This is a new term I’ve invented. It came to me one night – I woke up, got the phrase and then went back to sleep. That was 2 nights ago.
It’s not a new concept; it is a new way of thinking about nutrition.
See, years ago (decades ago!) I realized in the most profound way that there was far more health gain to be had from NOT eating certain things than you could ever get from eating the good stuff!
In fact you could say it defined my career. For the next 35 years I taught people over and over that what they were eating that they should not was far more damaging than what they were not eating but supposedly should.
It was all about food allergies or food intolerance. Having seen people recover (completely) from asthma, migraine, arthritis, eczema, ADD, ADHD, colitis, depression, anxiety states, even schizophrenia in some cases, but simply avoiding certain foods, I realized that this was to be a large part of my life’s work.
The fact that simple, everyday foods could REALLY HURT a person was a shocking revelation when it came to me. We are so used to thinking of food as nurturing and nourishing. How could it be otherwise?
But truth is truth and it soon came to me that people all over the world were suffering terrible health issues which could be solved quickly and easily; often in a matter of just days, by food avoidance.
So while the rest of the world is teaching “eat your five a day”, or “GMO-free is better”, “everyone should be vegan, it’s healthier”, and “eat these superfoods”, I know better. Taking really beneficial supplements, omega-3s, antioxidants, B’s, lots of minerals, and all that good stuff does not produce anywhere near the health gains than to be had avoiding foods your body doesn’t like or want.
Because essentially, your bad foods are poisons. Remember the saying of Roman poet Titus Lucretius: One Man’s Meat Is Another Man’s Poison (do I really need to add women too, in this PC day and age?)
[What he actually said was: Next I will explain how different food is sweet and nourishing for different creatures, and why what is sour and bitter for some may yet seem very delicious to others, why there is so great a difference and distinction in these things that what is one man’s meat is another man’s rank poison. . . . Besides, hellebore is rank poison to us, but given to goats and quails makes them fat, De Rerum Naturae].
This concept was taken further by Beaumont and Fletcher, in 1647, in the stage play Love’s Cure (Act III, sc. ii) as, “What’s one man’s poison . . ./ Is another’s meat or drink.”
Notice from these quotes—and others like them—that people do not take Lucretius literally. They assume it’s a metaphor for likes and dislikes.
IT IS NOT!
Some people can be made sick almost unto death with a food that the rest of us can eat more or less with impunity. That’s why everyone needs to figure out their bandit foods and get off them. This is the STOP Part of my new mnemonic!
Organic doesn’t cut it. Chemicals, GMOs and pesticides make the whole issue worse. But I did all my testing with fine-quality organic foods: milk, apples, brewer’s yeast, lettuce, onions, tomatoes—ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING—can make a susceptible person ill.
Never mind the chronic argument which raged for years: Is it a “real” allergy or not. Those of us pioneers in this game meant, in simplistic English: “Something Ya Didn’t Auaghta!”
In fact the mechanisms can be very complex: enzyme deficiency, genetic intolerance, immunological reactions, pharmacological poisoning (like with caffeine and lectins). Let’s just keep it simple: STOP eating things your body doesn’t tolerate.
Then, of course, it’s GO on everything else! Eat as much as you like of the safe foods.
Hence STOP-GO dieting.
There is only one caveat to the picture I have painted: a “safe” food can become a bandit food, simply by eating a lot of it, repetitively.
In nature this rarely happened because we rotated and diversified our eating due to the seasons. In spring it was vegetables from the year before, in summer we were eating early crops, then high summer crops (beets, salads and beans), then Fall foods, such as fruits and then in winter the fatty/oily/dried staples, such as nuts and berries.
I’m trying to grow tomatoes in my permaculture project here at the Water Mill, in France. But it’s a joke; I can eat tomatoes every single day of the year, from Spain, Italy, even China. What’s the point in growing them? Well, apart from freshness and taste, it’s about diversity…
When I was a kid, we ate tomatoes only in summer. Come June, they were sweet, delicious and refreshing. But after the frosts, there were no more tomatoes. We moved on to other foodstuffs, like apples, pears, plums and cherries. Nature varied our diet and FORCED us to rotate.
Hey, what do you know? Mother Nature knows best, not some idiot “licensed” nutritionist or dietician! Haha! Rotatory diversified eating is the benchmark of a healthy diet and freedom from the allergies and intolerance that so plague our modern world.
Instead, what do we do? Repeat foods over and over and over. Few standard meals today do not contain wheat, corn, dairy or sugar (or all four together!) Wheat is present in bread, cakes, muffins, cookies, biscuits, pasta, pastry, pizza and dough of all sorts. In fact I used to joke with my patients that whisky is the same as bread. That made their ears pop up! But look: it’s just wheat (or barley) and yeast, exactly the same as bread.
Sugar shows up in bread, hams, yoghurt, cereals and even many “healthy” smoothies. It’s everywhere!
Often we only THINK we are eating varied foods, when they are identical, biologically.
It may be time to start really working at this. Repetitive eating can shorten your life. It can confuse and cross-up your natural metabolism. It can lead to overload and intolerance reactions.
Rotation, variety, diversification and eating “exotic” foods is a whole new health paradigm. Just remember that exotic doesn’t mean from Thailand or Timbuktu. It just means things you don’t normally eat. So instead of burgers and sandwiches, day after day, try introducing kiwis, rabbit, rutabaga, wolf berries… you can even buy ostrich meat these days; a different kind of poultry!