The blog

Myths about Getting Healthy

by on May 25, 2012

1. People can’t change.

This may be one of the most damaging and yet most prevalent myths I run in to on a daily basis. We come to know ourselves as we have developed over the years. Society, commercials, our families, shape the way we think about ourselves. I discuss diet and exercise every day with people and constantly hear things like “I have no time to work out” or “I hate veggies”.

In fact, you are not at all who you think you are.

The human potential is unbelievable. Every day I see amazing transformations.

I was a meat-eating lazy bum 5 years ago. I had high cholesterol and fatty liver, and I thought there was no way I could change.

Now I am perfect weight, perfect health, and completed an Ironman as well as many other races I could have never dreamed I would do.

2. Western Medicine is the path to health.

I hate to undermine my chosen professional field. For sure there have been advances and by all means if you have a cancer, get it cut out.

However, Western Medicine is really putting a band aid on the problems. You have high cholesterol we put you on a statin drug. Does that make you healthier? Actually no it usually makes you sicker. All drugs have side effects and I often see people taking drugs to counteract the side effects of the other drugs they are taking.

A patient of mine told me that she can’t eat the grapefruit I suggested because it would interfere with her cholesterol medicine. Please understand the irony here.

If she ate the grapefruit she wouldn’t need the cholesterol meds. For all our amazing medical achievements here in Ameica, where we spend more health dollars per person than any other country, we actually have the sickest populace of any other civilized country.

In fact we have the lowest lifespan of any civilized country.

life expectancy.001

3. Your doctor knows what you should eat.

More and more do BUT the vast majority had absolutely NO nutrition training in medical school and end up suggesting fad diets.

4. Your dietitian knows what you should eat.

Many do but most are trained based on teachings created by the ADA (now AND: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). On the ADA board sits members of the typical big business food industires like meat and dairy lobby and Nabisco. I often see some very wrong advice being given by RD’s. Many actually are very good but many are still practicing dogma.

5. Your trainer knows what you should eat.

This of course is crazy. Your muscle bound trainer who took a weekend course is not the best source of nutrition info. Of course there are definitely exceptions, but I go crazy when trainers tell patients not to eat fruit and patients believe them.

6. Fad diets work.

I don’t think I need to spend too much time on this.

Ridiculous diet plans from Weight Watchers to Atkins have almost NO long term success. I think most people know this but the commercials may make people actually think that Nutri-System may be the path to better health, and they would be wrong.

7. I must get lots of protein.

The meat and dairy lobbies have been very successful getting this notion deep in to our brains.

They first made sure we thought protein was the essential nutrient for health and then made sure when we think protein we think dairy and meat. In fact, the RDA recommends only .8 gm protein/kg LEAN BODY MASS.

This is vey little protein: 40-50mg for an average woman.

More and more studies are showing meat consumption is linked to cancer, weight gain, diabetes, and poor longevity.

In my practice I will tell you that increasing protein only seems to increase weight. I tell my patients to stop thinking in terms of protein vs carbs vs fat.

Eat food. Concentrate on plant based nutrition and you will get a healthy dose of all nutrients. I was able to compete at an Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) all fueled on a veggie diet and many professional athletes are doing the same.

8. Supplements are a great way to enhance nutrition.

Supplements are chemically created experiments.

The supplement industry is not under oversight. They make preposterous claims and we buy in to it.

I can’t believe people taking 40 gm protein shots. Your body can only process about 15 mg at one time so what happens to the other 25 gms?

The answer is not isolated substances. For instance, they did a study to see if vitamin A could help prevent lung cancer and found that it actually made it worse. We are not supposed to take vitamin A supplements we are supposed to eat carrots that have lots of vitamin A mixed with other carotenoids that help deliver the essential nutrients to our body.

Eat Real Food!

9. Long hard workouts help lose weight.

Long hard workouts only ensure that you will eventually quit working out. If you go to the places in the world where people live long healthy lives you will not find people working out hard.

They simply walk.

There are no Gold’s Gyms in Okinawa. But you won’t find them sitting in front of the TV either.

They are active. I ask my patients to wear a pedometer and strive to get 10,000 steps a day. This really is not that difficult.

The prize for this little effort is excellent weight loss and prolonged health, and it is easy and costs nothing (except for the pedometer).

10. It costs too much and takes too long to prepare healthy meals.

I teach patients how to make meals in under 5 minutes for less than $5. It really is easy and cheap.

Fresh organic produce may cost a little more but organic frozen veggies are very affordable. People just need to educate themselves about all the wonderful and simple recipes that exist. See

11. Eating healthy tastes bad.

I really used to believe this. Now I cannot believe how much better my meals taste.

If you follow my professional Facebook page you will see that I eat beautiful and tasty dishes everyday. Not only do they taste great but they make me feel fantastic, which I can’t say about my old cheeseburger binges.