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You have probably seen this headline or something similar a few times in the past year.  It is an ancient paradigm that was rejected with the advent of Western medicine that has resurfaced with the questioning of the effectiveness of chemical medicine for curing disease.

You see, medicine is primarily created to treat symptoms rather than cure disease. There are many reasons for this, which is a topic for another day. However, if you have ever been less than satisfied with the results of medication, or if you have suffered less-than-desirable side effects from medication, then you might consider looking into the “food as medicine” philosophy.

As a result of long-term high-intensity stress, I developed issues with my brain function. I felt like I was in a fog, my short-term memory shut down (literally), and I developed depression.  It wasn’t good, and that’s putting it mildly. At 42 years of age, I was convinced that I was developing early onset of Alzheimer’s disease and that I was close to going insane.

Being someone who has always believed that if you eat healthy you will be healthy, I was determined pull myself out of the fog by diving head first into healthy lifestyle habits. It took a few years, but I did it, and never once took any prescribed or over-the-counter medication other than natural supplements and organic, chemical-free foods. As a result, I dropped 25–30 pounds, my brain is functioning the best it has in many years, and I no longer suffer from depression.

Was my recovery 100% a result of eating healthy, nutrient dense foods? No, but it played a critical role in changing me for the better. Had I continued eating processed foods and non-organic big-Ag produce, I would still be sick and overweight today.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but proper nutrition allows your brain and your organs to function maximally, and it creates an environment in the body that is disease resistant. Our bodies are designed to protect us from harm and heal our diseases.  When you don’t have the nutrients your body needs to perform these tasks, it falls prey to disease.

If this topic piques your interest, I encourage you to watch the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. The main character in this movie was very sick and well on his way to premature death. The movie follows him on his journey to full recovery using the “food as medicine” paradigm.  Please check it out!

I hope today’s topic was helpful.

Yours in health and wellness,

Allison

 
 
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In the September 7th newsletter and blog post, I talked about how we will do ANYTHING other than what is truly best for us in order to lose a few pounds and trim our waistline by a few inches. 
 
So what’s the deal? Why are we so impulsive and irrational when it comes to our body image, and why is it so difficult to just eat a healthy diet?  These are two excellent questions.
 
The primary motivating force behind all behavior lies in the psychological phenomenon known as the Pleasure Principle.1We are designed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It is the driving force behind all of our behaviors and actions. This impulse is so strong that we willingly betray our own better judgment to keep from feeling uncomfortable.
 
Just think about how marketing incorporates this principle to induce you into purchasing something you can’t afford and don’t really need. How? They incite fear and negative emotions (pain) then provide a solution to relieve your pain (pleasure). Double whammy and whoosh - the sale is guaranteed!
 
Example: “Are you tired of seeing your belly hang over your belt? Are you sick of feeling self-conscious every single day because of that extra 10 pounds you are carrying around your waistline?  My name is Dr. VooDoo, and I have successfully treated thousands of overweight patients with Product X…”  You know the drill. This is followed by testimonials and before/after photos which finish off the job of convincing you to buy the product so that you can get relief from the pain you are now suffering.  It’s all made up, they are actors, the whole scenario is fake… and it works. You buy the product which may or may not be effective and you have likely wasted money you couldn’t afford to spend in the first place.
 
Changing your eating habits is subject to the same principle, except it’s the voices in your head that are conducting the sales pitch and response: “Ohhhh, doesn’t that triple chocolate layer cake look yummy?!! Uggghhh, I need that like I need a hole in my head… if I eat that, I will get fatter and feel guilty!  But it will taste soooooo gooood!!!...”  You are literally rallying back and forth over whether or not eating the cake will cause more pain than the pleasure you will receive by eating it. The strongest impulse usually wins, even if it is irrational, bad for you, or puts you in harm’s way.
 
The first step to overcoming this psychotic method of decision making is to recognize it for what it is. Acknowledge it then decide what to do based on what is truly in your best interest. Once you recognize what is going on, you can actively work toward managing your behaviors.
 
There are many methods available for changing behaviors such as reward systems, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy and re-training your associations. 
                         
I could go on and on about this topic as it is critical to taking control of unwanted, unhealthy behaviors. So if managing your impulses and subsequent behaviors is a problem for you, keep an eye out for future posts on this topic.
 
Also, in the near future, I will be conducting a video interview with a counselor who uses the techniques listed above to help people gain control of their behaviors so that they can rationally and consciously “decide” what to do rather than irrationally acting on impulse.
 
Thank you for reading today’s post. I hope you found it interesting.
 
Yours in health and well being,
 
Allison
 
 
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Greetings Friends!

One thing that drives me crazy about being in the health and fitness industry is our culture’s obsession with body image, especially around the subject of body weight. It is so deeply engrained in us that we will do just about anything to drop 5 pounds or fit into a pair of skinny jeans.

We starve ourselves, take pills that cause issues from diarrhea to heart disease, exercise in rubber suits, and spend endless amounts of our hard earned money on the latest diet, supplement, and exercise fad. And, the faster the product promises to produce results, the more we are willing to spend and the more we are willing put our own health at risk.

The weird thing is we tend to resist doing the one thing that is guaranteed to trim our waistline, improve our physical and mental health, prevent and eradicate most disease, and slow down the aging process. And that is eating a healthy diet.

Sure, other factors like exercise and meditation positively affect our waistlines, health, appearance, energy level, and vitality. For maximal health and wellness, each of these things should be incorporated into our daily health regimen.  Each factor has distinct benefits.  Together they complement each other to create results that are greater than the sum of the parts. However in isolation, none are as powerful or work as fast for trimming your waistline and improving your health as eating a nutrient dense diet, by a long shot! 

I will lay out for you the benefits and the basic elements of a nutrient dense diet and how to get started in upcoming article(s). In the meantime, you can request a free copy of the eating plan that I recommend for most people here <link>. Keep in mind, if you have health issues or take meds that can be affected by certain foods, or if you have food allergies, I recommend you run this plan by your doctor first and make whatever modifications are necessary to ensure it is within your physician’s plan of care.

Note: there’s lots of great info coming in the next couple of articles, so be sure to check in each week by reading this newsletter or following our blog. Thank you for taking time to read this week’s article!!

Yours in health and well being,

Allison