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Outrageous Health and Fitness 2: Forever

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Published : December 03rd, 2012
6380 words - Reading time : 15 - 25 minutes
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Category : Editorials





Earlier this year, I suggested the "New World Economics Guide to Outrageous Health and Fitness."

June 3, 2012: The New World Economics Guide To Outrageous Health and Fitness

It wasn't too complicated. Just four-to-six days a week of good hard exercise, a raw food diet, and an herbal cleansing program. This might seem difficult, but actually I would say that it is easy -- it is a very effective way to produce results. I would even say that, arguably, it produces the best results that could theoretically be achieved. I suppose you might do better with more exercise, but you can figure that out yourself.

A lot of fitness programs are marketed with something like "get in the best shape of your life in just 90 days!!!!" -- as if the speed was important. This appeals to some basic premise, that eating well and moving your body is a burden, so you want to get it done as soon as possible. And then what .... stop? Go back to your old habits? I suppose that's what most people think, that they are "done" and now they can "stop," which is why some alarming number of dieters (I think it is over 95%) end up yo-yo dieting. They go right back to where they started.

Guess what: this is forever. It is like quitting smoking. Do you quit smoking for "just ninety days!!!" -- and then start smoking again? No, it's forever. If it's forever, it doesn't really matter if it takes three months or six months or a year, because you have plenty of time.

I don't mean that you have to maintain a six-days-a-week intense fitness schedule forever, or eat a 100% raw food diet forever. But, you can't go back to your old patterns either, or you will get your old results. Nor should you want to. You "graduated" from that state of consciousness. Do you want to go back to elementary school again? Didn't you learn anything from being fat, unhealthy and out of shape?

Since I finished my seven-month fitness program at the end of May 2012, I've continued the six-days-a-week workout pattern, which has become, I am happy to say, a new habit. Mostly, during the summer I was involved in trail running, with some biking. I also did one DVD workout per week as a core/crosstrain workout, and had some yoga here and there, including a week of intensive yoga in November. Recently, I decided to pass the winter months here in upstate New York with a new DVD program, the famous P90X. I started that, but actually it doesn't suit me. It is mostly focused on weight training, which builds bulk. I am mostly interested in cardio activities, and a lot of upper body bulk is just extra weight. Still, why not. I am mixing it with some road running (cold!), so that I don't lose my running conditioning. We'll see how that works.

Over the past six months, I've been chewing over the idea of "forever," or at least, for some extended period of time. Personally, I like working out every morning. In fact, I've been sliding towards seven days a week, with a gentler stretch or yoga day for recovery. The combination of a nice stiff workout, a fruit smoothie, and a hot shower puts me in the best kind of mood for the rest of the day, and indeed is a lot of fun in itself. Why stop what you like? If anything, my ambitions have expanded: I have quite a schedule of activities for next year, which will take many weeks of preparation. (The first big event is the Letchworth Gorge trail marathon in late May, and I will have to start training hard no later than mid-February to do that.)

I think I will update some of my recent thoughts about exercise, diet, and the other topics we wrestled with last June.

There's a tendency to focus a lot on exercise. I think exercise is vital, and it should be done every day, or nearly so. However, I think it can be quite moderate and still produce good results. A simple walk of 3-5 miles per day is enough, maybe with a little upper body and core work once or twice a week, like a DVD workout. A walk of 3-5 miles still takes 60-90 minutes, though. If you run the same distance of 3-5 miles, you can get it done in half the time. If you live in a Traditional City without a car, you might get your 3-5 miles in just from walking around town. You aren't going to get the kind of results that you would get from serious weight training or training for an Ironman triathlon, but it will tone your body and put you on the path to fine health. For most of us, the big muscles are mostly just peacock plumage anyway, and I'm not so sure I like washboard abs on women. Bikini models don't do that stuff. I would recommend some kind of intense program for anyone, men or women, below the age of 65, just because it's more fun when you go for it. But, I think you can get results that are perfectly acceptable with a lot less intense exercise.

However, I think that what you eat is a lot more important than people assume. People treat diet like some kind of add-on to their exercise program, but I think it is the other way -- the exercise, particularly exercise in excess of a little walking and some upper body work, is the add-on. I would say the path to "outrageous health and fitness" is 70% food and 30% exercise.

Get really serious about what you eat.

Scott Jurek is one of the best ultrarunners of his generation. He is the seven-time winner of the effective National Championships of U.S. ultradistance wilderness running, the Western States Endurance Run, which is a 100 mile course on hiking trails across the Sierra Crest. He is also the present U.S. record-holder for the 24-hour endurance run (165.7 miles). He knows as little bit about "working out." When he went to write a book on how he got to where he is, he called it Eat and Run.

Buy Eat and Run at

Jurek is a vegan, and spends more time describing the actual recipes he uses than his workout schedule.

I am not making this up. Focus on eating, as much or more than on your exercise schedule.

The easy -- conceptually easy -- path here is to simply eat raw food indefinitely. It is the best possible eating pattern, in my opinion. If I was a single guy, I would probably do this, if only because there's no cooking or cleanup involved. I like raw food a lot.

However, raw food is something of an artificial diet, especially for those of us north of the Tropic of Cancer. Before you could get oranges from California, bananas from Costa Rica, spinach from Mexico and pineapples from Chile, you couldn't eat a raw food diet year-round in a place like upstate New York, or even in Georgia. (I suppose it is not impossible, but it would mean a lot of dried fruit!) Our European-style diets reflect the climate of Europe -- a climate where it was necessary to store food from the end of the growing season, at the end of October, to when the first crops appeared around the beginning of July. This meant things that didn't spoil over the winter, like grains, sugar, cheese, sausage, and so forth.

These climatological issues are not really a consideration for me. I eat local when possible, but I am happy to buy bananas in February. But, I actually am intrigued by cooking, in a general sense. I see cooking as part of the entire evolution of humans, for the reasons outlined -- how do you feed yourself through the winter? Also, my wife is a very good cook, and I like to eat what she makes. She makes very healthy food, mostly vegan with a bit of fish, but cooked. We want to produce a conceptual outline not only for a fringe of long-term raw foodies, but for the general population, or anyway, more typical people. Something they can do not just as a six-month program, but for the rest of their lives. What you do after the six-month program.

So, what I want to talk about here is: constructing a diet. By "diet" I mean an eating pattern, not a weight-loss plan. (You can make it into a weight-loss plan by adjusting the quantities.)

We have all heard the things that you are not supposed to eat. Don't eat this and don't eat that. This is good, but these are rules in the construction of a diet. They don't tell you what to eat.

After finishing my seven months of raw food, I had the option to eat anything. So, what should I eat? I talked about this problem earlier:

July 29, 2012: The Omnivore's Dilemma

One of the great things about the raw food approach is that there is just one rule: it must be raw (and vegan). Inherent in this one rule is a lot of don'ts. If it's raw, then, without thinking about it, you are already accomplishing a long list:

No processed sugar
No salt
No caffeine
No meat
No dairy
No GMO foods (most GMO foods are grains and beans)
No grains
No pasteurized foods
No trans-fats
No processed foods
No weird chemicals
No booze

However, I now allow myself a much broader range of options. That is my choice, and it introduces a lot of new avenues of action. I call it "degrees of freedom," borrowing from the terminology of mathematics. How shall I approach this, and still maintain most of the advantages of a raw food diet?

I think Michael Pollan's books on this topic are quite excellent. He investigated the topic for several years, and came up with three principles. Note again: only three. The human mind really can't juggle too many of these rules. Pollan's rules are:

Eat Food
Not too much
Mostly plants

His arguments were summarized in a New York Times article here:

However, I went and bought his books:

In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto

Food Rules

The extra discussion in his books is worthwhile. Buy the books. I will summarize Pollan's arguments a little bit.

Eat Food: This means, basically, no processed food. It should be something that your ancestors could have made in their own kitchen in the year 1900. Something that "looks like" what your ancestors would have eaten, like a cherry pie at your grocery store, does not count (just look at the list of ingredients). Mostly, this means that you make it yourself from scratch, or you have someone else do it, like in a restaurant. Your shopping should be mostly raw materials like fruits, vegetables, flour, oils, meat, spices and so forth. Things that do not have a list of ingredients. Be very, very careful when shopping for anything that has a list of ingredients. Even things like plain white bread can have a lot of funny things in it. I recently bought some tortillas, without looking at the label. Hey, it's a tortilla. Flour and water. But, it wasn't a tortilla, it was a "wrap." The label said: "high in protein! high in fiber!" Eh? Wheat flour doesn't have much protein or fiber. Well, it turned out that this "wrap" was made from wheat flour, oat bran, and soy meal. Plus, there was some added gluten to made it all stick together. Can you make this in your kitchen? I can't. Did people make this in their kitchen in 1900? Absolutely not. Avoid this stuff, even if it touts health claims. Eat Food.

Let's call this Real Food.

Pollan observed that most traditional cuisines have actually provided excellent health benefits, and of course are aligned with the foods of the area and their seasonality. French people seem to get by fine on French cuisine, without adverse health effects. Mediterranean (Greek) people are fine on Mediterranean cuisine. Chinese people are fine on Chinese cuisine. Japanese people are fine on Japanese cuisine. Eskimos, who ate nothing but raw meat, were quite healthy on their traditional diet. All of these wildly different approaches seemed to work. Of course, you have to eat the way the French eat (Not Too Much), and also recognize that actual eating patterns in those traditional cuisines may have a lot more vegetable food (Mostly Plants) that you might at first assume. The showcase meat/dairy dishes or fancy desserts that we tend to focus on are actually a smallish portion of the overall diet. For example, most Chinese food is eaten in small quantities over rice. The rice is actually 70% of the meal. However, in the U.S., we discard the rice and just eat the topping, which is often some form of fried meat. This is like discarding the pasta and just eating the sauce, or discarding the salad and just eating the dressing. Also, these traditional cuisines can be very, very sophisticated (France -- yes, Britain -- no), which is to say they taste really good, which is a lot more interesting than some crude "healthy" food like steamed broccoli.

Not too much: You can eat cheesecake, roast beef and french fries, and drink brandy if you want. Use the Julia Child or Paula Deen cookbook if you want. Just not too much. This has three meanings. First, portion size. If you eat cheesecake, how much do you eat? Maybe it should be a lot smaller. You might enjoy it just the same anyway. Also, it means: how often? Don't eat cheesecake or ice cream or french fries every day. Maybe once a week, or less. Finally, it obviously means: not too many calories. You can still get grossly fat on "healthy" food.

Mostly plants: Although meat and cheese are not banned, your food should be mostly plants. Have a little portion of beef, and a large portion of roasted sweet potatoes, onions, bread and salad. Most days, maybe you can skip meat altogether.

Despite being a raw vegan advocate, I am not that opposed to meat. I eat meat today, but Not Too Much of it, and not every day. I probably get less than 10% of my calories from meat, using it mostly, as Thomas Jefferson suggested, as a flavoring. Sweet and sour pork? Sure, a little bit (three ounces of meat?), as a topping on brown rice, the way it was intended. Many traditional cultures ate a lot of meat, especially those in far northern climates. Although meat is not as good, generally speaking, as vegetables for a diet, nevertheless, it is a natural food. There are a lot of vegan foods (anyway, no meat or dairy) that are a lot less healthy than a good quality piece of sirloin. Like french fries, a Snickers bar or a Mountain Dew. I think we should get away from the Big Piece of Meat in the Middle-type of cooking that is common in the U.S. today. Maybe eat meat twice a week or so, and then only four ounces. (Mostly Plants.) When you do eat meat, try to get the best quality you can find -- comparable to what people would have eaten in 1900. Today, this is "craft-raised" grass-fed natural beef from something like an Amish farm. Yes, it is more expensive. Maybe twice or three times as expensive. Pay up. You're only going to eat four ounces twice a week, so it's not that big a deal if it costs $12 a pound.

By the way, Tony Horton, the P90X guy, was a vegan for many years, and is now "mostly vegan."

Tony Horton: the Perfect Healthy Diet

To summarize: we can eat any kind of traditional cuisine, such as French or Italian or Chinese, but, instead of skewing towards the meatiest and fattiest examples of that cuisine, as Americans naturally do because of their self-destructive meaty/fatty habits, we will skew towards the more vegetable-oriented end.

So far, we are just collecting ideas, which we will use in the construction of our diet.

Now, let's actually construct our diet. You can construct it however you choose. It's your diet! If you want to be vegan, then go for it. If you want a lot of meat, but still want to maximize the healthiness of your diet plan, then do that (maybe that is a "caveman" diet). Pollan made a whole book of Food Rules, so you can consider that in the construction of your diet. But, after you are done constructing your diet, forget about the rules, and just follow your eating plan. We can only deal with so many rules, so your only rule is: follow your eating plan. Your eating plan should include all the food you eat, including some way of dealing with "exceptions" if you want to do that.

I decided to eat a diet that was something like this:

50%+ raw fruits and vegetables
garden vegetable salad with a raw dressing (no meat, cheese, etc.)
fruit smoothies
other raw fruit
nonsweet vegetables like cucumbers, celery and carrots
homemade pickled foods
olives (occasional)
nuts (occasional)
dried fruit (occasional)
40% vegetable-heavy cooked food (occasional meat)
various cooked vegetable dishes (vegetable means no grains, things like potatoes, squash, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, carrots, beans, peppers, fruits, nuts and so forth)
miso soup (has a fish broth)
rice (white and brown)
bread, pasta (occasional)
occasional fish
generally speaking, minimal white flour/sugar/dairy, i.e. baked goods other than plain bread.
all of it is Real Food; no processed food
10% Real Food (no processed food), but not particularly healthy
fried foods
sugary/creamy desserts
baked goods other than bread (muffins, pies, cakes, cookies)
alcoholic beverages

I've been doing this for roughly six months now. It's not hard.

The percentages are loosely based on calories. You have to be careful, because the unhealthy stuff can have a lot of calories, so you have to keep the quantities small or make it something of a rarity. 10% of calories might seem like 5% of quantity. Salad has almost no calories, but it has to be included anyway. (Go to to measure calories.)

There are a number of things which might seem healthy, but are not necessarily all that great:
white bread (no nutrients, processed white flour)
breakfast cereal (simple grains, no nutrients)
cranberry muffin (a zillion calories, due to lots of oil and sugar. The rest is white flour.)
banana bread or zucchini bread (same as a muffin, just a different shape)
iced tea (if sweetened, can have as much sugar as Pepsi. This includes brands like Tazo. Can also include caffeine.)
green tea (basically Asian coffee)
blueberry pie (mostly white sugar, crust is white flour and butter)
salad with meat, cheese and/or creamy/cheese dressing (this is just meat, cheese and oils on a bed of lettuce)
vegetable soup (can have a LOT of salt -- use a potassium salt instead)
milk ("liquid meat," nonfat milk typically contains highly processed powdered milk solids, use 2%)
yogurt (concentrated milk solids and white sugar)
granola (oats, honey and butter -- not much different than a chocolate chip cookie)
maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, malted rice, and other intense sweeteners (exactly why is this better than dried cane juice? Use in moderation.)

In general, I would avoid the "white foods": white flour, milk/dairy, salt and white sugar. Use whole grains when you can, and always avoid GMO foods (Eat Food).

I would suggest a few things that seem unhealthy, but are maybe not so bad as people say (in moderation):

I'm not saying that bacon is good for you. However, at 50 calories per slice for fried bacon, it is perhaps not as bad as a blueberry muffin (can be 600 calories, from white flour, sugar and oil), and might have a more useful nutrition as well (especially protein if you want that). I would take bacon -- a real food -- over any processed foods, including ones that claim healthy benefits. I am not particularly convinced that animal fats (bacon, lard) are any worse for you than the equivalent vegetable fats (canola oil), especially when used at higher temperatures. There are quite a few issues regarding heating vegetable oils -- animal fats might actually be better for any high-temperature use, which especially includes frying but also baking. I would definitely take lard (rendered animal fat) and butter (organic) over "vegetable oil shortening," which is 100% trans-fats. But, if you just stay away from frying and baking (with oils) in general, that tends to resolve a lot of those issues. When you do use vegetable oils, look for organic and natural products. Many generic oils are from GMO crops.

Dr. Mercola on why heating vegetable oils is bad for you.

Another nice thing about the Raw Food approach is that you don't have to deal with all of these issues regarding heating of oils. The only real use of oils is for salad dressings, and that is typically a high-quality non-GMO oil like extra virgin olive oil. Consider some flaxseed or hemp oil for salad dressings, which might have some additional benefits.

Eat raw nuts instead of roasted nuts, because of the same heating-of-oils issue.

As you can see, nothing is strictly off limits, as long as it is a Real Food. (Of course you can make it off limits if you want. It's your diet!) It's all about Not Too Much: the unhealthy stuff has to fit in my rather small 10% budget. 10% works out to about 2000 calories per week, which is one large or two medium-sized meals, four large desserts, about 13 servings of alcohol, and so forth. Mostly, this is eating out -- at restaurants, friends' houses etc. Some people organize this by having an "anything day." One day a week, they can eat things that are outside of their dietary guidelines (but it still has to be Real Food, and Not Too Much). Then, you don't have to count calories or remember what else you ate that week. Just look at the calendar. Simplicity helps.

We still don't have an eating plan. But, the outline is taking shape.

The fact of the matter is, most people have a rather repetitive diet. They tend to eat the same thing over and over, whether it is beer and pretzels, pizza and hamburgers, or fruit smoothies and garden salads. Thus, what you really need are about twenty recipes of things that you like, which fit into your overall framework. Most of us eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, so that means maybe five breakfast recipes, five lunch recipes, and ten dinner recipes. Of course you can add more later, but that is a good place to start. This is your actual eating plan. It is what you actually eat. For me, it is easy:


three pieces of raw fruit before workout
fruit smoothie after workout, typically some combination of oranges, bananas, frozen berries, apple juice, and occasionally some raw "superfood" supplements like rice or hemp protein, maca, mesquite, etc.

I'm happy with this every day, so I don't need any other recipes.


More fruit, often a pineapple or melon, clementine oranges, grapes, avocados or something in season like peaches. Sometimes a garden salad with a homemade dressing (often low-fat).
Plus, some small amount of vegetable-heavy cooked food, possibly miso soup and a little rice, and some kind of vegetable dish (often leftovers from previous dinners).

This also doesn't really require any recipes, as most of the cooked food is leftovers from previous dinners.

Afternoon meal (occasional):

Raw fruit or nonsweet vegetables like celery, carrots and cucumber, often using a little mustard or similar as a dip.


Large garden salad with a raw dressing (homemade)
Vegetable-heavy cooked food
Miso soup

Now we're cooking, so we need some recipes.

As we choose our cooked food recipes, here are some principles to consider:

Don't try to imitate some other, unhealthy food. No soy burgers or "tofurkey." (Soy burgers are a processed food anyway, not Real Food.) Definitely no "raw muffins," or "macrobiotic cookies." If you want a cookie, eat a cookie -- just Not Too Much. And if you don't want a real cookie in your diet, then just exclude it altogether. If you want some kind of sweet, portable snack, how about some Medjool dates? You might like it a lot more than a cookie anyway. (I do.) We don't want our food to imitate some other meat/dairy/white flour-intensive food, but to be delicious just as it is. For example:

Spaghetti with marinara sauce (tomato, basil, oregano) plus onions and mushrooms
Thai green curry over (organic) brown rice
Roasted squash
Tomato vegetable soup, combined with "artisanal" bread
Vegetable chili (delicious on its own, not as a "beef chili substitute")
Burritos with black beans, rice, salsa, avocado, and grilled onions/peppers
Roasted potatoes, seasoned with herbs
Baked beans with maple syrup and onions
Lentil soup with cumin and onions
Bell peppers stuffed with rice/tomatoes/onions
Avocado sashimi (yes, this is a real recipe popular among normal Japanese people, not a "fish sashimi alternative for vegans")
Ratatouille soup (tomatoes, zucchini, onions -- no water, spices, salt or pepper added. Believe it or not, it's awesome, when you have best-quality ingredients. Thank you French people!)

In my opinion, most vegan/vegetarian recipes that you might find in cookbooks stink. They simply don't taste very good. Many are rather laughable (and not very successful) imitations of some kind of meat/dairy dish. Supposedly, their healthy virtues make up for this failing, but you can have healthy, vegetable-based food that also tastes great too. There are some excellent recipes in books also, so look around and be picky. Don't eat stuff that tastes bad just because it is "healthy." Because our British/American diets tend to be so heavily meat/dairy based, look to recipes from other cultures. Japanese cuisine has a zillion excellent vegetable recipes. So does Indian, Malaysian, Thai or Mexican cuisine. You can tell it is a good recipe because people eat it just because it tastes good. It might be very healthy, but that is not the point of it at all.

The most important thing is: you should like it. A lot. You should like it more than pizza, hamburgers, french fries and Doritos. Which, actually, is not that hard. When you acquire an enthusiasm for ripe mango, and make that a part of your daily eating patterns, a Dorito tastes pretty horrible actually.

So, to summarize, make an eating plan that you like. An eating plan is a collection of actual recipes that fit your overall framework, and the proportions of your overall eating pattern. It is what you actually plan to do, in exact detail, not a collection of don'ts or other general principles.

Obviously, you can have a plan that is very different from mine. You can have a ham sandwich for lunch and oatmeal for breakfast if you want. That would be better than what a lot of people eat today, particularly if it is Real Food and Not Too Much. (Get organic oatmeal and naturally-raised ham if you can.) However, it wouldn't be as good, for your body, as my plan. Every plan has consequences and effects, and you can choose to approach that however you like.

Your plan shouldn't be hard to adopt, because it should be something you like. You won't want to eat anything else, because that would involve giving up something you like even more. After two or three months, you will become so accustomed to it that it will be easy, what you do naturally without thinking about it.

If you eat in restaurants, even fast-food restaurants, for example at work each day, find things on the menu that fit your eating plan. Maybe this is the 6" Italian sub at Subway, or the vegetable burrito at Chipotle. Go to for the nutritional breakdown. Skip the rest. Consider going to a supermarket instead of a fast-food restaurant. Grab a bag of grapes for lunch, or a half-gallon of fresh-squeezed orange juice. It's just as convenient as a Big Mac, fries and a Coke.

Can you drink a half-gallon of orange juice for lunch? Yes, and you might even like it.

I was on a long driving trip recently, and was getting hungry. I decided to try WalMart. Yes, WalMart. For lunch. I went to their supermarket section, and found that strawberries and cherries were on sale for $1.50 a pound. (That's a good price.) I got four pounds of strawberries and cherries for $6. It was a great lunch, and I didn't even have to pay sales tax on it.

Even if you genuinely don't have time to spend hours cooking every day, figure out how you can work a proper Real Food eating plan into your schedule. For example, you can make some kind of soup, pasta sauce, curry or salad dressing just once a week, and have it available all week. Then, all you need to make is some pasta or rice. You could even make a very large batch, freeze or can it, and have it available all year. You can make your own bread in a programmable bread maker (using organic flour), so that it is ready when you get home. You can do the same with rice in a programmable rice cooker. One good way to make salad is to prepare all the ingredients (cut and wash the spinach, slice onions and mushrooms etc) immediately after purchasing them, and store them in plastic containers or ziploc bags in your refrigerator. Then, when you want to make a salad, just throw it together. With maybe two hours of cooking and preparation on Saturday, you can have enough soup, salad and homemade bread to last the whole week. When you cook other dishes, make larger quantities and keep some leftovers for lunch, to be reheated on the stove or with a toaster oven (no microwave ovens please). Many raw food options don't take any cooking at all. Just cut up a pineapple and eat it. Just wash some apples or grapes and eat them. Eat some dates or figs right out of the package.

Who says that your family can't have pineapple and grapes for dinner? Or watermelon?

Here's the recipe for eating watermelon for dinner:

Cut a watermelon into quarters lengthwise

Serve with a spoon.

Throw the rinds on the compost heap.

No "instant foods" sold in a supermarket are as easy as that. You don't have to eat watermelon or other fresh fruit for dinner every day, but how about once a week?

There is no reason this has to be difficult.

One last thing to think about is how you eat. Pollan has some statistics that show that, in the U.S. for people aged 18-55, roughly 20% of all calories are consumed while sitting in a car.

That is disturbing.

Give respect to your food. Make eating a formal occasion, even if it is a watermelon. Eat at the table, not in front of a computer or television. Clean the crap off the table and set it nicely, with good dishware and silverware. Yes, every day, and every meal. Even if you are eating alone. Make sure the family eats together. Insist that people stay at the table for at least thirty minutes for dinner. (It might be hard at first.) Say grace, give thanks, or whatever you choose to do to recognize that the meal has formally begun. Small meals may be OK -- there's no rule that says you have to eat three times a day, instead of five -- but don't snack. Perhaps insist on a minimal dress code -- no sweaty running shirts or dirty work clothes, for example.

That can be part of your eating plan as well. The point is: make a plan. This Is What I Will Do and This Is Why I Will Do It. Put all of your preferences and aspirations into it. Then, do it.

Another element of the "guide to outrageous health and fitness" was an herbal cleansing program. This was presented as something of an afterthought, but I think it is much more important than that.

In addition to excess fat in our bodies, over time, we accumulate a lot of toxic gunk. This includes the matter that builds up in the colon, but it also includes stuff that accumulates throughout the tissues of the body. Books like Nature's First Law document things like hypertrophic cells in our organs, which are hundreds of times larger than normal cells.

Especially as we get older, on our toxic Standard American Diet, our bodies begin to become deformed. This is not just regular body fat, but a sort of misshapen appearance. For example, look at this video of Chalene Johnson, who is a fitness instructor. She is lean, lean, lean. However, over time, she has developed a sort of strange, bulky accumulation across the torso area. (She's the one on stage, not the model at the beginning.)

If you look around, you'll see that many people have the same sort of thing, especially as they get older.

I mentioned before this account from Sherif Kamal, who found that his body was accumulating toxic material despite his regular workout schedule:

Sherif Kamal: Why I am a Raw Foodist

I can tell you that by the time I reached my late twenties my training began to become less effective and I started to lose my shape. I gained 33 pounds of waste and my body felt and looked worn out. My first assumption was my metabolism was slowing down. Genetically I always had a very cut physique and growing up I was extremely active in sports and fitness. I competed as an amateur boxer and did martial arts for many years, but for some reason my genetics and intense training wasn’t helping me anymore. I noticed a significant drop in energy and found myself frustrated and tired of getting no real results from my hard work. I noticed a dramatic increase in my day to day stress and the famous tire around my waist was starting to become more and more noticeable through my clothing. This was not the body and state of health I was used to or comfortable with.

Thus, I would definitely focus on the idea of detoxification and cleansing, in addition to reducing body fat and so forth. This is especially important for those over the age of 35 or so.

The best foundation for detoxification and cleansing is a raw food diet. As you can read in many books on the subject, eating raw food produces a detoxifying effect throughout the body. This is not just a matter of ingesting less toxic material. The body, sensing that it now has a good chance to clear out all the accumulated gunk, begins to release accumulated toxic material from the tissues. This can produce a strong detox effect on people who begin to eat raw food. As the toxic material moves from the tissues to the blood, to be cleared by the kidneys, liver and so forth, people can begin to feel sick and weak, with flu-like symptoms. This is not because of the raw food itself, but because of the detox effect that often accompanies a raw food diet. Of course you want the body to detoxify itself, so this process is good. However, it can be rather uncomfortable for a week or two.

Books about Raw Food and Detoxification at

That's one reason why I insist on a period -- six months is good -- of eating raw food, even if you later transition to some more varied diet as described previously. Do the six months, and don't be a weenie about it. If you have to, have a period of transition of a couple weeks, where you go to one raw meal a day and then two raw meals a day before going 100% raw. But, you want to get there as fast as you can.

This detox process can be enhanced with an herbal detox program, like the Dr. Natura Toxinout program. I would also add an herbal colon cleansing program, like the Dr. Natura Colonix program. Dr. Natura recommends three months on these programs (they can be done simultaneously), if you haven't done so before. After you have done the three-month program, you can do one month a year as a maintenance program. I also recommended the Ejuva program, which is a little more serious. I would do the three-month Dr. Natura, and then finish with the one-month Ejuva, which includes a one-week juice fast. (If I were doing it over, I would do a two-week juice fast with the Ejuva program. I didn't feel like I was quite done after a week. Instead of the 1-2-3-4 rampup pattern of the Ejuva as recommended, I would probably do more like 2-4-4, with both "4" weeks on a juice diet, because you will already have "ramped up" on the Dr. Natura previously.) The Ejuva program assumes that you are already on a raw diet.

These herbal programs are very easy to do. You just take some herbal capsules and maybe a scoop of powder mixed with apple juice. Combine it with a raw food diet for best results. You really want to get that gunk out of there. In addition to all the benefits to health and appearance, it is the easiest 5-10 pounds you ever lost.

Among other accumulations of the body is water itself. The body uses water to flush out toxins. Thus, if you have a diet heavy in toxic matter, the body stores water, so that it will have water available to flush out the toxins you are eating. This means water weight and bloat. As you eat a raw food diet, the body will release this excess water.

Take the detox/cleansing stuff seriously. Don't skip it.



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Nathan Lewis was formerly the chief international economist of a firm that provided investment research for institutions. He now works for an asset management company based in New York. Lewis has written for the Financial Times, Asian Wall Street Journal, Japan Times, Pravda, and other publications. He has appeared on financial television in the United States, Japan, and the Middle East.
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You forgot to mention Breatharianism.
The good thing about this method is that it is a non-diet and it is very inexpensive.
Few people get to realise maximum benefit from this regimen.
Breathing is very important ( as I am sure most would realise). The Indians maintain that one has only a certain amount of breaths in one's lifetime so the most important part of "B" ism is to breath very very very slowly if you want to live a long time.
Another benefit is of course that there is NO need for exercise at all, as this will increase the respiration rate which is counterintuitive..

Clean air is essential so one has to travel to places like... high in the Himalayas or Andes etc for best results. This is an added expense but the view is great on a good day and of course trekking up say 20,000 feet isn't easy if you are not eating or drinking but hey, I can assure all the readers here that it is an experience to die for.
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You forgot to mention Breatharianism. The good thing about this method is that it is a non-diet and it is very inexpensive. Few people get to realise maximum benefit from this regimen. Breathing is very important ( as I am sure most would realise). The I  Read more
S W. - 12/3/2012 at 9:53 AM GMT
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