The Secrets to Healthy Eating and Losing Weight in America

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As I stepped up on the scale, and read the display, I realized that I was now 188 lbs. About 25 lbs overweight. This is how I gained, lost, and kept off, that extra weight.

As I progressed spiritually, and aged, I needed less food, and this became particularly apparent, when I traveled on a project with a generous expense account.

I stayed at a hotel with a breakfast buffet. I realize now that I only need a cup of oatmeal, and some fruit, in the morning, but then, in addition, ate a one egg omelet with vegetables, fried potatoes, and a large portion from the excellent selection of fruits available. I ate a restaurant portion of rice, and vegetables, for lunch. A restaurant portion of salad, fish, rice, or potatoes, and vegetables for dinner. Then, with the money left over, I bought a pint of an organic, frozen coconut dessert, and a fresh squeezed juice for the morning.

All reasonably healthy. In moderation.

This was more food than I needed, though, and the sugars contained in the dessert made me want to eat the entire portion, and so I did. After a month of this behavior, and reduced exercise due to the schedule of the project, I was having difficulty fitting into my clothes.

The American Diet and Lifestyle

Many Americans skip, or eat a light, high stimulation, low nutritional value, like coffee, and a pastry, (caffeine, sugar, refined – partial grain, quick digesting – flour, dairy) hurried breakfast, as late as mid morning, a light lunch as late as mid afternoon, and a large dinner mid evening. All of which is outside optimal digestion, and, absorption cycles. Many, too, eat unhealthy amounts of processed meats, saturated fats, and refined sugars and flours. And drink excessive amounts of caffeinated, and alcoholic beverages, often highly sweetened, which add unnecessary calories, and cravings for more. Many Americans, too, eat beyond what they need for comfort, and recreation.

Late Dinner and No Breakfast is a Killer Combination, European Society of Cardiology News, April 18, 2019.

Study finds timing of meals effects body rhythms and metabolic health, MedicalXpress Breaking News-and-Events, July 31, 2020

Much can be found on the Internet now about healthy eating, and healing foods, and, from the medical community, on the perils of not doing so. For example, an article published in Reuters Health News, April 4, 2019, linked one in five deaths worldwide to people eating poor diets high in sugar, salt, and processed meat that contributed to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, a global study found.

Preventing Covid-19 Naturally

Innate, and natural, immunity, an uncompromised and well functioning autoimmune system, continue to be the “Gold Standard” in Covid-19, and it’s variants, prevention.

“The US CDC estimates that SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 100 million Americans, and evidence is mounting that natural immunity is at least as protective as vaccination.”

And: “If natural immunity is strongly protective, as the evidence to date suggests it is, then vaccinating people who have had covid-19 would seem to offer nothing or very little to benefit, logically leaving only harms—both the harms we already know about as well as those still unknown,” says Christine Stabell Benn, vaccinologist and professor in global health at the University of Southern Denmark.

Vaccinating people who have had covid-19: why doesn’t natural immunity count in the US? September 13, 2021, BMJ 2021;374:n2101

Healthy, Plant-Based Diet Tied to Lower COVID-19 Risk, DocWireNews, September 13, 2021

Poor diet, lifestyle choices and preexisting chronic conditions all contribute to the likelihood of infection, reinfection and severity – even for those who are fully vaccinated.

Obesity May Up Length of Stay, Mortality for COVID-19 Patients in ICU, HealthDay News, October 14, 2021

Breakthrough COVID-19 Risk Up for Patients With Substance Use Disorders, HealthDay News, October 6, 2021

3 (fully vaccinated) U.S. senators — King, Wicker and Hickenlooper — test positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, Yahoo News, August 19, 2021

Preexisting Chronic Conditions Tied to COVID-19 Severity in Children, HealthDay News, September 30, 2021

Vaccinated vrs unvaccinated, therefore, mischaracterizes this issue. Immune, and degree of immunity vrs non-immune more accurately encompasses the entirety of prevention and severity.

See also:

Plant-based diets can lower heart disease risk by 52 percent, Washington Post, August 23, 2021

Foods You Can Eat and Not Gain Weight, MDLinx April 8, 2019

Can This Diet Save Your Life?, MDLinx April 23, 2019

8 Foods a Registered Dietitian Would Never Eat, MDLinx April 26, 2019

Is This the Healthiest Diet in the World? MDLinx May 2, 2019

Protect Your Heart With the Top-Ranked Mediterranean Diet, Newswise, May 15, 2019

High Fiber Diet Can Prevent These Fatal Diseases, MDLinx May 20, 2019

Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality in a general population of middle-aged adults, Journal of the American Heart Association, August 09, 2019

7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now
Some foods are so healthy they earn the title of “super foods,” Healthy Eating, November 18. 2020

The Transformation of the Medical System

Beyond the obvious benefits – personal and environmental – it is especially important, now, to develop healthy eating, and lifestyle, habits, and innate immunity, during this time of medical system transformation. Medical professionals, for the most part, mean well, however, much of the current system has become so complex, reactive, and focused on treatment with surgeries, and drugs, that, “Medical mistakes — from surgical disasters to accidental drug overdoses — are the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S.”

And there’s the opioid, and now over burdening of the coronavirus, crises.

Could Medical Errors Be No. 3 Cause of Death? NBC News, May 4, 2016

Top Causes of Medical Malpractice MDLinx, July 17, 2019

Physician burnout, understandably, is reaching a crisis level.

2019 Physician Burnout Survey: Results show growing crisis in medicine, Medical Economics, August 12, 2019

Fortunately – based on consumer interest, and demand – some within the medical system are beginning to respond. At one time doctor meant teacher and an Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health formed to “advance integrative medicine and health through academic institutions and health systems.”

Integrative and Lifestyle Medical Centers have opened in many hospitals, clinics, and wellness centers, bringing together the best of the world’s medicines, including education on healthy eating, and disease, and pain, prevention.

Diet

I’ve been eating a healthy diet since the mid-1990s, which was essential to progressing spiritually and overcoming my health challenges at that time (see Interview.) I’ve progressed beyond alcoholic, high sugar, and most caffeinated beverages (green tea occasionally), pharmaceuticals, and animal products, as well.

I feel fantastic on this diet and, even though almost all organic, only costs about $10 per day.

  • Plant-based.
  • Whole grains.
  • Fruits, and vegetables. 25-30% raw.
  • Lentils, beans, and tofu.
  • Nuts, and seeds.
  • Essential oils – flax and olive.
  • Dairy free.
  • Reduced gluten.
  • Reduced nightshade vegetables. Nightshade vegetables are some of the most popular; including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant, and are said to contribute to allergic reactions, joint, and intestinal inflammation for some people. I eliminated, and slowly reintroduced, as part of the natural healing process I undertook in the 1990s (see Interview.)
  • Very small amounts of salt and refined sugar.

Lifestyle

  • I wake up 5 – 6 am without an alarm.
  • Breakfast should be the second heaviest meal, before eight am.
  • Lunch should be the heaviest, noon to one.
  • Dinner, the lightest meal, before seven pm.
  • Moderate portions.
  • In bed 9 – 10 pm.
  • Drink liquids, ideally pure water, 20 minutes before, or 20 minutes after meals, not during, so as to not dilute digestive fluids. Half of my body weight, in ounces, per day. This is about the right amount of liquid for me during the summer; less, as needed, during the winter.
  • Daily exercise and relaxation/meditation.
  • Alignment with soul purpose. A balance of self, and service to others, and spiritual progress.

Adhering to this regimen I lost between a quarter, and a half pound per day, depending on how much walking, and bicycling I did.

How to Lose Weight on a Vegetarian Diet, EcoWatch, September 14, 2019

When I reached 162 lbs again, a much flatter stomach, and able to get back into some favorite clothes, I discovered that I didn’t want, or need, to return to the sluggishness of eating until “full and stuffed.” I was easily able to keep that extra weight off as “intentional eating” is actually in alignment with optimal body functionality.

After a light dinner I still felt hungry initially, and then began to choose to enjoy the feeling of clarity, and well being, like that experienced during fasting, which then passed within an hour. After digesting for 30 minutes I sometimes sipped 6 – 12 ounces of Reed’s Extra (non-alcoholic) Ginger Beer which assisted me through the adjustment. Ginger also provides a wide range of health benefits. Walking, too, after dinner can be helpful in shifting focus off the initial feeling of not eating enough.

This Japanese 80% diet rule can help you live a longer life, says longevity researcher, Health and Wellness, November 10, 2020

Because early evening is the optimal time to eat lightly this might call for a lifestyle adjustment, and may require the cooperation, and understanding, of friends, and family. An added benefit would be sitting at the dinner table sipping a Ginger Beer, while family eats, and doing all the talking without interruption. After a while of this, they might join you in healthy eating!

Getting Started

Vegetables and whole grains contain more protein than most people realize. A half cup serving of oatmeal, for example, contains 5 grams of protein. A one cup serving of green peas (one of the primary ingredients in plant-based meats) contains 8.58 grams of protein. Protein consists of nine amino acids and may also be obtained by “food combining.” Seven can be obtained from rice; the additional two from beans.

19 High-Protein Vegetables and How to Eat More of Them, Healthline, August 20, 2019

There are many plant-based “look alike” choices, now, that taste great, and are hard to distinguish from what they are imitating, to begin transitioning with. I’ve tried Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers, Beyond Sausages, and Impossible Burgers. There are good tasting gluten free bun options, too, like Udi’s (although contain egg so not 100% vegetarian.)

Your Plant-Based Burger is Helping Change Farming and Your Health, The Beet, February 11, 2021

It’s not hard to prepare simple, healthy meals, and so I’ve included some suggestions, and preparation instructions. It can take several weeks to adjust to new flavors and so patience is required.

Breakfast (2nd heaviest meal)

Whole grains, seeds, and fruit.

Eat fruit first as an intestinal cleanser.

Whole Foods Organic Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats, organic flax seeds, and an organic fruit.

Boil one cup of water.
Spoon two heaping teaspoons of organic flax seeds, and two thirds of a cup of oatmeal, into a one pint corning ware bowl. Mix thoroughly. Pour on the boiling water.
Add one or two heaping teaspoons of shredded, or powdered, coconut as a sweetener, and flavor enhancer, or a teaspoon, or two, of organic maple syrup (if desired) and cover.

Ready in eight minutes; a thick, chewy, flakey, consistency that I like; and one bowl to wash.

Flax seeds provide omega 3 essential fatty acid. Flax seed oil is a versatile, yellow, liquid, an excellent replacement for butter, and actually easier to work with, pouring onto popcorn for example. Use sparingly as this is also a high calorie, low bulk food, 120 calories per tablespoon.

One adult multi-vitamin with food.

Try Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes for variety.

This breakfast food is proven to cut your aging time in half, Ladders, February 12, 2021

Lunch (heaviest meal)

Whole grains, vegetables, beans, lentils, nut butter and (optional) chocolate.

Vegan Spaghetti

One 16 oz package of Trader Joe’s organic brown rice/quinoa pasta (quinoa has the most protein of all the whole grains.)
Two 25 oz jars of Trader Joe’s, or Whole Foods, Organic Marinara sauce.
Two 15 oz cans of organic dark red kidney beans.
One 16 oz Whole Foods Organic Mediterranean Blend and one 16 oz Organic Blue Chopped Kale frozen vegetables.

Enough, for me, for five portions.

Asian Vegetable Brown Rice Noodle Vinaigrette

One 8 oz Annie Chun’s whole grain Pad Thai or Maifun (thin) Brown Rice Noodles.
One 16 oz Whole Foods Stir Fry Blend Vegetables and one 16 oz Organic Blue Curled Kale frozen vegetables.
Two 15 oz cans of organic black beans.
One 8 oz Trader Joe’s organic red wine, and olive oil, vinaigrette salad dressing. A mild, subtle, flavor I like, and have become accustomed to; you may wish to experiment by adding additional amounts of vinaigrette for a “stronger” flavor.

Olive oil provides omega 6 essential fatty acid, and is also a high calorie, low bulk food, 120 calories per tablespoon.

Enough, for me, for four portions.

Vegetable Brown Rice Fusilli Bean Herbes de Provence

One 16 oz Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta Fusilli.
Two 16 oz Whole Foods Stir Fry Blend frozen vegetables.
Three 15 oz cans of Whole Foods Organic Navy Beans.
One 12 oz Whole Foods Organic Herbes de Provence Vinigrette.

Enough for me for five portions.

Fill a five quart pot with four quarts of water and bring to a boil.
At the same time start cooking the vegetables. Follow instructions on the packages.
Cook thin rice noodles 3 minutes, Pad Thai noodles 5 minutes, or brown rice/quinoa spaghetti, and brown rice fusilli, 8 minutes until al dente.
Drain, and put back in the pot.
Add spaghetti sauce or vinaigrette.
Add beans. Heat Vegan Spaghetti to boiling.
Drain Navy Beans for Vegetable Brown Rice Fusilli Bean Herbes de Provence. Don’t rinse. Pouring vinaigrette over beans and pasta provides an additional “bean sauce” that mixes nicely with the vinaigrette. Mix thoroughly.
Add cooked vegetables.
Mix again.

No Chicken, Chicken Flavor, Cashew Noodle Stew/Soup

One serving (two in package) Annie Chun’s Pad Thai or Maifun (thin) whole grain Brown Rice Noodles
One pint mixed vegetables
One to two cups Organic Imagine Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth (one cup for stew, two for soup)
1/3 cup cashews (either raw or roasted)

Cook brown rice noodles and set aside.
Cook vegetables and cashews together.
Add cooked rice noodles. Heat to boiling and then pour off excess water.
Add no-chicken broth.
Add a dash of pepper (optional.)
Heat and serve.

Using the above recipes as “templates” there are many whole grains, in many shapes, and sizes, such as penne pastas, vegetables, beans, lentils, sauces, and salad dressings that can be interchanged for variety (excepting, of course, those that cause allergic reactions.)

Easy Make Mild Vegetarian Chili

1 15 oz Whole Foods Organic Chili or Ranchero beans (provides chili powder)
1 14.5 oz Whole Foods Organic diced tomatoes in tomato sauce
1 pint Whole Foods Mediterranean frozen vegetables

Heat frozen vegetables until tender. In a separate, larger pan, add beans and tomatoes and heat on low. Add cooked vegetables and stir.

Serve with one cup of organic brown cooked rice. Makes 2 mild portions. Add additional chili powder and/or additional seasonings if desired.

Transitioning From Animal to Plant Based Meat

One or two Beyond Meat, or Impossible Burger(s) with mustard, a slice of tomato, and onion, on a toasted gluten free bun, or two Smart Dogs, or Beyond Sausages, with mustard and/or ketchup.

Vegetable Side Dish

One pint of boiled, mixed vegetables, and a medium sized red potato, flavored with a table spoon, or two, of organic olive, or flax seed, oil, and a small amount of salt, and pepper. For the more adventurous, a table spoon, or two, of Trader Joe’s Thai Yellow Curry Sauce instead of olive, or flaxseed, oil.

Desert

One teaspoon of organic nut butter; almond, cashew, sunflower seed etc, and (optional) a small portion, four squares, for example, out of 16, of a 3.5 oz organic, 85% cacao dark chocolate, non dairy, bar, for fun. A healthier alternative “peanut butter cup” equivalent.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring and the low sugar content of a high percentage cacao bar doesn’t make me crave more. Cacao, in moderation, also provides the health benefit of antioxidant flavonoids.

Dinner (lightest meal)

A small portion of any of the above lunch suggestions; to be finished before 7 pm. (See last two paragraphs in the Lifestyle section.)

I also like a light dinner like 8 oz of guacamole, or hummus, spread on four slices of Whole Foods Organic Ancient Grains Sandwich Bread. Oven heat/broil for about four to five minutes.

A fruit for desert.

There is much more to be found, for those willing to do a little more in terms of meal preparation, on the Internet such as:

7 Simple Dinner Formulas to Make Vegetarian Eating Anything but Boring, Good Food, September 13, 2019

Maintaining Weight

Like olive, and flax seed, oil, nut butters are a high calorie, low bulk, food – 95 calories/tablespoon typically. Once I returned to my desired weight I began to add additional calories in the form of nut butter “good fats” to maintain weight.

Dining Out

It isn’t all cook at home either. I am able to find excellent, reasonable cost, vegetarian meals now at most restaurants. Mediterranean, Asian, and Indian continue to be among my favorites.

In April, 2019, I was able to dine with friends at Harry Carey’s, on Navy Pier, on a Beyond Burger, without the bun, or cheese, vegetables, and french fries.

Step By Step

This article, therefore, is an example of what is possible, and the further suggestion to embark slowly, completing each necessary step with patience, and reasonable expectations, and an eye towards the eventual rewards of significantly improved health, physical appearance, quality of life, well being, and spiritual progress.

I didn’t arrive at the ability to eat, and enjoy, vegan\mostly vegetarian, and organic, reduced gluten, and dairy free, reduced nightshade vegetables, and low salt, and sugar, overnight. What may be required also then, for some, would be the transformational work of discovering, understanding, and correcting, the root causes of their excessive eating, and drinking. Many “diets” fail, long term. Just switching to a high saturated fat diet, for example, which in, and of itself, is unhealthy, does little, or nothing, to assuage cravings, and fill emotional void.

7 Dangers of Going Keto, Health, December 20, 2019

New Study Finds Keto and Intermittent Fasting Has Long-term Heart Health Effects, The Beet, September 25, 2020

Why Am I Always Hungry? 12 Reasons Why Experts Say You Feel Hunger Pangs Constantly, Good Housekeeping, July 8, 2020

Eventually, the lower vibration satisfactions of excess, indulgence, and artificially enhanced flavors becomes replaced by much more satisfying food experiences on many additional levels. Among them, the ability to savor, and enjoy, natural flavors, and experience the warm glow of energetic balance. Like finally finding the right fuel for an automobile capable of high performance.

I am eating about 75% warm, soft, cooked foods at this time, and about 25% raw. I have a rather spiritually evolved friend, however, who grows her own food. All she needs for a meal is a pint container of her raw vegetables. She, in turn, has met, and is acquainted with, some Breatharians who can exist by ingesting the energy around them, and a small amount of liquid.

Consult with your physician and nutritionist for additional dietary advice.

Updated 10-15-2021

© 2019 Robert Taub all rights reserved