What Criterion Do I Use When Selecting My Food?
In addressing the question of what foods to consume and consequently, turn into our bodies, health is the primary fulcrum we should reach for in levering our decisions. With health as our arbiter we can make sound judgments regarding what we will settle for under the heading of food. This is not a frivolous issue; this is the one of the top three things! We need air, water and food. Shelter is nice. Love is nice, but you don’t need them if you don’t have the big three. It is best to use pure water preferably from a trusted spring source. It is also best to breathe air that is as clean as possible. So it stands to reason, that if you get good water and good air, yet eat poorly by selecting non-vital foods, then your three-legged health platform will not stand and you’ll soon find yourself on the floor. It is not that all maladies that befall humans’ health are diet related, though many if not most are, but the ones that are not diet related such as a disease, accident or genetic disorder, can be regulated by the body if the body is empowered with health. Investigate any information you can find on how the body manufactures T-cells and you’ll begin to understand how wonderfully complex our internal guard really is. It is a formidable defense as it can literally read the electrical pattern of the positive and negative valence charges on the active surface of a molecular viral invader, and manufacture molecules that are exact electrical opposites in order to neutralize them. There is no pharmaceutical that employs such a sophisticated mechanism. We are our own best vaccine! If we eat vital foods with known beneficial qualities, such as anti-angiogenic* parsley and the various Brassicas, anti-cancer marvels such as turmeric, celery root and Maitake mushrooms or anti-inflammatory parsnips and radishes, then we will raise our vitality and empower our immunological defense system, suppressing the likelihood of such issues as cancers or metabolic disorders. Given the fact that most of the population lives within 10 miles of a grocery store that at least tries to offer healthy selections of fresh garden produce, and almost equally as much of the population lives within 10 miles of a health food store or co-op that offers even better selections of healthy foods, then, with it being so accessible, why wouldn’t we just make better choices and live healthier lives?
It seems simple. We all love ourselves and our precious heartbeats. We want to see our grandchildren running up the yard for a long time to come, and their children if possible. We want to read good books, take great hikes, play and listen to good music with good friends, and love and be lovers for as long as we can. So, knowing all of that, why would we not honor and cherish the great temple of our bodies which makes all of those experiences possible, and use only the best foods we can find, to consume to be part of us? It sure seems to me that by not doing so we dishonor our mother’s gift to us and it is certainly disrespecting the very unexpected and unnecessary blessing of our own sentience, that allows me to sit here now and write to you who are reading about the negative consequences of not loving ourselves enough to say no to our taste buds’ desires, for the sake of the longevity of our whole body. Logically it is a no-brainer, but we are also dealing with the inertia of memorial desires for comfort food, peptide driven cravings, as well as the addictive power of sugars. BUT, we have a secret weapon against such nemeses. We have a friend named Will Power who stands firmly on the side of our health, reiterating and reinforcing the reasons we all have to take care of ourselves and preserve our loving, caring and helping life forces for future use in giving smiles and hugs to those who mean the most to us.
But I Like Pie.
So what then is it that makes us so stubborn about changing our eating habits for a short while, to see if any positive changes take place in the interim? A friend of mine said, “When you talk to people about food, you are talking about their mother!” He is right, because many of our diets come from our mothers and we do tend to want to preserve their love, but Mom’s Banana Cream Pudding with Nabisco Vanilla Wafers probably wouldn’t serve my health at 60 yrs old as much as would an organic baked yam with pure butter or Ghee, and the marvelous medicinal cinnamon on it (and nothing else). It happens regularly in some form or another, but this example should suffice, that in a discussion about the ravages of carbohydrates on the body and how merely cutting them out of the diet reduced inflammation and inflammatory responses, only to hear the response, “But I like pie.” Well, me too! But I also love heartbeats, my mate and my family, so I eat yams and parsnips which are lower glycemic carbohydrates, and can easily give up electrifying the taste buds on the surface of my tongue with some sweetly resonant sugar [C12 H22 O11] molecules, for having many more years of birthdays, hugs and sunrises. It’s a piece of cake! Or actually, it isn’t! But it is as easy as pie. Just don’t eat it!
So How Do I Start and How Long Do I Continue?
One of the best ways to begin is to go grocery shopping at a health food store or one that also supplies alternative choices along with their major brand selections, and at the same time purge your shelves at home of starches and carbohydrates that are going to tempt you in the next couple of weeks as your body shifts into burning more fat.
The 2012 documentary Hungry For Change www.hungryforchange.com/tv espoused the idea that adding more “nutritionally dense foods” into your diet has the effect of crowding those frivolous, low sustenance substitutes out of the diet. If we could just make the connection that our taste buds are not always our allies, because they can deceive us by way of our own desires for sweetness, or carbohydrate comfort foods like mashed potatoes & gravy and macaroni & cheese, then we can make meal component choices based on reason, instead of being based on self-seduction by the fond memories of our taste buds and their associated hormonal reactions that serve to addict us. Additionally, the preferences of your taste buds will change as they are exposed to foods with higher nutrient density. The good news is in time, this change will cause healthy foods to become comfort foods themselves.
Know too, that manufacturers’ intentions are aimed first at profit, therefore second is shelf-life, via various means of preservation that all reduce their viability as food, and only whether it’s edible or not comes third with the return customer prospect enhancement through glutamate addiction coming in fourth. Fifth then, you would hope, may be reserved for us and concerns about our health, but it is highly unlikely that they actually consider any health aspect of ours, as much as they consider the way to ride the line between how much toxicity is permittable before public health becomes a venture capital problem for them. So it is best to be skeptical about what is being offered as food, in spite of how well it is packaged and marketed, and make your own informed decisions about what you will let pass between your teeth to become you.
The way to continue, is to really get behind the art of growing yourself healthier each day by paying attention to what you eat, how you move and how much you move. A large part of gaining momentum to continue is informing yourself of the benefits of certain foods and the potential they hold for your future self, by doing your own research on those foods. Beyond the shadow of a doubt there is more than ample information on the web for supplying you with the required amount of pluck and moxie you need to overcome your previous inclinations toward other poorer dietary choices. If you can envision a target version of yourself that is in a much finer state of resilience than your current condition indicates to you, then you have placed an attractor out in front of yourself in time, in a concerted effort to draw your physical form toward matching that vision. This is not trickery or some contrived form of self-delusion. This is an act of appropriate, self-appreciation with the intent of self-improvement, so that a continuously higher functioning manifestation of your being may be accessed and enjoyed.
Part of your ability to continue making vital food choices is to realize what is actually possible to be achieved. Most of us do not have around us and consequently have not seen anyone who performed a reverse transformation and went from obese to very fit. The man in the top heavy image below is weight loss expert and author of The Gabriel Method, Jon Gabriel (www.thegabrielmethod.com/ ). He has produced for us, a profound demonstration of the body’s ability to reshape itself that should not be taken lightly! The body can and will look like the mind wants it to look, but only if the mind wants it enough to withstand the pressure of the body’s habit inspired, peptide driven desires (Many thanks for the great example Jon). This is spirit overcoming body, which indicates true strength of character. The body can be like a child who just wants ice cream and cookies, but we need to consciously inform it of the benefits to our future selves, that eating healthful, non-preserved oils and fats, clean, nutritional proteins and fresh phyto-nutrient vegetables, will engender in our bodies.
Jon weighed over 400 pounds, before he took charge of his health and restored himself to youthful vigor. He gives an example of what dreams are possible to fill. You just have to believe strong enough, that achievement of your dreams is truly possible in order to motivate yourself toward your goal. Then you do it and reward yourself with an upgraded model, the real prize!
Dreams are the stuff this is made of!
* Anti-angiogenic – the suppression of the growth of additional blood vessels and capillaries that cancer cells require to grow. See William Li – Can we Eat to Starve Cancer? TED Talk