The Impact Of Eating Right
Most of us shrug off the importance and impact of eating right. With my returning guest today, we covered things like binge eating and strategies on how to eat as well as develop willpower. Today, Dr. Glenn Livingston is back on the show to talk about our relationship with food as well as the impact of eating right towards achieving a good mental and emotional health.
Dr. Glenn Livingston, not a medical doctor, but rather a psychologist. So, he’s genuinely a good resource person who could expound on how the impact of eating right can benefit us in so many ways.
Dr. Glenn Livingston helps people on all sorts of diets. I suggest that everyone must sign up for his newsletter as well as download his free Never Binge Again book from his website.
He is a raw vegan. And when Dr. Glenn Livingston works with people, he does it the context of a coach. Rarely does he talk about his diet. He says this is because people are most likely going to become resistant if they think they had to be a raw vegan like Dr. Glenn Livingston.
Raw Vegan Diet
Dr. Glenn Livingston eats almost entirely fruits and vegetables. He gets enough protein and calcium which he says made him feel stronger, sleep better, normalize his blood pressure, as well as made his psoriasis and eczema disappear.
“I have no problem staying relatively thin, and I have no tremendous carb or salt cravings. It’s something I have evolved into over the course of so many years,” shares Dr. Glenn Livingston.
He adds, “Every time I got rid of some industrially processed food, I ask myself what authentic physiological, biological need I have for these foods. And I start to train myself to crave for healthier things.”
Foods To Avoid
Dr. Glenn Livingston believes that food has been demonized, along with all of the processed carbohydrates. Knowing the impact of eating right is essential now more than ever. We must fix our relationship with food before it’s too late.
“I’m very much not in favor of people indulging in a lot of starch and sugar. It’s a big part of the downfall of our health and society,” Dr. Glenn Livingston said. “The American Diabetic Association does not encourage you to limit fruit or whole food. There’s a lot of fear and demonization of fruit in particular.”
Dr. Glenn Livingston also reveals that there’s another culprit people are not paying attention to. He says fat acts as an insulator. Studies show that unfortunately, 30 to 40% of the American diet contains fat.
“If you drop it down to the 10% range, the uptake transport and absorption of sugar and oxygen are dramatically better. You’ll notice this in your ability to breathe better, and your performance at the gym improves dramatically,” said Dr. Glenn Livingston. “Cardiovascular performance will also improve. It’s incredible we’re not aware we are creating problems by putting so much fat in our system.”
When Dr. Glenn Livingston was 15 years old, his mother had some few cancerous tumors in her uterus. She saw an alternative healer who suggested going on a vegan diet instead of having a hysterectomy.
Dr. Glenn Livingston’s mother was not even 40 years old when she was diagnosed, so she also hesitated to have the surgery done. Deciding to go on a vegan diet for six months, her tumors reversed, and she eventually didn’t have to have a hysterectomy. From that point on, Dr. Glenn Livingston was determined to become a vegan, too.
Dr. Glenn Livingston’s mother eventually went off on the vegan diet and lived for another 35 years later or so before she passed away. But Dr. Glenn Livingston was already convinced that there was something special about the vegan diet, although he strayed from the vegan diet during his college years.
Finding The Right Diet
Dr. Glenn Livingston recalls coming across a book in graduate school about cancer. It reminded him of the vegan connection that’s why he decided to go back to a vegan diet. But he still didn’t understand everything back then.
Labeling himself a junk food vegan then, Dr. Glenn Livingston thought eating pasta, candy, and fried foods were okay as long as it wasn’t animal products. Not surprisingly, he didn’t get very healthy on that diet.
Dr. Glenn Livingston married a year after that, although he’s divorced now. He shares that he was married to a woman who was brought up in a deli and the Atkins diet was gaining popularity that time.
But his ex-spouse apparently had a friend who was studying nutrition and advocated a low carb diet. Unfortunately, Dr. Glenn Livingston, couldn’t stick to the diet. He couldn’t seem to achieve the impact of eating right, so he wasn’t really in tip-top shape during his 30s and 40s.
Dr. Glenn Livingston kept reading books in the hope that he could find the right kind of diet for him. He came across The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. The book explained the author’s research in China, where they looked at the correlation between the different health conditions and diet.
“Cancer was very much associated with the level of animal protein that people had. If people can keep their level of animal protein under 5%, they would have virtually no cancer whatsoever,” said Dr. Glenn Livingston.
Dr. Glenn Livingston also started to look for some books about vegan nutrition. He came across Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who was advocating against animal protein. Incidentally, Dr. Joel Fuhrman was a former guest in one of my episodes.
I was hooked on meat before and took me a while to come around. Dr. Joel Fuhrman was very thorough in explaining everything about animal protein. I love his very science-based approach towards making a diet.
Dr. Glenn Livingston also cited the book Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat Is Killing Us, by Dr. Garth Davis and Howard Jacobson. The book is about the science of protein addiction and why we don’t need it.
“Our muscles are supposed to produce these energy-giving substances, but when you eat animal protein, the body stops producing those substances,” Dr. Glenn Livingston explains. “When you stop eating meat, people feel exhausted. They don’t feel well because it takes a while for their muscles to upregulate and start producing it again.”
He adds, “That’s why people think they need it. Same for sugar. But food cravings will go away quicker than you think, usually within four days.”
Seeing A Change
Dr. Glenn Livingston says that although he got healthy following a low protein diet, he still had little psoriasis. Plus, he still had weight issues. But now that on a raw vegan diet, Dr. Glenn Livingston’s health significantly improved. He finally felt he was on the right track after seeing the impact of eating right.
According to Dr. Glenn Livingston, Victoria Boutenko’s book (Green Smoothie Revolution) on raw foods is a good resource for making green smoothies. He drinks green smoothies especially during the days when he craves for chocolate.
Dr. Glenn Livingston persevered and kept trying different green smoothie recipes. It’s not the same high compared to eating chocolate, but the craving would go away. After a few months, he noticed his craving started to shift to green smoothies!
“I always believe these cravings that we think we can’t live without, there’s an authentic biological reason behind it,” said Dr. Glenn Livingston.
Fruits And Vegetables
To better understand the benefits of incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet, Dr. Glenn Livingston recommends Dr. Doug Graham’s 80/10/10 diet. In formulating the 80/10/10 diet, Dr. Doug Graham says we’re meant to live on fruits and vegetables, as well as a handful of nuts and seeds.
Part of the belief system is also saying we are not supposed to cook food. Because apparently, cooking creates all sorts of toxins. It is energy-draining and has life-killing substances, so Dr. Glenn Livingston felt better eating raw.
“I hired a coach, got to meet Dr. Doug Graham and attended workshops. I now speak for low-fat, raw veganism. It’s difficult to get used to. You have to eat more volume than you’re used to, and you have to commit,” said Dr. Glenn Livingston.
Dr. Glenn Livingston’s diet primarily consists of smoothies, lettuce, bananas, mangoes, strawberries, and sometimes dates. He also likes to make cucumber noodles topped with a sauce made of tomatoes, lemon juice, and dates which were Dr. Glenn Livingston’s significant weight loss trick.
Effect On Emotional And Mental Health
Dr. Glenn Livingston says when you put things into your body that your body has to recover from, it affects the physiological energy of the nervous system. Our body goes into digesting it, eliminating and isolating the toxins to deal with the enormous task that you give it.
“And when all the energy is put into that, it doesn’t have the energy to conduct the emotions. So, you’re not present in the way you could be. You’re also not able to feel the emotions the way you could be,” said Dr. Glenn Livingston. “And you’re not able to feel. This is why people say they need food for comfort. Because it does act as a kind of anesthetic to numb the feeling we have.”
He adds, “But I also think that there is a pleasure response, like the feeling we get with drugs. Because we’re being provided with substances that concentrates pleasurable substances.”
Dr. Glenn Livingston furthermore explains that we wind up with a whole cascade of events in the nervous system that distorts and perverts its pleasurable response to natural stimuli. When you eliminate that, then people can feel, be present and ultimately, they can think.
Maintaining The Willpower
Dr. Glenn Livingston believes that what we are built for with our psychology, is to operate according to character. He says that when you make character statements and adopt them into what person you want to be, and how you want food to play in your life, then the obsession is less.
“There’s always the possibility of reawakening that old pathway. Our bodies are normally flexible. There’s a principle in research called neuroplasticity. Every time you have a craving, you are rewiring your brain to say, this craving equals to this food instead,” said Dr. Glenn Livingston.
In line with that train of thought, I had Dr. Alan Goldhammer on the show, who talked about the benefits of eliminating salt, oil, and sugar, as well as tips on how to deal with cravings. Another informative episode was with Dr. Esselstyn, a cardiac surgeon who reverses heart disease with diet. He spoke in detail ways on how to train the brain to eat natural things.
“You don’t have to eat super healthy. Start with one change that has a noticeable impact on health,” said Dr. Glenn Livingston. “And more importantly, an impact and ability to make a commitment and stick to it. Because you can build on that.”
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Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. is a veteran psychologist and was the long-time CEO of a multi-million dollar consulting firm which has serviced several Fortune 500 clients in the food industry.
His previous work, theories, and research have been published in major periodicals like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun Times, The Indiana Star Ledger, The NY Daily News, and American Demographics. He has also guested on ABC, WGN, and/or CBS radio, or UPN TV.
Disillusioned by what traditional psychology had to offer overweight and/or food obsessed individuals, Dr. Glenn Livingston spent several decades researching the nature of bingeing and overeating via work with his patients AND a self-funded research program with more than 40,000 participants. Most important, however, was his journey out of obesity and food prison to a normal, healthy weight and a much more lighthearted relationship with food.
Get Connected with Dr. Glenn Livingston:
Book by Dr. Glenn Livingston
Recommended Reading by Dr. Glenn Livingston:
Rational Recovery by Jack Trimpey
Episode 56 – How To End Binge Eating – Dr. Glenn Livingston
Episode 230 – Fasting For Healing – Dr. Alan Goldhammer
Episode 231 – Willpower To Stop Bingeing – Dr. Glenn Livingston
Episode 232 – Heart Disease – Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
Episode 242 – Eating Right – Dr. Joel Fuhrman