In what may appear as an eclectic mix of topics today I present to you some insight on improving your wellness, child custody fitness and seeing actions in their base form. The side effect to this is going to be unconscious weight loss. So pick out your favourite snack, sit back, relax and take it in. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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Elson Haas, M.D., author of The Detox Diet: The How-to and When-to Guide for Cleansing the Body of Toxic Substances, in his book says, "There are no diseases, only mistakes in living." It's a broad concept that encompasses personal responsibility, Universality and the search for Truth. Diet has long played a significant role in human existence. Substantial portions of the Talmud and other religious texts have borne proscriptions for proper dietary guidance while early Earth worship based religions based festivals upon the planting, growth and harvesting of food. Remnants of these practices still exist in our modern culture but in a much truncated form that has lost much of its spirituality in favour of mindless tradition.
As we pass into Autumn this weekend we are in the midst of the Fall festival season. I have been working in my garden for three days and take this interlude before getting onto another three days. Gardening is the essence of food appreciation. In itself it can be a great teacher while providing sustenance and solace for connecting with the spiritual realm. If you don't already have a garden then you should take this opportunity to begin. It doesn't need to be the equivalent of my 1000 square feet or so. It could be as small at a 10 gallon terrarium.
Why such a focus on food? Not a rhetorical question but neither one that I will provide a direct answer for which I don't have. Now reread that. Not the part about the rarity of me not having an answer but the question. Maintain that as an underlying thought as you continue.
I am quite the avid movie and documentary fan. I often am able to find real life relationships to movies as well as analogies. I don't pretend to have been born with some superhero abilities as M Night Shyamalan envisioned in Unbreakable as brought to life on the screen by Bruce Willis but I can't recall the last time I was truly sick -- to the point of interfering with daily life or work. I did go to the health department back in 2002 for what I think may have been a sinus infection. But enough of that. Back on point is a conversation I had once about comedians turning to acting: Steve Martin, John Candy, Eddie Murphy, Chris Farley and etc. The point of contention was if comedians could successfully make the transition. It was already undisputed that body builders couldn't successfully do so.
Certainly some comedians have failed in that endeavor or have not submitted to the screen performances on par with that of the top-tier actors. But that was the basis of my argument: these were neither comedians nor actors but, fundamentally, they were performers. They had simply been placed into different venues where they were sometimes constrained by the limitations of the material for which they were provided.
Looking to fundamentals helps to see the bigger picture. So it is with my perspective on food. I approach eating from the standpoint of that big picture fundamental -- as a source of nourishment. The Truth reveals to us that there is no great mystery to nourishing our bodies which have evolved over millions of years to consume that small amount of available material which will efficiently accomplish this. It's neither coincidence, miracle or grand scheme that allows this but simply the basic fact that if the Earth did not contain the nutrients for our survival we would not exist. Through trial and error a food supply has been deduced by humanity that allows our bodies to most effectively function. Our ancestors who were born with a taste for uncooked lima beans kidney beans or who ate the pits of apricots didn't survive long like those who favoured mangoes, bananas, spinach and cooked kidney beans. This is where our autumn festivals are rooted.
We should cherish the soil from which our plants emerge. Hold those plants in reverence. Appreciate and respect the awesome functioning of our digestive system and cell reproduction. I am not asking that you set a demarcation line for when you will start a new life of healthful eating. Instead make gradual changes that allow it to become a lifestyle that you will embrace.
Attending one of these festivals can get you started on that path. Make it a real one though, not something that has been perverted into just another commercial opportunity like those which offer Elephant Ears. Learn about seasonal planting and regional foods. Take this information home and let it infuse your daily food selections.
On a daily basis I dedicate about three hours to eating. I enjoy food and consumer a rather bountiful amount of it. When I go out to eat, which is to the only place worth going, -- Formosa -- I generally allow myself about two hours to savour my five plates full of food. People often find irony in the smallest person there eating about six pounds of food. But I assure myself that I am eating food by being able to identify exactly what I am eating.
When it comes to eating I use a simple blessing --
I prepare this food in unity with my body.
I have chosen this food to nourish my body and contribute to its well-being.
My body will use these nutrients to strengthen and build itself in unity with all others.
If you find that you are not honestly able to recite that blessing along with everything you are about to consume then you may have to re-evaluate whether you are seeking to nourish your body -- whether you are truly eating food.
I offer here a few specifics about food selection and preparation that are intended to help you examine your food attitudes. You may not realize the extent to which you have been programmed to adulterate food and harm yourself for the profit of others.
Sugar - The various forms of sugars are available to use through a broad selection of edibles. Two sugars should be avoided -- cane sugar [table sugar] and high fructose corn syrup [HFCS]. HFCS 55, the most common variety, is a manufactured substance that consists of 55% fructose and 42% glucose. This unnatural combination is difficult for the human body to process. It is a stressor on the immune system and can potentially be harmful to various smooth muscle organs. Cane sugar can cause problems in the GI tract by feeding yeasts, certain bacteria and parasites. It can also cause inflammation and trigger an immune response. In significantly elevated amounts it can lead to diabetes. There is also another reason not directly associated with nutrients. Consider the moral obligation to avoid these sugars [in the United States] that can better align you in unity with others and benefit your spiritual development.
Policies enacted by the United States Congress that deprive mostly poor, non-white people in developing nations and the southern states from reaping the financial benefits of selling their native crops to US consumers. Instead Congress has sought to exercise the US consumer from participating in the free market and attaining Truth by manipulating prices to encourage the consumption of disease inducing HFCS. The financial benefactors of HFCS sales are the multi-national corporations who produce and sell HFCS as well as the pharmacological industry that treats the associated ailments. But as Dr Haas said, "From the western point of view, problems of the body become, What can I take to make this go away?" As consumers we have demanded pharmacological alternatives to natural wellness.
Cutting out these sugars is likely to be more difficult psychologically than it will be physiologically. Ensuring that you have adequate protein in your diet will help reduce cravings for sweets. You can also try a conditioned stimulus for your sweets replacement. This is the strategy that advertisers use in their commercials [ever see a Coca-Cola commercial where someone is sitting alone on a couch in a depressive state?]. So use it for your benefit. Whenever you eat your replacement food hug your child, look through a photo album of happy experiences or find something else that elicits a pleasurable response. Eventually, after about one to three weeks, you can drop the conditioned stimulus and the replacement food should elicit a pleasure response on its own.
Researcher Robert Ader, Ph. D, University of Rochester School of Medicine, used this principle during drug therapy experiments on laboratory animals who had lupus. Ader gave saccharine flavoured water to the animals at the same time as the drug. After a few pairings Ader removed the drug. The animals maintained the same physiological response to the saccharine flavoured water as if they were still receiving the drug. The conditioned stimulus had become just as effective as the drug itself.
While selecting appropriate foods is important it is also necessary to practice proper food handling and preparation. We live in a culture which is over sanitized. I won't go into the cause and effect relationships now but I can say that only showering about three times a year has provided a great boost to my well-being including increased alertness and energy as well as a more balanced mood with an upward bias towards happiness. Showering, especially hot showering, has numerous adverse effects just as air-conditioning does. This can be detrimental to our overall well-being. I never use antibacterial soaps and rarely use any soaps on my body so as to maintain a healthy supply of bacteria while allowing my body to use it's natural cleansing process.
Similarly the flora in my GI tract is essential to healthy functioning and must be maintained. Fruits and vegetables contain bacteria on the surface which help supply the GI tract with a supply for proper maintenance. Washing these bacteria from the surface of our foods can deprive our digestive system and leave it in distress. It is best then to buy organic fruits and vegetables which are locally grown when possible. I generally wash my food preparation surfaces about once a week. This allows the naturally occurring beneficial bacteria from all those foods, including fish, to propagate on those surfaces. While cleansing methods were less efficient or prolific in the past our bodies likely evolved to be dependent upon a certain amount of residual bacteria. The food borne bacteria fears are a myth to promote consumption of cleaning products.
All-in-all there is a perfect food supply for our bodies. For optimum well-being it is best to discard the conditioning you have been lulled into accepting by the profiteers who aspire for you to have dysbiosis and the resulting ailments. Now consider that snack you had. Is it consistent with what you would now consider to be food? For you and your children, if you have any, proper diet will continue to return rewards that will compound with time. If your children are the subject of a child custody order then proper diet as part of overall wellness is even more important as it is a statutory factor that judges must consider. Just as I can make the case that a mother who doesn't breast feed a child is a danger to that child [depriving the infant with a sterile GI tract of obtaining necessary flora to properly digest food and fight disease] so is the parent who doesn't provide a proper diet for himself or the child. I also have the caselaw to support an upward or downward deviation from a recommended child support payment amount based upon a parent's contributory dietary negligence and any subsequent sick-care costs.
A healthful diet is not nearly as expensive as eating unhealthful foods which often have costs of up to around 10 times that of healthful foods. Financial considerations aside, I will close with this final thought for your consideration -- it is not natural for the human body to be obese. Get back to eating what our bodies naturally function best on and the weight will shed itself.
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Make a suggestion for me to write about.
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