Read an Excerpt
Some people paint me as the unrepentant ruthless nutritionist, obsessed with natural foods and healthy diet. My own mother is afraid to spend Christmas dinner with me, because she is worried that I'll start lecturing her on good food and bad food, and my daughter has been known to call me a “food freak.”
Okay, I admit it. I am passionate about what goes into your body. I wasn't always like this though. Years ago I ate only foods that were frozen, or in a plastic package, and I could not get through the day without my daily ration of chips and chocolate bars. Growing up in the Highlands of Scotland, I loved my diet of mince and potatoes, fish and chips, custard and jam rolls.
And then I fell in love with an American, a health nut. I went to live near his home in Philadelphia, but I refused to let his weird ways influence my normal lifestyle. That is, until my twenty-fourth birthday, which is when everything changed. My boyfriend surprised me with an envelope. All it said on the card was that I was “going on a long journey to a special place” on my special day. At that very moment, I had no idea as to just how long my journey would be. We jumped in the car and began the very long drive to an undisclosed location. During the six-hour-long drive, I imagined luxury hotel rooms with hot tubs, perhaps overlooking the mountains or prairie, by a river or a hot spring. After a few hours on the highway, I spotted a sign blaring, “New York State Welcomes You.” I then started to imagine visiting the Empire State Building, Broadway, the Statue of Liberty, staying on Fifth Avenue or Madison Avenue. My heart was pounding with anticipation. This Scottish lassie was on her way to the “Big Apple” in this big country with this big man. Wow, what a birthday!
Just before the seventh hour we arrived at our destination. No Big Apple, no mountains and certainly no hot tub in sight.
“We are going to a macrobiotic lunch for your birthday,” Mr. America shockingly gushes.
“To a what?” I shoot back.
“You'll see,” he calmly assures.
We entered a ramshackle hut filled with dozens of people sitting around makeshift folding tables and folding chairs with paper plates and plastic forks. The setting looked more appropriate for a children's tea party, but here were adults of all ages, clearly from all walks of life; some dressed smartly and sophisticated, others casual and relaxed. Was my boyfriend part of some scary cult? I wondered. My parents warned me about things like this before I left Scotland.
The program finally commences. The keynote speaker, Elaine Nussbaum, a slight, soft-spoken slender lady with the most sincere eyes and a strong New York accent and author of a small underground book, titled Recovery, is introduced. She begins to tell her story and it turns out to be the most profound story of my life. I listen in disbelief first, then awe, and finally inspiration and hope.
Elaine was given two weeks to live. Every bone in her body had been riddled with cancer and she could barely walk, talk, breathe, sit or stand. The hospital sent her home to die. They could do no more for her.
On her deathbed, a friend decided to spoon-feed her an esoteric diet, called “macrobiotic.” This incorporated natural vegetarian foods like brown rice, green vegetables, seeds, seaweeds, beans and lots of soy or “miso” soups. Within one month, Elaine began to regain strength. Within two months, she felt like she was no longer ill. She then went back to the hospital for tests and the doctors discovered that her cancer had disappeared in full. They had never seen anything like it, and I had never heard of anything so incredible.
That's when my journey began, when I realized just how powerful food is. We indeed are what we eat. I was suffering with a litany of normal health complaints that we all know too well when we work and play too hard. I had headaches, tiredness, body pains, aches, pimples on my face. I suffered from candidiasis, an insidious yeast infection, and I was over my ideal body weight. When I stopped long enough to genuinely think about it, I realized that I was one of the least healthy persons I knew.
Today I see the same parallels with my own patients at the McKeith Clinic in London. When patients first arrive, they are usually poor eaters, many are overweight, and some are at crisis point. My goal with you, as with my patients, is to get you to know what is best for you to eat, and which foods will help you to lose weight, stay slim and improve your health for life.
You really can do it if you follow my plan. Do much of what I tell you most of the time, and you will surely be healthier, fitter, stronger, sexier and happier. That's my promise to you. I have treated literally thousands of people with fantastic, unprecedented results. People will travel from every region of the globe to get help. I've seen patients from just about every nationality and walk of life, including Hollywood stars, royalty, world leaders, soccer players and Olympic athletes. But they're mostly people like you and me. And they all have one thing in common: All of them, regardless of their background, are made up of what they eat! And those who eat horribly are generally, and not surprisingly, sicker than those who eat healthily.
My patients often have different goals: the athlete, for example, may want to achieve better performance; the housewife may need more energy; the office worker may need to strengthen adrenal glands to be able to handle stress; the elderly man may need more constitutional support, and so on. But in every case, the food that goes in becomes the body's medicine, and if you feed your body the wrong stuff it'll simply lay down fat, lower your energy, sex drive, even your brain power.
In picking up this book you have taken the all-important first step on the road back to a slimmer, healthier you. You can choose the wrong drug or my correct prescription. It's your choice, but if you make the right decision your body is really going to thank you for it. And this is a prescription for the whole family too, so don't feel isolated. It's simply going to be about changing a few habits and recognizing the harm that certain foods are inflicting on you.
After more than fifteen years in clinical practice, I have found that the people who take decent care of their bodies, and eat the right foods, are generally the healthiest specimens. They are stabilized at their natural, healthy weight, plus they are more energized, have better sex lives, are more relaxed about life, enjoy smarter brain function and are even, on balance, happier. This can be you too.
To a large extent, this book is about discovery and knowledge. If I can educate you and turn you on to the right foods, then you will have the best chance of being slim, well and healthy. I want you to benefit from my many years of research and successful treatments on thousands of people. Anyone can do it just let me show you how.
Dr. Gillian McKeith April 2005
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
THE FOOD WE EAT IS LIKE FUEL. IT GIVES OUR BODIES THE ENERGY THEY NEED TO FUNCTION WELL. IF YOU DON'T MAKE SURE THAT THE FUEL YOU PUMP INTO YOUR BODY IS OF THE RIGHT QUALITY OR QUANTITY, YOU JUST WON'T FEEL AS HEALTHY AS YOU COULD.
WE ALL HAVE UP TO 100 TRILLION CELLS IN OUR BODIES, EACH ONE DEMANDING A CONSTANT SUPPLY OF DAILY NUTRIENTS IN ORDER TO FUNCTION OPTIMALLY. FOOD AFFECTS ALL THOSE CELLS, AND BY EXTENSION EVERY ASPECT OF OUR BEING: MOOD, ENERGY LEVELS, FOOD CRAVINGS, THINKING CAPACITY, SEX DRIVE, SLEEPING HABITS AND GENERAL HEALTH. IN SHORT, HEALTHY EATING IS THE KEY TO WELL- BEING.
The first step to turning around your life and your health was in picking up this book. But how can I now convince you to take the all-important next steps and break your bad diet habits?
The relationship between food and health is significant. Diet plays a vital part in promoting good health and well-being. The first crucial step is to make the connection between good food choices and good health, and poor food choices and bad health.
I realized this when I looked at the food diaries of the participants for my TV show, You Are What You Eat. Not only were all participants overweight at the beginning of the series but they all had other health complaints, many of which were caused by the poor food choices they made. These foods were the catalyst for most ailments and complaints. When I prepared a table of the bad foods that they had eaten for a week and explained how these foods affected the body, the relationship between food and health suddenly became shockingly apparent.
Here are ten important food facts:
A diet high in fat (particularly saturated fat) and high in salt is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
It is estimated that, on average, a third of cancers could be prevented by changes in diet. A diet which is high in fiber and whole grain cereal and low in fat has the potential to prevent a number of cancers, including colon, stomach and breast cancer.
Many fertility experts believe that an unhealthy diet, high in fat, sugar, and processed foods and low in nutrients essential to fertility, can lead to infertility and increase the chances of miscarriage.
A diet high in fat, sugar and salt leads to weight gain and increases the risk of obesity. Carrying excess weight doesn't just increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and infertility, it is also associated with fatigue, low self-esteem and poor mental and physical performance.
An unhealthy diet increases the risk of depression and mood swings. It's also linked to PMS, food cravings and anxiety.
A diet high in additives, preservatives and refined sugar can cause poor concentration, hyperactivity and aggression. This is because foods high in sugar and additives lack chromium, which is removed in the refining process. Chromium is needed for controlling blood sugar levels; when these levels are out of control it can trigger these behavioral problems.
A diet that is low in the essential nutrient calcium (needed to keep your bones strong) increases the risk of bones becoming weak or brittle a condition known as osteoporosis.
A diet low in nutrients puts enormous strain on the liver. The liver is essential for the proper digestion and absorption of life-sustaining vitamins and minerals. For optimum health you need your liver to be in peak condition. The liver cannot cope with large amounts of saturated fat and alcohol and this can lead to liver and kidney problems, such as kidney disease and cirrhosis (a life-threatening condition where the cells of the liver die).
A diet too high in sugar can lead to too much glucose (a form of sugar carried in the bloodstream) circulating in your body. Too much glucose in the blood indicates development of blood sugar problems such as diabetes mellitus. Its symptoms are thirst, frequent need to urinate due to excess glucose, problems with vision, fatigue and recurrent infections.
If your diet is poor this can compromise your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds, flu and poor health. We need a steady and balanced intake of essential vitamins and minerals to keep our immune systems working properly, to provide protection from infections and disease.
10 FOODS PEOPLE EAT ON A REGULAR BASIS This top 10 list of popular foods that many people eat on a regular basis may at first glance not appear too alarming, but just take a look at the nutritional analysis below. I have converted the statistics to teaspoons of sugar and sticks of butter to drum the facts home. Do you really still feel hungry?
1. Burger meal
4. Sweet 'n' sour pork with special fried rice (Chinese takeout)
5. Hot breakfast
6. Steak dinner
8. Ice cream
9. Chocolate chip cookies
10. Hot dog meal
> Burger meal (large burger, fries and cola)
> calories: 1300 > protein: 34g
> carbs: 189g >fat: 44g > fiber: 13g
> equivalent to 38 teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 of a stick of butter
> Pizza (medium deep pan pizza)
> calories: 1746 > protein: 80g
> carbs: 159g > fat: 88g > fiber: 8g
> equivalent to 31 teaspoons of sugar and a stick of butter
> Spaghetti (300g serving)
> calories: 237
> carbs: 32g > fat: 5.7g > fiber: 3g
> equivalent to 6 teaspoons of sugar
> Chinese takeout (sweet 'n' sour pork with special fried rice)
> calories: 520 > protein: 16g
> carbs: 72g > fat: 15g > fiber: 1g
> equivalent to 14 teaspoons of sugar and 1/6 of a stick of butter
> Hot breakfast (2 scrambled eggs, 3 slices of bacon, pancakes, hash browns and a tall café latte with whole milk)
> calories: 1120 > protein: 58g
> carbs: 77g > fat: 65.4g > fiber: 2g
> equivalent to 15 teaspoons of sugar and 3/4 of a stick of butter
> Steak dinner (8oz sirloin and baked potato with butter, sour cream and chives)
> calories: 994 > protein: 73g
> carbs: 60g > fat: 51.6g > fiber: 0g
> equivalent to 12 teaspoons of sugar and 3/5 of a stick of butter
> Nachos (6 nacho chips smothered in cheese with chili, sour cream and guacamole)
> calories: 674 > protein: 29g
> carbs: 42g > fat: 44g > fiber: 2.5g
> equivalent to 8 teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 of a stick of butter
> Ice cream (chocolate, with chunks of brownies and walnuts)
> calories: 436 > protein: 7.5g
> carbs: 37.6g > fat: 28.6g > fiber: 0g
> equivalent to 71/2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/3 of a stick of butter
> Chocolate chip cookies (8)
> calories: 636 > protein: 7.6g
> carbs: 76g > fat: 33g > fiber: 4.4g
> equivalent to 15 teaspoons of sugar and nearly 3/8 of a stick of butter
> Hot dog meal (1 hot dog on a bun with ketchup, large fries and large Coke)
> calories: 1103 > protein: 18g
> carbs: 175g > fat: 35.6g > fiber: 8g
> equivalent to 35 teaspoons of sugar and 2/5 of a stick of butter
Now for the scary part: these are everyday foods that a lot of people consume regularly as part of their diet. What if you started your day with a lovely cooked breakfast, had a burger for lunch and went out for a pizza in the evening? (Don't forget I am not even counting snacks or drinks, just three meals.)
Your totals would be:
> calories: 3877 > protein: 160g > carbs: 400g > fat: 182g > fiber: 31g
Normal daily average calorie intake is 2550 (17,850 per week) for men and 1940 (13,580 per week) for women. The above is almost double the recommended figure for women and over 11/2 times for men.
It is the equivalent of eating twenty cotton candies a day and half of a block of lard. Start to add in the between-meal snacks, drinks, alcohol and not enough exercise and you become a ticking bomb of potential heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, digestive tract problems. Choose your poison or as I hope, don't!
WHY DIETS DON'T WORK Let's get something straight here. Conventional and traditional fad diets usually do not work. Calorie-counting diets, the “point system diet” or even the high-protein foods diet with no carbs in my opinion these will all fail you and, even worse, most of them are tedious, pointless and downright dangerous to the body. Sure, they might help you to lose some weight in a few weeks or even in a few months. In the long run, though, you won't be able to continue with these fad diets because ultimately you will gain the weight back, and you won't be doing your body any favors.
Fad diets operate on restricting you, and in effect will usually starve you of something important that your body needs. For example, the extreme high-meat protein/low-carb diet craze is fundamentally, scientifically and nutritionally flawed. Every living human being must have complex carbohydrates to function, to think, for energy, for good sex and for a positive attitude. Complex carbohydrates include the important grains like brown rice, millet, quinoa, rye, barley and buckwheat. My patients who stopped eating complex carbohydrates for mostly high-protein foods started to seriously suffer from constipation, mood swings, anger fits, dizziness, headaches, stomach cramps and depression even the most happy-go-lucky types. And in the long run, they had to come back to my lifestyle program for the most successful results.
In addition, most fad diets restrict the intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Again, this is bad science and it's bad for you too! EFAs actually help the body to dissolve fat. So to cut out foods high in them is like cutting out fat-burning agents. I call my program the Diet of Abundance, which is about not cutting out foods. Go on and eat those avocados, and those brazil nuts, almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts, and the list goes on and on.
A “diet” to me is not about starving yourself, but rather a new lifestyle with an abundance of healthy foods. You Are What You Eat works better than anything else that has ever been tried, because my plan is based on scientific study from around the world, clinical research and biochemistry in the lab. Choose from a wonderful range of foods and embark upon the Dr. Gillian McKeith Lifestyle.
My aim is for you to make simple changes that will begin to take effect almost immediately and will last for life.
GOOD FOOD These foods will:
> Boost your thinking power
> Lift your mood
> Reduce stress
> Boost your vitality
> Give you a healthier heart
When it comes to heart disease, a healthy diet is the prime player. It can:
> Supply chemicals in the blood that can unclog arteries, reduce cholesterol, create blood clot solvents and send hormones to relax artery walls, reducing blood pressure
> Play a part in the fight against cancer by releasing agents that can cause abnormal cell growths to shrink or disappear
> Help fight aging and slow down your body's natural deterioration
> Help chase away common colds and flu and stimulate your body to make more natural killer cells to ward off infection
> Prevent headaches and asthma attacks
> Create substances that can mute the pain and swelling of arthritis
> Attack bacteria and viruses
> Boost your fertility and sex drive
> Make your skin, hair and nails glow with health
There are countless other benefits, and it would be impossible to name them all. But my message here is loud and clear: Healthy food choices can make you look and feel great.
Basically if your diet isn't healthy, you won't feel healthy and you won't lose weight.
BAD FOOD These foods will:
> Accelerate the aging process
> Cause weight gain
> Cause digestive problems, including bloating, gas and cramps
> Make you feel drowsy and lethargic
> Play havoc with your concentration
> Give you mood swings
> Adversely affect fertility and libido
> Set in process silent attacks that weaken the joints and clog the arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and arthritis
> Make arteries narrow and stiff just right for the formation of blood clots
> Promote toxic activity within the body that years later may end up as cancerous growth
> Weaken your immunity
> Trigger headaches and asthma attacks
> Increase the pain and swelling of arthritis
> Give you unhealthy-looking skin, hair and nails
Good Food V. Bad Food
LIVING FOODS OR RAW FOODS Living foods are raw foods. These foods have not been cooked, boiled, stewed, microwaved, frozen, baked or steamed. As a result, they are still in their original state and contain their food enzymes. Food enzymes are the life force of food and help the digestion process. Raw fruits, raw vegetables, sprouted grains or sprouted seeds all contain food enzymes. We need an abundant supply of food enzymes to nourish our bodies, provide us with energy and balance our metabolism.
The most noticeable deficit in my patients' old diets was that their meals were completely missing food enzymes. Most of them never ate anything raw.
GOOD CARBS These are the carbs without the added refined sugar: for instance, fruits, whole grain breads, grains, rice and vegetables. These healthy carbohydrates (called complex carbs) contain naturally occurring sugars that the body can easily and slowly metabolize for balanced brain function, mood attitude and useful energy. They are not stripped of their nutrients.
“Organic foods” means foods that are free of chemicals. Foods that are organic have been grown in soils that have not been sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Remember, if chemicals have been sprayed on the produce that you eat, from chemically treated soils, then those chemicals, which are toxic, will enter your body cells and bloodstream. Who knows what damage they will do? There are numerous studies which show that chemicals inside our bodies do not help our health.
GOOD PROTEIN Vegetable proteins are easy to break down in the body. Quinoa is an example of a vegetable protein that is very easy to digest. It looks like a grain and you can make a tasty porridge with it. Sprouts (not Brussels sprouts, but sprouts that are grown from seed) are a more efficient, cheaper and healthier form of protein than meat. Combining beans and grains together forms a complete protein too, easy to digest and enhancing to the metabolism.
GOOD FATS Fats have a terrible reputation. In this era of low-fat foods and fat-free diets, the crusade against fats has almost gone mad. The most zealous campaigners even condemn oil-rich nutritious foods like nuts, seeds and avocados, but no one can ever blame heart disease on avocados!
I generally advocate good fat foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados to my patients. These oil-rich foods contain healthy fats which are necessary for aiding weight reduction, lowering cholesterol, enhancing immunity and nourishing the reproductive organs , skin, hair and bone tissue, effectively lubricating our bodies. These are the good fats, vitally important and necessary for life itself. And these fats help you to metabolize fat. They are so important that they are called essential fatty acids (EFAs).
Your body cannot make EFAs, so you must get them through the foods you eat. I think they really should be called essential thinny acids. That's how I refer to them in my practice and my patients seem to like the thinny concept better. Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sea vegetables, fish and avocados are good examples of these essential, thinny fats.
UNPROCESSED FOODS These are foods that have no added chemicals or other additives. This food is in its orginal state, the way nature grew it. It has not been changed. Some packaged foods still contain foods and ingredients in their original state. Start reading labels (see page 176) and become more familiar with what goes into the foods you eat.
The crusade against fats has gone mad.
OVERCOOKED VEGGIES Most of my patients, when they first come to see me, overcook vegetables. Many tell me they don't even like vegetables. I contend that they simply do not know how to prepare them. For some reason, we often have a tendency to boil our vegetables to death, and in the process lose all of their vital nutrients.
To get the most out of your veggies, either eat them raw or simply steam them lightly for two to three minutes maximum in most cases.
BAD CARBS Simple carbs are the sugary, refined type of carbohydrates which are not good for you. These include chocolate, cakes, cookies, sweets and anything made with added, refined sugar or flour or processed white rice. During the refining process, the majority of the minerals and vitamins are removed, and these foods behave like pure sugar when they enter the body. They rush into the bloodstream, causing blood glucose disturbances and sugar cravings. Eat too many of these foods and you will undoubtedly have mood swings. You may get depressed, angry and irritable. If you want to be fat and ill, eat bad carbs. Excess bad carb residues are stored as fat in the body. And finally, years of bad carb eating could lead to diabetes. It's not worth the risk.
NON-ORGANIC FOODS Non-organic foods, such as non-organic fruits and vegetables, have been sprayed with chemicals and grown in soils that have been treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The residues of these chemicals make their way into our bodies when we eat these non-organic foods. They harm our cells and organs and damage our digestive systems. These chemicals become toxins in our bodies, polluting and poisoning us.
BAD PROTEIN Depending on how strong your digestive system is, some proteins may simply not be good enough for you. Most people on my TV show You Are What You Eat had very weak digestive function, so proteins from red meats were hard for them to break down.
Too many high-protein, fatty, red animal foods can toxify the body and acidify the blood, deplete calcium, overwork the kidneys and liver, stagnate digestion and destroy the beneficial bacteria. This can also lead to kidney stones and liver fatigue, colon and bowel disorders, constipation, arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease.
Even cow's milk is too difficult for many people to digest. It can trigger allergic responses such as sinusitis, asthma, earache, congestion, runny nose, skin rash, eczema, fatigue, lethargy and irritability. Whole cow's milk is too high in saturated fat, low in vitamins, and the mineral content is out of balance with human biochemistry; as a result, many of the nutrients cannot be absorbed by humans. Also, cows are normally subjected to hundreds of different drug injections, hormones, pesticides, drug residues which in turn make their way into the milk. If you must drink cow's milk, boil it first to make it easier to digest.
Try goat and sheep's milk as alternatives, as the molecules are smaller and easier to break down. There is also an abundance of alternative milks on the market that are easy to digest: rice milks, soy milks and other grain milks.
REFINED FOODS The modern diet contains many refined foods. All the participants on You Are What You Eat had diets full of refined foods. Refined foods are stripped of their original, natural nutrient content and fiber. The consumer is left with a more concentrated, unnatural sweet version of the original food. Refined white flour and white sugar are the two most common examples of refined foods. These ingredients are then used in a multitude of other “foods.” Baked goods, chocolates, fast foods and frozen dinners to name a few are the types of foods filled with additives and preservatives to give them a longer shelf life. These foods really should be called “non-foods.” They cause havoc with the health of the body as the body is not designed to deal with these nutrient-depleted, industrial, false foods.
On the show, I met one participant who only ate refined, processed, preservative-laden foods. Yvonne, who was overweight, depressed, exhausted and constipated, survived mainly on chips and microwaved meals. She never, ever ate real food. To bring Yvonne to her senses, I teasingly suggested that if she were to drop dead tomorrow, her body would literally take years to decompose because she was so full of all these preservatives. That was a bit of a shock, but she definitely got the message!
. . . YEARS OF BAD CARB EATING COULD LEAD TO DIABETES. IT'S NOT WORTH THE RISK.
BAD FATS Saturated animal fats are heavy and turn to stone inside the body, hardening the arteries, leaving you at risk of heart attack and stroke. Red meat, pork, dairy products, butter and cheese are examples of foods that are fat saturated. The body is not designed to deal with these types of fats. High bad-fat diets raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels, can interfere with blood sugar levels and cause liver stagnation, which can lead to depression and weight gain. The body cannot effectively process bad fats, so many are turned into toxic balls and stored in the body, making you even fatter.
Hydrogenated fats are the results of a process that hardens liquid vegetable oils. Shortening and margarine are hydrogenated fats, so potato chips, chocolate, sweets, ice cream, pastries and baked goods all contain hydrogenated fats. The hydrogenated fats change into the ever more dangerous trans-fatty acids which have been shown to cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Trans-fatty acids also cause you to gain weight as they interfere with the metabolism and breakdown of essential fatty acids. They increase the bad cholesterol in the body and deplete the good.
PROCESSED FOODS The processing of foods changes the original food and the proportions of the nutrients within these foods. Many prepackaged and plastic-wrapped foods, quick fix, microwaveable, fast and boil-in-the-bag type foods have gone through a multitude of processes before they end up in the supermarket. These foods have little or no nutritional value.
The food industry allows more than three thousand food additives to be used in the processing of food. And just because many of these additives and chemicals used in the processing of our foods are deemed safe, it does not mean that they are. So chemicals, food additives, coloring agents, sweeteners, artificial flavors, dyes, nitrates, nitrites, preservatives to prevent spoilage, acids, maturing agents, bleaching agents, emulsifiers to maintain consistency are all finding their way into our bodies via these easy-to-prepare packaged foods.
These processes can cause allergic reactions and stress on the liver to process such chemicals, many of which are cancer forming. Children exposed to such processes can become hyperactive and display learning difficulties.
THE WORST EATER I EVER MET Andy, a twenty-six-year-old computer specialist from Essex, England, took part in the pilot for the TV show You Are What You Eat. His girlfriend had just left him a week before and it had been a terrible shock. He was devastated and severely depressed when I first met him.
Andy's life consisted of gorging on food during the day and bingeing on drink at the pub in the evening. A sample of his everyday diet: potato chips, chocolate, white bread, burgers, more burgers and even more burgers, French fries and loads of beer. This young, blond, strapping six-foot two-inch man with chiseled features weighed 392 pounds. Andy was clinically obese and his poor food choices were ruining his life. He was exhausted, out of breath, had terrible indigestion, gas and bloating, and was really down in the dumps. His gooey, sticky, slimy, unhealthy stools stank to high heaven and he was sweating far too much, even when sitting down.
My biochemical tests revealed that his mineral and vitamin profiles were dreadful and he had the lowest level of essential fatty acids (EFAs) I have ever seen in my many years of practice. This meant he could not break down fats properly.
I gave him an ultimatum: Follow my program or die young. Do what I tell you and I will continue to work with you. Step out of line and I walk out on you. Andy made the right choice. He wholeheartedly embarked upon my program, which was as follows:
> No red meat
> No refined white sugar
> No refined floury pastries
> No chips or fries
> No alcohol
> Unlimited amounts of fresh raw fruits and vegetables, raw seeds, nuts and some legumes, pulses and grains
> Moderate daily exercise
This pub-crawling greaser even started to juice his own wheatgrass and carrot juices every day, instead of downing pints at his local. End result: Andy lost over fifty-six pounds in less than three months and he felt great. Although he is still in the process of losing additional fat, today Andy is a new man and he looks great too.
GOOD FOOD = BETTER LIFE
So you can see how food makes all the difference to your health and well-being. It provides the great majority of the nutrients you need to stay healthy and happy. Food has the most incredible influence on your emotional, mental and physical states. Eating healthy, high-quality food is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to create a better life. By thinking more closely about what you eat and making healthier food choices, you can get the most of your food and the best out of your life. Because you truly are what you eat!