Breaking Food Rules: Health Myths & Truths

Hay House Radio Episode Recap

  • Episode Name: “Breaking Food Rules: Health Myths & Truths”
  • Live Broadcast: January 9th, 2018 at 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Episode Replays: Tuesdays at 9:00 pm Pacific Time / 12:00 am Eastern Time, Saturdays at 2:00 pm Pacific Time / 5:00 pm Eastern Time, Sundays at 4:00 pm Pacific Time / 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Episode Summary Re-cap

Find out why doing everything by the rules doesn’t always lead to good health
What happens if you break the rules? Adrienne Hew,” the Nutrition Heretic,” joins Heather to talk about the so-called “food rules” and how breaking them might be exactly what you need to feel your best.
Special Guest: Adrienne Hew

Adrienne Hew has been called “the Nutrition Heretic” and “the Pope of Health” because what she teaches about health and nutrition actually works. Both Dietetic Associations and politically correct, so-called alternative health advocates confuse people and their recommendations are directly responsible for increases in allergies, autism, eating and neurological disorders, cancer and more. Adrienne is on a mission to change that.

Adrienne. Hew’s books inspire readers to enjoy sinfully satisfying food while developing a positive self-image and a better relationship with what they eat and drink. These books have been called “a sound critique of supposed truths” as well as “the new way to look at food”.

Receiving a certificate in Chinese dietetics in 2002 and her degree as a Certified Nutritionist in 2004, she has helped many clients and workshop attendees to decode their own health dilemmas by understanding the inconsistencies in conventional nutritional dogma. As a cook, her recipes have been popular with everyone from celebrated chefs to picky 4-year-olds and adults who “don’t eat that”. She currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and two children.

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Does Your New Year’s Resolution Include Improving Your Diet?

Happy New Year! Right about now, many of us are reading articles about how to meet our New Year’s resolutions. At the top of many New Year’s resolution lists are eating healthier…but what does that even mean? There are so many rules about how to eat, what to eat, and what “healthy” food really is. Today, we’re going to reveal why doing everything by the rules doesn’t always lead to good health!

Discover the myths and truths about “food and health rules” and how breaking them might be exactly what you need to feel your best.

7 Popular Food Myths That Are Harming Your Health

#1 – There Is One Healthy Way To Eat That Fits All People

The links between food and health have been studies for over a hundred years and neither science nor nutrition experts have been able to find one ideal healthy diet that fits all people. Every year, we seem to get more studies proving one food is a superstar and another is a villain. We even see headlines that butter is out and margarine is in, only to find out a decade later that butter is back in again and margarine is out.

It’s important to recognize that study data can be manipulated and many studies are funded by the processed food industry with this knowledge in mind. Just recently, National Public Radio and other journalists broke a story that the sugar industry paid off researchers to downplay the harmful effects of sugar. This is a common story, which is why it’s critical to look carefully at who funds studies and exactly what food the study was looking at, before blindly believing it.

According to the 2014 Annual Review of Public Health, there have been no long-term, scientifically sound studies that are free of bias to give a definitive answer about which diet is best. After reviewing many of the world’s diets believed to be the “healthiest,” the researchers concluded that whole, natural foods with an emphasis on plants continues to be the soundest approach:

“The aggregation of evidence in support of (a) diets comprising preferentially minimally processed foods direct from nature and food made up of such ingredients, (b) diets comprising mostly plants, and (c) diets in which animal foods are themselves the products, directly or ultimately, of pure plant foods—the composition of animal flesh and milk is as much influenced by diet as we are —is noteworthy for its breadth, depth, diversity of methods, and consistency of findings. The case that we should, indeed, eat true food, mostly plants, is all but incontrovertible. Perhaps fortuitously, this same dietary theme offers considerable advantages to other species, the environment around us, and even the ecology within us.”

Additionally, the Human Genome Project has brought new information to the table about how each person is unique, with an entirely different genetic blueprint and therefore, entirely different needs for nutrients. Nutrition experts who once claimed that animal protein is not necessary did not have genetic data for individuals who have connective tissue disorders or other reasons for animal protein being a required food for health and healing. In fact, when we get to the DNA level, we can see which nutrients are needed to help resolve key genetic mutations causing symptoms. This field of study is called “nutrigenomics” and is being used in functional medicine to help people with autoimmune conditions and chronic conditions tailor a healing diet to their unique needs. Interestingly, you will often find that your healing foods are related to the foods your ancestors ate if you go back to your great-great grandparents or earlier! This makes sense when you realize that your DNA comes from your mother and father, and theirs from their parents, and so on.

If we get stuck in food dogma, we lose the opportunity to be curious about what our unique bodies need for health and healing. When you judge others for what they eat, you deny them their uniqueness. Once this principle is understood, we can begin to realize that as we eat for health and healing, we can also make better decisions that honor all of life that gives us life as we support zero waste in our kitchens and more ethical farming practices.

#2 – There Are Foods That Are Bad For You Or Good For You

Demonizing entire categories of food, like eggs, dairy, grains, and meat creates a vicious cycle of thinking that distracts us from the reality of the food system. Today’s food system was created with one thing in mind: profits. It was not created for your health. The system does not care about your health, nor does it care about the health of the life that gives us life: plants, animals, fish, and water. For this reason, debating about whole categories of foods is a zero-sum game.

Instead, begin to think about where the food came from. Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, and later, early farmers. These ancestors would never have dreamed of packing animals in barns and feeding them foods their digestive systems don’t process. Or using a fake seed (Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seed) encoded to work with a carcinogenic herbicide (glyphosate) meant to increase growth rate, but turning off the plant’s ability to create antioxidants and other life-giving nutrients. In fact, turning plants into carcinogens. They would never have dreamed of over-planting certain crops and then wasting them, to support pricing policies. This farming system was not crated for anyone’s health or wellbeing.

Consider supporting farms that are thinking of the life that gives us life and growing plants organically. Farms where animals are out on pasture, eating their native diets. Support a food system where zero waste is supported from farm to fork.

This being said, there are times you may need to leave certain foods out of your diet as part of your healing protocol. If you have celiac disease, you may need to avoid gluten. If you have an autoimmune condition or cancer, you may adjust your diet to include a focused healing nutritional protocol.

Overall, if there is one “bad” food, it’s anything processed. Anything where humans have intervened to change the original food and take things away or add things in. Food, beverages, and water that have been treated with chemicals and preservatives. Animals raised with hormones and antibiotics. Plants raised with toxic herbicides and pesticides. Look at the farming practices and labels and you will be able to see how much humans have intervened with nature to create a “Franken-food.” These are the foods to avoid as a rule.

#3 – It’s Best To Stick To The Same Foods Year-Round

Following the theme of leaning in to nature and our ancestors and leaning away from factory farming and processed foods, the reality is that it’s the modern food system that allows us to eat the same foods year-round. If we ate like our ancestors, we’d be eating locally and choosing foods in season. Interestingly, the thousands of years old practice of Chinese medicine was based on keen observation of the patterns of nature and how to use these patterns to bring about good health. Chinese medicine teaches us that for every season, there are certain foods that nourish and support the human body, and that keep us feeling balanced.

Adrienne mentioned the concept of yin (cold, dark, inwardly focused, contractive, restful) and yang (hot, light, outwardly focused, expansive, active) and how they combine to create balance. Each season has yin or yang qualities and we can stay in balance by choosing food and lifestyle activities to support our needs during these times.

Winter, in Chinese medicine, is the season to nourish your kidneys and adrenals by staying indoors and resting, spending time with family doing quiet activities, going to bed earlier and focusing inward. It’s a great time for foods like warm, hearty soups, whole grains, roasted nuts, beans, seaweed, burdock root, chicory root, steamed greens and winter squashes.

Here are some examples:

Transition into Spring

Summer Season

Tips for Seasonal Transition: Summer to Fall

#4 – My Diet Should Stay The Same, Even As I Age Or Face Traumas

The truth is that health is dynamic and changes as we age, go through hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, menopause, andropause), face a health diagnosis, or experience a trauma, loss, accident, or injury. Adrienne mentioned that her health improved through learning the foods that worked for her health, but a major car accident brought on a whole new array of symptoms. This is when she started using Chinese medicine principles to apply healing foods and remedies to balance her body and health.

The good news here is that as we change, we can adjust our nutrition for the needs of our body, mind and spirit. As they say, the only constant is change and this applies to health and nutrition as well!

#5 – Diet Has Nothing To Do With Medical Conditions

While there are still doctors who are adamant that a cancer or autoimmune diagnosis has nothing to do with diet, or that a genetic condition is not related to diet, more doctors, nutritionists and scientists – and even the World Health Organization (WHO) are aware of the studies that show the exact opposite is true. Our ancestors knew that the right foods have healing qualities. As Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, said: “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” More doctors are adding nutrigenomics and functional medicine to their practice, which honors the use of food and nutritional supplements as healing protocols.

#6 – I’ll Never Get Over My Craving For….(Fill In The Blank)

I used to be a major sugar-a-holic binge-eater. I never thought I’d be able to give up sugar or bread. However, we have nature on our side! Your tongue has thousands of taste buds that communicate to your brain. These taste buds can keep you hooked on foods you crave or end those cravings. In fact, the processed food industry knows this and they spend millions to create chemicals that keep you hooked into the vicious cycle of cravings.

The way to end cravings is to give up the food you crave for a period of at least 2 weeks. During this time, use a healthier substitute (see the recipes below or search for other favorites in the recipes section). Your taste buds change with 7 – 14 days and pretty soon, you’ll be craving foods with nutrients your body actually needs, instead of processed junk foods.

The more you nourish your body with food from nature vs. processed food, the more your body will begin to crave natural foods that support your best health. You can always trust a craving for whole, natural foods!

#7- I’ll Never Develop Nutrition Intuition, So I Need Other People’s Rules

You only believe this because very likely, you’re hooked on processed foods or you have failed at other people’s food rules that never worked for you anyway. Early in my recovery from binge eating and bulimia, I believed I’d never escape my destructive cravings and eating habits. I had tried every diet: macrobiotic, the candida diet, the raw food diet, veganism, vegetarianism…you name it, I tried it. And failed. Then one day, I decided it was time to decide what I needed…what my body felt most nourished and satisfied by. I went into a deep meditation and asked my body what felt best and what I loved. Then I made my list. It worked! I began to feel better after meals (no more pain!). Cravings fell away. I started to believe in myself. My mind worked better because my body was satisfied. As time went by, my appetite-signaling hormones improved and I naturally began to eat or stop eating normally (no calorie counting, no portion control).

Here’s an exercise I recommend you do:

Take deep breaths and get still. Now drop your attention into your body.

Ask your body, what foods make me feel:

  • Satisfied
  • Happy
  • Fulfilled
  • Nourished
  • Energized
  • Light
  • As if my energy is focused in the middle of my body and feels grounded, rather than buzzing in my head and scattered.

Make a list. Be honest with yourself. Let go of all dogma and judgment about the foods you come up with. If the foods you listed are natural, whole foods, you can trust them!

If you want to do any further checking, do some Googling on what your great-great grandparents would have been eating. How many of the foods you listed are similar to those? This might be your nutrition intuition speaking to your DNA. I’ve noticed that many people who go through this exercise come up with foods their ancestors may have eaten. This is a great sign that these foods are healing for you.

Make sure to affirm:

I trust my body. I trust my intuition to guide me to healing foods. My body is unique and every day, I learn more ways to nourish and support it.

Fast, Easy, Healthy Recipes!

Fast Comfort Food: Celery Root “Mashed Potatoes”

Fast Thermos Soup (Ayurvedic Recipe)

Almond-Coconut Cookies in 7 Minutes

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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!