Nurture the Body with Real Food; Nurture the Spirit with Light and Truth!
I enjoyed reading a recent forum discussion regarding the two wolves that dwell inside of us; the one is named Gratification, and the other Wisdom. The wolf that is fed most often grows the strongest and becomes most dominant inside of us. The question was raised; how can I more easily silence the wolf of gratification and strengthen the wolf of wisdom?
This is such an important question that I want to address it more fully. First, it is important to know that it is not a matter of self-discipline and will power alone. There are true physiological drives at work inside of you that cannot be controlled through willpower alone; as you understand their nature and how to best work with them, silencing the wolf of Gratification to more fully enable the wolf of Wisdom becomes an easier task. This is part 1 of several blogs that will address this issue.
Also, to better understand this topic I recommend reading Chapter Three of Original Fast Foods; then study the 10 suggestions for overcoming unhealthful addictive food patterns. In the meantime, let's look at the importance of eating in a manner that will support and maintain stable blood sugars. What happens when our blood sugars become unstable?
Unstable blood sugars trigger addictive eating patterns. It is common to desire pleasure producing foods each time your blood sugars become unstable. Chapter Three discusses the actual physiological process that causes you to tend overeat comforting and pleasure promoting foods.
Let's look at how to maintain stable blood sugars. Blood sugar control is the leash that governs the two wolves inside of you. Your primary goal should be to master a pattern of eating that enables you to enjoy five to six hours of stable blood sugars between each meal. Enjoying fruits, vegetables, and grains or legumes together at any meal will create stable blood sugars for about five to six hours. You want to eat in such a manner two to three times each day. Let's look at three examples:
Breakfast Example: I enjoy a simple fruited leafy-green salad for breakfast everyday. This happens to be my all-time favorite dish. If I place enough whole fruit on my bed of leafy greens, it is all I need for five to six hours. You can eat less fruit and add to this breakfast dish, oatmeal, or a piece of naturally leavened toast, or naturally leavened pancakes, or a variety of other healthful breakfast grain dishes. This combination of fruits, grains, and leafy greens provides a superior nutrient profile and your meal will enter the bloodstream at a pace that will support stable blood sugars.
Sometimes I will pass on the grain dish; when I do so it is important to add sufficient legumes at lunch to stave off the gratification wolf that will always show up if I allow my blood sugars to dwindle too far.
Lunch Example: For lunch I always enjoy a lare veggie platter that is the foundation of nutritional density for this meal. I often eat one to two pounds of cauliflower, raw carrots, tomatoes, celery, sweet peppers, radishes and so forth. However, a veggie platter alone does not contain sufficient carbohydrates to maintain stable blood sugars for the next six hours. At most, two pounds of raw vegetables provides only 200 calories and sometimes as few as 120. To get the calories I need to maintain stable blood sugars, I always enjoy fresh fruit. It is possible to consume sufficient fruit to enjoy fruits and veggies alone at this meal; however, I often love to add a generous amount of hummus to this meal, or a bowl of Daniel's Chili, or Dahl Lentil Soup, or some other legume dish. The hummus works great because I consume my legumes as I am eating my raw veggies. It becomes a perfect veggie dip and adds sufficient healthful calories to the meal. Also, legumes or beans, create a wonderful stabalizing effect on your blood sugars. The bit of fruit satisfies the sweet tooth and along with the stable blood sugars this meal produces, it keeps the gratification wolf firmly on his leash and at bay for another five to six hours.
Dinner Example: The base of every evening meal in our home is a lage leafy green salad that is topped with rice, beans, and a variety of raw veggies and fruit. We add to this base, a side of steamed vegetables or cooked simply as the evening vegetable video demonstrates. Again, this type of meal is incredibly satisfying, it is loaded with high nutrient density, and its overall effect on blood sugars is amazing. I rarely eat animal-based foods, but I do not shun them as many people do. This meal always works well with meat-eating company, because it is so easy to set a bowl of chicken, beef, or fish bits out that can be added as a topping to this otherwise very filling salad. We've served this dish since 2000 and it is universally loved by everyone.
When the gratification wolf knocks on your door, he is usually urgent and impatient; pause and consider that the only way to keep him at bay naturally, is to meet the natural physiological needs of the body for both proper nutrition and to enable extended periods of stable blood sugars. Principle 1 or part 1 of taming the two wolves is to enjoy fruits, vegetables, and either a grain or legume dish at every meal. Enjoyed together you will experience far less addictive eating tendancies.
Longevity studies have linked stable insulin levels, which are directly linked to stable blood-sugar levels, as a primary factor that supports great longevity. I believe of all topics covered in Original Fast Foods, maintaining stable blood sugars with nutritionally sound foods is the basis for creating true enjoyment, and satisfaction in your diet while also maintaining stable blood sugars. Feed the Wisdom wolf well-balanced nutrient-dense meals that allow him to be fed for hours at a time. When he is well fed, his brother Gratification will be silenced. When Wisdom is not satified, brother Gratification becomes strengthened, greedy, demanding, and dominant.
Each of the kitchen challenges included in the free Daniel's Challenge download, and each of the cooresponding recipe videos have been created to enable the simple eating pattern described above. Please ask questions freely, and share how you have successfully enabled this pattern in your home. The true discipline that is needed, is the discipline that will enable these successful eating patterns to become dominant everyday patterns in your lives.