Coloring Books are the big ‘thing’ these days.
I loved coloring as a child, and the Crayola box of 72 with the sharpener and the book of ideas was one of my favorite things… right along with my Spirograph. I used this set until there were nothing but little stubs left!
I was an only child and I had a lot of time by myself, so coloring was a common pastime. I would sit for hours and color away. A new coloring book was a huge treat for me and would keep me occupied for weeks.
In my teens I found Dover Publications and even back then they had coloring books that were more intricate than the normal ones you found at the five and dime stores. They also had paper crafting books that I loved…but that is a subject for another post!
These days Dover is just one of many that publish coloring books, but they still have an awesome selection of all sorts of books.
Coloring as a life-long hobby.
My fascination with coloring continued into my adult years. I would search out the few available selections in the bookstore ‘art’ sections (remember, there was no internet when I was young) and at one time I had every book I could find. For a while, I got away from coloring, but when I was pregnant with my first child at 23, I found myself drawn back to it – it calmed me and I would color for hours at a time. Of course at that point, (1983) I had given up crayons and began using colored pencils and markers. I loved geometric designs and flowers, but I also had books of real life animals and objects for variety.
Those few people who knew I enjoyed coloring thought me a bit odd, but that was somewhat normal for me. Being an only child, I had always been a bit ‘different’ than my peers, so it didn’t stop me. Although I didn’t tell a lot of people about it because they did look at me like I had two heads at times when I did.
So the baby came and I didn’t color much as I was much too busy raising children and working. However I never lost my love of it and would come back to it from time to time. The books and markers always remained part of my book collection through the years.
When I was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, I began coloring again. It again helped me stay calm and kept my mind and hands occupied through a difficult physical time when I couldn’t do other things that I loved. People were more accepting of it as I was using it as ‘therapy’, but it was still not looked at as ordinary.
Why do we love coloring? What is the fascination with something we learned to do as children?
So why has this hobby taken a tremendous leap in popularity? Why all of a sudden are coloring books the hottest trend out there?
Currently 5 of Amazon’s top sellers are coloring books. That is pretty amazing when you think about how many books you can find at Amazon.
I don’t need a psychology degree to understand what draws people to coloring. I can tell you from my own heart.
Something we all need these days is ways to decompress and coloring can do that for people who may not have other outlets. Coloring is a way of ‘creating’ even if you are not ‘artistic’. You don’t have to be able to draw, you don’t have to come up with ideas, you just have to fill in the blanks. The very act of coloring is calming as it is a repetitive act, and it takes some concentration to fill in those little tiny spots. Your brain, normally filled with stress and all sorts of worries, turns inward and focuses. It is much like meditation, or it can be if you allow yourself to just be in the moment of colors and lines and leave all your other thoughts behind. It is renewing and relaxing. We all know how bad stress can be for us, even if we don’t know the science behind it, and coloring reduces stress. I’m sure this is why during some of the most stressful parts of my life, I have returned over and over to coloring. I do many other creative things, but this is one I have always gone back to and will continue to keep in my creative arsenal.
While coloring you are also exercising the creative part of your brain – which doesn’t always get much use in the fact oriented society we live in. And you get to do it in a way that has no judgements. There is no right or wrong with coloring, you can do it however you want. You can use crayons, paints, pencils, markers, gel pens, or chalk. You can color a picture with 12 shades of blue or a rainbow of neon or glittery colors. You can color the same picture several times finding new expressions and patterns in each one. You can color the same picture as someone else and it will be a totally unique creation, because you are unique and your creations will reflect that. However you do it, you will have a beautiful finished product that is rewarding to look at, and that can bring feelings of pride and accomplishment.. again, things we don’t always get a lot of in the rest of our daily life.
Coloring can be a solitary pastime, keeping one company during alone time, or it can be communal. You can join with other coloring enthusiasts and color together in social situations, throw a coloring party, or just share finished pieces with each other. Seeing other people’s creations can inspire you to try new mediums, color combinations or styles. In reality, you are collaborating even when you color alone as you are completing the vision of the artist who did the design to color.
Even if you never show the pictures to anyone, the time you spend coloring is not wasted time. In a world where everything we do is supposed to be productive and benefit everyone around you, isn’t it refreshing that there is something you can do that is just for you and there is no one who cares if, how or when you it? Even if you choose to be social with your coloring, in the end, it is just for you. Tape your pictures to the wall, frame them, or put them in a box and never look at them again.. it is totally up to you! Very freeing isn’t it?
In the past couple of years, I have branched out from coloring to an art form called Zentangle and Zentangle inspired art – This is a way of drawing and creating lines in somewhat repetitive fashion and is another form of creativity that has the same effects as coloring. It is even used for therapy by health professionals. Zentangle is normally done in black and white, but it can inspire you to further art and you can even color in some of your creations if you wish.
A few Zentangle patterns
Recently, I learned how to make some of my own designs to color – How cool is that. Most of the pages I color are from coloring books, or found on Pinterest, but now, I even make my own. Here are a few of my original designs for you to copy and color:
(right click and use ‘save image as’ or ‘save to desktop’)
Please enjoy these designs and if you have never tried coloring, I hope I have inspired you to give it a try!
For years now, I have been using different Essential Oils.
I enjoy the scents and in our house, I can’t burn candles or use incense – both of which I love. My husband has Asthma and scents have always triggered his lungs and affected his breathing.
So I started using them, simply because they were great scents that I could use without any bad effects for my husband.
However, as I started looking at the oils and all the benefits, I realized that Essential Oils were more than just a pretty scent.
The bonus is that my husband can also use them and while he is still sensitive to strong smells, the oils do NOT trigger his lungs to contract.
100% Pure ESSENTIAL OILS come from Nature
Essential oils are the volatile aromatic compounds found in the bark, leaves, seeds, stems, roots and flowers of plants. They are the compounds that protect the plant against disease and predators and also attract pollinators.
From ancient times, people have understood the benefits of Essential Oils and used them in food preparation, for their skin health and in traditional medicines.
So they are more than just a perfume!
Now, oils CAN be used as scent, in aromatherapy, diffused into the air. They can purify the air, remove unwanted odors and calm, soothe or energize the body and mind, depending on which oils you choose.
Oils can also be used topically – on the skin. They are easily absorbed, and most are completely safe. Some can be applied ‘neat’ and others should be diluted with a carrier oil.
The last way you can use Essential Oils are internally. Now not ALL oils can be used this way and you want to be sure you have Certified Pure, Theraputic Grade Essential Oils before you take them orally, but when you have quality oils, they can be used as dietary supplements that support many health conditions.
Essential Oils are not a cure, and should not be used to the exclusion of medical care, but they can support the body’s systems and strengthen it’s innate healing abilities.
What kinds of oils do I get, there are so many brands out there?
Potency and Purity are critical and begin in the quality of the plants used to make the oils.
In the beginning I used all sorts of oils, but as my knowledge grew, I learned to choose high quality Certified Pure, Theraputic Grade Essential Oils that have gone through rigorous testing. If I am going to use these to support my health, then buying the ‘cheapest oil’ because it is cheap, is sort of like buying junk food. – it may help my system, (or it may include additives that could harm me!) but unless I am assured that the oils are pure and have the highest potency available, I am wasting money in the long run.
I have done my research and have learned that I need to buy high quality oils – it makes a huge difference.
So what are my favorite oils?
For sleep, nervous system support, fire ant bites, skin care, respiratory support. I am only listing a few of the benefits of each oil, there are many more.
Traditional Oil from biblical history. Considered a tonic for the whole body, it helps with headaches, and has anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, disinfectant, digestive, diuretic, and expectorant properties.
Indigestion, heartburn, headache, muscle pain, nerve pain, toothache and oral health, and it repels insects (I use a home made ant spray that includes peppermint oil!)
Purifying and cleansing (makes a great addition to any DIY cleaning product), Oral health and bad breath, digestion, promotion of weight loss and digestive detox, great for the skin, invigorating and smells great for aromatherapy.
These are just 4 of my favorites! I have a whole collection of others. When I teach classes I share these and many more.
Why do I want to share?
Why wouldn’t I?
I am passionate about helping individuals and families become empowered to have natural solutions and plant based medicines in their homes that can change and improve their lives!
I share because I have found so many benefits by using Essential Oils to replace other toxic substances for my health and home care. We are so inundated by toxins these days from all sources, anything we can do to minimize our exposure will be helpful. And essential oils are a powerful tool to support your immunity and overall health.
If you would like more information, email me at email@example.com and I can tell you more or get you hooked up with someone near you to help you learn more.
If you are local, please go to my facebook page, follow my posts and watch for announcements of my classes where you can learn and experience the oils in person and get samples to try for yourself.
Photo: from 20centmixture.com
FDA Disclaimer: The information, advice, statements, and testimonials made about the essential oils, blends, and products mentioned on this page have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information on this site and the products listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, nor are they intended to replace proper medical help. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any regimen with essential oils. User submitted testimonials are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results – what works for one may not work for another.
There has been a huge upswing of talk about probiotics in the last few years. There has also been an increase in the number of studies that show how what happens in our guts and with our gut microbiota (the colony of millions of good and bad microbes that live inside our digestive tract) has a direct and HUGE impact on all aspects of our health from our digestion and inflammatory bowel issues to weight loss, thyroid function, joint issues, chronic diseases and even our brain function.
One way to first establish and heal, and then to support a healthy microbiome, is by giving your little internal colony the right ‘food’. Probiotics do help, but even before that come ‘Prebiotics’
Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates – indigestible to us in the larger sense, but because they don’t digest they reach your microbiome intact where they feed your good bacteria.
What does this have to do with potato salad and mofongo (and what IS mofongo??)
There are three types of prebiotics:
Non-starch polysaccharides (inulin and fuctooligosaccharide), found in onions, bananas, leeks, artichokes, chicory, cane sugar and asparagus
Soluble Fiber (including psyllium husk), found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and flax
And Resistant Starch. – from raw potatoes, green bananas, plantains, cooked-and-cooled potatoes, cooked-and-cooled-rice, parboiled rice, and cooked-and-cooled (This is where the potato salad and mofongo come in! – Don’t worry, I’ll tell you what it is below)
Each type feeds different types of gut bacteria, but Resistant Starch has some very unique benefits.
Why is it called Resistant Starch
Most starchy foods, carbohydrates are digested quickly and can cause spikes in blood glucose or insulin and, as we all know, tend to cause weight gain.
Resistant starch however, is not digested in the stomach or small intestine, reaching the colon intact. (this is how it got it’s name) So when consumed, we don’t have spikes in either blood glucose or insulin and we don’t gain significant calories either.
There are four types of resistant starch:
RS Type 1: Starch is physically inaccessible, bound within the fibrous cell walls of plants. This is found in grains, seeds, and legumes.
RS Type 2: Starch with a high amylose content (amylose is a soluble component of starch that forms a stiff gel at ordinary temperatures), which is indigestible in the raw state. This is found in potatoes, green (unripe) bananas, and plantains. Cooking these foods causes changes in the starch making it digestible to us, and removing the resistant starch. (MOFUNGO.. it’s in this category!)
RS Type 3: Also called retrograde resistant starch since this type forms after Type 1 or Type 2 RS is cooked and then cooled. These cooked and cooled foods can be reheated at low temperatures, less than 130 degrees and maintain the benefits of resistant starch. But be careful! Heating at higher temperatures will again convert the starch into a form that is digestible to us rather than “feeding” our gut bacteria. Examples include cooked and cooled parboiled rice, cooked and cooled potatoes, and cooked and cooled properly prepared (soaked or sprouted) legumes. – so pour your warm curry over cooled and room temperature rice! (Potato Salad is this type)
RS Type 4: This is a synthetic form of RS – (not recommended, always go for the most ‘REAL’ foods). A common example is “hi-maize resistant starch.”
Once resistant starch reaches the large intestine, bacteria attach to and digest, or ferment, the starch. This is when our bodies benefit from the resistant starch.
What resistant starch does
As I said above your gut is filled with hundreds of types of bacteria, some good…some.. not so much. The balance of each type has profound effects on our health. Resistant starch stimulates and feeds the good bacteria, helping to maintain this healthy balance.
The good bacteria “feed” on resistant and produce several types of short chain fatty acids (through fermentation), the most significant of which is butyrate. Butyrate is of particular importance due to its beneficial effects on the colon and overall health. It is the preferred energy source of the cells lining the colon. (more on this below) It also helps in increasing metabolism, decreasing inflammation and it improves stress resistance.
So how does Resistant Starch affect my overall health?
Metabolic Syndrome is something that seems to have gone haywire in the last couple of decades. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Even if you don’t have all of these conditions, any one of them is of concern.
Insulin resistance and chronically elevated blood glucose are associated with a host of chronic diseases, including metabolic syndrome and its associated conditions. In one study, consumption of 15 and 30 grams per day of resistant starch showed improved insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese men, equivalent to the improvement that would be expected with weight loss equal to approximately 10% of body weight.
Further, resistant starch has been shown to exert a “second meal effect.” This means that not only does the resistant starch decrease the blood glucose response at the time it’s consumed, but blood glucose and insulin levels also rise less than would otherwise be expected with the subsequent meal. Bonus!!!!!
Why you might hear about resistant starch as a “weight loss food” Really? Potato Salad could help me lose weight?
Resistant starch seems to have several beneficial effects that may contribute to weight loss, including decreased blood insulin spikes after meals (as discussed above), decreased appetite, and decreased fat storage in fat cells. There may also be preservation of lean body mass, though further studies in humans are needed to confirm if there is a significant impact in overall body weight.
Further, several studies have shown alterations in the gut microbiome in association with obesity, which subsequently change towards the balance seen in lean individuals with weight loss. Without getting overly technical, this has to do with the balance of types of beneficial bacteria –resistant starch seems to put them into the correct balance.
Back to Butyrate, intestinal and other inflammation
As we mentioned previously, resistant starch intake increases production of butyrate by our gut microbes. Butyrate acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent for the colonic cells, and functions to improve the integrity of our gut by decreasing intestinal permeability and therefore keeping toxins in the gut and out of the bloodstream.
The short chain fatty acids that aren’t utilized by the colonic cells enter the bloodstream, travel to the liver, and spread throughout the body where they exert additional anti-inflammatory effects.
Resistant starch may also decrease the risk of colorectal cancer, by providing protection from DNA damage, creating favorable changes in gene expression, and increasing apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells.
If you have a chance to avoid colorectal cancer by eating more potato salad (and this odd stuff..mofongo)….would you do it?
Adding resistant starch to your diet – (or is she finally going to tell us what mofongo is?)
Food sources of resistant starch include green (unripe) bananas, plantains, properly prepared cooked and cooled parboiled rice or legumes, and cooked and cooled potatoes. (There’s that potato salad and mofongo again!)
Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch (NOT potato flour) is one of the best available sources of resistant starch with around eight grams of in one tablespoon.
Plantain flour and green banana flour are also excellent sources, and there may be benefits to including all three of these sources, alternating them to get more benefits than relying on just one.
All three are bland in flavor and can be added to cold or room temperature water, almond milk, or mixed into smoothies. Just remember, if you do add them to warm foods, they should not be heated above 130 degrees.
Start slow and work up to a regular daily amount
If you choose to try using resistant starch, start with about ¼ teaspoon once daily, and very gradually increase the amount. You may find you have some increased gas and bloating as your gut flora changes and adapts, but you should not be uncomfortable. If you have marked discomfort, then back off on the amount you’re taking for a few days until you feel better, and then try increasing again gradually.
Everyone is unique. However studies have shown that the benefits of resistant starch reach their peak between 15 to 30 grams a day which is 2 -4 Tablespoons in real language. Above this amount is generally just wasting your starch!
NOTE: If you experience marked GI distress with even small amounts of RS, this may be an indication of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or microbial dysbiosis, and you may need to consider working with a healthcare practitioner to establish a more balanced gut microbiome by other means before trying to use resistant starch. As always, when in doubt, contact a healthcare professional – preferably one versed in Functional Medicine – who will look at the whole body and help you find balance in all areas and not just prescribe a pill to fix a symptom.
MOFONGO – FINALLY!
Now granted, Mofongo can be healthy or not, depending on how it is made.
I make it with pan-fried (not deep fried as in many recipes) plantains, fried in ghee or a little coconut or avocado oil, which I then throw into a big bowl and mash until they are pasty and let them cool.
Then I fry up a ton of finely chopped onions, garlic and some spices (salt and pepper, smoked paprika, but you can use your favorites)
Toss it all in with the mashed plantains and mash it all up to a pasty lump – you can add a bit of broth to thin it if it is too thick.
Sometimes I add some bacon or a few crumbled pork rinds on top (a little fat won’t kill you! – use a good quality naturally processed bacon from a good supplier. The pork rinds..well, sometimes you just splurge – just don’t get crazy!)
It sounds weird, it tastes FABULOUS – and the cooled plantains are FULL of resistant starch!
Try it for breakfast topped with eggs!
I included a link to the results I got from Google when I looked up official recipes – you can choose your favorite and adjust it to be as healthy (or not) as you want.
As to the potato salad, I will leave you to yourself on this. Google healthy potato salads and you will find dozens of recipes and you are sure to find one that appeals to you that is not smothered in commercial mayo.
September is National Yoga Month!
I knew very little about yoga, except that several years ago there were a bunch of ladies who showed up every week in stretch pants, with water bottles and mats and they all disappeared into a classroom in the facility I was working in for an hour or so and left smiling.
I had been told by my church that I shouldn’t even consider Yoga as it was against my religion and would pull me away from God. So I looked suspiciously on the whole things and ignored it, worried about the poor misguided ladies in the class.
Fast forward several years, much enlightenment on my part, a lot less judgmental attitude (definite growth there!). I learned that Yoga is not a religious pursuit, although it can be very spiritual. It does not take away from any established religion and you can actually integrate your own forms of prayer into the meditative portions of your yoga practice, making it even more personal and effective.
Yoga As A Powerful Healing Support
In 2011-2012 came a personal battle with cancer: during which time I found a ‘pink ribbon yoga’ class that was mostlybreathing and relaxation and a bit of movement to relieve stiffness and help us get in touch with our bodies. That helped me through the worst times of treatment and brought me peace.
I had to stop attending due to work schedules and I fell away from the practice at home. (I am happy to report that I have since returned occasionally and they are still going strong, providing a safe place for those who are in need of peace and a community of acceptance and healing.)
Returning to the Healing – Yoga as a Life Saving Medicine
In 2014 came the slide into the depths of deep depression, anxiety and OCD – brought on by job stress and the PTSD I suffered following my cancer treatment. Yoga surfaced again in my life as one option to DO something, anything to try to help myself cope at a time when I had been termed passively suicidal by several doctors and with the official diagnoses of Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder, Severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depression with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Quite a bucket full of crap to carry around!
Well, I decided that Yoga was cheaper than taking painting classes, and I figured it would at least be some exercise. I took the plunge, was generously gifted with a yoga mat and off I went to try some yoga that wasn’t specifically focused on my cancer since I was now considered a ‘survivor’ – whatever that meant, and wanted to do something to challenge myself and needed to stop focusing on the fear and trauma left by the cancer treatments and the aftermath.
What I found in joining a yoga class was a community, akin to the one that I had found in my ‘Pink Ribbon Yoga’ classes, but now I was stronger and could actually attempt Asanas and flow. Being desperate to still my mind and find balance and stability, I threw myself into my practice with a vengeance.
Don’t just take my word for it!
Rajan Narayanan, Ph.D founded the nonprofit Life in Yoga Foundation and Institute says “Any physical exercise done with breath awareness becomes yoga: anything done without the breath is just a physical practice.”
Yoga increases the body’s ability to respond to stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows the heart and lowers blood pressure. That in turn suppresses sympathetic activity, reducing the amount of stress hormones in the body.
“Yoga may help prevent diseases across the board because the root cause of 70 to 90 percent of all disorders is stress”, says Narayanan.
This was exactly what I needed –
I was in the condition I was in mentally and physically due to stress.
What better way to address it than yoga.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Regular practice is essential, whether it is formal classes a couple of times a week or simply a few minutes a day, each day at home. The benefits can be felt within the first week or two and only continue to build. The beauty is, once you start feeling the benefits, you will WANT to keep practicing!
Yoga is not a one size fits all therapy, and there are a myriad of types and styles available. Whether , you are ill or physically limited in some way – like me when I first found it, or whether you are athletic and are looking for something to really challenge your body. There are yoga classes to be found that you can do quietly in a chair if you can’t even get to the floor, or some that will challenge even the most athletic and leave you drained, sweating and panting for breath. There are also many forms in between these two extremes.
The first professional-level medical textbook on yoga therapy is due to be published in 2016. One of the authors states:
“I believe these studies (referring to current studies) are systematically underestimating how powerful yoga can be. Science may tell us that it decreases systolic blood pressure and cortisol secretion and increases lung capacity and serotonin levels, but that doesn’t begin to capture the totality of what yoga is.”
It is not a magic bullet, but the lessons learned in class: focus, forgiveness, patience, silence, acceptance, perseverance – all in an atmosphere of peace, will follow you off the mat and into your daily living. For me, positive affirmations and intentions from the class and the community sustained me and reminded me that I was not worthless, that while I might not look like many of the yoga selfies out there while I practiced, it didn’t matter.
REMINDER: You DO NOT have to be THIN to practice yoga. You can do yoga, no matter what your body size or current level of fitness !!!!
Granted, you might not do a ‘crow pose’ right away, but you can certainly start and not being rail skinny doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do this or any other pose if you patiently allow your body to guide you into it.
YOUR practice is YOUR practice and whatever YOU are capable of is beautiful, and as the weeks and months go on, you will see the growth, physically, mentally and emotionally. I certainly did as I continued my practice and I came from a place of very deep darkness and my yoga practice pulled me back into the light.
Yoga connects your body with your mind in a way that really cannot be explained until you experience it.
What I found was that my body grew stronger, my mind slowed down, my anxiety and OCD lessened, my depression lifted, and I was more able to deal with every day stresses. I no longer carry the weight of those diagnoses with me. Yoga freed my mind and emotions, while my body grew strong and supple.
I also got curvy! I didn’t lose weight, but I gained ‘shape’. For the first time in over 20 years, I had a waist.
As my body became stronger, I became able to do physical things that I was unable to do 30 years earlier as a young woman.
Best of all, I found myself remembering to breathe through stressful things instead of diving into self-loathing and criticism.
YOU can experience the joy and strength that comes from yoga.
Celebrate National Yoga Month!
During September if you go to www.YogaMonth.org you can get a free coupon for a week of free yoga at many local participating studios.
GIVE IT A TRY.. hey, it’s FREE! I have my coupon and will be trying out another studio with it! Each one is as unique.
Translated roughly: “I bow to you”, or “I honor the spirit in you that is also in me”
The real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds. When we greet one another with namaste, it means, ‘may our minds meet’, indicated by the folded palms placed before the chest. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love, respect and humility.
Yoga has been know to help – Addiction, Anxiety Spectrum Disorders, back pain, cancer, depression, diabetes, endocrine issues, heart disease, hypertension, various mental health issues, Metabolic Syndrome, muscoloskeletal and neuromuscular complaints, neurological and immune disorders, pregnancy issues, Premenstrual Syndrome, perimenopausal and postmenopausal symptoms, respiratory issues, digestive issues, weight management, fatigue, self image, low-energy.
Picture Credit: http://bleepitsoftly.blogspot.com/2012/03/yoga-for-curvy-people.html#!
What do you think of when you think of food? When our grandparents thought of food years ago, what came to their minds was a lot different then what probably popped into your head.
Food, until just the past 50 or 60 years, was harvested from the ground or sourced from fairly local suppliers. You didn’t buy a lot at one time because the shelf life was short, and in some cases, you didn’t have the storage, refrigeration or otherwise, to keep it fresh for more than a day or two. Real food decomposes quickly, so you needed to eat it when you picked it. Coincidentally, this is when it has the most flavor and nutrition.
So, your vegetables were fresh picked and eaten, the excess were canned for eating during the months when things wouldn’t grow. Your meat came from the local butcher or from your own hunting success. That limited the amount you ate, as it too needed to be acquired in smaller quantities and eaten quickly.
Sweets were quite a treat as sugar was a high priced commodity. If you wanted something sweet, you generally had fruit. You looked forward to special days and holidays because, as it does now, it meant gathering with family and eating special dishes that you did not have the rest of the year. Food was a necessity and at times a celebration, and our taste buds were attuned to the unadulterated tastes of real food.
- Doctor: House Call, 1888 Painting; Doctor: House Call, 1888 Art Print for sale(click picture to purchase)
Medicine was not as advanced. When people became ill, home remedies were the first line of defense. The doctor called only when it was very serious. No one ran to the doctor for pills and antibiotics every time they got sick. Yes, people died of things that are unheard of now due to modern medicines, but they did not linger for years with chronic illnesses. Until they got sick, they felt pretty darn good.
There is something wrong with the new picture.
Food and Medicine today:
Now you talk to most people and a majority of people just simply ‘don’t feel great’. They eat their fill of the food they buy at will at the store and have houses full of every imaginable edible treat. We have supermarkets filled with tens of thousands of ‘food’ products that were unknown to our grandparents. A variety that is overwhelming to our senses, and ingredients that are overwhelming our bodies. Restaurants line the streets offering every conceivable, mouthwatering variety of food at any time of the day.
We are so well fed that a majority of our population is overweight. A majority of people are on ‘diets’ to stop themselves from ‘over-indulging’ and feel guilty about what they eat. We sit mindlessly in front of our TV sets with bowls of snacks, or bags of chips and then we wonder why we can’t lose weight. We reach for high sugar snacks mid-afternoon as our energy is crashing.
The stuff that fills our stores comes in boxes, cans, plastic bags, foil packs, waxed cartons, jars, shrink wrap, etc.. You can buy a tomato and it will sit on your counter for a week and still look great. A loaf of bread might last two weeks. Some of the packages you buy, have expiration dates literally YEARS out from when you buy them.
As we age, we quickly lose our stamina and youthful shape. We blame it on kids, jobs, overburdened schedules, no time to cook, no time to fuss as we rush here or there. We have been conditioned to set our priorities on things, that while important, will not matter much if we lose our health.
We have thousands of new medicines to help us feel ‘good’. To cure the illnesses that plague us. And yet as a whole, we are sicker than we have ever been.
Definitely, there is something wrong with this picture.
Our world is full of toxins. They are in the air we breathe, in the water we drink (LINK TO ARTICLE), and the food we eat.
We can work to help clean up the environment, we can filter our water to help remove some of the toxins, but the most control we have over what goes into our bodies and how we feel is through our food.
From Samantha Turner- Health Coach (click to go to her blog)
When you look at the list of ingredients on most of the ‘stuff’ in the grocery store, many of them are only nominally actually ‘food’. There is a little natural food substance in the product and the rest comes out of industrial plants where chemicals and things you can’t pronounce are mixed into the original food to enhance it, stretch it, change it, make it more appealing and make it more profitable for the company selling it. After all, that is how they survive, by getting you to buy their product.
The Turkey Sandwich on the Left for instance. How many ingredients does a turkey sandwich need?? How many of those things are chemicals that may be harmful to your health?
You buy the food like substances and eat them and you are ingesting all that ‘stuff’. Do you know what it is? No? Guess what, neither does your body.
Your body is awesome. It was designed to efficiently process food into every nutrient that you need to survive and live with optimal health. When you clog up the system with things that are not recognized as food, it doesn’t know what to do with them, but it tries. It processes them the best it can. Your liver gets overloaded with toxins, your body produces fat to encapsulate and store things your body cannot use and can’t get rid of. Next your gut breaks down and you end up with digestive issues, and new studies show that gut health is critical to everything, including brain health. Bottom line – you end you end up fat and sick because of all the toxic stuff in your system. At best, you simply don’t feel good.
Too much of this for too long and you end up with a chronic illness. Your body is an amazing biological machine, but everything has a breaking point. If you ask too much of it, or ask it to do things it simply cannot do for too long, it will break.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!!!!
Gramma (and Grampa) knew best!
Eat real food. Eat it fresh, as close to natural as possible. Stay away from things that are processed. Cut back on your meat consumption and try to only eat fresh, grass-fed meats (more expensive yes, but if you are only eating it now and then and less of it, it works out the same) to avoid the antibiotics and chemicals that conventional meat is laced with.
Fill your plate with things that have come out of the ground! If you are having digestive issues, try avoiding gluten for a while and see what happens. Try avoiding dairy for a few weeks, see how you feel.
I’m not saying to eat just salads! Simply base your meals around REAL foods. – Vegetables, legumes, fruits and grains can be used to make the majority of your meals.
Each person is different, so the complete solution for each will be slightly different, but the overall solution is to eat REAL FOOD. Our bodies were not designed to ingest chemicals and if you read any package of food, you are likely to find at least one thing in it that should not be in your body.
But It’s Hard to Change. Overwhelming Even. How Do I Get Started?
If you feel lost at how to go about this, there are people who can help. Not necessarily your doctor as they don’t receive much in the way of nutritional training, but as more and more information comes to light about the condition of our food system and what it is doing to us, there are more people who are working to help others gain better health through eating better food.
Be careful, there are a lot of people trying to cash in on this who really don’t know what they are talking about. Look for someone who perhaps has turned their own life around, or someone who has worked with others successfully. Don’t jump at ‘instant’ solutions and remember that ‘dieting’ is almost always a losing proposition.
Eating real food is a lifestyle change. It’s not as hard as you might imagine, and when you start getting those chemicals out of your body and start feeling so much better, you will be inspired to keep going. It becomes easy!!! That’s not like any diet I’ve ever tried!
Stay in touch on this site, leave comments with your questions below and I will help you find solutions. I do work one on one with a few people, but my time is limited, however, I will always answer questions here and that will also help others who may have the same questions as you do.
If you are uncomfortable leaving a public message, know that all comments are moderated, just tell me in your comment that you want a private answer!
I know that you can make the changes. I know because I did it and before I did, I would have bet you everything I had that it was impossible. Now I couldn’t imagine living any other way!
Give it a try. You have nothing to lose but excess weight and that daily sluggish feeling and a lifetime of energy and good health!