My Lunch With ‘The Zone’ Creator Dr. Sears And How It Changed My Breakfast Plans Forever
This is going to be a long post – so forgive me. I just have so much to say. 1 out of 4 children under the age of 4 are obese. That statistic makes me sick to my stomach.
I’m going on vacation soon and now have the book that I am going to read while lounging on my beach chair. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Sears, founder of the infamous ‘Zone’ diet. He has released a new book ‘TOXIC FAT: When Good Fat Turns Bad’ and it has most certainly caught my attention.
Just to give you a little background on my eating habits – 5 years ago (when I had my first daughter) I joined Weight Watchers to help me lose my last 10 pounds. The program really opened my eyes to misconceptions I had about food. For example, I was a fanatic about quesadillas from Baja Fresh. I swore that a little cheese, chicken and pita was a healthy option for me to consume. After I got on the plan, I saw that my little meal was costing me about 50 points! Mind you I was only allowed to eat 20 points a day. Talk about a revelation!! Changed my life.
This meeting with Dr. Sears felt the same exact way. We talked about things that I never knew before. I am sure that some of what I’m about to say will be common knowledge to a few readers, but this is for those people who (like me) don’t really understand the ins and outs of healthy eating. I never really thought about how much protein I was consuming per meal. Dr. Sears said that it should be a steady stream throughout the day. Most Americans eat no protein for breakfast, a little bit for lunch and TOO MUCH for dinner. That pretty much sums me up perfectly! It’s important to change the way we think about eating and it’s important to make that change today. For you. For me. And for our children.
Dr. Sears knows that we all aren’t just going to start munching on raw carrots. It’s just not realistic to think a change like that will last forever. So, instead of walking that route – he decided to change the dietary ingredients of some of our favorite foods – not the recipes to make those foods.
What do I mean? Granola and bagel chips that have over 10 grams of protein layered in them and made healthier. If you are going to snack on bagel chips, why not choose the ones that will keep you feeling full longer? That’s what we all want, right? When the hunger pains kick in… there’s no turning back. Fight them before they ever have a chance.
His new book, TOXIC FAT is built on several provocative, proven principles, including:
- If you’re fat, it’s not your fault: A genetic predisposition, combined with hormonal imbalances triggered by Toxic Fat, can cause your fat cells to trap incoming dietary calories preventing their conversion to the chemical energy we need to survive and move around. For those with an active “fat trap”, trying “eating less, and exercising more” can actually cause the body to “cannibalize” itself. To make matters worse, Toxic Fat makes you constantly craving food by increasing hunger signals in the brain
- The obesity epidemic was triggered when the government’s agriculture policies changed radically in the 1970s: This resulted in seismic change in that food processing flooded our supermarkets with cheap, refined carbohydrates and cheap vegetable oils— the nutritional equivalent of pouring kerosene on a fire, resulting in the current epidemic of Toxic Fat.
- Toxic Fat causes inflammation, which is the underlying cause of obesity and other chronic diseases. Dr. Sears and numerous other researchers have shown that inflammation is the root cause of most chronic disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s. Obesity can’t be reversed unless inflammation in the fat cells is reduced. Drugs can’t do this, but appropriate dietary changes can do so very effectively.
- Thin people can have dangerously high levels of Toxic Fat, detectable in the bloodstream. Dr. Sears has worked with numerous Olympic athletes whose inflammation levels were dangerously high. He also knows that it’s possible to be fat, but remain perfectly healthy, as long as inflammation levels are in check.
- Obesity is best understood as a cancer. It can be benign (by increasing body fat to store Toxic Fat like a toxic waste dump) or it can be malignant (releasing stored toxic fat into the blood to reach every organ in the body. Like a cancer, obesity is best treated by either surgery (gastric bypass surgery) or “chemotherapy,” using the anti-inflammatory
So, what’s the solution? It’s pretty simple. Dr. Sears said something that make me sit up straight yesterday afternoon. He said, “It’s easier for someone to change their religion than it is their diet.” WOW! And… I agree! I hate when I’m told to eat a salad instead of my typical lunch. I’m not one to rely on fast food chains to feed my family, but there are those days when I make meals out of a box. Processed food is what got American into this mess but Dr. Sears believes his new line of processed foods will get us out.
Why? Because he has made available food people know and love but which are altered to be BETTER for you. So, instead of telling someone they have to eat a 4 egg white omelet and a cup of oatmeal for breakfast, he has created a cinnamon bun which is jam packed with 14 grams of protein which is equivalent. So it’s still something you would want to eat and is feasible to do on a daily basis, but it is BETTER for you than what you are used to eating. Remember, I am not talking to people who have their diet under control. I’m talking to the people who eat two waffles in the morning like I do. This morning at 630AM, I had the cinnamon bun from his website and at 10:50 I am just starting to get a little hungry. Usually at this point I would be ripping open a snack to get me to lunch.
Take these pita pizza crusts. They are a much better alternative to buying pizza on your own because they are LOADED with protein. They come pre-cooked and all you have to do is add the toppings. Three pieces are equivalent to eating a 4 egg white omelet as far as protein is concerned. I tend to make pizza at home a few times a month and after tasting these two versions I am officially making this change. Why NOT?
Not ready to take the dive and try to purchase some of Dr. Sears’ packaged food? Here’s his one tip that you should walk away with. Eat what your grandmother ate growing up. Everything that they did 50 years ago is exactly what we should be doing today.
- Smaller meals
- Adequate amount of protein with each meal (about a palm full)
- Lots of veggies
Here’s a few more tips from our lunch:
- Only shop the perimeters of your supermarket. Anything down the center is over-processed and full of omega 6 fatty acids.
- Aim to consume 2.5 grams of omega 3 fatty acids a day (with supplements)
- The omega 3 fatty acids that are found in cereals and eggs do not have any anti-inflammatory properties
- Cook with lard – yes LARD. Throw out your vegetable oil.
- Eat nothing with mono-saturated fats – instead aim for fats found in avocados and slivered almonds
- Reduce your bread intake (even if it’s whole grain)
- Lentils are the best legumes to consume
- For every 1 gram of fat you have in your meal you should have 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of carb
- If you drop your omega 6 fatty acid intake it will help with your attention span (studies verified this)
Get the book. Read up on everything. I feel awakened. It’s all about bringing it back to the basics. It’s all about making the right decisions when you are cooking for your family. It’s all about starting the change today.