We have learned that people, including ourselves, are at all different places on a spectrum of commitment, intention and tolerance. Some people want to follow a protocol to the tiniest point, doing everything recommended and being almost militant with how they approach a situation. Ivan and I realized very early on that I fall into this category. Sometimes this is not realistic in every instance and having an inflexible philosophy can create challenges of its own, but for someone like me, it is the way I approaches challenges. I give it 110% and do not hold back! I typically do not cheat when I commit to a particular eating path. Even when I was taking a “free day” with my Body for Life challenge in 2000, my free day was ONE guilty snack, not a whole day of eating whatever I wanted!
Others are more relaxed about things, adopting a middle way which is not too extreme and not too lax. If the best option isn’t accessible or possible, they are okay with going with a better choice. They don’t feel the same pressure that I do to get it perfect.
And then there are those who struggle with making changes and want to start with what is good and maybe work up to that which is better and finally embrace some of those very best choices.
What is important is to approach your own life with the level of commitment at which you can succeed! If you set your sights on Best and go around frustrated, anxious, or upset, the positive impact of the best foods is going to be offset by the negative impact of stress! I saw this with Ivan when Dr. LaBeau told him NO ALCOHOL, even wine. I felt that the benefit from the polyphenols, resveratrol and the emotional benefit (pleasure, endorphins, etc.) Ivan derives from sitting down with a fine wine, would be greater than the detriment of having that wine. However, having more than one glass of wine every day would have been hard on his body during the healing time. His compromise was to have one 6-oz glass of red wine every other day until such time that he was in remission, after which he has been enjoying one glass of red wine each day.
There are other foods which can be viewed during a healing crisis as hard on the body, but which have other beneficial effects which may outweigh the negative aspects. Another of these foods are berries. When taking a look at the need to reduce the amount of sugars in Ivan’s foods, it was suggested to eliminate fruit altogether. Fruit is high in fructose, which gives energy to cancer cells and helps them grow and multiply. But all our body’s cells need sugar for energy. And berries have such high, high levels of antioxidants and other healing properties that he ate them with relish during the intense phase of his protocol during which time other fruits were eliminated!
Honey was another food we had to take a hard look at. The healing properties of honey, including the antibacterial, antifungal nature of this wonderful medicinal food, provided more benefit than harm, so Ivan used about 2 tablespoons of honey per day. He currently uses about the same amount and has added raw agave and coconut nectars. He refuses all other forms of table sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, syrups, raw sugar, evaporated cane syrup, natural sugar, palm sugar, beet sugar, xylitol, stevia and any other forms of sweeteners.
There may be times if you follow the Misner Plan where your tolerance for the strictness we advocate may be low. In those times, we encourage you to use the Good, Better, Best philosophy to make your choice. If cheesecake is in front of you and something like fruit cobbler is also available, go for the fruit cobbler! Better yet, have a square of 80% cacao dark chocolate. Best would be to have a bowl of mixed berries. Most of all, don’t beat yourself up for the occasional deviation. Where things will fall apart for you is if the occasional deviation once again becomes the norm.
Ivan and I have found that a lot of the struggle we had in the past with eating in a way that gave maximum nourishment to our bodies was all centered on HABITS. Making habits is not easy. Ivan used to see me consulting with my nutrition clients and told me that certain people were not likely to succeed in making the changes needed for a shift into health. “He isn’t sick enough yet,” he would tell me. When he was diagnosed with cancer, he found the motivation which had been missing before in his own situation to make better choices and eat in the best possible way to develop a strong immune system.
Evaluate where you are in your own life. Are you ready to begin making good choices? Ready to improve on that and go for the better choices? Or maybe you have the motivation and resolve to make the very best possible choices you can.
With the Misner Plan we will share with you what Good, Better and Best alternatives are so that you can find your own balance in this protocol.