The 4Leaf brain-trust is unanimous on this one.
As you probably know, we didn’t create our 4Leaf Program in a vacuum. It as based on the common ground knowledge and advice of Dr. T. Colin Campbell and the five pioneering medical doctors featured in Chapter 1 of our book: Caldwell Esselstyn, Dean Ornish, John McDougall, Joel Fuhrman and Neal Barnard. Regarding the optimal diet, all of them agree with this statement by the author of The China Study:
“The closer we get to eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, the better off we will be. ”—-T. Colin Campbell, PhD
We like to look at that statement as something like the North star or the guiding light for the optimal diet. Each individual will then decide how close they wish to get to that optimal way of eating.
Topic of the day—how fast? Okay, you have decided that you want to achieve vibrant health. Should you start out by adding a few fruits and vegetables to your diet and gradually working your way up the 4Leaf scale? Or should you jump in the deep in of the pool and start swimming with all you’ve got? Should you take baby-steps or should you go all the way from the beginning? From Chapter 9 of our book, consider the following statements from our experts:
Dr. John McDougall: If you are sincere about making the change, do so with 100% of your effort. Many people feel that it would be easier for them to slide into this diet plan gradually. Unfortunately, we seldom manage to discard old ways and old established tastes unless 100% of our effort is devoted to the change and unless, from the beginning, we make a clear break from our old behavior. A smoker who cuts down to four cigarettes a day only goes through slow torture and rarely quits completely.
Dr. Dean Ornish: In our research, we learned that it is often easier for people to make comprehensive changes in diet and lifestyle than to make only moderate ones. At first, this may seem like a paradox, but it makes sense when you understand why. If you make only moderate changes in lifestyle—then you have the worst of both worlds. You feel deprived and hungry because you are not eating everything you want and are used to, but you’re not making changes big enough to feel that much better or to significantly affect your weight or how you feel, your cholesterol, blood pressure, or heart disease.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell: Following this diet requires a radical shift in your thinking about food. It’s more work to just do it halfway. If you plan for animal-based products, you’ll eat them—and you’ll almost certainly eat more than you should . . . You’ll feel deprived. Instead of viewing your new food habit as being able to eat all the plant-based food you want, you’ll be seeing it in terms of having to limit yourself, which is not conducive to staying on the diet long-term.
In addition to the above, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn sums up his advice on this subject in just two words: “Moderation Kills.” While we have seen exceptions, our observations are that the greater your commitment to the 4Leaf diet style in the beginning, the greater the likelihood that your healthier eating habits will be permanent—and the greater the likelihood that you will achieve and maintain the lifelong benefits of vibrant health.
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Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen. Got a question? Let me hear from you at email@example.com.
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My final blog from the great state of Georgia – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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