You Are What You Eat

by Yohanan Burket


Herbalist Li Ching-Yuen: 197+ year old man

You are what you eat, and the foods we consume are not only a factor in our longevity, but also contribute to that feeling of wellness. Happy people are those who surge with energy throughout the day, and feel exhilarated with each new challenge. Most doctors like to tell us that our longevity is a function of genetics alone, but I disagree. I have read of cases such as the one where one twin brother lived to be about 55, while the other lived to be over 100! Another man outlived all his relatives – Li Ching-Yuen (see photo). A bonus of taking foods that enhance lifespan is the increase in libido.  Li Ching-Yuen was an herbalist who understood all these concepts: he appeared in the New York Times in 1930.

Basic Food Types

It has been stated that most disease is the result of a nutritional deficiency. Since our bodies require a wide variety of nutrients, it makes sense that we should be consuming a wide variety of foods. The technical terms for the needed nutrients fall into the three basic categories plus another category I think is basic:

  • Fats (such as butter and olive oil)Basic foods
  • Protein (such as eggs, fish,beans, and meat)
  • Carbohydrates (such as potatoes and bread)
  • Greens (such as cucumbers & spinach)


Olive oil

Olive oil

Fats are defined to be the oily, energy-producing sources of energy in the body.

Most people believe that fats are unnecessary, and the Pritkin diet advocated elimination of all fats. But does this make sense in light of the fact that our brains are mostly composed of fat? Bad fats are in abundance in virtually all supermarket cooking oils, and should be avoided like the plague. They are only a molecule away from plastic, and since the body doesn’t know what to do with it, it leads to obesity. So what can be used for cooking? Try the following:

  • Butter (NOT margarine: it is almost pure trans-fat!)
  • Olive oil (“extra” virgin; don’t ask me what “extra” virgin means!)
  • Coconut oil
  • Palm oil
Old olive oil factory

Old olive oil factory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Margarine is nearly 100% trans-fats, as is “Crisco” and other such chemical products. When using olive oil, make sure to mix in a little water with it as it is said to also form trans-fats if heated too much. I have stayed at a hotel where the breakfast eggs were cooked only in water! I must admit I didn’t like them as much as cooking them in butter, but it was healthy (assuming the water was free of chlorine and especially fluoride). Coconut oil and palm oil are relatively hard to find and expensive, so basically that leaves butter or an olive oil/water combination for cooking. The best oils are said to be omega-3 oils. I strongly recommend NOT taking omega-3 gel caps, as they are almost always rancid. Instead, stick to natural sources of omega-3 such as:

  • Cod liver
  • Quinoa
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Halibut
  • Walnuts


EggsProtein is defined to be an essential organic compound composed of 20 or more amino acids held together by peptide bonds. It is amino acids that make up protein. When protein is consumed, the body digests it to produce amino acids. Amino acids comprise the building blocks for infrastructure of the body, such as the complex protein called collagen (see my other article on collagen). So we see that amino acids and protein form complex interactions within the body. When one has the flu (influenza or the grippe), the viruses attack protein in the body, leaving the host in a malnourished state. When the flu victim consumes protein, the viruses consume it almost immediately, leaving the victim without amino acids. In order to bypass this problem, the flu victim should consume amino acids directly, as the amino acids will sustain the body yet be untouched by the viruses which only go for the protein. I have personally found that taking amino acids (in this case, L-cysteine, L-lysine, and L-glutamine), I was able to function normally within an hour of being laid out on my back from weakness caused by the flu. I took these amino acids in pill form, but I could have used natural sources of amino acids, such as Chlorella and Spirulina. Both Chlorella and Spirulina contain all eight basic amino acids. Foods such as eggs and red meat are excellent sources of protein, but their amino acids can only be extracted via the digestive process. Protein builds muscle that is exercised because the digested protein forms amino acids in the body which are then rearranged to form the complex collagen structures within the muscle.


PotatoesCarbohydrates are defined to be organic compounds consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Carbohydrates are thought to be those foods which provide energy, as though fats and protein do not. In fact, fats are the major source of energy for sustained activity, such as running a marathon. Whereas carbohydrates can be thought of as a quick-energy source, fats are a source for sustained energy. Ever wonder why the best marathon runners are so skinny? Their fat cells have been utilized to provide energy to keep them going. Carbohydrates are taken along with protein for body-building. The carbohydrates provide the short-term energy needed to perform exercises. Unused carbohydrates lead to fat accumulation in the body. Carbohydrates are basically those foods that provide high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood, and foods that have a high glycemic index come closer to that ideal. This is why diabetics are advised to stay away from high glycemic foods, such as potatoes. The Atkins diet advocates minimizing carbohydrate consumption, which has been proven to reduce weight. It is especially a good diet for sedentary people. Minimizing carbohydrate consumption is a good idea for everyone, as it keeps the blood sugar low, contributing to a longer life. A high blood sugar level causes an escalation in the amount of fungus growing in the body, which eventually leads to our demise. Our lifespans are inversely proportional to the amount of fungus we carry, basically speaking.


Greens are not truly a basic category, as they contain a combinationGreen beans of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, depending on the particular green. Nevertheless, I’ve included greens because they are the primary source for an alkaline diet. Herbs also fit into this category and are extremely important for optimum health, as herbalist Li Ching-Yuen found out. Although I disagree with Vegans that we can function completely taking greens, I agree that they are extremely important in our diets. Beans are in the green category, and they are an abundant source of most, but not all, protein. The primary problem with a Vegan diet is that certain important nutrients are lacking that can only be found in red meat and eggs. Some Vegans, recognizing this fact, have been reported to be consuming eggs, a fantastic source for Vitamin A! Fish

Herbalist Li Ching-Yuen was reported to eat fish occasionally. Interestingly, in Jewish tradition fish is not considered meat!

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About Yohanan

I am an avid health enthusiast who experiments with different herbs, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins to address health issues. Over the past 17 years, I have successfully solved a number of health problems using the natural approach and by adhering to a healthy diet and exercise. At 70, I am healthy, strong, and virile.
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2 Responses to You Are What You Eat

  1. Pingback: Gain 1-Inch on Your Arms in Thirty Days | Critical Survival

  2. Pingback: Pollution Affects Your Health | Out of the Box Remedies

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