Monday, June 23, 2014

The Life-Transforming Diet

Years ago I had attended a shiur featuring Rabbi Jonathon Rietti, and his subject matter differed from the usual "Gateways" fare; he spoke about the healthy habits the Rambam guaranteed will result in a long and doctor-free life. 

I fear doctors, so I immediately perked up. But I was messing up in a number of ways—I struggled with chewing thoroughly, I certainly overeat. I tried to stay on target but my new-found enthusiasm swiftly waned.

But recently, I discovered the shiur on ("The Art of Healthy Living"). In terms of my eating habits, I have certainly come a long way, so this time the precepts weren't so terrifying. 

Yet I wanted more information; due to time restrictions, Rabbi Rietti was not able to go into full detail. I did an internet search for a book on the Rambam doctrine, and up popped: The Life-Transforming Diet by David Zulberg.
This book breaks down the Rambam's criteria into consumable, slowly-does-it steps. The focus isn't about a faddy diet, it's about overcoming bad habits by active good habits ("sur mei'ra v'asei tov"), week by week. The author even warns the reader, repeatedly, not to jump ahead, or else the changes will be temporary, not permanent. 

My first step: He really hammers in that fruit should be eaten by itself, and certainly not as a dessert after a meal. This was really bad news for me. Yet, a fruit platter is considered ideal for breakfast. I thought no protein would leave me famished by mid-morning, but I'm not.

Sounds, if I may pun, fruity? This isn't a solo-Rambam conclusion; Indian medicine concurs, identically, amongst many other sources.

Since I have already cultivated pretty good eating habits, I was amazed how consuming the same amount of food, sometimes even more, but in a different order, made such a freakin' difference. 

Additional awesome? Because the author is frum, he explains how to deal with that dreaded diet day: Shabbos. That is one aspect of Jewish life few diet programs address. 

While I have come a long way in terms of good habits prior to LT, I have found myself floundering as of late. I didn't know how to progress further. 

A shiur is especially good when the speaker simply describes how the world works. So to with this book. According to the Rambam and other ancient doctors, health is in not only what we eat, but how we eat it, in what combinations, at what times. This is how your body works, and what works best for it.

Results? Oh yeah.         

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