Changing food choice and dietary habits requires breaking old behavior patterns

Monday, March 07, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
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It's quite interesting being a health nut, especially when you try to eat at a restaurant with family or friends. People always look at the food I'm eating, and they say "What is that?" And I'm often bringing something with me that looks like a green piece of cookie dough. In fact, I call it dough, but it's actually made with a superfoods powder blended together with dates and rice protein powder, then formed into spherical shaped chunks. And this is the food that I typically carry with me if I go eat somewhere, because obviously I can't eat the toxic food at the restaurant, so I have to bring my own.

What's really funny about this is that people look at my food, which is real food, and they don't recognize it as food, so they ask, "What is that?" And yet they're eating manufactured, processed food products that aren't really food at all and have no resemblance to nature, and they think that's food.

And they're the ones asking me what the heck I'm eating!

In reality, their bodies should be asking them: what the heck are you eating? That's not food at all! That's something that's taking up space in your stomach and adding empty calories to your diet. But when you're a holistic nutritionist like I am, and you follow a healthy diet, you learn to keep your mouth shut around other people... at least in person. Because most people don't really want to hear any comments whatsoever about foods and nutrition, especially if those comments are directed at the foods they happen to be consuming at the moment.

But every once in a while, someone will volunteer a question while they're chewing on a bacon cheeseburger. They'll ask me, "Well, what do you think about this?" When people ask, I feel obliged to tell them the truth. And I say, okay, let's take a look at your bacon cheeseburger here and find out what diseases you're going to get from eating that type of food.

Chances are, you're probably already suffering from several of these diseases. You've got the sodium nitrite in the bacon -- that's going to cause colorectal cancer. You've got the saturated animal fats in the bacon and in the burger itself -- that's going to promote heart disease and atherosclerosis. You've got the cheeseburger bun made from refined white flours -- that's going to cause nutritional deficiencies and promote diabetes and obesity thanks to its high glycemic index. And then, of course, you have the fake slice of cheese melted across the burger -- that's made with saturated milk fats which are going to further promote heart disease, and also, since it's a dairy product, it's going to cause system-wide stagnation, meaning it may clog up your sinuses or cause constipation. Then of course, you've got the ketchup on the burger. The ketchup has tomatoes and lots of corn syrup, so you get more sugar. And then finally you've got tons of salt in the whole thing: there's salt in the bacon, there's salt in the cheese and of course there's salt in the burger itself. So you're going to get hypertension and high blood pressure from the salt, plus you'll promote chronic dehydration of your internal organs due to excessive consumption of salt. Then you've got kidney stress, liver stress, uric acid in your blood, suppressed immune system function, impaired oxygen diffusion in lung tissues, and so on.

And none of this, by the way, even mentions the additives and preservatives that might be included in the hamburger meat or especially the cheese. So typically, by the time I end up explaining all of this to the person sitting across from me, they've managed to completely block it out of their mind. They're no longer listening. They're in distortion mode, where everything that they hear or see gets filtered through their own belief systems and gets diminished or distorted in a way that it no longer means anything. And the reason I know this is happening is because they will look at me, nodding their head in agreement, and keep taking another bite of their cheeseburger. They'll say "Yep, yep, that makes sense..." and keep on chowing down on the burger.

Now I've always been amazed at the ability of people to cognitively recognize the detrimental health effects of foods and yet continue consuming those foods. I've never quite understood how a person could possess the knowledge that these ingredients promote chronic disease, and yet simultaneously choose to consume them over and over again, and even order them from the menu and purchase such food products at the grocery store. From pondering this situation, I've concluded there are only a few possible reasons why this is happening.

The number one reason is that perhaps the person doesn't believe the information. Maybe they simply think I'm making this up. Or they haven't seen enough evidence. Or, they figure if this food were really dangerous, the FDA would have banned it, or their doctor would have told them about it. Thus, their faith in conventional medicine and their faith in the highly corrupt FDA inhibits their ability to make good decisions about the foods and beverages they choose to consume. To some people, if they don't see it on TV, it isn't true.

The second reason may be that they don't consider their health to be important. They don't consider their body to be sacred. They have a fatalistic disconnect with their body -- almost as if they believe their mind lives in some other universe from their body. You could say they have no respect for their body, because obviously they are fully aware of the damage caused to it by these products, yet they continue to consume them.

But there's a third reason, and I think this third reason is probably the more common reason. The third reason is that people understand the information and they want to change -- they want to stop eating cheeseburgers or chocolate candy bars or drinking soft drinks -- but they feel that they are unable to. They feel like they cannot break that pattern of behavior in their life. And I suspect that for you, reading this, this maybe the more familiar reason. We all have varying degrees of success in actually being able to break our old patterns and establish new patterns. It's very difficult to give up drinking soft drinks, for example, if you've been drinking them for many years. It's difficult to change your foods and change your lifestyle. It's difficult to take up an exercise program and actually stick with it for 90 days to the point where it becomes an ingrained habit.

This is the answer that I think applies to most people. It's not that they want to harm their bodies, and it's not that they don't believe the information, it's that when they go home for the day, they have a pattern. When they take a lunch break at work, they have a pattern. Everything about them, every action they take, every belief they hold, is a pattern. And this pattern is very difficult to change because patterns provide comfort and familiarity, even if they're destructive. If you eat in a way that makes you fat and lethargic every day, then at least you know what to expect when you look in the mirror every morning. There are no surprises.

There's also a tremendous fear of missing out. People don't want to give up soft drinks for fear that they'll "miss out" on the pleasure of drinking them. In fact, I've heard opponents of health food actually say that we are "food Nazis" who never enjoy eating the stuff we eat because it all tasted like cardboard. Boy, are these people wrong: natural, healthy food is delicious. And get this: we can actually taste it because we haven't blown away our taste sensation with extreme nachos, MSG, aspartame, sugars and soft drinks. Health food tastes wonderful: it's the junk food that's an offensive taste assault. (Of course, if you're used to eating junk foods or processed foods, you can really only taste three things: salt, sugar and fat. And health foods don't have much of those, which is why junk food eaters think healthy foods taste like cardboard.)

But people are afraid that if they give up their candy bars, cookies and donuts, they'll have to live a life of food celibacy. So fear becomes a strong inhibitor to change, and it's fear that keeps a lot of people stuck in the old destructive eating patterns.

So how do you conquer that fear? It's easier than you might think. Just play a trick on yourself. Tell yourself that, just for the heck of it, you're going to try an all-natural diet for just 24 hours. For one full day, you'll eat nothing but organic, healthy, unprocessed foods. There's no fear in that, because you can promise yourself that the very next day, you can enjoy all the garbage foods you normally eat. What's to fear? Nothing. It's just a simple one-day experiment. Easy.

And what happens is that when people try an all-natural diet for 24 hours, they start to feel really good. And then they think it's just coincidence that they're feeling good, so the next day they eat all the garbage food again, and they feel really bad. Hmmm...

Eventually, people realize that they feel much better on natural foods, not processed foods, and then the good feeling itself becomes the motivating factor. You see, fear can hold you back, but feeling good can move you forward, and feeling good is a lot more enjoyable than being bound up with fear.

Pretty soon, you're into a self-perpetuating cycle: you eat well, you feel great. Then you have the motivation to eat even better, and suddenly you feel even better! Little by little, you transform your diet because it makes you feel good: better energy, improved mental clarity, better sleep, fewer aches and pains, heightened physical performance, improved sex drive, you name it!

And one day you wake up and look in the mirror to find that you're not fat and diseased anymore. You look ten years younger, and you feel energized!

Now you're a health nut, too. Welcome to the club. Just realize that this club doesn't meet at restaurants.

By the way, if you want more inspiring information on how to truly make lasting changes in your health, read Take Back Your Health Power! at It picks up where this article leaves off...

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About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health researcher, author and award-winning journalist with a mission to teach personal and planetary health to the public He is a prolific writer and has published thousands of articles, interviews, reports and consumer guides, and he has created several downloadable courses on survival and preparedness, including his widely-downloaded course on personal safety and self-defense. Adams is an honest, independent journalist and accepts no money or commissions on the third-party products he writes about or the companies he promotes. In mid 2010, Adams produced, a natural health video sharing website offering user-generated videos on nutrition, green living, fitness and more. He also founded an environmentally-friendly online retailer called that uses retail profits to help support consumer advocacy programs. He's also the CEO of a highly successful email newsletter software company that develops software used to send permission email campaigns to subscribers. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and enjoys outdoor activities, nature photography, Pilates and martial arts training. He's also author a large number of health books offered by Truth Publishing and is the creator of numerous reference website including and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. His websites also include the free reference sites and Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the innate healing ability of the human body. Known on the 'net as 'the Health Ranger,' Adams shares his ethics, mission statements and personal health statistics at

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