If it is true that the observer affects the observed reality, then perhaps the greatest gift we can give is to see the beauty,
magnificence, and divinity in each person we meet and every experience we have ... and in doing so, call it forth and facilitate
its full expression in each moment. "
~ Divina del-Sol
What Do the Top 10 Diets Have in Common?
When the scale has tipped above that magic “I’m never going beyond THAT!” number or you just can’t slip into your favorite
fall outfit anymore, it usually means drastic measures. We may think about fasting, cleanses, or that four-letter word, diet.
But are they really the best, most effective ways to lose weight?
The top 10 diets, according to www.dietstop10.com, include Nutrisystem, Medifast, The South Beach Diet, Weight Watchers, Strip
that Fat, The Sonoma Diet, Master Cleanse, Michael Thurmond’s Six Week Body Makeover, Truth About Six Pack Abs and Fat Loss 4
Idiots. One system uses points and meetings, while another uses calorie shifting, another focuses on workouts and
yet another detoxifies
the body. The key to the most popular diets is that they are
portion-controlled, prepared meals, some of them delivered to your door. This
convenient and simple. What they all have in common is that they are not normal, sustainable ways of eating.
The Webster’s Dictionary defines the word, "diet," as “A person’s regular food or victuals; a manner of living as regards
food and drink; (and) course of food prescribed and limited in kind and quantity.”
The latter definition is the most common reference to diet. Actually, the first two definitions can work in regard to
weight loss and the third generally doesn’t work long term. Once the “diet” is over, we tend to go back to definitions one
and two—that is, after supporting a billion dollar industry and exerting considerable effort and energy to eat in a manner
that is NOT our “…regular food or victuals.”
It has been said that getting someone to change their eating habits is more difficult than getting them to change their religion.
So how does anyone actually make such a change and get it to stick? Among my clients, those who are most successful have mindset
shifts that frequently happen when one is open to new concepts and experiences. For example, when I went to the Institute for
Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in New York City, I had already spent six months and plenty of money on products that accompanied
one of the diets above. I had lost some weight, but had plateaued and figured that it was just “middle age.”
At IIN, I learned about the impact of fresh, whole foods on boosting energy, sharpening memory, and stabilizing mood, as well
as the way powerful nutrients balance the body and help eliminate cravings. What I didn’t realize, was that food sensitivities
can cause weight gain too. I tried eliminating two of the common allergens and those extra pounds literally fell off within a few weeks.
Overall, the process of changing my diet was a gradual one, based on education and experimenting with foods and recipes. Many
of the foods were strange to me, but I vowed to try something new each week. People started noticing the difference, too. Besides
the weight loss, one commented that my hair was shinier and another that my skin seemed healthier.
Shifting the way we eat doesn’t need to be complicated. It doesn’t require counting calories, carbs or fats. Just think in terms
of eating colorful fruits and vegetables and choosing non-GMO produce that looks fresh, don’t contain pesticides and smells good.
Small changes add up over time and the body really does seek nourishing food if given the chance.
The foods that may taste bitter at first become more palatable to the tongue when it isn’t saturated with processed fats, salts
and sugars. When eating a healthy diet 90 percent of the time, people begin to like broccoli, kale and adzuki beans (or something
along those lines). As for the remaining 10 percent, food needs to feed the spirit, too, so eat whatever you want as long as you
eat it guilt-free and ENJOY IT!
The next thing that happens is the body’s hormonal balance and signals work more effectively. One of our hormones called
leptin normally signals the body when we are satiated. When the body has been overdosed with fat, salt and sugar, we can
no longer “hear” leptin’s signal. It’s like trying to hear someone whisper at a rock concert. When we eat the foods we
were meant to eat, we know when we’re hungry and we know when we have had enough. This is the best way I know to lose
and maintain a healthy weight!
This probably all sounds too simple. But here’s why it works: By shifting out of a deprivation mode, psychologically we
are much more accepting of our new way of eating, making it a sustainable way to eat. Second, by giving ourselves
permission to eat the old foods once in a while, we find some of them don’t taste as good as we remember, reinforcing
the preference for good food. Third, when eating good food, we don’t just look better, we feel better physically and
that in itself encourages us to keep going.
Quick Diakon Pickles
The diakon radish promotes weight loss. The juice is abundant in digestive enzymes similar to those found in the human digestive tract. It also inhibits the formation of dangerous chemicals in the body, such as nitrosamines (a type of carcinogen that forms in the stomach). Grated diakon is excellent for people with a weak digestive system and has been shown to be effective as a diuretic and a decongestant.
1 large daikon radish
¼ cup mirin
1/8 cup umeboshi vinegar
Wash and peel daikon and slice into half circles that are ½-inch thick.
Place daikon in a container.
Add mirin, umeboshi and just enough water to cover the
Cover, shake and store in the fridge.
The pickles will be ready in 30 minutes and will stay good in the fridge for weeks.
Recipe used by permission: Institute for Integrative Nutrition
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