Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Moving Outta the Neighborhood

My sister and I went to Atlanta over the weekend. We went down there to go to Dr Furhman's "Nutritarian One-day Intensive" course on Saturday. If you've heard of Dr Furhman before, then you know what it was probably about. But for those of you who don't know who he is, he's written books like Eat to Live, The End of Diabetes, Eat for Health, and The End of Dieting, among others.

Dr Furhman promotes "Nutritarian" eating, which basically has 4 principles.

  1. Your health expectancy is in direct proportion to the number of micronutrients you take in. Micronutrients are things like vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. You should focus on eating the foods that will give you the most micronutrients per calorie you eat. 
  2. Comprehensive Nutrient Adequacy. It's a long term that basically means you need to eat the rainbow. Haven't heard that before? You know, eat reds, greens, yellow, purples... so that you get all the different nutrients you need and don't end up looking like a carrot after eating too many of them.
  3. Hormonally Favourable. Our bodies are full of hormones and they react to the different foods we eat - insulin and IGF-1 to name a few. He is basically saying here that we should eat foods that don't spike up our insulin and cause us to gain weight. IGF-1 is "Insulin-like Growth Factor 1" and it's a bad boy. It promotes cell division and growth. That ain't bad, right? Well, if you are a growing kid, no, it ain't bad, but if you're a cancer cell, well, that's really bad. So.... it's good to limit that sucker if you can.
  4. Avoid toxins. Easy, right?! Not so easy. For example, I took a trip to my local grocery store to buy some corn tortillas to make enchiladas. The kind we buy at Trader Joe's have corn, water and lime in them. That's it. I don't think the corn is non-GMO certified or anything, and they aren't listed as organic, but in my book that's WAY better than the list of ingredients you'll find on a package of Mission (a popular brand).
Ingredients: Whole Grain Corn, Water, Cellulose Gum, Propionic Acid (to preserve freshness), Benzoic Acid and Phosphoric Acid (to preserve freshness), Guar Gum, Amylase.

What IS that stuff?!?  The point is, toxins are everywhere and in nearly everything. You really have to be diligent to avoid toxins, but believe me, I'm doing it. I even try to avoid toxins in my cosmetics... ok, I haven't graduated to eliminating it from my make-up, but I use brands like Yes To for my shampoo, body wash and lotions!

Anyway, whether you subscribe to the 4 principles or not, basically it's a primarily vegan diet that's low on grains (whole grains only if you're gonna have them) but still allows nuts and seeds - even recommends them! It's a plant-based diet that really focuses on eating healthy rather than just eating vegan... cause you and I both know by now that they really aren't the same. You can eat vegan potato chips all you want and you aren't going to lose a single pound, or improve your health.

So what do I mean about moving out of the neighborhood?

These questions were asked...
How many of you have ever been shot at?
How many of you have ever been car jacked?
How many of you have ever had your house broken into?
And now imagine you were sitting at your local town meeting, and those same questions were asked. What would you do? You'd think "I'VE GOTTA MOVE!! This place is no place for me to live!" If your family knew you were living in a place like that but refused to move, they'd think you were crazy!

Well, basically, we're living in a neighborhood where cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, alzheimer's and other ailments all seem to be the norm... and yet we are STILL living in the neighborhood and not moving. Those diseases don't have to be the norm! We can change the way we eat and make an impact on our health. I liked thinking about it that way. Sometimes it's really hard, but when I think about this.. "If you eat what most Americans eat, you'll get what most Americans get", it makes sense. I don't wanna get what most Americans get. FAT is just one of them.

The other statistic that he stated which scared the bejeezus outta me (that's a technical term).. was that 95% of American women over the age of 65 have active cancer in their breasts. It's just not detectable yet. SERIOUSLY!? I wish I knew where he got that information, but basically it's saying that the older you get, the more likely you are to have cells in your body that are acting up and morphing into things they shouldn't be. But that's not to say that it's all in your genes... basically the idea is that WE HAVE THE POWER to change our course. Sure, we might be born with some nasty buggers in there, but we can either turn up the volume and get them multiplying like crazy, or we can chill them the hell down and keep them at bay. I know, maybe it's not that easy but thinking of it as simply as that makes me at least feel like I've got a bit of control over the situation.

So... I'm moving out. Just how far away I go is yet to be seen.... but I'm doing it. This sh!t is for the birds.


1 comment:

  1. Loving the blog. I just checked with Dave and his cholesterol was stuck at 207 pre-vegan. It dropped to 108 after six months. His weight was down 40 pounds in THREE MONTHS. Men. Don't even get me started. I switched at the same time and dropped 30 pounds in a year (my cholesterol was low to start, so I didn't re-test). HOWEVER, Dave is an idealist and insisted on NO ERRORS WHATSOEVER whereas I planned for failure to inevitably strike. So, the difference (post-textbook-weightless by Dave) was that I've maintained my weight loss for 2.5 years and he regained all of his lost weight. (Full disclosure: I work out five times a week and he declines, so that gives me an unfair advantage.) What I'm learning about MYSELF is that I have to locate something sustainable and realistic if I want to see any real and lasting results. (Hence, the random snacking.) I still want to lose another 15 pounds and I'm working on that, but, for me, I have to mix it up a little or else I just WIG OUT and suck down mini-Oreos by the handful. If you've got the mental strength to stick to pure vegan, though, it truly did result in a 50% drop in Dave's cholesterol in UNDER six months. Can't argue with numbers! (PS. I can't read the sad blogs either. I fall apart. I stick with the inspiring. Actually, yours is the first I've ever followed. I'm totally rooting for you! And snapping up your recipes!)