(Dietary changes should be discussed with a health care provider.)
Our bodies are amazing instruments – in what they can accomplish on a regular basis, in their ability to multi-task, in what they can withstand, and in that which they can repair and from which they can recover. If, however, we stretch ourselves too thin or mistreat ourselves for too long, our bodies are much less efficient at orchestrating all of this.
It’s flu season. Ever notice that you can push yourself too hard and remain healthy; you can sleep too little and remain healthy; you can endure a stressful event and remain healthy; you can stay out in the cold and not catch a cold, but if you’re stressed about a project and push yourself to work hard late into the nights then continually rise early to keep up with your regularly scheduled winter days, you’re soon out flat from the flu or the malady of the moment.
Your body has a budget of resources, which includes an excess above what’s necessary to live – to keep your brain functioning, your heart beating, your lungs breathing, your food digesting and your organs aiding these processes. We use the excess to do what we need and want to do each day – to “live” -- but we share this discretionary budget with the parts of our body, which need to fix any harm we cause doing whatever it is we do -- whether what we do results in injury, in DNA mutation, in a need to fight germs, in a need to counteract the damage of sustained high levels of stress, or in a need for detoxification.
After the oxygen we breathe and the water we drink (and arguably the sun in the sky and the support & love we receive from family and friends) our body’s budget of resources for maintaining health and energy is gathered from the food we eat – much of which eats up its own profit contribution because it comes at such a high cost. You might say -- that a little artificial flavor is nothing to fear, that casein consumption can be kept under control, that corn syrup won’t kill us, that we are bigger than the pests pesticides are created to kill (though they build up over time), that we may have 50 years to find balance in our fat intake before it causes a heart attack – and you’d be right. Any ONE of these things our bodies can breeze through, any two or three we can probably handle, albeit less efficiently, but tackle a handful of these things at once, day in and day out, and we stretch ourselves too thin. Rather than eliminating one area of spending, we are maintaining minimum payments on many problems that are accruing high interest rates and health penalties.
Our bodies can protect us from the latest x, y or z that scientists and the media report will bring death at an early age; however, our bodies can’t handle x AND y AND z, especially not on top of t AND u AND v, let alone w! We probably consume the vast majority of…
Artificial Colors AND Artificial Flavors AND Casein (dairy protein) which speeds cancerous tumor formation AND Chemical Fertilizers AND Chemical Preservatives AND Dirty Dozen Foods which have the highest pesticide residue per serving AND Excessive Added Sugar AND “Fake” Foods AND Fake Sweeteners AND Farm Raised Fish which are fed GMO soy and sometimes waste instead of seaweed and little fish OR Fish From Industrially Contaminated Regions which are high in mercury AND Fructose (no longer in its fruit or plant) AND GMOs on which there have not been enough long term testing; which encourage higher herbicide use & some of which actually, actively produce pesticides; also due to which health problems are beginning to emerge AND Herbicides AND High Fructose Corn Syrup which is toxic in the long term AND Hydrolyzed Corn Protein AND Meat: Treated with Antibiotics OR Meat: Grain Fed whose fats are out of balance (has a very low Omega 3 to other fats ratio) OR Meat: Injected with Hormones OR Meat: Non-Organic in which pesticides and herbicides from the animal’s food are concentrated exponentially and aren’t on the outside where they can be even partially washed off AND Partially Hydrogenated Fats AND Pesticides AND Pollutants AND Prescription Drugs Taken Long Term OR Prescription Drugs Taken Second Hand (after making their way into the water supply and contaminating the soil) AND Highly Processed Foods which provide few nutrients and little fiber, but provide many of the other examples on this list mixed together in one easy to consume package, and which often provide concentrated flavor that makes natural food less palatable AND MSG AND Simple Starches & Stripped Grains AND Sodium Fluoride AND Trans Fats AND Wheat from Modern Strains which have been bred for profitability rather than digestibility
…on a daily basis. It’s just too much for too long. These things either build up in your system, damage your system or slowly wear your body out as it constantly keeps them from building up in or repeatedly repairs the damage that they do to your body. If you think you feel fine now, think of how much better you could feel cutting most of these out. Energy formerly used up mitigating damage could be redirected to better use. Plus, who knows which “poison” will be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back and lays you out flat in the permanent sort of way.
CHALLENGE #24 of 50:
This is a two-part challenge; first help yourself and then help the world. Consider which things on the above list you currently consume the most, and then give 3 of those up. Choose one more thing (from those 3 or not) and support its general removal from use. You can encourage others to wallet-vote against it. You can vote to revise legislation regarding its use. You can call a company and request its removal from a favorite product or you can educate others as to its dangers.
BOOK CLUB RECCOMENDATION:
“Diet for a New America” John Robbins
(Diet in this case does not – and in general should not -- refer to a temporary change in or reduction of what we eat, it just refers to what we do eat on a regular basis.)
QUOTE of the WEEK:
It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat.