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09 June 2010

Consistency is More Important Than Eating Raw Foods

By Matt Monarch

The following information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. It is valuable to seek the advice of an alternative health care professional before making any changes.

In my opinion, eating consistently is one of the key ingredients for health and longevity. When I say eating consistently, I don't mean sticking to a 100% Raw Food Diet or a Whole Food Diet, always. I mean eating the same kinds and quantities of food every single day, no matter what type of diet you eat. For example, one person could be on a 100% Raw Food Diet eating three times a day one day, seven times a day the next day, once the next day, five times the following day and so on. Or someone else could be eating 16 ounces of food (not necessarily raw), twice a day with the same amount of fats and carbs in each of those meals, EVERY SINGLE DAY

If you start to look at people who live past the century mark, they tend to have a daily regimen where they eat the same kinds and quantities of food every single day. For example, Dr. Norman Walker stated in his book 'Become Younger' that he had eaten the SAME EXACT breakfast every single day for the last 12 years up to writing that book, and he lived to be around 100 years old.

Consistently eating the same kinds and quantities of food every day, doesn't need to effect your ability to eat a wide variety of nutrients, because you can still eat a wide variety of food. For example, you can eat 16oz of food each day, which includes a certain percentage of carbs, protein, fat, vegetables and so on. The 16oz quantity and the percentages of different macro-nutrients/foods can all stay the same, while at the same time you can switch the kind of nut, vegetable, fruit or fat sources that you eat in that 16oz of food each day. Therefore, you are getting a wide variety of food, while at the same time ingesting the same kinds and quantities of food every single day.

What amount of food do I need, to eat a consistent diet?

This is determined by the kinds and quantities of food that you have been eating for the last years of your life. Your body adapts to being able to handle the foods you consistently consume. Your body works to adapt to any conditions you expose it to, while at the same time trying to live for the longest duration it can. Therefore, it is always trying to push you forward to eat less and less food, wherever possible, and your consistent diet will be defined by the lesser amount of food consumed within your daily regimen. Your consistent diet is the amount of food that provides you the most energy; when you eat this way, you still feel a bit hungry after each meal and also at the end of the day there is a touch of hunger too. For most people, this means ingesting less than you are eating now, unless you are in a spiritually 'strong willed' process of systematically undereating. Again, your body is always trying to live as long as possible, so it prefers for your consistent diet to involve the least amount of food possible; so your body sets your consistent diet to the least amount of food it possibly can, which is most likely a certain percentage under your daily intake.

Why is consistency so KEY for long-term health?

During the course of our busy modern lives, most people seem to mindlessly eat thoughout the day, overlapping meals, and over-eating. The boundaries are consistently being pushed beyond the consistent diet that our bodies would prefer to eat. It seems to me that the various long-lived people worldwide have one thing in common, which is a daily regimen. They eat their consistent diet, day in and day out. I heard of one man, for example, who is 108 years of age right now and he always has one piece of toast in the morning for breakfast. His lunch and dinner are also comprised of the same kinds and quantities of foods. He never goes above and beyond his regular quantities of food.

There is a certain 'elastic-like' boundary analogy that I like to use in regards to our consistent diets. Imagine a large elastic-like boundary all around you. When you are eating your consistent diet, this elastic-like boundary is limp and it barely taxes your body at all. The more you eat, the more that elastic-like boundary stretches away from your consistent diet. The more it stretches, the more it taxes your body and the more you will age. Most of us seem to nearly always play in that area where the elastic-like boundary is pretty stretched out, which means that we are eating more than an ideal consistent diet for us. This taxes the body and speeds up the aging process. If you push too far away from your consistent diet, this elastic boundary might even SNAP.

An extreme example of this might be the following... a person who is 300 pounds can handle eating a lot more than someone who weighs 125 pounds. These two people have completely different consistent diets. It may even actually kill the 125 pound person if they ate the same amount of food that the 300lb person eats in one day! The 300lb person has adapted to their consistent diet over time and the amount of food they eat on any given day impacts them in a more subtle way than if the 125lb person partook in the 300lb daily regimen for the first time.

Hopefully you can see how each person has their own consistent diet, depending on their past habits over the years. Eating the same kinds and quantities of food each and every day will age you the least. However, we are generally going back and forth between our boundaries of a consistent diet and over-eating. Besides social aspects being a reason for over-eating, such as dinners with friends and family, I feel that a VICIOUS CYCLE also often comes into play... Are you guys ready for this one?

When we eat above and beyond our consistent diet, we don't necessarily feel well and we may be plagued with gas, bloating, a runny nose and other possible symptoms. This 'low-energy' feeling often gives us the WILL to take ACTION and eat less food, which may possibly even be at the level of our consistent diet. When we eat this consistent diet, we feel GREAT! However, after many days of eating this consistent diet, your body may want to take advantage of this and shift to the next level. Again, your body wants to live for the longest duration possible, so it 'nudges' you to eat and require less food. One result of this is that your body may throw you in a state of detoxification, which makes you 'cleaner' at a cellular level.

When you become 'cleaner', your body becomes more efficient and you require less food to maintain high energy levels. When your body starts to go through this detoxification, you may become bloated and also experience the release of older, more-concentrated toxins that have accumulated in the body over decades. These toxins that are being expelled from your body as gas may have a 'hot', 'acid' feeling, which almost burns, and maybe smells harsher than any other substance that has left your body in the past. Additionally, this detox process can lead to cravings and emotional disturbance. This may feel so uncomfortable that you go back to eating above and beyond your consistent diet once again, which in turn stops the harsh detoxification, stimulates you and helps make you feel euphoric.

Then we might continue to over-eat for weeks on end, until we get to that point again of feeling stuffed, bloated, and low in energy. Then the vicious cycle starts over again...and again... As you continue to bounce back and forth like this, however, over time your body can gain a little ground, get a little cleaner, and your food requirements can become lessened. In terms of the 'elastic-like' boundary analogy, when you become cleaner, this elastic-like boundary will become tighter, and if you continue to overeat the same amounts as you did in the past, you may be pushing that elastic-like boundary a bit further. Therefore, when you next hit the same low point of over-eating as last time, the 'negative' feelings around this overeating are a bit more exasperated, because your body has edged forward again a little more in the interim and you require less food again now. Additionally, you will continue to age more and more rapidly, each time you push yourself to that same level of over-eating. This is all a slow process, yet over time, this is the pattern that happens if we don't choose to eat consistently. For some, eating simple cooked foods (avoiding processed foods), is easier to maintain on a consistent basis than eating raw. I feel that this is one reason why cooked food eaters often do better in the long-run, compared to people who may be eating raw, yet not balanced and eating consistently.

In conclusion, one of the keys to longevity is to commit to and follow a consistent diet, day in and day out, which in turn will help you to age less rapidly. When and if you ever embark on a 100% Raw Food Diet, this represents a HUGE change in intake for most people and it can take years of detoxification until your body catches up with what you are eating and you can stabilize out. This is why raw food newbies tend to eat 'all over the place' if they dive into a 100% Raw Food Diet, yet they can still experience benefits from the healthier food choices. At first, new raw food eaters usually start to go through massive regeneration and quite a long process of becoming younger. However, if the raw foodist doesn't at some point adopt a daily consistent diet, in the long-run it will catch up with them and they will probably not experience living to the century mark or beyond. It's not necessarily eating 100% Raw Food that is key to longevity; more importantly, I feel it is about eating a consistent diet and not pushing at the boundaries of over-eating. If you can do both 100% Raw while at the same time consistently eating the same kinds and quantities of food, then the limits are endless...!

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