The subject of diet must be a key part of the healing discussion. We are the third or fourth generation in a row of families eating processed, unnatural food. Humans have never gravitated toward healthy food. We always seem to want overstimulation and addiction. We want food that stimulates instantly (cooked, animal products, sugar, flour) instead of food that gives health and vitality to the body through the natural processes and natural means. With the advent of modern processing and chemical alteration of food (and now genetic alteration) the quick stimulation of food has reached a fever pitch. Poisons dumped into our environment and on our produce as it grows is often further stimulating and is always harmful.
Simply put, to move toward our health potential, we must live on exclusively whole, mostly raw and mostly plant-based food. I am, by nature, an idealist. I like to look for the ideal and move directly toward that without giving anything else a second thought! In my practice, however, I found that there were some expedient, practical matters to be addressed what may or may not overlap perfectly with the ideal program for human diet.
What I consider the ideal diet is addressed elsewhere in more detail. What I recommend for most patients is below.
There are 4 things this diet addresses, when it is followed correctly.
First and foremost (and, ironically the last thing we have added to our program) is the lowering of insulin. The focus of an insulin-lowering program tends to be weight loss and that is a wonderful selling point. Here is a little tidbit for you: The ONLY way you will put on weight is by getting insulin levels above a certain point in your blood. If you get those levels below a certain point, you WILL lose weight, it is a biochemical certainty!
But high insulin levels cause other problems. Insulin is all about rushed results. Like any other place in life, the body does not deal well with rushed results long term. Insulin will cause depletion of important stores you need in order to be solid and quality for life in order to build stores of fat that are actually overwhelming. It also affects the whole endocrine system.
Insulin rises when sugar or something that acts like sugar flows into the bloodstream too quickly and/or stays too long. Fresh juice certainly raises insulin, but because that sugar is used so easily (almost magically) the net result tends to be lower, not higher insulin. But that spike of insulin is destabilizing to a person already in the throes of the "rush program." For this reason, however healthy juice and smoothies might be, in this program they are forbidden and only whole fruit is allowed, which you have to chew up the old fashioned way! Likewise, ANYTHING ground to a powder or made into a sugary syrup is absolutely forbidden. Whole, natural food in its mechanically and chemically whole form is all that is used.
Second, most people have an autonomic imbalance which leans toward parasympathetic. This discussion is undertaken elsewhere in detail and it is too long to address here in any detail. Suffice it to say the causes are abundant in modern life and modern food, most notably processed vegetable oils (soybean, canola, corn, cottonseed, rapeseed, etc.). The effects of this condition are depression, loose or sloppy joints, low thyroid and adrenal function and poor circulation to the brain. This person is prone to allergies and general sensitivities, has loose cell junctions and is prone to inflammation and viral infections. The person is irritable, tired and in pain. At this point, all you need to know is that following this program definitely helps correct this imbalance as you go, particularly as you enjoy whole food, high quality meat, fertile eggs (best with runny yolks) and all the butter you want! If you want to know more about autonomic imbalance and what to do about it, please enjoy that blog, which should be up in a few days.
Third, the need for whole, natural food. In Traci's Book, you can learn all about the most important rules of whole food, mostly plant-based living. This book includes recipes which will help you really enjoy eating whole food! Traci is a genius at making healthy food taste delicious and familiar to what you are used to. In this program, we are only going to eat whole, natural food with a high percentage raw. Natural food exists in that form in nature, without any history of laboratory alteration or processing.
Fourth, we need to lower inflammation. Just lowering insulin will make an enormous difference here. Elsewhere I write about the Low Inflammation Diet, but after learning about insulin, I realized that we can generally get inflammation levels down substantially just by lowering insulin! In my wife, Traci's version of the low insulin program, she keeps you using rules that also lower inflammation effectively.
The following principles are from the teachings of Traci Sellers on Insulin:
Your 3, daily meals:
Breakfast: 6 ounces fruit, 4-6 ounces of protein, 4 ounces of grain or potato or sweet potato (larger portions are for men)
Lunch: 6 ounces of fruit, 4-6 ounces of protein, 8 ounces of vegetables (raw salad, may be 25% steamed)
Supper: 4-6 ounces protein, 6 ounces vegetables (steamed) and 6 ounces of salad
Fruit is always raw, fresh
Protein may be beans, green beans, meat or eggs
Vegetables should be 75% raw and the rest steamed or baked
Grain or potato: potato is best whole with skin, grain CANNOT be flour of any type, but must be in whole form (buckwheat groats, steel cut oats, Ezekiel sprouted grain cereal or bread, crackers made from shredded wheat, etc.)
Fat is always free to use. Fat should be the healthiest forms, meaning fish, fish oil, grass fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, fertile free range eggs.
The larger portions are for men.
The following are the 3 principles Traci teaches in her program, which has proven highly effective. She was having trouble losing weight after many attempts but after she found this program she promptly lost her cravings (after 10 days) and steadily lost weight until, at this writing, she is down 49 pounds. This program has a very high (over 80%) success rate long term, which, so far as I can tell, is actually unique!
1. All food must be wholesome in the literal, complete sense. This means that nothing is in any way altered from the state in which it came off the plant, animal products can be cooked/prepared but nothing removed. Ideally, this would only be organic and free range or wild. This program does not allow juicing or blending.
2. 3 meals and only 3 meals. Nothing between meals. NO SNACKING! This allows the body to reset and return to neutral and allows the digestive tract to finish its task before given another one. In so many ways this is analogous to running a washing machine. You of course let it finish its job before adding new clothes to it. For so many reasons this is important. It is important to eat on a reliable schedule so as to prevent strong hunger.
3. Weigh and measure portions according to the 3 daily meals. There are two reasons for this. Do it so that:
a. You don't get too much of the wrong things,
b. You get enough of the right things
In addition to the guidelines here, there are some specific guidelines to fill out the 4 needs of the modern diet for life.
1. Drink 32 ounces of water between breakfast and lunch and again between lunch and supper
2. Take a little cayenne in water (1/8 teaspoon in a little water) 15 minutes before each meal. A capsule will NOT work here.
3. Chew your food far more than you think you need to. Drink your solids and chew your liquids (swish them)
4. Most people are starving for healthy fats and cannot make cholesterol properly (due to processed vegetable oils) therefore grass fed beef, organ meats, fertile, free-range eggs with runny yolks, fish and fish oil and grass fed butter are all probably vital to healing and should be consumed regularly. While humans are clearly designed to be raw food vegetarians, we simply cannot recover from the modern condition without those animal fats. We do not need the protein or the stimulation, we need the fat.
5. Eat your fruit first at Breakfast and Lunch and wait 20 minutes or so before eating anything else. This is idealistic for many people who have limited time for a meal, but it is very important if you want optimal results. It will get the digestion ready for food and will help the body cleanse and awaken and experience optimal healing, including weight loss without an abundance of loose skin.
6. While dry seeds (grains and beans) are allowed on the program, it is best to keep them to a minimum. Sprouted is always better. Oats are more forgiving than other grains.
7. Supplement with Standard Process Zypan and Calcium Lactate (2 and 8-10 respectively each morning) and with Standard Process Cod Liver Oil (6/day) for several weeks or months as needed to help balance the parasympathetic person.
For those who feel like my description of parasympathetic dominance is their problem, there are a few things to avoid and a few foods that are especially helpful:
Avoid: magnesium supplementing in every form, green leafies (especially spinach), chocolate, sugar (except honey), high omega 6 oils, dairy protein
Helpful: calcium supplementing, Cal Amo, Zypan, vinegar of any kind, fermented foods, green beans, organ meats, egg yolks, fatty fish, robust vegetables (including carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, legume sprouts, all other sprouts, cherry tomatoes, avocadoes, peas, sprouted mung beans and lentils--these constitute the best salads for most modern people).
If depression does hit, take more Calcium Lactate and Zypan or Cal Amo to quickly switch the nervous system and blood chemistry so that depression leaves.