for Men

Introduction to Healthy Eating

According to WebMD Health, our obesity epidemic may be contributing more to America’s rising healthcare and drug costs than the better-known evils of tobacco and alcohol. In addition, the American Cancer Society suggests that changing dietary habits and engaging in physical exercise may prevent the majority of cancers other than those related to cigarette smoking.

The American Cancer Society recommends that we intake most of our foods from plant sources. These include fruits and vegetables

  • Included in the category of fruits and vegetables are grains.
  • Limit our intake of high fat foods, especially from animal sources.
  • Increase physical activity.

In the case study we will present in the next chapter we will highlight some of the mistakes we all make with our dietary choices, our relationship to food, and physical activity. The general public has been bombarded with a plethora of information on healthy lifestyle choices yet obesity and diet-related illness keeps increasing at alarming rate, even among children.

We have become a society of victims, where many individuals are not willing to take responsibility for their actions. An obese man is suing McDonald’s for producing unhealthy food. Our legal system perpetuates this victimization and rewards helplessness.

The sedentary lifestyle, and a need for immediate gratification are the hallmarks of our society. In the early part of the twentieth century we had a much closer relationship to our food production. The industrialization of society and specialization has created a wall between the consumers of food and the producers.

There is an inherent intelligence in food. In our attempt to improve efficiency in our food production we often sacrifice quality for quantity. We need to have a better relationship with and respect for food. When we do not respect the nature of food by shopping for the week we attempt to save time but in the process we sacrifice freshness.

For each action there is a reaction. The law of cause and effect is clearly demonstrated when you look at our food production industry. Perhaps it is not just the red wine that is protecting all those Europeans but their lifestyle and relationship to food. The fast food mentality is harmful to our collective health.

In the wild, animals do not get osteoporosis. The reason is that animals follow their natural instincts. If we can get in touch with our natural instincts, then many diseases, which are really lifestyle choices, can be avoided.

The wisdom of our physiology has provided us with six tastes, which are as follows:

  • Sweet – pasta, bread, wheat, grains, meat, fish, seafood, fruits
  • Sour – dairy, lemon, vinegar
  • Salt – self-explanatory
  • Bitter – green leafy vegetables such as spinach
  • Astringent – beans, lentils, tofu
  • Pungent – spices, mustard

Ayurvedic nutrition recommends that we have at least one meal a day that has all six tastes therein. The reason we have so many problems with obesity and health is that the typical American diet is out of balance. It is primarily sweet, sour and salt; french fries and ketchup. When we utilize all of the tastes that nature has provided us with we can come back into balance.

The American diet is also one of excess. When we dine out, we are unaware that the portions being served are often super-sized, or all you can eat. We want to make sure that we get our money’s worth. We need to understand that being satiated doesn’t mean being bloated. The feast of yesteryear is not applicable in a time of steady and continuous food supply.

The principles of Ayurveda and Macrobiotic have been combined to create a diet that is balanced and easy to follow. The diet along with recipes will be presented in the next few chapters.

By integrating Yoga into your life, you may find that it is easier to make the lifestyle changes that are required to make this new regimen a permanent part of your daily routine. The Yoga breathing exercises will improve your digestive fire and burn calories more efficiently. Yoga can also help you make chores such as cooking a meditative exercise, so that you will not look at food preparation as a burden but a pleasure to be enjoyed. Once in the meditative state you can proceed to eat your meal with mindfulness.

By chewing properly and eating in a relaxed setting you can eliminate many of the digestive problems you encounter. On the accompanying CD is a visualization exercise that will help you make food preparation and dining a meditative experience. We need to eliminate negative emotions when we sit down to eat our meal. Many eating disorders are the result of emotional imbalance. We substitute food for something that is lacking in our lives. When we can begin to uncover the source of the imbalance we can move away from destructive habits. Overcoming our addictive behavior toward food is critical to maintaining and promoting good health.

In this chapter we discussed healthy eating and suggested adjustments to our diet and attitude toward food. In the next chapter we will present a four-step program to overcome behaviors that are preventing us from being healthy eaters and living a healthy lifestyle.

© 2007, Bruce Eric Van Horn

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If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. - Hippocrates

Author, CPA, MBA and yoga instructor Bruce Van Horn founded Yoga for Business, Inc., a company devoted to organizational and individual wellness. He presents a daily Yoga Workout routine that provides a complete physical, mental and spiritual workout. He is the author of Yoga for Prostate Health and Yoga for Men, designed for all levels of experience with yoga.. He has renamed (Asanas) positions in Yoga using terms from business to help you identify with the movement and focus your attention. He is the Chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Complimentary Medicine at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Bruce also leads a volunteer yoga program designed for cancer patients and healthcare workers at Beth Israel Medical Center. He lives outside New York with his wife Michelle who is a Reiki Master. Bruce has two daughters who have asked that he refrain from headstands at the town pool. His website is If you have any questions, feel free to write: E-Mail.

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