I am loving listening to the free, online Food Revolution Summit this week. The Summit runs 3 hours a day for 8 days each spring. Each day, there are three presentations from a mix of presenters – doctors, nutritionists, disease survivors. I don’t catch all of the sessions and some resonate more than others, but I have to say that listening to the Summit over the past couple of years has drastically changed how I eat and how healthy I feel.
We’re about half way through this year’s Summit and here are my key take-aways compiled from listening to a number of speakers.
- Changing your diet improves your heart health, reduces hormones that affect your immune system, reduces inflammatory foods in your diet which helps your brain and joints, protects your gut health, and helps you avoid dementia.
- Shifting to more of a plant-based diet is better for the environment promoting compassionate, whole earth healing!
- If you’re raising kids or grandchildren, getting them to eat healthier helps nip health issues in the bud before they have life-long problems that require doctors, pills, and hospitals to cure. The brain hates change! Be careful about the foods you, and your kids, fall in love with.
- Take time to truly rest and unplug for renewal.
- Get some sleep! In your room at home and when you travel, plug up light leaks with a sock or wash cloth so you can rest and give your body a full break from the day. Sleep is your body and brain’s way to recover from the stresses of the day. Cutting sleep short over time can have a huge impact on your heart and on your brain.
- Exercise, especially strength training, helps with brain health as well as making you feel better. Did you know that the only proven treatment to slow dementia is exercise? Current pill treatments are not working.
Recommended foods to avoid
- #1: Processed meat. Yes, bacon, sausage, ham, hotdogs, and cold cuts are not good for you.
- Fast food. Most fast food is highly processed and includes added sugars and lots of salt which is highly addictive. Fast foods are designed to help you overeat with calories that are absorbed all at once – like an oppiate! More and more young people are suffering from strokes, diabetes, cancer, and depression and many docs think this may have a direct correlation to the amount of fast food they consume.
- Added sugars. Of note: many docs this week have talked about not worrying about the natural sugars in fruit!
- Too many animal products. In most diets, about 30% of the calories come from animal products. In the healthiest communities, past and present, animal product calories are no more than 10%. At that rate, researchers find lower cancer and heart-attack rates. At 5% or less, these health issues practically disappear when the change is part of an overall healthy diet. Doctors believe that saturated fats from meat and animal products is the #1 risk factor for Alzheimer’s. This group includes milk and cheese which are addictive and are inflammatories. The addictive part means they’re hard to cut. The inflammatory part means cut them!
- Uncooked mushrooms. Even though we often see these in salads, uncooked mushrooms contain toxins that are only released when cooked. Who knew?!
- Canola oil which is an inflammatory.
Recommended foods to include
- Organic veggies and meat, when you eat meat.
- Beans – a cup a day!
- Greens – every day.
- Ground flax to help with high blood pressure and heart health. Flax seeds are great too, but the good stuff is inside, so to get the full benefit chew a LOT or grind. A tablespoon a day is all you need.
- Berries – especially wild blue berries.
- Cruciferous plants (red cabbage, radish, arugula, broccoli). Raw is best but cooked works almost as well – especially when you combine raw with cooked in one meal.
- Seeds, which contain great fats.
- Tree nuts. One doc talked about how the fat in a daily handful of tree nuts can help avoid dementia.
- Raw onion and scallion.
- Eat at least one salad a day. There is a direct correlation between eating raw vegetables and longevity and health.
- Cooked mushrooms which help absorb estrogen. This is particularly helpful to avoid and treat breast cancer.
- More fiber everyday which help get toxins out of your system. We used to eat much more fiber and were exposed to fewer toxins. Toxins build up in your system – including in your brain! Fiber helps set them free.
- Zinc up, 25-50 milligrams, B6, and B12, especially if you are a vegetarian.
- Beets – even the leaves are powerful.
- Pomegranate juice is particularly helpful at restoring good bacteria to your gut.
The Food Summit runs through Sunday, 5/6. Daily talks are at 11, 12, and 1:00 EST. Here’s a link to sign up. It’s free as long as you avoid the temptation to get their “package” of talks.
Wishing you the very best health and productivity this week!
I’ll leave you today with daffodils and a dog! It is finally spring in Maine.
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