Five Healthy Eating Tips

  1. Drink more water
  2. Add vegetables
  3. Plan meals and/or cook in batches
  4. Evaluate your food choices – reduce sugar and fat as appropriate
  5. Exercise and reduce stress – eliminates cravings


1.  Drink more water
I drink about 2 quarts of water each day.  Water satisfies thirst, can be useful in warding off cravings for extra food and it helps flush waste out of the body.  Some people may mistake thirst for hunger.  The body must have take in 2 cups of water each day to eliminate the waste that is produced.  But optimal intake is set at about 3 liters.  This is water from food as well as from beverages.  Typically people get between three to four cups of water as part of the food they eat.

Do you think you drink enough water?  Not sure?  Try adding one or two quarts of water each day for a week or two and see how it feels.  Signs of dehydration include thirst and chapped lips (or needing to use chap-stick frequently).

During short term hard exercise one losses water and salt. These both need to be replaced.  Sodium and other electrolytes “hold” water in the body.  If your blood pressure is low you may want to increase salt in your diet.

What prevents you from drinking more water?
●    Don’t remember
●    No time
●    Don’t want to go to the bathroom all the time

Strategies for drinking more
●    Carry a water bottle and/or keep water bottles in the car.
●    Keep water bottles, glasses or mason jars full of water in the kitchen, next to your bed, at your desk, next to the couch or other places where you spend time.

2.  Add vegetables
Two thirds of all cancer can be prevented by adequate intake of fruits and vegetables.  Over our lifetime we have a 39% chance of being diagnosed with cancer (all sites, invasive SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1973-1999).  (20% will die from cancer.)  This means that in a room of fifteen people six people will end up with cancer. Imagine that next time you are in a social gathering.  Which six will it be?

However, if we all start eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables only two of us will end up with cancer.  Both fruits and vegetables give us the benefits, but I like to emphasize eating more vegetables since it was always the greatest challenge for me.  It was easy for me to get in the 2 to 4 servings of fruits, but harder to manage the 3 to 5 servings of vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are beneficial in preventing heart disease, type II diabetes, obesity and common illnesses such as colds.  They provide these health benefits by supplying antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals and other micronutrients.  Sometimes it is hard to get excited about long term benefits.  Do we really care if we die at 60 of a heart attack?  But sudden death is not the usual lot, just the most dramatic.  These ailments can lead to chronic pain, isolation, limited mobility, etc.  Search on colostomy bag images if you want motivation to eat more vegetables.

What is in it for you today?  You and your family will be sick less often.  This makes your life easier.  You will have more energy and less fatigue, less headaches.  Subtle sense of well being.  Clean body, clear mind.  Energy you can count on.  No afternoon drag.  Better gut health, less problems with infections: yeast, bladder, colds.

Do you eat 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day?

Do you eat 2 to 4 servings of fruits a day?

What is a serving of vegetables?  Fruits?  

half cup servings of vegetables and fruits

One serving: Dense vegetables – ½ cup or 2 or 3 ounces; Leafy vegetables – one to three cups.

In brief you need 1.5 to 2.5 cups per day or 1/3 to one pound of vegetables a day.

What keeps you from eating the recommended number of vegetable servings?
●    Don’t like vegetables.
●    Too hard to prepare.
●    Cost too much.
●    Don’t know how to prepare.
●    Forget.
●    Didn’t know I need to eat so much.

Keep it simple.  Start by adding a vegetable at each meal.  Go for color.  Most bang for your buck= carrots

3.  Plan meals and/or cook in batches
Eat low sugary breakfast
Eating a breakfast that includes protein and fat in addition to complex carbohydrates lessens food cravings, balances blood sugar, helps maintain normal weight and results in lower food consumption at lunch when compared to the results of eating a sugary breakfast.  Adding vinegar at breakfast also helps maintain stable blood sugar.  Eat cereal for dinner.  Eat dinner for breakfast.

For many years I ate a bean dish with rice for breakfast everyday.  Here is my recipe.  I would make this up using the leftover vegetables in my fridge (you know the ones that end up rotting).  One batch of this is good for breakfast for two weeks.  Make up a batch and freeze it in individual serving size containers.  Since I like variety, I would make up two different batches:  one lentil soup type and one chili type and rotate depending on my mood.

4.  Evaluate your food choices – reduce sugar and fat as appropriate
Adding vegetables is the most important thing you can do.  After that take a look at what you are eating and ask your body what it needs or doesn’t need.  Reducing sugar and fat may be a good thing for the majority of people, but there may be other foods that are causing problems in you body.  Some people find that they already know (but perhaps are ignoring) the foods that create dis-ease in their bodies.

Muscle test food choices
You can also play around with muscle testing.  Take a stable standing position and hold a food in front of you.  Ask your body, “What about this food?  Would you like this?”  If your body is okay with the food, the body will rock forward.  If the food is not good for the body, then the body rocks backwards.  I know some people that were able to use this dynamically to eliminate a food allergy.  They thought they were allergic to eggs their whole life.  What they found, when they listened to their body, was that they could eat eggs, but only when the body said “yes” and only the number of eggs the body specified.

5.  Exercise and reduce stress – eliminates cravings


Read my earlier post about other barriers to healthy eating.


Tooth Decay

It doesn’t look like much, but here is a close up of the gold inlay filling that just “fell” out of my mouth.  It was put in about 20 years ago.

Gold inlay filling I’ve been losing parts of my teeth over the years.  I used to have quite a reaction to this.  I’d get all worried and desperate.  This time after only a moment’s perturbation, I wondered if it fell out because my teeth were beginning to regenerate and no longer needed it.  I was quite pleased with the thought.

Here is a picture of the space left behind.  Doesn’t look like much, but it feels like a huge gap.  The low area has a sharp ridge to it that I keep running my tongue across.  You can see that next to the hole where the gold inlay was is a mercury amalgam filling from my childhood.

Tooth Decay and Cavity

I Space in tooth left behind when gold inlay fell out. (November 1, 2014) Notice an older mercury amalgam filling remains in the tooth.

So what am I going to do?  I decided right then that I was going to stop and reverse any tooth decay. This motivated me into action. I immediately went online and googled “How to heal a broken tooth naturally”.  That lead me to a blog site and then to this book: Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition. I’m still studying the problem and solution, but it seems that what I need to do is eliminate phytic acid from my diet. There are a lot of testimonials on Amazon about how effective this diet is.

The book also goes into the rationale behind the diet and talks about holistic dentistry.  I was especially interested in the author’s opinion regarding mercury fillings since I have several from childhood.  Actually, the author is not opinionated at all.  He gives the facts, explores the pros and cons, and lets the reader decide on a course of action.  I’m still in a wait mode when it comes to removing the fillings.  I think I have a mercury resilient phenotype.

My diet is pretty close already to the one recommended. In addition, I was already gearing up to eliminate my favorite sugar source, dried fruit, because I thought they might be causing cravings.  However, dietary changes can be challenging, so I decided to call my mom to fortify my motivation.

I asked her, “Mom, how much have you spent on dental work in the last couple years?”  Well, last year she bit into a dried mango and the tooth her bridge was attached to broke.  That was $5,000 to repair.  The year before she had gotten extensive restoration work done to the tune of $12,000.

$17,000.  That was good enough for me.  I do not want to spend $17,000 on my teeth.  She also has osteoporosis, a condition that would also benefit from the dietary changes I was considering.  Further, changing my diet is alignment with my idea that I should eat to live, not live to eat.

Pharmacology of Addiction

School just started up again and I’ve been busy with my Pharmacology of Addiction class.  The ideas presented in class have been bringing up a lot of thoughts regarding the biochemical changes that could be occurring during the dark night of the senses (St. John the Cross – Catholic) and the releasing of the fetters of craving that is part of second path (Stages of Enlightenment – Theravada Buddhism).  Needless to say, I’ve been having a lot of thoughts trying to put the pieces together in away that I can talk/write about them.

In the class we are being taught how substance use changes the brain in fundamental and long-lasting ways.  Some of the researchers are suggesting the changes may be permanent, but we know this cannot possibly be true.  Healing techniques like ThetaHealing and the testimony of enlightened beings demonstrate that everything can be healed and changed.  Very few things are permanent and unchanging.  And all changing things only last a moment before most of them are recreated again.

What changes in the brain with drug use?

First, the substance being used becomes a salient focus.  This is because the substance is such a good activator of the pleasure and reward system (or mesolimbic dopamine system) in the brain.   After we start using a drug it changes our brain.  In any environment we find ourselves, we notice our drug of choice and associated things effortlessly and they will begin to occupy more and more of our attention.  This is what I mean by the substance becoming a salient focus.  This change isn’t because of a conscious shift.  It is a biological shift.  The biochemical and neurological changes the substance creates in the brain result in compulsive and uncontrollable drug seeking behavior.  Interesting and scary!

Increased dopamine leads to pleasure, and normally we release dopamine when we do normal activities that are pleasurable:  being with people we love, eating good food, and doing enjoyable activities.  However, drugs are such powerful stimulators of the pleasure circuit that they decrease our endogenously produced dopamine. This means that they exhaust our dopamine stores and our ability to produce more dopamine.

This reduction in dopamine results in two things.  First using the drug no longer gets us “high”.  Long term we become dependent of the drug just to keep us feeling normal.  We have to hit that pleasure center hard in order to get any pleasure feelings once we’ve adapted to using.  The second problem is that if we stop using the drug it may take over a year to reestablish normal dopamine.  This means we will not get pleasure out of activities that gave us pleasure before we started using our drug of choice.  We have to recalibrate.  During the recalibration period we will feel depressed and if we are not aware of the “detox” process we are going through we may become quite hopeless.

The other intriguing part of the addiction and craving process is the development of condition responses and memory.  An example of a condition response would be getting cravings when driving though a neighborhood where you used to use or obtain the substance you used. A condition response includes not just flashbacks, but also biochemical changes in the body.

I remember the first time I had non-alcoholic wine when I was abstaining from alcohol.  I was shocked when my body reacted by having some of the same feelings as if I was buzzed.  Now, some people think this is because the label claims that there may be 0.5% alcohol in the bottle.  These people claim I really am having alcohol.  This is not true.  I was a wine chemist at the time and I personally knew that that bottle didn’t have any appreciable alcohol.  I was experiencing a conditioned response.  Further, I’ve always used alcoholic tinctures which were made of high proof alcohol without any noticeable effects.

Here is another interesting point made in the class in regards to conditioning to drug use.  An addict that always shoots up in a certain environment may overdose if they shoot up in a novel environment.  This is because the body “knows” that in the first environment the drug is coming and before it enters the veins the body has ramped up to detoxify it.  In the new environment the body is not prepared to handle the dose and that may result in death.

What is especially relevant is that the drug addiction process is really just a dramatization of the problems that most people take as normal.  Most people’s predicament is that they crave and seek out things that are pleasurable and crave that things that are unpleasant will end.  The drug addict will lie, cheat, steal, and harm others to get what they want.  However, that is the same list that the “average” person is dealing with.  The drug addict may do this list in a more dramatic fashion, but I know “average” people that will tell a “white” lie to get a job, will not tell the teller at check-out when she forgets to ring up a purchase and will call people names when they are feeling uncomfortable.

It seems to me that addictive and “non-addictive” cravings control most human behavior.  The problem is just on a continuum.   It would seem the solution could be similar as well.  And if the pharmacologists are right, it is going to require some major rewiring.