Do you know one of my least favorite words on the planet? DIET.
Why? Because DIET screams UNSUSTAINABLE. It screams TEMPORARY. And a good way of eating is neither.
Sorry for the caps overload. But I feel pretty strongly about this. Sure, extreme diets can produce results fast — but as the unsustainable nature of the diet becomes unavoidable, you can lose many or all of the results you gained.
That’s demoralizing and can create a perception of “dieting” as doomed to fail.
If you went from eating bacon five times a week to drinking nothing but green juice, how long do you think you could keep that up?
Taking massive action to change your lifestyle doesn’t have to mean going on a shock-and-awe diet. What I think is truly super-important is “overdosing on nutrition,” as Chris Wark of ChrisBeatCancer.com puts it. And that can be done in a healthy, sustainable way.
A Gradual Shift
Yes, I did go cold turkey on certain things when I started my food and supplement program — things like refined sugar, cold cuts and factory-farmed meat and dairy. But other than that, a gradual shift helped a lot. Week after week, step by step, I switched to organic, grass-fed animal products and lower-pesticide, organic fruits and vegetables. I ate more vegetables and less protein. I started taking more supplements, doing more exercise, and meditating and giving thanks.
But did I go from slouch to superstar overnight? I certainly didn’t.
It was important for me to accept my mistakes and not let them derail my entire lifestyle by making me feel like a failure. If I messed up, I just had to pick myself up and start eating and living well again the next day. As the great herbalist Dr. Richard Schulze says, “Tomorrow is what you believe and do today!”
To live that mantra is to create a new way of being.
Finding a Sustainable Lifestyle
In my own gradual phase shift, I didn’t go on a crazy 60-day green juice fast; in fact, my test results showed I needed some animal protein to stay alert and strong over the long term. With the exception of short two-day juice fasts, I kept eating fish, eggs and yogurt, though I cut out red meat and poultry.
It was so important for me to view this as a process and find a lifestyle that worked for me – one turned up loud enough to be effective but still containing foods and activities I loved.
One great way to do this was to eat MORE of the healthy foods I already adored.
Some examples: I love avocados, so I made a lot of homemade guacamole with garlic, tomato and Himalayan sea salt. I love nuts, so I ate a lot of almonds, brazil nuts and macadamia nuts. I love berries – good thing they’re super healthy! I ate a pack a day. I love Thai food so I ate fresh-made coconut curry with brown rice and vegetables (There was a takeout restaurant nearby that made homemade coconut curry and used organic ingredients. I got lucky with that!).
Zero Binging Through Abundance
By eating foods I loved, I didn’t binge at all for a year and a half. 18 months of no binging. Zero. When I craved empty calories, I ate something I loved. Because it was a sustainable lifestyle, it didn’t leave me desperate for something enjoyable.
Instead, as I felt better and better, my lifestyle itself became enjoyable. I loved rebounding because it gave me energy and I got to rock out to my favorite songs while soaring through the air. I loved eating well and juicing because I felt amazing. I loved detox baths because my skin looked great. I loved my lifestyle because it made my LIFE more awesome.
That’s not a diet. That’s a massive-action sea change, and it can last for decades.
Decades are what I want. How about you?