Health Recovery Program
Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
Roughly 80% of overweight adults develop diabetes, probably 75% or more of these could be cured simply by following the Health Recovery Program. Follow the program for a full year before making any exceptions. Symptoms may clear rapidly or very slowly over a year or more. Those who have a flat glucose tolerance curve can expect to be more resistant to treatment. After the year is up, gradually switch to a regular maintenance diet, while faithfully continuing the exercise, regularity, and other good health measures.
Physical Signs of Premature Aging Indicating Need for the Program
- Slow healing
- Peptic ulcer
- Birth weight over 8 pounds
- Heart rate over 80
- More than 5 fillings by age 20
- More than 5 missing teeth by age 30
- Rapid growth in early childhood
- Low resistance to disease with frequent colds, sore throats, boils, and skin and nail problems
Laboratory Reports Out of Ideal Range Listed Below
- Glucose 70-85
- BUN above 15
- Thyroid 4-12
- Sodium above 140
- Cholesterol 100+ age
- WBC 3000 to 6000
- Triglycerides above 100
- Hemoglobin: Female 10.5-12.5
- Male 12.0-14.75
- Uric acid above 5
Uses of Diet
Use the Health Recovery Program Diet for physical symptoms and signs, or laboratory test results suggesting a kind of metabolic problem involving major nutrients.
- Hay fever
- Ringing in the ears
- Unsteadiness on feet
- Involuntary jumping or jerking
- Excessive cravings for food
- Intestinal gas
- Some kind of scalp symptoms (water dripping, band around the head, or ants crawling)
- Heart palpitations
- Inability to dial a telephone number without checking
- Easily impatient or irritated
- Shooting pains
- Bizarre thoughts
- Inability to organize work or concentrate
- A frequent sense of frustration
For menu suggestions, see the EAT FOR STRENGTH cookbook. For the first year, we recommend the oil-free diet.
A vegetarian diet is best. However, if meat and eggs are eaten, they should be overcooked to try to kill germs, and blotted to remove excess fat. Limit use in accordance with the recommendations of the American Heart Association to 2-5 times a week, except for objectionable meats such as pork, ham, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, hamburger, canned meat spreads, pressed meats, and canned composite meats such as Spam, which should all be permanently eliminated. (There are acceptable substitutes.)
There are cheeses, butters, and sauces made from nuts, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, onions, or other vegetables and seasonings that provide delightful creams, spreads, and dips for vegetables, pastas, and breads. Simple and inexpensive dishes can be made from appropriate recipes. See recommended cookbook.
High Protein Meat Substitutes
These products are best used as a temporary measure while making the change to the vegetarian diet. They are more healthful than meats, but not as good as the unconcentrated, unrefined foods from which these products were obtained. The meat substitutes are generally manufactured from soybeans and grains. It should be emphasized that all concentrated foods should be used sparingly, mainly as seasonings.
Use only whole grains. Two or three may be mixed in a single loaf of bread. Bread should be thoroughly cooked, and well masticated.
Use only whole grains. Commercial cream of wheat is not a whole grain. If you like cream of wheat, substitute bulgur wheat or farina, or use the recipe in EAT FOR STRENGTH for cream of wheat using the whole kernel wheat. You may also make cream of rice, cream of corn, or any whole grain. Some other easily prepared whole grain cereals are oatmeal, steel-cut oats, granola (without oil or honey), wheat cereals, buckwheat, barley, millet, brown rice, grits, or whole wheat macaroni. Soy spaghetti is also acceptable.
Vegetables may be used in liberal quantities. When used in the menu as a vegetable rather than as a main dish, the very starchy vegetables such as Irish potatoes, corn, spaghetti, macaroni, potatoes, or dried beans should be restricted to about 100 calorie portions. If corn, rice, spaghetti, macaroni, potatoes, or dried beans and peas are used as a main dish, a single serving should contain 250-300 calories. Very active persons, young men, and pregnant or lactating mothers may need seconds.
Milk products are not recommended. Milk sensitivity is the commonest form of food sensitivity in the United States. Many symptoms that have obscure or unknown causes have their origin in the use of milk. There is invariably a stomach problem in persons with the hypoglycemic syndrome. Leaving off milk will benefit some of these individuals more than they could believe.
Recommended are nut milks, soy milks made from soybeans or flour (not commercial soy milks which are heavily sweetened), cheeses made from nuts, flours, or vegetables; and sour and sweet creams made from special recipes. These milks may be used sparingly in cooking and in limited quantities with meals.
Green or black olives (not stuffed) and avocado (1/8 of a large avocado may be eaten).
Nuts and Seeds
Use all kinds sparingly, as well as their butters (peanut butter, almond butter, sesame butter, etc.). Wash the shelled raw nuts in cool water, and sterilize them in the oven at 225° until dry. Raw nuts, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds, and others feel gummy while drying. Stirring occasionally hastens drying. Use nuts raw or lightly roasted. Pumpkin seeds are said to be good for prostate problems.
Coffee and Tea Substitutes
All beverage herb teas are acceptable: lemon grass, gossip, lemon mint, etc. Postum, Pero, and other coffee substitutes are also acceptable, but some of these types of beverages have molasses or sugar beet residues in them. Check labels carefully. Remember that tea and coffee should be light drinks, not hearty and rich. The only ingredient beside the herb is water. All the rest is coloring, flavoring, or sweetening.
It is best to learn to eat foods in their natural, unsweetened state as much as possible. One should cultivate the habit of leaving off sweeteners. If the risks are taken in using these substitutes, they should be used in small amounts, not more than the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of sugar daily.
All fresh fruits may be used, and all fruits canned in water pack or natural juices. Bear in mind that fruit juices should be classed as refined foods, having had the fiber removed.
FOODS TO AVOID
White, brown, or raw sugar; fructose, honey (for diabetics and hypoglycemics no type of honey can be used), syrups, jams, jellies, preserves, jell-O, etc.
Pies, cakes, any sweetened desserts, or jell-O (which is only sweetened, colored, and flavored water with a small amount of gelatin - a highly refined protein). Learn to make your own pies and cakes healthfully from a good cookbook using no concentrated foods.
Cheese is not the best food. The putrefactive process results in the production of amines, ammonia, irritating fatty acids (butyric, caproic, caprylic, etc.) and lactic acid. These are all waste products which cause irritation to the nerves and gastrointestinal tract. Tyramine, one of the toxic amines produced in cheese may cause migraine headaches. Certain of the amines can interact with the nitrates present in the stomach to form nitrosamine, a cancer-producing agent. Intolerance to lactose, the chief carbohydrate of cheese and milk, is probably the most common food sensitivity in America. Rennet is used in the curdling of milk for cheese manufacture. Most rennet is obtained from the whole stomach lining of calves, kids, or pigs, and a very small percentage from vegetable sources.
White bread, buns, Melba toast, crackers and saltines, cakes, cookies, white macaroni, spaghetti, white rice, bolted corn meal, cream of wheat, and other refined grain products. Make your own whole grain Melba toast and Melba waffles. Crackers, cakes, and cookies are unhealthful with baking soda or powder, eggs, milk, shortening, flavorings, colorings, and sugar. They can, however, be made healthfully. The whole grain pastas require a little more cooking but with a bit of experience the cook handles these just as well as the white varieties.
Granola made with sugar, honey, or oil; all boxed cereals.
Sweet Fruits and Vegetables:
All dried fruits (raisins, dates, figs, etc.) are concentrated foods. It is easy to overeat on them, overloading the body with too much food. Having overworked the digestive system most people will experience an "all gone" feeling before the next meal. This sensation, which many do not understand, results from a sort of fatigue of the digestive apparatus. Bananas, mangos, watermelon (difficult for some to digest), and sweet potatoes should be avoided. Grapes, if taken generously, may cause shakiness or weakness before the next meal.
Coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate (even Sanka and Decaff). Both caffeine and nicotine have been recognized as a cause of hypoglycemia. Tea and cocoa products cause constipation. All members of this group cause problems.
All kinds, including Kool-Aid, bottled drinks, etc. Fruit juices may on occasion be used as part of the fluid in some recipes, but generally water is better. Fruit juices should not be taken regularly at meals in large quantities as they interfere with digestion, dump quickly into the bloodstream, and displace other, more important foods.
Spices have a number of evil influences on the body and nervous system. In India, there is more cancer of the stomach, due to the heavy use of spices. Many spices are capable of causing distortion of mental functions and poor concentration. Vinegar, even the labeled apple cider vinegar, is irritating, both to the nervous system and to body tissues. Pickles may be prepared from a good recipe, being essentially canned cucumbers with lemon juice and salt. All products made with vinegar, relish, mustard, catsup, hot pepper sauce, commercial mayonnaise, and other products must be avoided.
Medicines Containing Caffeine:
There are many medicines that contain caffeine, including Anacin, A.P.C., B.C., Caffergot, Cope, Coricidin, Dolor, Empirin Compound, Excedrin, Fiorinal, 4-Way Cold Tablets, Stanback, Trigesic, Vanquish, and others.
Some General Principles:
Eat a substantial breakfast and lunch; supper, if eaten, should be only whole grains or fruit. We have found the two meal plan allows the body the greatest opportunity to recover from the heavy work of digestion. There should be at least 5 hours between meals. Do not vary mealtime by so much as a few minutes. Take no fluids with meals. Chew well. Blood sugar levels in rapid eaters fluctuate more widely than in those who eat slowly, chewing their food well. Expect that hypoglycemics may be nervous, irritable, and tend to get neurotic or self-centered, to brood over supposed ills, and to dwell on physical or emotional symptoms. Handle them with gentleness.
Many advise a "high protein" feeding between meals, with a bedtime snack, and even eating during the night. This practice is unphysiologic and prolongs the problem. The pancreas has been overstimulated and requires rest for recovery. It should be stimulated only at certain specified intervals, so that it can regain its rhythmical pattern. Therefore, mealtimes should be very regular, with as little variation as possible, and nothing eaten between meals.
Do not destroy the confidence of the patient in his doctor. He may be doing the very best he knows. Metabolic and nutrition problems are still poorly understood by most physicians. The patient may need his physician in other ways, and should not be needless cut off from him.
Caffeine and nicotine are potent stimulators of insulin production, and must be strictly avoided. Alcohol is highly injurious, a concentrated carbohydrate, a pancreatic stimulant, and a cellular poison. Even small amounts accelerate aging. To get "out of control" as a hypoglycemic does not mean that for a few hours he feels bad, and then all is well. The hypoglycemic may require some weeks to regain a sense of well-being after a short period of indiscretion. Some persons are highly sensitive to any transgression of health laws. And even if no ill effect is felt, the deterioration of the vital structures is proceeding more rapidly.
We advise that legumes (beans, peas, peanuts, etc.) and the whole grains such as rice, be used as a main dish as often as possible, rather than animal products. These simple and inexpensive foods are excellent sources of protein, and have the advantage that they do not raise the blood cholesterol or endanger the health from animal disease. They also tend to have about one-third less calories than even the lean meats.
Drink enough water between meals to keep the urine almost colorless. For most people, this will average 6-8 glasses a day. Drink water no closer than about 15 minutes before meals, and wait about 30 minutes or more after meals. Generally the less fluid taken with meals the better. Much weakness and fatigue are due to compensatory water shifts, and the person is actually "wilted" even if no thirst is experienced.
Exercise is your best friend. Twenty minutes per day is minimal. One hour daily is better, but on certain days 3-5 hours may be needed. Do not get sunburned and do not make your muscles sore with too much exercise. Both of these are unhealthful. Gradually build to a good exercise level without ever developing sore muscles. Exercise helps keep your appetite under control, neutralizes stress, lowers blood cholesterol, promotes digestion, and normalizes blood sugar. Make it your companion. Breathe deeply while exercising and meditate on nature as you work out.
Do you have the hypoglycemic syndrome?
Review the typical symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings.
Typical lifestyle and pattern of surgical procedures. The typical person has an active social life, was "in everything" at school, and made good grades. Life has been rewarding until the present progression of symptoms, causing life to be unbearable.
The 5-hour glucose tolerance test usually shows typical abnormalities, but occasionally may not show them. No sugar should be spilled in the urine by normal kidneys in people who do not have diabetes. If the blood sugar is either very high or very low in a glucose tolerance test, suspect the hypoglycemic syndrome. The ideal range for all values except the 30-minute and one-hour reading is between 70 and 85. Any reading above or below this ideal may mean trouble ahead. This disease does not come on without warning. There are signals all along the way, from too rapid growth in infancy and childhood on through the dental caries and teenage depressions or rebellions, until finally the blood chemistries show up with higher than the ideal blood sugar and higher than ideal blood lipids (cholesterol 100 plus the age, and triglycerides 100 or below).
This syndrome is misnamed "hypoglycemia" which indicates a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism. There is not a single nutrient uninvolved in this syndrome, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and water. Some feel protein toxicity or fat overload are as important as carbohydrate sensitivity.
Books recommended: Home Remedies, Nutrition for Vegetarians, Food Allergies Made Simple, Eat for Strength (both regular and oil-free editions).
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30 Uchee Pines Road #75
Seale, Alabama 36875