Provision #790: Read Labels

Laser Provision

I’ve written about this before and it’s time to put this forward again: it’s important to read labels if we want to live and eat healthy. Since waking up from my coma / seizure disorder, I have been a little lax and a little forgetful as to my own principles. That really struck me this past week while eating a container of yogurt in a hospital cafeteria. First, I usually try to avoid dairy altogether. And then it wasn’t until after I had downed the container that I read the label. Oops! Big mistake. Read on to learn more.

LifeTrek Provision

My beloved wife, to whom I owe my very life in coming through this unexpected and, to some extent, unexplained and unexplainable seizure disorder, has been extremely patient and kind in helping me to recover my memories, day by day and bit by bit. Recently, she reminded me that we have been eating a “Paleolithic diet” for many years. What’s a “Paleolithic diet”? You can read all about it in the LifeTrek Provision archive, under Optimal Wellness • Nutrition and Optimal Wellness Revisited.

The focus of this nutritional plan is summarized in the Optimal Wellness Prototype, which also includes the kind of balanced lifestyle that would have prevented all those seizures in the first place if I had only been practicing what I was preaching. On the nutritional side:

  • 8 or more cups per day of filtered water
  • At least 5 cups per days of fruits and vegetables, accounting for 40% of our calories
  • Wild, local, organic, pasture-fed, and lean meat, accounting for 25% of our calories
  • Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds, as well as up to 6 eggs per week, for 15% of our calories
  • Up to 2 cups per days of roots and beans, cooked, accounting for 10% of our calories
  • A maximum of 2 tablespoons per day of oils, accounting for 7% of our calories
  • And a little organic, dark chocolate every day, for 3% of our calories

No dairy is anywhere to be found in a Paleolithic diet. We just don’t need that after infancy. So what was I doing eating yogurt? That was bad enough, then I read the label:

  • Modified Corn Starch
  • Sugar
  • Aspartame
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Acesulfame Potassium
  • Red #40
  • Blue #1

Ugh. It’s clear that my mind has not yet cleared since coming out of the coma and waking up to life. I hope I won’t make that mistake again.

One way to make the case is to watch the film, Forks over Knives. Here’s the synopsis, taken from their website:

What has happened to us? Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure.

Two out of every three of us are overweight. Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially amongst our younger population. About half of us are taking at least one prescription drug. Major medical operations have become routine, helping to drive health care costs to astronomical levels. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the country’s three leading causes of death, even though billions are spent each year to •battle• these very conditions. Millions suffer from a host of other degenerative diseases.

Could it be there’s a single solution to all of these problems? A solution so comprehensive, but so straightforward, that it’s mind-boggling that more of us haven’t taken it seriously?

FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.

Dr. Campbell, a nutritional scientist at Cornell University, was concerned in the late 1960’s with producing •high quality• animal protein to bring to the poor and malnourished areas of the third world. While in the Philippines, he made a life-changing discovery: the country’s wealthier children, who were consuming relatively high amounts of animal-based foods, were much more likely to get liver cancer. Dr. Esselstyn, a top surgeon and head of the Breast Cancer Task Force at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, found that many of the diseases he routinely treated were virtually unknown in parts of the world where animal-based foods were rarely consumed.

These discoveries inspired Campbell and Esselstyn, who didn’t know each other yet, to conduct several groundbreaking studies. One of them took place in China and is still among the most comprehensive health-related investigations ever undertaken. Their research led them to a startling conclusion: degenerative diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even several forms of cancer, could almost always be prevented • and in many cases reversed • by adopting a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Despite the profound implications of their findings, their work has remained relatively unknown to the public.

The filmmakers travel with Drs. Campbell and Esselstyn on their separate but similar paths, from their childhood farms where they both produced •nature’s perfect food•; to China and Cleveland, where they explored ideas that challenged the established thinking and shook their own core beliefs.

The idea of food as medicine is put to the test. Throughout the film, cameras follow •reality patients• who have chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes. Doctors teach these patients how to adopt a whole-foods plant-based diet as the primary approach to treat their ailments•while the challenges and triumphs of their journeys are revealed.

FORKS OVER KNIVES utilizes state of the art 3-D graphics and rare archival footage. The film features leading experts on health, examines the question •why we don’t know•, and tackles the issue of diet and disease in a way that will have people talking for years.

FORKS OVER KNIVES was filmed all over the United States, and in Canada and China.

I urge you to give the film a look and to think about what you can do to make yourself not only healthier but also a more constructive citizen of planet earth. Next week we’ll move on to the bottom half of the prototype, pondering the very things that got me in trouble in the first place by virtue of neglect and discontent.

Coaching Inquiries: What kind of foods do you eat? How would you rate their impact on your health? On the planet? What shifts would make you more healthy and wise? Where would you like to see this go not only for yourself but also for those you love?

To reply to this Provision, use our Feedback Form. To talk with us about coaching or consulting services for yourself or your organization, Email Us or use our Contact Form to arrange a complimentary conversation.

LifeTrek Readers’ Forum (selected feedback from the past week)

Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Form or Email Bob.


Thanks for your intimate sharing about your awareness of how your tears are a cleansing. Also, appreciate your insight that it is a release and also a result of the emotional part of the brain being inflamed. I believe it is important to lead an examined life, and I definitely see you doing that in many ways.

I will continue to support you in prayer that your healing will continue, and the healing will be permanent. Miracles happen, and your healing is a miracle and I trust that there are more miracles in store for you. I love your positive and thankful attitude.


I’m so delighted to learn about your progress in recovery and healing, and to read how much you’ve gained from the experience. I feel relieved and grateful.

As children we learn that crying is almost always associated with hurts or owies. As teenagers we learn that crying can be connected to empathy or psychological pain.

But in later adulthood, crying can take on new meaning. It’s often our physical body’s way of ridding us of toxins, as you pointed out. It’s the spirit’s way connecting us with gratitude, joy and wonderment; and it’s the soul’s way of connecting us with our deeper emotions and telling us that THIS is what life is about.

The tears that come when watching the ballet Giselle or listening to Van Morrison sing Into the Mystic, or seeing any number of natural wonders in our environment, or watching a movie like Awakenings, these all connect with the beauty that is life and stimulate our joy of being alive and giving and receiving the gifts of those around us. Thanks for all that your learning to do and be.


I think it is interesting that you are “crying” more. This year has been a year of crying for me too. But I haven’t viewed my “crying” as a good or bad thing…just as a new thing. Unlike you, I haven’t felt that crying has helped me heal from anything but perhaps that is what it has been doing for me. I am glad you are finding the cry to be helpful and healing! And I am really glad that you lived to celebrate your 58th birthday…..keep recovering…..keep crying…..and keep smiling!


I too, KNOW for certain that there is a Reason for all of these tears that ‘escape’ now. By the way – I was told – (never looked into it myself ) that the composition of tears and what is found in ulcers is very similar if not THE SAME. Therein • God gave us tears to purge and cleanse as opposed to keeping them in – and suffering elsewhere in the body.

I am literally thrilled for you – as one who was taught at a young age to NOT cry – I literally grew up feeling guilty if I cried. It was a sign of weakness and I learned to NOT pity myself. BAD BAD!~

Only this year after a sad breakup did I learn HOW to CRY. Perhaps you needed to become ill to get your tears going • NO MATTER WHAT BOB • they’re perfect • and I’m so proud of you and grateful for you sharing. How many of us • are in need of a GOOD cry? Or several? smile. I get teary now – they escape more easily now • and that is good • purging!~

Okay • be well / loving your insights! • smiles


May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCCPresident, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
Past President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a TimeOnline Retailers

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