Thursday, March 29, 2012
Day 46: Do it because you WANT to...
So many people when they go on a "diet" think of it as a short-term project and there's a lot of pain and denial associated with the whole process. They count down the days and can't wait to get it over with.
Healthy living is a joyful process. Healthy foods, when they are ripe and organic are delicious.
Processed foods have been designed to be addictive and chemical additives like MSG and Aspartame created a massive flavor hit on the tongue and the brain that cause them to be addictive.
Healthy foods are unbelievably delicious but don't have side effects. I thought it was interesting that they mentioned in "Hungry for Change" that MSG is known for causing weight gain and showed a huge rat that head been fed MSG.
Aside from being delicious, healthy living has fantastic side effects. Even fit athtletes like Lance Armstrong are noticing this. Look at this recent comment he made in an interview in the Huffington Post:
LA: Oh yeah. If we don’t somehow stem the tide of childhood obesity, we’re going to have a huge problem. If you just look at the rates of obesity and where they originate -- it always starts in the southeast [United States], and they eventually, almost like a cancer, kind of grow further to the northeast, and then it stretches out west.
And at the same time, we have this huge segment of our population that’s getting older, and as we know, cancer is a disease of the older population, so at some point these are going to cross, and we’ll be in a place where we can’t keep up with that. It’s all about prevention. I mean, prevention is a key factor with so many types of cancer, so whether that’s encouraging kids to exercise, or even encouraging adults to exercise, whether that’s encouraging kids to not smoke, encouraging kids to stop smoking -- all these preventative measures have, I think, been ignored for the most part.
HPC: Do you have a certain way you approach food?
LA: I didn’t for a long time until about a month ago until I started messing around with this new diet.
HPC: What changed?
LA: I started swimming again, and I swim with a guy [ed's note: former triathlete Rip Esselstyn] who started basically a food program called the Engine 2 Diet, which is a plant-based, 100% natural, organic diet. His dad was a famous cardiologist who did Forks Over Knives, and was President Clinton’s doctor. Clinton has gone to a completely vegan diet and he’s essentially erased his heart disease.
It’s basically whole grains, different types of beans, kale salad with creative alternatives for dressing. They’ll bring out something that looks like a brownie, but it’s not a brownie … though it tastes a bit like a brownie. So I did it for one day, then two days. Then I branched out and started doing it at breakfast and lunch. I still insist that I get to do whatever I want for dinner. But it’s made a significant difference in just in a month.
HPC: What kind of difference?
LA: Energy level. Even when you’re training really hard, it’s normal that you would have certain things for lunch or certain things for breakfast, and then have this dip, or almost like a food coma … I don’t experience that anymore. My energy level has never been this consistent, and not just consistent, but high. I’m a big napper -- I couldn’t even take a nap these days if I wanted to.
The other thing -- I expected to get rid of that dip, but I didn’t expect the mental side of it, and the sharpness and the focus that I’ve noticed. And I was the biggest non-believer, I was like ‘whatever man’, and I’m in. I’m not doing dinners yet, but breakfast and lunch, I’m in.
HPC: Do you think it’s pretty sustainable?
LA: If I were to stay in Austin, it’s very sustainable. It’s harder when you get on the road, of course -- I mean, you walk out that door and breakfast is sitting there. None of that [muffins, croissants, etc.] is on the Engine 2 diet. So it gets harder and harder. But you can even travel with stuff. Breakfast is not hard, you bring your cereal and then you go to the store and buy almond milk, you buy bananas to put on top of it. If you plan, then it’s possible
So there are two things that Lance said that I want to highlight:
1) That the effects in increased energy levels were so dramatic and noticable and so quick (within a month) that he was "IN" and onboard without feeling deprived at all...who wouldn't want more energy??
2) "If you plan, it's possible'. There's the crux of the matter. Aside from the detox and withdrawal, at this point in history (this is changing) there arent' that many healthy choices available always and we MUST PLAN.
Planning for something requires that it be a priority. And that we be organized. Tupperware, shopping ahead, having some "safe" restaurants and grocery stores in mind nearby, google searching for healthier options: all require PLANNING AHEAD....however, when something is a priority and you see the benefits, it's a small price to pay.
Living well is it's own reward with advantages that last a lifetime.
In the end, health is right up there with loving relationships on what truly matters in life. Bank accounts don't, status doesn't, material things don't.
Exercising ensures that you keep your world BIG. The world becomes very small for the elderly and disabled who are not able to enjoy activities that they once regularly participated in and depression and despair quickly set in as they view their increasingly small world with hopelessness.
We CAN rebuild lost health.
What garden are you cultivating in your mind for the flowers and fruits of tomorrow?