ESSENTIAL ELEMENT: Eat Plants First
Critical Concept: Plant-Driven Diet Style
The modern world is facing a chronic disease crisis. The current traditional or allopathic paradigm is based on a sickness and disease treatment model. With the exception of the incredible and heroic work done in trauma and emergency (i.e. heart attack, stroke, injury) care, the current model is failing. Despite the tremendous effort made and incredible resources invested, our people continue to get sicker. The impending tsunami of a chronically ill Baby Boomer population promises to collapse an already teetering system. Although valiant work is done to keep people from dying, our system is woefully incomplete in truthfully and effectively addressing prevention and health promotion. It is time to address the cause of the problem.
Our health is simply the genetic expression of our environment. The environment determines how genes are expressed. Our lifestyle choices create our internal environment – and therefore greatly determine our health experience. Genetically incongruent lifestyle choices create sickness. At the center of the chronic illness menace is the obesity pandemic – Globesity.
We are faced with the perfect storm of obesity today. The confluence of three factors has created the obesity and sickness epidemic: first, the resulting energy imbalance that is a consequence of our relatively sedentary lifestyles; second, the toxic burden from the regular consumption of modern processed foods that are inherently poisonous to our cells; and third, the deficiency that results from making these toxic choices instead of eating the healthy foods that our bodies require and expect.
Food is a great source of pleasure – the taste, the social element, the satisfaction. But when we make food choices, we must think beyond these things and also consider our food’s nutrition. Think of eating as feeding your cells. Your cells have very specific needs, essential elements or nutrients, which must be provided by the choices that you make every day. These nutrients include the countless phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, micronutrients, trace elements, vitamins, minerals and fiber found in fresh fruits and vegetables; essential amino acids found in lean meat and foul; and the essential fats found in wild fish and game.
Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is predominately filled with calorie-rich but nutrient-poor processed foods, vegetable oils, and simple carbohydrates (i.e. grains). These choices have resulted in an over-weight, under-nourished population suffering with allergies, fatigue and chronic disease.
You are going to choose differently.
Well People choose to eat the most nutritionally dense, fiber-rich foods, in abundance. We know that it can be tempting to scarf down everything in sight when you’re hungry, but one simple Vital Behavior will keep the hungry horror-driven choices at bay while assuring your cells all the nutrients that they desire: eat plants. Every time you eat, make sure to start with a plant-based appetizer – preferably something raw: a fresh salad, some chopped vegetables, or sliced fruit. This simple practice will prevent a multitude of sins and provide an enormous deposit into the longevity account.
This healthy appetizer will not only provide vital nutrients, fiber and water for your cells, but will also curb your appetite and prevent you from filling up on the wrong stuff – or simply overeating. As an added bonus, you can eat as many fresh, fibrous foods as you want. You simply cannot over-eat the good stuff. A Best Practice taught by Dr. Barry Sears, creator of The Zone, a must-have for your wellness library, is to cover two thirds of your plate with plants and one third with some lean protein. A favorite nudge is to serve a plate of olives and veggies with a healthy dip.
The results from simple changes like these will surprise you. Whether you are trying to achieve your ideal weight, normalize blood sugar levels, or improve digestion, adding the right things first is the essence of the Wellness Paradigm and one key to its profound health benefits.