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4 Simple Rules for Healthy Eating

Some surprising truths behind why you may have had trouble losing weight, including why you should eat whole foods and the one question that will tell you everything you need to know about whether or not the food you are eating is whole. From The Politics of Stupid: The Cure for Obesity by motivational speaker and New York Times bestselling author Susan Powter

Let’s talk about food. High fat, low quality, processed vs. real food. Let’s talk about food. I have a couple of dietary rules in my home, I’ve had them for years.

1.    If it glows in the dark, we don’t eat it.

I’m not waiting for the fluorescence manufacturers to tell me their product isn’t deadly because it is, done.

2.    If there is one word in the ingredient list I can’t pronounce, I don’t buy it.

Why would I?

3.    If I go into the store to buy maple syrup and I don’t see the word maple in the ingredient list, it’s not going into my body or my (operative word, my) sons’ bodies.

One real ingredient, there’s a standard.

4.    Refined white sugar, refined white flour, and refined white men are directly connected.

Especially the refined white men in the refined White House.

Four 101 food rules that affect/effect much. Huge changes can be made by you, with no expert in sight, simply by using your common sense. Now, watch as the politics and the menu plan mix, and they do. The most powerful consumer market in the massive food business is…? Women. Imagine if you didn’t buy:

the foods sold to you

the promises blasted at you

the flat-out lies told to you …

A whole lot of foods, according to my four simple rules alone, are immediately exposed. Imagine how much will change when you change what you are putting in, into your grocery cart and into your body. The ripple effect, yep, and the $276 billion food industry knows it. An educated consumer is not the goal of billion-dollar companies…or your health-care experts, for that matter. They are perched on very expensive, finely constructed pedestals and only one thing can knock them off. You. Here are a couple of very real lifestyle issues: food, consumer markets, massive government lobbies, huge corporations…never mentioned in the never-ending weight-loss discussions, and they are connected. Weight loss and world peace…oh, if only. Weight loss and war…there is a connection.

If it’s war you’d like to discuss, and it seems nobody discusses anything but war, certainly these days, then let’s talk about wars much closer to home. Biochemical warfare. The biochemical warfare going on in the bodies, and the brains, of millions of people. The biochemical warfare being waged (literally) by…? Directed a …? By our own, at our own, yep. Nothing new about blowing up our own, not at all. Beginning to see why I resent being shoved off to the side of all political discussions and latenight everything …oy, the eleven-thirty late-night boys’ club gets tiring for the other half, meantime.

Let’s agree (and move the hell on). The advertising, socializing, and glamorizing of a nearly 50 percent daily fat intake and the life “ya just gotta be living” to get overfat and unfit is an extraordinarily well-organized, heavily funded, much-riding-on-it club. A club (guess which gender) that wields the same power as all of the other clubs have wielded for a good five thousand years. What that means to you and your daily fat intake is quite simple. You have to know, starting now, the truth. You have to know the truth and make the most basic, easy-to-do, know-it-once-and-for-all changes, starting with three things. Fat, movement, and thinking.

You have to know, from this moment on, that:

Eating a ton of fat and not moving are connected to you being overfat and unfit.

High-fat foods, for the most part, are as obvious as daylight, and you already know what most of them are.

You already have (and have had for a while) a lot of the information you need to lose weight.

You have to know that a good place to start would be to cut back, or cut out:

  • tubs of soda
  • deep-fried
  • buttered-to-the-nines
  • Creamy stuff that sits in freezer
  • Doughy and gooey

Substitution lists abound.

Without knowing anything about nutrition, and you know:

A potato …

Cut into thin slices …

Is it high fat?

When those same thin slices are dumped into a vat of grease, is it high fat?

No need, at this stage of the reclaim-your-body-and-brain game, to spend any time on the enormous amounts of:




Poisons, that’s what the fast-food boys add to what once was a potato. And then there is the farmland they destroyed to get you such crap, and the toxic chemicals they used to manufacture it, and the cancers skyrocketing in and around (I’m talking globally) their “farmlands” and, and, and, …how about we just stay with high fat, and what you can do about it now and forever?

I just made potatoes. Organic baby reds, pressure-cooked for ten minutes, drained, sprinkled with sea salt, a dollop of soy sour cream (just a tad) peppered and chived, and they couldn’t have been better. I did not sit down and calculate the amount of fat, protein, sugar, fiber, and everything else my potatoes had to offer. No need. What I did was eat them, over a three-bean spinach-and-tomato salad with sesame lemon dressing, and enjoyed the hell out of it.

High-fat foods are easy to spot and quite simple to cut way way back on. Eating whole, real foods is as easy as it gets. One comes from the vats of man, usually screaming “bargain and convenient” at you. And the other? Comes from the Mother, Nature. The foods you hear nothing about. Not the foods being advertised at you. Food you don’t have a clue what to do with… and why would you?

Grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. By the thousands of varieties. Bountiful. Dropping from trees, vines, bushes. I don’t pick the stuff, but I buy it. Thousands of foods, prepared thousands of ways that you don’t have to think twice about nutritionally. The foods on the perimeter of your megamart. The foods you have to have a teaching degree to get your kids to eat, according to the corporations who make the other foods. Foods that, until very recently, could get you arrested if you suggested they had anything to do with anything or, God forbid, could heal disease! Heretic, I could tell you stories, and will.

All of a sudden it turns out that whole foods have value. Well done, Nature. Foods grown in systems that didn’t destroy the earth. Foods grown (bountifully) without dioxin. Real, whole foods. The foods you have no idea what to do with …but in sticking with the most important thing (you getting the answers to your questions), let’s ask a question. One question, and you’ll know everything you need to know about whether or not the food you are eating is whole. I’ll jog your memory by quoting myself, a line from one of my infomercials years ago: “Have you ever seen an oatmeal tree?” No, you haven’t, because oatmeal doesn’t grow that way. Oatmeal isn’t a whole food. Oatmeal is, however, a very good example that explains much about whole foods, which is the reason I’m using it. No need to go off on the should-I-or-shouldn’t-I eat oatmeal “yeah, butting,” go with it, you’ll see, oatmeal applies to all foods.

Have you ever seen an oatmeal tree? No, you haven’t because that’s not how oatmeal grows. That’s not a typo, that’s your answer. If you ever want to know if the foods you are eating are whole, ask the question “Does it grow that way?” Hasn’t it been said before, ask and ye shall? Well, ask. How does oatmeal grow? Not in flakes, and absolutely not in flakes that cook up in one minute. The original food is…? A question you should ask about everything. Now, get off oatmeal.

But right now it doesn’t matter. What matters is…pick a food, any food.

Have you ever seen a bread tree?

Have you ever seen a cereal tree?

Have you ever seen a-seven-grain-muffin tree?

Have you ever seen a Power Bar tree?

Have you ever seen a granola tree?

Have you ever seen a pasta tree?

Have you ever seen a liquid meal tree?

Increasing whole, real foods in your life has everything to do with knowing what they are. Whole foods are foods that are grown that way. As in apple on a tree, the apple. Corn on a cob, whole. Rice, paddies are full of it. Oranges, come in groves. Beans, stalk them. Pumpkin, vined all around. Does it grow on a bush, a tree, a vine … from the Mother of them all, Nature? Did it grow that way? Ask the question in the privacy of your own brain, and think about it. Increasing the amounts of whole foods you eat — grains, beans, fruits, and veggies — is something you are going to do, which is going to make an astounding difference in the way you look and feel. No longer disputing, even if the experts do; what is indisputable is foundationally life changing. Agree? Good, let’s move on.

Fact: You don’t have to think about high fat when you are eating whole foods. You don’t have to think about toxic waste when you are eating whole, real food, unless it’s grown by “the highest quality” massive corporations. You don’t have to think about preserved, pasteurized, and pummeled when you eat whole foods, which makes your new life a whole lot easier. Unless you are living on avocado, hearts of palm, and coconuts, you don’t have to think about:





No need to think about any of that with thousands of varieties of whole, real foods. Because they are perfect. “Low fat” and “grains, beans, fruits, and veggies” are synonymous. “Fiber” and “nutrient-rich,” synonymous. All you have to do is get familiar with these gems of nature and eat them.


Susan Powter, the New York Times bestselling author Politics of Stupid: The Cure for Obesity (Copyright © 2002 by Susan Powter), is also the author of Stop the Insanity!; The Pocket Powter; C’Mon America, Let’s Eat!; and Hey, Mom! I’m Hungry! For many years she has been inspiring audiences worldwide with her books, audios, videos, and record-breaking life-changing seminars. Visit her online at




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