A friend today mentioned he was on a sugar-free low-calorie diet.
I always get concerned when I hear that. Even today, the animal rights activists who took over the government’s FDA in the 1970s and promoted the life-destroying health of Americans still hold tremendous power in Americans’ minds. Why they were not brought up on treason charges just astounds me.
Sugar is an enemy but the label “sugar-free,” “low-calorie,” ‘and “fat-free” are recipes for disaster and weight gain.
Yes, I Do Have a Solution
I wrote a book for some friends at their request about the subject of hormonal problems related to weight loss. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? Actually, it was a fun book to write as the title suggests:
“The Hormone Weight Loss Solution
Fix your CRAZY Hormones and Finally Lose Weight for Good!”
I think its fourth chapter, excerpted below, can benefit almost everybody.
First, a short excerpt from Chapter 2: The Importance of Hormone Regulation in Weight Loss:
Most will read this book because they want to lose weight. That is a fine reason. We’re told that obesity is at epidemic proportions. This is true.
Decades of the American government putting fat and protein at the top of the USDA’s Food Pyramid has resulted in scores of fat-free products on every aisle at every grocery store in the nation and the world. By eliminating fat in food, we’ve become a grossly-fat nation. By eliminating protein and replacing it with dangerous levels of grains and body-damaging faux food such as soy, we have become a nation of people who are obese and unhealthy.
Note: Just in case that wasn’t clear, let’s make it abundantly clear: eliminating fat from your food increases fat on your thighs, hips, and belly. Not one objective study has shown otherwise. Did you know farmers give calves skim milk to fatten them up? Even worse, low-fat milk is a likely source of infertility among women according to a recent Harvard study. Whole (and raw) milk is the way nature intends milk to be… with lots of fat. If you are overweight, your hormones are almost certainly out of whack. One of the ways to correct that is to add fat to your diet. The type of fat you add matters but in general it is the fat you’ve been told for 40 years not to consume – animal fat – that is some of the best fat sources available to help you lose weight. To clarify further so we’re on the same page, the grains and abundance of fruit and starchy vegetables you’ve been told to make the largest part of your family’s diet is making America fat and unhealthy. The bottom line is this: The Food Pyramid (shown below) is a lie.
It’s not just America suffering from an obesity epidemic although we started seeing the results of the FDA’s advice first. We’ve exported the dangerous notion of a grain-rich, no-fat diet to other nations. Nations who never had high incidences of obesity- and dietary-related health problems such as diabetes and hypertension are seeing those numbers spike like never before.
The beat goes on. Just this week the government announced additional plans to replace good protein and fat sources in school lunch programs with grains and dried fruits and (the worst) fruit juices. School children can expect more health problems as a result. Their hormones will be even more out of balance as they consume more and more obesity-creating “food.”
Chapter 4 – A Healthy Hormone Diet
Is there a general eating plan that will help balance your hormones and help you lose weight dramatically and get you feeling great?
The simple answer is yes.
This eating plan is not a diet. It is a lifelong style of eating that you and your family need to adopt.
Be warned: it takes guts because it goes against all that your government and most traditional doctors tell you. It goes against what many of your grocery store signs and processed food boxes tell you. It goes against what most restaurants call “healthy” on menus. It goes against most diets you’ve ever heard of.
How can all those authority sources be wrong? A better question is this: How can hundreds of millions of great-grandparents who lived well into their 90s all be wrong? The simple answer is they were not wrong. They were healthy and did not suffer from the plethora of maladies that affect the general population today in spite of all our “medical advances.” And they even ate lard almost every day. Lard!
Their diet should be your diet.
About Processed Foods
Processed food isn’t food.
No book about hormones would be complete if you didn’t understand something incredible. A study recently published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology (March, 2012, pgs. 219-32) showed that thousands of consumer products – processed “foods” – contains hormone-mimicking preservatives!
That means, you are getting hormone therapy every time you eat a box of <fill-in-favorite-junk-food-here>.
And guess what? If you don’t need hormone therapy, you certainly shouldn’t have it.
The primary culprit is the paraben which is often found in processed food preservatives at a rate of one million times higher than estrogen levels found in human breasts. These parabens mimic estrogen hormones. And the parabens are found in food, drugs, and cosmetics.
The reason women tend to have more fat than men is because women have over 1,000 times the concentration of estrogen receptors that men have. Our world constantly floods our bodies with estrogen and these parabens that mimic estrogen. But if you’re a woman and are afraid of excess estrogens in your body, consider what it does to your husband or boyfriend who were designed to have far less estrogen levels than you. And more frightening, consider what the environment’s excess estrogen does to your children!
A wide range of Erectile Dysfunction drugs are sold now for men. A vast number of breast cancers are found in both women and men. Children are reaching puberty at ages as young as eight years old. Hormones are powerful and can be good or bad depending on their quantities. Estrogen is an especially insidious hormone these days given how rampant it is in the environment, in preservatives, in cosmetics, in drugs, and in soy.
If knowing this keeps you from picking up the next box of <fill-in-your-favorite-food-here> the next time you go grocery shopping and forces you to run instead to your organic produce section, then we’ve done our job.
Note: By the way, good food, real food, food that is good for your hormones and body, is not boring or bland food! Those who understand how to eat well for the brain, hormones, and body also understand the importance of spices. Spices are the underutilized secret of good food and nutrition as we explained in Brain Controlled Weight Loss. There is a reason why history books are filled with centuries of explorers and pirates hunting for the best spice routes in the medieval world. It’s because only recently with the prevalence of processed, pre-packed non-“food” have we forgotten what makes food taste good. Spices make food taste good. Not the hormone-mimicking preservatives and dangerous High Fructose Corn Syrup that forms the foundation of almost everything eaten by today’s typical consumer.
Hormonal Enemy #1: Sugar and Sugar Equivalents
Although we could go through every hormone and explain why sugar harms that hormone, it makes far more sense to cover it now in one spot.
The Most Wanted on the hormonal enemy list is sugar.
Name any sugar equivalent and it’s just as dangerous: Honey, cane sugar, molasses, High Fructose Corn Syrup, fructose, dextrose, and virtually anything-ose actually.
“But didn’t our great grandparents eat honey, molasses, fruit, and sugar?” you ask. That is a great question. Yes they did. They even spiked an iced tea with a spoonful of white sugar I bet. Maybe both at lunch and dinner!
But they didn’t consume 22 teaspoons of sugar a day and that is what the average American adult eats in one form or another. It gets worse. The average American teenager consumes 34 teaspoons of sugar each and every day according to the American Heart Association.
That quantity of sugar is unnatural and our bodies simply don’t know what to do with it all. The sugar is all around us in everything we eat. And it’s worse now than ever. After the McGovern Committee, loaded with animal rights activists, in the 1970s convinced the FDA that fat caused us to get fatter (all evidence is to the contrary in every scientific study ever performed),the sanctified Food Pyramid was born. Low-fat and no-fat products have ballooned in every store. But the fat they removed, the fat that did not make us fat, tasted good. So they had to switch to something that tasted good. So they added sugar.
A lot of sugar.
And over time the food companies, with the full approval of the governmental regulators who are supposed to oversee them instead of enable them, got wise to the fact that Americans realized sugar is deadly so they started putting other forms of sugar in our food to fool us. They called it something else. They used names that didn’t have the word “sugar” in them. Like corn syrup. Corn starch. Fructose. High Fructose Corn Syrup. Dextrose.
Note: High Fructose Corn Syrup is corn starch boiled in acid. Its production is cheaper than normal, processed, white sugar but it is worse for you than sugar no matter how many millions of dollars the HFCS industry spends on damage control advertisements on television.
And over time, some Americans realized that all those non-“sugar” sugars still meant sugar so the food companies began reducing the amount of each one of those in our products for the few consumers who read the labels. You don’t find one of those sugar equivalents in the first two or three ingredients any longer as much as you used to. But there are multiple forms of sugar throughout those ingredients, scattered here and there, so the total quantity of the sugar is still massive even though not one of the sugars gets top billing any longer in the ingredients.
Fooled us again, didn’t they?
And we keep getting fatter. Wonder why? And we keep getting more diabetes problems. Wonder why? And we keep getting hypertension, thyroid problems, cholesterol problems. Wonder why?
And we keep getting sold more and more drugs to mask the symptoms that our sugar-laced food gives us. Wonder why the FDA, the Food & Drug Administration, never seems to mind?
It cannot be stressed enough: sugar kills. Yes, you can eat sugar in moderation. You know that is not what we’re talking about here. We’re not talking about moderation; we’re talking about overdosing as almost every American does daily.
The number one way to feel better is to stop the sugar overdosing. Now. Don’t plan to stop it next week. Stop it… Now. Don’t plan to stop it after you finish the last piece of cake tonight for dessert. Stop it… Now.
The number one way to begin aligning your hormones for health is to stop overdosing sugar… Now.
The “Good” Sugars: Honey, Molasses, Maple Syrup, Fruit, & Starches
Honey is sugar.
Molasses is sugar.
Maple syrup is sugar.
Fruit is sugar.
If you get only organic honey, molasses, maple syrup, and fruit, guess what? They are all sugar also and the damage done is the same.
Organic sugar isn’t better for you than other sugar. It just isn’t quite as deadly as the non-organic sugar. Sort of like a .40 caliber bullet isn’t quite as deadly as a .45 caliber bullet.
Should you stop eating all those more natural sugar items? Re-read the previous section about the damage that sugar does to your body and hormones and consider this: To play it safe, you should stop honey, molasses, maple syrup, and even fruit at least for a while until you can wean your body off sugar.
Note: If you want an easy and cheap way to get sugar out of your diet while losing weight and improving your hormones, go read Jennifer’s 1 Day Diet book.
[Full Disclosure: I narrated the audio book version of 1 Day Diet.-GP]
If you don’t consider yourself a sugar, candy, or dessert person, there is still a huge chance you’re addicted to sugar if you’re an average American due to the amount of sugar you get elsewhere like in bread and pasta. And if you’re not an American reading this, guess what? The reason your nation’s thyroid problems, diabetes problems, cancer, and heart maladies have increased dramatically is that your nation isn’t too far behind America in its injection of some form of sugar into virtually everything you eat.
Bread, corn, and potatoes are not sugar. However, starchy simple carbohydrates break down almost instantly into sugar as far as your body is concerned.
For most people reading this book, you need to be eating far less bread even if you don’t eat desserts in traditional forms. Go right now and grab that loaf of bread on your counter, even if it’s some fancy-named High Heavy Multi-Grain Nut Stone-Milled bread. Look at its ingredients. Go ahead, we’ll wait here… Did you see it? The odds are great that your “healthy” bread has HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). Look again if you didn’t see it. It’s rare that a loaf of bread sold today does not have HFCS.
No wonder you don’t eat dessert. You don’t have to! You get dessert every time you have a piece of toast, twice with every sandwich, once with every bowl of soup, and once with your salad from the eight croutons on top (not to mention the amount of sugar in the fat-free salad dressing).
Getting back to honey, every health food nut says honey is great for us, right? Honey is sugar. If sugar is bad, honey is bad.
Can honey help with allergies? Yes it can! If you can find an organic honey supplier within a few miles from your home, eating that honey may help your allergies and perhaps boost your immune system. Buying any other honey does not. And buying almost any honey sold on a supermarket shelf isn’t even honey but is Chinese-supplied substitute that looks and feels like honey but is just a thick sugar slime.
If you find an organic honey supplier within a few miles of your home, keep that honey in your family’s dietary mix. Half a teaspoon or perhaps a whole teaspoon every few days should be the limit. Anything more and the damage done by the honey’s sugar far offsets any advantage done by the local honey.
You’ve heard that molasses is good for you, right? It can be! Organic black strap molasses is a great source of potassium. If you can find it (Amazon sells a good one here: Delicious, Healthy Black Strap Molasses!) then keep that molasses in your family’s dietary mix. Half a teaspoon every few days. Just like the organic honey, anything more and the damage done by the molasses’s sugar far offsets any advantage done by the organic black strap molasses.
You’ve heard that “real” maple syrup can be good for you, right? It can be! If you buy organic Grade B (never even think about buying Grade A ever again) Maple Syrup then you’ll be getting the real thing, made to be eaten the way nature intends you to eat it. (Amazon sells a good one here: An Incredible Tasty and Healthy (in moderation) Grade B Maple Syrup!.) Keep that organic Grade B maple syrup in your family’s dietary mix. (Perhaps you can now predict what you’re about to read next!) Half a teaspoon every few days. Anything more and the damage done by the Grade B maple syrup’s sugar far offsets any health advantage done by the organic Grade B maple syrup.
Are you beginning to see a pattern?
By the way, why do you really need maple syrup? If you just love the taste then great, have it in the quantities described above. But if you need it for pancakes and waffles, guess what? As a general rule you should never in your life eat pancakes or waffles again. As a general rule. They are far worse than bread. And they are worse than fruit too. And you’re about to see why fruit can be horrid.
This would be an insane book if it said don’t eat fruit, right? This book will never say that. But fructose, the sugar in fruit, is actually the worst sugar in existence according to many reliable sources. Want your eyes opened in a way you never thought possible? Watch the following YouTube video about fructose, which is fruit sugar. It’s called Sugar: The Bitter Truth and is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM&ob=av3e.
Remember those great-grandparents I keep talking about? You know, the ones who had healthy hormones all their lives? Yes, they ate fruit and perhaps a lot of it. They ate the fruit they grew. The fruit with its skin. When they had juice they would squeeze a couple of oranges or grapefruits once in a while into a glass and a lot of the pulp would fall into the glass too. Also, they’d have it with their morning meal. A meal full of eggs and bacon, often cooked in lard. Lard!
It turns out that the way fruit naturally occurs, with its skin (obviously not bananas with their skins; they are extremely high in sugar any way and generally should be reserved as an ultra-rare treat) is the way you should eat it. And it turns out that if you have a meal with lots of fat such as farm-raised, nitrite-free, nitrate-free, bacon made from pigs that led a happy life rooting up the field they were raised in, cooked in lard (Lard!) coming from those same happy pigs all slows down the negative effects of real fresh-squeezed fruit juice.
Note: Fat slows down your insulin secretions which is one reason why whole milk causes you to gain less weight than skim milk. The fat slows down the milk sugar known as lactose.
So yea. Great-Granny ate fruit and drank her own fruit juice. If you can mimic the way she did it, by picking an apple off your own tree for instance, then go for it. I envy you! But if your source of fruit is your grocer, even if organic, then treat fruit in the future the way you treat dessert and bread today before you read this chapter: eat fruit in moderation, perhaps one serving daily, twice if one or both servings are berries which are low on the glycemic scale and don’t affect your blood sugar as negatively as other fruit.
The orange juice in the cans and cartons? You should eat an ice cream sundae instead. Because then you are being honest with yourself. Then you will not be surprised when your hormones get all out of whack as they are going to anyway with all that orange juice over time.
Note: If you really want a sugar substitute, use Stevia and nothing else. Stevia is made from a plant and has zero effect on your glycemic index load. Just about all other artificial sweeteners make you crave sugar and elevate the acidity of your body’s pH which increases your chances to get sick. In addition, artificial sweeteners cause water retention and bloating, unlike the wondrous Stevia.
Protein and Sugar
Before this book is through you’re going to see that a building block of hormones, primarily protein, is extremely vital in your diet. If you’ve been eating a traditional diet, meaning whatever you see, you’ve been overloading with carbs and under-loading with healthy fats and good proteins.
When you increase your protein intake, as you’ll do if you want to maintain healthy hormones and look great and feel great, the effect of a sugary drink, dessert, or fruit juice from a can or bottle, is exaggerated in your system. Just as fat can slow down effects of sugar somewhat as you’ll see in the next section, protein ramps up sugar’s effects. So adding protein to your diet is almost always wise to do, but if you maintain your current sweet tooth, the damage done by the sugar will be increased. Don’t decrease the protein though; decrease the sugar.
Fat Makes Us Thin
It’s true that most dietitians, doctors, FDA regulators, and TV commercials all work hard to convince you that fat in your diet needs to be reduced. To make it real easy, for 30 years the government’s Food Pyramid put fat at the very apex of the pyramid, the smallest part of the graphic, to warn you against the dangers of fat.
Gary Taubes wrote an outstanding, but extremely high-level, advanced, scientific volume entitled, “Good Calories, Bad Calories” in which he shows systematically how adding fat back into your diet will systematically force your cells to release fat stores and you’ll lose weight. Not one objective government study was ever performed to see how fat affects weight gain or weight loss. But activists on the McGovern Committee that eventually produced the recommendations that led to the government’s Food Pyramid said animal fat is bad for us and (surprise) we should not eat meat.
One might be led to think a conspiracy took place.
Good Fat is Good for You
To begin getting your hormones into gear, you need to eat more fat. Fat should be as much as 30 to 35% of your diet with most of the fat coming from animal sources such as grass-fed beef, wild Alaskan salmon (which has low levels of mercury unlike just about any other fish you can get today), farm-raised nitrate-free nitrite-free pork (if you eat pork), free-range chickens, organic seeds, nuts, and healthy oils.
So fats are good? Yes, but not all of them! There is a huge difference between manufactured fats and naturally-occurring healthy fats.
Both the health and food experts such as Gary Taubes and the traditional government lackeys such as medical schools agree that trans fats are bad for us. They are bad for us. Trans fats are also called unsaturated fats. Stay away from any kind of fat or cooking oil labeled trans fat, unsaturated fat, monosaturated fat, or polysaturated fat. This deadly fat messes with your whole body and never in a good way, from your hormones to your heart to your cholesterol.
Polyunsaturated vegetable oils and fats can become toxic and unstable when heated due to creation of free radicals that damage our cells. Trans fats from hydrogenated oils and margarine are like plastics. They interfere with cells communications between each other, which leads to health dysfunction and chaos at the cell level.
Many fats are great though. Tropical fats are wonderful for us. Cook your family’s eggs each morning in organic or extra virgin coconut oil. (We both use extra virgin coconut oil as our main cooking oil for eggs every morning. It contains healthy fat and the lauric acid in them is antimicrobial and fights off bacteria and virus infections.) Make sure you get dark olive oil and always get it in dark, glass bottles because olive oil begins to turn rancid quickly from light. In addition, the lighter-shades of olive oil are indicators of being bleached in peroxide and other solvents and why would you ever want that?
Note: Try organic macadamia nut oil for a nice surprising taste. Ghee is also a wonderful butter.
Speaking of macadamia nuts, organic nuts and seeds are wonderful sources of fats and minerals and vitamins. Make organic nuts and seeds a regular part of your family’s diet with a couple of tablespoons of mixed nuts and seeds daily. Did you know that four Brazil nuts each day is all you need to give your body its needed and important selenium? Popping four delicious Brazil nuts is a lot more fun than popping a selenium supplement.
You know all about margarine, right? Now forget everything you know about it. Margarine is a trans fat. Throw it away now. If you just bought a new package of anything labeled, “I can’t understand why this delicious yellow stuff isn’t butter” then throw it away faster than if it was arsenic in your refrigerator! Never use it again.
Buy only organic real butter. Better yet, you can make your own butter from fresh, raw, whole milk (which you can source here: http://www.westonaprice.org/ for raw, whole milk in the states where it’s legal to buy it) and make your own butter. You don’t need to keep real butter in your fridge by the way. It stays soft outside the fridge.
Avocados are high in good fat. They provide one of the best sources of fat you can find. Eating a half avocado at lunch and at dinner goes a long way toward fulfilling your hormonal need for good fats. By the way, you can store half an avocado in the refrigerator as long as you put it in a baggie and leave the big seed in the half that goes in the fridge.
In summary, a lack of natural fats in your diet makes you gain weight. Natural fats are essential for your cells to work properly. Fats stabilize blood sugar levels, decrease cravings, and make you feel full.
Your Cells and Hormones Love Protein
Throughout the following chapters that cover specific hormones you’re going to see a lot of talk about eating more protein. Most hormones are made of protein. That is one reason why low-protein diets such as the Pritikin Diet are so dangerous to your hormonal balance. (The Pritikin Diet is dangerous also due to its strict limitation on fats. If you were to take a drug company’s favorite dietary plan for America, it would almost certainly look like the Pritikin Diet. It also looks like the FDA’s Food Pyramid.)
You should eat more protein. Something in the neighborhood or 30% of your daily food intake should be good protein.
Note: Good protein never includes soy. Or any ingredient that contains the word “soy” on the label anywhere.
Don’t wait for an imbalance of hormones from a blood test. Just start eating more protein. Now.
Fix a bunch of organic, cage-free eggs in the morning for you and your family. Cook those eggs in organic, extra virgin coconut or olive oil. Eat up!
Eggs are perhaps the most perfect food in existence. They are literally life building blocks. Your hormones will benefit immediately from more eggs in your diet.
And yes, you also need meat. Grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken, mercury-free fish, and free-rooting free-range locally-grown pork.
Note: Nuts are a double-bonus for your hormones, body and weight because they provide both healthy fats and healthy proteins.
A Sidebar About Food
While writing this book, my co-author was getting tested for heavy metals. Living in the modern world exposes us to all sorts of toxins, both from industrial sites, products used in the building of homes and offices, aluminum from deodorants and old aluminum cookware (you should use an aluminum-free deodorant and only stainless steel and cast iron cookware without exception), mercury (from amalgam fillings and vaccinations and farm-raised fish), and plastics (if you like plastic containers, buy only BPA-free plastic), and municipal water supplies. It’s good to be tested every ten years or so to see if you need to detox from those and other toxins that stay in your cells.
Here is his experience: While waiting for the test, I was discussing health issues with an older lady who was there and she told me that she had been to see her parents who are in their 80s living several hundred miles away. Their health has been failing. Her father was overweight and her mother kept telling her, “Your Dad eats and eats, crackers and baloney sandwiches, and he’s never full, he’s always hungry!”
This lady, who’s extremely health conscious, looked in her parents’ cabinets and said, “This is why! You don’t eat food. All you eat are substances that are sold in boxes and plastic jugs.” She began teaching her Mom and Dad all about real food. She told me that she was surprised because they grew up on a farm and always were healthy and strong but it’s like they now get everything in a container and trust the grocery to sell them only things that are good for them.
She was surprised that they lived this long given what was in their kitchen cabinets.
I explained to her that being raised in a natural environment of the farm is why they are probably still alive. Their initial formative years of growth and hormonal development were with real food and hard work on the farm. That early health investment probably enabled them to live as long as they have. She is making arrangements to get them to come live with her so she can begin reversing their food plight back to what she kept calling “real food.” I have no doubt that to the extent she is able to do so, that her parents’ last few years will be better for it.
We want to encourage you to begin eating only “real food” today.
Don’t believe the Food Pyramid.
Believe your great grandparents who ate lots of eggs, butter, cooked in lard (Lard!), chickens, cattle, bacon, vegetables they grew organically before “organic” was a garden-related word, and perhaps four teaspoons of sugar total daily from good fruit sources with the skin that they grew and an occasional sugar cube or honey scoop or maple syrup.
Hundreds of millions of great grandparents can’t be wrong.
You need carbs along with your good fats and proteins.
Carbs are not your enemy.
Only some carbs are your enemy.
Plus carbs in large quantities can be your hormone and bodily enemies. Sugar, after all, is a carb. When eating carbs, try to limit your carb intake to about 20% to 25% of your daily food.
These suggested percentages are not fixed and you should not take them religiously. Worrying about your daily mix or fats/proteins/carbs can make you as crazy as counting calories and soon you’ll just stop altogether if you fret too much with all the numbers. So eating 35%-40% of your diet in healthy fats, 30-35% in protein, and 20% in carbs and the remaining 10-20% fill in with whatever one of those you happen to have more of that day is a great general strategy. Don’t fret the actual numbers.
But in general more fat and more protein and fewer carbohydrates than you eat now is what you should begin focusing on from this point forward. That means from now on, not during a “diet phase” but for a lifelong strategy for healthy hormones, healthy brains, and healthy bodies.
In general, as long as your carbohydrates are comprised of colorful vegetables, you can eat up!
By the way, I don’t consider brown a color in the category “colorful vegetable.” This means potatoes are basically out. For good. Yep, this means French fries and baked potatoes. Sorry, I love French fries too but I haven’t eaten them for ages. I don’t miss them. If I began eating them I’d begin craving them again. So I know from experience that strong bad cravings go away right after you begin eating healthy and real foods.
Potatoes not only are starchy and have a high glycemic index that spikes your blood sugar and weight gain and hormone imbalance worse than scoop of a full fat ice cream (literally), they also are root vegetables. They receive the bulk of pesticides sprayed on farms and gardens through runoff into the ground water where potatoes sit and grow.
You should eat green, leafy vegetables such as kale, lettuce (the greener the variety the better), spinach, okra, green beans, brown beans, all sorts of colorful peppers (even the hot ones, your metabolism gets a major boost every time!), squash, and tomatoes (technically tomatoes are fruit and amazingly they are healthier and more nutritious when cooked unlike most vegetables that should never be cooked too much if at all).
I’ll go ahead and say carrots as long as you get a wide array of other vegetables.
Stick to the green and colorful fibrous vegetables and you don’t really need to concern yourself with a percentage of how much you eat. Just be sure that you have protein and fat at every meal. In general always eat your vegetables with protein and fat so you’re not eating only carbs at any time.
If you like salad, do what the expensive restaurants do and cook slices of cage-free chicken to put over the salad and then sprinkle some walnuts and pecans on the salad. What a perfect combination! You’ll get full from the salad, your short-term energy levels will be high due to the colorful veggies, and your long-term energy levels will remain high due to the chicken and nut proteins, and you won’t feel full until it’s truly time to eat next.
Note: You may not believe us until you try it but here it goes: get some organic, extra-virgin olive oil, such as this bottle by the wonderful company Bragg: The Best of the Best Organic Olive Oil! and then stop using all salad dressing that you don’t make yourself. First, sprinkle only olive oil on your salad, use enough to wet your salad adequately, and take a taste. You expect something bland and boring, right? It’s not. People often do the vinegar and oil mix, and we like that okay, but just the olive oil makes a surprisingly tasty salad! Plus, the olive oil gives you more of that wonderful healthy fat that your hormones love.
Grains Are Basically Bad
A little bread can be nice can’t it?
“Our daily bread” is often a comfort food. By now you’re no doubt convinced we’re going to talk you out of buying most bread at most stores. True!
But don’t toss the baby out with the bath water.
Know that, the best bread is bread that you or a friend makes from fresh, organic, ground wheat. You can get organic wheat to grind into bread in large “superpails” that stay good up to 15 years from Walton Feed (http://waltonfeed.com/). Make sure you make “heavy” bread, bread with seeds and nuts in it. The grain will add fiber to your diet and the seeds and nuts will add to the taste and add protein and fat to the bread which slows down the negative effects of the bread’s carbohydrate impact on your body.
Still, you don’t want to over-eat this “good” bread. A slice or maybe two daily is the very outside maximum you should eat. Your body was not designed to handle many grains and you eat far too much bread right now if you’re like the average person.
Note: To help eliminate the negative effects of bread, you can add homemade or store-bought organic butter and extra virgin olive oil. To do as the Romans do, ground some organic, black pepper on top of all that oil and butter that you dribble all over the slice. The fat in the oil and butter does two things: makes the bread taste about as good as anything can taste and the bread will then have less impact on your blood sugar making the bread harder to show on your thighs! This is why a white, plain bagel clocks in at a higher glycemic load (meaning it impacts your blood sugar more and makes you fatter) than a scoop of premium ice cream! And low-fat yogurt almost doubles the glycemic load of that premium ice cream. Fat not only does not make you fat but it helps reduce the impact of food on your body. That’s great because it tastes great and, for our purposes here, fat also is good for your hormones!
Remember that the Food Pyramid put grains on the very bottom layer. That’s the thick, largest section. The FDA wants you to make the largest part of your diet breads and grains and (ugh!) cereals. (Cereals are the worst! What’s worse than a starchy grain-based carb? A processed, sugary starchy grain-based carb!) Since the FDA put grains on the bottom, you can be assured they are the unhealthiest part of the diagram. Always turn the Food Pyramid upside down. Make grains the smallest portion of your daily diet.
Stack Your Food Advantages
We hear from the oatmeal lovers sometimes who despair they must give up their beloved morning grain. Do you love oatmeal and cannot see yourself giving it up altogether? Okay. Then stack your advantages to get the fiber and protein from the oatmeal by doing this: From Walton Feed buy a bucket of organic oat groats. Oatmeal is made from a special form of oats called oat groats. A bucket should last your family for a year or so. Get a grinder that has an oat press attachment.
When you or your family want oatmeal, put a couple of scoops of oat groats in your grinder and turn the handle a few turns. Out comes oatmeal. If you taste it, you will taste… oatmeal! Only it will be different from the processed and dead oats you get in the tall cardboard cylinders from the processed food aisle at your grocery store because these oats will have a rich taste you never knew was possible. Plus, you have about an hour before the nutrients inside that pressed, rolled oat go dormant. Feed your family that oatmeal, perhaps as a special treat, or at most in small dishes to accompany a healthy breakfast with eggs and meat, and you will be eating healthy oatmeal perhaps for the first time in your entire life. Just don’t overdo it. Your body can’t process a lot of grains or carbs well.
The idea is always to stack your food advantages. If you want oatmeal then eat it fresh-ground. That way you get the vitamins and minerals. Never eat refined grains which are most of the grains eaten today. Refining grains removes fiber which is the healthiest part of the grain and affects your digestion. If you normally eat anything with grains that says “fortified with…” throw it away now and never buy it again. The reason food processors have to fortify food is because the real food has been turned into dead food that has to be revamped so the label can say it’s a source of vitamins. It’s easier, and tastes far better as you’ll see with oatmeal made from fresh-rolled oat groats, if you stick with real food to begin with and not eat anything in a package.
Driving through Kansas recently, I saw miles and miles of corn fields. It’s easy to forget that corn is not a vegetable but it’s a grain. Like any grain, you want to limit corn in your family’s diets. Your hormones react to corn about the same way they react to sugar because corn is a simple carbohydrate that becomes sugar quickly to your body.
Corn is worse than you might imagine. If you ever get a chance to see the documentary King Corn you should. You’ll never eat the stuff again. Now while that would be fine, fresh, organic corn can certainly be a tasty and rare treat. What you may not know though is that corn is in everything you probably have eaten to this point. It’s in almost every processed food. It’s in almost every sugar equivalent. It’s in all the non-diet soda you have drank the past couple of decades. (Diet soda is no better and is often worse with its aspartame and other chemical, phony sweeteners.)
Note: You can get the movie King Corn here in DVD or online video format: King Corn! and it’s cheap!
From cradle to grave, most cattle, chickens and pigs are raised on a steady diet of corn. They are what they ate! This transfers to your system. Instead of grass for the cattle and bugs for the chickens and slop for the pigs they eat nothing… but… corn.
Then you get it second-hand. Like second-hand smoke, second-hand corn is bad for you and your hormones and your body. It’s no longer “real” beef when the beef you eat was raised on a grain that its system was never designed to eat.
Note: Fish farms feed fish a steady diet of soy. So when you eat most fish, especially any and all that comes in a package or canned, you’re getting second-hand soy.
The next time you get a hankering for corn, keep all of this in mind. You probably already had more than your share of corn today second-hand. Until your diet consists of real food and real meat raised properly, you should avoid all corn.
Salt is Not Demonic
Salt is one of the most maligned foods of the past 50 years and is far less deadly than it’s been blamed for in most people. Generally, someone who eats a diet rich in animal protein and healthy fats will not have a salt imbalance. Actually, you may find that you need to add salt to get enough of it. Let your cravings be your guide. But as you cease eating phony food from packages you will naturally get less salt and your body needs salt to perform well.
Still, a high craving for salt can result in a salt/potassium imbalance that does eventually cause you problems. A repaired serotonin level can help repair your salt craving and help return your sodium/potassium levels back to where they should be: in balance.
Some heart patients need to reduce salt. But salt is not bad for your heart in general and for a healthy society we need to look at some truth behind this condiment that is a required part of a healthy diet.
Like red meat, fat, and the sun, salt has gotten a tremendously bad rap. Your body needs an ample supply of sodium to function properly. When you begin to eat better you will eat fewer sugary or fast foods because your brain will want fewer of those kinds of things. Your sodium intake will go from a high amount of bad, processed, white salt to not enough salt.
Get salt and use it! Make sure, however, it is sea salt. Don’t be afraid of it, especially as you eat higher quality foods that won’t have as much sodium as the foods you used to binge on. I always carry either Celtic brand or Real Salt brand with me. Of the two, my preference is for the Real Salt brand. You can get it on Amazon.com here: The Good and Healthy Salt!.
We only let our families eat “sea salt.” Sea salt is unprocessed (if you buy a good brand) and doesn’t look uniformly white and is not as uniformly ground as the white, processed garbage you’ve seen. That is good and you should expect it. You will also find that it tastes much better than the typical salt. It’s also much healthier for your body and hormonal balance than traditional table salt.
Sea salt has 84 different minerals whereas the typical table salt has only two.
Balance Your Fats, Proteins, and Carbs
“Everything in moderation” is good hormonal and health advice if you have your basic diet correct. That is, eating healthy fats, healthy protein, and limiting your carbohydrates to leafy, fibrous, colorful vegetables, moderate your fruit intake emphasizing berries and treating other fruit like you may have treated dessert before this book, and virtually eliminating all sugar and equivalents and eat hearty bread in extreme moderation such as one slice daily.
If you over-emphasize any of the three food divisions your hormones will suffer. For example, if you eat 50% or more of your diet in fat, even if you limit yourself to healthy animal and tropical fats, your HGH (Human Growth Hormone) will begin to shut down. If you eat too much protein, such as 50% or more, your thyroid hormone can mess up your metabolism as well as lots of other things. Eating 25% or more of your diet in carbs, especially starchy carbs and desserts, is going to overload your body with sugar, add weight, and affect your insulin negatively.
So you are to eat more fat, eat more protein, eat fewer carbs, but if you eat too much fat, too much protein, or too many carbs and you’ll mess everything up at the hormonal level! This can drive us crazy, right? The answer is simple. At every meal make sure you eat good fats, good protein, and a side of fibrous veggies. The numbers will take care of themselves and so will your hormones. Don’t fret over the numbers. Turn the FDA’s Food Pyramid upside down, emphasize the food types on the new bottom layers, stay away from sugar, starches, and grains as much as possible, and you’ll stay balanced.
More About that Sugar
Can you eliminate all non-fruit sweets from your life for a while? If there is any way you can do that you will stop craving sugar. At first your body is going to go into minor withdrawals meaning you might crave sugar quite a bit and perhaps even feel shaky the first day or two depending on how much you eat now. That doesn’t last long.
Our bodies secrete the hormone insulin to metabolize the food we eat. That is normal and that is what we want. The problem is that our bodies secrete insulin in much higher amounts when the foods are high in sugar or when our overall diets are high in bad carbs. Sugar damages your tissues so that your body tries to expel it from the bloodstream. We’ll discuss problems with sugar and bad carbs more when we get to the hormones affected most.
Higher insulin amounts make you feel hungrier and you end up eating more. That is why so many restaurants bring you a basket of bread before taking your order. That is also why Mexican restaurants bring you a basket of chips faster than Speedy Gonzales before giving you a menu. That high-carb, low-fat, low-fiber bread and those chips spark your insulin secretion, lowers your body’s ability to metabolize food, and makes you want to eat far more than you would have before filling up on bread.
Are you beginning to see the food-hormone connection?
Now for the Hormones
With the basic hormone-balancing diet out of the way, you need to focus now on specific hormones. By learning about the key hormones that affect your health and weight, you will learn to spot problems when they develop and learn ways to emphasize or use diet to augment specific hormones when an imbalance occurs.
Turn the page and begin balancing your body!