Chapter 3 Excerpt
Grocery stores offer you three kinds of foods: manufactured foods, animal foods, and Perfect Foods. If you weigh more than you’d like to, one main reason is that you’re eating too much of the wrong kind of foods. Just about every diet book will give you this unwelcome message. What you might not realize is that, if you have some extra pounds, you are not eating enough of the right kinds of food—Perfect Foods.
It doesn’t much matter if you are a fussy eater or have multiple food allergies. There are hundreds of varieties of Perfect Foods, so you are sure to find a rainbow of choices you enjoy.
You will taste the earth, rain, and sun in Perfect Foods. You will reconnect to your roots in the land by choosing nature’s true gifts.
You will also be joining the new food evolution, as documented in a study of more than 5,000 consumers. More and more people are adding seasonal vegetables, nuts, berries, organic foods, and whole grains to their eat-ing plans.
Understand Your Cravings: Your Body Is On Your Side
We like to think of our high-tech gadgets as precision machines, but your body must meet standards more exacting than any machine or electronic device. If your body is to keep on breathing, metabolizing, and sensing, every chemical and physical part of its intricate functioning has to stay in a tight range.
The complexity of your body is unrivaled. Think of all your organ systems—for digesting, breathing, pumping blood, destroying dangerous microbes and chemicals, seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, reproducing, and more. Each organ system has multiple parts, and all the functions need to work together and with the outside world to ensure your health and survival.
In addition to internal coordination, your life depends on food, water, and oxygen from the environment. To maintain optimal functioning, your body has multiple sophisticated inventory control systems to direct you to secure what you need from your surroundings when you’re lacking, and to guard against getting so much that the in-put is toxic.
You want the level of everything you can measure about your body to be right on target—blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, blood sugar, salt, acidity, oxygen, hormone levels, and so on. Your body has numerous complex mechanisms to keep these measures safe and stable, and to stay in the optimal ranges, as long as you get what you need in safe amounts.
Remember, the bulls-eye is in the center of the circle, not above it (too much) or below it (too little).
For food, your body monitors whether you’re getting enough calories and nutrients of many types. Receptors in the nerves that line your digestive tract tell your brain what foods are moving through your system and how many nutrients and calories the food contains. In addition, stretch receptors in your stomach tell you how close your stomach is to being empty or topped off. If you’re not getting what you need, your body sends you out to get more.
When your inventory control systems tell you to “get more,” your ability to refrain from eating is limited. You can resist for a while, and distract yourself from hunger and food cravings, but eventually, you must satisfy the direction of your body and eat. Think of this as similar to holding your breath. You can consciously hold your breath for a short time if you want to. But, sooner rather than later, you have to start breathing again. The urge to breathe is irresistible.
Sure, you can avoid eating longer than you can hold your breath. But eventually, the systems that control your survival are going to triumph and you’re predestined to give in to your food cravings.
You may be wondering, if you’re getting enough calories, why you would have food cravings. The answer is that the animal foods and manufactured foods you are eating lack essential nutrients your body needs. Calories are not everything. Your body is sending you out to get critical building blocks for health. This is a good thing.
The problem is, because of habit, advertising, convenience, addictive processes, and misinformation about food fostered by big business and industry-friendly bureaucracies, your choices of what to eat don’t satisfy your body’s needs. Your inventory control systems don’t give up—they can’t!
Instead, your cravings to eat intensify in an unsuccessful attempt to get what you really need. Although you may crave manufactured foods or animal foods, these choices don’t make up for the nutritional lack that is one of the main reasons for your drive to eat too many calories.