Hungry for Change: Ditch the Diets, Conquer the Cravings, and Eat Your Way to Lifelong Health
James Colquhoun and Laurentine Ten Bosch
I was raised by two nurses. So one might think I was raised a strict follower of the pharmaceutical world and a crier of its claims. Oddly, my sisters and I are quite the opposite, as are our parents. We all firmly believe, for instance, that if you have a stomach ache, you should drink some peppermint tea before running to the pharmacy for something chemical-laden. Of course, go to the doctor should things persist, but we all acknowledge that our bodies are beautiful and powerful beasts that can handle a lot more than we give them credit for.
I was drawn to the book Hungry for Change because it acknowledges the power of food! Food is a fascinating topic for me. I don’t think I’m in the minority with this interest, but I do think it is strange how people view food. This book has certainly opened my mind to viewing food as something primary and no longer secondary. Allow me to expand:
There is one line in the introduction of Hungry for Change that I simply can’t seem to shake from my mind: “When eating real food is a revolutionary act, we are in trouble.” I remember reading that line over and over thinking, “Gracious. Isn’t that the truth?” Why is “eating clean,” “eating raw,” etc. the new, hip thing? When did we, as humans, go so wrong? I’m sure there is a historical answer that has to do with women entering the work force during WWII or something legitimate like that. Or maybe overwhelming population growth? I’m not sure. But wow. Eating real food is revolutionary. So what finally tipped the balance? What finally made people stand up and be heard saying, “This is enough! This is disgusting and I’ve had enough of manufactured food.” Obesity? Heart health? I do not exaggerate when I say the list could go on and on…
Hungry for Change examines the very pressing question on how we arrived at this juncture through a microscopic look at what exactly an unhealthy diet is, manufactured addictions, fast food, MSG, aspartame, caffeine and sugar. And this is just chapter one! But I think it was chapter two that intrigued me the most because, as with food, I am fascinated by diets. Why do we think that abstaining is the answer to our weight woes and health woes? (Obviously, there are medical reasons that require certain people to abstain from certain foods.) Isn’t the word diet, by definition, an overarching term for whatever it is we consume? How we find balance, not perfection? Turns out I’m not the only one who believes that. I don’t eat for strictly utilitarian purposes, trust me. Because I also believe in the psychology of a healthy lifestyle and I firmly believe it’s about balance, not perfection. I love grabbing pizza and beers with friends every now and then and I don’t feel terrible about myself and punish myself at the gym the next day. Know why? Because chances are that the previous six days of the week, I led a healthy lifestyle that included exercise and diet.
But back to diets. The authors of Hungry for Change and I are in agreement—diets don’t work. Fads don’t last for a reason. Because your only true, time-tested option is to change your Diet, with a capital D. The way you eat, the way you think, the way you approach food. In time and with persistence you will retrain your body and taste buds to crave the things your body loves and not the things your cravings love. The book goes into a lot more detail about how to combat cravings, emotional eating and stress. But I plowed through that and into their suggestions for getting started on your journey to begin a healthy lifestyle, one that doesn’t include a singular goal of losing weight. A healthy lifestyle is about a deep commitment to improving the relationship you have with your mind, body and spirit. Will you be happy if you’re thin but are starving because you abstain all the time? I don’t think so. Hungry for Change offers some delicious recipes to get started with and teaches you the benefits of juicing, smoothies, and all types of foods.
I can’t recommend this book enough for starting on a path to a healthy lifestyle simply because of its information and the passion for which these authors write about their journey to knowledge and wisdom when it comes to being holistically healthy. Add to that some seriously delicious, healthy recipes and you have a happy reader. But on a final note, here’s how I see it: No one “diet” is right for you. Only your diet is right for you because that’s the only one you can commit to for a lifetime. Educate yourself, make the changes, be happy and be well.
Have you read the book? What was your reaction? What's your take on "diets"? Please share your comments below!