I have had a great time reading The Four Pillars of Health by John Pierre. There are so many nuggets tucked in this book that cause me to think again about my food, its sources, and the effects on my overall health. Yes, overall health, not just one aspect. With all the health books out today, I've become quite the stickler for solid research and John Pierre provides references for the bigger claims in this book such as:
Opioids carve out pathways in our brain when we eat or even THINK of highly palatable foods.
My hump in this deal is reconciling the "treats" I enjoyed my entire life, that are intensely damaging. Not only eating them, but the thought of eating certain processed foods stimulates the "dopamine pathways" in the brain. Check out what John says about them.
Because chemically tweaked foods supersede nature by hijacking the primal pleasure centers in the brain, we're no longer satisfied by just an apple or a handful of almonds.
According to Pierre, our body has two main ways of giving us the green light of nutrition. They are stretch and nutrient receptors. Filling our tummies with lots of food low in nutrient value will leave us wanting more in short order. If we only eat high nutrient foods without enough fiber to literally, fill us up adequately, we will again be searching for food. This leads me, in the first few pages of this book , to the following realization about why losing weight can be challenging:
1) We aim to eat less food, but miss out on the fiber (think 100 calorie snack packs) so we say we can't lose weight because we are hungry.
2) We eat junk food but our bodies know better than to think we can make it all this process food but instead of leaving the junk food alone, they are addictive so we crave them more and more!
Something I've noticed in myself but doesn't seem to be addressed in traditional therapies is nutritional deficiencies can alter mood and behavior. In this referenced claim Pierre says that the highs and lows of blood sugar, lack of fiber, eating processed grains (cookies, pies, cakes, etc.) are a major culprit.
The grinding of grains into flour by factory machines increases the grains' surface area - we're essentially having the machines chew our food for us -- which allows it to turn into sugar much faster in the body.
Believe it or not, all this information is in the first eighteen pages! He continues with well documented sources concerning dairy. In the book The China Study Dr. T Colin Campbell, Ph.D, showed that cancer could be turned on and off according to the amount of casein in the diet.
Pierre's solution for this madness is to adopt a plant based diet. He admits that although a salad may not be as attractive to people as cookie, we must think in terms of "nutrients delivered." In the plant based diet, Pierre says that green leafy vegetables "are the most important power foods we can ingest." He suggests smoothies, green drinks, huge salads, and legumes. His has a food chart in the book.
Pierre takes quite a bit of time discussing oil. This was an enlightening chapter for me as I have used oil my entire life. After this sentence, it made sense.
There's no refined oil found in nature -- this is a clue...The biggest culprit when it comes to weight gain, lethargy, and blood-sugar problems is the over consumption of oils, regardless of their source.
Have you heard of putting lemon on an apple to keeping from turning brown, or oxidizing? Pierre says, and he cites his source, that this is what plant foods do to our brain. It is the antioxidants in the plant foods the guard our bodies and brains from damage.
I am so excited reading this book. I want to share with you so much more of the easy understand wisdom of this book. I could spend a week studying his sources. The remainder of the book discusses motion and compassion but he brings things back to the diet first and foremost. He works with children, teens, and seniors and sprinkles stories of their wellness in the book.
Hay House sent me this book for my honest review.
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