“The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor.”
I asked a client recently, “What is healthy eating?” to which came the reply,
“It means eating all the foods that bring me joy.”
She was aiming to discuss an approach to eating which would help her in
clearing her body of cancer. She then listed all the foods that brought her joy –
copious amounts of wine at the weekend, trips to local cafes where she
consumed beautiful sugar laden cakes, honey for breakfast poured over
sugar dense cereals, quiches (refined carbs) and casseroles for lunch with
lashings of garlic breads or ciabatta (more carbs and sugar) and for dinner,
roasts of meat with sugar enriched sauces followed by typically British steamed
puddings and custard! Occasionally she would have salad but that did not
bring her joy.
Almost 90% of that way of eating fuels cancer.
So often, we have to re-train our taste buds, our mindsets, our addictions, our beliefs and information around food if we are to make changes on a journey towards the creation of better health.
And it begins with being aware, then informing ourselves of new ways, and then being willing to take radical, bold, different action.
One thing I disliked when I was diagnosed with diabetes Type 2 and suddenly gained weight (due to the meds, not just the food), was the insistence of dieticians and nurses that I measure or count everything. It was all very well in theory, but in practice how, when cooking fresh food, how could I work out the calorific value of produce, and why was I having to count calories in the first place – after all, not all calories are created equally? And over time, when one sees little beneficial results for one’s measuring efforts, there is the teensiest tendency to just give up.
And as I discovered, it is difficult for health professionals, when confronted, let alone the public, to accurately estimate their daily ratios and consumption of macronutrients (calories, fat, carbohydrate, and protein) and micronutrients (e.g. vitamins and minerals). For most with whom I have spoken, it is just too difficult. Sure, that’s no excuse. But it is a reason. If it works for you, then do it. If it doesn’t I would say, don’t fight it. There may be another way. It is about options and choices, not one size fits all.
So healthy eating with the Radical Healer has some basic principles:-
Be aware of how you eat at present, what works, and what doesn’t, what contributes negatively to your health conditions, and what provides relief, cure, and positive results. Aim to develop a healthy lifestyle – eat well, sleep well, walk well, move often
Inform yourself – of your condition, how nutrition will help in its treatment and or curing, what specifically that means for you in terms of shopping, buying, cooking – for yourself and others
Be willing to do what it takes to create the best of health, to better manage a condition, to cure it – be willing to take different, radical and bold action. Pepare your own food with fresh, preferably organic, as far as budget allows, ingredients; eat smaller portion sizes – at the first sign of satiation, ie being full, stop eating.
Bless and honour yourself for introducing new ways, bless and honour the changes you are creating,
Bless others be leading by your example
Notice the changes, how you become increasingly happy and healthy
Do not follow the Standard American Diet or the Standard British Diet as promoted by the NHS. Both are now out of date based on premises which are known to keep you piling on the pounds and being unhealthy
Do not over-ride what you know to be doing you harm. You always have a choice; if you know certain foods are not health-giving FOR YOU, ask yourself, “Why do I continue to poison myself by taking them?”
Cease with the excuses – “I have no will power” ”I can’t help myself.” Start with a change in attitude, “I have will power. I can help myself and I do.” Often, we are too lazy to be bothered.
Ban the word diet – think more of healthy ways of eating - remember what you focus on, grows – so healthy buying, healthy cooking, healthy eating, enjoying.
Avoid being evangelical - no one size fits all! It ires me that doctors and nurses trot out standard advice, “make sure you get 5 -7 portions of fruit and veg a day, walk more eat less” – without first asking how many portions you currently get, and of what, how much you walk, how far, how fast, and how often you eat, when, what, and how much. As someone with diabetes I need to avoid fruit (too much sugar) and I love fruit and as far as vegetables are concerned, I need to go for those with a low glycaemic load and aim primarily for vegetables that grow above the ground ie greens, broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, lettuce etc But that’s me and I have had to work that out through trial and error and reading up on key healthy eating principles.
Wherever possible, budget and provision allowing, choose real, fresh, if possible local, in-season foods, rather than processed foods. In short, say NO to the following:-
any food that has had something added or taken away
refined or processed ingredients / foods
ready-made meals, fast foods, take-aways, convenience foods and pre-packaged foods
Avoid or reduce snacking: snacking can keep insulin levels raised which can lead to increased insulin resistance, body fat storage, and raised blood glucose levels ie weight gain
So, get used to noticing what works FOR YOU, and avoid what doesn’t! Notice what satiates (satisfies) you, ie not what you like, what creates an unwanted reaction and be prepared to adapt. Learn to heed the body’s signs that tell you IT has had enough and cease with the finishing of every last morsel and the reaching out for double and triple helpings! Plate up in the kitchen and eat in the dining-room. The temptation of having serving-bowls of food on a table in front of you is that you will keep eating until those bowls are empty.
Different people will achieve their own health goals by following and adapting different approaches.
You will need to factor in
personal preferences – and how they impact. Just because you like certain kinds of foods is not a permission to eat them 24/7! Very often what we think we like, is our body’s way of saying, “If you like it so much, maybe you’re addictive. Maybe it’s not doing you too much good.” I love potatoes but they do me no good, I start to fall asleep after even a small portion. I love German cream cake, but it is sugar laden and feeds diabetes and cancer. So just because a food or food type is a personal preference is not a licence to eat what you like
weighing up pros and cons – noticing which foods and eating styles work for you and those which don’t. Keeping a food diary will help. Record what you eat, when, where, and the consequences. Keep reviewing your diary – are you noticing patterns emerge?
your lifestyle – if you have a busy work life you may be inclined to grab food or pick at it, mostly based on what your tummy is saying rather than consciously what your brain is calculating, a quick sandwich from the nearby deli , leftovers from the fridge, sweets from the petrol filling station – but have you considered
the way your body metabolises different food stuffs – do you bloat, do you experience flatulence? Are you losing weight without trying? You may find you need to see a nutritionist privately
whether you have any medical condition – then research foods to avoid, foods to include. Don’t go for someone’s ready-made cancer diet, or diabetes diet – rather go by foods that help and those that don’t
intermittent fasting – see elsewhere on this site
is cleansing appropriate – if you want to begin a new way of eating, do you need to clear out the gunk from the past ways perhaps by experiencing colonic irrigation.
Ways of eating
Although they may come in a variety of different forms, with different names and variations in specific details, the main dietary approaches (which you can see summaries of by clicking on in the list below) can be broadly grouped as:
Mediterranean, - The Mediterranean diet is not a “diet” per se. It is a mix of the traditional eating habits of people living in Spain, Italy, France, Greece and the Middle East. Eat natural, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Make olive oil your primary source of dietary fat Reduce the consumption of red meat (Monthly) Eat low to moderate amounts of fish (Weekly) Drink a moderate amount of red wine
Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) - A low-carb diet is low in carbohydrates, like sugary foods, pasta, biscuits, cakes, and bread. Instead, you eat real foods including protein, natural fats and vegetables and use olive oil or coconut oil. Low-carb diets result in weight loss and improved health markers, and there’s no need to count calories or use special produce
Ketogenic diet - The ketogenic diet (keto) is a low-carb, high-natural fat diet. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, and shifts the body’s metabolism away from burning carbs towards burning fat especially round the belly
Intermittent Fasting - Intermittent fasting (IF) is not a diet – it does not even say anything about which foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them. People are using it to lose weight, improve health and simplify their healthy lifestyle. Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain, and may even help you live.
It is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16 hour fasts – my last meal is 8pm and my first the next day around 12.30. In between I can take water and coffee and tea (without sugar or milk.) Some fast for 24 houra. Both approaches would be done twice per week.
Oryoki “That which is just enough”, is a mindfulness approach to living and eating. It is a relationship, a connection with all things, and an awareness of the ways that food, both spiritual and physical, comes to us. By living fully, moment to moment, and using the ingredients at hand, both in our cupboards and our lives, we can make the best meal possible.When we practise loving kindness, we give from our true nature. When we practice equanimity, all are invited to the table, all are nurtured and fed, and the giving and receiving are simultaneous. The path of Mindfulness is a compassionate and viable course if we understand we have a choice to take complete responsibility for our lives and our actions. We can make a difference, not just for ourselves but for the people we love and care for and, in a larger sense, for the earth and its resources.
Enjoy your food: The French have the lowest rates of heart disease in Europe.
One theory for this is their style of eating is more sociable and relaxed.
This social element is suggested to be part of why the Mediterranean diet is
beneficial for health. Taking time over food and enjoying every mouthful
can leads to eating less and snacking less.
Where are you aware of the need for changing your approach to eating, cooking, and health?
What information do you need to support you make the changes?
What changes are you going to make? What is your plan?
What do you need to do that is radically different?
How will you ensure you do not give up at the first hurdle?
What is your vision of a healthy, happy you?
How are you different in that vision? How is your life different?
And how do you feel having created the new?
Doctors, farmers, chefs and others weigh in on the controversial ketogenic diet and its potential to eradicate common illnesses.