Just a clarification

Had a conversation yesterday that I thought was a good point to share. People have said more than once about buying organics that is isn’t necessary because we grew up eating this food and we are okay.

So first, we are not okay. The rates of disease in this country have never been higher. Don’t believe me? Come sit at the chemo center for a week and see how many people you run into that you know.

The other fallacy is that this is the same food you were eating 30 or 40 years ago. It is not. Look at old pictures of chickens and then look at a picture of a chicken about to be “processed” by a manufacturer.

http://naturallysavvy.com/eat/food-then-and-now-how-nutrition-has-changed

They are completely different. Our foods have now gone through decades of change from chemicals. Not just the ones that are now part of our day to day life through the air we breathe but from the massive amount of chemicals we add to our livestock to make them more profitable and grow our food in to make it disease and pest resistant.


We did not have to label the food as Organic, because the organic food was just food. Eating organics is simply making the choice to eat food that is closer to it’s original state.

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How do we achieve the freedom to change?

The other day I was pondering big lifestyle changes and the people who do or do not do them. I am not talking about people like me who have spent a decade making small changes and working my way up to this, I am talking about people who go from one life to another overnight – ish. In my tiny little bit of experience people who dive into a complete change to a crazy healthy lifestyle, exercise, diet and attitude are usually successful confident people. So why?

Here is what I think. I believe that these people are natural risk takers. They are accustomed to making a decision, setting a goal, and assuming it will succeed. I am not saying they always succeed but they believe through sheer force of will they will get what they want. The rest of us are used to having to compromise. We know that if we wake up one day and decide from now on we will work out every day and only eat healthy it is a lot of juggling. We need to join gyms and yoga studios and figure out how we are going to feed our families while we are feeding ourselves completely different meals. We need to carve out many many hours of our week to do these things. And then if we fail, if after six weeks we realize we have spent a lot of money on healthy food and membership fees and workout clothes and are sitting in front of the tv munching Doritos we are failures. So we don’t. We make our tiny little changes and hope they help. That is what I did. I made tiny little changes. Some stuck, some didn’t. But I keep trying.

I wonder if all of us had the freedom, financial and responsibility, what we would do? If we had all of the support that wealthy successful people had would we be healthier and stronger?

I am not done with this topic. There is another side to it for people facing terrible diseases. Why do some people do everything they need to do to get better, and some do not.

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A floodgate opened

Food has become my enemy and my friend over the last six years. Gosh, just typing that. I can’t believe it has been six years since I was originally diagnosed with cancer. So many people get diagnosed and then are gone so fast. I am very grateful for the time I have had and hope that in thirty years I am having this same conversation.

But, back to what I wanted to talk about. Food. Before I was diagnosed with cancer I became a vegetarian. Frequently people equate vegetarianism with healthy eating but that is definitely not the case for people who go vegetarian because they want to stop being part of the process that is cruel to animals, not for health reasons.

As a fat and happy vegetarian I ate tasty wonderful foods! Salads covered in all sorts of fun things, Mexican food many times a week with rice and tons of guacamole and chips and salsa. Processed foods galore! Noodles and snack foods with abandon. Then I decided I wanted to lose those extra 40 pounds I had put on. I started cutting out the junk food. Less cookies and pastries (OMG I love pastries!), smaller portions, less snacking and I started actually exercising. I started doing yoga which I loved and cardio. I dropped twenty-five pounds and started feeling good and that is about the time I got diagnosed with cancer. I had surgery, I had wicked chemo & a full round of radiation. Food was disgusting for those few months but as a weird quirk of cancer treatment and surgery I did not lose any weight, or at least not more than a few pounds.

Then came the aftermath. My body was trashed. I could not eat anything without being terribly sick for days. No raw fruits or vegetables and very few cooked ones. What does a vegetarian eat if they cannot eat vegetables? Back to the junk. Only heavily processed foods. It was so hard to maintain my weight. I did, but I had to really watch calories and I started adding in more and more exercise. I walked a lot.
After a few years I started getting healthier. I slowly started adding a few foods back into my diet and finding healthier options. Humus, yogurt and other healthier versions of processed foods.
And….BAM…here we go again. Cancer is back. So, blah, blah blah, two years of dealing with that.

Now today.
I am determined to be as healthy as I can be. Food is not my enemy, or my friend. It is my medicine. I decided that food is not so important as my life.

People joke all the time about not eating healthy because why bother living if you’re not enjoying it. This makes me angry. It really does. I do not say anything because I do not believe I can change peoples mind but I just want to snarl at them. Are you really saying that the only thing in your life that brings you joy is garbage food? A bloody steak and greasy food means more to you than your family? How insulting. The 100’s of books you will never read because a rack of ribs is more important?

It is a choice. I use to be very quiet, almost apologetic about food because I am definitely a live and let live kind of person but watching people kill themselves so slowly and then laugh about it and make jokes is driving me crazy. I think they do not really believe that it is killing them and they think they will be one of those people who live a great life and keep going going going until they are old and worn out. In reality they will probably be sickly, and need other people to take care of them. They will need handfuls of medicine which will cost handfuls of money. They will need medical interventions to keep them alive, but with an ever diminishing quality of life. I don’t think that is funny at all.

I wish I could make people joyful and happy. I wish I could make them able to see through my eyes how wonderful and what a gift each day is. I might not feel that same way if I was lying on a couch eating corn chips and nacho cheese with a danish chaser. Eating an apple makes me feel light and happy and filled with energy. All that time of being denied healthy food and not having a choice has made my decisions easier. Do I want the cheese and cherry danish with layers of light flaky crust that was made by putting butter between each layer? Hell Yes! But I really want to enjoy every moment I have even more.

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Titleless

A couple of weeks ago I was driving down the highway and looked over and saw someone I knew driving next to me. I immediately remembered that this person died about 10 years ago, so…

I am sure this happens to all of us I am sure. My other common occurrence is seeing someone I knew from school and then realizing that they would be in their 50’s and this person is in their 20’s!

What if there are only about 10 Million people molds in the world and everyone is born using one of those molds? Life, environment and personality would of course alter their look as time goes on but it would certainly explain all of the times you think you see someone you know and then realize it is someone completely different.

I have had this idea running through my head for a couple of weeks and then the other day I was at lunch and a man walked in who looked so much like my late father that I could not stop staring. I took a picture and sent it to my sister  who was startled too. He even moved like my dad. The only thing was the back of his neck, not quite right.

I received all of my course materials yesterday for my certification. Started reading Holistic Anatomy. No matter what word you put in front of it, Anatomy is anatomy and is not my favorite subject. Starting with cells and chemistry. So dry. I have already learned so many things, and had so many other concepts reinforced with the onine materials. Everything is of course focused on plant based foods, if there was ever a thought in my head to stop being a vegetarian a week of absorbing this information would definitely put a stop to it.

I met my personal goal for May. It was to switch to a much harder workout for at least ten workouts. I believe it worked as it seems to now be a habit. Good for my body! Pushing myself is not really my strong suit and I have to find ways to trick myself into it. I am so lucky to be able to do things. Any things. So many people are not in my position. I hope I never lose the gratitude I feel on a daily basis.

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