Thorbjörg’s 10 Food Commandments
No standard set of rules is tailor made for everyone. No one diet is “the right diet” for all. Food is not just food. It is obvious, that all of us need to eat to nourish the cells to produce energy for us to function, build lean muscles, and maintain youthful skin. But food is also communication. Phytochemicals, antioxidants, amino acids, and micronutrients—all are active substances that “speak” to the different parts of your body. Food can be a part of the passionate you. It can bring out your courage and make you say wonderful things to yourself and your love ones. Food can optimize and complete you. On the other hand, it can also bring mental confusion and disease.
Food is very personal, and it can factor into who you are, or who you want to be. Your choices define you. Eat only plant-based foods and make an environmental statement. Enjoy raw food and give the “free and responsible” impression. Eat meat, no grains and swing the kettlebells and show off strength and control. Or you can eat whatever you want and tell the whole world that you’re a rebel.
But no matter what, you have to eat. What I use to tell people is, “Once you have decided what you want to eat to express yourself, you might want to upgrade the foods, allowing yourself to become healthy, vital, and energetic.” If you stick by my rules, you cannot go wrong. Plus, as a bonus gift you will be living in a body that’s 10 years younger than it was before! It’s that simple. But no pressure—if you really don’t want or need to stick with mine, you can find other rules to follow. There are plenty!
You don’t have to be a certain “type” of person to follow my rules. My food advice is for everyone, every shape, every story and background at all. Although no standard set of rules is perfect for everyone, my suggestions can help everyone get on the right path towards vitality.
My rules are to be seen as guidelines. Following them 80-85% will give you more energy, better sleep, lean body, beautiful natural glowing skin and much better digestion.
Although I have been dubbed the “Sugar Police”, there are many that don’t know that I have actually spent a long time on the other side of the table. I was imprisoned in my own body, captured by a sugar addiction, and learned about the negative impacts of sugar the hard way. I served my time, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t. Realizing how sugar affected me gave me a reason to learn more about it, free myself of it, and understanding the benefits of a sugar free lifestyle.
Having the sugar blues took quite a toll on me. I was living in haze and constantly feeling tired, lazy, insecure, bloated, suffering from severe eczema and digestive issues. Plus, I always had cravings—a hunger for sweets, bread, and cereal. Maybe you know what I´m talking about. The body will responce to “the sweet talk” from added sugar with inflammation. Sugar has many names such as; sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, dextrose, maltodextrin, starch, corn starch, modified high corn syrup.
In an article in the February 2014 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association ( JAMA ) you can read as follows:
“Sugar is connected to an increased risk of heart attack and dementia, as well as other inflammatory diseases, such as insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes, obesity, liver problems, arthritis, reduction in beneficial HDL cholesterol, increase in triglycerides, and cancer”. Furthermore you can read, that it is the sugar, NOT FAT, that makes the abdominal fat. Eat it every day or drink the amount you find in a 20-ounce soda and you will grow old in a hurry.
Those are some of my motivations for quitting the sugar as no 1 priority. That is my best advice!
- Take care of your body by avoiding added sugars, whether they are visible, hidden as starch, or artificial.
Not everyone realizes that bread creates almost the same negative consequences on the body as added sugar. White bread is particularly problematic because the nutrients found in the wheat and fiber has been removed, leaving only starch and gluten. This brings about even more issues, as many people have difficulty digesting gluten properly. From my clients that eat white bread, I commonly hear that they have symptoms of bloating, pains, mental confusion, digestive troubles, and more.
Whole wheat bread is a bit better for your blood sugar and digestive problems, but even if the bread is made up of healthier grains like rye or barley, it still contains gluten. In the end, there isn’t much nourishment in bread that you can’t get by eating other foods.
- When (and if) you choose to eat bread, eat whole grain products. You body cannot use the refined products. If you cannot tolerate gluten, choose wholegrain gluten free foods (ex. Wild rice, quinoa, and millet).
One of the biggest mistakes that’s made when advising people on food habits and health is telling them, “don’t eat fat.” We have a mental image of fat being the cause of obesity and heart disease. We know that this isn’t true. Added sugar, starch from white bread, and pasta are the leading causes of these problems. But the fat myth is still living. Fat is still suppose to make you fat and to make your LDL cholesterol to high. So they removed the “bad guy” along with the taste, and designed “light” products, and replaced it with sugar. So much for preventing heart disease! Your body needs healthy, quality fats for your hormones, nervous system, immune system. It´s essential for good mood and for taste! Among healthy fats are saturated fat from grass fed animals. This might come as a surprise, since it has been a consensus for year that animal fat is the killer fat. It can be, if the animal is raised on grains and processed food. NOT if the animal is grass fed on non toxic grass. Organic coconut oil is also saturated, meaning it is also suitable for cooking with high temperature. Which is not the fact with unsaturated and monounsaturated and organic virgin plant oils from eg olives and flaxseeds. It’s also good to have avocado and pumpkin seed oil on the table at home.
- Don’t avoid fat. Instead, choose the right fats—they are slimming and good for you.
All of us want balance in our lives. A basic balance you can obtain lies within your body. If you constantly feel tired, both physically and emotionally, you may need more proteins. Good quality grass fed animal protein, organic eggs and wild fish are a great source of all the amino acids that the body needs as building materials. It’s a bit more of a challenge to meet your protein needs by only eating plant based foods, but a good combination of nuts, organic tofu, sprouts, lentils, legumes, and wild rice can do it.
- Eat good quality protein from grass fed animal, organic egg, fish and plant based.
Nuts and almonds are great snacks containing nutritional values such as proteins and healthy fats. Even better, they are perfect for combining with other foods to make healthier meals, treats, and desserts.
- You can eat nuts, almonds, seeds, and kernels every day.
When you optimize your food intake to include all the colors of the rainbow, you are also optimizing your vitality. Red, orange, green, purple, yellow and blue—they’re not only beautiful, but they also send healthy messages to your body via phytonutrients. Phytonutrients will be read and understood by your organs, cells, and genes. In return, they will answer with signs of good and healthy expressions. This is how communication works in the body—food talking to your genes. The antioxidants fight the stress caused by oxidation. Never skip out on your veggies. There is a consensus among nutrition experts to eat less meat and more greens and vegetables.
- Eat towards beauty with at least 600-700g of organic greens, vegetables, fruits and berries everyday.
The human body consists of 70% water—you cannot survive without it. It’s essential—period. If you don’t drink enough, you will feel tired, confused, constipated, dehydrated, and suffer from dry wrinkly skin. Green tea is the mothership of herb tea. No other tea is that rich in nutrients and phytochemicals fighting inflammation in the body and boosting energy. Enjoy green tea every day!
- Drink 1½ Liters of water, as well as pure vegetable juice, green and herbal tea everyday. If you absolutely must have coffee or alcohol, choose only top quality and enjoy in moderation.
There are three major reasons why people skip meals: Time, slimming factors, and misinformation. All of them are obsolete because they have the opposite effect of what you think you hope to achieve in the first place. Saving time by not eating will only make you tired and confused, losing the time later as your performance at work or school slows down. Not eating in order to slim down will switch on your biological defenses, slowing down your metabolism and actually making you gain weight as you eat. The misinformation is about not honoring your body’s needs and ignoring love for yourself. Thus:
- Eat regular meals. Never skip your breakfast. Eat several small meals a day if the standard three-meal structure doesn’t suit your lifestyle.
Eating healthy is about eating variations and smart combinations. Science shows that plant based foods should take up the most room on your plate—I recommend about 40%. The healthy fats mentioned in the 3rd commandment should make up about 30% percent, and the last 30% could come from the good quality proteins. If you’re personal needs require a different structure, of course you should adapt accordingly.
- Eat balanced meals containing healthy fats, quality protein, complex carbohydrates and vegetables. Make sure as much of your food as possible is unprocessed and organic.
Supplements should be taken to support your healthy food choices. Most of us live in a high paced world filled with multitasking, pollution, and other factors that cause stress to your body’s natural functions. To counteract this stress, the body demands extra micronutrients. It should also be taken into consideration that the soil in which we currently grow our food does not have the same nutritional quality as it did before the massive “pesticides” cultivation. Minerals such as magnesium, iron, and zinc are depleted from the earth in many places around the world. We also have to face that not all of us eat organic all the time. That’s why I recommend quality basic supplements, antioxidants, and vitamin D3.
- Even if you eat healthy foods, it’s a good idea to take a multivitamin/mineral supplement everyday. If you want to take other food supplements, you should consult a healthcare professional first that can take your personal needs into account.