Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of aevils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of bconspiring men in the last days, I have cwarned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—

That’s D&C 89:4 (emphasis mine).  While most of us think of tobacco and alcohol companies as the “conspiring men”, I wonder if there is another interpretation that we should look at.  Often left out of the discussion of the Word of Wisdom are the parts about healthy eating. From verse 11

Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with aprudence and bthanksgiving.

With modern farm techniques and global transportation, much of the fruits we eat can be eaten out of season.  We often get fruits from South America–so is this advice really necessary about being “in season”?

The Word of Wisdom also says that we should eat meat sparingly.  Let’s talk about meat eating.

12 Yea, aflesh also of bbeasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used csparingly;

13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be aused, only in times of winter, or of cold, or bfamine.

Who eats meat sparingly?  The Atkins Diet actually promotes meat eating.  Is it against the Word of Wisdom?

Modern farm techniques now prevent chickens and turkeys from wandering around.  They get fat faster if we restrict their movements.  At slaughter time, many chickens can’t walk because they are so fat (and tasty.)  Additionally, we feed corn to cows and prevent them from moving so they also get fat faster (and are much tastier, but less healthy to eat.)  You can see these techniques in action via Food, Inc as well as King of Corn (available at Netflix.)  While these farm techniques certainly help us produce food cheaper, faster, and tastier, it is more unhealthy for us.  Could these be considered the “conspiring men” of verse 4?  Maybe we should take this advice to eat meat sparingly more seriously?

On the other hand, I’ve recently lost 35 pounds using the HCG diet.  (Hawkgrrrl’s post at Wheat and Tares introduced me to the idea.)  In a nutshell, while you are taking your drops, you can only eat 500 calories per day, and your diet is severely limited.  You can pretty much eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want (though they limit those choices), and they encourage you to eat protein (usually via meat) every meal.  I found that a 4-5 ounce can of tuna for lunch, or 4 ounces of tilapia or shrimp helped me lose weight the best.  When I ate roast beef, hamburger, or steak, I just didn’t lose weight those days.  In some ways, I did feel that I was eating more meat than normal (though with 500 calories, I wasn’t eating much.)

I’m now one week into my maintenance phase–the most critical point.  For the past week, I’ve been trying to stick to a 1500 calorie diet.  HCG says that you still have to avoid sugar and bread during the first 2 weeks of the maintenance phase, and if you gain weight, you need to cut back on them.  Of course, my daughter celebrated her birthday, and I felt obligated to eat some cake (a no-no), but I was modest and didn’t gain any weight that day.  But a few days later, I’ve been yo-yo-ing up and down 4 pounds.  I find that if I go back to HCG diet foods (though I eat more fish than I did on my 500 calorie diet), I’m ok.  But if I eat more normally (minus bread) I’m back up.  I’m still trying to stabilize at my current weight.

But this whole thing about no carbs (and bread) is a huge turn off.  I like to eat sandwiches.  One day last week, I came home and my wife made pizza.  After I took a bite, she said, “I thought you weren’t supposed to eat bread.”  Arrrggggh!  I LOVE PIZZA!  But it also got me thinking about this piece of advice in the Word of Wisdom:

14 All agrain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field

So why am I gaining weight by eating bread?

Let’s look closer at verse 14:  beasts that eat corn seems to be against the Word of Wisdom (grain is for beasts, corn is not for beasts.)  As I mentioned earlier, grass fed cows are much leaner and healthier to eat than corn-fed cows.  Farmers in the King of Corn video freely admitted that it is good to slaughter the cows at 3-4 months of age because if they continued on a corn-fed diet, the cows would get sick and die.  Is it any wonder why humans get heart disease?  Once again, are these techniques related to the “conspiring men” mentioned in the Word of Wisdom?

With these types of problems, many people choose to go on a diet, which doesn’t seem to work in the long run.  Jon Gabriel, author of “The Gabriel Method” once weighed over 400 pounds, but he has kept the weight off.  In  Hungry For Change he talked about why diets don’t work.

Jon Gabriel

You can lose weight on a diet, but it’s a little bit like borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.  You can get 10 pounds off your body through sheer force, but you’re going to have to pay it back with interest.  You’ll pay back with 15 pounds because your body–every time you force yourself to lose weight, your body is going to want to have extra weight to protect you from a perceived famine and I lived through this.  I would lose 10 pounds, gain 15, lose 10 pounds, gain 15, until I gained over 200 pounds.

Jon demonstrating Accupressure
Jon demonstrating Accupressure

When I say I tried every diet, besides meeting face to face with Atkins, going to a Pritikan, naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncture–I had these seeds taped to my ear from an acupuncturist, and they’re supposed to be like an acupressure point, so every time you’re hungry you’re supposed to press it.  I walked through the streets of New York, every time I’d smell pizza, I’d sit there and press these seeds in my ears.  This is what I lived with.

I really did work at it.  People think that overweight people are just weak and lazy and overindulgent.  I’m a very disciplined person, but I could not–when my body wanted to be fat, I could not lose the weight.”

Dr. Alejandro Junger, author of “Clean”, “I think we are barking up the wrong tree.  People are looking for a result that is superficial.  They’re looking just to look good.  They don’t really consider that could be done from the inside out.  So people go into diets and all these fads in order to lose weight and lose weight fast.  And that is not the way to approach it.  The results prove it.”

Gabriel, “You know we’re violating our bodies basic survival laws, over and over and over again.  The whole dieting paradigm is flawed.  Every diet comes out–every week there’s a new diet based on the idea that you can somehow force yourself to lose weight, and it’s flawed.  It’s based on a fundamental flaw that every time your force yourself to lose weight, your body will force yourself to gain weight.”

Daniel Vitalis, Wild Food expert, “So I think what happens is we set ourselves up for failure because yes you can manipulate the ratios of calories, you can manipulate the ratios of fat to protein to carbohydrate infinitely.  We keep seeing all these variations so I remember the high carbohydrate, low fat, and then it switched to let’s go to high protein, low carbohydrate, and then it switched to high fat, moderate carbohydrate–it just keeps switching around and all of these things have an effect because what you’re doing is restricting calories from people, or you’re manipulating the way their metabolism works.”

Gabriel, “And that’s why the Atkins Diet was so miserable for me because I was so addicted to carbs, you know to what I now call dead food.  I was so addicted to it that to try to go off that at the end of the day, it was just miserable.  What I used to do was I used to swap diets because the Atkins Diet is zero carbs, and then the Pritikin Diet is all carbs, you know, so my wife used to joke with me that I was on the Atkins Diet during the day, and the Pritikin Diet at night because I’d come home at the end of the day and couldn’t take going a whole day without carbs.  I had to have bread.”

Vitalis, “The definition of a diet is that the foods and organism habitually eats to sustain itself.  So what we’re talking about is a real diet in the sense of what a species eats.  When we get on to our real diet, we don’t have to think about these things anymore.  If we’re going to eat from that suite of foods that we get in the supermarket, we’re going to constantly have problems, we’re going to constantly have to monitor ourselves because these foods make you fat.

So if we look around the world we see human beings that have been able to inhabit the whole globe and they’ve been able to do it on a host of different foods…  From the extreme arctic where people ate almost exclusively animal fat and muscle and organ meats, to the jungle where people had access to far more fruits and far more plant material.  We see people thriving and people staying lean and healthy and avoiding degenerative disease and not putting on all that extra weight almost no matter what they eat.

Now, we are eating a diet that no longer resembles that, so it’s kind of like if we lived in a zoo.  If you put a human being in a zoo the way you put a chimpanzee in a zoo, well the question would be what do we feed that human being in the zoo?  Well we don’t feed chimpanzees in zoos Captain Crunch cereal, Twinkies and doughnuts, we feed them a diet that looks like the diet they eat in their ecosystem.  We sort of live in a zoo-like environment now–we live in this artificial environment, and unfortunately we’re not feeding ourselves the foods we’re biologically adapted to.”

So why do we crave certain foods, like chocolate.  Are they addictive?  Are companies purposely addicting us to bad food?  Hungry For Change has compared sugar to cocaine in its addictive qualities.

Jon Gabriel Before and After
Jon Gabriel Before and After

Gabriel, “I had very bad sleep apnea, I was borderline Type 2 Diabetic, elevated triglycerides and cholesterol.  I had worked with Dr. Atkins, the late Dr. Atkins face to face in New York and in the end the best thing he could do was yell at me for being so fat and because I was killing myself.  He goes, ‘What are you doing?  You’re killing yourself.’  And I thought to myself, ‘you sold 200 million copies of your book.  You think I’m going to lose weight because you’re mad at me?  Is that really the best you can do?’

So I was over 400 pounds and after I had that sort of epiphany and changed my focus from diet to finding the real reasons why my body wanted to be fat, I then went on to lose over 200 pounds.  I lost about 220 pounds over a two and a half year period, and that was 7 years ago.

A recent Radio West interview noted that food scientists are adding salt, sugar, and fat to food to not only make them taste better, but to make us crave them.    Hungry For Change continues,

Jason Vale, addiction specialist, “For me, the biggest cause of obesity, bar none, is addiction.  But to understand the level of addiction that we’ve got might be challenging for some, because of course people can understand the addiction to cigarettes because that now has been proven.  They can understand the addiction to alcohol, but with food people say look, I can stop eating but unfortunately, like the tobacco companies if you go back in the late 1960’s early 70s, and they knowingly added more nicotine to cigarettes in order to make them addictive.

I used to smoke 40-60 cigarettes in one day. Why did I?  One cigarette let to a chain reaction that then led to another one, and then another one, and then another one.  Now look.  I said to people look.  The reason why I smoke is because I enjoy it, because I love it, but I would hit my head on the pillow praying that I would become a non-smoker every day.   Every smoker on earth would love to not want cigarettes if they could.  There is an invisible prism if you will that captures people in a nicotine trap….

The way that cigarettes are addictive is much in the same way that certain foods are addictive.  They know why they shouldn’t do it, but they have no idea why they are doing it.

Mike Adams, Health Food Journalist, “The food companies engineer addictions, I believe into many of the foods.  ”

Dr. Joseph Mercola, physician, “The food industry is multi-billions, tens of millions of dollars and they have the wherewithal, and the science resources to really identify very carefully what appeals to the average consumer.  As a result of that they can use these chemical derivatives to create these concoctions which really taste quite good and can have an addictive component.


Vale, “If I was in the food industry, what do I do?  I want to sell you more food.  That’s all I want to do.  Now, how can I do that?  I can manipulate the chemical structure of their food so that now it becomes not fulfilling, but empty.  But gives the impression when they very first ingest it that it is the most fulfilling thing they’ve ever had.

Adams “We know that the food companies that many of their ingredients are very addictive, and the tobacco companies did it for decades, they’re still doing it.  If you addict a customer, you have a customer for life.  Food companies do much the same thing with different chemicals.  It’s not nicotine, it’s the msg, it’s the processed sugars, it’s the aspartame, it’s these other chemicals, but it’s the same idea.  It’s just like selling cigarettes.  You’re selling food that’s harmful, and you want to keep coming back, so you put in those chemicals that make them want it again and again.”

The movie then quotes Raymond Francis of MIT saying “msg and free glutamates are used to enhance flavor in 80% of all processed foods.”  Jon Gabriel goes on to say that the standard protocol to make mice fat is to feed them msg in order to find out what can be done with obese mice.  If it is known that msg makes mice fat, and humans also consume msg, is there any wonder that we have an obesity epidemic?

Sugar also is converted to fat in the body.  High Fructose corn syrup, invented by Japanese scientists as a very inexpensive sweetener in the 1970s, has replaced regular sugar which is much more expensive.  Hungry for Change quotes several people who compare sugar to cocaine for it’s addictive properties.  One man lost 100 pounds simply by cutting soda out of his diet.

Adams “When it comes to high fructose corn syrup, a lot of people don’t realize the dangers of refining and concentrating ingredients from a product….  So high fructose comes from corn, obviously, but it’s not natural because it’s so concentrated and so refined, it’s an isolated nutrient.

For example, cocaine is probably not good for your health, but it comes from the coca leaf, and coca leaf tea is perfectly safe for your health.  I drank it when I was hiking in the Andes Mountains in Venezuela, and it’s used throughout the culture there.  It’s a very important nutraceutical, medicinal plant that’s used throughout South America, and there’s no harm in drinking coca tea.  It’s not addictive, nothing like that.  But you wouldn’t want to snort cocaine from the highly refined coca tea.

Well, eating high fructose corn syrup in my view is a lot like snorting cocaine.  It is the highly refined, isolated, concentrated, chemically manipulated of something that’s found in corn and grown in corn….  But if you eat corn, it’s fine.  You’re not going to get that much high fructose corn syrup.”

Mercola, “The number one source of calories in the United States is fructose, and fructose is highly addictive.  In the 1900s the average person was exposed to about 15 grams of fructose, and fructose, another term for that is fruit sugar.  Of course it’s why most fruits are sweet.  Fructose in small amounts, 15-25 grams which is less than an ounce a day is probably ok and healthy, but the average person is 70-80 grams a day, and there are many kids, primarily teenagers who are taking 120-150 grams of fructose a day, literally 10 times the amount they were taking a century ago.  So when you abuse that type of sugar and when you have that exposure, it has a very severe metabolic consequences that can lead to these addictive processes and change brain chemistry and really make it very difficult to get out of this cycle where you have these food cravings and really addicted to food that’s not healthy.

These are the types of reasons that New York Mayor Bloomberg has tried to outlaw large soda drinks.  So you may think that diet drinks are the answer, right?  Well, not so fast.  They also state that sugar-free diet drinks actually increase a person’s appetite and cause them to eat more food.  Aspartame and Caffeine are a dangerous combination, and cause carbohydrate cravings.

So that takes me back to my HCG diet.  Was it a mistake for me to do it?  The diet says to do the drops for 40 days, then do maintenance for 40 days, then you can repeat if you want to lose another 20-30 pounds.  (I am still considered overweight by the BMI calculations, and I want to get to the middle of the “normal” range.  I also note that despite losing 35 pounds, nobody seems to have noticed that I’ve lost weight unless I tell them I have.)  When I finish, my pamphlet says

After the HCG diet, you will find your appetite has changed,  (Well, maybe a little, but I still miss carbs) your eating behavior will be changed and your body will of course, have changed.  This is the perfect opportunity to adopt that healthy lifestyle to maintain your weight.  You will find that some exercise will be sufficient for maintaining a very healthy body-from yoga, to 15 minutes of cardio a day, or whatever you enjoy, that gets your heart moving.  With your hypothalamus reset, your metabolism will be different and you will be able to eat moderately without feeling the need to overeat.  (I hope so, but is this marketing hype?)

Finally, I want to conclude with a few quotes from Jon Gabriel:

  • “You can be eating to your heart’s content.  You can eat 10,000 calories a day, and if you’re not getting the specific nutrients your body needs in a way that they can digest and assimilate, then you’re starving on a nutritional basis and as long as you’re starving on a nutritional basis, your body is going to stay hungry.”
  • “I can eat as much healthy food as I want without gaining weight.”
  • “It used to be that our diets were high in nutrients and low in calories.  Now our diets are high in calories and low in nutrients.”

Do you think that conspiring men are adding sugar, salt, and fat to make us more addicted to their products?  Is it a problem with self-control that has led to the obesity epidemic in the United States, or do food companies deserve some blame for the addictive qualities of the food they market?  Have you used HCG and kept the weight off for an extended period of time (more than a year or two)?