What Marshmallows Teach About Our Health

Changing any habit can be hard, at first. It begins with a conscious choice, a step-by-step plan and then the decision to follow through. Success depends on being able to say “no” to the old patterns until the fresh one becomes the “new normal.”

A famous 2009 Stanford University experiment studied hundreds of children ages 4 and 5. The researcher brought each child into a private room. He placed a marshmallow on the table and sat opposite them. He told each child he would exit for 15 minutes and if the child did not eat the marshmellow during that time, he/she would get a second one when he returned. If the child ate the marshmallow while he was gone, they would not get any more. As to be expected, most kids ate the marshmallow!

The study then followed the children for the next 40 years. Those who had shown the discipline for delayed gratification and didn’t eat the marshmallow turned out to be more successful in almost all areas of life: their studies, health, social skills, work, etc.

When it comes to getting healthy, the discipline to deny ourselves certain foods in favor of healthier choices is essential. There is simply no other way to adopt a new lifestyle that supports a better quality of life without turning our backs on our old ways in favor of better ones. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result.

So, if your goal is weight loss, or more energy, healing your gut, or starving the cancer in your body, you are going to have to show discipline and restraint, say no to those foods and habits that are making you sick, and embrace the positive changes that will bring health and healing into your life.

Here’s a partial list of food irritants that you want to avoid as you build a personalized plan with a good naturopath, nutritionist, or alternative doctor on your road to achieving your health goals.

Wheat, dairy, soy, corn, caffeine, alcohol, peanuts, farm raised fish and shellfish, industrial animal products (beef, chicken, pork) and any form of sugar: white, brown, molasses, maple, agave, honey, as well as any kind of artificial sweetener, except Stevia.

Include more of these in your diet:

  • Organic veggies of all kinds- kale, spinach, lettuces, zucchini, chard, broccoli, carrots, celery, string beans, brussell sprouts, avocados, watercress, cucumber, sprouts, and others
  • Organic berries- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, green apples, grapefruit, lemons, limes
  • Organic yams, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, barley, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds
  • Grass fed and grass finished beef, pasture raised chicken, wild caught small fish (big fish contain too much mercury)

If you have trouble digesting raw food, try juicing and also gently cooking your food, but not overcooking which destroys all the good enzymes. You might also consider taking digestive enzymes with your meals to support good gut health. Ask your natural specialist which brand they recommend.

None of these recommendations are meant to be a substitute for your consulting with a health professional to create a personalized plan for your specific condition, but these general principles will serve you well on your road to becoming Healed, Healthy and Whole. Here’s wishing you every success!


1 Comment

  • Jean May 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    That’s a fascinating study. Thanks for sharing!

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