The First in a Series, By Keith Vaughan
Many of us wish for better health, or say we want to get to the gym, lose a few extra pounds, or that our doctor is on our tails to act and quick! But, the best thing that we can do for our health is to EAT THE RIGHT FOOD. Food must be our input for all of our health, energy, "medicine", and clear thinking. It’s been said millions of times, but “We Are What We Eat!” - I'd like to revise this to "We become What We Eat!", If you needed to walk or run 20 miles to “burn it off”, would you really choose to eat a steak sub, with a side of cheese fries, and cola?
No matter how old or young, it is hard to teach yourself how to think about food in a completely different way. Personally, and like many, I grew up on pasta, chicken, bread, hamburgers, chili dogs, pie, 7-Eleven, pot roast, and more than the occasional McDonalds! Hoy. (Note: I didn’t write bacon and eggs, and I did grow up on those, but THESE foods are back in my diet!)
The hardest part of any chore or goal though is starting. I think my re-thinking on food started several years ago when reading Cooked by Michael Pollan. The basic premise is to eat fresh, natural food cooked or prepared, and not processed/industrial food. Especially plants and fiber. Within that framework, the best foods taste good on their own, and thus a meal can be limited to a few healthy ingredients, spices, and oils (yes, fat!).
But changing your food and diet is a tedious process. And eliminating added sugar is virtually impossible (just try), but a necessary endeavor for many of us. Even worse though is thinking that you are winning the personal health game by watching calories, taking 84,000 steps a week, and shopping organic. You may even lose 5 or 10 pounds, but, I now refer to this “The Chase” because it still included consuming way too much sugar and refined carbs – and limiting your food quantities on a low-fat diet.
My personal 6-month requirement was simple: lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and a better good-to-bad cholesterol profile; and the prospect of losing weight, with improved exercise. Welcome in The Chase for the first 6 months with no results, and more akin to negative results.
So, I drastically changed my food inputs. What did I eat in my SECOND 6 months? Good fats, plenty of fiber, and protein; and I cut out as much sugar (ALL sugars: including the fake - and natural substitute - ones) and refined carbs as I could.
Think: no OJ, no pasta, no baguettes, no white rice, no fruit on the bottom Greek yogurt. There are lots of things that go into this, so there is no panacea and there is always much much more; but, I am convinced that there needs to be a new mindset to what we eat – and our food supply – that really needs to change: Eat clean, farm-raised, local when you can, and prepare as much of your own food in your own kitchen. And you will start to OWN your kitchen!
Here’s what happened in my SECOND six months on my personal food “prescription”: dramatically reversed my fat profile to safe and healthy levels, triglycerides down over 200 points, cholesterol completely back in check, bought new jeans (twice), and functioning with a clearer head! This is not scientific, it is one journey. However, I feel great.
More to come. Feel free to email Keith for his working cheat-sheet😊
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