Sorry for the lapse in my posting lately. I've been working on this post for a while, finally got it done. Enjoy! =)
Maybe you've heard of the "Hallelujah Diet"? It's basically like what Adam and Eve ate - all raw fruits and vegies. Several years ago one of my doctors recommended it for me since he said it cured his cancer. Unfortunately, it made me worse.
There are a lot of diet options out there. The all-protein diet, the low carb diet, the food combination diet, the candida diet, the blood type diet, etc. I don't even know all the crazy options there are.
People often ask me what my diet is like. It's actually very restricted at the moment. I've made many changes over the years and tried many different options. My opinion is that every person's body is unique. What works for one person may be harmful to another person.
However, I do believe there are certain diet changes that EVERY person can make that are good and helpful. This is what I call the "Happy Diet" - not necessarily because you'll be happy to make these changes, but because these changes will make your body happier. =)
I recommend implementing these diet changes gradually so you're not overwhelmed. Maybe make one change per week or per month, whatever is doable for you. Keep praying about what God wants you to do and how He desires you to take care of your body.
The Happy Diet -
1) No canned food -
Personally I think there are many problems with canned food, including less actual food value than fresh or frozen, possible food poisoning from improper processing, an abundance of preservatives, etc.
However the biggest problems is that almost all canned foods contain BPA (Bisphenol-A), a toxin that is linked to many different health problems, including cancer, diabetes, etc. The BPA is used to make an epoxy resin to line the cans in order to keep the food from being contaminated by the metal of the can. So basically they use one toxin to prevent another toxin from mixing with the food.
The FDA claims that the levels of BPA are "safe," and for a starving person in a famine-ravaged country, I imagine it would be the least of their worries. However, for those of us with an abundance of choices, why knowingly pollute our bodies?
The hardest part about not eating canned food is simply changing our habits. It's not that hard, though, you can do it! =)
For more info on dangers of canned food you can check out this website:
2) No microwaved food -
Microwaves are quick and convenient, but also can be harmful because microwaving signifcantly changes the food's nutrients & molecular structure. If you use plastic containers in the microwave then you risk toxic exposure from those.
There are plenty of problems with microwaving. According to one website I checked, micowaved food poses nutritional, toxic, chemical, and electromagnetic dangers.
I think the hardest part of not using a microwave is losing the convenience, but I've found that using a toaster oven works just as well for reheating or light cooking of food. This really is a simple change to make.
For more information check out this website:
3) Switch to organic -
People who eat "normal" (non-organic) fruits and vegies consume an average of 2-10 pesticides a day! (ewg.org) That's pretty scary when you think about it. If you eat non-organic meat then you're consuming the antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides that the animal had in it.
It really is important to eat organic as much as possible, thus limiting the amount of toxins you are ingesting through your diet.
In today's market this isn't hard. You can buy organic produce, even frozen fruits & vegies, organic meats, organic flour, rice, oatmeal, milk, eggs, etc. You name it and most likely you can find it organic.
For most people the hardest part about switching to organic is the increased cost. The reality is you will have to pay for it sometime - either pay now and buy organic, or you'll pay later when your health breaks down and you end up running from doctor to doctor.
If you want organic beef I recomend Laura's Lean Beef brand. Here's the website to help you find where you can get it. (We usually get it at Super Target.)
Otherwise, I know Publix has good organic brands and most health food stores do as well.
4) No (or few) preservatives -
Preservatives is another word for chemicals or toxins. I recently heard a christian doctor say that God gave man the power and ability to do many things, but He didn't give us the ability to make food. But that's just what is happening now! Those "man-made" foods are harmful to our bodies. Yes, we have freedom in Christ to eat all kinds of things, we aren't bound by law to a certain diet like the Israelites were. However, we can't fill our bodies with dangerous chemicals and expect to stay healthy.
Not eating preservatives is a big challenge. It means giving up our convenient foods - frozen meals, snacks, packaged foods, mixes, etc. It means cooking natural, real foods the old fashioned way. But if your health is worth it to you, you'll find a way to make this change.
Now, even I leave room for exceptions. I keep some crackers on hand at all times in case my blood sugar drops and I don't have time to make something. But almost all of my regular diet is homemade, with no preservatives. When we eat like that regularly, then our bodies are better able to handle the few times we eat the chemical foods.
Give it a try, you can do it! =)
5) No (or little) sugar/sweeteners -
This is probably the hardest change of all to make. Americans are clearly addicted to sugar. However, sugar is a known inflamatory - it causes inflamation in our bodies, which results in all kinds of problems. Sugar also feeds fungus growth in our bodies, and has been shown to contribute to cancer growth.
The recomended MAXIMUM amount of sweeteners per day is between 32 and 40 grams (my sources varied on this). That's less than 1/4 cup. You'd get at least that much in one soda, two granola bars, or one brownie. It's time to say NO to sweeteners - this includes sugar, corn syrup, other syups, honey, etc. It also includes artifical sweeteners like splenda, equal, etc. (Those are not just bad for you sweetener-wise, but also bad for you chemical-wise because they've been chemically generated or altered. I'd avoid them at all costs.)
If you are going to use a sweetener, try to use natural ones like organic honey and maple syrup or use healthy alternatives like stevia or xylitol. But most of all cut back on your sweetener intake and learn to enjoy natural sources of healthy sugars found in fruits and some vegies.
Here's my blog post with more details.
And here's an article about dangers of sugar.
6) Drink more water! And absolutely NO soda -
A study recently completed found that people who drink 2 or more sodas a week have an 87% increased risk of pancreatic cancer! (http://www.webmd.com/cancer/pancreatic-cancer/news/20100208/pancreatic-cancer-linked-sodas)
Not only is there no nutritional value in soda, it is in fact dangerous to your health (even diet sodas). It feeds fungus, it adds calories you don't need, and according to this study it increases your risk of cancer. So who in their sane mind would want to drink it? Well, it's easy to turn a blind eye and think, oh it won't be that bad for me. But it is. Now you've been warned.
About the water - I heard one doctor recomend you drink one glass of water every hour that you're awake. I don't know anyone who does that, but if you start with 8 full glasses a day that will be good for your body.
Please, don't drink tap water (unless you have your own well). City water is full of chemicals, especially chlorine. The goal is to hydrate your body, not add more pollutants to it.
If you buy bottled water, don't get the "Purified" water, as it's essentially the same as tap water. I stick with Spring water, only brands in the thick plastic bottles which are less likely to leach plastic toxins. (And don't reuse plastic bottles because then you will get toxins leaching from them.)
My mom uses a Pur water filter on the kitchen faucet and it seems to work pretty well for what it costs. I'm not an expert on water filter systems. There are so many options and opinions out there.
The important thing is to find the best source of clean water for your situation and then drink lots of it! =)
There you have it - The Happy Diet!
I hope you'll have the courage and discipline to make some of these changes, and that as you do, you'll see a difference in how you feel.
Remember, you ARE what you eat. Take it seriously.
Next time - some of my more specific diet changes.