Posts Tagged With: food

Everything We’ve Been Taught About Health is Wrong

You may have heard how Americans are unhealthier than ever, in spite of billions spent on healthcare. Not surprising since healthcare tries to fix the problems after the fact, instead of addressing root causes. How did health begin to spiral out of control? One major reason began, not surprisingly, with government meddling.

The government’s devaluation of the dollar in 1971, allowing Congress to spend endlessly and thus devaluing the dollar even further, effectively destroyed vibrant, healthy, American agriculture. Saifedean Ammous details the history in The Fiat Standard, and here are some highlights:

Government policies begun in the 1970s “killed small-scale agriculture and forced small farmers to sell their plots to large corporations, consolidating the growth of industrial food production, which would in due time destroy America’s soil and its people’s health…” This brought down the prices of industrialized foods, but “the quality of food was degraded…[and] as prices of highly nutritious foods rise, people are inevitably forced to replace them with cheaper alternatives.”

Instead of issuing dietary guidelines based on science, they are often designed “to promote cheap industrial food substitutes” and are “shaped by an increasingly powerful agricultural industrial complex…The food pyramid is a recipe for metabolic disease, obesity, diabetes, and a plethora of health problems that have been increasingly common…” Industrial foods are often full of “toxic, heavily processed industrial chemicals misleadingly referred to as ‘vegetable oils’…as well as the abomination that is margarine.”

“Refined sugar and flour can be better understood as drugs…[the process] is similar to the refining process that has made cocaine and heroin such highly addictive substances…Government subsidies for the production of unhealthy foods-and government scientists recommending and requiring we eat them…[has resulted in a] dietary transition on Americans’ health [that] has been calamitous…their mental and physical health are deteriorating…increasing obesity is not a sign of affluence but a symptom of deprivation…The ever-increasing cost of medication and healthcare cannot be understood without reference to the destruction of health, diet, and soil, and the economic and nutritional system that promoted this calamity.”

Healthy cultures “relied heavily on animal products…junk food cravings are also a result of deep malnutrition caused by not eating enough meat.”

“Americans are not fat because of prosperity and abundance; Americans are fat because they are malnourished and nutritionally impoverished.”

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Happy With Your Health?

“We’ve normalized being unhealthy. Some of the statistics are just truly frightening…88%…of adults in the United States today are not healthy…60% of the adults over 50…are on multiple prescription medications. Poor health has actually become the normal…We don’t even expect to be healthy anymore. We spend all of our efforts, all of our energy, trying to manage our illness, instead of trying to remain healthy in the first place…Each individual, everyone has to realize they have the power…to keep themselves healthy…and not need the healthcare system.” – Dr. Phillip Ovadia

Want to make an investment in your health? Check out Dr. Ovadia’s, Stay Off My Operating Table. This short book could be one of the most valuable reads in taking control of your own health. Check out an interview with Ovadia here and start your journey to a better life.

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Healthy Reading

If you haven’t checked out the Hero’s Journey interval training program yet, why not? Training or working out doesn’t have to be boring or something you have to do, it should be something you want to do. Add these two to the mix: the Legolas Workout or the Shieldmaiden Workout or any of the other dozens of themed workouts at Training, however, is only half of the equation.

The other half is nutrition. Sure, working out out will reduce the weight, just as only “dieting” will, but focusing on only one makes long-term maintenance difficult and gains often temporary. If you have decided on a commitment to better health, you also have to commit to some studying. Knowledge has many benefits for your lifestyle change, such as: Continue reading

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Will You Let Society Define your Humantity?

Exponentially growth in allergies. ADD. Autism. A very short time ago, these conditions were rare. No, they weren’t going completely undiagnosed. They were rare compared to now. Add to that other chronic conditions which make up the bulk of our healthcare costs and it seems our increasing lifespan may head in the other direction (if it hasn’t already, hidden by the science that heals many of these issues that would otherwise be deadly).

Sadly, many of our health problems are preventable or, at the very least, reducible in severity and frequency.

Worse, in spite of all the angst spent on health and disease, it doesn’t seem many want to change.

Or has there been a slowly growing movement in which many are taking their health in the own hands?

Based on my own observations (growth in healthy food options, availability of information, more people abandoning fad diets for healthy lifestyles…), I think there is, but what percentage of the population this involves, I do not know. I do known, more are waking up to the reality that the government is not going to do it for them. They work for whomever flashes the most money in front of them. Companies produce what you want: Prefer junk food? That’s what they will make.

This is Important Point #1: Every cent spent is like a vote. Want better food? Buy it and support it.

This is Important Point #2: Knowledge is power. Knowing what’s in foods, what they do to your body (good and bad), what the difference is between dieting and a healthy lifestyle and so on is half the battle. So is knowing the shady ways many ingredients have been declared safe. Knowledge lets you walk past the junk and know that you are responsible for yourself.

This is Important Point #3: You have time for fitness. It’s not a fad. It’s part of your life. Don’t have time? You made time for hours of television, surfing the internet and other things you can live without. Priorities. Don’t let others define you. That’s a do-it-yourself job.

This is Important Point #4: Nutrition is the other side of the fitness coin. Go back to #2.

This is Important Point #5 and the Most Important Point: Our bodies aren’t design to be inactive, couch potatoes. They aren’t designed to process frankenfood or run on it in any optimal manner. They are designed for movement and action. Adventure and work. The world is full of custom-made food for our bodies.

Perhaps one of the many reasons people have such trouble finding their part of the Story in life — what they are meant to be — is because the very biology they are born with has been ignored, abused and refashioned.

The next time someone tells, “It’s okay to have that once in awhile,” or tries to convince bad food is a “treat” or to keep your “health stuff” to yourself or it’s all “good in moderation” or “I’ll do whatever I want,” say to them this:

“I’d rather live to the full potential that my humanity has innately endowed me with. I won’t let society define for me, or redefine, what humanity is or should be. I was designed for something better than they want for me.”

Be unshackled. Find your Story. Be human again.


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Your Health in Your Hands

Yes, I normally review novels and history nonfiction here, but hey, I can deviate once and awhile on my own blog and this particular deviation concerns health (and I do mention six books below). I haven’t done any official studies or surveys, but is there a trend in recent years of people living healthier and taking control of their own health? I think there is based on growth I have seen in healthier food demands and fitness movements that focus on common sense nutrition and exercise. At the very least I hope this is what I’m seeing.

While debates rage on government intervention in healthcare, what has largely been ignored is the way we, in large measure, control our own health. Genetics plays a part, in some people more than others, but some of us tend to blame our ancestors more than we should. Our lifestyles can also exacerbate or initiate problems lurking in our genes. Truth is, many of the chronic diseases we suffer through are preventable. This has led many to turn to common sense efforts to turn the tide.

To be sure, there are many too-good-to-be-true weight loss and get healthy plans out there. Way too many. Yes, you cut out one entire food group or another or all fat or all carbs, you’ll lose weight. Will you stay that way and be healthier overall? Not always. Common sense plans focus on both nutrition and exercise and the right kinds of each. Eating healthy isn’t rice cakes and iceberg lettuce. It is eating a well-balanced intake from the food groups, learning what is a real portion, what foods we do eat too much of and what ingredients do and don’t do to our bodies.

I have found that knowledge is half the battle. If you know why something is bad for you and what it will do to you, you are much less likely to eat it. And yes, if you care about your health, you’ll have to commit some time to overcoming the learning curve. A great place to start is Eat This and Live for an accessible and simple guide to eating healthy. Top that off with You: The Owner’s Manual and You: Staying Young and your healthcare library is off to a good start.

Then there is all those workout plans. One that actually makes sense is The ABS Diet (which was designed for men and women, but they released a more women-specific version), which isn’t so much a diet as a health plan. Combining good nutrition with a fitness plan that covers all your core muscles. When many people exercise, they focus on one part of their body or one type of routine. In scientific reality, you want to work all your muscle groups. No, you don’t have to be a body builder, but strong muscles are your fat burners, even when you are asleep or sitting on the couch. You won’t see your abs by just doing sit-ups.

You must keep challenging your body or it will quickly adapt and you’ll hit a brick wall. Constantly one must keep evaluating their workouts and adjust. Once you own a pattern, it must be tweaked so it challenges again. The one weakness of the ABS Diet is it doesn’t show you how to adjust all those core exercises, many of which are perfect for doing just that. So stack with it one of the more reasonable interval programs such as the Spartacus Workout and cycle through its seven routines. The ABS Diet will fill in the nutrition and health knowledge that the Spartacus Workout doesn’t mention. Combining the two is a perfect match and you don’t need a gym or much equipment. And so you never get bored, check out Neila Rey‘s 100 Workouts all creative and free to download. Yes, I said 100 and free (though instead of printing all the workouts out, it may be cheaper to buy the bound version). Here’s someone committed to promoting good health.

If not already apparent, you should consult with healthcare professionals before you undertake a radical lifestyle change, especially if you have existing conditions. Nor do you have to implement every change overnight. Ultimately, however, we all must decide if our health is important to us. If we determine that it is, then there is a question you must ask.

What are you going to do about it and when will you start?

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Harvest Season: A Message from the Past

Autumn is in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, but you really can’t appreciate it unless you live somewhere where the leaves are changing. Fall is a great season full of history. It is also the time to spend as much time outside before winter sets in. Sure, winter has its own history and traditions, but halfway through it you are ready for it to be over. Fall, on the other hand, is often way too short.

One of the season’s highlights is the focus on harvest and the related festivals. Yes, we all enjoy these, especially Thanksgiving, though by then it often feels like winter. In the past these events took on great importance as people stocked up for winter and enjoyed the transitional temps while they lasted. But I wonder if people should pay some more attention to the harvest season like they once did.

We are so used to walking into Wal-Mart and buying our food and have no clue where it comes from. Nor do we know what’s in it and we waste it by the ton. What happens if we face a natural or man-made catastrophe? Or even a temporary (few month long) problem with food supplies? And what would people do if they couldn’t get fruit year-round anymore like back in the day?

Maybe people should use this season to learn to be a little more self-reliant. Figure out what they would do if they couldn’t get to the store for a few days. I’m not talking about building bunkers here, but most people would be at a complete loss. Do you have a back-up heat source? Water? Food for a couple days? It’s really common sense, but we have become so pampered we think buying milk, bread and toliet paper is all the survival skills we need.

Our ancestors knew to plan ahead. Their lives depended on it. Sadly, most people today don’t realize that just one small hiccup can change everything.

P.S. If you read the link above about the tons of food we waste, I hope you also conclude that there should be no hungry people in this world. Perhaps this season, as it often has, should be used by everyone to find ways to waste less and share more.

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