Every Day Counts; Let's All Get Healthy in 2012

 

The holiday season can be a joyous time when we celebrate with our family and friends.  However, with unhealthy foods everywhere, I take bad nutrition seriously because people die from it.  I am sick of seeing people injured and dead, especially when they learned about the power of superior nutrition and did not take advantage of it. Food addiction is powerful for sure, but think about if that junk food (white flour, white rice and white sugar are dangerous junk) is worth a cancer diagnosis or open heart surgery. When junk food is eaten, including the traditional, disease-promoting foods served at the holidays, you may get momentary pleasure as it passes the lips, but the results continue on to compromise your health now, and many years in the future.  For some reason people do not realize that they aren’t granted a new body after they harm the one they have. We pay a price, usually later in life for our dietary indiscretions. As we get older, the more years one remains overweight and the more times you indulge in cancer-causing foods, the more difficult it becomes to assure protection against a tragic life-threatening cancer when you finally do decide to eat healthfully. Now is the time to throw your cigarettes away, not next year. Now is the time to get off your soft drinks and sugar addiction, not after the holidays.

Since everyone can use great recipes (and I supply many of them) to make delicious desserts and main dishes, I do not see the reason to eat white flour and sugar-filled garbage that creates cancer. Just because the world has gone crazy, and has become addicted to dangerous refined foods and factory farmed junk-food chicken and meats (factory-farmed meats are junk-food too) doesn’t mean you should join the self-destructive insanity.  

 

Remember how eating unhealthful and overeating while celebrating the holidays left you feeling ill and regretful in the past?  (And it wasn’t likely that pleasurable either.)  I doubt pigging out on junk is that pleasurable compared to cocaine or heroin. Not that I would know that, but I do know that food addiction kills a thousand times more people each year than cocaine addiction. Plus, not having good health magnifies every emotional problem plaguing your life and is a contributory cause of depression. Now is the time to change things. Make the effort, set the example and do not let the holidays derail your commitment. Giving up addictive and harmful habits are tough, but you have to be tough on yourself to succeed. Accept no excuses. It will be well worth it. Do it now. Make the commitment.    

 

Don’t know where to start? Try these simple guidelines taken from my book Eat to Live:

  • Eat at least one large salad each day.
  • Enjoy generous amounts of cooked green vegetables with mushrooms and onions.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with at least three fresh fruits each day.
  • Eat at least one-half cup of beans each day. 
  • Remember the acronym GOMBBS. Greens, onions, mushrooms, beans, berries, and seeds. These are the most health-promoting foods.
  • Avoid completely these disease-promoting foods: white flour, sugars, artificial sweeteners, oils, and factory farmed animal products. Unhealthy food is designed to be addictive – keep it out of your home.
  • Retrain your taste buds to prefer healthy foods. Staying away from sugar and salt is the secret to a heightened sense of taste and enjoyment of natural flavors.  

 

Here are some tips for staying on track:

  • Always keep your kitchen stocked with fresh and frozen produce.
  • Budget time: plan out when you will shop for groceries, cook, exercise, relax, and spend time with friends and family.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time and make a detailed grocery list before you go shopping.
  • Cook vegetable bean soups in large batches, and store leftovers in the refrigerator so you can quickly heat some up for lunch or dinner later in the week.
  • Stay focused on your health – eating right is self-care. Do not allow the unhealthy influences around you to derail you from your health goals.
  • My new 90 percent rule (I just made it up today) does not mean that you can eat 10 percent of anything. It means the 10 percent of animal products or flour products or sweet desserts can still be made from whole grains, natural fruit and dried fruit sweeteners, and more naturally raised and cleaner animal products.   In other words, I see no reason for people to continue to consume the worst foods on the planet. Junk food kills and just perpetuates food addictions.

 

Fast forward to next holiday season: you will make the best choices; the ones that will allow you to achieve overall health and quality of life. You'll be celebrating your health instead of simply indulging in the “traditional” destructive foods. As you eat for optimal health and vitality, you’ll be able to more fully enjoy the special times with family and friends. You will flourish and it will be the most enjoyable holiday season you've ever had. There will be no need to “start over” next January 1st. You will already be committed to your health, and feel pleased with yourself for maintaining your healthy habits over the holidays.  So are you going to take my holiday challenge? 

The official kick-off begins on Monday, November 21st.  Click here to read the official rules and to make my Holiday Challenge Promise. 

 

 

 

image credits:  flickr by terren in Virginia and EraPhernalia Vintage

So what's your Jack Daniels?

fake food

Every year since 2008, I've made it my mission, once a year, to re-read Drunkard, written by Neil Steinberg.

For those of you who know my story, reading that book was one of my ‘turning point’ moments, because it demolished my concrete wall of denial. It forced me to face the ugliness of food addiction head on . . . smack-in-the-face, kind of head on.

Every time that I've read it something new pops out.

This time, it was Steinberg's description of his moment to unwind after work, at the bar, just before drinking his favorite glass of Jack Daniels. He describes it so eloquently in the following excerpt from page nine:


" . . . .I always pause to gaze for a rapt moment at the filled glass, the ice, the Jack, the square napkin, the dark linoleum bar. The twirling universe stops dead, the Jack its motionless epicenter. I pick up the glass and take a long draw." 1


 

When the kids were little and I was obese my "Jack Daniels" was the leftovers after the evening meal. I couldn't wait to be alone in the kitchen. All alone. Totally by myself, kind of alone (while the children were wrestling with Dad in another room) . . . to unwind and soothe my frazzled nerves by eating the slightly burnt & greasy roast and potatoes that were stuck to the sides of the crock pot; or to eat the crusty & gooey leftover lasagna sitting in the pan; or the kids' leftover soggy salads that were swimming in ranch dressing and bacon bits; or the leftover dinner rolls that mopped-up the ranch dressing; or the pieces of cake with melted ice-cream cascading down the sides. The twirling universe stopped at those moments for me.

Ahhh . . . . . the epicenter of calm had been visited.

Later in the evening, after baths for the children, brushing their teeth, bedtime stories, and tucking them into bed, I returned once again to the epicenter of calm . . . .the large, ceramic bowl of Frosted Mini Wheat cereal soaked in milk with a couple spoonfuls of crunchy peanut butter on top.  Ahhh . . . .

 

Then I *graduated* to more acceptable ways of escape:

  • Alone time with a humongous bowl of mixed greens drizzled with balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds, sliced strawberries, and chick peas; followed by a plate of California Creamed Kale. I'd eat beyond full, stuffed, and then some, and still lose weight!
  • Scraping the remaining sorbet or banana ice-cream from the sides of the Vita Mix canister and eating it.  Whether I was hungry or not had absolutely nothing to do with the growing habit.
  • Grabbing extra handfuls of walnuts and raisins while working in the kitchen.

 

If I'm not careful, Jack can still creep into my life ~ ever so slowly now, of course.  He's still there if I'm not cautiously aware of his presence.

He's hiding in the dark crevices, but as long as I continue to shine the flashlight on him, and continue to expose him, he can't and won't harm me!

 

Exposing Jack makes him powerless; he's a coward in the light.

Don't give him the pleasure of lulling you into believing that he will be your calm.

It's a lie.

 before and after pics of Emily Boller

The images above were taken three years apart.  The picture on the left was taken in the summer of 2008 when I was captive to Jack as my epicenter of calm.  The picture on the right was taken this past summer after three years of consistent abstinence AND freedom from food addiction's suffocating grip.   

 

So what’s your Jack Daniels?

 

 

 

Related posts: 

Are you a food addict?  by Dr. Fuhrman

Breaking up is hard to do  by Dr. Fuhrman

The powerful freedom of abstinence  by Emily Boller

Junk food - just as addictive as smoking?  by Dr. Ferreri

 

 

Reference:  

1. Steinberg, Neil. Drunkard. New York: Dutton, 2008, p.9

Photography credit:  Fake Food by Esther Boller 

Painting:   Absinthe (1876) by Edgar Degas; Muesee d’Orsay, Paris

Food addiction is no joke

Emily Boller obeseMany of us have come out of, or are in the process of, coming out of years of severe food addictions that have consumed our every waking thought and action.

My food addiction got so bad that there were times I couldn't even enter the kitchen to prepare a meal for my family . . . without eating from the moment I started the food prep to the moment the meal was cleaned up afterwards. I could’ve been miserably stuffed, but if a quarter of a pan of lasagna remained, I ate it.

Unfortunately, my children never developed the habit of doing dishes after meals, because I wanted to be alone in the kitchen to devour their uneaten food left on plates (I have five kids), and crusty, greasy leftovers in pans, etc.
 

Denial is the cloak of addiction.  There's got to be a shift of one's mindset to accept the fact that food addiction is serious stuff; just as powerful and destructive as alcohol addiction or drug addiction.  Food addiction and resulting eating disorders and poor health are also destroying relationships, breaking up marriages, draining finances, and ruining homes ~ every bit as much.

 

Our society recognizes the seriousness of alcohol and drug addiction, but food addiction is a joke. Addictive foods and overeating are downplayed and promoted everywhere: by the government, the school systems, the entertainment industry, the medical industry, and even at places that should be sanctuaries of refuge such as houses of worship; therefore, we don't take it seriously. If everybody is participating in it, it must be okay, right?  Wrong.  Right along with "Say No to Drugs," "No Smoking," "Alcohol Prohibited," and "Mothers Against Meth," should be "Say No to Overeating," and "Citizens Against SAD!"
 

The truth is, we cannot, we dare not, mess with food addiction.  Period.  Abstinence and sobriety are just as critical to the food addict as they are to the alcoholic and drug addict. We must accept this fact; if we don't, we are undone. There's really no choice in the matter if we want to get completely free and get our health and lives back.

Making baby steps of change may work for some, but for the majority of us who’ve been entangled for years, we need to throw internal wrestling and debate out the window and just follow Dr. Fuhrman’s basic high-nutrient eating plan that’s outlined on p. 179 of Eat to Live. It’s been successfully proven over and over again to be the way out of the food addiction wilderness. 

Food addiction is no joke; it ruins lives. 

Let's all follow the path of freedom and become everything that we were meant to be!

before and after images


Previous posts related to this topic:  Are you a food addict?  It's time for a revolution!  Lubrication, I like that word  and  Why?

 

All images presented are before and after pictures of Emily Boller; 2008 & 2010.