Healthy Step 7


Sizing up the diet and checking your guidance system

To get this far, you must have replaced the monkeys in your wheelhouse with an adult committed to managing your future. You may have celebrated your successes with a month or two of Casey’s roses after deciding that you want to live longer and better. Your plans to remake yourself might include some active trips, upgrading your significant other, or perhaps finding a better job with more personal satisfaction.

While you are giving yourself a health makeover, you might consider addressing some other diseases and conditions along with the excess weight: psoriasis, allergies, fibromyalgia, migraines, ADHD, and asthma.

Lest you think I selling snake oil here there is a theory out there now that our American diet not only makes us fat but also makes us sick. The main suspects are dairy products, meat, and processed foods. This is what you see advertised when you watch TV. This type of diet grows the wrong kind of bacteria in our bowels and causes inflammation in our bodies by introducing small protein products into our blood that act as antigens, i.e. they cause the body to make antibodies to detoxify the antigens and so this little war goes on inside us, making us sick in many different ways only a few of which are listed above.

Five steps to kill hidden bugs in your gut that make you sick

Dr. Hyman has multiple books discussing how he treats people with longstanding medical issues by altering the bacteria in their intestines.

“Scientists compared gut flora or bacteria from children in Florence, Italy who ate a diet high in meat, fat, and sugar to children from a West African village in Burkina Faso who ate beans, whole grains, vegetables, and nuts. The bugs in the guts of the African children were healthier, more diverse, better at regulating inflammation and infection, and better at extracting energy from fiber. The bugs in the guts of the Italian children produced by-products that create inflammation; promote allergy, asthma, and autoimmunity; and lead to obesity.”

Thus the diet we will talk about in this healthy step is  therapeutic at multiple levels. It is low in calories, so you can eat it as much as you want but in small amounts (allowing your stomach to shrink). It has lots of vegetable fiber in it, which will change the bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. You have the freedom to flavor the foods to your tastes with refrigerated salsa or other low fat flavorings.

What I am suggesting to you is a complete separation from all the tasty foods you have learned to love, and perhaps feel dependent upon. Before switching to this diet permanently, I suggest you try a more strict version for three days to see if you are truly now in charge of your wheelhouse and capable of withdrawing from foods that cause cancer and arteriosclerosis. If you can eat this way for three days, you likely will succeed with Phase Two of the lifetime Thindex diet.

For three days of Thindex eating (Phase One of the Thindex eating plan), here is what you do. Purchase a bag of brown rice, some refrigerated orange juice with lots of fiber, and some soy or almond milk. (truroots makes an organic brown rice and quinoa mix as an option)Pour enough rice into a saucepan so it measures three inches deep. Add enough water to cover the rice by another three inches, and a pinch of salt. Bring the rice to a boil, then simmer slowly for 20 minutes, stirring it occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom. You may need to add water as the rice cooks. When the rice is soft, you can eat it as is, or like cereal with soy or almond milk. Put the cooled rice in microwavable containers to take to work. Eat only this rice for three days, making more as needed and keeping the rice refrigerated. While you are eating this way, think of all the people in the world that have no food at all. Think about all of the people throughout history who have starved to death. Think about all of the people who have been wrongfully imprisoned and starved to death. Well, you have plenty of food compared to them! If you pass this three-day rice test, you can do the Thindex diet forever. If you feel sorry for yourself later in life, put yourself back on the three-day rice diet and show your body who is in control.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have been on the full thindex diet for 11 years. Do I love it? No. Do I cheat? Yes. So arrest me. Does this diet make me feel better? Absolutely.

Variety? There isn’t  much. Variety leads to failure because you seek out the fatty, salty, and sweet options. That is our human nature.

The thindex diet is a total separation from the tempting, unhealthy foods that the corporate “suits” hawk on TV and radio. Your new diet goes back to what we may have eaten hundreds of thousands of years ago, like the African children in the example above. I’ve tried to make it simple to cook such that even a man can do it!

The foundation of the Thindex diet is a large pot of meatless soup that can sustain one person for about 10 days. I have used larger amounts for more than two weeks, but I don’t recommend it. You can eat salads, smoothies and nut snacks, fruits and fish. This isn’t like a fad cabbage soup diet; Thindex soup has a huge variety of ingredients that your body yearns for and is meant to be food for life. It easy to take to work and reheat for your lunch.

You will fail the diet if you eat out in restaurants or fast food places. If you have to eat out, you can select a place that has a salad bar and use that only. No soup there because their soup is over-salted.

So, we are assuming that you have done the 3-day rice diet and have succeeded. Your body may be sending you some different messages being off TAF (typical American food). Bowel habits can change, energy levels may vary, and your cravings may be driving you insane. Weight loss and blood pressure changes usually wouldn’t change in 3 days. So lets move to phase 2 of the diet. (there is no phase 3)

Here is a list of ingredients for what I call Renee’s soup.

Thindex Very Veggie Soup

Ingredients:ie:what to buy

1 white onion

1 shallot

3 cloves minced garlic

4 carrots, chopped (watch your fingers)

3 stocks celery, chopped

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning

½ bunch Italian parsley, chopped

1 bunch basil chopped

1 28oz can crushed tomato

1 15oz can diced tomato

32oz vegetable  stock (chicken broth)

Optional Vegetables:

1 bag frozen peas

2 peppers, chopped

2lb beets, cooked and diced

2 heads broccoli, chopped

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1 bunch spinach/kale/chard, cleaned and trimmed

2 cups white corn cut off the cob (about 3 ears)

1 lb green beans cut into bite size pieces

2 packages mushrooms (any variety) chopped

1 large or 2 medium zucchini, chopped

1 bunch asparagus (trimmed and cut into bite size pieces)

1 leek, cleaned and chopped

1 eggplant (any verity) chopped

1lb potatoes, cleaned and chopped

4 parsnips, chopped


In a large stockpot sauté onion, garlic, carrots, and celery over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add 1 cup of vegetable stock and scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.  Next add desired vegetables, Italian seasoning, parsley, basil, crushed and diced tomato.   Stir to combine.  Add remaining vegetable stock and lemon juice, reduce heat to low.  Let soup simmer on low until all vegetables are tender and flavors have melded about an hour and a half.  Allow soup to cool and store in refrigerator.  For extra protein add cubed extra firm tofu.


Southwest variation – omit celery, Italian seasoning, parsley, and basil.  Add fresh cilantro, black beans, limejuice, chopped green onion, diced green chilies, red pepper flakes, and Tabasco.

Italian: add white beans, Israeli cuscus, oregano, and thyme.

Cool Summer Gazpacho; omit cans of crushed and diced tomato and potatoes.  Combine all ingredients into a large bowl add No Sodium added V8 juice, chopped English cucumber, green onion, a jar of clam juice, and Tabasco.  Cool in refrigerator and enjoy.

Buying the food at the store:

Let’s go to the supermarket and buy food for your Thindex diet. While we’re here, we will sneak a look at what other people are buying to see if they are a good advertisement for the type of food in their shopping carts. Of course, we might be looking at someone who is overweight and is buying Thindex diet food for the first time (like you!), so we’ll be kind.

You probably know how much money it costs you to eat currently. Be sure to include pop, adult beverages, and restaurants in addition to groceries. On the Thindex diet you may save money on food; maybe that extra money could pay for fun activities your future. There is no better incentive than your health and the health of your loved ones, but money does look fine as it accumulates.

We enter the supermarket (and pick out a cart that likely has one of those annoying wiggly wheels). There are sections of the grocery store that I don’t venture into, but I have heard tales of a whole aisle that has nothing but chips on both sides. Chips are not good for me…all those trans fats and salt? No way! Have you ever seen a medical study proving that people who eat chips are healthier than the rest of us? Again I say, no way!

Where I live, people can buy wine and beer in grocery stores; in California you can buy hard liquor in grocery stores as well. Is alcohol beneficial? People with cardiovascular disease may live a bit longer drinking small amounts of alcohol. Humans have a long and troubled history with alcohol, and the toll it takes on society is significant. It causes increased incidences of cancer in every tissue it touches: the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, bowel, liver, colon and anus. If you smoke and drink, the stakes are higher still. One to two drinks a day contains more than 300 calories, which will put a pound of flab on your body every 12 days. Alcohol is also an appetite stimulant, and I don’t know many people who aren’t hungry enough.

Next to the wine you will probably find bottled water and pop. If pop has sugar in it, count on it having 200 calories per serving, and that’s nothing but empty calories. If it’s a diet drink sweetened with aspartame consider the information we now have about its dangers (the FDA’s solution is to not take any more complaints because there were too many. (1992) This comes under the heading of “urban legends”.  Physicians R. L. Blaylock and H. J. Roberts believe aspartame causes multiple diseases in those who use it (Google their names and “aspartame” to get their side of the argument). Wikipedia seems to believe there is not much truth to the allegations against aspartame

wiki aspartame 

My opinion? I don’t use the stuff. I’m persuaded that there were so many FDA complaints until they stopped taking them. It’s not scientific but I don’t think people lie about their complaints originating from Aspartame. Also you will see that multiple countries are thinking about banning it. Aspartame was supposed to help us lose weight  by cutting out the sugar. Studies show that people get hungrier and eat more after sugarless beverages containing aspartame. Here is a link to a long list of articles that document some of the symptoms associated with aspartame. List of aspartame complaints

So the water, pop, and sports drink aisle does not see my footprints. Never have we ever been so bamboozled as purchasing bottled water. When I pick up roadside or riverside trash, empty plastic water bottles are everywhere. I really worry about the intelligence of our population.

I next avoid the meat area. Steak sure does look good but red meat is correlated with higher cancer and heart attack risks and I don’t like either of those, so no red meat for me.

When I see wild salmon at the store I throw my net around it and haul it into my cart! It has Omega – 3 fatty acids, an essential fat that our bodies cannot make. These are also anti-inflammatory, which means less plaque formation on our arteries and a lower risk for heart attacks and strokes. I monitor data that tracks mercury levels in fish eaters, and it appears that if a person eats too much white  fish, they can accumulate an elevated mercury level.  Mercury levels in white fish Salmon are not exempt but still considered safe. Mercury levels in salmon

As I go by the dairy area, I notice some almond milk and soymilk, which I buy. T. Colon Campbell, in his book, The China Study (which you should have read earlier) says casein (from milk and milk products) is a protein that can cause cancer cells to grow so I don’t want that in my body. There are also multiple carcinogens that animals eat and come to us through their milk and muscle. These are fat – soluble so the fat comes in with the carcinogen riding along. We bring the fat right through our bowels and into our blood. So the carcinogen gets stored with the fat in our fat depots. This is a theoretic reason to not lose over 2 pounds per week in a diet – otherwise too many carcinogens may be released as the fat is burned.

So, as you can see, it is easy for me to buy groceries because I miss most of the store. I like the rice aisle, and the canned beans and tomato section where I make my purchases. I then head over to the fruit and vegetable section where I load up on dark lettuce, spinach, onions, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, celery, potatoes, tomatoes and whatever my ingredients might be for the soup I have chosen. Good fruits would include grapes, oranges, apples, bananas and berries in season. Juice? I buy refrigerated or frozen fruit juices. Frozen vegetables like variety packs and frozen berries are also on my list.

I also buy dehydrated pitted plums in sealed bags or from the bulk foods area.

Checking out

As I wait in line I notice that I do not have any foods that have been altered in some way except my almond milk. I look at what other people are buying: steaks, hamburger, ice cream, bakery products, chips, beer, wine, eggs, pasta, vegetable oils, milk, yogurt, pizza, and of course, diet pop. I call this “a thindex observation”.

Part of me wants to go home with them because their food tastes better than mine does. But I look at them and they are an advertisement for what they have selected, as am I. I am happy with my choices and I like being a skinny guy. They look at my choices and say “YUK-all those vegitables”. They have to go to their doctor for their hypertension, insulin intolerance, diabetes, elevated lipids and I don’t. So I look at their tasty foods and say “YUK-all that red meat, dairy, and processed food”. At my store about 30 percent of the floor space is occupied by healthy foods.

Check your wheelhouse at this time because it is common to think that you can do a part of this diet and mix it with what you currently eat, i.e. blended diets. For example, eat thindex soup and also the American diet you grew up on. Unfortunately, balancing good and bad foods doesn’t work. The harmful foods have to be withdrawn and replaced by totally healthy foods.

My recommendation is an all or nothing. When you get to a BMI in the low 20’s and your thindex is excellent for your age then you can add a few treats here and there. You will know when you are close  to “there” when people start staring at you and telling you that you are getting “painfully thin”. Whatever you do, please to not gorge and overstretch your stomach. This diet is designed to allow you stomach to shrink. A big stomach is a hungry stomach and we want that stomach of yours to get small.

Back to the soup

While the soup is cooking, I prepare another smaller pot of brown rice or rice and quinua and cook it till soft, usually 15 to 20 minutes. I put that in the refrigerator. I use the brown rice for adding to the soup or I eat it for breakfast, adding berries, nuts, or a banana, perhaps. If you cook the rice and the soup together, the rice loses its structure and the soup becomes a big rice glob after it cools. I mix the rice with the soup when I heat a bowl of it. If you want to lose weight faster, then forget the rice and just do the soup with some smoothies and salads and occasional fruit. The rice causes your blood  sugar to have more peaks and valleys  so more hunger can be involved. It will slow the weight loss but may be needed if you do heavy work.

Don’t put any meat or fish in this soup pot because it will increase the chance of spoiling. When the soup cools it can go into the refrigerator where it stays until you ladle out some into a bowl and nuke it till warm. At this time you can add other flavorings to the bowl as needed. If you over flavor the bowl, you haven’t ruined the whole batch. This soup at this stage is close to sterile with the boiling process. Being refrigerated will make it difficult for bacteria to multiply, but when you take it out, you must put it right back in the refrigerator. If it warms to room temperature, bacteria will begin to multiply and the soup can spoil. Having adhered to these rules for 11 years, I have never seen any mold in the soup, but I throw it out if I haven’t finished it by 10 days.

Does thindex soup look good? Not especially. Does it taste good? If you are hungry, it does. Is it good for you? Yes. The boiling knocks out some of the phytochemicals of the veggies but they are still hanging around in the fluid of the soup.(verbal discussion with Oregon State Food Science Dept) The soup travels well in microwaveable covered containers. Can you serve it to company? Yes, although you won’t see them again.

An inquisitive visitor like you might wonder if the soup is a ready substitute for foods that are proven to be associated with disease – like meat and dairy products, fast food, dead bread, booze, chips and soda pop. I believe that the soup and the other foods below offer the best road to health by avoiding the commercial foods that make us so unhealthy.

The Salad:

If you get bored with the soup, salads are your friends. Use dark leaf lettuce with a variety of vegetables. I make enough for 2 people, and then eat it all myself. Salad dressing is the key to flavor here – there are some fat-free dressings that you might like. Salad foods like avocados add some pleasant flavors, and also a lot fat and calories, so use small amounts.

You can mix salads and other foods if you are adventurous. Heat half a cup of baked black beans or vegetarian chili and half a cup of brown rice, then add them to a bowl of salad. It’s like a taco salad without the meat, both hot and cold. Try it!


Fruit smoothies require a blender. You can let your imagination run wild here. This is the way I make it, but feel free to experiment.

I fill the blender up to 25 percent with orange juice, then add frozen berries, a partially peeled orange, a quartered apple, a banana, half a lemon with its peel and some nuts. I may put in raisins or grapes or both, then blend until it’s smooth. The rind of the lemon takes a while to get chopped up in the blender.

This smoothie is quite sweet, and you can enjoy it several ways. You can sip a couple of ounces of it before dinner to curb your appetite. You can drink a glass of it instead of breakfast, but sweet foods can make you very hungry in two hours and this is no exception. I suggest drinking 2 oz servings at a time. Today, the smoothie looks and tastes good. Tomorrow, it tastes good but looks ugly. It has no preservatives so it can change color and firm up like Jell-o in just one day. I will drink the same smoothie for three days, then discard the rest. I’ve never seen mold in it, but by the third day I’ve had enough of it.

Timing is everything:

You may have heard that the food you eat before you go to sleep at night turns to fat. There is some evidence of this being true: food eaten at breakfast and lunch tend to get burned up throughout the day. The body prefers to use the energy recently digested instead of the glycogen stored in muscle. So a chocolate truffle eaten at 10 a.m. might  not wound you as badly as a truffle at 10 p.m.  There is a study which shows that if you stop eating at 3 p.m. you will lose more weight than if you eat the same daily calories, but eat right up until bedtime. You can lose even more weight still if you stop eating at noon.  There was a study done scientifically proving this concept but with small numbers; I recall that those eating till noon lost 15 pounds a month and those eating till 3p.m. lost 9 pounds.In surfing around the internet, I could find no reliable study to back up this concept, but I put it in because it makes some sense. If it does work for you, the problem is always-what happens when you go back to a normal eating pattern? The whole idea of the healthy steps is to lose the weight for the last time.

The Thindex soup recipe has very few calories in it, but lots of nutrition. If you eat just this soup after 3 p.m., you might do well on this diet. I like to eat the soup like I would any meal and I don’t stop eating at 3 p.m.

Summary of the diet

The thinking behind the soup/smoothie/salad program is really simple. You are feeding your body what it is needs. It wants plants and fruits, and maybe a little wild fish. That is how we ate millions of years ago, and is why our teeth look like they do and why our intestines are 33 feet long. Our jaws go up and down and from side to side because that works best for grinding our food; we are meant to eat fruits and vegetables and fish. I checked Casey’s jaw and it is like a hinge – no side to side movement. Casey is a carnivore and has a hinged jaw joint, sharp teeth and a seven foot long intestine…those sharp teeth sometimes worry me when I threaten to take him to the animal shelter.

If you don’t like fish, you can add fish oil supplements, or walnuts, macadamia nuts or ground flax seeds (whole flax seeds are indigestible). The Omega-3 fats in these foods are essential for health and our bodies can not make them.

The other deficiency of the Thindex diet is Vitamin B12. If you pull veggies out of the ground and eat them with dirt on the roots (not recommended) then you will begin to grow bacteria in your colon that will make Vitamin B12 for you.  For those of us who don’t eat dirt, there are Vitamin B supplements that are a little more civilized.

Our friends – the fish

A warning here about fish: they are very good for us but are becoming more contaminated each year. It’s a good news – bad news situation. I do not recommend eating bottom fish like sturgeon because they spend their lives eating on river and lake bottoms where industrial contaminants accumulate.  Mercury poisoning has been found in steady fish eaters in the San Francisco area from people eating locally caught white fish.  Dr. Hightower finds mercury in her patients. 

Mercury has contaminated tuna fish and sword fish and comes through to us even in canned tuna; a warning has been issued saying that children should not eat more than one can of tuna per week. Pregnant women also need to be careful of taking in too much mercury with can have an adverse effect on the brain development of the fetus.

Sword fish and tuna

One womans experiment eating tuna 

What fish do I eat? I live in the Northwest and we get a steady supply of wild salmon from Alaska and Canada. Cooking it is the easiest thing in the world to do: wrap it in aluminum foil, add some flavorings and lemon slices, then barbeque it. It cooks fast, so take a peek at it to be sure to not overcook it. The foil can be washed and reused.

Farmed fish are better than “no fish” but not as good as wild fish.

The bottom line on fish is that in the ideal world, they would be very good for us. In todays contaminated world they represent  an unwanted source of carcinogens and mercury. These dangers are only going to get worse so you need to be smart about what fish you consume.

What’s so great about this diet?

In order to reverse the effects of poor diet and low activity, you must send the opposite message to your body. That means more activity, less sitting, and a low-fat, highly nutritious diet. The fat content is below 10 percent on the Thindex diet, and that will stimulate your body to eliminate some of the cholesterol plaques that may have started forming in your arteries as early as age 4.

The Thindex diet is basically the diet recommended by Pritikin, Ornish, McDougall, and others, who have seen it change the lives of their patients. It changed my life, with weight loss, a perfect sleep pattern, not one headache in 11 years, better exercise tolerance and virtually no pain. I have merely modified their diet recommendations so that even a man can do it.

Is the Thindex diet suitable for children? The Thindex diet can supplement a more traditional diet for kids, but they need more fat in their diets to build their nervous systems as they grow. Vegetable fat should do that, but only feed a child a diet that is recommended by your pediatrician. As they approach adolescence, they can adopt this diet and hopefully avoid acne. Once acne shows up, this low fat diet will not make it go away.

Food and acne

Acne drugs

Dangers of acne drugs

Obviously these two links only scratch the surface of a very tough decision if you are a teen-ager with severe acne.

Typical Day:

I’ve eaten soup four times a day just to show my stomach who is boss, but I prefer heated brown rice with almond milk and blueberries for breakfast. Don’t cook plant products by microwave as it kills the phytochemicals, but using the microwave for warming them is OK.

Sometimes I eat a few pitted prunes between meals; they are high in antioxidants like blueberries and have only 28 calories each. Israeli fighter pilots eat blueberries to improve night vision (as did RAF pilots in World II).RAF pilots use blue berries to see better

Lunch time is soup time or salad time, or both. You can have a small smoothie as an appetizer to control your appetite. I eat a few prunes and some nuts as an afternoon snack, and then I have soup with rice for dinner. If I am going to do physical work, I may put more rice in the soup.

My beverages of choice are tap water, grape, cranberry, or orange juices. I favor refrigerated or frozen juices because those sitting at room temperature in the store may have hidden preservatives.

Bottled water? Soda pop? Diet pop? Never, ever. If you need help getting away from harmful food habits, pick up some roadside, oceanside or riverside trash. The mounds of trash associated with unhealthy beverages are bad enough on land, and it is ruining our oceans as well.  Talking trash

You may remember that Casey was all over this in his blog down at Caseys corner.

A cup or two of coffee is fine. Millions of dollars have been spent studying coffee and its health consequences but in small quantities nothing harmful shows up so far.  Caffeine is a hard habit to break and I experienced adverse effects, so I drink decaffeinated coffee. Tea is more healthy than coffee and there are many kinds – why not give it a try?

What about alcohol? A few ounces of alcohol contain 200 – 300 mostly empty calories; it ruins diets. Alcohol is touted as a “health tonic” by some, but many people suffer adverse consequences that may include alcoholism, DUIs, cirrhosis, cancer, injuries, divorce, lost motivation. The list of bad outcomes is long, and I believe it is a very dangerous recreational drug and I cannot recommend it when you are working to improve your life. My personal experience is that it ends my productivity for the day. Have you ingested alcohol and then accomplished anything productive? Maybe it’s just me.

This diet is only successful if you stop eating fast food and processed foods, dairy and meat. After three weeks you will have gotten used to the Thindex diet and will be enjoying benefits like less pain and headaches, and more energy; depending on your starting weight it may take a bit longer. If you tolerated the three days of brown rice and are walking more each day, then the Thindex diet can work for you. If you are too heavy or handicapped to tolerate even a walking program, then you may be a bariatric surgery candidate. Check out the interview with Debbie and her surgeon, Dr. Cagle, at the Lodge, under “bariatric surgery”.

Another way:

Another way to put this diet and exercise plan together is to use it for a shorter period of time. I did this recently, and from time to time (I am quite thin and I worry about getting too thin). Here’s how a shorter plan worked for me and might be appropriate for others.

Beginning weight 147: I prepared a large pot of soup on Day One. I plan to exercise (walk) for 30 minutes before I eat each serving of soup, and will eat only soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner (I enjoy soup for breakfast!). Since there are so few calories in the soup, I don’t get the “hungry horrors” caused by a big drop in my blood sugar.

I take the second walk before lunch and slurp another bowl of soup with some water and orange juice. In the evening I walk with my wife and finish off the third bowl. (You caught me: I had a small glass of red wine!).

Day Two: I weigh 146 pounds when I get up. My food and exercise routine is same for the following days.

Day Three: I weigh 146 pounds.

Day Four: I weigh 145 pounds.

Day Five: I weigh 145 pounds, and I finish the pot of soup I made on Day One.

Day Six: I weigh 144 pounds and I make more soup.

Day Seven: I weigh 144 pounds.

Day Seven: This is the last day, and I weigh 143 pounds.

Losing half a pound a day is probably too fast a loss. I mentioned in a previous Healthy Step that there is theoretical reason to not lose weight too quickly (carcinogens stored in our own fat get freed up when the fat is broken down for energy use).

Did I suffer from hunger on the Thindex diet? No. If I had, I would have taken a walk and eaten more soup. Sometimes, I ate salad with the soup.

I am retired and have plenty of free time to do what I want. When I used to work harder, the Thindex diet would still have worked. I would have awakened earlier and gone to bed earlier, which would have allowed time for my morning walk. I would have taken the soup to work with me, storing it in the refrigerator and heating it after a 20 minute walk. The same routine applies in the evening, with a walk before my meal.

Why do I walk before eating? I get my daily exercise, and I think it makes the soup taste better. There are studies showing that people who exercise before eating burn fat better. Benefits of exercising before eating

One criticism of this diet is that it doesn’t contain enough protein. This is debatable. You know already that I am not a big fan of protein, especially animal protein. If you want to build up your muscles (like bench pressing your body weight) then you might need more protein. Plant-based protein made from soy (tofu) can be dropped right into the soup as it cooks.

Another criticism is the lack of variety in this program, but I believe that’s what makes it successful. Nutritional variety is built right into the soup; there are at least 15 vegetables in the soup, so it keeps your body happy. That is not what you meant by variety, was it? If you compare the soup next to a 12 ounce steak, barbequed medium rare, I will prefer the steak, of course! That is why I do not keep tempting foods in my house; I know their dangers so I don’t buy them. The battle between myself and temptation is won at the grocery store. As long as all I have in my kitchen is food that my body needs, not what my taste buds want, then I don’t have to contend with the issue of variety.

Healthy Step #8 is next; you are nearing the finish line!

Can I get back on the team if I look pitiful enough?


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Lodge Overview

Welcome to Thindex – your guide to better health and life.

This website is a little off–the–wall (like all of us, maybe). I'm not trying to sell you anything, and I'm not trying to collect information about you.

The purpose of this website is simply to help you improve your health and, ultimately, the quality of your life and eventual destiny.

That's it. No hidden agenda.

This website is my push to get you to change So, come on into the lodge and feel free to browse around for a bit. I hope that you find the information helpful.

Joseph R. McFarland MD

What you can find in the Lodge:
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Where do I start?

Thindex is an easy going website, focusing on your health improvement. Getting healthier isn't complicated or expensive. If you do it without outside help you will have a much better chance for permanent lifetime success.

  1. step one: Click on "Calculate my thindex". Enter the data requested. You will need an accurate time that it takes for you to walk or run a mile to get the complete data for your thindex. The dot between the green and red lines is where you fit in to your age group. Hanging close to the green line is where you want to be. Below zero is not good unless you are very old. Most Americans will be below zero.
  2. Step two: Use the information from Step one to make a decision about improving your health and destiny from this moment on.
  3. Step three: Cruise around the website and check a few of my blogs, the videos, the guest lecturers, pollution and diet news. Also check the rose of the day and Casey's Corner for kids.
  4. Step four: You can use this site and the 9 health steps to move yourself towards better health. Or you can do your own thing and check your progress with our calculator.
This site is put together by Joseph McFarland MD. As an Orthopedic Surgeon, I have seen some nasty wounds over the last 40 years. I have never seen wounds as bad as what we Americans are doing to ourselves by eating unhealthy foods and not getting nearly enough exercise. These wounds can heal if you reverse the cause. The information you need is all here and it is all free.

Calculate my Thindex

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Health Steps: There are 9 progressive health steps that ease you slowly towards better health.


Blogs: A variety of health topics


Guest speakers: Talks by a variety of diet experts


Recommended reading: Diet and exercise books in which we believe.


Rose of the day: Daily rose with comments that you can mail to friends or enemies, telling them how you are doing.


Casey's corner: Pollution and general advice for young kids.


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Why pick on soda pop as the first thing to eliminate as you go through the health steps?

Look up Sylvia Booth Hubbard – soda. She lists an even longer list of soda pop related problems. "Thirteen new ways colas ruin your health" (protected)

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Potatoes are a good starch source but when overheated above boiling produce acrylamide , a known carcinogen. These products are oversalted and some still contain trans fats which cause arteriosclerosis.