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Ep.27: Food Fads and Diet Wars

Robyn Openshaw - Mar 30, 2017 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Picture of GreenSmoothieGirl Robyn Openshaw wearing leopard print shirt from "Ep.07: 13 Secrets For High Vibration Parenting" by Green Smoothie Girl

Today, we’re talking about the war over the proteins, fats and carbs; the Diet Wars. What’s the truth? The food fads are taking over and I want to clear the clutter. I want to deconstruct for you where diet fads come from and the impact they have on your health. It’s a fact that a diet will saturate in the marketplace in about five to seven years. And then a new one catches wind. Here’s a secret, you will lose weight on virtually any diet because most diets now ban processed food. But what is it doing to your overall health? Your sanity? There is a simple solution to all these fads and it’s called eating whole foods.


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Robyn:                    Hey, everyone. It’s Robyn Openshaw and welcome to Your High Vibration Life. This is episode 27 in season two of the show and I’m delighted to be with you. Today, we’re talking about the war over the proteins, fats and carbs. What’s the truth? Let’s talk about the truth of the diet wars. I was having a conversation with my friend Dr. Alan Christianson about an upcoming episode that I want to do with him. He’s a naturopathic doctor in Arizona. We have some really great stuff coming but I was telling him my opinions about food after being deeply immersed in diets and nutrition and wellness for 30 years now and ten of that it being my full-time profession. He was agreeing with me and said, “I feel like I’m at the prom and I’m looking for my tribe, who do I go hang out with? Do I go over there and hang out with the jocks?

Should I go over there and hang out with the cheerleaders? Do I belong with the nerds? Am I aligned with the band kids?” That’s why it feels like when people like he and I took a high level view at what the Paleo tribe is doing, what the Atkins tribe is doing, what the ketogenic diet folks are saying and all the other diets that you’ve done, you may have read about or wondered about and I want to clear the clutter. First of all, so many times people are highly protective of, almost like a religion, the diet that caused them to lose weight. The way that they evaluate a diet is that they say, “I lost weight on Weight Watchers.” The implication is, “I lost weight on Weight Watchers therefore it’s a good diet.” The problem with this of course is that you can lose weight on a diet that actually harms your health or your metabolism or your disease risk over time.

Currently, I’m especially alarmed even more than I have been for the ten year reign of the Paleo diet as the leading most popular fad diet because the new diet coming in is actually worse. There are good things about Paleo diet by the way, it is a fad. People get really tenacious about defending it. Watch and wait. I’ve been saying now for five years I’ve said for many live stages watch and wait because we’ve had a ten year obsession with proteins being the favored macronutrient. Wait for it. I predicted, I’m going out on a limb. The next highly favored macronutrient that the diet industry, which is a mega billion dollar industry will usher in is an obsession with fats and we are now seeing that. Not to say I told you so but I want to deconstruct here where diet fads come from.

To that earlier point about, “I lost weight on,” fill in the blank, “Therefore, it’s a good diet.” You hear people saying this kind of thing all the time. It’s an emotional attachment we have to something that we associate with losing 20 pounds. Now, losing 20 pounds is life-changing. All of a sudden you can maybe play a sport that you couldn’t play before or you feel like you are more attractive in the single dating pool or whatever, whatever you attach the losing 20 pounds. Of course we have an emotional attachment to that diet. There’s a bit of a classical logical fallacy here. I don’t know if you studied the logical fallacies in philosophy class in college or whatever but it’s similar too. In the previous episode I talked about how people with cancer will often say, “I had chemotherapy and I lived therefore chemotherapy saved my life.”

Maybe, maybe it’s possible that chemotherapy actually saved you but that’s actually classic if then reasoning failure, it’s a classical logical fallacy. The fact is let me tell you a little secret to bring it back to the diet wars and whatever diet is in vogue. It’s a fact that a diet will saturate in the marketplace in about five to seven years. Expect to see one diet supplanted with another diet. Here’s a secret, you will lose weight on virtually any diet. One reason why is that almost all the diets that we’ve ever seen are and maybe even all of them are calorie suppressed. You may not count calories with all of them. You may assign points to it in a point system. You may have whole classes of food eliminated but the other thing that’s the reason why you lose weight on any diet is that now, and this is where I hope and I think that at least the diet industry has up leveled a bit from the 70s, 80s, 90s where everything was related to calories is that now pretty much all diets ban processed food.

Any diet where you’re getting rid of processed food and any diet that’s calorie suppressed of course you are going to lose weight. In fact, any diet where you’re actually measuring and counting your food will in the short-term cause you to lose weight. Let’s talk about why a new diet fad takes the world by storm every five to seven years. It’s really about market saturation. Within five to seven years of the Trojan horse of let’s say the Paleo diet making its entrance on to the food manufacturing scene, you’ll have hundreds and hundreds of brands in retail, in network marketing, in all the different channels producing thousands of products that are all obsessed with minimizing carbohydrates.

Now, that makes no sense when you look at the history of mankind and the way the human body works because about 70% of our calories have always come from carbohydrates and when we starve the body of carbohydrates we may go into a ketogenic state but that’s a temporary thing in the history of indigenous man. It’s not something we should do to ourselves long-term and I was always suspicious of it and now it’s starting to show up, the people who played with that ketogenic state for long periods of time and then usually because yoyoing all these backfires end up back in the weight gain. I have a friend I’ve known for 20 years that I’ve watched her gain and lose 50 pounds doing Atkins or something like it many times. It’s emotionally attached her to this concept of the ketogenic state.

Being in a ketogenic state a lot over time puts you at high disease risk particularly metabolic issues particularly diabetes. Watch it happen. Step back. Go way up into the 5,000 foot view and take a look at the timeline of your life and take a look at all of the diet fads that have come in and they have come out. If you’re old enough you may actually see just like fashion that something that used to be in vogue, science sort of kicked it off the stage plus market saturation where we need a new Trojan horse, we need a new idea. We need a new diet. We need to put some food or some class of foods up on a pedestal and then sell lots of product around it. A lot of books, a lot of courses, and especially a lot of consumer packaged goods. Watch it happen.

The reason this is so frustrating to me and the reason I’m devoting an episode to it and probably Alan Christianson and I will talk about this when I interview him later is that I feel like the Western world is paying for this ridiculous marketing farce with our health. We are waiting for the latest fad diet to make us fit in our pre-wedding clothes again. We are hoping that this is the diet that finally tells us the truth about our health, about weight loss, about how to finally feel good again. Trace it back if you’re old enough to remember all the way back to Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, those guys. I’m going back to the earliest of my memory when I was like a teenager and young adult but those guys were all about the calories.

Then, Weight Watchers simplified the obsession with calories by assigning foods points. There was no evaluation of food based on its actual nutrition value. There’s no way of saying, actually even though avocados have a lot of points, you really should eat them or nuts and seeds. What it did is it created for the uneducated American, Canadian, European people who are following Weight Watchers, it created a mental state where we ate things only based on calories and points and so we are missing entire classes of foods. Somebody might have lost 10 or 20 pounds but they also might end up with multiple sclerosis or Parkinson disease from starvation of important classes of fats that keep our neurological system healthy. Does that make sense?

I’m talking to you not so that you’re supposed to trap every little detail I’m talking about. I’m talking to you about the ways that we think about food that are really industry-driven because I’m hoping that you’ll step way back, you’ll look at this and you’ll develop some critical thinking skills. Here, that’s what I’m here to help you do. I’ve spent 30 years studying this and I did this, I devoted so much study to it because it became clear to me that we are losing our health to these huge oligopolies, these huge industrial complexes of manufactured foods. Like I said, they use the latest diet. They need the latest diet as a Trojan horse to razzle-dazzle you, show you something that’s supposedly new and this, yes this, this new thing. This is the path to health.

This is the path to get my weight back to where it was. This new diet is my salvation. You might think, if it weren’t valid then they wouldn’t sell it. I heard doctor so and so on YouTube talking about it and all these studies that support the ketogenic diet or whatever, that’s actually more logical fallacy saying that if there weren’t some validity to this or that diet then they wouldn’t sell it. There’s actually really good things about fats. Fats are one of three macronutrients and we need all three. All three of them are super important. We’re going to talk about how we’ve thought of proteins, fats and carbs that doesn’t have any validity but the diet cults and the food manufacturing industry wants us to think of fats in a specific way, wants to think of carbohydrates in a specific way.

Wants to think of protein in a specific way that’s really leading us down the wrong path. Because there are good things about fats, the whole new ketogenic diet trend which is really stepping on to the marketplace in a big way, ketogenic trades on that and trades on what you can get the body to do short-term if it’s in a ketogenic state. Yeah, you can fat burn, however, you’re highly manipulating the bodies metabolic systems and it’s already been proven since ketogenic is really just a new spin, a new take on Atkins and some other previous diets that gotten ran off the stage by science. We’ve already proven that eating lots of bacon leads to long-term problems with our metabolism.

It’s now been documented that they are at higher risk for diabetes. Take a look at these diets and see if somebody releasing a book or somebody vaunting a class of foods or a specific food. See if that really is in keeping, see if it’s resonant with what you already know about food. See if it’s in keeping with what people did for 2,000 years before there were diets, before there were billion dollar industries. See, back then one in 200 people got cancer. Now, it’s one in two and a lot of those people in the one and two who are getting cancer are doing the diets. Let’s use the eat right for your blood type as an example, eat right for your blood type was published by Peter D’Adamo.

Their whole premise and they sold literally millions of dollars worth of books is that you have to eat a very specific way for your blood type. Now, I have A positive blood and so according to their theory I’m supposed to do cardiovascular exercise and I’m supposed to eat a vegetarian diet. Lots of people have completely debunked all of the science that the D’Adamo has used to promote this diet. Many of them have done it better than I have, I’ve certainly written about it. I believe Joel Fuhrman takes it apart just piece by piece in a really methodical way and has a couple of hundred references as he talks about what’s wrong with the eat right for your blood type as a legitimate diet.

Now, every time I bring this up if I’m in a live audience or I’m talking to someone it seems like there’s someone who wants to say, “No, no, no. Eat right for your blood type is great, I lost 20 pounds doing that and I felt a lot better.” Like I said, let’s go back to premise number one which is you’ll lose weight on virtually any diet that’s because you’re under scrutiny, you’re usually up against a deadline, you know that you’re going to be flying to Mexico in three weeks and you want to be in a swimsuit, you’re counting, you’re measuring, you are eliminating the processed foods. I mean, one thing good that I’ll say about the eat right for your blood type is that surprise, surprise, all of the blood types eliminate processed food.

Again, yes, everyone’s going to feel better eating right for their blood type because they are not eating processed food. The problem is and this is probably the quickest, most lasered in way that I can completely deconstruct the idea of eat right for your blood type is that every single culture all over the world they rely on saying, “If your people come from Asia then your people biologically adapted to eating a specific type of food therefore you should eat that type of food.” You can tell this by your blood type. First of all, a lot of us have ancestors who come from all over the place three, four, five, seven countries or continents, right?

Also, every culture of the world has every blood type. I think that kind of says it all right there is that Asians have every single one of the blood types. Western Europeans have every single one of the blood types plus since the D’Adamo’s work they are discovering that there are actually many more blood types than we originally thought. Let me use the HCG diet as another example. What you may not know is that before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned HCG, people we’re going on the HCG diet and they were getting treatments in clinics and they were eating 500 calories a day for fairly long periods of time because HCG would suppress their appetite. That entire thing had been scientifically busted 40 years before. HCG was not new it’s like bell-bottoms or low-rise jeans, right? They can’t come back in style unless they go out of style for a while.

The doctors who are employing HCG currently has been banned by the FDA but it’s been brought back under the table in different iterations, these practitioners who are using HCG are either ignorant of the science that’s 40 years old that HCG is harmful and that it is feeding cancerous growths in the body. They are either ignorant to all of this kind of science or even worse, they’re marketing charlatans, they are basically doing whatever is trending just to make a buck or two. Remember, it was proven 40 years before the FDA recently banned HCG that it harms your metabolism and it’s feeding rapid growth of cancer. Remember, we all have cancer. We make an average of about 50,000 cancer cells a day and so none of us can afford to be taking some kind of supplement that hyper fuels cancer growth. That is putting our health at risk needlessly.

If you lose ten pounds because you did HCG diet, was it worth it if you end up with breast cancer or ovarian cancer as a result? Was it worth it? Just sit with that for a minute. The main thing that I want you to get from all of this is really that bird’s-eye view, a new way of looking at the next diet book. I’m telling you because I’ve been there in the audience where all the wellness authors get together. We are in communities, we come together for conferences and I’ve been there at big conferences that we all pay a bunch of money to go to and network with each other and there are book agents and food manufacturing companies and big industries. There are attorneys, there are publishers. They are just waiting for the next food fad so that they can just on it and make a ton of money promoting it, defending it, publishing it.

You have to plug in here to this education about whole foods, what the foods were that everyone was eating before there was degenerative disease. This is really my mission is to help you get really on how to stir clear of the food cults and the diet fads. There’s always somebody on the stage. Someone will step up with charisma and spouting claims of, “science,” and they’ll put one specific food or a food class up on a pedestal as if this one food will save you. I mean, listen. You’re talking right now to the author of a book called the Green Smoothie’s diet. Do you know why I called my best selling book that, the green smoothies diet? Because the publisher made me do it.

Now, the green smoothies diet is a great book. It isn’t really a diet and the reason we sold 70,000 copies of it is that they let me write what I wanted to, inside the covers of the book. I was willing to do it but they didn’t get in the way of what I wanted to say and what my mission was and what I wanted to share which really isn’t a diet but why do you think they wanted me to call it the Green Smoothies’s diet. They actually said to me, if you don’t we’ll just find another author. The reason is you already know the answer is that diets sell even though diets don’t work. We know this, right? We always think that this is the time that we are going to wheel ourselves to not do the yoyoing thing but yoyoing, dieting, losing weight and gaining it will hurt you in the long-term.

Here at Green Smoothie Girl, here on this podcast where we evaluate food and exercise and metabolism of our thoughts and our emotions, we don’t value our choices based on calories. I created a video class I’m giving you for free. You can go to the show notes at We’re going to offer it a few times a year. It’s free but here’s the deal. The very act of counting will do a real number on you emotionally and mentally. Deprivation is negative and it tends to backfire on us because partly of the world of abundance that we live in. There’s cheap food every where and the cheapest food is the food that’s the worse for us in many cases. Nobody has the will power, not just you. Nobody has the will power to go on a massive calorie suppression diet and then stay there.

The key and this is super important and this is what the video master class I want to offer to you for free to watch is to eat more nutrient dense foods. I want to teach you what the nutrient dense foods are. On a couple of levels, this is the answer to our health challenges, is to eat more nutrient density. First of all, you’re filled up with foods that are high in fiber and they’re high in all the micronutrients. I’m talking about vitamins, minerals, enzymes, there’s hundreds of them. You are filling up on those high fiber, low calorie, high nutrition foods and so something that you wouldn’t have eaten that day when you eat nutrient dense foods, it gets bumped out. Okay, it’s gets bumped out of the line up of your breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Secondly, the reason it’s key to eat more nutrient dense foods is that you’re actually far less prone to cravings, for bad foods when your actual needs for a specific nutrients are satisfied. Let me say a few words before we end about proteins, fats and carbs. These issues resolve themselves if we focus on the quality of our food. The quality of our macronutrients not the quantity. Okay, that’s key. God never intended it to be rocket science for us to figure out what to eat. Food manufacturers want you to suffer, they want you to have brain damage over trying to figure out how many calories to eat and how many grams of protein you should eat. They want you to think that how many calories are on that package or how many grams of protein it has in it gives it a high value or a low value. Nothing could be further from the truth.

How I look at a food label isn’t how many calories it has or how many grams of proteins it has. I look at a food label for do I know what all of these ingredients are. Are they all foods that came out of the ground or out of a tree, were they all grown, are they organic, are there very, very few ingredients on this and let me say this, 90% of my food dollars go to food that doesn’t have a food label. Why is that? Why does 90% of my food dollars go to food that has no food label. It’s because it was grown in the ground or grown in a tree and so you can’t standardize it and you can’t slap a label on it that evaluates it based on calories or grams of proteins, fats and carbs.

The quality of the proteins, fats and carbs to me is far more important than how many grams we got and what the ratio is of our proteins, fats and carbs. If you haven’t jumped in already, we just announced we have a free video class on how to eat more whole foods. I covered the hard topics. I covered how to do it inexpensively. I cover how to eat whole foods with your family buying in. I cover how to do it so that you’re focusing on the high impact habits rather than the high effort habits. Eat more whole foods with me. Eat meat or eat grain if your body does well with them. Do either or both, place avoid hybridized sweet gluten but do eat, do eat no matter what your blood type, no matter what diet fad has captured your attention.

Do eat lost of greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds like lots of them. Salads, smoothies, juicing your veggies and greens, whatever but do it. I saved my health by getting 20 servings a day of greens and vegetables. How? By blending and juicing some of it. Otherwise it’s tough. Otherwise it’s a lot of chewing. Otherwise, that’s a lot of food prep. The rest of my diet is not perfect. For me though, the magic ingredient is eating 60 to 80% raw, mostly plants and getting 20 servings a day of greens and vegetables of all kinds. Jump into the class, I show you how to do it easily and inexpensively. The class is free right now, it’s in the show notes at Can’t wait to see you next time. Till then, go live your high vibration life!

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