Saturday morning in deep South Texas, birds singing, locusts buzzing and I am excited. I have discovered an awesome book on nutrition that I believe will not only change, but save, my life. I don’t mean that in the usual, “Oh-thank-goodness-you-got-here-in-time-you-saved-me” kind of way. I mean the “If-I-hadn’t-found-this-I-would-be-dead-soon” kind of way. This may have peeked your interest a tad. And let’s face it. No one writes a blog – or any article, novel or short story, for that matter – without the hopes of grabbing the reader’s attention.
My dear sorority sister, Tracey, had recommended the book, “It All Starts with Food” written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, a husband and wife dynamic duo team. Their book – now a bestseller – uses easy to understand language peppered with humor and understanding to explain how millions of people have negative bodily reactions on a cellular level by following our American food pyramid. These negative responses are the first domino to fall in a decreased level of health and well-being. Unfortunately, these negative consequences are not discovered until there has been a whole train of dominoes down with the result of a stroke, heart attack, diabetes, fibromyalgia, cancer or any other multitude of things that none of us want to happen.
Reading this book I realized how gullible I was and, even more importantly, HOW these companies purposely are creating drinks and food (Dallas and Melissa call it “Franken-food”) with an extended shelf-life by sucking out the nutrients, thus replacing what is much-needed by the entire human race, with chemicals. We eat what looks and tastes like food, but actually contains very little of the proper fats, carbohydrates and proteins we NEED, with crazy things that are actually alien to our human bodies. Therefore, our brains never receive the message (the brakes) to stop eating, because our brain doesn’t want us to stop eating until it perceives that we have received the nutrition we need, even though we may have eaten enough calories in a day for three grown men. Cue the angels to sing the Hallelujah! chorus. The light bulb over my head glowed neon white. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. This common sense explanation just did it for me.
To someone who thinks, “Sure, this makes sense, but eating meats, fruits, vegetables, seafood and eggs” is expensive. I say, “Use all the money you spend on packaged, processed foods, on dairy, grains, cereal, bread, cheese, milk, junk food, etc. and instead of that, put your money towards the Whole 30 plan.” Maybe buying organic is out of your budget, just get as close to chemical/hormone free as you can. “Then, take what you currently spend on healthcare – allergy pills, pain relievers, doctors’ visits, etc. – and put that money, too, towards your Whole 30 budget.” I bet that “someone” would have a bigger Whole 30 budget than he/she realizes.
Here’s the Hartwigs’ 60 second eating philosophy straight from their website:
Whole9′s Nutrition in 60 Seconds
We eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts and seeds. We choose foods that were raised, fed and grown naturally, and foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
This is not a “diet” – we eat as much as we need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight. We aim for well-balanced nutrition, so we eat animals and a significant amount of plants.
Eating like this has helped us to look, feel, live and perform our best, and reduces our risk for a variety of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions.
While this eating lifestyle may seem extreme, Dallas and Melissa do an INCREDIBLE job of motivating someone to give it a try and see how his/her body responds. After the thirty days they then instruct you on how to add back one food group at a time and see how your body responds. Their website has a section just for testimonials and I highly suggest reading some of them if you’re still on the fence about whether or not to read the book. It is now a bestseller so I’m betting your local library may have a copy, and if you have to be put on the waiting list, the website can give you lots of great information in the mean time.
You may ask, “What in the world would possess someone to give up bread, Diet Coke, cake, beans, etc.?” Heck, I probably would be asking the same question, except for one reason. I’m sick. Fifteen months, two primary care physicians and four specialists later, no one is exactly sure what I have. Fortunately, my September 5th appt with a well-known autoimmune specialist in Houston, Dr. Patricia Salvato, has been pushed up due to a cancellation and I get to see Dr. S. THIS MONDAY, July 29th, instead of having to wait over a month. I don’t believe I’ve ever been so stoked to be seen by a doctor in my life!
It was because of this illness that I was willing to give up my beloved Diet Coke (DC). You have to understand when Lent rolled around I gave up CHOCOLATE before I would give up my DC. After reading an interesting article on aspartame poisoning I thought if giving up DC could relieve the chronic pain I’d been having it would be worth it. To make a long story short, I gave up DC for over thirty days and to be honest, I didn’t feel much improvement. Can you guess what happened? Yep, just the thought of having one DC from my favorite drink place (Sonic!) with my beloved sausage biscuit from Whataburger would make my mouth water and I just KNEW it would hit the spot. Plus, I figured, “Hey! ONE DC a month surely couldn’t hurt that much, right?” So, I confess. I got that warm little sausage biscuit handed to me by my local Whataburger drive-thru worker and immediately drove the three minutes to my local Sonic to get a 32 oz. DC (with extra Sonic ice, of course). Oh, my mouth was really salivating now. Barely out of the Sonic drive-thru I took a bite of that delicious little biscuit with sausage, took a nice long drag on the Sonic straw. Then, something miraculous happened. I gagged.
I could not believe how the DC tasted. It tasted like medicine, and not the tolerable grape kind, either. It was bitter, gross, nasty. I immediately threw the whole drink away, went back through the Sonic drive-thru and ordered a 32 oz. sweet tea with extra ice. Much better. After reading It All Starts with Food, though, I now either drink water, sometimes flavored with slices of lime, lemon or oranges, or I drink unsweetened tea. If someone had told me a year ago that I would one day no longer want to drink DC I would have loudly proclaimed, “Never!” Giving up DC was my gateway to a whole new way of looking at my relationship with what I eat and drink. After reading It All Starts with Food I gave up adding sugar to my tea and started their Whole30 program.
I am convinced this will help me to feel better, look better and be better. Click the links above and open your mind to a new relationship with food and drink. It may just save your life, too. I can hear Hippocrates saying from the great beyond, “I told you so!” :)
Wishing you Peace ☮ Love ♥ Light ☾ and Magic ✰
Cecilia Hanna, The Good Juju Goddess