Amy Eddings' Food for Thought: The Power of Food to Heal and Hurt

Friday, June 10, 2011

All this talk about the medicinal properties of anise hyssop and calendula has me thinking about the power of food to heal, and to harm.

I've been inching my way toward a detox program called Clean. Have you heard of it? Developed by Manhattan cardiologist Dr. Alejandro Junger, it's a 21-day program that consists of juice or soup in the morning, a small, solid meal in the afternoon and juice or soup in the evening. There's a 12-hour window between dinner and breakfast, to give your body time to complete digestion and the elimination of the unwanted byproducts of our metabolism and the toxic materials we breathe, eat and absorb through our skin. 

An elimination diet is recommended for a week or two or three before diving in. Through this diet, you get rid of food that are likely culprits of allergies and sensitivities: peanuts, wheat and gluten, milk, butter. Sugar of all kinds, including honey and maple syrup. Chocolate (sigh). Eggplant, tomatoes, soy products, pork, beef, veal -- the list goes on. Of course, alcohol, cigarettes, caffeinated beverages and coffee -- even decaf coffee -- are out, too.

So, what is allowed? Whole, unprocessed foods, especially veggies and non-citrus fruits. Nut milks, like almond milk. Whole grains such as brown rice and millet. Salmon and trout and wild game. Lean lamb and duck. Olive oil, split peas, lentils and legumes and nuts and seeds such as walnuts and sesame seeds. Stevia and brown rice syrup for your sweet tooth. 

Right now, I've ditched sugar, wheat, beef, milk, butter and cheese. I long ago abandoned caffeine and I don't smoke or drink alcohol, so I'm ahead of the game there. 

I'm doing this because I don't like the way I eat.  I don't like my constant snacking and my cravings for chocolate and sugar. I don't like my use of food as an escape. I know compulsive overeating is also a mental and spiritual disorder, but I've done a lot of that inner work and I want to know if there are foods that are physically keeping me stuck in this rut.  

Two weeks into this very preliminary elimination diet, I am not thinking about eating all the time. I'm thinking about food a lot, as I establish new habits, but I am not thinking about eating my next meal or snack. I also feel curiously detached from some of my favorite foods, like cake and pain au chocolat and chocolate chip cookies. I wonder if I will ever be able to eat them again, without getting onto the roller coaster of craving.  

I'll let you know.

Are you doing something like this? What do you avoid eating, and why? How have you made major changes in your diet? I'd love to hear your stories and experiences.


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Comments [5]


Hi Chris. I'm guessing you're a vegetarian! I'm not, and I don't buy the argument that our bodies can't or shouldn't or weren't designed to eat meat. We are omnivores.

My goal at this time is to reduce as many toxins as possible. For me, that includes sustainably-raised, hormone-and-antibiotic-free, wild-caught, meat and fish.

Jun. 14 2011 02:50 PM

Hey, Herb, I hear ya. I didn't think I was making food "good" or "bad." The "allowed" and "avoid" categories of this particular cleanse are intended to steer The Eater away from foods known to cause allergies or sensitivities in people, like milk and peanut butter. They're not bad in and of themselves. My intention is to find out what I'm sensitive to, and steer clear of those foods in the future....or approach them with moderation, as you aptly suggest.

Jun. 14 2011 02:46 PM
Chris James

Hi Amy, if you really want to give your insides a rest and detoxify your body properly, I would cut out Salmon, trout and wild game. Lean lamb and duck! Chris

Jun. 13 2011 09:45 AM
herb from yonkers,ny

Amy - Stop sweating this stuff about "good" and "bad for you" foods. Eat anything you like
... but moderately! Almost all of us eat too much, and I think that's the major cause of
much health problems.

Jun. 11 2011 01:46 PM
amybradley111 from Texas,USA

Oh wow, I have gotten about 3 or 4 different samples from major brands. It is not difficult to find them. Search online for "123 Get Samples" you can find them easily.

Jun. 11 2011 03:13 AM

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