I quit watching the news or reading the newspaper about two years ago. And I do mean quit. The incessant background noise of 24 hour news channels and their catchy scores, taunting taglines, and never-ending, breaking-news tickers that run across the bottom and blink in the corner needed to STOP! I occasionally surf the headlines so that I’m mildly aware of what’s happening on planet Earth, but the fluff n’ stuff blown by all the talking heads just gives me a headache and provides useless clutter and conflict.
Every day there is a new study that contradicts an old idea. And if you have been around long enough (I’m gettin’ there), it all comes full circle. Eggs were always an incredible and edible part of the American breakfast. But then a few cholesterol studies had us all running for the expensive cartons of egg whites to get our fix. Now they’ve been re-approved, so you can eat an egg without hiding it under your toast. And toast is back too. Those first years of the Atkins and South Beach diet were brutal to bread lovers, but as long as your toast isn’t white, you need not cover it with a napkin. Bacon came under fire, but then turkey bacon was busted for nitrates and chemicals, so all the up-to-date health nuts are back to pork.
Coffee and caffeine and chocolate used to cause ulcers and heartburn. Until it was discovered that coffee and chocolate have awesome antioxidants and caffeine stimulates the metabolism. Enter the mocha latte double espresso! Then alcohol took the hot seat until it was ‘discovered’ that consuming moderate levels of alcohol is the healthiest of all…beer has hops, wine is full of antioxidants and vodka helps keep the arteries clear…Cheers to that! (Did you know Starbucks makes a chocolate coffee liquer? I’m sure it’s found in the health food section at the grocery….)
|Can I get a refund? I’ve spent about $65,000|
And then there are the vitamins. To a pill poppers delight, you can take vitamin C at the first sign of a cold, vitamin E for better skin and nails, iron for low energy…and fiber to unstop the resulting constipation, vitamin D for the sunscreen addicts, calcium for bone health, fish oil and omega fatty acids for memory and mood, magnesium and chromium to stimulate weight loss, and do not forget the B family, which supports the immune system, prevents diseases and makes you smarter.
A quick stop in the vitamin isle before you start at the grocery store will leave your cart full and your wallet empty. And no, a simple multi-vitamin won’t cut it. Fat and water soluble vitamins must be taken according to very specific and individual instructions and timing or you’re just making expensive urine. Good luck.
And though the title of this little rant includes the word ‘supplements’, there isn’t really room to even open that can of worms. May I suggest some St. John’s wort if you’re depressed by that? Give it at least six weeks before you attempt to determine it’s individual effectiveness or appropriate dosage. Make sure you buy a good brand that has consistent ingredients and drug levels. Make sure nothing else you take, drink, do or think interferes with your mood. Let’s move on.
I’m reading the China Study. (Go to Amazon now, and buy it, along with the Engine 2 Diet so you can hit the $25 minimum for free shipping.)
The author, Dr. Campbell, takes you through every major American study and why our science industry is failing our health because they are not looking at the big picture. He calls the flawed approach reductionism.
For example, the Nurses Health Study began in 1976 and enrolled over 120,000 nurses from around the country to investigate the relationship between various diseases and things like oral contraceptives, post-menopausal hormones, cigarettes and hair dyes. In 1984 it was expanded to include dietary information. It’s taken more than $100 million and decades to produce multiple conclusions, satellite studies, peer reviews and further cohort follow up. It is widely regarded as the best experimental design in human studies.
But the conclusions that are delivered in this massive data compilation fail to separate a host of other factors that play into disease. The protein consumed by the nurses represents over 19 percent of their diet, with between 78% and 86% coming from animal-based foods. In result, words like ‘low fat diet’ have no isolated meaning…”Low-fat” can include everything from processed meat and dairy products, crackers, cookies, candy and junk-food, and does not take into account other factors like fiber, vitamins, nutrients and plant vs/ animal sources.
Attempts to microanalyze the data without acknowledging that our bodies are macro-organisms is pointless. Dr.Campbell asks “When will it be understood that it is the total diet and the aggregate and comprehensive effects of large food groups that make the greatest contribution to the maintenance of health and prevention of disease?”…”Scientific investigations of the effects of single nutrients [or poorly defined concepts] on complex diseases have little or no meaning when the main dietary effect is due to the consumption of an extraordinary collection of nutrients and other substances found in whole foods.”
And I’m going to show my true colors here and add another ingredient factor to the meals we consume and how they affect our health. What about the love, intention, thankfulness and community that we experience when we take food from the earth, prepare it in our kitchens and serve and eat it with our families. Add a pre-meal prayer to that list and we’ve created a whole new approach: wake up and smell the consciousness.
Tonights meal is potato soup in a vegetable stock base with carrots, celery, onion, tons of garlic, finely chopped mushrooms, 2 apple/sage grain meat sausages and coconut milk. Black pepper and sea salt were my only added seasonings, though I tossed in some compassion and DIDN’T add any peppers.
I made brussel sprouts ONLY because my hot vegan husband (HVH) bought them at the store, claiming he’s always loved them. Really? 20 years says…REALLY? I googled a recipe that had me slice and saute them in a tbsp of olive oil, add salt and pepper, 2/3 cup of veggie stock, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp of mustard and 1 tsp of agave syrup. I cooked them about 5 minutes. They weren’t very good.
But HVH came home, cooked them another 8 minutes and added way more pepper and we gobbled them like teenagers with a bag of crunch-in-munch. Good call, dear.