What Everybody Ought to Know About the Journey to Health: From Box Foods to Whole Food Plant-based
My Journey into Health & Wellness
I remember in my early twenties when my weight used to yoyo between five pounds, losing the pounds only to gain it right back again. I would be extremely frustrated with this continuous cycle. I finally ended up throwing my bathroom scale out, but that did not solve my ‘weight’ problem. If I could go back in time to those perceived issues with my weight, I would be delighted! It tickles me how I thought it was such a problem back then.
The real problem though was feeling tired and feeble all the time. I began to research how to eat healthfully so that I could feel energetic and healthy. I remember having conversations with my mother about her pregnancy with me. She said that she had the hardest time the whole pregnancy and could barely keep food down, and she felt nauseated during her entire gestational period. I gained insight into why I did not feel the vitality that other people felt, coupled with the fact that she did not eat the most nutritious foods in the first place. When I grew to be school-aged, I was a latchkey kid that would come home to TV dinners. I was from the generation at the advent of ‘box foods’ They were quick and easy. I did not mind because my mom could not cook very well, and I hated eating her food. One day I discovered the spices other people enjoyed when my uncle’s fiancé prepared fried turkey legs for dinner. The garlic was amazing, so, I decided from that day forward that I was going to learn how to do this thing called cooking. I watched my uncle’s fiancé like a hawk! Since I was a kid, I was considered no threat in the kitchen, so the preparer did not feel the need to hide family recipes. I learned more in those moments than most people do in a lifetime. I became an exceptionally talented cook from those recipe-snooping escapades as a child.
Learning to cook still did not help me learn how to cook healthfully though. I would ask questions like ‘why do you put gizzards in the dressing?’ (Most people call it stuffing, but in my family, we call it dressing) I would ask questions like that each time I could not make sense of the ingredients. I realized that people tended to cook without question as they learned how to cook from their parents. I decided to improve upon the recipes that I learned from memory, and I discarded unnecessary ingredients that did not make sense to me. Although learning and creating meals was blissful for me in the kitchen. I was disillusioned by the information that I was researching. I experimented with the various trends and ‘scientific’ fads that kept being released on the best sellers list each year. I felt helpless like I would never learn to eat healthfully. I finally met people along the way that were into healthy eating, and I started frequenting the restaurants and health food stores that they also regularly patronized. That was a turning point for me because I was able to find holistic books on nutritional healing, herbology, and even vegetarianism.
My Transformation from Sickly to Health and Vitality
This new learning was amazing for a while until I learned that meat and dairy were what most of these scholars were calling addictive stimulants that should be removed from human consumption. I read authors like Dick Gregory, but I was not about to go on a hunger strike like him and I thought that was extremism. Initially, I did not even bother to find out why exactly he went on a hunger strike. Gregory was a Human Rights Activist that was fasting as a way of protesting for Native American rights. Gregory wrote a book with James R. McGraw called Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin’ with Mother Nature. I also read Arnold Ehret’s Rational Fasting, and the late great William Balch’s Prescription for Nutritional Healing, and this book was my initiation into the holistic movement. Balch’s book became my new bible, and back then I was a collector of different translations of bibles. This book had every single condition you could think of and it had a section for every vitamin, mineral, herb, and protein that was going to bring your body into homeostasis. I also found a book that I used to read as a kid that we had lying around in our home, by Jethro Kloss’ Back to Eden. I used to look through this book with such fascination all day and dream of becoming a scientist or medicine woman who would come to heal people with herbs. I committed each herb to memory that was good for building up various parts of the body, herbs to take for weight loss, or any other condition I thought was astonishing. The biggest transformation in my journey to wellness came when I used to watch The Juiceman on television and I decided to purchase his juicer that came with a book written by Cherie Calbom, MS, CN, Juicing for Life. I started using the recipes and I began feeling great! My vitality was burgeoning the more that I juiced, so I made it a regular seasonal cleanse that I would commit to for thirty days each time. These juice feasts always helped me achieve mental clarity, the fog would lift, and I would feel a sense of relief and inner peace. My energy increased so much that I initiated an exercise program, joined a gym, and began feeling better than I had ever felt in my entire life. Due to the fantastic results, I promptly sought weight loss doctors but the food list they gave me was mostly not healthy and there were so many things on the list that I did not even enjoy, so needless to say that including my physician did not work. I kept doing seasonal juicing feasts, thirty days at a time and I always felt fantastic.
I shortly afterward began contemplating going meatless, but there was so much propaganda against it, and it made me too frightened to step into those unknown waters. I did not know what information to trust, or what study was providing the ‘truth’ about transitioning to a meat and dairy-free way of being. Especially since I never genuinely liked meat in the first place, the smell, the look, and sometimes the taste of it. After searching deep within for answers as to why I never liked meat, it goes back as far as when I was a toddler. My grandpa used to be an avid hunter and he would bring his game home and leave it in this long deep freezer my grandparents had in their home. Just lying there until they skinned and cleaned it up, and I knew they were animals that he killed at an early age. It hurt me to see that these poor animals were killed so that my family could eat them on their plates. I refused to eat any meat from that point forward. My mother was persistent in conditioning me into becoming a meat eater. My mom would grind up the hamburger so small inside of our weekly spaghetti dinners, but I would pick out every single grain and eat just the noodles and sauce. I decided to only eat mashed potatoes, spaghetti, pancakes, and simple menu items. I refused anything else. Eventually, over the years I did become fully accustomed to eating meat. I believe this happened when I started being taught to cook. My first time cutting up a whole chicken from the grocery store was a traumatizing experience for me. I eventually got used to doing it and eating the chicken as well, but each time I saw the insides of the veins and such on the bones, I was so disgusted each time, but I would just put it to the back of my mind.
Becoming Totally About that Wholefood Plant-Based Life
A friend of mine suggested that I go ahead and stop being afraid and go vegan. He said he had been vegan for decades and he raised his entire family on plants. I had never met a vegan before. Back when I was contemplating veganism, it was called vegetarian in the books that I read, so that was a new term for me. Today we have a plethora of labels defining the way we consume our food; vegan, vegetarian, fruitarian, pescatarian, keto, gluten-free and the list is exhausting. I will now only claim to be plant-based. I accepted the challenge that my vegan friend urged me to do or at least attempt it to see how I felt physically. I pored over all the books on veganism, such as By Any Greens Necessary, Heal Thyself for Health and Longevity, Sacred Woman, Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, and Rational Fasting. Then I happened upon a book by Llaila O. Afrika, Afrikan Holistic Health, this book taught me that the medical system does not evaluate people of color’s nutritional needs the way they should. There is no such thing as an ethnomedical system, so I learned how to become the only expert on my health needs. People with an abundance of melanin must take more of the required daily supplementation or at best eat the foods necessary to feed their melanin. Melanin is so much more than the skin, for people of color, it is in every cell of their body, blood, organs etcetera. so, it is important to eat properly. I also read The Kemetic Diet, written by Dr. Muata Ashby which gives a history of the African diet throughout the continent of Africa. I read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., and Thomas M. Campbell II. This book made me begin an active study of all things from the East as far as health and wellness are concerned. As I began to incorporate fasting into my life just as regularly as I did with juice feasting. I happened upon Fasting and Eating for Health by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. and The Complete Guide to Fasting by Jason Fung, MD.
Fasting was one of the best things that I have ever incorporated into my health plan because it absolutely rejuvenates the body. It puts your body in autophagy. Here is what happens when the body goes into autophagy while fasting. A person’s body contains trillions of cells, these old cells build up within themselves and cause damage to other parts of the cells. Here is an article that explains autophagy and its natural process. During autophagy, the cells remove all the unwanted molecules and unnecessary parts. Autophagy destroys these molecules or recycles them into new mechanisms. Basically, the body is eating itself to help itself. Dr. Afrika says, “when an animal is sick, it will not eat, it is only humans that continue to eat,” [thus he never gets better.]
From A Natural Medicine Woman Speaks to The Subconscious Mind Architect
What I know for sure from the plethora of books and from the research that I have done is that you must jumpstart your health or weight loss program and make it a lifestyle. The first thing that I do is fast. According to two of the most brilliant medical doctors that I have ever met, who are leaders in their field. Dr. Pradip Jamnadas, MD, MBBS, FACC, FSCAI, FCCP, FACP, from Orlando, Florida. Jamnadas says fasting is the key to better health. Dr. Jamnadas is the founder and medical director of Cardiovascular Interventions and has practiced in Central Florida for over thirty-one years. Widely recognized for his skill in interventional cardiology. He is one of Orlando’s most eminent physicians. Just like Llaila Afrika, he says that people from various cultures should be eating the foods from within the cultures to that they belong. You would not expect a cardiologist to make that statement, but he is enthusiastic about creating innovative solutions to the obesity pandemic we are facing today, and not only that, but his aim is to correct the diseases that we see so prevalent today.
The other physician that I am totally impressed with is Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. He has been a medical doctor for twenty years. Chatterjee is a bestselling author of the book, Happy Mind, Happy Life. See the video here with these two physicians in an interview. Both of their channels are dedicated to healing the mind, body, and spirit. My patrons can now trust the advice that I have been giving on my Facebook page Natural Medicine Woman Speaks for years. Consequently, my page has since been hijacked by hackers who stole my twenty thousand subscribers and turned the page into content that is unrecognizable to my followers. Unfortunately, Facebook would not allow me to regain the rights to my page Natural Medicine Woman Speaks which I created back in 2005. After losing the battle I was bummed because this page was my ‘baby’ I built the audience myself without the aid of algorithms, and I was happy to contribute my time, and research for free and help others with their health goals. At the time I had so much angst, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I had to do something with my aspirations to help others. I then dedicated a year to studying Hypnotherapy and am now known as the Subconscious Mind Architect.
Be Your Own Wellness Expert and Stop Entrusting Your Health to Others
Michio Kushi was a Japanese educator who helped to introduce modern macrobiotics to the United States in the early 1950s. He lectured all over the world at conferences and seminars about philosophy, spiritual development, health, food, and diseases. Kushi states that we should be removing meat and dairy from our meals. The studies conducted with young men’s diets containing 95 grams of protein daily develop negative calcium balance, and societies that consume excessive amounts of protein have the highest amounts of osteoporosis in the world. Something I found particularly interesting was that Kushi says that “hair growing between the brows is caused by the intake of dairy and fatty animal foods during the third and fourth months of pregnancy.”
My inclination is towards a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. I do realize that not all people that I meet ascribe to my views on nutrition. Therefore, I am including doctors Jamnadas and Chatterjee’s views, because they are medical doctors who have dedicated themselves to nutritionally treating people with the same methods that I have been recommending for years. They both agree with the best way to jumpstart your health is through water fasting.
The best way to jumpstart your wellness program is by water fasting. I have seen many people fast just to lose weight and doing so incorrectly, therefore I recommend seeing a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) or checking out a Fasting Practitioner who has helped thousands of people like Chris James, the author of the book Metamorphosis, he also has a fasting support group called A Healthy Alternative. Another option is Dr. Robert Cassar, founder of Earther Academy, in Hawaii. I learned how to fast by reading a plethora of books before I delved into them, and I encourage you to do the same thing. initially, I fasted seasonally replacing water fasting in place of juice feasting. I then began blending my juices rather than pulling out the fiber using masticating juicers. I realized that my body needed nutrients and fiber.
Several of these experts mentioned in my review allow for the use of coffee, however, women need to be cautious using this addictive stimulant. Even though coffee is supposed to have all these antioxidants and health benefits. Dr. Christiane Northup is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with twenty years of clinical and medical teaching experience. She is also the president of the American Holistic Medical Association, and the best-selling author of the book, The Wisdom of Menopause, says that drinking two cups (8 oz of coffee or 12 ounces of cola = 4 units) “results in increased excretion of calcium; the more you consume, the more calcium you lose. If your calcium is low, to begin with, regular caffeine consumption could result in significant loss of bone over time.” Notably, I have also read studies that say that caffeine as well as alcohol* is one of the leading causes of breast cancer in women. Although the results of these studies are under debate, a great alternative to caffeine is green tea, not only is it a stimulant that will give you a kick in the morning, but it provides antioxidants and Phytonutrients, which is a better alternative to a morning cup of coffee. Please learn to be your own wellness expert and learn to do the research because each culture needs to consider ethnic genetics and our medical system does not account for the differences among us here in the United States.
When I have my annual physical, I bring my list of questions, and I always have a series of tests: my vitamin D levels for a woman of African descent, which varies greatly from a woman of European descent. If I am evaluated based on the wrong levels my health is at risk. I have my iron levels and thyroid checked and a series of other things that I may be concerned about and then once I have that information, I can then understand how to adjust my nutritional plan. My current physician is a family friend that I grew up with and I know my doctor has my best interests at heart, but I even question the information rattled off because I have in the past had doctors tell me to make sure that I’m supplementing my vitamin D levels to 1,000 milligrams daily and I would always interject, “is this also true for an African woman?” And I would always get “Oh yeah!” So do not leave your health and wellness up to someone else. You know your body better than anyone else.
Steps to Jumpstarting Your Health Plan as an Expert of Your Own Body
Step One: Do Water Fasting: With distilled water the purest form of water available without having to have expensive filtration systems. Watch the video for more information.
Step Two: Use Raw Foods: To transition back into a regular eating schedule (with fruits and vegetables)
Step Three: Try the Elimination Diet: Use Dr. Jamnadas’ elimination diet to transition back to eating regular meals and eating one meal per day. Click the link to watch the video.
Step Four: Eliminate Animal Products: If you are able to eliminate meat and dairy, along with grains, this will help you have a clean diet. From my research these foodstuffs contribute to the dis-ease we see today, however, Dr. Jamnadas does recommend grains. I recommend doing the research. History shows that grains were introduced during years of drought and have been with the poor man ever since. You can use non-wheat flour such as yam, plantain, and chickpea flour. Professor Arnold Ehret says he “absolutely declares war on meat and alcohol” and he also admonishes his readers to remove all grains in his book The Mucusless Diet. Ehret was one of the pioneers in holistic health and I do not discount his works because he dedicated his life to healing others and teaching them to live in harmony with nature.
Step Five: Eat Whole Food Plant-Based Foods: This means to eat whole apples, oranges, broccoli, celery etcetera in their natural organic state, and not from a box. Avoid processed prepackaged foods and learn to make things yourself. According to Albert Einstein, “We can’t solve a problem with the same thinking we used to create them.” We must unlearn what I call ‘the Betty Crocker Box Trap’ that I grew up on. These foods may be convenient and quick, but they have created generations of sick and overweight people.
Step Six: Drink Plenty of Pure Water: At least half of your body weight each day.
Step Seven: Use Organic Chemical Free Spices: Stay away from monosodium glutamate (MSG) and learn to keep up with the various names the industry keeps relabeling it into. Most spices are laden with chemicals, and we sprinkle these on and experience symptoms that we, nor our doctors can figure out. This is a key point in your overall health because if the spices you use are not organic then they can decrease your energy level, and cause anything from headaches to increased appetite, and bloating, and these chemicals are not good for your gut flora.
Step Seven: Only Use Cold Pressed Organic Oils: Avoid oils like canola, and seed oils that are cheap but hazardous to your well-being. These types of oils add saturated fat to your bloodstream and cells and make it impossible to lose weight. Watch the video for more information.
Step Eight: Get to Bed on Time: Go to bed by 10 PM and arise at 6 AM to improve and maintain your circadian rhythm. According to Andreas Moritz, a great scientific man that I admire who has books, you can do research on a range of topics. One of my favorites is The Amazing Gallbladder Flush, this is a must-read! People have years of stones lodged within their gallbladders that need to be removed and doing so can improve your health.
Step Nine: Relieve Your Stress: Practice mindfulness, self-hypnosis, yoga, and stress-relieving practices like Solfeggio Frequencies, binaural beats, Biofeedback, Hypnotherapy, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Visit my website to book a free consultation, EFT, or Solfeggio appointment. I also offer Anxiety Relief Workshops.
Step Ten: Do Your Research. Learn to sort through the propaganda and learn to think critically about the information that is put on the internet that attacks natural ways of eating, drinking, and the ancient practices that have been around for thousands of years. Watch the documentary The Bittersweet Truth, it will provide a great foundation for you to build knowledge on health and wellness and losing weight.
Step Eleven: Get Moving! Exercise is also key. Working out is vital to your cardiovascular health, and weight resistance keeps your bones strong in a society that is sedentary. Start your routine in small chunks, ten minutes, then twenty, then thirty, until you are spending at least an hour moving each day. Watch the video here Get Moving.
Step Twelve: Get These Tests: BMI, metabolic stressors, and thyroid tests prior to the start of your wellness program.
Step Thirteen: Seek Support. Hypnotherapy is a great option to add to your program because while in hypnosis the practitioner will be able to help reprogram old habits that on your own will be impossible to change through willpower alone. Old patterns are set in your subconscious mind and the support of a professional will help you achieve your weight loss goals. I use a variety of techniques such as EFT, NLP, Guided Imagery, Biofeedback for stress relief, Binaural Beats, and others.
Must Watch Documentaries
Happy Mind, Happy Life, Rangan Chatterjee
Recipes for Change: Gourmet Wholefood Cooking for Health & Vitality at Menopause, Lissa De Angeles
Sugar Busters: Cut Sugar to Trim Fat, Leighton Steward; Morrison Beth; Sam Andrews; and Luis A. Balart
The Glucose Revolution
Nutricide: The Nutritional Destruction of the Black Race
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