How to Easily Transition from Unhealthy Eating to Healthful Eating – with John Allen Mollenhauer 

Entheors Academy - How to Transition from Unhealthy Eating to Healthful EatingThe following is a class by John Allen Mollenhauer, founder of @ The Entheos Academy on how to easily transition from unhealthy eating to healthful eating. Watch the introductory video here.

Watch the introductory video here.

You know the old saying, “they can’t see the forest from the trees?” Well, never has that confusion been more prevalent than in today’s dietary world, which can get us all caught up in the minutia, albeit, as important it may be. 
You see, wisdom is rare. You can only really attain it through experience and see it in retrospect; or, if you’re savvy, by leveraging someone else’s experience. In a class I recently did for the Entheos Academy; I share some of that wisdom.
It’s based on a great deal of experience as a person wanting to make sense of food and nutrition in the world over the past 20 years, first as a consumer in a shifty market that can easily sway you when you are most vulnerable and don’t really know what’s happening, and as a professional who has worked with hundreds of people.
Its value is in saving you potentially years, maybe even decades of challenge and heartache, which you can prepare for right now, or even traverse (mostly) simply because you know the natural process oftransitioning – this is the key word.
Transitioning is a word most of the diet industry does not understand with its inflated promises, and manipulative approaches for delivering results yesterday that can keep you chasing your tales forever; hell bent on helping you deal with the predictable result of unhealthy eating – weight gain and poor health, while rarely ever solving the problem. 
The dieting industry really focuses on giving you only one benefit – usually weight loss at the cost of your health, and so the cycle continues.
If you really want to change, then learning how to “transition” from unhealthy eating to healthful eating or “more plant based nutrient rich” is the only sound way to go if you want to nourish and detoxify your body, lose weight naturally and dramatically improve your health – reversing preventing lifestyle-induced diseases.
It is also the only proven nutritional method to age-slower, look-younger and live longer.
So strap in for this 37-minute class, I’ll be sharing the process most people go through when transitioning the way they eat.
You’ll learn 10 hidden stages also acting as “big ideas“ people typically go through over time when transitioning the way they eat. Learn them up front, instead of in retrospect, and you will have a leg up on the pace of change and success in your future. 

I’ll get you started, then go over to the Entheos Academy to read the balance of the ideas and, if you want to, watch the class video.
  1. Standard American Diet

    We eat the standard modern diet (SAD) – most of us were raised eating up 80-90% or more animal products and refined foods loaded with added salt, oil and sugar, all of which are micronutrient poor, overly concentrated, and overly stimulating and only 10—20% produce – vegetables, fruit, beans (legumes and pulses), seeds, nuts, and intact whole grains which are micronutrient rich. Most of us were brought up this way, with the “token vegetable on the side.” ?This of course causes us to gain weight and get unhealthy over time, prompting stage big idea #2.
  2. Eating Less or “Dieting”

    We experience negative results, think they are “normal” when they’re actually just common yet abnormal, and then attempt to “eat less” of the SAD otherwise known as “dieting.” This means eating less of the very nutrient poor foods that are not meeting your micronutrient needs to begin with, while simultaneously toxifying your body with refined and added ingredients that give rise to addictions – like salt, oil and sugar.To compound the issue of eating less than we need and want (low cal), we also manipulate the calorie containing nutrients in our diets by eating low-to-no fat and low-to-no carb diets. These tactics may help you lose weight in the short term, but they further compromise your health on top of that dynamic “unduo,” of low nutrient density and high toxicity. Both will undo you. All of this will leave you feeling like you’re hungry all the time, while reinforcing cravings and overeating.This is the stage so many people stay at, merely riding the fence of eating “better,” as compared to their previous usual diet, while still eating predominantly nutrient-poor foods at the same time. This is a weight gain diet, posing as a weight loss diet and it’s guaranteed to keep you stuck in a vicious cycle of eating foods that don’t serve you.

  3. Go Back to Start, Don’t Pass Go

    We get so frustrated at this stage and may go back to #1, because that “stuckness” gives way to the freedom we naturally want, of “just eating” what is available to us, when we want it and as much as we want. The world is my oyster dammit!At this stage, where the person has very little awareness and context around food and nutrition, many just don’t want to deal with learning more, feeling like they have to monitor themselves, restrict themselves, eat “special” etc and simply head back for the pleasure of just eating. ??The problem with that move is that it takes you back, back not only to nutrient-poor foods as the core of our diet, but also back to eating foodstuffs that are downright nutrient barren, and compromising your body (the machinery). Both nutrient poor and nutrient barren foods will undermine your health, happiness and performance over time, over even a short time despite their ability to make you feel good as you eat.
  4. Fad Dieting

    You may go through this process (1-3) a few times. This makes sense, given the strategy up until this point doesn’t work. It’s nutrient poor. ??Whole industries (not just the diet industry) are built around the vicious cycle of eating nutrient poor foods, and it is great for business. What could be better for the business ecosystem than never solving the underlying problem that keeps people consuming what they don’t need, more food than they actually need and in an almost addictive fashion? Nothing actually, and that’s just the way the market likes it. That is, if you are on the wrong side of the fence and not one of new and emerging natural or organic food companies that are enabling people to transition to healthy eating and get free of that vicious cycle.This is precarious time at this stage, in the sense that we’re being told that we need to eat more vegetables and fruit etc, but at a time when our taste buds are geared for super stimulating, calorie concentrated foods like chicken, fish and steak 2-3 times per day, sugar, cereals, bagels and butter, pretzels, pasta, cake… and our taste buds simply have not yet had the time to adjust; to get their feet on the ground.We don’t yet like the foods that love us and the take-your-vitamins, eat-some-vegetables-on the-side strategies, and the like, always fail. You must be eating healthy to be healthy with a nourished, detoxified, immune stabilized and strengthened body that is optimized (nutritionally speaking) for performance. Until this happens your dysfunctions will guide your choices, because what is right, feels wrong and what’s wrong feels right. ??The taste bud adjustment period is the only really tough time you’ll have in a true transition from unhealthy eating to healthy eating, not because healthy foods aren’t great tasting, but because you’ll experience some withdrawal symptoms from naturally nutrient poor foods, and the manufactured foods you’ve been eating, which have all the nutrients stripped out and only the pleasure inducing chemicals left in. Though a little less intensive, it’s a little like getting off drugs and it’s no wonder why people capitulate at this stage and go backwards. We have to be careful not to associate the pain of withdrawal from unhealthy foods, to the emerging pleasure of health-promoting foods.Entheos banner

  5. Going Vegetarian

    Eventually, we start to “get” that we just don’t need another diet and we do need to stop the insanity. We come to terms that we need to start eating more plant based nutrient rich foods, because plants and their process of formation (photosynthesis) are where all nutrients originally come from. But instead of going all the way and understanding what it means to eat more plant based nutrient rich, we go vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, eat non-GMO etc, all of which may be very smart things to do as part of a healthy eating style; it’s just that none of these definitions of eating stand alone as a definition of eating healthy. ?The result may be thinking that you’re eating healthy, but in actuality you may be eating a healthier version of the SAD Standard American Diet; only now without the genetically modified organisms, wheat protein and meat, yet potentially still loaded with meat, refined and added salt, oil and sugar depending on your definition.Basically we end up doing the same thing we’ve always done, eating “healthier” but without enough change to give the shift any major health and sustainability momentum. This is the “wash-your-vegan-pastry-down-with-some-veggies” phase, or eat-lots-of-meat-with-small amount-of-vegetables-on-the-side-with-supplements so-you-make-up-for-what-you’re-not getting-in-your-food phase; and the promises of healthy eating are just not fully realized. ??Many dietary tribes are based on what they don’t eat, and these communities are valuable. Dietary tribes like any entity or group, want and need a cause to rally around with clear lines in the sand. The challenge is that we live in a fast paced 2014 and it can be (not always) hard to live with lines in the sand and with ideologies that are inflexible, which in some cases are not really proven healthy or don’t promote psychological or social wellness.
  6. Back to Step #1. Failure to Thrive

    We may again go back to #1 or the simple point of #5 albeit now with some major improvements. ??Ex-vegans, start eating meat again because they may feel better, or require more essential fats in their diet; paleo people and those generally eating high-animal protein / low plant food diets who often suffer from constipation, clogged arteries (thought they may not know it) due to all the saturated fat, cholesterol and limited fiber intake and more rapid aging due to such low amounts of cell protective phytochemicals and the accelerated growth due to excessive animal protein with its high biological value (not such a good thing), all start eating more whole food, plant based nutrient rich foods.?? As well, those with prolonged weight problems because they merely cut the gluten out of their diet yet are still dogging the muffins and pizzas, cake mixes etc realize that they aren’t even dieting or eating healthy. They are just doing something potentially better but with little to no measureable impact.Note: There are many people eating more whole food, plant based nutrient rich vegan diets, and even more plant based nutrient rich “paleo” diets, both of which may be gluten-free and non GMO, or not, (among countless other dietary configurations) who are thriving because they are steering clear of untrue dogmas or the typical dietary patterns in their dietary tribe. So this is not an in-depth inquisition on any particular tribe, it’s just pointing out that the transition from unhealthy eating to healthy eating is more about moving away from predominantly nutrient poor food to more plant based nutrient rich foods. Common dietary tribes rarely explain this, with some notable exceptions.
  7. Transitioning to Nutrient Rich

    Eventually we get smarter and realize more and more of what it means to eat healthy. In this process, we become more inclusionary, and less exclusionary but now with knowledge of the principles, best practices and some strategy. We no longer define the way we eat, by what we don’t eat; rather, we define the way we eat by the primary quality standard of any diet – is it nutrient rich, or nutrient poor…? Is the food I’m eating giving my body what it needs, not overloading it with significant amounts of what it doesn’t and is the food I’m eating as close to its natural state as possible? Can I enjoy what I’m eating and eat freely?In this phase, we discover the full breadth and depth of eating a great tasting health-promoting eating style, and realize that it’s not about nutrients alone, and more a lifestyle complete with nutritional education, values, causes, and a very big open mind to understanding all the attributes of healthy eating, not just one or two; and, beginning to put them together to formulate an approach to eating you can actually live with, well.This can trip some people up because it’s like “where do I belong?”

  8. To learn the rest of the top 10 big ideas for making the transition from unhealthy eating to healthful eating, go to the Entheos Academy.

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