Am I too fanatical about the food I eat? Not only have I been asked that many times, but I’ve been told my fanaticism is detrimental to my well-being. Is it?
In my younger years I was a typical go-go guy. I engaged in many sports and there were times I exercised like my life depended on it. My diet was as reckless as my activities: work, social, and athletic. Snow skiing, playing football, horseback riding, and acting out with gymnastic stunts were among the more physically abusive of my many sports. Numerous social events – too little sleep and too much to drink were part “of the job.” My work was intensive with long hours, high stress, and I was on deck every day of the year. Work was interspersed with attending conventions which always meant bad food, even less sleep, and more alcohol. Vacations were not a part of my life.
Yes, in my twenties I was bulletproof (I thought) and maintained that intense working lifestyle into my fifties – when I started hitting the wall. Fortunately for me, about the time I was hitting the wall I started learning about the science of human nutrition and had commenced to eat and market grass-fed beef. As my diet changed, my health pulled out of its nosedive and improved rather dramatically. I bounced off the wall!
Come October 15th I’ll turn 70. Since I’m looking back on my former lifestyle from this lofty perch I have a really different perspective on food, exercise, and relaxation than I had decades ago. It makes me wonder if I had known then what I know now, and adjusted my life accordingly, what kind of impact would that have had on my health and well-being today? I believe it would have been significantly better.
When folks confront me about my present-day obsession with health and well-being I know they are reacting in the context of their own knowledge, feelings, and lifestyle. They just can’t imagine how I feel about what I have learned and what I’ve experienced. They assume I may get stressed out, or feel guilty, or get anxious when I refuse to indulge in “special treats” at social events, or struggle to budget for only proper food, or get weary of packing food with me when on trips. They assume I must be uncomfortable at social events that center around food. They figure I’m being ridiculously pointy headed because I’ve eliminated certain food groups that seemingly have no immediate negative impact on my health or theirs.
The concern folks have for me is that I might be so wound up about “proper food” that I’m creating too much internal stress because food is controlling me.
What Controls Me?
Yes, a small deviation in the diet a few times a year can usually be tolerated by anyone – even me. But if every social event, every special occasion, every trip away from home, money concerns, guilt feelings for how others may view me, or a general weariness from toeing the line were to give me an excuse to deviate, I would be sick all the time. Sickness would control me.
When I say sick, I’m referring to both contagious diseases and chronic diseases. Of course I wouldn’t have all the diseases, but I’d have more than one for sure just like everyone else. Today, in every small group of people (even young athletes) if their chronic diseases were combined in a list it would certainly include arthritic pain, irregular heart beat, asthma, allergies, cancers, diabetes, toenail fungus, hemorrhoids, emotional stress, intestinal pain, acne, bloating, obesity, immune dysfunction, mental disorders, multiple sclerosis, bone fractures, joint failures, Parkinson’s disease, and hundreds of additional ailments.
Because of weak immune systems in that small group there will also be more incidences of contagious diseases from viruses and bacteria with the most prevalent diseases being colds and flu. All colleges (consisting of mostly youngsters on grain-based diets) experience waves of widespread absenteeism due to colds and flu each year. Of course just because a person has a strong immune system that doesn’t make them bulletproof against viruses and bacteria. But it can make a huge difference sometimes between survival, death, and the degree of sickness. In the case of colds and flu, a strong immune system can mean these ailments only result in a feeling of being slightly under the weather versus actually getting sick. A strong immune system is also extremely important when it comes to avoiding immune dysfunction chronic diseases. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. There are more than 80 types of autoimmune disorders.
Here is a list of the more common types of autoimmune disorders. Many people have more than one!
- Addison’s disease
- Celiac disease - sprue (gluten-sensitive enteropathy)
- Graves’ disease
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myasthenia gravis
- Pernicious anemia
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sjogren syndrome
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Type I diabetes
All of these disorders are traceable to the foods people eat. Therefore, in my mind, I either live with diseases like the ones mentioned above and they control me or I control the food I eat.
What Is Proper Food?
It took me quite a few years to really figure out what is and it not proper food for man. It didn’t just come to me from a flash of inspiration and the reading of one report. It took many years of study before I managed to simplify the criteria for the foods man must eat in what I call my A, B, Cs of food.
A. Eat low glycemic foods. High glycemic foods are foreign to body function and cause fungal issues that negatively impact the body.
B. Eat foods that are low in Omega-6s and high in Omega-3s, seeking a 1:1 ratio. This 1:1 balance between Omega-6s and Omega-3s is critical for a strong immune system.
C. Eat nutrient dense foods, especially those that provide 100% of the nutrients needed for optimal body function. Why eat foods that do not significantly contribute to the needs of the body?
When one fully understands the meaning of the words used in the A, B, C list the rules are so simple they can be called just plain common sense. But one can’t implement these rules unless they fully understand the lingo and the chemistry of food. That is why I created the Food Analysis Tables.
Shockingly most of the foods Americans eat today fail to pass the first “A” restriction. Needless to say nearly 100 percent of the foods Americans eat fail to pass all three of the A, B, Cs. But many young people today, just like me in my youth, are athletic, physically fit, and hard working while they are still eating all the bad foods. Many old folks my age and older are eating all the bad foods too and they are still getting around. So what is the big deal?
We Are What We Eat
There is no doubt we are what we eat. Food is just a bunch of chemicals – atoms and compounds. For all of time the basic chemical mix of a green leafy plant was what animal bodies required to sustain their lives. Animals are not sustainable life forms because they must eat other animals or green plants in order to get energy. Only the green plant is a sustainable life form in that it gets its energy from the sun. That is why green plants must be on the bottom of the animal kingdom’s food chain. This is why any food substance that deviates from the nutrient load of a green leaf will unequivocally contribute to body failure over time.
In the Food Analysis Tables there are only a few foods that provide all three of the A, B, Cs needed by man in perfect balance. The prominent ones are kale, spinach, broccoli, and similar types of Veggie. All of the grass-fed meats also fall into this category because the animals had the green leaf at the bottom of their food chain. These complete foods also have perfect balances of the essential fatty acids because the green leaf was always the animal kingdom’s primary source of both Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids.
The most destructive foods are the ones that fail to meet the minimum standards of “A.” These are the high glycemic (sugary) foods. When you think sugar, you must also think fungi. If I eat one sweet potato (drink a sweet wine, have some sweet fruit, eat a piece of typical cake, etc.) the fungus in my hand spews out mycotoxins that makes the skin erupt into open sores that takes about ten days to heal. Ten days of sickness for one serving! Toxins from fungi (called mycotoxins) are 100 percent organic and natural and they can result in eczema, toenail fungus, dandruff, acne, intestinal issues, clogging of the arteries, even hemorrhoids. The list of fungal induced disorders is endless and I haven’t even mentioned the mental issues.
If nothing else, sugar and high glycemic foods are the most important ones people must wean themselves from totally. Sugar in all its various forms (maple syrup, honey, dates, grain, pineapple, etc.) is an addiction and people who get depressed turn to sugar for their fix. The sugar feeds fungi resulting in mycotoxin overloads and then the sickness starts all over and the depression mounts. The cruelest thing parents and teachers can do is to feed their children high glycemic foods (think candy, grain, soft drinks, many fruits, etc.). Hello Halloween.
If one eliminates the high glycemic foods that do not meet “A” they will always experience improvement in their health. If that is true, then imagine how much better health (mental and physical) our children would have for their entire lives if they were never fed high glycemic foods from the very beginning of life.
The foods next in line of importance are those that balance the essential fatty acids. Essential nutrients are those our bodies will not manufacture. Instead our bodies assimilate them from food. Therefore if the foods ingested are out of balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3, the body will be out of balance too. In our society the food choices are way out of balance in favor of Omega-6 in excess of Omega-3 which is interpreted as the Omega-3 deficiency. When this imbalance occurs the excess Omega-6 in the body is inflammatory and the immune system is weaken and can actually be gravely damaged. Inflammation is something we want to avoid and our health and well-being depends on a strong immune system.
Foods high in Omega-6 versus Omega-3 and high glycemic foods are usually rather tasty. People like to eat them. Too often the damage caused by eating these foods progresses slowly over a span of years. As bodies become more dysfunctional the health issues become accepted as normal states of being. The many symptoms and required doctor visits for drugs and operations become badges of honor for the afflicted person because they are now members of the club. It’s as if folks equate wisdom with sickness. Now that is sick.
For some folks the progression of chronic diseases becomes very serious and can result in an early death. Sometimes the chronic diseases they live with today were ravaging their bodies in childhood. Sometimes the diseases crop up in middle age. For a few it’s much later in life. But for nearly everyone who does not follow The Real Diet of Man they will have one or more chronic diseases.
Many people have lived with sickness for so long they really do not know what a healthy state feels like. They assume that how they feel everyday is normal. They can’t comprehend that I’ve been there too and I too have experienced chronic diseases. But I changed my diet and that changed my state of health and well-being. Now I really know what it feels like to be healthy. I do not go to the doctor. I do not take drugs. I do not need operations to live or be functional. My current condition pleases me.
Am I obsessed with my health? I guess I’m obsessed with my health the same way most folks are with putting the proper fuel in the gas tank of their cars. Maybe I’m obsessed the same as I am about snorting coke. If all my friends snorted coke when they got together, I still wouldn’t. Yes, maybe a small negative deviation in the foods I eat a few times a year can be tolerated. But if I made very frequent exceptions to my rules I would always be sick.
As for budget, there is rarely any justification for buying bad foods because it’s all a matter of personal choice driven by priorities. One can live on grass-fed meat alone if they so choose. Fresh Veggie are always available. It’s the eating out and the decisions to have nonessential foods and drinks that consume the budget.
So, what controls me? Is it food? Is it fanaticism? Or is it my personal choice between choosing whether to be sick or healthy? I believe I am controlling me. This is why I always close my letters by saying “It’s your choice to make.”
Posted October 3, 2014
Slanker Grass-Fed Meat