Simplicity and a 4Leaf Routine are key.
Now that we’re adding a lot of recipes and conducting 4Leaf Challenges, we’re getting questions about 4Leaf, the philosophy and the reasoning behind the concept. People ask about what is so special about 80% for 4Leaf and whether or not they should ever have a 2Leaf or a 3Leaf meal. These are good questions.
From the very beginning, we wanted to develop a really simple concept that enabled people to understand what a near-optimal diet-style would look like. Remember that the 4Life lifestyle is not about counting calories and percentages; it’s really more of a mentality. Once you know what a 4Leaf meal looks like and feels like, you’ll know what to do; keeping that 4Leaf goal in the back of your mind at all times — and establishing a routine that features a lot of 4Leaf meals.
And there won’t be any 4Leaf police out there checking on whether you scored 59, 79 or 81%. Only you will know what you’re really eating. But even at 59% (2Leaf), you’d be getting ten times more whole plants than the average American. We’re trying to create an awareness; you will decide how high you wish to go up that scale. Yesterday, I drafted this simple phrase to describe that 4Leaf mentality:
Adopting a flexible attitude for promoting health by maximizing whole, plant-based foods in your diet…a much healthier concept than a strict regimen of simply avoiding certain animal products
Everyone can understand what 4Leaf eating means when you tell them the simple concept. Not so much for vegan or vegetarian. As we all know, there are about a zillion definitions for each of them — and many of those definitions, or interpretations, are not health-promoting. Honestly, I don’t know of another dietary program that so clearly illustrates a near-optimal diet — a diet-style that can be defined in two words: Whole Plants.
Latest example. While typing this blog here at Starbucks this morning, a yacht club friend (a Pfizer scientist) just stopped by my corner with his coffee-to-go and a granola bar. Having begun moving in the 4Leaf direction, he asked me to take a look at the ingredients label on his granola.
While it had a few natural ingredients, it also had about 40 ingredients that weren’t. I joked that it was a good thing he was a scientist so that he could have a chance of understanding what he was eating. The small bar also had 5 grams of sugar and derived over 30% of its calories from fat.
Earlier in the week, I had served Tim my Sailors Daily Oatmeal in my home after he told me the night before that he was looking for a good, “routine” 4Leaf breakfast. So, after hearing my analysis of his granola bar, he decided immediately that he no longer wanted that to be a part of his daily routine. He mentioned that he’s already buying ingredients so that he could take his pre-prepared Sailors Oatmeal to work with him. Tim (28), since reading our book, has already lost 20 pounds in the past few months, and is now approaching his old high school fighting weight.
As for the granola bar, I also reminded Tim that granola was one of the six “not-so-healthy” foods featured in Chapter 10 of our book. Along with yogurt, olive oil, fish, cheese and milk — most people have been conditioned all their lives to believe that all six of these are really good for them. Sad but true. They also believe that they truly need to eat animal protein to be healthy. That “protein myth” is our single biggest obstacle to promoting healthy eating in the Western world. But we have a plan to dispel it; so stay tuned, and check out our Project Harmony.
If you’d like to order our book on Amazon, visit our BookStore now.
If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page.
And if you like what 4-Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4-Leaf Gear” store. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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