My friend Lyle is a 5th generation farmer. He has a marketing degree (partly thanks to yours truly, as I was once his professor). He lives and works in Boston and bears an uncanny resemblance to Jesus. But he grew up in a very small farming community in Utah, the youngest of a big family, where he says, “We were dirt poor and couldn’t afford junk food. So we ate food we made on the farm.”
He said his mom would “go into town” (he’s referring to Springville, Utah, which is pretty funny if you live near here) to this “crappy store” where they had unlabeled can sales. Only $0.10 a can, but you have no idea what you’re buying. Then his mom would make Ten Can Soup. They’d open 10 cans, and no matter what was in them……into the pot they’d go, with some broth and hamburger.
The kids got good at shaking the cans and listening carefully to make their best guess at what was in them. What a relief when a can was some form of tomatoes! One wrong move, and you’ve got yourself some mighty weird dinner.
One time Lyle and his brother dared each other to open one can and eat the contents no matter what they were. Lyle’s can was……dog food.
Imagine my surprise when Lyle announced he was going to do the GSG Detox. In fact, he was my own Detox buddy in January, while he was here for a month helping on the farm. He lost 10 lbs. and felt great, never cheated despite having a typical single 29-year old’s social life…and then devoured the 12 Steps to Whole Foods course, and did pretty much everything in it, in a matter of weeks. (I told him that Coach Sarah did it in 6 weeks. He is rather competitive.)
I think he slid back into his front-row days as my Management Communications 320 student where he got A’s. Just as long as I dished out lots of praise. (I’m pretty good at that—happy to oblige, if it provokes the student to work and learn.) Six years later, he repeats specific compliments he got on specific papers he wrote. He liked teacher praise and still does—I guess I’m dishing out more in this blog.
A few months after the detox, he’s devoted to making kefir, green smoothies, kale chips with his dehydrator, and eating healthy treats he makes himself, instead of former processed go-to snacks. Gone are the days of drinking gallons of cow milk. It’s not that he eats a perfect diet. It’s that he has a solid foundation in true principles of nutrition, now, and lots of great habits. As opposed to bits and pieces of nonsense from the various food cults, and a lot of food from boxes and cans and the drive-thru.
Lyle has great habits now that very few 29-year old single American men would be willing to make. Not while they’re at their ideal weight and not yet suffering from any health issues. We have whole conversations about how his kefir grains are getting much bigger, and are acclimating well after he accidentally shocked them. Stuff like that. He was bold and growth-oriented during the detox…..even did Level 2 after a while! I couldn’t be prouder.
His whole life will be radically different if he stays the course. Jeff Olsen’s book, The Slight Edge, talks about how small healthy, or unhealthy, habits, don’t show up as radically different lives, in the first week, or month. But after a year, the positive slight edge habits arc your health upward dramatically. And negative slight edge habits take you downward, quickly, after a significant period of time. I wish we could all see an age progression of what we’ll look like, in 20 years, eating the S.A.D., versus eating 12 Steps to Whole Foods. I think we’d find it shocking and compelling.
No one is ever sorry they adopted healthy eating habits.
Lyle is even trying to talk his parents into changing the farm into an organic operation.
Today he told me when he was home in January, his mom’s two-year old Blendtec had 87 cycles on it. When he left a month later, it had 175. And they’d given him a new one for Christmas.
(Use that sucka! Touring Blendtec last year, I saw their sound-proof testing rooms where they run test blenders 24/7—they’re committed to making a blender that literally never overheats. It’s kind of freaky, actually. A blender running all night, while everyone’s gone? They’re serious about making the best blender in the world.)
I give Lyle’s effort an A+.