Eat as if your life depended on it.

What if every bite you put in your mouth gave your body something that would make you stronger and healthier?

How many times have you wished it could be easier to lose weight, to get healthier?

Yes, it can be a struggle to get on (and stay on) that healthy path.

But what if you simply started by focusing on replacing empty calories with calories that deliver nutrition to your body?

Here are three things for you to think about—some food for thought if you will:

1. Grains may not be your friend.

I know—we’ve all been told to eat our whole grains, right? They’re heart-healthy after all.

But what if wheat wasn’t good for you? What if you could actually be damaging your digestive system by eating gluten-containing grains? And it’s not just those with celiac disease that need to be concerned. Gluten does damage when it passes through your gut. Gluten can actually create tiny holes in your gut’s lining, allowing toxins and undigested bits of food to enter parts of your body they shouldn’t. This leads to food sensitivities, inflammation, and all sorts of assorted trouble.

You can break up with bread. I promise you won’t die. There are options out there. Try wrapping your sandwich in some nice crisp lettuce leaves and you’re getting a great source of fiber and nutrients.

2. Sugar is also a well-known enemy.

Sugar is very bad news. No surprise there, but the new research has really shed light on how bad it is.

Not only is sugar just about as addictive as heroin, but sugar also wreaks havoc on the body, putting you at risk for a slew of diseases and different types of cancer. Sugar can actually even disrupt brain function.

And just when you think you’re doing good to say no to obvious sugars, there’s sugar hiding in everything– from granola and fruit juice to marinades and bread.

Nature has provided us with plenty of sweetness in the form of honey and maple syrup, two forms of sugar that actually possess many health benefits (in moderation, people!).

3. Pesticides are the most evil of all.

If you think organic produce is an unnecessary extra expense, think again. The scary truth is, that the pesticides and herbicides used on today’s conventionally grown produce are horrifying. And the really scary part is, we don’t know how these cocktails of chemicals are going to behave in our bodies.

Many of those chemicals are messing up your hormones leading to a whole host of health threats, including breast and prostate cancers. And while organic food is not a cure-all for cancer by any means, eating as organically as you can lowers your risk as long as you have a healthy lifestyle, too like exercising, sleeping well, lowering your stress levels, not smoking, and eating a lot of veggies.

Plus, studies show that organic produce actually includes more nutrients and antioxidants than its non-organic counterparts.

There you have it: 3 things. Three major changes: Avoid gluten-containing grains, avoid sugar, and avoid chemicals. What if you started to eat like your life depended on it?

PS–Speaking of major changes, you should hear what Diana said about our 30-Day Paleo Challenge:

“It has helped me most definitely! When I stay on plan, I have more energy, fewer seasonal allergies and sinus problems, and hardly any joint and muscle aches, and I used to have a LOT. I’ve also experienced better sleep, weight loss, and a real change for the better in my blood work. I think you’ll really like it, and all the support you’ll receive here.”

While the 30-Day Paleo Challenge has ended you can reap similar results with our Hot Melt 30! Check it out today!

0 Responses

  1. love the article, but….as a former/recovering heroin addict tho, i have to say that sugar is absolutely NOT as addicting as heroin. certainly not physically anyway. i gave up all but the tiniest bit of sugar and felt fine. for a while i even did NO sugar. i certainly didnt go through thoughts of suicide, night sweats, insomnia, nausea/vomiting, muscle spasms, anxiety, diarrhea, and just generally feeling like i was going to die when i cut out sugar. i understand what you were trying to say, but as someone who has gone through ACTUAL heroin withdrawal, seeing someone compare sugar withdrawal to heroin withdrawal just makes me want to scream. sorry, it just does. that being said….

    your point about making every calorie count really hit it on the head. we dont follow any one diet exactly, but we really do try to make it all count. if we eat eggs, they are cage free, if we eat butter it is grass fed. and if i am going to drink something sugary once in a while i make sure it is either tea or 100 percent juice instead of soda, so there is at least some nutrition in there. i think for anyone wanting to eat better, making sure that everything you put in your body is nutritious is a great start. NO EMPTY CALORIES!!!

    sorry for the rant.

    1. kkh, I appreciate reading about the incite you shared, with everyone, regarding addiction. I can’t even imagine experiencing the pain that you must have went through, on your recovery from heroin.

      In regards to the statement of sugar being as addicting as heroin, it reminds me of something that I read. I believe it was on WebMD. It said something to the effect of, sugar attaching itself to the same pleasure sites of the brain that heroin does. As a result, both of these things give so much pleasure and make people feel so good that people can have a difficult time in staying away from them. They want this pleasure to continue happening. I don’t think that Leanne was trying to minimize the addiction to drugs that many people have experienced, including yourself.

      I don’t generally share many things online, so I’m not sure if this is something that you will be able to see. I do want to encourage you, though, to stay on the road to recovery. It is the best decision that you will ever make. My Father is a recovering alcoholic. It affected every aspect of his life. It hurt himself and everyone who loved him, in the worst ways imaginable. In my book, everyone who continues fighting these addictions are true heroes. Keep up the good work.

      1. you know, its interesting. heroin addicts, pretty much UNIVERSALLY are addicted to sugar. there isnt a junkie on the planet that isnt a complete sugar addict. you go to any detox center for opiate addiction, and there are bowls of candy and hostess, tons of ice cream in the freezer, etc. and my doctor says its because on a molecular level, they are similarly structured. and about them attaching to the reward centers. but as someone who has gone through both heroin withdrawal AND sugar withdrawal, well theres just no comparison.

        at least your body bounces back pretty quickly with sugar addiction. with opiate addiction there is something called Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), that just drags on and makes it really hard to keep clean. they do surveys and they see that if they keep the junkie off dope for the first 30 days, they do pretty good. but its the 60, 90 days thats so hard because a lesser version of the main withdrawal symptoms just drags on and on. like after 73 days of not getting a full nights sleep, its “omg i have to use!!! i cant take any more!! so its that PAWS that is the real reason that opiates have such a high relapse rate when compared with other drugs. but as far as both being “addicting”, yes they certainly are. it was like the 5th article i had come across in the last couple weeks saying “Sugar: as addicting as HEROIN” so i was like WHAT!?!?!?!? are they CRAZY?? i certainly have no problem with leanne. she is doing a really good thing, helping people get healthy, which is why im even on this site and which is why i said “sorry for the rant”.

        1. i have all kinds of dental issues, partials, etc. and its not from the drugs. heroin itself doesnt rot your teeth the way other drugs like methamphetamines and cocaine do. its all the SUGAR that i ate as an addict. it really is a universal thing w/ heroin addicts. i used to fall asleep with a jolly rancher in my cheek like a tobacco chewer. seriously. i think about that now…..UGH!!! im lucky i didnt make myself into a diabetic! i think opiate addicts actually become a bit “immune” to sugar in a way. just like they do to drugs, like a tolerance. just nasty!!!

        2. Hi there, not sure how much this will help, but the idea of sugar being as addictive as heroin or cocaine came from a scientific research paper that came out around 2007 if I recall correctly. I heard about it when it was first published, but it didn’t catch on right away; no one really said much about it for years… and now all of a sudden, everyone seems to be talking about it. Anyway, an experiment was conducted in which mice were deliberately addicted to opiates AND sugar; then they were forced to choose between, meaning they could have access to either the drug or the sugar but not both. The mice consistently chose sugar (instead of drugs) when they could only have one thing. At least, that was the gist of it. I did actually read the original publication, but that was about 8 years ago and I’m not a scientist, so I don’t recall the specific details.

          On a personal note, I know I am a sugar addict because it’s ruining my life and I still can’t stop. I have never had any experience with drugs, so I can’t compare. But I can say that the way you described heroin withdrawal – insomnia, anxiety, night sweats, nausea, muscle spasms, diarrhea, suicidal feelings – I have all these things. Living this way is unbearable. I haven’t slept normally in more than a year, so like 400 consecutive nights I have not slept naturally; I finally had to start using sleeping pills. I often feel as if I’m dying; most days I’m actually surprised to wake up in the morning. I also have heart palpitations, chest pains, general pain all over my body, numbness in my feet, hypoglycemia, indigestion, migraines, and my teeth are rotting even though I practice diligent dental hygiene. I’m 39, not exactly old enough to be falling apart like this. Doctors can’t find anything wrong with me except the hypoglycemia and hormone imbalances. One doctor thinks I have fibromyalgia, but there’s not really any definitive test for it. He is hesitating to diagnose it as fibromyalgia because he says other doctors won’t take me seriously once they see that diagnosis in my records; they will assume it’s all psychosomatic. I know in my heart it’s the sugar affecting every system and organ of my body, but I can’t ever make it past 3 days without any. As soon as something stressful happens, I feel nauseous and start trembling, and at that point sugar is the only thing that calms me. I’ve repeatedly tried to calm myself with meditation, “tapping,” yoga, prayer, hugs, aromatherapy, herbal tea, knitting, journaling, etc, but sugar is the only thing that makes me feel any better…. tell me that’s not an addiction 🙁 Like I said, I don’t have any experience with drugs, so I can’t know what you’ve been through. But I just want to increase awareness that sugar addictions can become really severe. Sorry you had to battle heroin, but sounds like you’re able to quit sugar when you have to; not everyone can.

          1. i have actually given myself fibromyalgia from the years of opiate abuse. the doctor may be hesitant to give you that diagnosis, but it is very possible thats what you have.

          2. That sounds all too familiar. *sigh*
            What you are describing is actually more likely/most likely/I’d bet the farm on it a case of Candida overgrowth. You feel better ON sugar because you are feeding actual live organisms their meal plan. Get off sugar, and these living organisms will try desperately to survive. You need to starve them (and in some cases take either an Rx or supplement).
            But most of all, the way to balance you body from that list of symptoms you provided is by providing NUTRITION. I can personally offer this advice bc I have been through it. What you listed and more. I’m so impressed by the person who beat both Heroin addiction and sugar addiction. Living proof that the body needs neither! Trust me, I myself am a changed person when it comes to the pull of food chemicals. I was raised on sugar and the SAD (standard american diet) and now my diet is so different even I am shocked! But that’s what some people need to do to get their LIFE back. Give up sugar, folks. Fruit is food, but all else is just chemicals. CHEMICALS that harm! I searched the Internet not for how to quit sugar but to how best not relapse! I found thousands/millions of people that used everything from gentle guidance to tough love statements. Tough love worked best for me. Things like grow up and stop using crappy snacks as a crutch when life gets tough. Yep, I threw a pity party and mourned the loss until I no longer felt the pull. It’s amazing. Let it go. It’s garbage to the body.
            Best of health to all!

          3. To sw168, just a suggestion, but consider joining Leanne’s program. You will change your life from the nutritional advice she provides. You’ll break the pull of sugar bc you will be nourishing your body. Or I guess continue to chase some medical diagnosis. The fact there isn’t one right now should have you rejoicing! Get ahead of the symptoms with nutrition and health promoting lifestyle habits. You are 39. You can do this!

  2. i also read something that will help those who cant afford all the pricey organic produce out there. if you have to pick and choose, be sure to buy organic when its something where you will eat the peel or eat the whole thing. for example, more important to buy organic tomatoes, apples and carrots than oranges, bananas and limes, where you dont eat the thick peel. absolutely buy organic when its something like lettuces and greens where you eat the whole thing, broccoli, asparagus, etc. . its of course best to buy entirely organic if u can afford to, but if you DO need to cut back on your spending a bit, go ahead and buy regular when its something with a thick, inedible (protective) peel.

  3. Very sound information. I’d like to know how to make my salmon look like the photo above, any chance of posting the recipe?

    1. Hi,

      This recipe is very simple. Just sprinkle Salad Supreme by McCormick on each side of the salmon and then grill. Allow 7-8 minutes per inch of thickness when cooking fish. Enjoy!

  4. I absolutely eat as though my life depends on it, because it does. After diagnosis of a brain tumor, a rare form of angina (no blockages), chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia, I take my food very seriously because when I am eating right, I feel amazing. I want to stay that way.

    1. i have fibro too and diet is SO important with that one. brain tumor tho, how frightening. sounds like you are taking good care of yourself so i hope you stay healthy!!! now that im eating better, as SOON as i eat garbage because of travel, oh man i feel it. you are what you eat couldnt be more true.

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