This is primarily intended for restaurant menu developers, but anyone who prepares food for other people – or eats – will find valuable takeaways.
In 2007, ABC News conducted anonymous interviews with 41 senior “menu development and marketing executives” from 16 large restaurant chains. To give you an idea of the scope, one of the chains had nearly 18,000 restaurants at the time.
61% of the chains selected menu items based on profit alone, but not in the sinister way you might picture. One of the executives articulated it this way: “If we put something on the menu and say it’s healthy, it’s the kiss of death.” Another said, “People may go where healthier foods are advertised, but they usually wind up eating the same old stuff.” That was the prevailing thought. Patrons would say they wanted healthy food, but then not order it.
Fast forward a decade and restaurants are beginning to crack the code. They have customers lined up out the door for fabulous tasting food that is helping to solve major health issues in mere weeks. In 2014, B. Hudson Riehle, research director for the National Restaurant Association, told the New York Times that locally grown food and sustainability were the top two customer priorities reported in that year’s poll of American chefs. He added, “It’s only going to get stronger.”
I got rid of supposedly incurable pollen allergies, acid reflux, depression and 75 lbs by doing exactly what I’m about to describe. I learned how to do it from doctors that advise the same nutrition upgrades to reverse acne, low energy, infertility, thyroid issues, brain fog, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimers, Parkinson’s and cancer. Customers like me are delighted to put our money where our mouth is, when food delivers that kind of benefit in as little as a few days.
I’m calling these steps Menu Upgrades That May Heal More People Than Your Doctor. The short term benefit may be a line out your door, but the long game is you equipping amazing people to advise, invent, create and produce for additional decades.
The first thing we need to do is clear up some bad intel…
So called “healthy” food made people sick and didn’t taste all that great
In short, we goofed. Most of us were raised hearing the mantra that “healthy” meant whole wheat, skim milk, iceberg lettuce and Diet Coke. Calories needed to be reduced. Fat made you fat. Salt caused heart attacks. Cholesterol clogged your arteries and the breakfast of champions arrived in an orange box. These ideas were hammered into our brains by government nutrition guidelines, doctors and celebrity infomercials.
Turns out, the guidelines that were supposed to make people healthy, instead helped launch an obesity epidemic and skyrocketing rates of major diseases. The truth is:
- Whole wheat makes you store belly fat, causes inflammation and can lead to autoimmune diseases.
- Skim milk is the metabolic equivalent of a soft drink. Without fat, your body won’t absorb the nutrients, so it ends up being an extra absorbable sugar drink.
- Iceberg lettuce is mostly water and has little nutritional benefit (though it’s not bad for you as long as it wasn’t sprayed with chemicals).
- Diet Coke contains neurotoxic chemicals that harm your ability to think.
- Eating high glycemic carbs, like corn flakes or rice cakes, turns on insulin that stores all your calories in belly fat. That means there are no calories left in the bloodstream for your brain. The brain operates with extremely precise energy tolerances, so it pulls the emergency alarm to tell you you’re starving. You feel it as cravings and being “hangry”.
- Non-oxidized fat gives the brain plenty of energy and doesn’t activate insulin. Absent high glycemic carbs, fat isn’t stored. It becomes stable brain energy.
- Fructose and hydrogenated vegetable oils (not salt) actually cause heart attacks.
- Cholesterol has officially been declared by the US government: “not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”
- And corn flakes are the breakfast of people who become insulin resistant, have food cravings and develop pre or type 2 diabetes.
If “health food” doesn’t produce health, what does? The good news is, it’s probably the same food your customers already prefer to pay for – only upgraded.
Here’s the most important concept…
Upgrade ingredients to eliminate anything that makes you weak or sick
You may be surprised to learn that most of your current specialties can be turned into foods that produce health. Food either produces health or causes antibodies, inflammation and disease. It’s either contaminated with chemicals that damage you, or not contaminated.
Here’s how to upgrade your ingredients.
Get rid of additives that are not food
Processed food usually contains substances that are added to “improve” the item. It may be to make a hot dog stay pink, to augment flavor or to allow a longer shelf life. Those are not bad goals, but many of the additives have strong links to conditions like low testosterone, depression, aggression, Alzheimer’s and tumors.
Wouldn’t the FDA be all over protecting Americans from these things? Unfortunately, food manufacturers in the US are often permitted to decide whether an additive is safe or not, without telling the FDA at all. Yet the science is clear enough that other countries have banned many of these substances in their food supply.
Potassium bromate is a good example. It’s commonly used to “enrich” flour and make it more elastic. You probably served some today in bread, but it’s been banned for food use in Canada, China, and the European Union (EU).
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and cancer.”
This is not merely a potential problem that may affect people off in the distant future. As I was writing this post, Vani Hari, a.k.a, the Food Babe, published before and after pictures of a woman who gave up food additives – and subsequently dropped five dress sizes in four months. Check it out.
There are over 10,000 additives used in US processed food. Keeping track of which ones link to diseases isn’t a practical strategy, so people concerned about health generally try to avoid non-food additives altogether.
Source organically grown produce, preferably local
I routinely see restaurants emphasizing that their produce is “local”. I also often see the phrase “farm to table”. Both imply freshness, flavor and maximum nutrient potency. Unfortunately, these terms don’t provide sufficient detail to evaluate basic safety.
Consumers are now also wanting to know the produce wasn’t grown with pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that deplete soil nutrients, disrupt hormonal function and might trigger gene expression for infertility or a disease. It takes as little as half a part per billion of a pesticide to mess with hormones, impair mental development in children and cause tumors (evidence here). Yet most produce can contain hundreds of times that amount. And washing it doesn’t really help, because pesticides and GMO’s are present in the cells and DNA of the plants.
This is not trivial. One of the major ramifications is infertility in livestock and humans.
In 2016, Dr. Don Huber, PhD, was a guest on Bulletproof Radio and discussed his over 40 years of research as a plant pathologist, 25 of which had been spent studying the effects of herbicides used on GMO crops. He’s a retired Army Colonel, Emeritus Professor at Purdue University and recently retired from a role at the USDA that was required by a Homeland Security Presidential Directive.
Dr. Huber has this to say about glyphosate, the primary herbicide sprayed on GMO crops: “When future historians come to write about our era, they’re not going to write about the tons of chemicals we did or did not apply. When it comes to glyphosate, they’re going to write about our willingness to sacrifice our children and to jeopardize our very existence by risking the sustainability of our agriculture. All based upon failed promises and flawed science.”
When asked if he was concerned about a global population boom over the next 100 years, Dr. Huber replied, “I’m not concerned about a boom. I’m concerned about survival.” Speaking of US residents, he added, “If you look at the report last year, we’ve had a 30% drop in fertility, just in the last five years. It’s hard to have a family anymore.” Meanwhile, 45% of livestock exposed to glyphosate are having spontaneous abortions on top of a 20% infertility rate.
It is well documented that no study has ever proven GMO’s safe. GMO patent owners, like Monsanto, have even made testing their products illegal. Still, scientists outside the U.S. have done their own evaluations. Many counties, including the EU, Russia and Japan have effectively banned GMO’s to a large extent. China is beginning to enact restrictions at the local level.
Back to your restaurant… The words I’m looking for that offer some measure of comfort are “pesticide and GMO free”. The most meaningful term is “USDA Organic” because that means there is third party verification that the produce is free of pesticides and GMOs.
Unfortunately, a USDA Organic seal makes the price go up. It’s expensive for farms to become USDA Organic certified, so some operate with organic practices but just don’t pay for the certification. You can often pay less for this still-organic produce, but you’ll need to establish relationships with local farmers. Farmers markets are a great place to meet farmers. They want steady, reliable income also and are typically receptive to delivering directly to restaurants.
I can hear owners saying, “But I’m working 90 hours a week. I don’t have time to get to know farmers.” Giant food distribution companies, like Sysco, are getting the message and have been responding to this pain point. They are developing relationships with local farmers and offering organic products, but it’s a slow building process. You can help speed it along by asking for, and purchasing, food that is additive, pesticide and GMO free.
United Natural Foods (UNFI) ships over 20,000,000 lbs of fresh organic produce each month along with many other chemical free food products. I see their trucks regularly at Earth Fare and Whole Foods.
Here’s a tip that will help you save money if you prefer to buy locally. Some produce is more likely to contain pesticide residue than others. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes annual lists called the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen that show what produce has the most, or least, amount of pesticide residue. Consumer Reports has also done independent testing that correlates pesticide residue to the country of origin. Foods that naturally don’t have much pesticide residue in 3rd party lab testing include avocados (a true superfood), sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, peas, onions, asparagus, melons and cauliflower.
I maintain a Pesticides in Produce list that correlates data from both EWG and Consumer Reports to help you save money sourcing produce.
But produce isn’t the greatest source of pesticide and other toxin exposure; animal products are.
Offer meat and dairy that isn’t loaded with additives, pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics, allergens and artificial growth hormones.
Animal products are essentially either as bad for you as you’ve always heard or a total health food. There isn’t really an in-between. The environment and feed of the animal makes the difference.
Most meat in North America originates from massive factory farms known as Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). These operations specialize in fattening animals up as quickly as possible to minimize costs.
Animals are jammed together closely and readily pass sickness through the herd. It’s necessary to administer massive amounts of antibiotics just to keep them alive long enough to be slaughtered. I recommend watching the documentary Food Inc to see footage of how this works for yourself. Prepare to be appalled.
There are a few issues with antibiotics. First, antibiotics accumulate in the meat of the animal and are passed along to humans. Antibiotics harm beneficial gut bacteria and weaken the immune system. Secondly, excessive use of antibiotics also leads to the development of antibiotic resistant super-bugs. And thirdly, antibiotic-contaminated animal waste is transferred to the soil and local water sources.
Another issue with CAFO meat is the routine practice of injecting animals with growth hormones. The concern is that these hormones can raise insulin-like growth factor (IGF) when consumed by humans. A 2004 study found elevated IGF to be associated with a 50% increase in risk for prostate cancer and a 65% increase in breast cancer risk. Why wouldn’t this be in the news? It almost was. You can see a video here from two FOX News investigative reporters who were about to go public with evidence. They describe how FOX buckled to pressure from GMO giant Monsanto, killed the story and fired both reporters.
When an animal is fed pesticides via genetically engineered soy and corn, the toxins accumulate in fat at much higher concentrations than in produce. Full fat butter, whole milk and fatty ground meat are the worst sources of toxins in CAFO animals. The payload of toxins – not the fat itself – causes contaminated animal fat to become inflammatory, and therefore a trigger of disease in humans.
By contrast, if the animal is 100% pastured, grass-fed and grass finished, the meat and fat becomes anti-inflammatory. Contamination means inflammation. Pastured meat is least contaminated and least likely to be inflammatory.
Processed meat is probably the worst of all as it can simultaneously contain MSG, dairy, soy, gluten, nitrates, extreme amounts of sodium, sugar, chemicals and denatured protein. Thousands of studies verify that processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption.
Regarding milk – Approximately 3 out of 4 people cannot tolerate the standard milk available in North America. Even if the milk is organic, pasteurization denatures milk proteins and destroys all valuable enzymes, making it very difficult to digest. Pasteurization also makes lactose, the sugar in milk, absorb more readily. Homogenization produces a substance that raises cancer risk. Removing the fat (2% or skim) removes the ability to absorb fat soluble vitamins, making 2% or skim milk the metabolic equivalent of drinking a Coke – a Coke that also contains around 60 naturally occurring mamma cow hormones.
So here’s what I look for when sourcing meat:
- Beef, Bison, Lamb – Pastured (100% grass fed and grass finished) and never administered antibiotics or growth hormones.
- Poultry – Pastured, free range, never exposed to GMO feed. In the US, all chicken is antibiotic and hormone free by federal law.
- Eggs – Same as poultry. It’s easy to tell by looking at the yoke color. Pastured chickens that ate bugs and worms produce eggs with deep orange yokes.
- Pork – Pastured, free range, never exposed to GMO feed, raised without antibiotics or growth hormones.
- Fish – Wild caught (Farmed fish are generally fed GMO feed.)
Next up… the skinny on fat.
Offer plenty of fats that are not oxidized – a.k.a “healthy fats”
Like animal products, non-animal fat either reduces or causes inflammation. The typical diet for reducing disease is high in anti-inflammatory fat. Most people find they lose weight easily when 50%, or more, of their total daily calories come from healthy fat. It’s also what makes food taste great; big win for restaurants!
Healthy fats include avocados (yes, guacamole counts!), pastured egg yokes, olive oil (not for cooking), avocado oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, raw macadamias, raw almonds, raw hazelnuts, raw walnuts, grass fed butter, grass-fed red meat, fatty fish like wild-caught salmon and pastured bacon.
Unfortunately, the purity of olive oil has come into question lately with the revelation that much of what’s coming out of Italy is being diluted with cheaper, harmful vegetable oils. CBS 60 Minutes verified this in a 2016 investigative report.
The fats to avoid are those high in polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs. These include vegetable oils like soybean, corn, canola and cottonseed.
PUFAs are very unstable and oxidize (break down and become rancid) with very little heat exposure. The process used to manufacture PUFAs involves heating, and therefore oxidation. Oxidized fats in the body produce free radicals that lead to a cascade of inflammation and disease. If you’re serving margarine, or cooking in soy oil, you’re serving inflammatory, oxidized PUFAs.
The manufacturing process for vegetable oil also uses a chemical solvent called hexane, a chemical that can cause nerve damage. According to a 2009 report from the Cornucopia Institute, “Studies on hexane-extracted oils show that not all hexane evaporates before consumption—residues can appear in foods.” The EPA limits hexane exposure in the workplace because it’s known to cause nerve damage. But the effects of hexane have never been tested in the human diet.
And as a bonus, high PUFA vegetable oils also come from genetically modified crops and may contain pesticide residue.
Once you make the switch to healthy fats, it’s important to know how much heat you can apply before they oxidize and become inflammatory. As a general rule, you want to stay below the point that makes them smoke.
Don’t heat healthy fat beyond it’s smoke point
It’s best to cook below 320 degrees to avoid the formation of carcinogens, but if you need to cook above 320, only a few healthy oils will not oxidize.
Here are the smoke points for healthy fats useful for cooking:
- Non-extra virgin olive oil (stored in dark bottles and not from Italy): 325-375°F
- Grass fed butter: 350° F
- Coconut oil: 350° F
- Grass fed beef tallow: 420 °F
- Grass fed ghee: 485° F
- Avocado oil: 520° F
Despite an ability to handle heat, peanut, sunflower and safflower oils are not health-producing replacements. Safflower oil, for example, has no omega 3 fatty acids so it ends up being inflammatory.
Take food allergies and sensitivities seriously
About 4% of the US population (12 million people) can experience an allergy emergency that will require you to call an ambulance. These folks are very careful to speak with a manager and often avoid going to restaurants altogether.
But there’s a closely related issue that impacts 100% your clientele, whether they are aware of it or not; food sensitivities.
Dr. Alessio Fasano of Harvard joined forces with other researchers to study the effects of gliadin, a component of gluten. Here’s what they concluded in the 2015 study: “This study demonstrates that gliadin exposure induces an increase in intestinal permeability in all individuals, regardless of whether or not they have celiac disease.”
I read the entire study and noted increased permeability was measured within minutes. Leaky gut can happen from a meal. And even though the gut lining heals quickly – at first, eventually you don’t heal anymore and the gateway is open for autoimmune diseases.
A small exposure to gluten makes me instantly sick like I have the flu along with acid reflux. Then I experience anxiety and depression for a couple weeks. Depression happens to be the #1 cognitive complaint in celiac patients, according to gluten and celiac specialist, Dr. Tom O’Bryan. Others may experience migraines, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. I have a post that lists 70 signs of gluten intolerance and another that details how to identify your own food sensitivities.
When I cut gluten and dairy from my diet, seasonal allergies that had plagued me for decades went away like magic. Gas, bloating, acne, PMS and seasonal allergies are early symptoms of a food sensitivity. They are check-engine lights that either signal the stage is being set for an autoimmune reaction, or that an autoimmune reaction is already underway. A continual autoimmune bombardment can eventually show up as diseases like MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
It’s not that you can’t offer bread or cheese, but you can stand out from the vast majority of restaurants by implementing training and menu items to accommodate the masses that are waking up to the reality of food sensitivities.
Meat and vegetables are generally safe as long as they are not contaminated with chemicals. If you are attentive to make any sauces out of healthy fats, organic herbs and organic spices, you can proudly offer an array of viable options – and be a hero to a lot of people.
Here are some links to help with training.
- Manager training for allergies – There are also 3 companion videos at the end of this post.
- Reasons People Follow A Gluten-Free Diet: 7 Types of Gluten-Free Dieters
- Poster in English – Print and display to the staff
- Poster in Spanish
It is also vital to keep your allergen menu up to date and prominently available on your web site. For bonus points, note allergen info right next to items on your menu. Restaurants with no allergen menu get an automatic veto, simply because the risk is too great.
Let me point out that, since it takes time for a restaurant to ramp up allergy and sensitivity awareness, there’s an opportunity for a competitive advantage. The restaurant that begins taking steps in the right direction now, will be well positioned when this is common information a decade from now.
And speaking of common, we need to have a chat about soy; a substance that seems to be showing up in *everything* these days.
Get the soy out
Soy is high in genistein and daidzein, which are phytoestrogens (plant-produced estrogens). The human body can’t distinguish between phytoestrogens and actual estrogen. Simply drinking soy milk can wreak hormonal havoc the same way taking a bottle of estrogen pills would. It doesn’t matter whether the soy is organic or not.
Elevated estrogen decreases testosterone and causes fat to be stored more readily. One symptom in men is male breast enlargement. Soy is also linked to thyroid suppression, delayed menstruation, cancer, accelerated puberty and harm to the reproductive system of female newborns.
Soy, even after cooking, is also high in protease inhibitors like trypsin. Protease inhibitors suppress key enzymes that help us digest protein. Trypsin happens to be higher in GMO soy than in organic soy but soy is one of the primary GMO crops.
You’ll find soy in most processed foods where it is listed under a number of aliases. See my post on soy for the full list.
Soy is also on the list of foods that customers are likely to be allergic or sensitive to. I used to eat at Subway several times per week but had to stop because nearly everything contained soy. It was making me sick for a long time until I figured out the soy sensitivity.
Offer options without added sugar
Everything we heard for decades about cholesterol was actually being caused by fructose, a component of sugar. Fructose is being called “the new cholesterol” because it raises uric acid. According to Dr. Jospeh Mercola, “There are more than 3,500 articles to date showing a strong relationship between uric acid and obesity, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, kidney disease, and other conditions.”
Fructose is especially problematic for anyone who already has belly fat; a symptom of insulin resistance. If you are insulin resistant, nearly all the fructose you consume gets stored as belly fat.
Another downside is that sugar hijacks your tastebuds and activates the same part of the brain that responds to cocaine. It is addictive in that way, but also because it causes bad gut bacteria populations to flourish, which produces gas, bloating and food cravings.
Sugar is also typically made from GMO beets.
A home run nutrient-filled dessert would be a serving of fresh berries that were grown without pesticides.
So far, we’ve been talking all about food, but one of the dirtiest dangers to health are the chemicals often used – to clean.
Select cleaners with ingredients you would eat
Sure, chemicals can get into the body through food, but that’s not the only path of entry. You can also inhale or absorb them quite nicely through skin.
The majority of chemical ingredients in cleaners and personal care products are not regulated. Yet, many studies link them to cancer, brain toxicity, IQ reduction, endocrine system (hormone) disruption and disruption of the central nervous system.
Non toxic cleaners are equally effective and no more expensive. I’ve actually found some to be less expensive. Look for cleaners based on natural vinegar, lemon and orange; i.e. – things you would eat.
You also want to be aware that people working to eliminate harmful chemicals from their personal and cleaning supplies can become far more sensitive to the scents (make sense?). The chemical cleaner, perfume or cologne that used to seem like a nice smell now activates the taste buds. The sensation I feel is just as if the chemical was applied directly to my tongue; not the taste impression you’re after.
You definitely want people to know the lengths you go to on behalf of their wellbeing, so be sure to display a message something like, “We only use natural and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.”
And speaking of messaging…
Upgrade the your in-store messaging
The perception seems to be that retraining the public to recognize food that produces health will be difficult. I’d like to challenge that.
When you make a big deal of ingredient upgrades, most people will assume it’s a positive thing. Look at how Chipotle accomplishes this with only a few words on their menu.
There really aren’t that many upgrades to convey. Here are words I long for when selecting a restaurant:
- Real food with no additives or soy
- Meat & dairy – Pastured (grass-fed) or wild-caught and without antibiotics, added hormones or GMO feed.
- Produce – Pesticide and GMO free (local when seasonally available)
- Cooking oil – coconut or avocado oil
- Chemical-free cleaning supplies
Additional messaging could focus on how upgraded ingredients improve the dining and after-dining experience. Food rich in healthy fat tastes better and makes you feel amazing after you eat it. It helps you feel satisfied for hours longer, improves mental clarity, doesn’t come with a blood sugar crash and will help most people lose weight. Oh, and it may help reverse diseases. You are in a powerful position to teach the basic principles of thriving longer.
Here are some other restaurants you can get ideas from:
- Bulletproof Coffee Shop – These guys nail every detail.
- Elevation Burger
- Harvest Express
- Living Kitchen
- Lyfe Kitchen
- Pure Pizza
Display every ingredient and note allergens right on the menu
Every restaurant visit is a research project for me. My first stop is always the web site. If I’m lucky, there’s an allergen menu that allows me to narrow down the options to those that won’t cause a severe reaction. You would be amazed at how much work this can be. It’s not too bad if the info is presented in a grid layout, but sometimes there’s a page about menu items with gluten and another page of items with milk. I end up having to print all the pages and do an elaborate matching operation.
I want to recognize Chic-fil-A for setting the bar high by including an allergen filter in their ONE app. On their menu screen, I tap “Allergen Filter” in the top right corner, select the foods that bother me, and then it only shows me foods without those allergens. That’s fabulous!
After allergens, I then focus on contamination; crossing off items that are likely to contain additives, pesticides, GMO’s, antibiotics, growth hormones, added sugar or oxidized (rancid) fats. This is generally much more difficult because the information is not readily available, even to the restaurant staff. For the longest time, I worked really hard at trying to unearth ingredient info. Unfortunately, my efforts were rewarded with the revelation that almost no one offers food that isn’t contaminated. In rare instances, I encounter establishments offering food that promotes wellness. It always happens as a result of conscious choice and is noted on the menu.
A specific upgrade I propose is to list all the ingredients right on the menu. Of course, this is much easier if only whole food ingredients are used. Displaying this crucial information right on the menu will assist with staff training while simultaneously reducing the need for customers to ask questions.
The exercise will also help you quickly determine if you offer any options that actually move the needle in disease prevention.
Avoid emphasis on calories
I hesitated to put this in, but I’m going to because when you Google healthy food at restaurants, all the articles judge health by calorie count. Calories are not totally irrelevant, but they are have become a major distraction from what actually matters.
To illustrate: Which is healthier, 100 calories of Dr. Pepper or 100 calories of broccoli? Everyone intuitively knows the broccoli is more likely to produce health, even though the calories are the same.
100 calories of Dr. Pepper causes an entirely negative cascade of gene expression and hormonal instruction. It produces lower testosterone, a feeling of stress, belly fat, cravings and brain fog. By contrast, 100 calories of broccoli results in a positive cascade that leads to satiety, fat loss, improved sex hormones, a feeling of well-being and reduction of cancer risk. I break down exactly what happens metabolically in this post and also in this one.
It matters far more what you eat because food is a set of instructions for your body to carry out, much like a computer program. Which matters most in a computer program; the number of words or the instructions the words have been fashioned into?
You may still have to display calories due to laws or customer demand, but we need to start shifting the discussion toward how food flips the switches for hormones and genes.
This is a hard thing to wrap ones brain around, but it is a fact that millions of lives are extinguished every year by diseases that can be reversed through nutrition. And yet, most restaurants still don’t offer ANY food that produces health.
You just read the basics of the solution on a single page. It’s not easy to implement, but it is fairly easy to understand.
Here’s a summary of what I recommend:
- There is a false version of “healthy” that doesn’t produce health – The false version includes: low fat, low salt, low cholesterol, low calorie and artificial sweeteners.
- Upgrade ingredients to eliminate anything that make you weak or sick – When contaminants are removed, food tends to assist human performance and reduce or reverse disease. Contaminants include chemicals, GMOs, antibiotics, added hormones and denaturing.
- Eliminate chemical food additives – Eliminating all additives is the only practical way to stay ahead of chemicals linked to conditions like low testosterone, depression, aggression, Alzheimer’s and tumors.
- Source produce that was raised organically – Pesticide residue and GMOs permeate plants on a cellular level and can cause infertility, hormonal disruption or turn on gene expression for a disease with as little as half a part per million exposure. “Local” is a bonus, but the main issue is contamination with pesticides and GMOs.
- Animal products should be pastured (100% grass-fed), free range and wild caught with no exposure to antibiotics, added hormones or GMO feed – As bad as contaminants can be in produce, they are concentrated at far higher in animal products.
- Offer healthy fats that have not been oxidized by overheating – avocados, pastured egg yokes, olive oil (not for cooking), avocado oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, raw macadamias, raw almonds, raw hazelnuts, raw walnuts, grass fed butter, grass-fed red meat, fatty fish like wild-caught salmon and pastured bacon.
- Take food allergies and sensitivities seriously – Many of these reactions are an autoimmune response that began by exposure to chemicals in food. Cleaning up the menu does more than merely accommodate. It’s part of the remedy.
- Ban soy – Soy is an allergen that also happens to contain GMOs and pesticides. But even when organic, soy is treated like estrogen in the body. It causes male breast enlargement and fat storage. Watch out for it’s many aliases!
- Offer options that don’t contain sugar – Fructose is the new cholesterol and customers are beginning to learn it causes high blood pressure and heart disease. It also all gets stored as belly fat in people that already have a little spare tire action going on.
- Use cleaners that don’t contain chemicals – Chemicals don’t only enter the body through food. You can also inhale or absorb them through skin. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t clean with it or wear it.
- Tweak your signs to explain your food upgrades – There are only a few core ideas to convey and having them on your signs and menu will be instructive to patrons.
- List upgrades and allergen info directly on the menu – The more you display, the fewer questions you will need to answer. This goes a long way toward overcoming staff turnover and training issues. It also reduces the likelihood of healthy eaters vetoing your place.
- Let go of calories – Except where required by law, counting calories is not productive. Focus instead on the instructions that food causes in the body. For example, Bulletproof coffee gives great mental focus, satiety for five hours and helps most people lose weight while preventing Parkinson’s and Alzheimers. It happens to be 300-500 calories, but there’s no insulin release so the calories are burned as energy and not stored. Hardly anyone offers it, so why not you?
The big picture is that your menu could teach an inventor, scientist, military general or artist how to stay mentally sharp for decades longer. Your food could help factory workers, professors and software engineers experience less pain and produce more. You’ll write your part in their story one way or the other. Think about what you’d like that story to be – and then change your menu to make it reality.
Thanks for reading and please share with restaurant owners, bosses, church people, school board members, moms and anyone else you can think of who prepares food for other people. Also, if you are struggling with health issues, take a look at my Wellness Repair Plan for some additional steps that may help.
- Offer sweet potatoes and plain white rice as starches.
- Use glass or paper for cups and plates.
- Offer raw dairy where legal.
- Use halogen or old fashioned incandescent lighting. As much as half the population suffers from Irlen Syndrome. Florecent and LED lighting trigger fatigue. Menus should not be black text on bright white paper because that also triggers the effects of Irlen Syndrome.
- Use sea salt.
- Offer only organic tea and coffee and specifically note that it is gluten free (if it is). Offer teas that include adaptogenic herbs.
- Add Bulletproof coffee to your menu. It’s unique, tastes fabulous and most people report greatly enhanced mental focus for hours after.
- Create entrees that make vegetables 3/4 of every plate.
- Get a reverse osmosis water purifier.
- Use C8 MCT oil in dishes to enhance flavor and promote brain health.
- Don’t use candles with artificial scents.
Dr. Don Huber – Why we need to KO the GMO
Dr. Mark Hyman – Why vegetable oil is bad for you
Food Allergy Training – Part 1
Food Allergy Training – Part 2
Food Allergy Training – Part 3