The connation that plant-based foods are inferior to processed and animal-based food is due to two misunderstood ideas: Firstly, output energy is dependent on input fuel ‘density’, meaning the higher caloric value, the more energy we will have. Secondly, feeling energized is due to food intake, meaning feeling energized is based on the bodies reaction to food ingested.
Feeling ‘energetic’ has become synonymous with the idea that food is the primary ‘energy’ source of the body
We tend to think in terms of energy in, energy out or calories in, calories out. The higher or denser the energy/calorie content the more energy we will feel. The sports world is rife with myths and dogmatic ideas that certain foods provide certain results. Carbo-loading is a pure example of basing the idea that the more carbohydrates/sugars eaten, the more energy one will have.
Then it was the carb-restriction and fat-loading, again thinking that certain foods or nutrients provide the energy output required – its this simplistic idea of input equals output as if our bodies are these mechanistic vehicles that seamlessly turn food energy into kinetic energy.
Essentially everything is energy and is converted from one form to another, but in order to fully understand that food is not what equates to pure energy, we will label food as a fuel.
Food is a fuel, as is oxygen, water and sunlight
They are all forms of fuel that provides the body output energy and energy required for entire body function.
How long can you go without air/oxygen? A few minutes.
Without water? A few days or weeks.
And without food? Probably a few months (or never if you are a Breatharian).
Without sunlight? A few years. Despite this obvious reality, very little focus is placed on air, water and sunlight.
Our emphasis on food is due to the fact that food is the only real true fuel source on which industry capitalise. Industry hasn’t (yet) developed an avenue to profit from air, water (industry is very close to turning all water into a product) or sunlight.
If all the trees are destroyed and the natural systems are no longer providing breathable air for free, industry will develop an apparatus to provide breathable air – then we will be paying for air.
It sounds like a ludicrous idea. Right?
Well the industry have done this to food and have turned the majority of our water intake into a product that is ‘owned’ and sold. Carbon taxing is an example of air being sold/taxed, the final frontier will be ‘owning’ and charging for sunlight, alas, I digress.
The important thing to remember is that without oxygen, water and sunlight, food becomes obsolete. If I provide the most superior form of food and said hold your breath and abstain from water, your energy output will be little to nothing.
The fact that we never take air, water and sunlight into account in understanding fuel to energy conversion, shows how misinformed we are about energy output. No one places any importance on the quality of air, water or sunlight, yet we scrutinize food, which is not the most important fuel source. Energy output is based on dogmatic information pedaled by industry and not based on the reality of fuel to energy conversion.
One can feel energized due to feelings of love or enjoyment, regardless of food intake
Conversely one can feel fatigued and denergized by emotions of negativity such as stress or anxiety. This is widely known and accepted yet still we focus on food as the primary source of feeling energized.
Regarding sports and physical exertion, what produces the ‘edge’ within top sportsmen is not solely limited to their physical capabilities, but rather due to their mental differences. Ali was known for defeating his opponent before he even stepped into the ring. Commonly foods that provide bursts of energy during sporting events are more placebos, than providing physiological energetic boosts. Usain Bolt mentioned that before running and setting the world record in Beijing, he consumed McDonalds. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that MacDonald’s is not the optimal food of pro athletes (even though they sponsor the Olympics).
Being energized is a mental state over a physiological state
When we feel energized by certain foods, it is due to mental conditioning and beliefs attached. Most often, beliefs influenced by industry and bodily reactions.
Energized feelings are largely due to the mind, but food can have affects that trigger the mind to create symptoms associated to the pre-existing or influenced beliefs. You can feel fatigued and lethargic, not due to ‘low energy’ but rather the relationship between mind and body can result in ‘feelings’ rather than actualities.
An example is the ‘sugar rush myth’. Processed foods high in isolated sugars are assumed to give sugar rushes or spikes, namely within children and sportsmen. The reality is that sugar acts like a depressant that causes the body to crash or tire, due to the internal exertion of energy to regulate the concentrated form of sugars being ingested – such as spikes in insulin. It has been proven that feelings of high energy after eating high sugar content foods is both due to perceived associations by the ‘viewer’ and placebo associations by the ‘ingester’.
The viewer and ingester
A parent (viewer) with the belief that their child experiences a sugar rush, will perceive spikes in a child’s energy levels due to their own perceptions formed by pre existing beliefs and not based on the child’s actual physiological energy output. Those (ingester) that experience higher feelings of energy or ‘rushes’ is due to the perceived connotation that the feeling of the body regulating is actually a feeling of energy.
Low energy levels associated to plant-based foods are due to connotations attached to the food and not the food itself. What is most commonly the result of feeling ‘low energized’ is that through consuming plants the body regulates, through regulation the body at times experiences fatigue, lethargia, nausea, sickness and weakness. The regulation is due to the body cleaning and restoring.
So often results are expected to be rapid within dietary changes. Individuals adopt dietary changes and then base outcomes on the immediate feelings of change without taking past habits into account. If you adopt a plant based diet when you are 20, your past 20 years have created habitual patterns and results dependent on the patterns. Allow time for regulation. It’s like quitting your job, starting your own business and expecting to be rich the day you sell your first product.
Everything requires time – time for dietary shifts results in regulation and new results based on reformed habitual patterns
There are athletes and individuals participating in varieties of sports and activities that are purely plant-based, who experience sustained energy output. Since adopting a raw, whole food plant-based diet, my food intake has decreased. I eat within a 7-hour period, every 24 hours and start eating after 12 am, in order to extend a temporary fast. Also, I emphasis focus on digestion rather than consumption.
I surf and exercise in the morning and have a consistent access to energy – food does not pick me up or increase energy. My eating is not based on strict routine; rather it is a habitual result due to testing my bodies need to see how dependent I was on food for energy.
Through refining and regulating, I discovered that the when I woke up I didn’t need food to pick me up, so I just didn’t eat. I no longer feel cravings of hunger. I just eat some fruit or vegetables as part of a routine rather than a cause of hunger. Most days I go without eating or have one meal later in the evening due to no experiences of hunger or need for ‘energy’.
The key remembrances:
1) Food is not the primary source of energy for the body, it is over emphasized due to industry influence – water and air are more important.
2) High-density foods do not equate to high output energy. Input does not equal output due to a variety of process within the body that convert fuel to energy.
3) Feelings of being energized are more symptoms of the mind than the feelings of the body. Allow time for regulation when making changes.
4) True internal energy is consistent, meaning it is accessible 24/7. Spikes in energy are due to concentrated or processed foods forcing the body into spiked regulatory processes.
Written by : Davey Du Plessis
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