I'm not even sure what to say in today's post. I certainly don't want to hop on my big 'ol soap box about agricultural subsidization, the totally messed up FDA food pyramid, GMO's, improper use of antibiotics, and good criminey, school cafeteria food. Heavens, that would be a really long post and it would likely make me look like a anti-everything person. Though I don't agree with much of the way food is produced in this country in general, I prefer to put my energy towards that which I DO support and believe in. I guess I have this funny idea that fighting war with more war is kind of assenine. :)
I hope there are enough people out there willing to fight their entire lives trying to fix a flawed system - my school cafeteria food hero Jamie, for one, because heaven knows I have my hands full just trying to keep my own little family as well nourished as possible. Also, I'm kind of lazy and i have another funny idea...that eating should be nourishing, pleasurable, and part of the daily experience of joy. Growing it, gathering it, cooking it, eating it. It takes work to make good choices these days but it's a fun, adventurous kind of work that very quickly becomes easy and second nature. I believe that the reason it takes work is because our whole system - agriculture, food processing, etc. - is set up to keep us buying the cheap, low quality foods that we as an American society have become addicted to.(Here's a great example. Worth every single one of the 19 or so minutes!)
In a mere two generations, mine included, diseases that bring death have multiplied exponetially as a result of major changes in the way our food is grown, processed and preserved since the wide spread introduction of pesticides and preservatives in the 50's. This is no small thing - as the wife of a diabetic - this is no small thing.
Let me tell you something about diabetes. It is not just because of obesity or a high sugar diet - though most people in America who have type 2 are overweight with a high sugar/processed food diet. Theman has never been anywhere near obese nor is he a sweet tooth. He eats better than I do most of the time! (lots of fresh veggies, beans, etc) and yet he was diagnosed with type two just a few years before I met him. There is so much more to the story - environmental contaminents, pesticides, herbicides, modified sugars, etc. All of these things play a big role in how our individual bodies cope with survival.
(I feel myself stepping up on to that soap box...back off..back off..)
So, long story short, I've learned quite a few things in my own quest for health both by doing a lot of research (here's one of my favorite health and nutrition go-to sites) and by listening to my own intuition (which is really hard to do when there's so much mis-information out there!) Here is a short list:
1) Not all foods within a certain category are created equal. Pesticide and herbicide rich celery, for example, is so much harder on your vital organs, endocrine system and general well being than organic/homegrown celery. Not all pasta is bad, not all chicken is good, not all sweet things are bad, not all soy is good. The list goes on and on.
2) The USDA food pyramid is eff'd up. (yeah, I just said that. sorry if it burns your ears.) It was created by the very markets that are trying to sustain themselves. Of course the individual industries want you to have more of what they are selling!
3) The publicized organic food movement has become too trendy for my taste. I'm so not into the idea that organic/nutritious food should be so flipping expensive and exclusive. Home grown is the best and locally grown is an awesome alternative. Look for CSA's in your area to connect up with amazing produce. Make friends with a neighbor who gardens - trade time helping for a bit of the harvest.
4) School cafeteria/fast food is even more eff'd up than the food pyramid. Watch a few episodes of this to see what I mean.
5) The children are suffering. We think that the "teen" phase is just uncomfortable for us the parents but imagine how it is for them! They are living in an environment full of all sorts of nastiness they have to filter every second. Social garbage, emotional garbage, hormonal garbage, parental unit garbage, and food garbage. They are BOMBARDED with garbage from every direction and we expect them to be pleasant??! Not only that, but they generally do not get enough rest and they are severely malnourished if they are not getting regular plant based home cooked meals. They are not mean and ornry just because they want to be. They are mean and ornry because their bodies and minds aren't functioning well and they have no idea!
6) You don't have to be an over-the-top-obnoxious-anti-government-fanatic to be passionate about good food. Just ask theman (who is incapable of being and over-the-top-obnoxious-fanatic about anything and who is also passionate about nourishment. He's my saving grace.) I love the information in this movie as well as the principles of self-love when it comes to health in this book.
7) Good health isn't just about weight. There are lots of skinny people out there dying of the same diseases many overweight people have. It's not just a matter of the fat in the american diet. Chemicals are the biggest culprit for hormonal imbalances, mental fog, mineral and vitamin loss, etc.
8) You don't have to sacrifice real food for health. I love me some real butter and olive oil. I'm just learning how little I need to enjoy it to its fullest when I combine them with the amazing flavors of nature!
There's a lot more i've learned and am learning. Mostly I just want to invite you to investigate for yourself. If you feel yourself wanting to not know - to remain in denial - chances are close examination is a good idea. Imagine who you could be and what you could give if you were functioning at your full potential of good health and well being.