What to eat to be healthy and free of stress

EAT RIGHT: FOOD FOR THOUGHT

First of all, you would do well to remember that, while all humans have many similarities, we also have many differences created by our genes as well as the environment to which we have been exposed.  Native Americans do not assimilate certain commodities, such as processed sugar and alcohol, in the same way that North Europeans do.  The metabolism of the chronic alcoholic is not the same as that of the teetotaler.  People with blood type O reportedly do not thrive on the same foods as those with blood type A.  The 92-year-old woman’s digestive system and nutritional needs are different from those of a 12-year-old boy.  A ditch digger does not require the same food and water as an office worker.   So, you get the picture? One size does not fit all.

Growing your own food has a double benefit — good exercise and good nutrition.

Some things we do have in common are the needs for sufficient water, adequate nutrition, and timely elimination.  Also, for the vast majority of us at least, the more natural the diet, the better our body is able to utilize it and thrive on it.  The more artificial the diet, the more the body has to adapt to deal with the foreign substances.  Foreign substances are toxic to the body.  If these toxins escape the digestive-elimination system and get into the blood stream where they come in contact with unprotected cells, they cause illness.   When normal attempts by the body to expel toxins fail, the ultimate “adapter” to these life-threatening conditions is the tumor that forms to imprison the toxins and thus protect healthy cells.

To determine what the human animal’s natural diet is, we need to turn the clock back at least 50,000 years.  See your grandpa and grandma (many times removed) living in a cave, foraging for the bulk of their food.  They live in a temperate or tropical climate where they can find a huge variety of edible fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, tubers, leaves and herbs.  Wild honey provides an occasional concentrated sweet treat. There are no dairy products, of course, except mother’s milk for a suckling child for the first 2-3 years of his life.

Chard makes a delicious Super Green Smoothie.

With limited tools for killing and processing animals, meat also is a fairly small part of the normal fare.  Grandpa might find an occasional bird nest containing eggs or fledglings, but they really don’t taste all that good to him.  Although he will eat almost anything when he’s near starvation, he doesn’t really care much for the carrion he finds left over by true carnivores in his neighborhood.  Some protein comes from insects such as grubs, termites, and grasshoppers.  It is only when he develops advanced tools, weapons, and control of fire that he is able to venture out into colder climates where a diet containing more meat is both practical and necessary.  Using fire to tenderize and improve the taste of meat and various herbs to further improve its flavor, meat-eating becomes more pleasing to the palate, but the body is very slow in adapting to this new diet.

The most practical way to find out what diet is best for you is to keep a food diary that lists everything you eat or drink, keeps up with your moods, energy levels, etc., during the day, rates the quality of your sleep and how you feel first thing in the morning, and also keeps up with your weight and such things as water retention or dehydration.

You would do well to list any and all problems you have that might be associated with your current eating regimen.  These might include obesity, anorexia, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, depression, bipolar disease, lethargy, hyperactivity, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, allergies, cancer, Alzheimer’s, premature aging, sexual dysfunction, etc.

You can make an inexpensive raised-bed garden to grow most of your greens for smoothies.

Now put away your list of miseries and look at what you should expect if you are giving your body exactly the fuel that it needs.  Barring any genetic defects, injuries, or debilitating surgeries or other invasive medical procedures, such as chemotherapy and radiation treatment, when you are eating the ideal diet for you, drinking plenty of water, and getting adequate exercise, you will be enjoying robust good health.  You will sleep 6-8 hours each night without interruption and then wake up in the morning feeling energetic, optimistic, and loving toward the world.  You will eagerly set and achieve good goals and maintain a high energy level all day.  When exercising, your endurance is excellent, allowing you to engage in heavy work without tiring easily.  Your eyes are bright with no bags under them; your skin is soft, supple, moist, and minimally wrinkled; your weight is appropriate for your height; your joints are healthy and pain-free; your abdomen is not distended; your sexual appetite is normal and you are able to function appropriately for your age and, all in all, you feel glad to be alive.

A Super Green Smoothie made from greens that you just picked from your own garden makes all the hard work worthwhile.

If you have had one or more of your organs removed by surgeons, then you have a handicap to overcome that requires a bit more effort and, possibly, a few more adapters.  Women who have had hysterectomies, which many doctors now declare were probably unnecessary, typically have a harder time controlling their weight and moods naturally, but it can be done.

So, looking back at the diet of your tough, unmutilated great-grandparents and then at what is available to you today, the best choices are really pretty obvious if you give it some intelligent thought.  First of all, raw fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens should make up a substantial part of your daily fare.  For some, they should be the majority of the daily fare.  With today’s international markets, modern transportation, and food preservation systems serving us, you can find any kind of edible vegetative matter you desire any time of year – watermelons at Christmas, spring onions in the fall, and apples in July.

You can get some chlorophyll-rich greens in salads, of course, but unless you have time to spend several hours each day chewing, the green smoothie, as made popular by Victoria Boutenko, is a practical and delicious alternative.  See “Super Smoothie” in the toolbar of this website for more information and recipes.

In cooperation with your circadian cycles, it’s a good idea to eat lightly in the morning.  I usually start my day with whole fruit or a Super Smoothie with a variety of greens.  Snacks should always be raw fruits or vegetables.  Use dried fruits sparingly, and avoid dried fruits with preservatives altogether since they are hard to digest and often cause diarrhea and/or flatulence.  Anything that won’t easily rot outside your gut (peanut butter and jelly!) is very hard to digest inside your gut.  Any foods with any kind of chemicals added should be avoided.  Good guide: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.

When I harvest the last of my spring greens, I freeze them and use them all summer in my green smoothies.

Unless you find you thrive and maintain an attractive weight as a strict vegetarian, then loosen up and, once or twice each week, eat around four ounces of meat, preferably fish, with the first choices being salmon, sardines, or mackerel, with your noon meal.  Real sardines are a very healthy choice.  Whenever possible, avoid commercial meats with their huge variety of chemicals and antibiotics.  A small can of salmon or sardines on a robust tossed salad makes a very healthy and filling lunch.  I love making a lunch from a can of tuna mixed with cubed apples, seasoned with a little relish, honey, and raw vinegar.  If you find you do better with some meat other than fish, organic products should be used whenever possible, including range-fed chicken, goat, and mutton.  Wild game, such as venison, is a good choice.  In a pinch, parboiled squirrel makes a good stew.  Commercial beef and pork, especially cured varieties, should be used sparingly, if at all.

Dinner should be light and should be eaten at least three hours before you go to bed.  Five hours is better.  A stomach dealing with a heavy, poorly combined meal does not make a very compatible bedfellow.  If you’re trying to lose weight, substituting a Super Smoothie for both breakfast and dinner, with a healthy lunch of your choice, is a practical plan that will help you dump the pounds without ever being hungry.  If you’re hungry, have a raw fruit or veggie snack.

On a normal daybreak-to-dusk schedule, your body wants to be attending to ingesting and processing food from Noon to 8:00 pm, managing assimilation and distribution from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am, and then taking care of elimination of wastes from 4:00 am to Noon.  Late eating interferes with the elimination cycle and causes a buildup of toxins.  Unless these toxins are then disposed of through rigorous bouncing exercise to give the lymphatic system an extra boost, disease and dysfunction are certain to follow.

Homegrown tomatoes can turn an ordinary salad into a banquet.

To have regular bowel movements in the morning, always eat your evening meal at the same time.  Normally, you should have the urge to defecate some 10-12 hours after your evening meal.  That means if you had a heavy midnight snack, you would not feel the urge to poop before noon the next day.  An early evening meal helps you to eliminate wastes early in the morning before you have to leave home for work, school, or other activities where it might not be as convenient to have your toilet.  Being able to poop when the urge hits you should not be considered a luxury; for good health, it’s a necessity.

Things to avoid in your diet are: excessive fats of any kind; artificial fats, such as most vegetable oils and solid shortening; roasted nuts; refined sugar; most dairy products; alcoholic beverages; caffeinated beverages such as coffee, black tea, and colas; any carbonated beverages; canned/bottled juices; distilled vinegar (use raw vinegar); table salt (use sea salt); and chemicals used as food additives, especially aspartame, MSG, nitrites, and all preservatives and dyes.

Since I’m gluten-sensitive, for the most part, I try to avoid processed foods altogether.  Most canned goods, especially meat products, contain a host of chemical additives and disguised ingredients that are not good for you.  Almost anything in a cardboard box, other than brown rice, is seen as a toxin by your body.  Once you get set up for it, using fresh, natural ingredients for preparing your meals is really not all that hard.  By putting the system of “uses” to work, it can be a lot of fun and spiritually rewarding.

From what I can determine, the best oil to use is olive – period.  Some health gurus have recommended a variety of others from time to time, including safflower and canola, but other gurus have presented convincing evidence that these are not good for you.  So, follow the lead of healthy Italians and use a good brand of extra virgin olive oil. A little butter is okay, too.  Scratch the margarine (including so-called “yogurt” margarine), store-bought mayonnaise, and most commercial salad dressings.  Make your own and leave out the chemicals.  You can find plenty of natural ingredient recipes on the Internet.

Test yourself for allergies with such items as eggs, wheat, oats, soy, shellfish, corn, potatoes, peanuts, other nuts, and anything else you suspect might not be agreeing with you. Do this by eliminating the suspect food from your diet for a week or so, then adding it back and keeping track of what happens hour-by-hour for the next day or two.  Sensitivity to foods can manifest themselves in many ways, ranging from anaphylactic shock and death to bloating, a mild rash, lethargy, diarrhea, nausea, mental disturbances, or a change in your blood pressure.  Some reactions are immediate; others take from several hours to more than a day.  If I eat anything containing wheat, I start feeling sleepy after a few minutes and then feel lethargic and have limited endurance for another 18 or so hours.  Peanut butter and white potatoes do about the same thing.

Another method for sleuthing out possible food outlaws is to lie in bed when you first wake up and take your blood pressure.  Then take a taste of the food to be tested, wait about five minutes, and take your blood pressure again.  If your readings increase 10% or more, you would do well to do further testing on that food, such as with the elimination/retest procedure.

Melons are a great detoxer, but they always should be eaten alone on an empty stomach and not followed by any other food for at least half an hour.

Keep in mind that as much as 65% of your body is made up of water.  Your brain is 75% water.  You can do without food for many weeks without permanent harm, but you cannot live more than a few days without water.  Every function of your body depends upon water for its efficiency and effectiveness.  Dehydration, therefore, although it might not even be recognized, is at the root of much human misery.

We’ll discuss water in more detail on another page.  For now, keep in mind that the average adult needs at least two quarts of pure water daily.   When you fail to provide your body with sufficient water, it cannot provide you with peak performance.  Any caffeinated beverage, which acts as a diuretic (makes you urinate), counts as a negative, so, if you drink a cup of coffee, you need to drink at least an extra cup of water to make up for it.  The more natural your diet becomes, meaning it is made up primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables (whole or juiced), the less supplemental water you need.  In spite of the pontificating of some health newsletter doctors, however, the normal American diet of concentrated, artificial foods does not provide “all the water you need to be healthy.”

No doubt, you have also gotten plenty of misinformation about food throughout your life.  If, for example, you think you’re “eating right” because you eat three “good  hot square meals” every day, including all the standard basic food groups that used to be up on the wall at school, then you’ve got problems.  If you follow the food advice that you find in the food sections of most newspapers, then you’re actually lucky to still be alive! 

It is not surprising to me that American women are now experiencing more premature births and babies are being born with more defects.  In most instances, “premature births” are really just late miscarriages that are occurring because something is wrong with the fetus.  Poor diets generation after generation soon begin to affect the human gene pool and our ability to reproduce at all.  Unless serious changes are made soon in the western food supply, within another half dozen or so generations, live, normal births will be the exception rather than the rule.

Unless you have been able to see through all the misinformation that is offered as gospel, you probably would do well to forget everything you’ve ever heard about nutrition and start from scratch.  Pretend you’re from another planet and you’re going to take an earthling home with you and you want to know what to feed him. If you try to mix in all the conflicting “dietician” myths you’ve heard and read in your lifetime, combined with what Mama and Aunt Edna told you, it will take you a lot longer to get happy and stay happy and stress-free.

Even though various medical groups and even the Department of Agriculture have begun to make rather radical changes in their old party lines, they’re still a long way from being right.  No agency funded by the Federal Government and, therefore, controlled by politicians and their pressure groups (meaning big business), can afford to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about food, nutrition and disease.  They have too many conflicting goals.

One bureaucrat tried to disseminate the truth several decades ago, but the report got quickly squelched.  In his book entitled The Golden Seven Plus One, Dr. C. Samuel West exposed a government document that had been issued in 1977 and then immediately recalled and destroyed by the U.S. Government.  The document, produced by the U.S. Senate’s Agricultural Committee, stated flatly that too much salt, sugar, fat and other high cholesterol foods were responsible for the American public’s poor health and there was very little that “medical science” could do about it with their ineffective, invasive techniques.  Excerpts of the report are printed in the appendix of Dr. West’s book.

In the spring of 1991, more than a decade after this insightful report was killed, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine suggested that meat and dairy products be used only as garnishes with healthy meals.  In response to that daring wisdom, a representative of a farm group asked, “Are those people nuts?”  He went on to say, “I would encourage people to find out what is emotional and what is rational.”  I agree with the gentleman on this latter statement one hundred percent.  Of course, he might be quite sincere in his belief that all people need lots of meat to be healthy.  Then, again, his priority might be making money.  Farmers and huge farming conglomerates, after all, are quite justified in their concern about threats to their investments.  Nevertheless, the truth is that consumption of large quantities of meat, milk and other animal products kills people; and that truth can no longer be kept a secret from intelligent consumers.

The distant future for farmers who depend upon raising animals for meat and milk is bleak.  Not only are people getting smarter and eating less meat, but it is also becoming ever more likely that farm animals will become a bio-terrorist target – if they haven’t been already.  I wonder about mad cow disease and hoof-and-mouth disease in Europe.  If I were a meat farmer now, I’d sell off my stock while the prices are still reasonable and start planting some fruit trees in those well-fertilized pastures and fill the ponds with fish.  Not only would I be able to make more money, but I also would be making a great contribution to a healthier world population and a cleaner world environment.

Speaking of planting fruit, one of my many fantasies is to become a modern Johnny Appleseed, of sorts, and start a trend of random kindness toward seeds.  Most people now eat a piece of fruit and throw the seeds into the garbage or grind them up in the kitchen sink.  That process represents a serious violation of our natural contract with the fruit tree.  The fruit tree gives us its fruit with the condition that we plant the seed somewhere else.  That’s what most animals do, especially our feathered friends.  If we all saved our seeds and threw them out on the roadside, or let the kids shoot them out the car window with peashooters, wouldn’t we have some great roadsides?  That might cause some problems in major fruit-growing states like Florida and California, but most of rural America could use a little change in the scenery.  Wouldn’t it be neat to be able to take a little rest stop and eat a wild apple, pear or plum — especially during hard times?  The only drawback I see is that more little animals would be attracted to the vicinity of the highways and become road-kill.  In previous hard times, however, according to Possum Living author Dolly Freed, even road-kill can be a welcome sight. People are getting smarter and more informed about food and its relationship to their health or lack of it.  Most people realize that to be happy and stress-free, they have to be physically healthy.  And they’re also learning that the number one controllable variable that determines health or illness is what they eat. 

For the most part, disease is not something that “happens” to you.  Disease is a choice you make at your mouth.  If you eat the Standard American Diet (acronym SAD), it will kill you.  It kills thousands of people daily.  Killing people with imitation food is a multi-billion dollar business.  So, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year to make sure you continue to be misinformed so you will continue to be addicted to their products and support the multi-billion dollar imitation food business.  In designing and packaging their products, their number one goal is to be competitive in the marketplace.  Nutritional value of the “food” is barely an afterthought, and often is exaggerated.

One of the main sources of such misinformation comes from the “nutrition experts” featured in your newspaper’s weekly food section, which is sponsored — by whom?  You guessed it: the panderers of artificial food.  Various medical columnists give further credibility to the hodgepodge of food industry propaganda that continues to be spoon-fed to an ever-sicker American public.

Some years ago, I even heard a couple of ladies on a religious radio station who claimed to have “God’s nutritional plan” for me.  I consider that a highly unethical use of labels.  They both seemed to be getting their misinformation straight out of the medical network propaganda machine, such as the various university hospital “wellness letters” that floated around for a while.  I can assure you God doesn’t want you to poison yourself with skimmed milk and oatmeal cookies if you can find a good piece of fresh fruit or a carrot to eat instead.  I also seriously doubt that God would clear His nutritional plan for us through the AMA.

You also get tons of nutritional misinformation on television, both in commercials and so-called “news” stories (another label you have to watch).  Many television stations even have their own staff physician to explain the latest “medical breakthroughs” and give timely dieting tips for their gullible audiences.  The false and damaging information given, which typically is the pure AMA line designed to make money for the AMA membership and its industry supporters while also defaming any competition, is even more influential than undisguised industry commercials.

Remember the “real men eat real food” beef commercials made famous by actor James Garner some years ago just before he had a heart attack?  In spite of that misfortune, it is likely that very few Americans made the logical connection that “real men eat real meat and have real heart attacks that can make you real dead if you’re not real lucky.”

It’s hard to get rid of the conviction that a “good hot square meal of meat, potatoes, veggies, bread, milk and fruit pie” is what it takes to make a person healthy.  Nursing homes are full of under-70 people drooling on their bathrobe who would have defended the meat-and-potatoes regimen in the old days when they could still carry on a conversation, but I can assure you without a shadow of a doubt that if you eat that kind of meal on a regular basis, you will die an early and, more than likely, very unpleasant death.

You might counter that statement by saying, “I don’t believe that, Jack!  My daddy and my grandpa both ate that kind of food all their lives and they both lived to be up in their 70s.”  If so, I’ll have to contradict you there, too.  It’s very unlikely that your dad ate nearly as much meat, sugar and chemicals as you do unless he was an English lord.  Such “luxuries” just weren’t available to most people several decades ago in the quantities they are today.  And, as for your grandpa, if he was like most people born during the last couple of decades of the 1800s, he ate very little meat, sugar and chemicals.  Most of what he ate came out of his own fields, which he worked in from dawn to dusk, keeping his body detoxed with sweating and bouncing.

In “the olden days,” without refrigeration, meat on the table was rare.  In the South, at least, in the working man’s home, a little salt pork at breakfast was usually the day’s ration.  Sugar was expensive and limited primarily to special treats.  Grandpa and his cohorts ate almost no highly processed foods containing long lists of chemicals.  And things went better without Coke.  He might have had a carbonated beverage once a month when he drove his team of mules into town to buy supplies.  He certainly did not wash hamburgers down with several quarts of sugary or aspartame-laden diet sodas every day.

One of the major problems some people have today is they make no cognitive connection between diet and disease.  They think that anything that is offered as “food” is good for them.  Otherwise, it would not be made available and called food, right?

As discussed earlier, I have found it useful and predictive to think of our various opinions, habits and preferences as having been programmed into us at a variety of levels.  As you now know, we arrive in the world with a healthy dose of Genetic programming.  It contains our temperament, which is the bulk of our basic personality.  We are also Genetically programmed to eat whatever tastes good until a part of our mind signals to us that we have enough.  What tastes good to us is the food we were originally designed to eat: sweet fruit.  That’s why most of us find it easy to go through a whole box of chocolates with no trouble at all unless a higher level of programming kicks in.

The next highest level of programming, Imprinted, also affects our eating habits.  In the wilds, survival would depend upon your being able to imprint to the foods that were available and provided to you by your parents.  If you were an Eskimo child in earlier days, you would have thought of live maggots in the same positive way that a depression-era child in Georgia would have thought of a syrup biscuit.

Today, most American children are Imprinted to love hamburgers, hot dogs, peanut butter, jelly, white bread, colas and other sweet drinks, pop tarts, sugared cereals (which are really little more than crumbled cookies in disguise), and the toxic list goes on.  Both children and adults are, as Victoria Boutenko points out, addicted to highly processed cooked food.   Thus they are lured into fast-food restaurants even before they start to school through cartoon show commercials promising a variety of giveaways.   Nearly all junk foods, especially the new “fat free” ones, contain large amounts of sugar to accommodate what is really your natural craving for raw, sweet fruit.

Just how strong food imprinting is was demonstrated to me several years ago when a niece and nephew, ages 5 and 10 respectively, came for a visit.  I wanted to be really hospitable, so I promised not to impose my dietary preferences on them.  I asked them what they would most like to have for breakfast and they said sausage, eggs and biscuits.  So, I made them some link sausages, fried eggs and canned biscuits (no white flour in the house).  They picked around at everything and left most of the food on their plates.

With a little inquiry, I learned that we had a labeling miscommunication.  They were “used to having” fast food sausage patties, whipped scrambled eggs, and thick, heavy biscuits.  My offering did not measure up to the mindset they had for “sausage, eggs and biscuits.”  Oh, well, live and learn.  Let ’em eat cake!  What this example illustrates is that once children are imprinted to a particular assortment of foods, it’s very hard to change them through rational cognitive reasoning.  Sugary cereal junkies will not readily trade their addictive booty for a bowl of fresh fruit.

When you grow up and find yourself fat and unhealthy, as do most Americans in their forties and fifties, and then have a heart attack or get a diagnosis of cancer, it’s still very hard to use your Cognitive programming to change your labels for various foods.  In turn, that means it’s hard for you to change your preferences and your behavior.  If you’ve been eating junk all your life, then you’re a junk food addict.  Drastic measures are required to change your behavior and allow your body to repair some of the damage to your tissues and allow you to live a while longer.

As the sick guy who recently sued some fast food vendors contended, the American diet has gotten progressively worse since the turn of the century, and it has really taken a nosedive since the end of World War II.  If you look at group photos from 50 or more years ago, whether of school children, soldiers, medical school classes, or just family reunions, and compare them with today’s group photos, you can readily see glaring differences.  Your grandpa, as a young man, was shorter and leaner than you are.  (War Between the States soldiers averaged 5′-8″ and weighed 135 pounds!)  People in Grandpa’s group pictures have obvious jaw lines, Adam’s apples, and muscled necks.  Many of the men actually look gaunt by today’s standards.  Witness Jeff Davis and Abe Lincoln.  Your group, for the most part, has no jaw line and their necks are like smooth stovepipes.  We won’t even talk about bellies hanging over belts.  Because almost everybody in our country is now fat, we tend to think lean people are unhealthy!  Advertisers are even getting away from using emaciated models and, instead, are featuring ordinary-looking fat people.

A couple of years ago, I was mowing the lawn when the middle/high school across the street from me sent out about fifty kids who, I assume, were in some kind of gym class.  They apparently had instructions to run the quarter mile around the schoolyard (I had just measured it a few days before for my short runs); but, after just a couple of hundred yards, many of them began falling back.  After about five minutes, all but a few stalwart athletes were gasping and staggering.  I couldn’t believe the shape those kids were in.  Over half of them were obese!  When I was in high school, not more than one in fifty kids was seriously overweight.  Most of us were noticeably skinny.  (When I was 18 years old, before I went into the Air Force, I was nearly six feet tall and weighed 147 pounds!).

Millions of today’s kids are fat and doomed to die early and horrible deaths because they eat too much animal fat, protein, processed vegetable oils, refined sugar, processed grains, and chemicals, and they get little or no exercise.  Change their diets and their activity routines and they will get slim, healthy, less stressed, and less hyperactive (eliminating being sentenced to Ritalin addiction).  They also will have the potential for living a long, happy, disease-free, low-stress life.

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than a sweet, sensitive little girl who doesn’t get asked to a dance or a party because she’s fat.  It’s sad, and it’s criminal.  It’s the result of exploitation by government, industry and medicine, helped along by parents who regard their children as temporary liabilities.  Hopefully, in the not too distant future, jaw lines will be fashionable again and people will not be carrying a lifetime accumulation of toxins around their necks, bellies and butts.  That will happen when you and other overfed human beings abandon your myths and start eating right and start feeding your kids right.

As you develop a strong love for truth, you’ll feel inclined to return those stars you got in grammar school for eating something from each of the major food groups and admit that your beloved third grade teacher innocently led you astray.  But, life is full of disappointments.  To learn the truth about what is good for you to eat, it would be worth your while to study the system of nutrition called “Natural Hygiene.”  It’s been around for thousands of years and was “rediscovered” in the United States about 150 years ago — ironically enough by some rebel medical doctors.

Natural Hygiene, promoted in recent decades by Herbert Shelton , T.C. Fry, and the American Natural Hygiene Society, among others, is the basis of the “Fit For Life” books by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond that sold millions of copies a couple of decades ago.

Natural Hygiene regimens under a variety of labels have become the modern gospel of nutrition — and it’s just about as controversial as the spiritual gospel proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth.  I was a fairly strict Natural Hygienist, myself, for about three years.  I then drifted away from it and picked up some of my old bad habits, along with about 25 pounds!  I have since determined that pure Natural Hygiene is not for everybody, but it provides a very good foundation for starting a program to get healthy and stay healthy.

Of course, the system of classical Natural Hygiene is much more than diet.  It includes all factors of your internal and external environment and calls for clean air, pure water, natural exercise, rest, recreation, purposeful work, and so forth.  Purists would never eat any animal product in any form.  Nevertheless, there’s some pretty strong evidence to suggest that not everybody can tolerate a pure fresh fruits and vegetables regimen year after year.  While some people do wonderfully well with a pristine diet, others seem to have inherited a metabolism that demands a higher protein and fat content in their diet to feel good and look good.

The bottom line is that the only way you can truly determine what’s right for you is to try different things.  You might want to get you a copy of Fit For Life and give pure Natural Hygiene a try for a few weeks.  If you’re severely overweight or have other health problems, be cautious and seek the help of a professional.  For most people, however, after you get through a couple of cleansing crises that make you feel pretty punk, if you then continue to feel good and look good, stay with what you’re doing.  If you find that you’re looking and feeling unhealthy, then you might want to add some more animal protein to your regimen.  Figure out what works for you.

In one of Sam Biser’s publications,[1] he suggests that you can determine if you have a carnivore metabolism by the following tests.  First, swallow a regular 25 mg niacin tablet on an empty stomach.  Biser says if your skin turns red within half an hour and you feel very hot and itchy, you are a meat-eater.  If you don’t feel anything, you can make it as a vegetarian.  Reactions in-between make you an omnivore of sorts.  As a second test, he suggests that you take 8 grams of ascorbic acid each day for three days in a row.  Meat-eaters get a lot of negative effects, such as depression, lethargy, irritability, etc., while vegetarians get just the opposite effect.  Try these at your own risk.  Severe reactions to either of these chemicals are possible.

It makes sense that some people come from a long line of ancestors who have adapted to meat-eating over many centuries.  I seriously doubt, for example, that most Eskimos could readily adapt to a purely vegetarian regimen.  Of course, they didn’t do too well on all meat and blubber either, so, weak and toothless, they found themselves sitting on the ice waiting for the polar bear at a relatively early age.  If you are a primitive O-negative who has descended from a long line of northern climate dwellers, however, then you might be better able to handle animal protein than the average bear.  Only experimentation and listening to your own body will solve the mystery for you.  If you can adapt to an all-vegetarian diet, you probably will live a long, healthy life.  It’s worth giving it a try.

If you’re eating a natural vegetarian diet (not peanut butter crackers!) and you’re always tired and have a variety of other complaints, you might want to add a small amount of animal protein to your diet and see how that works out for you.  If you quickly feel a lot better, and the improvement lasts, you’re on the right track.   As suggested earlier, a blood-pressure check before and after is also a good barometer.  Foods that your body doesn’t adapt to easily tend to raise your blood pressure.  Salt and sugar, of course, can skew the results of your test.  Whatever the outcome, be careful not to overdo your meat-eating.  In most cases, a little dab’ll do ya.

Neither a no-fat nor a high-fat diet is healthy.  Some fat every day is required to keep your gall bladder functioning properly and to give you the fatty acids you need for good nutrition.  (I often use a tablespoon of an essential oils mixture containing flaxseed and other oils, or just pure flaxseed oil, every day to be sure I get all the fatty acids I need for good nutrition.  I also use butter sparingly and snack on a variety of raw seeds and nuts.)

In spite of recommendations by some current nutrition “experts,” an excessively high protein diet also will kill you, as people who have gout eventually find out.  If you decide you need animal protein, eat small amounts of the best low-fat varieties available, including fish, eggs, poultry, or limited red meats.  Using wild game, such as venison, or a low-fat meat such as goat, is preferable to either beef or pork.  Just watch your weight and your overall health and make adjustments as required.  To be healthy, you need to provide your body with the fuel it is designed to run on.  Do otherwise and you have to pay the price in disease and early death.

When I first discovered Natural Hygiene, I thought it was the answer to everybody’s problems.  For most people, it is a huge improvement over what they’re doing now.  It can even produce miracles for you, allowing your body to get rid of any number of chronic diseases.  I do not believe it is the whole solution to every person’s health problems, however.  It is simply a system containing a great deal of wisdom and it is a very good place to start renewing yourself. Then, in the wisdom that comes from your love of truth, you use what works for you and abandon what doesn’t.

You should study Natural Hygiene thoroughly before you decide how far in that direction you want to go.  Keep in mind, however, that unless you commit to making serious changes in your lifestyle, including a radical change in your eating habits to get rid of anything that is poisoning your system, just getting your mind right will not produce the results you want and deserve.  A healthy mind and spirit cannot exist in a toxic body trying to operate with only sick cells to do the work.

My own rule of life has been to cut out unsparingly any article of diet that had the bad taste to disagree with me, or to indicate in any way that it had abused the temporary hospitality of the lodging which I had provided. William Osler, M.D., in “A Way of Life”

           

Exercises:

1.  If you can do so without seriously offending others in your household, make a survey of your refrigerator and pantry and throw out the toxic foods you have amassed.  Remember, you’re setting goals for yourself, not for the rest of the world.  If your family will join in with you to get healthy and stress-free, then that’s great, but it must be their own decision.

2.  Using the suggestions in this chapter, make out a menu for the next couple of weeks that you feel you can live with.  Avoid being too radical at first.  Take baby steps before you take giant steps.  Remember that making a radical change in your diet can result in a cleansing crisis that can be very uncomfortable.  The more toxic your system is and the more pristine your new diet becomes, the more severe the cleansing crisis will be.  As your mood and energy improve, continue to tighten up on the diet.  Don’t starve yourself!  When you’re hungry, snack on raw, wholesome, natural foods such as raw fruits, vegetables and (in limited quantities) raw nuts and seeds.

3.  In your health journal, write down everything you eat and keep up with how you feel.  Make adjustments accordingly.  Become an expert on your body and nutritional needs.

4.  Also note the times your bowel movements occur and the quality of your stools.  Aim for one or two effortless bowel movements each day that produce a firm, pointed stool that exits with little or no soiling of your rectum.

5.  Get you a good blender, study information about green smoothies on the Internet, and start making nutrition-rich green smoothies a daily part of your diet.

If you liked this article, you’ll love my new book:

Stress is a Choice; So is Joy
now available at Amazon.com for $2.99

[1] Biser, Sam.  Feel like a kid again!  University of Natural Healing, Charlottesville, VA, 1992.

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