Is Food Your Medicine or Poison?

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Food is not what it used to be. In the relatively recent past, food was universally recognized as the fruits and nuts that grow on trees, the vegetables that grow out of the soil, plus some fish and game.

If you were to take a ride in a time machine and show our ancestors what we eat today, they would recognize very little of it. For the most part, it’s over-packaged, over-processed, over-rated and under-nourishing.

Do You Eat to Live or Live to Eat?

With the constant media bombardment of ads for modern “food,” it’s easy to forget the original purpose of food is to nourish our bodies and provide fuel so we can move around. Instead of basic sustenance, the “food” we see on TV is presented as a reward because we deserve it, or as an easy solution because we are too busy to cook. It’s trendy, fun, fast or convenient. . . or anything but nutritious.

Have you ever wondered why you never see TV ads for nutritious food? When was the last time you saw a commercial for an apple or spinach or brown rice?

It’s Not About Your Health

Don’t assume that anyone in the modern day food chain is looking out for your health or has your own best interests at heart. The “food” we see in the media packaged by Madison Avenue with its slick four-color graphics and indestructible shrink-wrapping has nothing to do with nutrition. It has nothing to do with sustenance and nothing to do with providing you with the fuel you need to live a healthy life.

Instead, it’s all about profit. It’s about ease of shipping, maximum shelf-life, minimum risk of spoilage, and what looks best (whether it is or not). Mostly, it’s about money.

It’s not about the money earned by the farmers who make it all possible. Their contribution is minimized along with their profit as they get squeezed out by the giant corporations who control all aspects of bringing their “food” products to market.

Why it’s on TV

The things we see advertised most are the most profitable. That’s why the corporations can pay for the expensive ad agencies and prime-time rates on TV, radio and magazines. They have to make us want their manufactured goods, and brainwash us into believing their products are food. That takes a lot of ads over a period of decades, but their pockets are deep and they are patient.

Poorly nourished individuals get sick and die, but their children get accustomed to this kind of “food” so they will continue to add to the corporate bottom line as their own waistlines continue to expand. It’s important to remember that profit-driven, faceless corporations are driving the entire system from the seeds to our table. To trust their recommendations for our nutrition for today and our health for tomorrow is short-sided folly.

Do They Know Not What They Do?

It’s not necessary to point fingers and place blame and consider these “food” peddlers bad. Many of them are likely unaware of how harmful their garbage really is. Like us, they are caught up in the way of the world at this particular place and time of human evolution. Surely, a few know how destructive their “food” products are and proceed in spite of their shrinking conscience. For others, it’s all they know because they are caught up in the momentum of the system and never paused long enough to question any of it.

Once we start to question the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) that we have been spoon fed since birth, we begin to realize there are alternatives. Even if you are living somewhere else on the planet, your Basic Average Diet (B.A.D.) would be unrecognizable to your ancestors of just a few generations past.

Questions are good — they keep us from being easily shorn sheep and protect us from being the blind following the blind. Here are some good ones to help prime your pump:

· Do I eat to live . . . or live to eat? Why?

· What is high-fructose corn syrup and why is it in so many “foods?”

· Is it wise for me to personally consume 142 pounds of sugar every year (the national average in the U.S. in 2003, according to U.S. News and World Report) and 61 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup? Or do I do this because I am a pawn — a victim of misinformation and brilliant (albeit misplaced) marketing?

· Do I really need my food to be emulsified, coagulated, fortified, homogenized, hydrogenated, refined and colored with red dye number 2?

· Is it a coincidence that the U.S. has the worst diet, the best food industry propaganda, and the most diseases of any country in the world?

· Why do people who eat the most animal based “foods” get the most chronic diseases?

· Why are there more overweight Americas than fit Americans?

· Why do people in the U.S. spend one out of every seven dollars the economy produces on healthcare?

· Why are we so sick?

Three Reasons We Are So Sick

It’s a complex issue and a complicated history that led us to this point, but our alarmingly unhealthy bodies can be traced to three simple mistakes: breakfast, lunch and dinner. What have you been putting in your mouth?

“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”. — Hippocrates (c. 460 B.C.) the Father of Medicine

The Composition of Our Bodies — Simplified

Let’s take an objective, purely physiological look at the problem. Our bodies are made of billions of cells. Our cells are created, live and die according to the quality of the nutrients they receive. We provide those nutrients by what we choose to put into our mouths. Garbage in — garbage out. It is physically impossible (miracles not withstanding) to eat a diet of garbage and grow a healthy, fit and trim body.

Has the barrage of media propaganda totally buried our common sense? It goes against the laws of nature to keep sucking up today’s modern, packaged, convenience “foods” and expect to enjoy an energetic life of health and vitality.

Quick Fixes Aren’t . . . and Don’t

We are an impetuous bunch. These days, we want it now. We don’t want to wait for anything. We demand instant gratification. This presents a problem when we approach our state of health and well-being with this quick-fix attitude.

We have been eating a certain way for a lifetime. Most of us adopted many of our parents’ preferences, as well as their incomplete knowledge and peculiar idiosyncrasies about nutrition. It’s not their fault. They learned it from their parents, who were a product of their own culture, just as we are.

Are you desperate for a quick fix? If so, beware, because you are a target for the snake-oil salesmen of the diet industry.

There is no magic pill that will undo the wrongs of a lifetime of bad nutrition. But you can enjoy noticeable results almost immediately by fueling your body with nutrition instead of well-marketed diet products. Those improvements from better nutrition will continue to pay dividends for the rest of your life.

“I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is two weeks.” – Totie Fields

Why Fad Diets Fail

How many people do you know who have pledged their new year’s resolution to some fad diet? How many of those people took off weight and managed to keep it off? Fad diets don’t work because they don’t educate people to the underlying problem of poor eating choices that consistently deliver poor nutrition. If you eliminate all the hype and the fluff and the marketing spin, it’s a simple equation . . .

We consume so many calories in a day. Our bodies burn some and store the rest. Are you storing too much? Exercise more or eat less.

Do you feel at ease about your body, or are you prone to dis-ease? Give your body better fuel. Feed it real food that provides real nutrition. Eat more veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, whole grains and plenty of good water. Eat less of everything else. Fresh, raw and organic is good. Refined, processed and packaged is not. Choose real food, provided by your mother earth . . . natural sustenance for these marvelous machines that we call home — our bodies.

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” – Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)

What is Optimum Health?

Have you ever wondered what perfect health and optimum vitality would feel like? Statistically, especially in the West, we are so far away from that, we would likely be amazed that such a wondrous feeling is possible. Although it is our birthright, these days such an experience does not come automatically, and it does not come easily. Our polluted air and water, depleted soil, and non-nutritious junk-food diets are all working against us. Is it worth the effort?

Granted, it’s easier to ignore proper nutrition and just roll over on the sofa while drinking another soda pop “recommended” on TV. It’s easier to unwrap another snack cake while resigning yourself to another cheap thrill followed by another episode of sugar blues. But, just imagine what it might feel like to have your body firing on all cylinders, functioning at peak efficiency.

Would that make a difference in the quality of your life? Would you feel happier? Would you be more joyous if all your wiring quit misfiring?

What’s Considered Normal and Average Isn’t Good Enough

To me, a body functioning at peak efficiency is a worthy goal. Horrible diets are so pervasive these days, someone dedicated to a nutritious diet is considered an oddball. That’s how bad it is. It’s ironic, but the individual dedicated to personal health is considered weird while the junk-food junkies are considered “normal.” That does not bode well for the future of our race.

I Choose to Believe It’s Getting Better

It is encouraging to me that the tide is slowly turning. There are more and more healthy alternatives on the menus. Organic foods are more readily available and natural food stores are flourishing. It makes no sense to wait for everybody else before commiting to good nutrition. These decisions are made one person at a time when the information is absorbed.

All too often, such a commitment is made after some kind of health crisis. Hopefully, you will take action before anything like that happens to you. Hopefully, you will inspire yourself to make healthy changes because it makes sense and not as a last ditch effort to cure yourself of something horrible. It’s never too late, but it’s so much better to correct your diet before it has a chance to produce one of the many diseases of affluence for which the U.S. has become famous.

Here’s Hoping Pitiful Nutrition Was Just a Passing Fad

I recognize that it might take some time to undo the damage of a lifetime of living to eat, but I also recognize the wisdom of eating to live.

Knowledge is the key, and good information inspires us naturally to take action. When action is driven by a sincere desire to know the truth, the knowledge gained makes it easy to follow through.

There are finally some good books based on scientific method and hard science. Here’s a good place to start: “The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health” by T. Colin Campbell, PHD and Thomas M. Campell II. From the back cover:

“The China Study presents a clear and concise message of hope as it dispels as multitude of health myths and misinformation: if you want to be healthy, change your diet.”

Nobody But You Chooses What Goes in Your Mouth

The field of nutrition is so new, it’s still an art as well as a science. So, it can be fun. Fortunately, I relish variety, so I am eager to try new things. With a foundation of knowledge and understanding, we are no longer helpless victims of the marketing mavens of Madison Avenue when it comes to our food choices. We are no longer victims to fad diets, sloppy science funded by “food” corporations, and misinformation fed to us while promoting their flashy, packaged products.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931)

We realize if we never see a commercial for something, it’s probably good for us. (Broccoli, mangos, quinoa, and walnuts for instance.) And, we realize we have the choice. Every day, we choose our future health and vitality by what we choose to put in our mouths. Three times a day we have the opportunity to act upon our resolve to experience optimum health and vitality . . . at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bon appetit.

While reading, did you choose to hear the relaxing instrumental music linked at the beginning of this article? To learn more about it, click here.

Listen FREE to the song samples below . . . chosen to enhance the ideas in this article.

Related Songs
Way of the World
Life is so huge . . . so diverse . . . the possibilities are literally infinite. What’s the best way to sort it all out and carve out a little niche of our own?
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Celebrate Life
Create your own personal celebration of life by your choices, rather than allowing life to be something that merely happens to you, or around you.
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Just One Step
Just begin. If you will just get underway, the project itself gains momentum and carries you along to its completion.
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Fill o’ the Fair
This carnival of life is so rich and diverse, let’s squeeze every bit of happiness, joy, and delight as possible out of every single day.
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Clean Plate Yodel
A vivid childhood memory of the first time I saw people singing and playing music and making people laugh from the stage. At the time, I didn’t know any better and thought, "Hey, that looks like a good job. I wanna do that when I grow up." Well, I never did grow up, just older, and I still don’t know any better. And yes, it is a great job!
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Bubba on the Barbie
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This is the end of the article entitled Is Food Your Medicine or Poison? published by Tupelo Kenyon on January 4, 2008 at 5:00 am | In Awareness, Diet and Nutrition, Health and Fitness - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.


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