Has obesity and subpar health become the norm?
“Hey everyone, there’s an elephant in the room…”
“No, there is not…”
“Yeah. There is…”
“No there isn’t…….”
And who is the proverbial elephant in question? It is the fact that there is a health crisis in this country and no one is calling it out. America, with all of its knowledge and power and REGULATIONS, has eaten itself into a dismal state of health. This country has sold the food industry short and has traded FOOD production for FODDER production. And America is going along with it. Most Americans eat for a temporary state of satiety. Kinda like a heroin effect. You eat to get “high” or “full”and then you crash. The problem lies in that what we eat is devoid of the nutients one needs to function at a full capacity, so you tend to overeat because your body is starved for micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals and amino acids; as well as enzymes, the catalysts for synthesing these nutrients.
Here’s the scenario;
You go along in your childhood and teens and you eat the standard american diet–heavy on animal proteins, soft drinks, breakfast cereal, pasteurized dairy products (the dairy industry has done a clever number on making us belive that we need a pile of dairy in order to get our calcium–Did you know that dark leafy vegetables have WAY more calcium than milk? Dairy contains a good dose of protein; calcium absorption is hindered by protein so while you might ingest the calcium, you are not absorbing it. And here is the kicker: Western nations have the highest rates of oesteoperosis (a weakening of the bones due to calcium deficency) despite our “calcium-fortified” diet). Maybe during your formative years there is also a nod to the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables and you get a couple of servings of those “baby” carrots-which are actually bigger carrots shaved down and processed to appeal to kids. You reach adulthood and because of your job, social obligations, family, etc., your activity level slows down. And you continue to fill yourself with the standard american diet. Maybe now you’re eating what has been marketed to you as healthy “Chicken Caesar Salad” (the portion is huge, the chicken has been raised with growth hormones and antibiotics which you now have in YOUR system, and you get 1/4 cup of Caesar dressing–400 calories–of which half of the ingredients you can’t even pronounce), “Energy Drinks” and “Omega-Three Flax Seed Calcium-fortified Lowfat Triscuits” (I’m kidding about the last one, but it wouldn’t surprise me). You gobble toasted “whole wheat” bagels with lowfat cream cheese in a quest for a “healthy” breakfast. You switch to Lo-Carb Beer and Nonfat Caramel Lattes; you eat lowfat frozen chicken dinners with only 380 calories. But your waistline is getting bigger, your body softer, your energy is decreasing. You might start to develop some potential health problems for which you have been prescribed medication. And you don’t bat an eye. You accept the fact that you get sick a couple times a year and miss work. You might even contemplate elective surgery to get your health on track. HUH?
Step back a moment. Look at the big picture. The “industrialization of food” has been around for only a hundred plus years. The human body has been around for WAY longer than that. Your body can’t properly process Diet Coke and Baked Barbeque Potato Chips. It doesn’t CARE that the products are low calorie. That’s right, it DOESN’T. It just says to itself “I don’t know how to process all of this stuff coming in, so I am just going to store it in areas of me as toxic waste”. Hey, guess what? Those toxins are making you sick. Not overtly sick in a matter of minutes, but rather over a long, slow period of time.
Take all of those soundbytes that you’ve heard about nutrition and health and piece them together. Here is what you need to do (and it is pretty simple):
- Get active.
- Eat a plant based diet of “non” or “minimally” processed foods. Embrace cutting open a grapefruit or watermelon.
- As much as possible, buy naturally raised or organic foods. I hear the argument that it is expensive, but until the government gets on board and supports the movement, you will have to resign yourself to paying $.50 more per pound for apples. But that is such a small price to pay if you compare it to the cost of prescription drugs, out of pocket health cost, and the ramifications of overall bad health.
I write all of this because over the years I have bought into some of this. I ate all of the reduced fat food products in the 1990’s (FAT is bad, right?). I counted calories and didn’t care where they came from (can you really get 70% of your calories from Beer and lose weight?). But I’m telling you, there is so much good, healthy, SIMPLE food out there which you can eat and enjoy. A perfectly ripe peach, first-of-spring asparagus or a portion of flavorful raw-milk cheese. Or an organic vegetable stirfry with Kaffir lime and young ginger. The recipes and healthy eating plans we provide on this website reflect our beliefs and tastes. As I watch America trade food basics for a diet largely based on packaged, processed fodder, I watch the health of this country decline. I hope that sooner rather than later, most of us will be aware of the elephant in the room, and understand what it takes to get it back to its roots.