You make a choice about vital you feel, how healthy you look, and how healthy you are each time you open your mouth and put something in it.
How we eat is a bunch of habits mixed up with experience, cultural pressure, and unconscious actions. But…
- You can change the way you eat.
- You can enjoy foods you previously disliked.
- Eating is within your ability to completely control.
Expense is not the issue you think it is. The clear-headedness and vitality you gain from eating right more than makes up for the additional food cost. You’ll be smarter, feel smarter, and make smarter decisions.
Let’s begin with John Tilden, who accuses us all of being food drunkards…
John Tilden’s Rules of Eating
How to eat addresses what to eat but we must also discuss the how of eating. John Tilden does this with his four rules of eating.
Who was John Tilden? John Tilden was a healer. He didn’t believe in pills and potions. He didn’t believe in cures. He believed in self-control and reformation of pernicious habits that caused the problem in the first place.
Tilden was hard core. And we need to be hard core if we’re going to have robust health. Tilden helped people eat better. And to do this he came up with four rules that teach you how to eat.
- John Tilden Eating Rule #1 – Never eat unless comfortable in mind and body from the previous meal or meal time.
- John Tilden Eating Rule #2 – Never eat without desire and keen relish for the plainest, simple food; and not even then if to do so would break the first rule.
- John Tilden Eating Rule #3 – Avoid overeating. The best way to do this is by following the fourth rule.
- John Tilden Eating Rule #4 – Thoroughly masticate and insalivate, especially starchy foods.
Food to Avoid
Sugar is definitely a food to avoid. A cause of arthritis and a host of other health problems, sugar is comforting and loved by our culture but foolish to eat.
Sugar masquerades in a bunch of stuff. Salad dressings, sauces, dips, and so on. And why not? Why would food manufacturers not want to put an addictive substance in their food? That’s what it is really. Sugar is super-addictive and keeps us coming back.
Processed stuff. If it comes in a box to be microwaved, it’s most likely not a health food. Get in the habit of cooking your own food, or pay someone to cook it for you, or convince your spouse, or marry someone who likes to cook. Don’t trade convenience for health.
Alcohol and caffeine. These are both powerful drugs. And I enjoy them both. But in moderation. Is your blood pressure jacked from drinking coffee? Or, worse, energy drinks? Well, then lower your intake. Pay attention. Same with alcohol. A little bit is great. Treat them like medicine and try to avoid letting them become habits.
Here are the steps to start eating right.
Step 1: Acquire Recipes
Find some simple and basic recipes with good quality ingredients. This goes back to Tilden—cultivate simple tastes. This makes cooking easier and it makes shopping easier with less chance of spoilage.
Think meat and veggies. Rice and beans and veggies. Lentils and quinoa and veggies. Collect recipes that use these simple ingredients and then form a meal plan.
Brooks Kubik cooks simple meals of meat and salad with herbs or eggs and salad with herbs. Basically a meat and veggies type approach, low gluten (if any), low milk (if any). Milk and gluten are both allergens and along with table salt and sugar are listed as foods to avoid by Paul Chek.
Step 2: Practice
I don’t expect anyone to make drastic changes. Some can do this, some can’t. If you’re making all new meals and looking at recipes, that is time consuming. Start small and be sustainable. Cook one new meal a week until you’ve learned how to cook several different meals. You’re confidence will grow, you won’t be stressed out, and you’ll be learning how to cook—a vitally important life long skill.
Step 3: Develop a Meal Plan
What are you going to cook and when are you going to cook it? Do you have snacks for the week? Plan it out (meal planner). Plan out your leftover dishes. Plan out a week, and plan out a few alternate weeks, and then repeat this schedule. Get over the need for endless variety and stick to the staples.
Step 4: Use a Shopping List
Once you have a meal plan based off the recipes you’ve collected, figure out what ingredients you need to cook those meals. Look at what is on your shelf and in your fridge, and write down what you need to buy.
Buy extra non-perishable stuff. Olive oil, peanut butter, canned beans, and so on can all be stockpiled. Here’s a sample shopping list
Step 5: Follow Your Plan
You made your plan, you have your list, now follow it. Don’t buy things you don’t want to eat. Don’t go out to eat when you have a home cooked meal planned.
Step 6: Enjoy!
Meal time is family time. Try to eat together. Have fun with cooking. Share in the load.
Chew your food thoroughly and talk only about positive things at the table. Talk about how good the food is. More conversation can wait until after the meal.
I’m learning here that we need to slow down, and the dinner time is a great time to slow down and smell the roses (and enjoy the food!).
The Overall Concept
You are responsible for what you put in your mouth and what you put into your mouth has an incredible effect on your overall life. The way you eat can make you more clear-headed and more vital. You can have more energy.
The way we are eating is making us sick. Culturally we value poor food choices. We celebrate with sugar and alcohol and when people don’t want to partake in these celebrations with those drugs, we ostracize them. “Why aren’t you drinking?” says the concerned friend…
Therefore we need to make a plan and learn how to eat. And when social circumstances arise that will compel us to make poor choices, we can avoid them, or we can simply partake but partake knowingly and with small portions. Or, we can plan to go all out—but whatever we do in these circumstances it is through full conscious awareness.
This article has given you the tools. The hard part comes in the application. And, to be honest, that’s where the reward is. When you discipline your food choices, you develop a strange self control over more aspects of your being. So, if you’re looking to become more powerful, developing control over your eating is the place to start!
Half of what you eat feeds you, the other half feeds the doctor.
– Sign at a health resort in Mexico