Health

Real Food Real Life

Healthy food

Eating ‘Real Food’ Is The Road To Better Health.

We’ve come a long way in recent years in relation to understanding health and the effect that food and different diets have on us. I firmly believe that prevention is far better than cure. Once we have some serious health problem, it can become so much more difficult to try and heal ourselves. The symptoms of whatever disease we have, make everything that much harder. Once disease has a firm foothold within us, we all have a common thought…we wish we had done what we could sooner.

I know this from trying to get my health back after a heart attack, and resultant heart failure. I found myself limited in what exercise I could do as I would run out of steam (and breath), I was not allowed to lift over 10 kilograms so despite needing to build strength, my weight training exercise options were limited. It was difficult to find something I could do, and being alone didn’t help. Heart attacks are scary things, they are really like having the rug pulled out from under us…for me, the realisation that something I had no idea about could have killed me in an instant really shook my foundation. Until then, I had always felt quite secure in life in general but after that I felt really nervous and unsafe for a time and I didn’t want to be stuck alone on a walking trail and have another heart attack! Our health can be unforgiving; once we have medical conditions, there may be no turning back the clock. It can become something we need to work around from then onwards.

For me this became the case, for a good while it got in my way and sent me on an unfamiliar and undesirable road.

Following on from my heart attack and heart failure came high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fluid retention, weight gain, Diabetes Type 2, aches and pains all over which my doctor told me was the start of Fibromyalgia and of course…clinical depression….well who wouldn’t be depressed!

Each of these conditions required at least one lot of medicinal drugs. Some many more than one. When I left hospital I had about 14 pills to take daily and over the next several months the amount of pills increased, as the amount of health problems increased.

I remember once I came up in an allergic rash and went to hospital. I expected the offending drug to be identified and replaced. I was so shocked to be given a further drug to counteract the rash and told to keep taking all the drugs I was already taking. At that point I thought wow…I’m really on my own here. I’m the only person who actually wants me to get better, everyone else is focused on suppressing symptoms.

Maybe…because I had health problems that were usually experienced by older people, and because in general people accept that with age comes declining health…maybe I’m one of the few who really questioned all this…?

Each lot of pills I took left me feeling worse in other ways. I never had diabetes until I started taking medications for everything associated with my new heart condition and changed my diet to something heart friendly. I ignored what I felt my body needed and ate instead what I was told was “healthy”. I had been checked frequently for diabetes, even in hospital after having the heart attack I was checked and no diabetes.

After a while I discovered I was shorter. One inch. I was 53. I couldn’t understand it. I thought I was too young for it to be my age, I didn’t think of Osteoporosis due to my age. I also had cataracts which I thought I was too young for as well. Finally I discovered that cataracts were a symptom of calcium deficiency (as of course is Osteoporosis)…but how could I be so calcium deficient?

I had a calcium blood test and it showed as fine…but I had all the symptoms of deficiency. I asked my doctor how this could be…is it that by the time a blood test detects a deficiency we are seriously deficient?  She said “yes”. After a lot of researching…a LOT…I finally discovered that both the beta blocker and diuretic I was taking deplete minerals, and calcium is a mineral.

Psychic health

My Goal

Psychic goals

My goal here is not to convert people to Paleo way of eating. What you eat is your affair, I’m simply explaining my history so you know that I had serious health issues and my health was able to be improved in a major way by changing my diet. Many people think it isn’t possible, or it isn’t worthwhile giving up their food addictions. For me it was both possible and worthwhile, and I encourage anyone struggling with their health to really look at things again, with fresh eyes.

Exercise and drinking water is also important, some parts of our bodies are only able to clean themselves out with exercise and water to flush out the toxins. The lymphatic system, for example, has no pump system, we need to be active to help it clean itself. The lymphatic system is hugely important, a very simplified view of it is that it cleans the toxins from our blood. In my view the Lymph System is the unsung hero in our health. We are all focused on results of blood tests but if our blood is not in good shape, the lymph system most likely needs a helping hand. Exercise, water, good food, good elimination. If we lose the balance in our Lymph System, we can end up with Leukemia and other cancers.

If you are interested to read more, here is a link to the Wikipedia page on the Lymphatic System.

Another thing that works for many people is intermittent fasting. Some fast a couple of days a week, others fast say from 2 pm or 4 pm until 10 am or 12 noon daily. Allowing our bodies some time where it is not diegsting food and it can instead focus on healing itself is also something many people find very helpful.

There are many different approaches with diet. Paleo, Keto, Atkins, Mother Nature Diet, Vegetarianism, Veganism, Pescetarianism (No meat, fish only). For me, I found that becoming more active and leading a largely Paleo lifestyle has helped enormously.

Paleo is quite a radical change and not one I made easily or instantly. It has literally taken me years to come to now where I think the only non-Paleo things I have are my coffee and some cows milk in the coffee. I was unable for a long time to give up chocolate but I’ve done it finally and my last challenge was potato chips…which I’m pleased to report…I seem to have won that battle as well now….we’ll see LOL.

During this process of mine, at this point it is almost 4 years since I had a heart attack…I have gradually stopped taking all those medications I was on and now the only thing I still use is an eye drop to stop me getting glaucoma until I have my cataract laser surgery. I take nothing else except vitamins and I eat Paleo….of course I have also stopped smoking….which I enjoyed for 41 years! No small feat but rather than have you think I have the willpower we all wish for, it was just the right timing for me…no willpower in sight I’m afraid LOL. I wanted to quit but didn’t know where to start. Then I had a heart attack and pulmonary edema and was hospitalised and couldn’t smoke, they gave me patches and I’ve not smoked since. I was just lucky really. Also, I took beta blockers for a couple of years and they act like an anti-depressant as well as other functions so I think really I just had the perfect storm for quitting.

Throughout this life, I’ve frequently been around death and near many people with health problems as well as in the middle of my own. Between one thing and another, I’ve done a lot of research into different alternative therapies and food reactions, healthy diets etc. I shared on the Reiki page how I watched a girlfriend go through breast cancer and her efforts over many years to heal herself. My last remaining sister died less than a year ago from Motor Neurone Disease, my oldest sister died 10 years ago, Mum, Dad, Grandparents, ex boyfriends and partners, friends wow…the list is long.

We are all in differing states of health and what our bodies need is different, although of course basics like fresh food are common to us all. Some can’t eat mushrooms, some no grains which means no corn as well as the obvious things, no peanuts, some of us are more sensitive than others. Many people think that all food on the planet is good for us but there are animals here too…maybe some of those foods were intended for birds and 4 legged animals. I often find that my body doesn’t respond to the so called conventional “healthy” ways of eating, I think those recommendations are made by and for people who have healthy bodies to start with and once we go past a certain point, what is recommended for largely healthy people just doesn’t work for us.

I believe a healthy body can withstand some irritants but once we get to a certain point of poor health, our capacity to withstand those same irritants just isn’t there any more. Those are my thoughts. For some, like me, we need to avoid the irritants altogether as our bodies have lost their tolerance or capacity to deal with those things now.

A doctor I went to years ago told me diabetes was, when the body has been fed so much junk that it just doesn’t know what to do with it any more…it just throws its hands up and says…I give up!

Im not here for debates about all this and who is right or wrong, I am simply letting people know it is worth checking into different paths, different lifestyles, different ways of being. For me it is simple, real food is what we found on the planet. Not processed foods, they are for convenience, not health. Adam and Eve (if you believe bible history) found apples, not fast foods, Mars bars or fizzy drinks. Not even “healthy” breakfast drinks or cereals.

On that note…many people do not realise that things marked ‘healthy’ may not necessarily be healthy. Some of us are old enough to remember when a certain extremely popular cereal with a reputation as being very healthy was compared in an ad from a competitor to a chocolate cake…as the ingredients were very similar. There was an immediate reaction from the cereal maker and the ad was banned…why? If it was true, why couldn’t the words be said? Things like this must make us question who has our best interests at heart? Not the food companies, or even the legal system which had the ad banned. The purpose of sharing this information here is to suggest you do your own research into things if health matters to you…don’t believe all the hype. Yes, a product can say its healthy on the packet as judged by the local health standards…but what are those standards? Most of us don’t know and don’t ask. Where did the research come from? How was it collected? We are just in our own little worlds, trusting a green tick on a box.

How about all those fast food ads on tv…especially when they follow an ad that says to eat healthily and in moderation, or during a news or current affairs program that talks about how diabetes and obesity has become an epidemic. Don’t you just love how the fast food ads are on right around meal times and late at night. I especially love how the actors in all those ads are so beautiful, great skin, perfect figures, all smiling and happy.

Are the government bodies responsible for regulating tv advertising and health really going to say that they don’t see the connection between fast foods, advertising and our diabetic, obese children? Really? Obviously those ads need to go.

I watched The Sugar Conspiracy on TV recently and it was saying the heart and stroke foundation of Canada was giving out permission to use their logo – a tick type thing in return for $20,000 donations which they put towards their research etc. Companies were able to pay $20,000 and have their foods labelled with the tick, which as we know, creates an assumption of good health when consumers see it.  Whether in fact the foods were healthy at all was not considered and the tick was not given as any sort of endorsement of the food but simply in return for a donation. However – consumers saw the tick and they knew it was from a health organisation, so they made the obvious assumption….the food has been declared healthy, and approved and endorsed by the organisation. Of course they did.

Green Tick

That same show detailed how the American Sugar Industry back in the 1970s commissioned advertising agencies to make sugar’s image positive and how they influenced the research being done into obesity and diabetes and health in general so that it did not zone in on sugar. The effects of sugar were not actually researched when looking at the causes of cancer and diabetes etc. The researchers were pointed in the direction of looking at how obesity was a factor in diabetes and not whether sugar was a factor in obesity or diabetes….because the sugar industry financially sponsored the research. Because there was no research into sugar, the Government was unable to say there was any specific evidence that sugar was toxic or harmful. That led to sugar getting a rating of GRAS – Generally Recommended As Safe.

Do you see how we are manipulated? There was no evidence that sugar is toxic or harmful. They were able to make that true statement…because no research was done into sugar. No-one lied…the public was just hoodwinked. Then came the advertisements stating how sugar was declared safe by the government. Large organisations with dollars to burn somehow seem to swing the results in their favour….and we are generally none the wiser. The best way to get the results you want from research is how…to sponsor the research and choose the research criteria.

If you’re interested, here is a link to read more. Just be aware that all the various suppliers of foods and drinks are in business…and what are businesses concerned with? Making money, getting customers, looking appealing – not health.

Many people don’t think about their health and are able to just take it for granted…I wish I could be one of them. For those of us not in that fortunate group, it’s time to trust ourselves, our bodies. Let our guide be how we feel. Understand that we have come to the point where we place more value in what we are told than how we feel. This is not a good place to be.

Let this be simple…Does the food you are eating look like its good for you? Does it look like it might help you build muscle and help your bodily processes, does it look like it will invigorate you or add nutrients and water to your system so you can flush out toxins? Does it look like it contains healthy naturally occurring vitamins and minerals? Or does it look thick and dry and floury like it will just bind you up and do you no good?

 We assume when we see vitamins on the ingredient list that the food is healthy…but really what are we eating? Does it look like nature intended you to eat it or does it look like some big machine made it? After you have eaten do you feel energised and full of life or bloated, lazy and need a nap? If you go into a “food coma” then what you are eating is not good for your body. It’s not that complex really. I spent years, decades going from food coma to food coma. I understand how it feels and how hard it is to change when we barely have enough energy to get off the couch and go to bed.

The “health” foods we buy list all the vitamins and minerals in them but where do they come from? Are they man made synthetic vitamins rather than naturally occurring…who knows if synthetic vitamins and minerals are even effective. Is vinyl as good as leather? No. We can put a pair of vinyl shoes on and feel the difference on our feet…with food we don’t know what effect it is having straight away.

Heart Healthy Foods
Food Additives

Making Food

It is cheaper for manufacturers to make foods with things that have long shelf lives, easier to use grains and additives than it is to keep up with fresh food that doesn’t last as long. It is simple economics. Unfortunately the economic concerns of the manufacturer and the health concerns of the consumer are not easily reconciled.

Irritants in foods are making us sick on a massive scale. Are the irritants the genetically modified grains or the growth promoters and chemicals put on them to control insects, the preservatives added to the product or the lack of nutrients in the soil to balance everything out…you decide for yourself if it matters to you.

Personally, it is enough for me to to know that my body just cant eat certain things any more and I don’t need to become an expert on the subject because it changes nothing. In the end, I still can’t eat them. I’ve tried organic and gluten free, nope, I’m just done. There are many foods I can’t eat at this point in life…so I don’t. Simple. There’s no need for me to complicate things.

I understand why there is so much processed food around, we are not small communities seeking to get a small amount of food thesedays. I get it. It’s also so much faster and easier and probably cheaper for us to grab a microwavable ready to eat meal than it is to cook. I get that too, but what is it doing to us? Long term it costs us more in health decline.

Personally my body can’t tolerate the oils many things are cooked in these days. The oils used for cooking are generally seed oils which are chemically extracted. Normally, I buy raw nuts and activate and then dry them and keep some like that and others I roast in sea salt, organic olive oil and generally fresh rosemary from my garden.

I was busy recently and bought some roasted almonds and ate a couple of them. The oil left a horrible coating on the inside of my mouth. It was awful. I couldn’t eat more of them. I used to eat that stuff all the time and not notice that filmy slimy yuk. Now that I’ve cleaned all that stuff out of my body, I can taste how bad things are for me. I don’t even need to swallow to feel bad, it happens in my mouth thesedays. If you haven’t had a big clean-out of your body, then maybe you can’t taste the additives etc.

Another thing to note, that I read on David Gillespie’s website is…there are no such things as vegetable oils, vegetables don’t have oils. So when you buy vegetable oil – what is it that you are actually buying? If you’re curious about how certain oils are bad for us, click this link and read David Gillespie’s intro to his book Toxic Oils. I recommend you have a look as they are not just slightly bad, but cancer causing. Actually I recommend you have a look at all his books! If you want to make a simple, fast change in your life now…switch to using organic olive oil and coconut oil. Read the labels, don’t get processed ones, cold pressed and virgin are good.

Many people are so time poor now that they can’t or don’t set aside the time needed to make real food, and many just don’t understand how important it is to eat real food. Often, even if we do make real food, we then microwave it LOL. Maybe people have forgotten that microwaving kills the nutrients in food. So many people are exhausted from eating all the wrong foods that they just cant be bothered making a change and many don’t feel it will benefit them anyway. A lot of people make a small effort which often is not enough and see no immediate benefit so they give up. They don’t think about how long it took for them to get the way they are and give change more time. They also may not understand how much damage has been done because the government recommendations tell them they are eating right already. They are eating whole grains in their sugary cereal and microwaving their synthetic vitamin filled meals…right?

I have never believed that growing older means declining health. I believe that we eat poorly and take drugs etc and neglect ourselves and drink alcohol and smoke and wear make-up and perfumes and clean our house, body, hair etc with chemicals which our skin and liver absorb and over time we become more and more toxic. Then as our bodies start to fail, we feed them drugs to mask the symptoms and we decline further. I do not believe it is to do with age but how we treat ourselves…because we are mis-informed about what is healthy to start with and we fail to realise the damage that everyday chemicals used in deodorants, perfumes, toilet rolls, foods, cleaning products etc can do to our bodies.

I eat a mainly Paleo diet, because it works for me. I think there is a misconception about Paleo that it is all meat and fat…it isn’t. There is so much vegetable and salad if you follow this way of eating properly you will find that the defining thing about Paleo is the lack of processed foods, bad fats, additives, grains, sugar etc.

Strictly speaking, Paleo excludes coffee and dairy and this is where I say I follow mostly Paleo…I love my coffee and I’ve never stopped having it.

It

Paleo is not about giving a list of things and saying you must adhere to it. Paleo is usually taken up by people for health reasons and the guidelines that are given are just that...guidelines of what to eat and not to eat so you can heal and feel good. If you find that you can eat something and feel good with no ill-effects, then by all means eat it.

Doctor

Understand that we are only being told what to eat based on other people’s opinions. In researching, even just today, I see that several Doctors and/or Nutritionists research the same facts and come up with different conclusions. If those people can’t agree, why are we taking the advice of one train of thought over another? Why are we discouraged from trusting ourselves and what and how we feel? Could it be because nations of people who know what they need and who are in good health will not be spending money on medical solutions?

When we consume sugar laden products do we have a quick burst of energy and then fall flat? When we eat grains do we need a nap? When we eat something too salty, do we feel dehydrated and bloated? When we have dairy products do we start sneezing or get blocked ears? I’ve never been able to have cuppa soup…they have always made me swell up instantly. I don’t know which part of it is responsible, I just stay away from it.

Are we seriously not considered capable of knowing the most basic things? Each time I go to (most) doctors for some reason, I get to the part where I’ve had a heart attack and do not swallow the drugs prescribed to me and that is all most of them hear. From there, in their minds, I become some idiot crackpot who has been looking up Scooby-Doo’s snack recipe site and have based my health understandings on whatever information I found there. I’ve had many a discussion with doctors, just about myself and most often they deny that there is any evidence of the effectiveness of alternative solutions. There is an abundance of evidence, from good, reputable sources. You only have to look.

Do we really need someone with a degree telling us what they have been taught will or won’t make us feel good? And if so, do we accept what they say to the extent that we de-value how we actually feel? I’m not saying to only ask ourselves if we feel good at the moment of ingestion…illicit drugs will make us feel good at the time…but take into account later as well.

Doctors do a lot of good. I probably wouldn’t be here if not for a team of doctors who helped me following a heart attack. I’m just saying that the accepted attitudes and what is believed to be true about health, may not be true, or not quite true. For me, I try things and if they work for me then they become part of what is true for me. If you have been unwell and the solutions you have been offered are not helping you, then it may be time to seek alternative solutions by looking outside the box. I believe that those solutions work for some people, and others need to find alternatives.

T. L. Cleave, a Surgeon Captain in the Royal Navy and a former Director of Medical Research at the Institute of Naval Medicine published an epidemiological study called “The Saccharine Disease” in 1974.

Cleave made a careful study of hospital records of many third world countries, mainly in Africa and couldn’t help but notice that the natives did not have any incidence of the common Western diseases like obesity, diabetes, gallstones, heart disease, colon cancer, diverticulitis. They were not simply lower in frequency, they didn’t exist. Dr Cleave concluded that the absence of refined carbohydrates was what protected these people against what were becoming known as 20th century diseases.

A Dr Dennis Burkitt looked at the same data and he concluded differently, that the high fibre diets these people ate were what protected them. (Same facts, different conclusions…which continue below).

Dr John Yudkin, a famous British Nutritionist from the same time period felt that heart disease was due to sugar intake. Heart disease and diabetes both were of higher incidence in developed nations and lower in underdeveloped nations however more developed nations had higher intake of both fat and sugar, and less developed nations had neither…so it was difficult to definitively prove one way or the other.

Ancel Keys PhD., a prominent American Nutritionist argued that heart disease was a result of a high fat diet. Keys cited research and facts from 7 nations as evidence for his theory however it was later discovered that he only used the results of the research from 7 of the 20 studied nations that supported this theory. Results from the other nations which would have given the research very different findings, was ignored and not collated into the results. Evidence that exercise played a larger role in prevention of heart disease than any other factor, was suppressed.

Following on from his earlier research, Dr Cleave demonstrated that almost exactly 20 years after the introduction of western foods into a nation and replacing their own foods, illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes began to surface, and within 40 years they had become widespread. Cleave called this his “Rule of 20 Years” and it was proven time after time in many different countries.

Dr Cleave demonstrated that almost exactly 20 years after the introduction of western foods into a nation and replacing their own foods, illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes began to surface, and within 40 years they had become widespread.

 

In Iceland, diseases such as diabetes and heart disease were almost unheard of until 1930s. Prior to this the people ate a diet very high in fat. In the 1920s refined carbohydrates and sugar was introduced into the Icelandic diet and sure enough, 20 years later degenerative diseases became more prevalent.

In (former) Yugoslavia and Poland high incidence of heart disease occurred at a time when sugar intake quadrupled and animal fat intake fell.

The Jews from Yemen who moved to Israel started eating a more western style diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar, rather than the natural and unrefined diet that they had previously eaten. Approximately 20 years later, diabetes started to be seen in these people who had previously been thought to be genetically unaffected by the disease as it was unheard of among people living their traditional lifestyle in Yemen.

All of this aside…if we are eating the way we need to be for good health…if the healthy diet guidelines we are given are correct…why are we getting sicker and sicker? Again, it’s not that complex a question. Something isn’t right. Our grandparents (or great grandparents for the younger folks) ate largely unprocessed food, an unrefined diet of natural foods, they cooked in butter and bacon grease, drank full cream milk, drank unfiltered water…they ate simple home cooked foods and they were well. Sweet treats were just that, treats that were eaten on occasion.

Older people sometimes say to me that they eat what they used to eat, however they don’t always understand that the way foods are prepared thesedays has changed. I was talking to a guy who used to be a baker recently and he told me that when he was baking, breads were sourdough and the process of making sourdough meant that gluten wasn’t a problem (no, I don’t know why!). Now there are so many breads that aren’t sourdough and even sourdough may not be made with the same ingredients now. What we used to eat is not the same any more. Even if it is an apple, the trees and the fruit are not treated the same. Food has changed, even though it looks like the same thing it used to be, it is not.

We had the answers in the past, and then the race to produce more, faster, bigger and cheaper began. Then the “nutrition” industry gained momentum because we were no longer getting the same health benefits from what we ate…because the structure of our foods has been modified, our soils are damaged from chemicals and not enough rotation of crops. Our foods are not full of vitality like they used to be. Where is our fresh food even coming from now? Much produce is harvested before it ripens so it’s not getting long enough in the soil or on the plant/tree. At this point our food is grown for hardiness of the crop, insect resistance and maintaining integrity during export etc, not for the natural goodness it is meant to contain. The answer is not in pills, potions or power bars, it’s in going backwards and eating a basic healthy diet of good, unrefined, healthy, natural food. And yes…I understand how hard that is going to be for the average person to achieve in this day and age.

If you want to know more you can seek out further info. So many people are having food related problems these days and having to find alternative diets and solutions.

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