Welcome to LIFEFORCE, a monthly blog created by award-winning medical innovator, author, and Optimal Performance & Health Practitioner, Dr. Mark Rosenbloom MD.
This evocative series (named after Dr. Rosenbloom’s highly lauded medical practice), will provide you with leading-edge medical insights and health-related information designed to help you THRIVE in your personal life and career.
Pillar #1: Nutrition
“The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused…
while nature [natural remedies] heals the disease.”
In our last issue I listed the 5 Pillars of MAXIMUM Health & Fitness which included: Nutrition, Exercise, Hormones, Supplements, and Mindset. I then promised to expand on each of these pillars over the coming months, beginning with Nutrition, so let’s get started.
There are literally thousands of articles blasted across the internet spelling out the obvious, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time listing ‘healthy’ vs ‘unhealthy’ foods.
Instead, I’m going to focus more on how you VIEW nutrition (along with sharing a few surprising ‘facts about foods’ that you are probably unaware of). I realize that ‘Mindset’ is the 5th Pillar, but since we won’t be getting to that for a few more issues, I want to at least mention it now. And if I succeed in changing the way you view your food, I might be able to change the choices you make, and the way you nourish your body as well.
‘Nutrition’ is to your body what ‘fuel’ is to your car.
Imagine driving along in your beautiful Ferrari and you suddenly run out of fuel… there are no gas stations around so you pour a bottle of cola in your gas tank. “Hey, it’s better than nothing” you reason…
So, what do you suppose would happen when you tried to start the car? ‘Nothing’! In fact, you would soon find that cola not only wasn’t ‘better than nothing’ it was worse than nothing… especially if it managed to work its way into your engine and carburetor. If you ever made this mistake, you would never make it again.
The problem with human bodies is that they WILL run on things like cola (or any number of toxic substances) … so instead of trying these unhealthy substances just once and learning our lesson, we keep dumping them into our bodies and believing that its ‘okay’.
Although these ‘food substitutes’ don’t kill us on the spot (like they would our engine), they are slowly eating away at our organs, corroding our bodies from the inside out, compromising our health, creating inflammation, and, at the very least, providing us with a very poor substitute for what our bodies really need.
It’s a lot like cancer in the fact that just because we cannot see or even feel a cancerous lesion in its early stages, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there, insidiously destroying healthy tissue and infiltrating our organs.
If it sounds like I’m being overly dramatic, there is a reason for this. It’s because very few of us really, truly get it… and if someone doesn’t club us over the head with some hard-core facts, we may never get it, at least not until it’s too late.
We need to stop thinking of food as a form of ‘recreation’ if we want to build sensational bodies! Eating food for pleasure is a relatively new concept. In the early days of man, food was used for only one purpose… fuel. It meant the difference between living and dying. Taste buds were developed in order to keep us from eating poisonous foods (which usually taste bitter or unpleasant) and to steer us toward healthier foods (like berries and nuts).
Unfortunately, we eventually discovered that some foods tasted much better than others (like sugar), so ‘taste’ gradually became more important to us than ‘fuel’.
The good news is… you don’t have to give up on enjoying food altogether, but if you want to operate at your absolute best and support a robust physique, you need to alter your priorities, eating first for fuel and then for ‘fun’. If you can learn to do this (and you can), you will find your taste buds adjusting to this new regimen. You won’t need as much salt or sugar for example, because your taste buds will become more sensitive to them, and foods such as tomatoes, will begin to taste like candy. This process takes time, but it’s worth the effort.
And those who learn to see food as being either ‘fuel’ or ‘poison’ tend to make even better food choices. Identifying which is which is, by the way, relatively simple. See for yourself: water Vs cola, fruit Vs candy, nuts Vs chips, etc.
However, because of more recent technologies and farming practices, there now exists a whole new category of foods that can be EITHER ‘fuel’ or ‘poison’ depending upon how they are grown, processed, or raised. And THIS is the list you need to become aware of, as chances are, anyone who is reading this article has already reduced their consumption of the most ‘poisonous & toxic’ foods.
While pastured eggs are an excellent form of fuel for your body, factory-farm-produced eggs can be considered ‘poison’. The same holds true with salmon and other high-fat fishes, where wild pacific salmon is highly nutritious and filed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, farm-raised salmon (pretty much everything from the Atlantic) is saturated with omega-6 fatty acids and thereby relatively toxic. And it’s not just the Omega 6’s… many of these ‘mass produced’ and ‘farmed’ foods also contain insecticides, chemicals, drugs, antibiotics, and other unhealthy substances.
And many GMO foods have been engineered in ways that do everything from exponentially increasing their sugar content (such as in modified apples and corn), to turning the food itself into a poisonous insecticide.
The following lists should help you make more informed decisions from this point forward. I recommend that you memorize them, however, until you do, it would be an excellent idea to print them out and keep them with you whenever you visit the grocery store (especially the list of which foods should and should not be purchased in organic form):
- Grass-fed’ beef and dairy
- Organic fruits and vegetables (see further below for details)
- Free-range, hormone-free, poultry and eggs
- Wild-Caught salmon and other fishes
- Low glycemic foods & fruits (see further below for examples)
- Excessive amounts of protein
- Pasteurized poultry, milk, and eggs
- Grain-fed beef and dairy
- Foods containing corn syrup
- Foods with omega-6 fatty acids
- Fruit juices
- White rice and starchy pasta
- Farm-raised salmon and other fishes
- High glycemic foods such as corn (see further below for examples)
When it comes to organic foods, in truth, not all foods need to be organic, not even all fruits or vegetables. (See below for some of the best examples). The full list contains 49 types of produce, rated on a scale of least to most pesticide residue. You can check out the full list on the Environmental Working Group’s website at foodnews.org.
Here are a few specific items that you will want to eat or avoid:
In our next issue, we will discuss among other things, foods that have either a high or low glycemic index, as these foods can raise havoc in our bodies when the index is too high. In the meantime, begin seeing everything you put in your body as ‘fuel’ or ‘poison’… say out loud which it is before it goes in your mouth, and pay attention to the choices you’re making around what you eat. Then, ask yourself if these choices are consistent with your goals, do they serve you? Will they get the results you’re looking for? If the answer is ‘no’…. find a way to change your choices and behavior, and don’t give up until it becomes a habit.
And for those of you who desire the dietary support (and possibly hormone optimization) of a specialist, I can personally help you make the necessary changes (and stick to them). Just reach out to me through my website LIFEFORCEmed.com and you will hear back from a staff member within 24 hours.
Until next month, remember,
‘Good Health’ is a choice… choose ‘Well’.
Dr. Mark Rosenbloom MD