Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Hurtles to a Healthy Lifestyle

The path to a healthy lifestyle can be a tough journey with many obstacles in the way, but these hurtles we must overcome are often mentally more difficult than physically. In fact I would say that it's at the very least a 90% mental struggle, making it tougher and tougher to swallow the deeper you dig into what you thought you knew about our food industry.

I will call this challenging road to a healthier you a Double Obstacle Course, and I have to thank my cousin for putting it this way based on his own journey.

  1. The first obstacle is the obvious "I want to stop poisoning myself" hurtle that usually results in replacing all non-organic foods with organic. This of course could be broken down further, into the "replacing a heavy processed food based diet with more fresh fruits and veggies" step, inevitably followed by the "replacing the fruits and veggies and existing processed packaged foods with the organic variety" step, but for the sake of this post we will just lump it all together into "moving from non-organic to organic". The mental issue with this step is twofold; the first is wrestling with the dilemma "does everything really have to be organic?" After you finally come to the realization that non-organic foods are poisoning you with cancer causing chemicals, be it the heavily sprayed (pesticides) foods or those that get inundated with chemicals during processing and packaging or simply from the start either as a GMO or a test-tube concoction made to taste like real food, and only after you wrap your mind around that must you then wrestle with the cost... unfortunately an unhealthy diet is far cheaper (at checkout) then a healthy one, but that of course is where the savings stops. With the insane unfathomable amount of money the average American pays into health care, I think it becomes clear quickly that cheap at checkout equals paying for it for the rest of your life...
  2. The second hurtle in the obstacle course is the "I want the food I'm eating to actually have some health benefits", and this is a much higher mental hurtle. Because it's this obstacle that makes you question the integrity of everything; our food industry as a whole, the greedy corporations that control it, the corrupt "watch dogs" that are supposed to protect us from this sort of thing (FDA), and unfortunately the abuse of such words as "organic", "free-range", "FDA approved". Just when you think you're eating healthy because the store bought chicken, beef, pork, eggs, and milk are organic and or free-rang you find out that these products are simply not doing you any favors. Unless you have been to the farm and met the farmers and see the animals walking eating and lounging in their natural state (outside in grassy fields), the use of the words organic and or free-range meets, eggs, and dairy are still the result of factory farming (grain fed). As we should all know by now grains, man made (domesticated) annual monocrops, are not the appropriate sole-source or even primary source of dietary intake for any domesticated farm animal that ultimately evolved to graze and forage. Once you've wrapped your head around this basic principle, you have to be ready willing and able to ask what is the damage this causes, who lets this happen, and why?

Our food industry is broken, badly, and corrupt from the top down, but the average person doesn't see any of this because they are so disconnected from the food they eat that so long as the grocery store's shelves are stocked with their favorite meal who cares what it's actually made of or how it got there... it's this ignorance that makes that second hurtle such a doozy!

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