Sunday, May 31, 2009

Eating Raw

Last year I went to a presentation by Jenna Norwood, creator of the movie ‘Supercharge Me’. Satirizing the movie ‘Supersize Me’ where a man ate McDonalds for a month to test the physical impact, Jenna decided to follow a raw food diet for thirty days. The movie documents her discoveries and experiences.

After meeting Jenna and being impressed by the raw food movement, I decided to try it myself. There was quite a learning curve involved; most of the food that I usually ate was processed and/or cooked. Suddenly walking around the grocery store was an adventure; what foods could I eat? I discovered many foods in the produce section that were unfamiliar to me. What do you do with Swiss Chard or Eggplant or Radicchio?

My newfound interest in food compelled me to do research. I found an abundance of information on the Internet and began to look at food differently. By mixing and matching various basic ingredients, salads became delicious, snacks became healthy and meals became a feast. I enjoyed the simple pleasures of eating, learning new tastes and creating new desires.

Over the thirty day period I cheated a couple of times, however I ate primarily raw food every day. By the end of the month I had lost twenty pounds, my digestion process was much easier, my skin tone was more vibrant and my energy levels had risen. Since then I have reintroduced cooked food and some meats, however I still consume at least 50% raw food.

In retrospect, this extreme change was easy and very very good for me. Try it yourself; by changing what you eat you can easily lose weight, relearn your eating habits and have a very positive influence on your health.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Eating Expectations

Your life is greatly influenced by everything that you swallow. There are many aspects in our life and environment that influence choices; each can be identified and analyzed. Eating habits exist based on a lifetime of experience and preferences; changing your habits requires deeper understanding of self.

How many times do you eat because you are expected to eat? Whenever someone prepares food for a group, there is anticipation that it will be eaten. If you refuse to eat what is offered you might hear about it. Most of us remember times when our mother made us eat something we didn’t want. Usually we were told it was good for us. There was usually more going on; when a gift is given there is often expectation of gratitude. Sometimes we eat simply because it is easier than not eating.

Once you decide to change your eating habits, it takes determination to explain to others about your choices. Rather than asking for something different, just choose to eat or not eat whatever is offered. The power of healthy eating habits is strengthened by learning how to not eat.

Randi's column appears weekly at

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Losing weight is Easy

Losing weight is easy; just change what you eat. There is much anguish about weight loss, as if there were dramatic penalties being forced on people. How could I possibly live without potato chips? I deserve a piece of chocolate cake; I really want KFC; I will follow my diet tomorrow but today I need comfort. All of these thoughts and feelings sabotage your health. The reality is that you choose what you eat and every choice makes a difference.

An important step to changing your diet is to understand what motivates your eating. Food is supposed to be fuel for your body; instead there are MANY other aspects affecting what you put into your mouth. For example, people eat at regular times whether they are hungry or not. People eat what is put in front of them, whether it is what they feel like or not. People eat to feed their emotions and often base decisions on media-implanted desires.

Eating healthy is a choice that can be easy to make. Natural foods are better for you than processed foods; include lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your daily diet. Eat like a slim person and you can become one. It really is quite simple.

Randi's column appears weekly at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chain Restaurants Load Food with Salt

A report by CNN reveals that restaurants including Red Lobster and Chili's server meals with over three times the daily recommended salt intake.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Drugs in your Food

Did you know that most processed foods contain chemicals that excite your brain? When you discover that you can’t eat just one potato chip, did you realize that the reason is not just salt but the neuro-stimulation that awakens feelings of pleasure? Your body chemistry is being manipulated by food manufacturers and the result is diminishing health.

When most people hear the initials ‘MSG’ they think of Chinese food. Monosodium Glutamate was regularly added to Chinese food to enhance the flavor; asking for ‘No MSG’ became commonplace shortly afterwards. The reality is that MSG is added to most fast foods, most processed foods, most snack foods and most condiments. If you follow the average American diet, you are consuming MSG every day.

MSG has two main effects on your body. First, it triggers changes on your tongue, stimulating salivation and fooling your taste buds so that food seems to taste better. If something tastes delicious you are more likely to eat more; you are also more likely to eat the same food again. The initial benefit for food producers results from the taste-enhancing characteristic of MSG.

There is more to the story. MSG is also an excitory neuro-toxin. Whenever these glutamates are introduced to your body, transmitters in your brain are activated. The stimulation feels good, which makes you want more. The synaptic paths that are stimulated want more stimulation so the chemical becomes addicting. Ultimately, if you live primarily on processed food, your food is a drug.

Awareness is the first step of change. Do your own research; evaluate your own eating habits. You choose what you eat; make those choices intelligent choices.

Randi’s column appears weekly at

Monday, May 4, 2009

Change Your Diet

I spoke to a friend whose teenage daughter had started a vegetarian diet and gained a lot of weight. Apparently she decided that eating French fries every day was acceptable within the definition of her new lifestyle. In our overweight society, there is much confusion about diets.

The word ‘diet’ comes from the Greek word ‘diaita’ which literally means ‘way of living’. A person’s diet is the sum total of what they eat. For example, someone who lives on a raw food diet eats primarily raw food. Sometime in the twentieth century, the word ‘diet’ began to describe a routine of deprivation. When you ‘go on a diet’, you are not allowed to eat the foods you prefer. Instead, you are required to deprive yourself with the objective of weight loss.

Instead of going on a diet, the best way to lose weight is to CHANGE your diet. The best way to change your diet is to experiment with new foods and to develop new cravings. If you tasted a juicy peach and a dry cookie for the first time, the peach would likely taste better. When you actually look forward to eating a salad you have developed an eating style that leads towards healthy body weight. When you substitute tasty delicious new foods for the crap that you used to eat, your body and mind can both benefit.