Bonfire Fuel Principles

by admin

A comprehensive list of what Bonfire Health recommends in regards to…

Eating Vegetables and Fruit:

• Well People consume an abundance of whole plant foods (vegetables and fruit) as close to their natural form as possible, as often as possible.

• We choose to eat foods that are high in phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

• Our diet-style includes plentiful fiber, both soluble and insoluble.

• We prefer wild, organic produce (fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds).

• We choose to limit starchy vegetables and legumes.

• We strive to maintain a net alkaline load.

Eating Meat:

• Well people choose lean, organic, free-range meats and wild fish.

• We “earn” our animal protein based on our holistic philosophy of genetically congruent living and the integration of our lifestyle choices in how we eat, move and think.

• We practice a natural rhythm in food choices (animal proteins/meats) in accordance with the environmental pressures and natural selection experienced by our genetic ancestors to ensure optimal digestive function.

Eating Fats:

• We choose to consume abundant, healthy fats, and seek to maintain an ideal Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio.

• We choose to avoid all hydrogenated oils and trans-fats and eat healthy saturated fats.

Eating Carbohydrates:

• We choose to consume primarily abundant vegetables and some fruit.

• We choose to seek high nutrient dense carbohydrates that carry a low-glycemic load.

Drinking Fluids:

• We primarily drink pure water in abundance.

Taking Supplements:

• We recognize the value of appropriate, high-quality nutritional supplementation including a natural, whole food supplement, a pro-biotic supplement, and an essential fatty acid supplement with Vitamin D.

On Calories and Weight Loss:

• We choose to maintain an ideal energy balance by consuming only the number of calories necessary to support lean muscle mass and maintain optimal cell function.

• We seek to maintain an ideal weight through genetically congruent lifestyle choices.  We choose to create the healthy body that we desire, and we do not seek to avoid or move away from the body that we do not want.

• We eat an average of 5 times per day:  3 meals and 2 snacks.  We choose low-glycemic load snacks to achieve optimal insulin sensitivity and good health.

Eating and the Environment:

• We respectfully recognize our responsibilities in stewardship to the planet and its inhabitants, and therefore practice an environmental mindfulness in our dietary choices regarding animal protein production, industrialized farming, local fare, fair-trade, global economics and environmental impact.

Fasting and Cleansing:

• We choose to fast intermittently and cleanse pro-actively as appropriate, in order to establish a natural resting rhythm and digestion pattern.

Frequently Asked Fuel Questions:
This diet seems really strict. What gives?
What are the advantages of the Bonfire diet-style?
Is this diet style hard?
A lot of foods I regularly eat are not listed in your recommenations.  Why is that?
I thought whole grains were healthy? Why aren’t they in your recommendations?
Got milk? Why no dairy?
I thought I needed dairy for calcium to build healthy bones and teeth?
What about alcohol? I thought that a glass of red wine each day lowers your risk of heart disease?
I’m a vegetarian.  How can the Bonfire diet-style work for me?
Your recommendations seem high in fat.  Isn’t that unhealthy?
I don’t think I can give up caffeine.  Isn’t coffee good for you?
What about juice? It made of fruit, right?
So what supplements should I take?
Does everyone at your company really eat this way all the time?

This diet seems really strict. What gives?
The principles listed here are our official recommendations as your trusted wellness experts. These principles are a guideline. Health is not destination; it’s a journey.   What we have laid out here is the best-case scenario, something to strive for.  The tools that you will find within the program will help nudge you in the right direction, making the challenge easier and enjoyable. Do we expect every single person who reads these recommendations to never eat grains, dairy, sugar or alcohol ever again?  No, not really.  But it would be nice. What can we say, we’re idealists. That, and we really can’t, in good conscious, recommend that you eat any food that will not propel you towards health.

What are the advantages of the Bonfire diet-style?
Getting cancer or heart disease are not just parts of getting old.  The modern lifestyle is a promoter of chronic diseases like these as well as diabetes and dementia.  These are highly avoidable and even reversible if you make the correct lifestyle changes.  The biggest thing to remember here is that our dietary recommendations are designed to work in conjunction with an overall wellness lifestyle.  How you eat, how you move and how you think are all equally important and effect each other. This diet style is specifically designed to propel you towards health and away from chronic disease, and it will do so if you are also following our recommendations in moving and thinking.

Is this diet style hard?
Change can sometimes be hard, but this diet style is delicious! The doctors who created Bonfire, their families, their teams, and their patients are a dedicated group of food enthusiasts!! No one wants a boring, bland diet. We would never ask you to eat that way, never mind do it ourselves. What we love is real food, not processed food-like products. Most people don’t even miss their old crappy diet. This diet will help you reach your ideal weight and propel you towards health and away from sickness.


A lot of foods I regularly eat are not listed in your recommendations.  Why is that?

News flash: not everything you’ve ever been told is true.  The government has laid out dietary guidelines that have been heavily influenced by food companies.  These guidelines trickle down through schools and doctor’s offices and sometimes even nutritionist’s offices. Grains and dairy are not health foods, even if the food pyramid tells you otherwise.  At Bonfire, we don’t stand to gain financially from you eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish and lean, meat from healthy animals. The only person, who stands to make gains from that, is you!  We are here to educate, inspire and guide you without lobbyists or the government standing in the way.  Our goal: to help you be as healthy as possible.

To understand more about the oh-so flawed Food Pyramid, click here. Or check out Marion Nestle’s book: Food Politics.

I thought whole grains were healthy? Why aren’t they in your recommendations?
In the big scheme of things, grains have not been a food that humans haven been eating for very long.  You can imagine how much effort it would take to gather up enough tiny grains of wheat to make bread. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were after calorie and nutrient dense foods.  Grains were neither.  It would have taken way too much effort to make bread with very little payoff. And these days, most grains are ground up into flour before being baked, which demolishes nutrients.  Hunting meats and gathering fruits and vegetables was the priority. And it should be yours too. Learn more about grains here.

Got milk? Why no dairy?
A better questionis why WOULD you eat dairy?  Did you know that no other species consumes the milk of another species?  Or that no other species even consumes their own milk past early childhood?  Dairy is a high-calorie, low-nutrient food, designed to help baby cows grow very quickly. Dairy is also a very inflammatory food and highly acidic. The idea of consuming dairy in the first place is the oddity. Our recommendations are based on how the healthiest people on the planet live. And with that in mind, consuming dairy is not is one of our recommendations. Got milk? No. Got health? Yes!

I thought I needed dairy for calcium to build healthy bones and teeth?
Strong bones and teeth come from eating organic vegetables and exercise, not eating dairy products (contrary to what the dairy industry has been skillfully advertising for years). Many dairy products are fortified (added in) with calcium, unfortunately the highly inflammatory nature of dairy makes it hard to actually build bone health through these sorts of foods.  Your body has a very sensitive optimal pH level for every tissue, every organ, every environment in your body.  When you eat inflammatory foods, your body releases calcium from your bones to balance the pH back.  This CAUSES osteoporosis.

Calcium is present in many fruits and vegetables. If you are eating a diet that is consistently rich in vegetables, you will meet your daily requirements.  If you skip inflammatory foods, you will be at a much lower risk for osteoporosis.

What about alcohol? I thought that a glass of red wine each day lowers your risk of heart disease?
People love to hear good things about their bad habits. Its true that red wine contains antioxidants. This is not enough of an advantage to account for the many disadvantages of drinking alcohol. Alcohol is literally toxic. It inflames the stomach lining, disrupting digestion.  Alcohol is essentially empty calories that are inflammatory and acidic. Alcohol attacks our stores of vitamins and minerals. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it encourages the body to lose more water than it takes on, speeding up the loss of fluid from your body, leading to dehydration.  Alcohol is also a depressant, meaning it can actually make you feel emotionally depressed. It also has addictive qualities and can also be quite costly depending on what you drink and how often. There are no arguable health benefits aside from antioxidants being present. And keep in mind this is for red wine only, not beer, not vodka tonics or Old Fashions, and certainly not in whatever sugar-laden cocktail is the drink of the day at your local martini bar. This too, is a commercial, sales-driven justification to trick you into consuming a product that you should actually be staying away from. And if you are eating a nutrient dense diet rife with fruits and vegetables as we recommend, then you are most certainly satisfactory on daily antioxidant requirements.  Do yourself a favor and pass.

I’m a vegetarian.  How can the Bonfire diet-style work for me?
Vegetarianism is brave and honorable.  It is very, very difficult to do it in a healthy way. The major difficulty is posed in access to enough protein. This leaves the body wanting more and a common mistake if for people turn to grains or sugary foods. We do however attempt to provide vegetarian and vegan menu plans for Bonfire.

Your recommendations seem high in fat.  Isn’t that unhealthy?
There are vast public misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding fat.  Inflammation in your arteries is what causes plaque buildup. Your body repairs nicks with plaque like a band-aid. Over time, if you continue eating inflammatory foods, you will continue to build plaque.  This process has nothing to do with cholesterol. Learn more about fat here.

I don’t think I can give up caffeine.  Isn’t coffee good for you?
Caffeine is a tough one. Caffeine dehydrates your body, which is terrible for you!!  Maintaining hydration is one of the most important health steps you can take.  This combined with the fact that most people take their coffee with milk or cream and sugar?  Not to mention that caffeine intake can disrupt your vital sleep patterns. All in all, a recipe for disaster.  If you can manage, try to keep the caffiene intake at bay.

What about juice? It made of fruit, right?
If you were a hunter-gatherer a million years ago, if you wanted an orange, what do you think you would have done?  Would you have sit and peeled 8 oranges and then eaten them all at once?  No!  You’d peel and eat one.  And likewise you shouldn’t be downing fruit juices.  If you want to achieve your ideal weight one of the most effective approaches is to eliminate your intake of liquid calories. All the fiber has been removed and all the sugars are concentrated. It is not a natural way to ingest fruit.  It spikes your insulin and a glass of orange juice can have as much sugar as a glass of soda.  That being said, if you occasionally want something other than water to drink as a treat, here are some tips.  Make sure to buy juice that does not have any sugar added. And pour your glass ¼ of the way full with juice and then fill the rest with water.  This will reduce the glycemic response as well as slow the fructose intake.  It is also a tasty way to up your intake of water for the day.

So what supplements should I take?
Bonfire recommends the following supplements be taken every day:  An Omega-3 fish oil, a Whole Food Supplement, Pro-biotic Supplement and Vitamin D.   This is the best way to ensure that you are giving your body everything it needs. To learn more about essential supplementation click here.

Does everyone at your company really eat this way all the time?
Yes. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Bonfire Spark Principles

by admin

A comprehensive list of what Bonfire Health recommends in regards to…

Wellness:

  • Our lifestyle is designed to create the path of least resistance toward our desired outcome: wellness.
  • We know that we have inherited innate values from our genetic ancestors that ultimately promoted survival and reproduction.
  • We are conscious of our physiological state as it influences how we eat, digest, absorb, and assimilate our foods, heal and repair tissues, fight off infection, interact and relate with others, perform sexually, and sleep.
  • We choose to create the life we want, rather than move away from the life that we do not want.
  • We recognize that the innate daily requirements for emotional, psychological, intellectual and spiritual well-being are the “nutrients” that must be provided by our lifestyle choices.

Community:

  • We choose supportive relationships and positive environments.
  • We aspire to practice unconditional love and acceptance, but recognize that this does not imply unconditional approval.
  • We strive to maintain healthy and functional relationships through respect, honesty and trust.
  • Our primary objective is to maintain a state of unconditional love of God, self and others.

Holistic Living:

  • We maintain a holistic philosophy of genetically congruent living and the integration of our lifestyle choices in how we eat, move and think.
  • We recognize the intelligence of the human design and the significance of the mind’s relationship with our inner and outer world.

Balance:

  • We experience peace of mind when our belief systems and behaviors are congruent with our inherited value system.
  • We strive to achieve and maintain a state of peace, alignment and balance.
  • We practice a natural rhythm of rest and repair (schedules/sleep patterns/vacations) in accordance with the seasonal trends, environmental pressures, and natural selection experienced by our genetic ancestors to ensure optimal mental and spiritual health.
  • We respect the Law of Cause and Effect and understand the benefits and/or consequences of our choices.

Belief Systems:

  • We are aware of our innate values, conscious of our belief systems, and recognize our ability to choose behaviors that are aligned with these.
  • Belief systems are learned, and therefore, we get to choose our belief systems.
  • We understand that our behaviors and choices are a direct reflection of our belief systems.

Stress Reduction:

  • We know that we experience stress, anxiety and tension when our belief systems, behaviors and choices are incongruent with our inherited values.
  • We acknowledge that there are belief systems, behaviors and choices that are inherently toxic to our emotional, psychological, intellectual well-being that must be avoided in our lifestyle choices.
  • Our objective is to observe our surroundings, accurately assess and respond to stimulation, and create healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stressors.
  • We choose positive and reaffirming self-talk.
  • We choose to consume abundant healthy fats and seek to maintain an ideal Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio for neurological, emotional and physical health, sharpness and longevity.

Respecting the Environment:

  • We respectfully recognize our responsibilities in stewardship to our families, communities and to the planet, and therefore practice mindfulness that we are an intrinsic part of a complex body and that our belief system, behaviors and choices influence the whole.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it safe to write personal things on my journal entries? Who sees this stuff anyways?
How does your emotional life impact to your overall health?
I suffer from depression/anxiety/mental disorders. Can the Bonfire program help me?

 

Is it safe to write personal things on my journal entries? Who sees this stuff anyways?
It is 100% safe to write whatever you are feeling in your online journal entries. While the site does note whether or not your are entering text at all (and you get to watch your happy faces light up with each entry!), the actual content is not monitored by the Bonfire Health staff in any way.  It’s important to be honest and real in your writings in order to get them most out of the exercises. So jot it down, scribble it out, and just let go!

How does your emotional life impact to your overall health?
Your emotional life and your stress levels have a huge impact on your overall life.  Some people eat a healthy diet, exercise frequently, but are complete stress balls.  This can be just as detrimental to your health as eating junk or being totally inactive.  Stress is a physiological response; its physical!!  Emotions are not just in your head, they effect your physiology.  And prolonged periods of emotional stress can screw up your metabolism, disrupt your rest and your critical sleep cycles, and overhauls your immune system. Stress has been implicated with aging, heart disease and cancer.  It taps out your systems, and robs you of your health potential.

I suffer from depression/anxiety/mental disorders. Can the Bonfire program help me?
While the wellness lifestyle is not a treatment for any specific disorder, getting healthy can certainly improve your mental state.  Employing the Bonfire Health wellness lifestyle in all three areas of your life: how you eat, how you move and how you think, won’t just conquer chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  It will also fight depression, anxiety and a variety of other mental and emotional diagnoses.  Taking control of your purpose and your focus is the first step in gaining control of yourself again.  While what you learn from Bonfire will absolutely help you with your challenges, it is not designed to supplement psychological care from your doctor.  If you are feeling depressed, anxious or in despair, please discuss it with your primary care doctor.