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Last week, I started talking to you about some things we can do, to take our lives back. How we could begin to eat differently and start improving our health.
This became important to me, first, about 12 or 13 years ago. My wife and I lived in Maine, in the USA. I read everything I could get to my eyeballs about how we relate to food. I was trying to figure out why I couldn’t lose weight and keep it off. I could lose it, but it always came back. I had tried every diet on the market, and a few things sold off the back of a wagon by charlatan’s.
I learned the value of organic vegetables, and pasture raised meat. I tried to plant a garden. It was a disaster. First of all, Maine has a short growing season and I planted all the wrong things. For the next year, I bought some special self watering planters called “Earthboxes”. I grew some herbs and lettuce only, just to understand how they work.
The next year we moved from Maine to Georgia, and my farming life began in earnest. I had a huge back garden, and devoted some of it to growing vegetables. Georgia has all the potential of the Garden of Eden. A very long growing season where you can actually grow two gardens. It’s fabulous.
I kept reading and implementing. Our garden was phenomenal. We were growing just about everything we needed. It was organic, and it was all delicious. Then, we wanted to raise our own meat. I bought rabbits to raise for fertilizer and meat. We were having real fun. A friend at Church offered us to rent out his mall farm next to the Church since it was unused. We had about 10 acres and a barn. The pastures were not great, but they were good. We started with goats, sheep, and chickens. We very quickly added cows and donkeys. My wife milked the dairy goats. She began a soap business, with the excess milk and became rather successful.
Anyway, we had an amazing life. I worked in the corporate world, and farmed at night and on the weekends. Brittan farmed all week, canned the food, milked the goats, and worked her soap and body product business.
Eventually, we bought our own small farm, and moved there. I bought a greenhouse to add to my garden space, and we were living the good life. But I still couldn’t lose weight. I was eating very good food, But was getting fatter.
Trying to shorten this story, in 2017 we moved here to Buckie. I’d lived here many years ago, and we had the chance to come back. We didn’t think twice. We moved here in July. In August, I had a heart attack and two strokes. Actually, I’d had a small stroke in Georgia while we were planning our move. I didn’t speak much about it, because I didn’t want to risk the move. After another year, I had triple bypass surgery in Aberdeen. I had another stroke during the surgery, which left me partially blind in my left eye.
I lost very little weight through all that. What in the world was wrong with me? I finally, with the help of my wife, got it right in March of this year, 2019. Since that time, I’ve lost more than 50 pounds, and am still losing. I feel great. My blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol numbers are normal. I do take blood pressure medicine, but am working with my doctor to decrease it. My long term goal is to be medicine free.
On the 7th of October, I will be 63 years old. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure out what’s wrong with me, and how to fix it.
I’ve continued to read and learn. I’ve been interested in what the Bible has to say about food. Over time I’ll tell you all about that. But for now, the main thing I’ve learned is how bad highly processed food is for us, how much of it we eat. And how to change my eating.
The first thing I did, was cut out all sugar from my diet. Seriously. Processed sugar is more addictive than almost any drug. And it’s in everything. That’s why last week I suggested you try the same thing.
Did you? Did you manage to do it? How have things gone for you during the week? Write me and let me know. You can write to email@example.com, or simply go to my website samburtonpresents.com and put it in the comments section where I publish the show notes.
I cut it all out. And I asked you to do the same. It is my conviction that sugar is the biggest problem in our modern diet. I believe there are other contributors, but sugar is your number 1 enemy.
Think about it. We have some in our coffee for breakfast. It’s in the cereal we eat. It’s in the jam we eat on our toast or scones. Frankly, it’s in the bread we buy at the supermarket. It’s in our donuts. It’s in the sweet rolls and things we get at the bakers. It’s in all the tasty treats we buy at Christies or Baxters over in Fochabers. What about the icecream shops in Buckie, Cullen or Portsoy. Think about all the puddings we eat. Sugar is all around us. Now, when you’re in the supermarket, look at the cans of food you buy. You’ll see sugar in the ingredients list on over half of them. Oh, how many of you have a biscuit with your cuppa. How many of those do you have in a day. I know, they’re delicious. Poison turns out to be very tasty.
I recommending saying goodbye. For me, a Yum Yum is almost impossible to pass up. Especially those cream filled ones. Or covered in carmel or maple flavoring. Sigh. But I’ve said farewell. Will I never have one again? I don’t know. Maybe someday. But not for a very long while. I’m over biscuits. I’m surprisingly over ice cream. That’s been my favorite dessert since I can ever remember.
I still add some sucralose to my coffee in the morning. I have one teaspoon of that, and a good amount of real cream. It’s delicious. Sucralose is not good for me either, but I don’t have much, and I don’t have it often. I’m just being honest with you.
Eventually, once I’ve finished losing weight, I’ll add local honey, and black molasses and something in America we call sorghum molasses. Oh, and demarara sugar. Demarara is only very slightly processed.
But for now, sugar is out. The Bible recommends we eat honey. Yes it does. And I will do so, if it’s local. Most of the honey in the supermarket is really sugar. In fact, they feed the bees sugar water to keep the honey flowing. How sad is that. But if you buy honey locally, say from a farm store, or one of the butchers, or at the fish shop, you’ll get the good stuff. Local honey is also great for helping you to adjust to pollens when you move to a new location.
In the meantime, a great compromise is dark chocolate. I know, most of us prefer milk chocolate. I get it. Actually, I mostly love white chocolate. Oh well. But I know that many people simply can’t give up their chocolate. So do this. At both Tesco and Lidl, and probably the COOP, they sell bars of 80, 81,85, and 90 % dark chocolate. We buy the 81 or 85%. And each of us has two squares at night while we’re watching TV. It tastes good, is a wonderful snack, and dark chocolate is better for you anyway.
- Powerful Source of Antioxidants. ORAC stands for “oxygen radical absorbance capacity.” …
- May Improve Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure. …
- Raises HDL and Protects LDL From Oxidation. …
- May Reduce Heart Disease Risk. …
- May Protect Your Skin From the Sun. …
- Could Improve Brain Function.
Amazing, right? Alternatively, you could mix coco powder with some cream, or whole milk, and a little sucraloss, or even hot water. And make hot chocolate.
For me, two squares of dark chocolate do the trick.
But I won’t add it back in until I’m finished losing weight.
See, I’m on what’s called a KetoGenic diet. That means I’m trying to get my body to run on fat rather than carbohydrates. I’ll tell you more about that in a week or two. For now, I’m just trying to convince you to make a couple of changes.
After you’ve cut out sugar, I recommend cutting out wheat flour and bread. I know that’s hard. For those with gluten problems, your gluten free bread from the shops is absolutely loaded with sugar. Boy howdy, does it have sugar in it.
If you make your own bread, you’ve really got to grind your own wheat. We used to do that. I don’t like it. I want to. Bread from freshly ground wheat or barley is called The Staff of Life. It is full of nutrients and goodness. The bread from the grocery store, might taste good, but it’s just carbohydrates and empty calories. Yes, it tastes good. And it smells awesome when it’s freshly baked, but it’s poison. I’m sorry, but it is.
Now, think about cakes. Those are made with both flour and sugar. Yikes.
See, back in the old days, our grains were cut and stacked in sheaves and left in the fields a few days. This allowed a natural drying and often slight sprouting of the grain. Then it was ground and sifted. Nowdays, we have special machines that dry it without allowing it the natural way of slightly spouting. And we bleach it. Flour is not naturally white.
The sprouting allowed the gluten to be eaten up before you ate it. Our modern methods don’t allow that. It is my understanding that rye flour is lower in gluten. Over most of europe, people have loved rye flour sourdough bread. I like it. Once I’ve lost my weight completely, I will probably try and bring back some rye toast. But that’s a long time from now.
So, first give up sugar. Cut it out. Say goodbye. There’s still plenty of food to eat. If you haven’t tried that, then try it now. Once you’ve got control of that, cut out all flour and wheat. Yes that means pasta. Yikes. I haven’t had pasta since March. I don’t miss it at all. Of course I never really loved it anyway. Except in Mac and Cheese. That I love. That’s something I miss.
Have your meat. Whatever kind you like. Eat as many eggs as you want. Don’t starve yourelf. Yes, you’re giving up some food, but you’re not becoming a rabbit. Have a few berries. The brambles are ripe right now. Go out and pick some. We’re going to. I should be out there today, but….
Strawberries, and blueberries. Yum. Tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, swedes, beetroot, peas, green beans, cabbage. Cheese. Peanut butter. You’ve got to be careful with the peanut butter, but I have a spoon full of it most days right after lunch to keep my full throughout the afternoon.