Food is Your Miracle Medicine

Funny what you remember when you get to be 70.

I remember walking 5 miles to school in the 8th grade and then playing tag on the school grounds and being the fastest runner in the group.

Later I remember high school track and running the hurdles and the hundred yard dash.

In the air force, I remember walking down the beach from Biloxi Mississippi to Gulfport – it was about 13 miles one way in the sand barefoot and I did it every day. It was really hard to keep weight on in those days. I weight 135 pounds and ate anything and everything I wanted.

Up until I was 50, I didn’t notice that there was anything I couldn’t eat. As we became a little more affluent, we ate in restaurants more often and the food choices got more extravagant and the food portions larger and larger.

I just steadily gained weight every year until one day, after feeling very tired at work, I fell asleep driving home and totaled my car (nobody involved but me thank God) and I walked away OK but got tested for sleep apnea and found that I had it. And of course that’s another contributor to stress and weight gain – and there is a lot of undiagnosed apnea going around as more and more people gain weight.

By the time I realized I was overweight, I was really overweight – well over 200 pounds. The doctor told me I was classified as obese.

For 10 years I followed the low-fat, high carb diet that everyone seemed to prescribe and of course more and more of my meals became processed and packaged foods. And I got hungrier and hungrier and heavier and heavier.

But it took a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome to finally wake me up and start me looking for deeper knowledge than what my doctors and advisors were giving me.

I have learned some important lessons the hard way.

Whole Foods

There are lots of choices for foods and most of them are processed and packaged foods that are no good for me. Even if they seem to have healthy ingredients, chances are the processing, temperatures, and chemicals have reduced the effectiveness of nutrients to almost nothing.

Whole Foods are foods that come directly out of the ground or directly from a ranch or farm.

It doesn’t matter what it says on the label, if you’re reading a label you’re probably not getting whole food.

Organic Foods

Even Whole Foods now have a whole host of new problems. Some foods that come off a farm are infested with Genetically Modified Organisms and some foods carry insecticides and hormones that were used in the farming process and aren’t fit to eat.

USDA Organic Certification provides some assurances but even with that, there are ways that farmers collaborate with the FDA to show you the seal and then give you something else. Buying from small local farmers where you can inspect their practices is the best practice even if they are too small to get the USDA certification you’re better off.

Carbohydrates and Sugar

These foods are not what our bodies were designed to eat. They weren’t even part of our diet until much later in human evolution. As hunter-gatherers, we rarely had access to foods with carbohydrates and therefore our insulin always remained in control and our blood sugar levels were never a danger.

Today, everything placed in front of us and packaged at the super-market is high in carbohydrates. This is what the food industry wants us to buy. It’s also what’s killing us. Just like cows were not designed to eat grains and corn, we were not designed to eat carbohydrates.

Inflammation

This is a condition that occurs when you’re body is in pain or needs to defend itself. You can tell you have inflammation but you become so accustomed to the symptoms that you either ignore them and call them “old age” or you take Advil or Motrin or Lyrica, or something else, just to hold down the effects of inflammation rather than seek out the real root cause and eliminate it.

When your fingers and joints hurt, that’s inflammation. And there are whole variety of different symptoms that signal inflammation. When you’re eating something or being exposed to something that your body has even a mild dislike for, you’ll have inflammation constantly. Fat is not just a layer of tissue, it’s an organ that can produce inflammation all on its own. The fatter you get the more inflammation you produce.

And inflammation damages organs – it’s just a matter of which organ is weakest – the brain, the liver, the kidneys, and pancreas. Any number of symptoms derive from inflammation’s affects on our organs over a longer period of time.

But doctors and scientists have already proven that they can stop inflammation and heal the diseases caused by it using foods that are good from you and that you were intended to eat.

 

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