Why are Americans fat and sick? (And we've managed to export the problem to other countries around the world!
When we moved to Costa Rica in 2006, we rarely if ever saw a fat tico. When we left 5 years later, after fast food invaded the countryside and a Sam's Club opened up, we saw lots of fat ticos, some borderline obese.
This morning, I was watching a short PBS documentary about Wendell Berry and some of the biggest pieces of that puzzle fell into place!
Literally tens of thousands of small family farms have disappeared in KY alone, and continue to disappear. While the film focuses on KY, this has happened all over the world.
Wendell Berry said: "Eating is an agricultural act." Well, it used to be. If we don't support our small farmers, then we will only have industrial food to eat.
Most Americans will ask: "What's wrong with that?"
I say, "Look around you." Look at the health of your family, friends, strangers in Walmart, at church... I was at a church function last week. 300 people in the room and at least 50% of them were morbidly obese.
Now we country folk like our sugar but ... it's not just the sugar, y'all.
50 years ago -- just before Earl Butz, a former Secretary of Ag, decided that farming profits were more important than farming values, and industrial farming took off... 50 years ago, there was virtually NO Alzheimer's, NO auto-immune, NO autism, NO cancer, NO diabetes... you name the disease, it was RARE.
Childhood cancer and diabetes were unheard of. One in 50 of my classmates wore glasses. There was no ADHD, kids weren't bi-polar or schizophrenic or depressed.
What happened? Today 1 in 2 males and 1 in 3 females OF ALL AGES will get cancer in our lifetimes. 50 years ago this was unheard of. Do you seriously think this is a function of better diagnostic tools?
While you are pondering that, you'll want to be reassured that alternative health practitioners all over the world are healing people of ALL of the above. ALL of them.
How? It starts with food. Clean, toxic-chemical free food. If you are eating dirty, toxin-filled food, you cannot be healthy. You may still be technically alive, but not healthy. You can take all the supplements you want and if you are not eating clean, you can't be healthy.
Hey, if supplements kept us healthy, nobody would be sick. The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar business. Everybody takes supplements... and look around. I'm not saying don't take supplements, I sure do. I'm saying supplements ALONE are not going to restore health.
Did you know that your cells are being constantly replaced? Old cells die, new cells are born. Well, what is growing those new cells? The food you eat -- that's where the raw material for cell generation comes from. So what are Americans eating? McDonald's? Kraft Mac 'n Cheese? Wheat Thins and pasteurized cheese? "Heart healthy" cereal?
What would be the quality of those new nano-chemical induced skin, organ and brain cells, do you think?
That's what we've been eating for the last generation and that's when the health of the world went on a serious decline. Millenials are the first generation predicted to die younger and be unhealthier than the previous one (the boomers).
If you want your children and grands to grow up healthy, feed them clean, real food.
And don't tell me you can't afford organic or grass-fed. For one thing, prices are dropping on real food and going up on industrial food because more and more of us are voting with our wallets. We don't want the pink slime in the hamburger wrapper. We want hamburger!
For another thing, take a close, hard look at your budget. The money for real food is there -- millions have found it. You want your body to outlive your Coach bag, right?
Wendell Berry also said: "The world is full of people who would rather pay for something to kill dandelions than to appreciate the dandelions."
Don't wait until you are desperately sick, willing to do anything to get back your health (because those are the people who call an alternative health practitioner), before you invest in your body. Invest in your body now.
Ok, rant over.
Except for one last thing. It's not just the sugar, y'all. It's the toxic chemicals involved in growing, processing, packaging industrial food -- these mess with your endocrine system which messes with your hormones. And not just the sex hormones -- estrogen, progesterone, testosterone -- low libido is definitely a side effect of eating non-nourshing crappy food -- but also the hormones insulin and cortisol.
Cortisol is your sleep hormone -- it's gotta go down at night so you can sleep. And it's your wake-up hormone, going up in the am, bouncing you out of bed. It's your fight or flight hormone. One of the ways cortisol gets you prepared for fight or flight is it releases blood sugar to give you energy which in turn elicits an insulin response...
If your cortisol is going off at the wrong time, you can't sleep, stress is a fight or flight precursor. When your mind is cranking, that's stressful, you are setting off cortisol alarms. And then you can't get up because your circadian rhythm is out of sync with the earth.
And insulin? If your body keeps pounding out insulin because your cortisol is all messed up and maybe your chowing down on the carbs... eventually you become insulin resistant which is a precursor to diabetes, to getting fat and not being able to lose it, and now researchers believe that insulin resistance of the brain is a driver of Alzheimer's...
What I'm saying is the chemicals in your food are disrupting your hormones and that's causing you to BE fat, to feel sick and nearly dead. Your body is working 24/7/365 to get back to balance or homeostasis. Homeostasis is defined as your body resisting changes that bring about less than optimal conditions. If your hormones are not in balance, your body CANNOT achieve homeostasis. Your body never gives up, but it can be overwhelmed.
Your hormones don't get back in balance by themselves. Once they are out of sync, intervention is required to repair this system. Either adding something to your diet (like supplements or a particular type of food) or taking something OUT OF YOUR DIET(like toxic chemicals/ingredients).
It's the FOOD, people.
I saw a meme that pointed out that we don't know how good we can feel. We look around and see people who are fat, sick and nearly dead and we think two things: "I'm not that fat." And "It's normal to feel and look this way! Everyone does!"
Ok, NO. It's not normal. It's COMMON. Your body wants you in homeostasis. Your body wants and expects you to jump out of bed in the morning and go "YAY, another day!!!"
You know, I went to the chiropractor one time... well, I went a LOT but this one time, she asked me if I could turn my head. I said sure and I looked right and left, a little puzzled why she would ask. She adjusted and suddenly I could spin my head around like Linda Blair.
I had no idea there was so much movement available to enjoy in my neck. We have no idea how good we can feel because we haven't felt GOOD in so long. Not to mention GREAT.
I promise you that if you clean up your food and the toxic chemicals you put in, on and around your body, you will be amazed at how good you start to feel. I'm talking about energy, mood, focus, creativity and an overall sense of well-being.
Give the whole clean-eating thing a try. You literally have nothing to lose.