THRIVE FOODS DIRECT NUTRITIONAL PHILOSOPHY

Below is a list of the nutritional principals, ones I first introduced in my book, Thrive. They are what I've found to be the most important to observe when selecting food to provide peak health and both mental and physical peak performance. All Thrive Foods Direct meals are made based on this set of nutritional values. And all are made with100% organic, plant-based whole food ingredients. They are high net-gain, nutrient-dense, and alkaline forming.

When you first transition to a new way of eating, whether it is this nutrition program or another, start gradually and build slowly. Remember, any kind of change, even positive change, is perceived as stress by the body. By progressively incorporating new elements into your current diet, you will allow your body to physiologically adapt. By avoiding a change-related stress response, you will make a healthy diet desirable and doable.

Depending on your starting point, after about two weeks, your body will adapt and you will see that the results are worth the effort. Over time, your body will actually begin to crave high net-gain foods and lose interest in refined, processed ones. Additionally, by making high net-gain foods a large part of the diet, you will simply have no room for those other foods. The body will get all the nutrition it needs from the new diet and will turn off its hunger mechanism.

GO FOR HIGH-NET-GAIN FOODS: MAKE A SMALL INVESTMENT FOR A BIG RETURN

High-net-gain foods deliver us energy by way of conservation as opposed to consumption. Here's what I mean by that: the digestive and assimilation process is in fact an energy-intensive one. At the onset of eating, we begin spending digestive resources in an effort to convert energy stored within food—also known as calories—into usable sustenance to fulfill our biological requirements. And, as we know, whenever energy is transferred from one form to another, there's an inherent loss. However, the amount of energy lost in this process varies greatly and depends on the foods eaten.

Highly processed, refined, denatured food requires that significantly more digestive energy be spent to break it down in the process of transferring its caloric energy to us:

net energy gain = energy remaining once digestive energy has been spent

While it's true that a calorie is a measure of food energy, simply eating more calories will not necessarily ensure more energy for the consumer. If there were such a calorie guarantee, people who subsisted on fast food and other such calorie-laden fare would have abundant energy. And of course they dont. This is a testament to the inordinate amount of digestive energy required to convert such food into usable fuel.

(By the way, it's no coincidence that the cultures that have their largest, heaviest meals for lunch are the same ones who have afternoon siestas. Digestion is tiring.)

In contrast, natural, unrefined whole food digests with a considerably lower energy requirement. Therefore, we can gain more usable energy from simply eating foods that are in a more natural whole state, even if they have fewer calories.

When I grasped this concept, I began viewing food consumption as though it were an investment of sorts. My goal became to spend, or invest, as little digestive energy as possible to acquire the greatest amount of micro- nutrients and maximize the return on my investment.

For that reason, I refer to foods that require little digestive energy but yield a healthy dose of micronutrients as high-net-gain foods:

high net gain = little digestive energy spent, substantial level of micronutrients gained

With this principle in mind, I shifted my prime carbohydrate sources from processed and refined carbs, such as pasta and bread, to fruit and pseudo grains. Both are packed with carbohydrate in the form of easily assimilated carbs, considerably easier to digest than refined grain flour. And both provide a higher micronutrient level than these processed, refined carb sources.

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