The Power of Nutrition

I make four days in advance so that I just have to heat it up each morning.

I can’t believe a doctor told me that I wasn’t eating a healthy enough diet, but he did.

Last week I mentioned that I visited an endocrinologist to determine if I did indeed have hypoglycemia all these years. He asked me what I eat for breakfast, and I said, “La Familia’s no sugar added muesli with almond milk and some fruit.”

“I’m surprised that you’re eating cereal out of a box,” he said. Really? Can’t it still be good for you, even if it’s packaged cereal?

I was dumfounded. I thought that I was a wizard at healthy eating, but clearly I was wrong.

He told me to eat steel cut oatmeal every morning and to stop eating packaged energy bars. “The rule is that you can eat anything that grows from the ground.”

So I looked back at my diet to see how well I was following his rule:

  • Boxed cereal for breakfast
  • Store bought orange juice
  • Some kind of Kashi energy bar once or twice a day
  • A decaf coffee with soy milk
  • Leftovers from previous dinner for lunch or food truck food
  • Dinner would definitely include some combination of veggies, beans, fruits, and nuts, but could just as easily also include white pasta, white rice, or white bread.
  • Virgil’s all-natural cream soda

Not really so good.

The positives

  • No animal products at all (meat, milk, or egg), which research tells us can promote cancer growth.
  • Minimal chemicals and additives — even my packaged cereals and energy bars have natural ingredients.
  • Getting more veggies now than I ever did as a meat eater.

The negatives

  • Too much sugar, which can promote certain cancers.
  • Not nearly enough variety and quantity of vegetables.
  • Too many simple carbs (cereal, pasta, rice, and bread) — same sugar issue, plus the food doesn’t sustain me very long so that I need to eat again shortly after.

My doctor’s appointment was on Thursday. Friday Tommie and I went to Whole Foods and purchased steel cut oatmeal, clementine oranges to squeeze at home, and unsalted mixed nuts to munch on. We also grabbed some raisins and bananas for snacking and some veggies for juicing. We did not buy cream soda. 🙁

Since Saturday morning I have eaten steel cut oatmeal for breakfast every day, squeezed my own OJ, eat nuts, fruits, and veggies for snacks, and I drink water or herbal tea instead of soda.

Result?

I feel incredible. I’ve lost two pounds of fat (since Saturday!), and I feel less hungry and more energetic.

Coincidentally, a friend posted the following video on my Facebook page on Saturday. It’s the story of Dr. Terry Wahls, who successfully reversed her advanced multiple sclerosis with her diet. I don’t think Drs. Campbell and Esselstyn would completely agree with all her choices, as she still consumes meat, but the results are truly astounding. Even I was shocked to discover that through diet alone someone could beat MS.

Watch for yourself and let me know what you think:

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2 comments

  1. David Brown says:

    Hi Tracy,

    I’ve noticed through observation (I have friends who are vegans) and extensive reading (I’m a nutrition nerd) that the vegan approach appears to be helpful for many over the short term but can be disappointingly deficient in certain nutrient, body building materials over the long term. In any case, it’s important to match dietary intake to one’s physiological and metabolic make up.

    Correct me if I’m mistaken but Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn seem to believe that that a vegan diet is appropriate for everyone. I’ve seen enough people get into trouble on the vegan approach to make me suspicious of such an extreme view. I too watched the Dr. Wahls video. She used the Paleo approach which is also a bit on the fringe. But I’m a pragmatist who favors whatever works for the individual.

    On the whole I’d say there are four things one can do to drastically reduce ones chances of developing cancer; limit consumption of added sugars and omega-6s, maintain adequate serum levels of vitamin D, consume adequate amounts of proteins, vitamins, and minerals, choose (through trial and error) an appropriate dietary configuration that supplies adequate nutrient intake.

    I’m still experimenting. At age 65, I’m reasonably strong and healthy. I long ago reduced consumption of added sugars. More recently I learned that my peanut butter habit was slowly doing me in due to the high omega-6 content of peanuts. For more on this just Google – David Brown omega-6.

    A further warning. Beware of anyone who says that saturated fats are a health hazard. That is a mistake I would like to see corrected. Google – David Brown Guest Writer and David Brown Saturated Fat.

    If you want to visit my blog, Google David Brown Nutrition.

    One other thing. I do extreme gardening. Google – David Brown Catherine Haug.

    Be relentless in your search for understanding. Here are some quotes about ignorance:

    “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
    “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” (mindset of political leaders?)
    “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”
    “Whatever you say, say it with conviction”
    Mark Twain

    Some others:

    “The recipe for perpetual ignorance is a very simple and effective one: be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge”
    Elbert Hubbard

    “The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.”
    Winston Churchill
    Take care,
    David Brown
    Nutrition Education Project

  2. Tracy Krulik says:

    Hi David,

    I know that Dr. Esselstyn promotes a completely plant-based diet, but I’m not sure about
    Dr. Campbell. With cancers I’ve read that he believes if you keep your animal protein intake to less than 10% of your overall protein consumption you should be safe against cancers which are tuned on by animal protein.

    I’ve encountered doctors who say completely plant-based is the way to go and others who say “a predominantly plant-based diet” is suffiecient. I also believe in individuality, so when I discuss recommended diets, I usually discuss people using a predominantly plant-based diet. I agree with you that it’s dangerous to go to extremes.

    I became a vegetarian years ago out if love for animals — not for my health. But it seems that that decision might have saved my life. A scan of my tumor in 2004 showed the mass larger than on a scan in 2007. The only thing that changed was that I became a vegetarian. After reading The China Study and watching Forks Over Knives this year, I’ve gone completely plant-based, because of the possibility that casein could fuel my tumors. Not taking any chances!

    And as to fat, I’m hearing more and more about the importance of saturated fats. I’d love to be able to eat more of them, but without a gallbladder and only half a pancreas, Ihave difficulty digesting them.

    At the end of the day, I’d be hard pressed to find a reputable nutritionist who would disagree that Americans need to eat more produce, nuts, grains, and beans and less meat, processed foods, sugars, and fried foods.

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