The Survival Diet is a way of eating and living that helps our bodies to use their natural strengths in order to be healthier, stronger, and better looking. The central slogan of the diet is:
STOP. When I developed this system I realized that I was killing myself by stuffing my life with toxic (yes, toxic!) stress, and not allowing any time for me to be healthy. Health takes time. The first step is to STOP all of that overextending and punishing yourself. When you allow other things to take your personal time you are making them more important than you and giving away a piece of yourself. There must be enough time in your life for rest, for taking care of yourself including cooking, exercising and sleeping. It may sound simple but the very first thing you have to do to lay the groundwork and create time is to STOP doing certain choice activities. (For me this meant making headway towards a job that had shorter hours, and giving up social engagements so I had time to focus on health.) This also can be a lesson in learning how to say no to certain activities, and accept your limitations.
SLEEP. Next you have to restore your body and allow it to rest – logically before you have any energy to work on exercise or feeding yourself. Sounds simple, but sleep. If you need a sleep aid, or need to go to bed earlier, or whatever you need to do, do it. Sleep is most important. You should leave enough time to sleep until you feel ready to wake up. Most people don’t sleep enough, and this is when our body does its healing. Once you are rested, and you have created time, you can get into the habit of exercise. (Which is packed into the sleep step.) Exercise at the level that is challenging for you – even if that’s walking around the block. If thats all you can fit in, great, do it. That’s not wimpy. Try to get out every day. Aside from obvious benefits, it is not commonly known that exercise helps circulate stress out of your body and also toxins in a very visceral way. It aids in creating healthy brain chemicals that regulate mood, and, well, in getting a healthy perspective on life. Outdoor views are shown to help the body heal faster. Even a walk through the park helps get toxins out and digestion move. Get outside. Many find that practices like yoga reduce stress and help create perspective in life.
EAT. Now that you’re well rested, have some exercise happening and have a little time, its time to start eating healthy. The ‘diet’ is a simple, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, nutritious and natural eating plan that replaces processed unhealthy food with natural good stuff. It is meant to be cheap and easy enough for everyone to do it, but it will take a lot of dedication and . The Diet first eliminates foods that could be causing inflammation or toxins in a cleanse, then adds back in small amounts later in the diet phase. It REPLACES unhealthy foods with high-quality healthy natural ones. It allows eating as much as you want including healthy fats and proteins.
THE SURVIVAL DIET. The Diet has two parts. It starts with a Survival Cleanse for one month, which will eliminate certain foods and replace them with others (see chart). This phase will eliminate toxins, reduce inflammation to the maximum extent, and break food addictions. It should be paired with plenty of rest, lots of water, and exercise to flush out toxins. I also recommend slowly ramping down sugar, caffeine and alcohol over a week or so if you want to avoid a headache (esp. coffee!). For someone that is really having a reaction to inflammatory foods, this elimination should result in dramatic changes. Most people are pretty addicted to sugar which hides in most processed foods, as well as caffeine or alcohol. These food addictions have to be cut cold turkey to cleanse out the body and get to a more moderated diet.
The next phase is the Survival Diet which is designed to be a long-term, sustainable, forever diet (really more of an eating plan). In order to transition, one should add in the new “allowed” ingredients in the diet one by one, noting how they make you feel. (See the below detailed schedule). If one feels worse, they should go back a step and leave the ingredient out. (For instance, some people have to eliminate nightshade vegetables.) Some items you can eat freely again if you feel ok, and others are meant to be limited forever like caffeine, alcohol and sugar. This phase is about finding your new healthy levels within the Survival Diet parameters.
Posts in this blog will go over each of the food categories below.
Here is a visual “Survival Guide” to the Vital Cleanse and Diet. Click through to see a larger image.