwich for lunch and oatmeal for breakfast if you
want. That would be better than what a lot of people eat today,
particularly if it is Real Food and Not Too Much. (Get organic
oatmeal and naturally-raised ham if you can.) However, it wouldn't
be as good, for your body, as my plan. Every plan has consequences
and effects, and you can choose to approach that however you like.
Your plan shouldn't be hard to adopt, because it should be something
you like. You won't want to eat anything else, because that would
involve giving up something you like even more. After two or three
months, you will become so accustomed to it that it will be easy,
what you do naturally without thinking about it.
If you eat in restaurants, even fast-food restaurants, for example
at work each day, find things on the menu that fit your eating plan.
Maybe this is the 6" Italian sub at Subway, or the vegetable burrito
at Chipotle. Go to CalorieKing.com for the nutritional breakdown.
Skip the rest. Consider going to a supermarket instead of a
fast-food restaurant. Grab a bag of grapes for lunch, or a
half-gallon of fresh-squeezed orange juice. It's just as convenient
as a Big Mac, fries and a Coke.
Can you drink a half-gallon of orange juice for lunch? Yes, and you
might even like it.
I was on a long driving trip recently, and was getting hungry. I
decided to try WalMart. Yes, WalMart. For lunch. I went to their
supermarket section, and found that strawberries and cherries were
on sale for $1.50 a pound. (That's a good price.) I got four pounds
of strawberries and cherries for $6. It was a great lunch, and I
didn't even have to pay sales tax on it.
Even if you genuinely don't have time to spend hours cooking every
day, figure out how you can work a proper Real Food eating plan into
your schedule. For example, you can make some kind of soup, pasta
sauce, curry or salad dressing just once a week, and have it
available all week. Then, all you need to make is some pasta or
rice. You could even make a very large batch, freeze or can it, and
have it available all year. You can make your own bread in a
programmable bread maker (using organic flour), so that it is ready
when you get home. You can do the same with rice in a programmable
rice cooker. One good way to make salad is to prepare all the
ingredients (cut and wash the spinach, slice onions and mushrooms
etc) immediately after purchasing them, and store them in plastic
containers or ziploc bags in your refrigerator. Then, when you want
to make a salad, just throw it together. With maybe two hours of
cooking and preparation on Saturday, you can have enough soup, salad
and homemade bread to last the whole week. When you cook other
dishes, make larger quantities and keep some leftovers for lunch, to
be reheated on the stove or with a toaster oven (no microwave ovens
please). Many raw food options don't take any cooking at all. Just
cut up a pineapple and eat it. Just wash some apples or grapes and
eat them. Eat some dates or figs right out of the package.
Who says that your family can't have pineapple and grapes for
dinner? Or watermelon?
Here's the recipe for eating watermelon for dinner:
Cut a watermelon into quarters lengthwise
No "instant foods" sold in a supermarket are as easy as that. You
don't have to eat watermelon or other fresh fruit for dinner every
day, but how about once a week?
Serve with a spoon.
Throw the rinds on the compost heap.
There is no reason this has to be difficult.
One last thing to think about is how you eat. Pollan has
some statistics that show that, in the U.S. for people aged 18-55,
roughly 20% of all calories are consumed while sitting in a car.
That is disturbing.
Give respect to your food. Make eating a formal occasion, even if it
is a watermelon. Eat at the table, not in front of a computer or
television. Clean the crap off the table and set it nicely, with
good dishware and silverware. Yes, every day, and every meal. Even
if you are eating alone. Make sure the family eats together. Insist
that people stay at the table for at least thirty minutes for
dinner. (It might be hard at first.) Say grace, give thanks, or
whatever you choose to do to recognize that the meal has formally
begun. Small meals may be OK -- there's no rule that says you have
to eat three times a day, instead of five -- but don't snack.
Perhaps insist on a minimal dress code -- no sweaty running shirts
or dirty work clothes, for example.
That can be part of your eating plan as well. The point is: make a
plan. This Is What I Will Do and This Is Why I Will Do It. Put all
of your preferences and aspirations into it. Then, do it.
* * *
Another element of the "guide to outrageous health and fitness" was
an herbal cleansing program. This was presented as something of an
afterthought, but I think it is much more important than that.
In addition to excess fat in our bodies, over time, we accumulate a
lot of toxic gunk. This includes the matter that builds up in the
colon, but it also includes stuff that accumulates throughout the
tissues of the body. Books like Nature's First Law document
things like hypertrophic cells in our organs, which are hundreds of
times larger than normal cells.
Especially as we get older, on our toxic Standard American Diet, our
bodies begin to become deformed. This is not just regular body fat,
but a sort of misshapen appearance. For example, look at this video
of Chalene Johnson, who is a fitness instructor. She is lean, lean,
lean. However, over time, she has developed a sort of strange, bulky
accumulation across the torso area. (She's the one on stage, not the
model at the beginning.)
If you look around, you'll see that many people have the same sort
of thing, especially as they get older.
I mentioned before this account from Sherif Kamal, who found that
his body was accumulating toxic material despite his regular workout
Sherif Kamal: Why I
am a Raw Foodist
I can tell you that by the time I reached my late
twenties my training began to become less effective and I started
to lose my shape. I gained 33 pounds of waste and my body felt and
looked worn out. My first assumption was my metabolism was slowing
down. Genetically I always had a very cut physique and
growing up I was extremely active in sports and fitness. I
competed as an amateur boxer and did martial arts for many years,
but for some reason my genetics and intense training wasn’t
helping me anymore. I noticed a significant drop in energy and
found myself frustrated and tired of getting no real results from
my hard work. I noticed a dramatic increase in my day to day
stress and the famous tire around my waist was starting to become
more and more noticeable through my clothing. This was not the
body and state of health I was used to or comfortable with.
Thus, I would definitely focus on the idea of detoxification and
cleansing, in addition to reducing body fat and so forth. This is
especially important for those over the age of 35 or so.
The best foundation for detoxification and cleansing is a raw food
diet. As you can read in many books on the subject, eating raw food
produces a detoxifying effect throughout the body. This is not just
a matter of ingesting less toxic material. The body, sensing that it
now has a good chance to clear out all the accumulated gunk, begins
to release accumulated toxic material from the tissues. This can
produce a strong detox effect on people who begin to eat raw food.
As the toxic material moves from the tissues to the blood, to be
cleared by the kidneys, liver and so forth, people can begin to feel
sick and weak, with flu-like symptoms. This is not because of the
raw food itself, but because of the detox effect that often
accompanies a raw food diet. Of course you want the body to detoxify
itself, so this process is good. However, it can be rather
uncomfortable for a week or two.
Books about Raw Food and Detoxification at Amazon.com
That's one reason why I insist on a period -- six months is good --
of eating raw food, even if you later transition to some more varied
diet as described previously. Do the six months, and don't be a
weenie about it. If you have to, have a period of transition of a
couple weeks, where you go to one raw meal a day and then two raw
meals a day before going 100% raw. But, you want to get there as
fast as you can.
This detox process can be enhanced with an herbal detox program,
like the Dr. Natura Toxinout program. I would also add an herbal
colon cleansing program, like the Dr. Natura Colonix program. Dr.
Natura recommends three months on these programs (they can be done
simultaneously), if you haven't done so before. After you have done
the three-month program, you can do one month a year as a
maintenance program. I also recommended the Ejuva program, which is
a little more serious. I would do the three-month Dr. Natura, and
then finish with the one-month Ejuva, which includes a one-week
juice fast. (If I were doing it over, I would do a two-week juice
fast with the Ejuva program. I didn't feel like I was quite done
after a week. Instead of the 1-2-3-4 rampup pattern of the Ejuva as
recommended, I would probably do more like 2-4-4, with both "4"
weeks on a juice diet, because you will already have "ramped up" on
the Dr. Natura previously.) The Ejuva program assumes that
you are already on a raw diet.
These herbal programs are very easy to do. You just take some herbal
capsules and maybe a scoop of powder mixed with apple juice. Combine
it with a raw food diet for best results. You really want to get
that gunk out of there. In addition to all the benefits to health
and appearance, it is the easiest 5-10 pounds you ever lost.
Among other accumulations of the body is water itself. The body uses
water to flush out toxins. Thus, if you have a diet heavy in toxic
matter, the body stores water, so that it will have water available
to flush out the toxins you are eating. This means water weight and
bloat. As you eat a raw food diet, the body will release this excess
Take the detox/cleansing stuff seriously. Don't skip it.