health benefits of juicing

It was back in March of 2011 when my wife and I first started to seriously consider buying our own juicer.

It all started when we were first introduced to the documentary, Food Matters. I remember I was at the library in the non-fiction section, and for some reason this DVD caught my eye.

After I read the back of the DVD, I had a feeling I was going to get hooked.

After watching it, I was completely blown away with the sheer simplicity of it all - it made all the sense in the world to me. The sheets that had been pulled over my eyes to blind me from the truth had finally been removed, to finally reveal the simple truths that had been staring not only me, but the rest of us in the face for our entire lives.

The hook below the title of the film summed it up so eloquently: You are what you eat.

In the film, several experts in the field of nutrition are interviewed and discuss in great detail the positive benefits of eating raw, organic foods. They also discuss the terrible harm that has swept the vast majority of Americans due to the nutritionally inadequate foods that have been processed and delivered to us all over the country, and indeed throughout the world.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I - like many others in this country - was raised to believe that regularly eating meat was good for your health. White bread and potatoes were a dinner staple and fast food had become somewhat of a necessity in the flurry of what had become our inexplicably hectic lives.

And just like many others in this country, I was beginning to develop health problems as a result of this Standard American Diet (SAD for short). By the age of twenty-two I was already in really bad shape: I was over 330 pounds, my pant size had grown to nearly 50 inches, and my health was going downhill rapidly.

But by the time I started to grasp this philosophy of food curing human disease and obesity, I had fortunately already discovered my own method to lose weight.

So, what drew me to these kinds of films if I had already learned how to lose weight and get healthy on my own?

Well, after losing the weight and finding joy in exercise, I subconsciously enlisted myself in a lifelong quest to figure out how to achieve the best health I possibly could, as fast as I possibly could.

Sure, I had done a great job on my own for a couple of years. Losing one hundred pounds on one's own is nothing to snub your nose at. But after all I had been through, I refused to settle for mediocrity. I hadn't worked this hard just to become some average Joe. No, I wanted the absolute best, and I knew that I wasn't going to get there without the help of individuals who had already been there.

So there I was, embarking on this new and exciting journey into a different world. Looking back, I felt a little bit like Neo in the movie, The Matrix. As I walked around and observed others going about their daily lives, I felt like I was let in on this secret world that only I could see.

To put it in perspective; have you or someone close to you ever bought a new car, and then you suddenly start noticing that same model car everywhere you go? Well, that's what started happening to me after watching this documentary.

Everywhere I looked, I began to take note of the habits they spoke about in the film. Habits that I had at one point exhibited.

In the grocery store for instance, I would find myself unintentionally focusing on the carts of the people around me; I was comparing the food in the carts with the people who were pushing them. Sure enough, a pattern had emerged: the people whose carts were filled with junk food were typically overweight and seemed rather unhappy. They also appeared to be aimlessly roaming the store, snatching up whatever food might tickle their fancy.

On the contrary, the people whose carts were filled with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other organic food products seemed to exhibit a more athletic physique, and appeared across the board more put together. They exuded confidence, they made haste, and in general seemed more deliberate in their pursuit of sustenance.

I couldn't believe it took me this long to make the connection. I mean, we are told from such a young age that we are what we eat. Yet I was only now beginning to understand how profoundly true that statement actually was.

As the months progressed, I noticed my own habits were beginning to change. I started reading more about what actually made organic food organic, and why it was better for us than non-organic foods. It was like my mind had been opened up to an entirely different world that had been hiding in plain sight all along.

The more I learned, the more questions I had. Were doctors really the good guys? Can humans really change their diets and not have to worry about this whole healthcare business? Can it really be this simple?!

After a while I noticed a pattern that would continuously pop up in almost every health documentary I watched and almost every health article I read.

That pattern was a little thing called juicing.

Originally the concept of juicing was brought to my attention in March of 2011 after first watching Food Matters. And although I truly was interested in juicing after watching that film, it just wasn't enough to make me want to try it myself. Like many people, I needed more information before I would actually go out of my way and try it.

So what finally gave my wife and I the final push to try it? As fate would have it, towards the end of December of 2011, we decided to give up cable in exchange for Netflix. So as I was browsing through the list of movies one day, I happened upon this documentary titled, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.

Now, based on what you already learned about me from earlier, I'm sure you can imagine why this particular documentary intrigued me so much. The title is pretty self explanatory -- on the cover is this rather sad, portly-looking bloak who after being pureed through this juicer, comes out looking relatively fit and happy on the other end.

I thought, "Could this possibly be the motivation I have been looking for to finally start juicing?!

You bet it was!

The film starts out in the middle of some rural town in America, where we meet the main character Joe. As his story unfolds, we learn more about him, and about his debilitating auto-immune disease. Admittedly, Joe begins to teach us about his many poor lifestyle choices that lead him to this point, and about how his former diet had wreaked havoc on his life.

Now I won't go about spoiling the film for you (since it is an absolute must-see for everybody in my opinion), but Joe teaches the audience about how he intends to go on a 60 day "juice fast" in the hope of relieving his excess weight -- and more importantly eliminating the need of his many prescription medications that he was forced to take as a result of his poor diet and inactive lifestyle.

After I watched this film by myself I had tears in my eyes. It was perfect. Not only do we get to go along on this incredible personal journey with Joe; we also get to have him explain to us in simple terms the incredible health benefits of juicing.

After that, my wife and I decided we could no longer put off buying a juicer. We just had to do it. So we went on Amazon and began our search for the most perfect and affordable juicer we could find.

It wasn't long before we finally decided that this was going to be the one:

After it arrived, we could not wait to get started! After our first juicing session - we were hooked. Personally, I could not believe how amazing the fresh vegetable and fruit juices tasted.

From the moment the juice touched my lips, I remember thinking to myself, "How on Earth have we gone this long without having one of these in our lives?!"

Needless to say, it put all store bought "juices" to shame. For the first time in my entire life I had the chance to taste real apple juice. I discovered the incredible deliciousness of fresh carrot juice.

Above all else, I was amazed at how you could literally blend literally whatever you wanted in this sucker, and no matter what, it would come out tasting extraordinary!

For example, our first blend contained an assortment of five different fruits and vegetables. The first three were the basics: Apples, Oranges and Carrots. The other two, prior to that moment, had almost never entered my mouth before: Kale and Cucumbers.

I was skeptical about whether or not it would taste good. But to my surprise, it was delicious!

So for the past three weeks now we have been juicing at least once a day, every day. And let me tell you, it has been a wonderful experience.

Written below are some of the benefits I have experienced in my own life since I started juicing:

  • Right from the start I noticed (and friends can attest) that overall I just flat out feel better from head to toe. 
  • My attitude has improved dramatically - I feel much more positive than I used to.
  • Because I know that I am getting the nutrients my body needs, I have noticed a tremendous drop in my appetite. In short: I am satiated with less food because fresh juices yield higher quality nutrients.
  • Though I have only lost five pounds in these first three weeks, I can say that I have noticed a significant difference in the amount of visible fat that once protruded from my torso.
  • My overall endurance and stamina has improved, along with my running and cycling performance.
  • My mind and focus seem clearer than ever before. I don't get as mixed up as I used to.

So there you have it folks, my take on juicing (thus far). If you are interested in trying it out for yourself, I highly recommend watching both of these films beforehand: 

After that, the rest is really in your hands. Below I've included a link to the juicer my wife and I wound up purchasing. That isn't to say that you have to go with that specific model mind you.

The fun part about all of this is getting to figure this stuff out on your own. There are scores of websites out there that will give you more information about the health benefits of juicing, along with recipes to create incredible juice blends at home.

Good luck!

-Corey Barton


Food Matters
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
"Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor"

how to take care of yourself

It's been said that if you read at least three books on any particular subject, you will essentially become an expert on that subject. So based on that saying - and after everything I have read in regard to health, the human body and nutrition, and especially after all the weight I've lost on my own - I would consider myself somewhat of a self-educated expert in these particular fields of study.

That said, it is my opinion that our health care system and our western diet and way of life is causing our culture far more harm than good. And I believe that with a little bit of education, there is something we can all do to change it.

First we must face facts. We have not been taking proper care of ourselves have we? To make matters worse, many people have begun looking to government for assistance. But the truth is that in order to change our lives and make things right again, we are going to have to start taking better care of ourselves on our own.

One of the worst trends I have seen thus far is the vast number of people who are attempting to justify their eating unhealthy food by arguing that "eating healthy is too expensive." To that I say, "Give me a break!"

If you haven't noticed, health care costs are not exactly on the decline. Are you seriously trying to tell me you would prefer to eat cheap food that makes you so unhealthy that you are practically forced into spending hundreds of dollars per month on health insurance? Do you see the problem with this way of thinking?

I would bet that if you really took the time, you could just as easily divert what money you are currently spending on calorie-dense junk food at the supermarket, and with it purchase more than enough nutrient rich organic food to actually feed and nourish yourself and your family. Not to mention you would be healthy enough from eating these nutrient dense foods to justify reducing or even eliminating the need for your overpriced "health insurance"; thereby saving you hundreds of dollars a month.

Which plan sounds better to you?

Voting with your dollars

Whether you choose to believe it or not, every time you go to the grocery store to shop you are voting. With every dollar you spend, you are telling the companies that produce those foods that you want to see more of that type of food in the aisles we all share. This is the reason why when we look at the back of most of the foods we buy at our local grocery store, we tend to find a lot of the same unfamiliar, unhealthy ingredients.

So what can we do to make difference?

It's quite simple really: we need to start demanding healthier, organically grown foods.

Supply and Demand

By spending our dollars on organic foods, over time we will start to see more food like it on store shelves. In return, we will begin to experience more abundant and lasting health. And as more people begin to catch on to this concept, we will start to see a shift in the way the rest of our food is produced. But only when we demand organic, quality foods, will farmers and other companies begin supplying us with it.

The companies who continue to penny pinch and deprive us of what we want will ultimately be left with two options: rise to the challenge and change their operation, or fail. This is how economy and agriculture should be operating. But for some reason we have allowed these big failures to thrive and expand - all while putting the American people at risk.

Unfortunately for now this is the way our system is set up. Farmers are strongly encouraged by our government to grow as much corn as they possibly can every season. They respond by cultivating tremendous, record setting crops of nutrient deficient, inedible corn. Then our government steps in and encourages other companies to turn this deficient corn product into an even less nutritionally valuable processed "food" called high fructose corn syrup - which then gets integrated into almost every product in America.

Because of this, the farmers have little incentive to cultivate a crop they can be proud of anymore. Instead, they are forced to focus almost entirely on quantity, not quality.

To make matters worse, the deficient corn product that doesn't get turned into high fructose corn syrup is now being fed to cows and chickens. This unnatural food source ensures the animals grow up very quickly before being hauled off to the slaughterhouse. Then these overweight, malnourished animals are brutally killed and fed to the American people; along with a soda pop filled with high fructose corn syrup to wash it all down with.

Are you getting hungry yet?

So what are we getting out of this deal? Well, all we are getting in return is a cheaply "filled" stomach; a stomach that is only filled with empty calories and barely any usable nutrients. This leaves our bodies still craving real, natural food; food that has real vitamins and minerals. And until we start consuming what our bodies require, we will continue to over eat as a way of compensating. The result of this vicious cycle? We develop: diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, drug problems, headaches, nausea, you name it - all of these dis-eases are designed by nature to tell us that what we are eating is not good enough. What we need is real nourishment, or we will ultimately not survive.

Of course, the same people who are responsible for creating this system are quick to "help us out" by supplying us with FDA approved drugs that claim to "cure" us of our ills - at a hefty price of course. If that wasn't enough, for an even heftier fee you can opt to have a surgeon cut out whatever might be ailing you. And if prescriptions and surgery aren't enough? No worries! They can pump you full of harmful radiation and toxic chemotherapy for several months, then they send you home with fingers crossed, hoping that you survive at least 5 years. Because after 5 years, regardless of your quality of life, you are considered - by definition - a cancer survivor. Sadly, those who wind up living past the 5 year mark do not survive much longer than that. Many more will go into remission and be forced to undergo the same "therapy" several times over before they ultimately perish.

Does that sound like a system that works to you?

What conclusions can we draw from what we have just learned here?
  • Science and technology are not the solution to our health problems.
  • There is little money to siphon off strong and healthy people. And you can't make much money off of dead people either. So it's the chronically sick and living that are most profitable.
  • Our "health care" system has a vested interest in keeping us sick.
  • There is a lot of money being made by distributing pharmaceutical drugs, injecting radiation and chemotherapy, and conducting surgeries in order to keep patients just healthy enough to live and pay their medical bills - but just sick enough to have to continue their expensive treatments. 
So what's the solution? First we must learn about how nature designed us to live - before technology and synthetic drugs were available.

The Human Body: 101

Human beings were designed by god/nature/whoever, to crave and to consume fruits, starches and vegetables. The proof lies within our digestive tract. It is extremely long, which resembles that of many other herbivores that exist throughout the world.

On the contrary, carnivores have a much shorter digestive tract that is designed to quickly absorb the nutrients from raw meat and then quickly eliminate it before it sits too long in the intestine and begins to rot from within.

Another interesting fact: if you were to study the human tongue, you will find that it too was designed by nature to respond most strongly to the tastes of sugars, salts, fruits and vegetables - not meat.

It is only after cooking meat (which significantly reduces and/or eliminates any nutritional value it may have had) and topping it with loads of ketchup (high fructose corn syrup) and salty seasonings, can we actually tolerate eating it. But again, it's only serving the purpose of "filling up our stomachs" and does not actually provide us with much nutrition at all.

Health throughout the course of history 

It's been said that if we want to know our past, we only need look at our present condition. If we want to know our future, we need only look at our present actions. We can't go back and start a new beginning, but we can start today and create a new end. It's no coincidence then that overweight parents wind up raising overweight children. But once we understand how we were designed to eat, we can begin applying what we've learned to our own lives, and hopefully pass these good habits down for several generations to come.

We must understand that we are what we eat!

The health problems we face are always going to boil down to our diets. Being healthy is not a gift passed down by god or by our family genetics necessarily - it's a choice. Every day we choose what we are going to put into our mouths. These decisions literally shape us into the people we see in the mirror every day. If we eat what our bodies are designed to eat; things like organic fruits and vegetables, then we will more than likely reflect a person of optimal health, one who will remain healthy for the rest of what is sure to be a long and prosperous life. If we choose to introduce toxic, processed and harmful foods into our system, we will likely pay the price and our bodies will respond unfavorably.

We must break free from the lies we have been conditioned into accepting as fact. We must understand that we are the ones responsible for our own health care. Hospitals should exist only for those who are truly ill or physically injured. And in either case, proper nutrition must remain our top priority. We can't place that responsibility on anyone else but ourselves. It's up to us to find our own balance between responsibly utilizing hospital care, and independently taking care of our own bodies. 

Over time, if we continue demanding healthier, organically grown foods, we will start to see prices go down - and we will set a trend. Eventually, eating healthy will be just as affordable as eating processed junk food is today.

But again, it's about supply and demand, and it's not going to happen unless we start demanding it today.

So take this advice and believe that you can make a difference - that you can choose to become something better. The government has gone to great lengths to ensure you keep sick, but there is nothing they can do to keep you from taking proper care of yourself. The choice is ultimately yours.

And you can start today, by accepting responsibility for your health and learning to use the power of the almighty dollar to vote for change that will positively impact not just your own life, but the life and vitality of the entire world.  

We can't go back and start a new beginning, but we can start today and create a new end.


collect experiences not things

In the summer of 2007 I reached a pivotal point in my young adult life.

I had everything I thought I could ever want: a large and expensive apartment, a nice big television with a zillion channels, (relatively) nice furniture, artwork on the walls, a closet full of clothes, a kitchen filled with far too many dishes, a brand new car, an albeit crappy but well paying job earning over $25,000 per year. I was on top of the world - at least according to MTV Cribs standards..

But one day I took a look around at all the "things" that I had accumulated over the years and I felt this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach; it was like waking up from a horrible nightmare. It was at that moment I realized, I didn't want this to be my life anymore.

The jig was up, I was living a lie.

As I gazed about my living room I began really assessing how all this had happened. And then it dawned on me - I had completely given up any hope of living my life for me. Instead I was living trying to please everyone around me.

This had to stop. I could not afford - nor did I even want - to be living in such a large apartment. What did I care if my friends and family came over and I didn't have enough space for them to sit down? There's always coffee shops right? Moreover, I was sick and tired of working so many hours and having nothing to show for it at the end of the month.

I spent hours that afternoon going over in my mind how I could possibly have let this happen to me. Tossing and turning in bed that night, I kept trying to figure out just what exactly happened that made my life turn out this way. The answer was staring me square in the face - I was letting life happen to me. I was playing the victim.

Overweight? "Don't blame me, that's just my genetics." In too much debt? "Nonsense! This is the way people my age are supposed to live - buy now and pay later right?" Can't afford to pay the rent but I am up to date on my brand new car payments? "...Well; I mean c'mon, a Man has to get from A to B right?"

This was a big problem, and not one that was going to just go away on it's own. I knew that it was going to require a lot of hard work and some deliberate action on my part. So I drew up a game plan, rolled up my sleeves and went to work.

lesson one: the things you own - end up owning you

The first step was by far the hardest. After spending a few hours with a pen and paper, I had finally put together a list of all the things I owned. Then I split everything up into two categories:
  1. Things I Wanted
  2. Things I Needed
I decided then that if I was ever going to have a chance at living the life I wanted, I was going to have to sacrifice all the worldly possessions that had enslaved me to this life in the first place and start fresh.

So everything on the list that I considered to be a want, I sold.

And so it began; my furniture, television, dining room table, anything and everything that I knew was holding me back from being the person I wanted to be, I sold it. Once my apartment was almost empty, I decided to take the next big step and move from my apartment into a place that was much more affordable. Now, did I have to spend the $150 to break the lease? Yes. In the end was getting out of that sinkhole and moving in with a friend for a third the price I was paying before worth it? You bet it was.

Although it was hard, this was by far the most rewarding and liberating thing I had ever done for myself in my entire life. It was the first time I took action. I drew a line in the sand and told myself that enough was enough. That I was going to be the one in charge of my life from now on. And the best part of it all was knowing that this was just the beginning!

After about a year or so, things had really started to look up. I was no longer working at a job I disliked and I finally living life on my terms - it felt great!

There is something to be said about the power of freedom; once I had let go of all of my material possessions I was finally able to focus on the things in my life that truly matter to me.

I no longer fretted about the latest this or the hottest that. Television programs were no longer of interest to me. Instead I spent my time drawing, listening to music, eating healthy meals, exercising regularly.and enjoying life. It was phenomenal.

This is not to say that my life was in any way perfect - because it wasn't. I still had my fair share of problems I had yet to deal with.

lesson two: my total money makeover

So without delving too far into my financial past, I am going to let you in on a little secret: for the majority of my life, I was a complete financial wreck. I would snub news reports talking about the number of young adults who were living paycheck-to-paycheck. I recall thinking to myself, "Those people are obviously dumb and horrible with money. They just need to get their act together."

The truth, was that I was one of those people - I just didn't want to admit it.

Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Denial is a tough habit to break.

Even after all the progress I had made giving up everything I owned and living a lifestyle that was well within my means, I was still completely clueless about what I was supposed to do with my money. It seemed as soon as I got my paycheck, it was already spent. I had no idea where it was all going, or how to get it under control.

Then one day I happened upon a book that would change my life forever. The book was titled, The Total Money Makeover. The Author, Dave Ramsey.

After I picked it up, I flipped to a random page and began reading. I happened to land on a page that discussed how to go about building a budget. As I read it, I kept having these moments where I literally found myself saying out loud in the bookstore - "Aha!!" 

"A miracle!" I thought. Finally a book that spelled out in plain English how I can take control of my money.

My wife can attest, I read that thing - from cover to cover - twice in less than one day. I was so impressed with his concepts and theories regarding money and how we ought to be handling it. It made so much sense to me. I remember thinking, "Why the heck didn't they teach me this stuff in High School?!"

After I was through with reading it, I couldn't wait to begin applying what I had learned to my own life.  Right away, my wife and I sat down and started building our first budget together. Just like Dave said, it was really hard that first time around. It amazed me how difficult it was at first to be open and honest about our money. And more importantly our money problems.

Once we had everything out in the open, there was nothing left to hide. When we finished, we breathed in a huge sigh of relief. We made it through - and we did it without killing each other.

Once we combined living below our means with a zero based budget, the future seemed so much brighter and more clear to us. No longer did we have to worry about where our money was going. We never again would have to wonder whether or not we would ever get out of debt; we already had a plan written out that told us how.

We got rid of our credit cards right away and began setting aside cash (in our budget) months ahead of time if we knew there was something special we wanted to purchase. The power we had walking into a store with hundreds/thousands of dollars in cold hard cash was unbelievable! The sales people would look at us like we were from some strange alien planet or something. No longer were we bothered with having to be uncomfortably up sold by a clerk telling us we would "only have to pay an extra $10 a month on their store credit card if we went with the bigger one." No no - we were the ones making the rules now. And as you might expect - it felt AMAZING!

third and final lesson: life is short

A good friend of mine and race director of the GR Marathon, Don Kern, let me in on this precious bit of wisdom about a year ago. And although I did spruce it up a little, I absolutely believe it rings true for each and every one of us.

"Life is short. Don't waste your time collecting things, for they will fade. Instead, invest your time collecting extraordinary experiences, for those you may cherish and pass on for many lifetimes to come."

When Don first told me this I was blown away. Everything seemed to have come full circle for me at that moment. Here I went from being a boy who had once measured his life's worth by the number of things he possessed, to being a man who no longer felt he had to measure his worth. I finally recognized the beauty and potential that had been inside of me all along to live a tremendous and happy life.

After he said that, he basically summed up in a few short words what had taken me a lifetime to learn and understand. As you can see, I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

In the end I think most of us have to learn in our own way. It's how we grow as individuals.

So if you are having similar problems, my hope is that you can learn from my mistakes and recognize the beauty and potential that lies inside of you right now to live a happier life, filled with incredible experiences.

Life is short. Don't wait.

Link to Don's Blog:

Dave Ramsey's Website 

how to live naturally

It's safe to say that I've been on an ever-growing "health kick" since I made the choice to change my life and began loosing weight a few years ago.

When I first started out, I didn't entirely understand what was happening to my body - or why. All I knew was that I was exercising more than I had ever exercised before in my life and that I was eating healthier and far less often than I used to. But everybody knows that in order to lose weight you have to diet and exercise; that much was clear.

What I wanted more than anything was to understand precisely why these changes were occurring. What was I doing that triggered my body to shift gears? Could the same results be achieved by just anybody - or was I special?

In my pursuit for answers I inadvertently discovered a great deal about how we were actually designed to live our lives. As you might have guessed by now, it is drastically different from the way most Americans are choosing to live. Here is a bit of what I have learned thus far.

Living Naturally

Humans have survived this long by following a simple set of basic human principals. According to Abraham Maslow's theory, our most fundamental human needs (from least to most important) are as follows:

Many people - myself included - happen to agree with Maslow's theory. And I would bet that the early humans who roamed this earth would have likely lived in accordance with these same basic principals.

Notice how at the bottom of the pyramid, Maslow suggests that the most important human needs are; breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis and excretion. The next most important are the security of our: body, employment, resources, morality, family, health and property.

The more time I spent thinking about Maslow's theory, the sooner I realized that I had taken my physiological (basic) needs completely for granted. I had selfishly made my friendships, sexual intimacy, esteem and employment a top priority over many other things that truly mattered to me.

I had let myself go - in more ways than one.

But the reason that my body (and life) were transforming was due to the fact that I had instinctively already begun rearranging the priorities in my own life to better fit who I was and what I valued most as an individual.

I had given up my car in exchange for bicycle transportation that was not only far less expensive; it also provided me with enough daily exercise to keep me energized for the entire day. I stopped living my life trying to impress everyone around me with fancy materials and instead started appreciating the things I already had.

I replaced the junk food that I was putting in my body with fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables. And instead of drinking sugar-packed energy drinks and soda, I chose to drink only water. Instead of staying up all night and partying, I made sure that I was getting to bed at a decent hour and logging at least six hours of sleep every night.

Rather than gripe about how much money I was making, I started focusing on doing work I actually enjoyed and that was in line with what I valued.

In short - once I had my basic needs balanced and at a level of homeostasis - my: fitness, place of employment, level of resources, sense of morality, family life, health and appreciation for my belongings all started improving and balancing out synchronously. And so it went until every one of my needs leveled out naturally.

What you eat makes all the difference

We have all heard the saying, "You are what you eat."

After seeing a lot of different documentaries, reading a lot of books, and spending many hours studying - and losing over 100 pounds - I can conclude that this is an absolute fact.

On my quest to explain why my body was changing, I learned a great deal about nutrition and why changing my eating habits had played such a significant role in my weight loss.

In a previous post titled how to lose weight the proper way, I explain macro nutrients and how your body makes use of them:

·         1 gram of a Carbohydrate or 1 gram of Protein is made up of approximately 4 calories.
o         Carbohydrates break down fast in the body and are used to supply your body with quick energy/fuel.
o         Protein is broken down more slowly than carbohydrates in the body and helps to rebuild damaged muscle tissue.
·         1 gram of Fat is made up of approximately 9 calories.
o         Fat is broken down very slowly in the body and is primarily used as a form of energy storage.

To help you better understand the differences between the three, I found this chart that will help explain the importance of eating a well balanced diet that focuses primarily on eating a variety of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

As you can see, 400 calories of Oil (fat) will not take up very much space in your stomach, nor will 400 calories of Chicken (protein). This is the primary reason that obesity has become such a huge epidemic in this and many other countries around the world.

As Charlotte Gerson of the Gerson Institute once stated, "Obesity is a problem of hunger."

We are simply eating too many calorie-dense foods that are failing to fill us up, and are certainly failing to properly nourish our bodies. By eating these foods, we are getting more than enough calories to survive but we never feel full; our bodies are still craving nourishment. Consequently, this cycle will perpetuate until we feed our bodies the nourishment it needs.

As you can see from the chart above, by eating a plant based diet not only will our stomachs get fuller on fewer calories but we will also be receiving significantly more nutrients from these plant based foods than from the animal based foods.

So this pays off two-fold:

  • Our bodies are adequately nourished.
  • Our stomachs are full and we are far less likely to over eat.

Once I understood what this meant, my entire life was forever changed. I started paying closer attention to the food I was putting into my body. I would think twice before I endulged in a meal at a restaurant. Eating a fatty burger from McDonald's® or Burger King® seemed far less appealing to me after learning about all of this - and I found myself ordering a lot more salads instead.

Final Thoughts

Mark Twain once said:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Andrew W. Saul said in the film Food Matters:
"Why not be healthy and happy? Why not? You change your life, you do some exercise, you eat right. You feel better, that's good. You look better, alright that's good. You live longer, that's good. You save money, that's good. And you have the enormous satisfaction of having done it yourself."
So may you have the courage to take control of and save your life. If there is something about the way that you are living that is in-congruent with who you really are, may you have the wisdom to recognize and put a stop to it. May you stand up for who you want to be and have the strength to change your life for the better. And may you one day feel the satisfaction of knowing you did it all yourself.