Q&A with Dr. Joseph Vetere, author of The Genesis Diet
1) What makes the Genesis Diet different from other weight loss programs?
The Genesis Diet is not solely a diet or even a weight loss program. In reality, the Genesis Diet is more like a prescription for healthy living and disease prevention. The sole purpose of the classic “diet” or ”weight loss” program is to take advantage of the fact that people want to lose weight rapidly, with little mental effort, and of course, inexpensively. The Genesis approach works a little differently. Losing weight naturally, in a healthy way, is more important than speed alone. In fact, rapid weight loss programs are rarely sustainable and quite often compromises one’s health. The concept of minimizing mental effort turns out to be a detriment for most weight loss programs. It seems that making a program or plan super simple also means that participants have no ownership in the process. The Genesis approach teaches participants the practical science behind health, wellness, fitness and food management. We have found that knowledge increases ownership, which in turn drives the creation of new sustainable habits that eventually become part of the person’s typical lifestyle. Finally, the word Genesis, as in the first book of Bible, refers to the beginning of a life on the road to good health. Likewise, scriptural references set the stage to position participants to spiritually and mentally prepare them for success.
2) Why do you think obesity is such a problem in the U.S.?
I believe there are several reasons:
People are groomed to desire instant gratification more and more. This is evident in the booming business of so many fast food restaurants that serve high carb, high fat, low fiber and low nutrition foods.
The plethora of short-cut weight loss and exercise programs that rarely work.
Powerful medications that lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar causing patients to be more drug dependent and less wellness-lifestyle dependent.
The generational aspect where culturally and familiarly bad eating habits are passed on.
Generalized apathy of the population. People usually only develop positive health actions in the face of a health crisis.
I also believe it is in the best interest of hospitals, big pharmaceuticals and health insurance companies to keep people sick while attempting to make wellness models and natural alternatives seem like unscientific quackery.
3) What specific health benefits do people gain while on the Genesis Diet?
The Genesis Diet book is built on the Biblical covenants that govern good health, longevity and prosperity. People who follow the Genesis diet don’t just lose weight, but strive to reach their ideal weight and more importantly, their ideal body fat percentage. The habits that create ideal weight and body fat percentage are the same habits that create wellness and prevent sickness. Because exercise is part of our program, there is usually improved cardio vascular in patients. Immune function improves because the diet is designed for optimal health not just weight loss. Improved energy and sugar metabolism because there is a focus on the correct combination of exercise, diet and nutrition. Cancer risks are decreased since we eliminate toxins and guide people to proper nutrition. There is a decrease in injury risk as we emphasize a healthy spine, balance and joint biomechanics. Pain decreases because chiropractic care is also emphasized.
4) You mention a "Dominion Diet" in your Genesis Wellness program. How does that relate to the Genesis diet?
The Genesis diet is really a Life Wellness Program built on seven wellness principles: diet, exercise, nutrition, rest, spinal health, proper hydration and stress elimination. The Diet aspect is what we call the Dominion Diet. People who have poor eating habits are, in essence, controlled by those habits. The goal is to create the opposite effect. Instead of the food controlling the person, we try to create an environment where the person has control over the food. This is where we get the name-- Dominion (over) Diet. This is achieved by slow incremental changes over a period of time. The goal is to train the patient to master small changes first to build momentum and then tackle the harder challenges later on, creating a lasting effect on health and eliminating yo-yo dieting.
5) What is the Covenant with the Creator you talk about in the book? It is critical to understand that “good health” and “wellness” are a blessings from the Lord that are tied to our obedience to health “covenants” or biblical laws that govern good health. The Bible is clear (especially in the book of Deuteronomy) that health and longevity are intimately interconnected to our obedience. In addition, there are numerous Levitical laws that govern diet and hygiene. Science has even proven that these laws where designed to preserve health and protect against disease. Therefore, in order to obtain and maintain optimal wellness, it is imperative that the participant maintains obedience to the covenants that govern health. Not only for health reasons, but for Believers, this should be our reasonable Christian duty…to be obedient to the word of the Lord. Many dietary laws are clearly defined in the bible, for example, not to eat the fat, the blood, dead animals, unclean animals, and certain types of seafood. Science has proven all of these practices to be potentially unhealthy. Some nutritional laws are directly written while others are implied through creation. Exercise is not directly mentioned, but implied through the design of how muscles were created, that they thrive in the action of exercise. There are some scriptural references to the importance of rest, but again through design, rest naturally incorporates the restoration of the body from a stressful day. Much of our stress is self-induced by poor decisions and many of these decisions, when honestly examined, were decisions made outside the lines of obedience to covenant.
6) You talk about "spiritual obstacles" people face when they diet. Talk about those.
In the book, I review seven spiritual obstacles of hindrances. Each one plays a role in the person’s ability to either gain or maintain health:
· Disregarding covenant: Covenant is a pact that God makes with man. If we are obedient to the law, we will be blessed. If we disregard the law then we become subject to the consequence of the law.
· Abusing Mercy: Just because we don’t experience the judgment of our disobedience immediately, it doesn’t mean that justice will not be served. An example is eating, drinking and laziness does not produce immediate heart disease, but over time, the “period of mercy” (a time when you’re feeling good) will come to an end.
· Prayer: As Christians, we sometimes forget our reasonable Christian responsibility. The Bible urges us to pray before all actions not as a last resort or when all else fails. Sometimes we pray for healing, and sometimes we pray for the wisdom and strength to overcome habits that are causing our illnesses.
· Working against the Creative intelligence: The body is designed to self-heal once interference is removed. Traditional medicine is more focused on symptom treatment then cause correction. A classic example is cholesterol medication to lower cholesterol. Patients find it easier to take the pill then exercise and watch their diet. In the long run, there is no increase in health and, in reality, the actions are working against the creative healing intelligence of the body.
· What we hear: Much of what we hear about health is tainted by economics. Treatments to cover up symptoms are praised. Foods with minimal nutrition are touted as healthy. (Whole grain fruit loops and skim milk, for example). The media and large corporations taint the truth.
7) You address an important question in your book. Why do some people get well and others don't?
Obviously, there is no guarantee of good health or that a certain treatment or procedure will correct a problem and result in good health. There are occasions where the cause of disease or sickness is unknown or that there is no causative element on the part of the person such as unexplained childhood leukemia’s, genetic disorders and outside trauma. The focus here is on those who have creative diseases, which are diseases that have definitive causal relationship with the person’s lifestyle habits. These people have the option to make the changes or not. The first three chapters of the book focus on success positioning. Our experience is that if a person can become committed to adhering to the covenants that govern health and avoid the pitfalls that sabotage health that would increase the chances of regaining health. Quite often, I can assess in the first few minutes of a consultation the character and willingness of the patient to be committed to doing what ever needs to be done to get well. But the vast majority of people need to be trained and convicted (in their spirit) to do what they need to do to improve their wellness.