The Crazy western ideas of health and diet

Early 1900’s had the Tapeworm diet where you would literally give yourself a tapeworm to lose weight. Sounds carzy today right? Not really. Just as crazy thinking goes into todays dieting as well.

The Christian diet where the book “Pray Your Weight Away,” which was published in 1957. The best-seller set the trend for future titles such as “I Prayed Myself Slim” (1960), “Help Lord,” “The Devil Wants Me Fat!” (1978) and “The Weigh Down Diet” (1997), which advised readers not to confuse physical hunger for what was really spiritual hunger. In 2002, Don Colbert, M.D., published What “Would Jesus Eat?”

Calories don’t count’, 1961 book by Herman Taller, this diet said that it didn’t matter how many calories you ate as long as you didn’t eat any carbohydrates and began each meal with a shot of safflower oil.

In the midst of all the dieting pills of the 1970’s, 1972 brought the Atkin’s diet which only found its popularity in the 90’s then later Dr. Atkin’s fell on ice after a heart attack and broke his hip. From an Ayurvedic vantage point this would be obvious with the excessive intake of meat and fat which would only lead to the stress and excessive tissue built of the heart. Eating muscle builds muscle as a general rule. The excessive intake would cause a depletion of asthi dhatu or bone tissue which would be the reason for the break when he fell. Also from a Western viewpoint the diet was controversial because it advocates eating as much high-fat food as one wants, which Western studies show lead to heart disease.

The Beverly Hills diet, in 1981, was next and the public ate it up while the doctors told of the horrors of it. It was seen to be “perhaps the worst, entry in the diet-fad derby,” they stated that excessive fruit consumption can cause diarrhea, dehydration, and in extreme cases, “the blood pressure can drop low enough to interfere with the circulation of blood and the person can die.”

1980s also brought the high discipline dieting with the Scarsdale Diet. Calorie restricted to 1000 calories, two-week high-protein, and low-carb. Author Herman Tarnower, M.D., had claimed that by going on and off the diet every two weeks, followers could lose up to 20 pounds per week without any long-term deprivation of any vitamins or minerals.

The early 90’s brought the cabbage soup diet.

As the insanity grows we see the Baby food diet in 2010.

The lemonade diet, or Master Cleanse developed by Stanley Burroughs, the diet allowed only lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Nearly 70 years later from its inception, people are still blindly trying it.

There is the 5:2 diet,

The Special K diet,

Juice fast,

a raw food diet,

calorie counting using mobile phone apps,

the grapefruit diet

Weight Watchers,

the all famous cottage cheese diet,

Paleo diet,

5-Factor plan,

Blood type diet,

The China Study was written by T. C. Campbell and T. M. Campbell. which suggests that eliminating meats and dairy from the U.S. diet would lower the incidence of disease.

And there is so many many more that I have not even mentioned………

and they will continue.

Marketing, sales, based on fear.

We see today the endorsement of diets being more by celebrities and the masses just follow blindly. We also see a trend of people following other people lives stories and the journey of the person (and today it is just people, not with any actual education to come from but just their experience) which pulls people in. A healing journey. A struggle and fight and a win which then the other individual want to be part of or wants them self. Scary.

With all of these diets, it is the same. It is a religion. Nobody can tell a person that is doing any of these diets any different (like how bad a diet might be, say like the diets above that the Western Doctors even stated were not safe) and the person on the diet must share with everyone how wonderful the diet is and share their experiences trying to sell it to their friends.

Bottom line is that the need for a diet in the first place states the lack of any proper knowledge of health in the first place and the horrific way that is the norm when one is not “on” a diet. 

Any way you look at it you change the way you live, sleep, eat…… your body will respond, good or bad. Do you/we know what that is though?

Just by staying up late at night one will lose weight. They will also dry out and cause other imbalances. By just waking up earlier than the sunrise one will lose weight compared to if one sleeps in. The later one sleeps in after the sun comes up the more the functions of the body slow and become heavy and clogged. One would experience this in that cloudiness that is unshakable if one sleeps in late.

If one’s life is sitting in a chair all day and then coming home to sit in a chair and watching TV, just simply changing and being more active will make them healthier.

If one eats heavy food (nutrient dense foods fall into this category) all the time simply eating less or learning what is lighter food will change the body as well as affect the mind. (gluten intolerance comes from this)

None of this is rocket science.

and then the topper of it all with the all popular fad of today, the gluten-free diet……. there is truth in everything right? the fact that there is a parody of this in this video below says enough.


8 thoughts on “The Crazy western ideas of health and diet

  1. I do see your point but not all of those are necessarily bad… The lemonade diet for instance is badly named. It’s designed as a short term detox to clear the colon of backlog and toxins and that can be very useful to do and is not unlike fasting in some religions.

    • If you were to understand the lemonade diet as well as health from an ayurvedic view you would see that the lemonade diet does not detox nor does it actually have anyway to possibly clear the colon and toxins. It is bogus. Show me any research that shows it doing as it says it does. Not peoples experiences, those are not valid, just by cutting half of what you eat out of your diet you will lose weight and feel better. Uneducated people touting things. Not good. Do you know what you spleen does? How this lemonade diet effects it?

      Funnier thing is that if you were to look it up back in history as to what it was said to do, detox was not a word back then. it is a sales word of today. It was used for weight loss back then. And to compare it to a religious fast is a nice try (pretty sacrilegious) as well but they are done for opposite reasons. One has god. It isn’t the lemonade.

      I might add, do you know anyone that has any real education about nutrition and health pushing the lemonade or master cleanse?
      Adding to this, there is no Western scientific proof of any detoxification that happens thru the lemonade diet. All the claims… bogus.
      There is not one scientific research done on the Master Cleanse or the Lemonade Diet that shows it is authentic and does what it claims. Search for yourself. Yet their are tons of blogs and popular articles in Vanity and magazines like it that support the diet, are their not? What does this say?

      From an ayurvedic view it is easy to see why someone will feel lighter. But the damage that is being caused is not worth it. it imbalances vata, it imbalances pitta. Just because one does not “feel” the damage being caused does not mean it is not happening, just because someone has an experience does not make that experience valid of any sort what so ever. If someone that has any sort of pitta disease was to the lemonade cleanse, they would create more of that disease. But we don’t have anyway to see the individual for being an individual in Western ways just like this diet being for everyone, the major flaw with all of the diets.
      Maybe a little research into it may show you that the lemonade diet has no legs to stand on.

      And there are so many more written about the same.

      You see the basic thing to understand here is that if your culture has diets, it’s general knowledge of food and what is healthy is flawed in the first place. For there to be a “diet” to go on means that the person is unhealthy in the first place. This would only be because they do not have knowledge of what is healthy. Coming from this foundation anything put out there is going to be flawed. Or another word for it would be marketing and sales to peoples fears and ignorance.

      Whats more is that health is a subjective thing today in the West. Nothing else. Anyone can write any blog or article and publish it on the web now which means more misinformation than ever. Everyone has their opinion around these diets, and they will stick to it and defend it to their death, which is exactly where they are going with them. If you were to look at this from a psychological point of view you would see a much deeper insight into our Western culture. The only way these people change their opinion is when the newer fad comes out that they can latch onto. My question is where did the last one go that they were so vehemently attached to? The other question would be, what is their education? Because it pays not to have conversations about health with people that have no qualification of level of comprehension of health that are just looking to justify their ego.

      Coincidentally, I worked with a client yesterday that was told he had a parasite, a blood fluke. He was told to go on a fast of goat milk, cranberry juice and cayenne pepper pills. I shuddered when he told me. Also having him stand in front of me was enough to make me shudder without hearing about that due to the level of depletion he is at. Eyes sunken, the color of his skin gone to a greyish level, bloated and puffy was his skin to the point where he wasn’t even opening his eyes correctly. And he didn’t have any experience of these. His breath was locked up in his neck and his diaphragm was not functioning. He went on to tell me about the cleanse then after he was done he told me that now they are following it up with a liver gall bladder cleanse. I simply asked him if he did blood tests to show that the blood fluke was gone. He said no. Funny huh? Destroying his health in the name of health.
      The milk he was drinking was cold and out of the refrigerator…… not easily digestible. This would count for the bloating and the lack of digestion. The cranberry juice would be opposing the spring season right now with its sour taste and its effects causing even more bloating and if mixed with the milk would create a mixture that would be simply undigestible and cause toxicity. The cayenne at this point would try to help clear the toxicity but unfortunately with it being the single thing he was intaking would not be able to do much and would also add to the toxicity by now adding heat to it. All of this very superficial and obvious to anyone that is knowledgeable. End result, not even a blood test and putting him on another cleanse…. and this was a professional. Lol.

      So what is health? Ready to die for your beliefs of what it is? Specially when the level of education of what is health is based in what is popular and fashion? Your choice.

  2. One of the most ridiculous things about modern “health culture” is the idea that by punishing ones body with heavy weights and “marathons” you will somehow make your body stronger…we are the most advanced species on planet earth but yet we don’t see that other animals don’t workout in order to have strength of body. And yet a quick search on bodybuilding websites will turn up anecdotal stories of how their dad who does gardening in his free time consistently beats the younger bodybuilder in all contests of strength.

    As you’ve said on your site, the ideal status of health in ayurveda is actually having a pot belly and round face not “6 pack abs and and pronounced cheek bones”

    • Hi.
      The most advanced species on the planet? I beg to differ. What are you basing it on? A race that does everything it can to work against nature?… and then sell products to make money under the veil of alleviate the damaged caused by it? It’s not that we are advanced, it is actually that we are all of the seven deadly sins or shad ripu. This all in contrast to species that live in harmony to the ways of nature and do not destroy their own species??? Just saying.
      Yes, western exercise as well as all the western paradigm is missing a huge amount of knowledge, but you can’t tell them that. It’s the lens they see through. It will continue as that is all there is and it is being spread across the globe. It is Kali Yuga. Nothing to do about it except do your own. Study, be intelligent. There is a saying Rte Jnanat Namukti.

    • I was speaking from a western evolutionary standpoint e.g. we have the highest cognitive potential. But even from a dharmic standpoint I think it’s proper to say that humans have the highest potential for both good and evil; the devas and hell beings are obviously prone to habits which are conducive to their environment buthat humans are prone to committing tragedies but we’re also capable of recognising mother, father and holy men worthy of respect. It’s not that monkeys don’t want to rape and pillage the forest, they simply don’t know how.

      Besides is it always a bad thing to go against nature? Rape, murder and torture is common in the animal kingdom thus “natural” but obviously that doesn’t make it right.

      As far as strength goes, I’m pretty convinced that you don’t need massive muscles to be strong but how does one explain so called “strong men” who seem capable of lifting and moving thousands of pounds despite obvious vata imbalances. What does ayurveda say about such people?

    • Instead of talking about opinions and what people actually think I’d rather stick to the texts and Shastra. Western evolutionary principal has already been debunked by the western sciences so why even bother talking about it. Besides it’s just theory. If you understand humans and mind then you understand how we make meaning of everything natures different nature doesn’t work in that way.
      Everybody is an individual as well and I are Veda Sam’s huge muscular men do have more strength than your normal person just as a ksatriya. But with in the Western world we tend to confuse all the stuff and think that your average man can be a strong as your huge muscular man it’s just not true. Who is to say that I huge muscular man has about them balance?

    • That’s very true. Obviously the whole package has to be taken into account as even a hulking giant has weaknessNess like of speed, imbalance etc..

      On an unrelated note; would you consider writing an article detailing the ayurvedic consequences of the sexual act? The dangers of excess, the benefits, how it affects tridosha, what happens when one is celibate. I find myself fascinated by it from a health perspective and noticed some very positive changes in the world around me when I was able to abstain for 30 or so days.

      And besides it’s one of the 3 pillars of life, perhaps if people know just how it affects their mind, the dhatus and the doshas they be more willing to show proper sexual discipline

    • Maybe, we will see. Brahmacharya refers to more than just sexual abstinence in ayurveda. Its moderation on a much more subtle level and it effects everything.

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