As promised, I am going to expound on each point in my article on the Fountain of Youth
#1 Cut out all wheat, dairy, sugar, white carbs, artificial anything, and anything processed
It’s probably going to take me two posts to get through all the “Don’t Dos” but here goes.
I discovered that I had a gluten (a protein in wheat) sensitivity a few years ago and while researching it, I learned that most people actually do. Some realize it and some do not. Wheat is the most difficult grain for the body to digest and if you think about it, our ancestors did not consume a diet primarily of grains. Now we add all the processing and refinement that goes into modern breads and we end up with something that is like pushing an overweight kid in a stroller, it slows the body down.
I am not advocating cutting all wheat entirely however if you try wheat free for a week, I’ll bet you will feel and see an extremely tangible difference. Corn is also a very difficult grain to digest. If you look carefully (as gross as it is) whole corn passes through the digestive tracts of animals (like my dog) untouched.
There are many gluten alternatives available now. I’ll cover them in a separate article but here is a fantastic source www.vermontglutenfree.com
American food sources are obsessed with processing everything and we in turn end up with food that is far removed from the way nature intended it and subsequently difficult for the body to utilize.
Side note: Being Italian, I love pizza and pasta so this took some effort. However, the results are so profound they provide the ongoing motivation.
Another big no-no. Just like gluten, most people have a difficult time digesting lactose. Dairy products can get stuck in the intestines and slow down peristalsis (the muscular contractions that move food through the intestines). I’m going to cover the Oriental medical perspective later, but dairy also produces moisture and in turn, phlegm, which creates an environment ripe for illness.
Goat milk is a great alternative. Goat milk molecules are smaller and easier to digest but are not a complete protein so it cannot be relied upon as a full protein like cow’s milk can.
Almond milk is another great alternative. Almonds have numerous health benefits. I recommend the unsweetened kind. If you wish to sweeten it, use agave.
Soy milk is not so good as it contains plentiful phytoestrogens which mimic female hormones. In men, this can lower testosterone and in women some studies suggest too much soy can be carcinogenic (cancer causing). Soy milk is good sparingly and be sure to get the non genetically modified kind. (non-GMO)
So there we go, I just nixed my favorite food – pizza!
Sugar is one of the worst substances you can put in your body, period. It gets stored as fat, depletes the immune system, and spikes insulin levels resulting in a subsequent crash. Refined sugars are the absolute worst staple in the American diet. Cut them out 99% and save the other 1% for a treat here or there.
This means to avoid all commercial soda, pastries, cakes, gatorade, candy, bread, commercial juices, frappucinos, – this list is endless as sugar is added to just about everything. So, the best advice is to start reading labels and avoid any commercial foods that contain sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, and fructose. Fruit, is of course, good and is great when eaten with breakfast.
For those of us with a sweet tooth, there are alternatives. And I do not mean aspartame or sucralose (nutrasweet/splenda). I use agave nectar. There’s not enough room in this article to get into the chemistry of sugars but suffice it to say the body cannot survive without sugars. We just eat tons (literally) more than the body wasdesigned to process.
When you eat sugar, the pancreas dumps insulin which transports the sugar into your cells where it is used as energy and that’s why you feel an energy spike. However, it’s quickly over and you begin to crash because the body was designed to process complex carbs and not simple sugars. This insulin dump, energy spike, and crash are draining on the body. Further, excess sugar (which is abundant in just about everything we eat) gets stored as fat.
And fat is also difficult on the body as it’s useless weight that the body must support and nourish not to mention it’s unsightly.
I’ll cover the other items in the next article. In this first series, we’re taking our foot off the break if you will; removing all the toxic substances that slow down metabolism and make the body sluggish so that it can begin to balance and optimize itself. You don’t need to be a fitness freak or have “perfect genetics” to be in shape. I have far from perfect genetics.
Being lean and in shape is the natural state of the human body when it is allowed to be in balance. All we have to do is glance at animals to understand how the body is supposed to look and work.
On the flip side, we’re a culture obsessed with being thin. Thin is also not the natural state of the body nor is juice head Jersey Shore bulging muscles with no ability to do functional work.
What I am advocating is allowing your body to reach its optimum state and return to the balance it is programmed to maintain and then celebrating and enjoying whatever that natural state is for your specific body