Prevention, Peril & Unintented Consequences: What Are You Eating?
What to Embrace & What to Avoid?
What comes to mind when you hear Benjamin Franklin’s well known quote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”
The difference between one ounce and sixteen ounces is significant. The meaning of the quote also holds within it a lesson about the value of foresight, and carries an element of precaution and warding off. A thoughtful approach with the intention of keeping something from happening.
It also indicates that when we are not successful in avoiding something, the costs will be much greater than if we had be able to miss it. Another way of conveying this is, “A stitch in time saves nine.”
In terms of our health, perhaps the most compelling value of heeding this wisdom can be summed up in a single phrase: Unintended consequences.
What Is Food To You?
Daily I receive prayer requests from people who are dealing with heartbreaking health challenges; and yet many people do not seem to recognize any correlation between their environment; the nutritionally deficient, and sometimes even harmful, foods they eat; and their lack of exercise with their physical and emotional well-being.
Why is it so many people go along with so little thought, let alone any real scrutiny of what they are exposed to, and what they choose to eat and drink?
How about our food supply? I recently saw a poster that said, “Wake up America Your Food Is Banned In 30 Countries.” Reference: http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-free-regions.html
Anyone who doubts the correlation between the radical changes in our food supply, the widespread consumption of processed food items devoid of nutrients, and the massive amounts of sugar consumed by the average American, as well as the alarming increases in various acute and chronic diseases, obesity, diabetes and cancer has to be seriously uninformed or in denial.
I know people who still eat at fast food chains, and refer to it as their “reward” for getting through a stressful day. Some reward. I know people who say that “food is love.” Actually, food is intended to provide essential nutrients for our highly sophisticated, and tenacious yet vulnerable bodies. Food is not supposed to be entertainment for the bored, a reward for stress, or comfort for those seeking short cuts to dealing with their sideways emotions.
We need to revisit the wisdom in the sayings, “You are what you eat.” And think carefully about the quote by Bill Phillips, “Food is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug in America, and exercise is the most potent and underutilized antidepressant.”
What's the Biggest Threat To Our Health Today?
When I asked Billi Grossman, RDN and health educator, what the most critical concern is regarding our diets, and the biggest threat to our health today, this was her response:
“Genetically Modified Organisms. All GMOs are either herbicide tolerant or are actually engineered to produce pesticides. These toxins interfere with the biochemical pathways of our digestion. They disrupt the balance of gut flora by eliminating beneficial bacteria and allowing overgrowth of harmful bacteria. The DNA of the harmful bacteria actually gets altered to be resistant to the toxins. The toxins inhibit digestive and detoxifying enzymes in the body. I believe this is why we are seeing such a dramatic rise in food allergies and intolerances as well as autoimmune diseases such as Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Celiac, Alzheimer’s, MS, and various kinds of cancers. Additionally, inadequate absorption of nutrients and nutrient deficient food leads to food cravings, obesity and is implicated in many other chronic lifestyle diseases, such as Diabetes and heart disease.”
Most of us don’t realize how pervasive the use of Genetically Modified crops are today. According to USDA Organic, these are the following top commercialized genetically modified crops:
Soy – 94%
Corn – 88%
Canola – 88%
Sugar Beets – 94%
Hawaiian Papaya – 50%
Zucchini & Yellow Squash -24,000 acres
This Isn't Your Father's Staff of Life
The changes to our food supply are profound and have far reaching implications.
Many of us grew up with the saying, “Wheat is the staff of life.” A shepherd’s staff is a pole or walking stick used to guide, lean on, protect. Grains are referred to as something that protects and nourishes life. Today, we hear a lot about people who are gluten intolerant and must avoid wheat.
In an article entitled, “The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten)” it states that, “There is clearly something going on with wheat that is not well known by the general public. It goes far and beyond organic versus nonorganic, gluten or hybridization because even conventional wheat triggers no symptoms for some who eat wheat in other parts of the world.” As the title states, it is not the gluten. As the article indicates, it isn’t due to GMOs either. The truly frightening culprit is the widespread use of the pre-harvest application of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which contains the deadly active ingredient glyphosate.
According to the research in the article, “Roundup significantly disrupts the functioning of beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to permeability of the intestinal wall and consequent expression autoimmune disease symptoms.” You may read the article here: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/real-reason-for-toxic-wheat-its-not-gluten/
The Good News: There Are Solutions & Healthy Options
When I was the executive director of the Marin Interfaith Council, I regularly met with other clergy and discussed various issues facing individuals, our community and the world. One day a fellow clergyperson said something I found compelling. He said, “Linda, what you do here is enable people to work together hand in hand, on issues of common concern, even when they don’t always see eye to eye on everything else.” I was both humbled by and quite taken with that image.
Today I feel even more passionate about our food supply, and the very foundations of life and health. That is why I became affiliated with a worldwide health and wellness company whose mission is to become the largest health and wellness company in the world; and to free people from physical and financial pain.
There are so many alarming health statistics today. One frightening epidemic is obesity. According to the World Health Organization, there are now 500 million adults (age 20 years and older) who are obese. Current estimates are that by the year 2015 that number will increase to 700 million. Obesity is a major risk factor for several chronic diseases and is estimated to account for about 2.5 million deaths per year. One of the most striking things about obesity is that it is preventable. And one of the key causal aspects of obesity is how our body responds to toxins. Our company has helped over 400 people lose more than 100 lbs. each, within the last 12 years.
Whether we are talking about our food, air, or our water, it is clear that we live in a very toxic world. In this brief video, we get a glimpse of what we are up against on a daily basis. This video gives an excellent overview of both our exposure and what we can do about it. Please click on: www.isamovie.com and go to weight loss and watch, Are You Toxic?
The good news is that there are solutions. We know what many of our dire challenges are, and we have healthy options available to make better and cleaner lifestyle choices so we can avoid some of these painful unintended consequences. We can practice ounces of prevention rather than being burdened with pounds of cure with unwanted side-effects. The choice is ours to make, just as the consequences are ours to live with.
Ultimately, it comes down to educating ourselves and choosing what we most want. Our bodies are designed to last a lifetime. But if we don't take good care of ourselves, where are we going to live? As this Chinese proverb states, "If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people."
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