Month: April 2019

 

What About SUPPLEMENTS?

The markets for supplements are huge.  People are buying various types for most any condition a person might have.  Supplements for joint health, energy, digestion, cardiovascular support, detoxification, muscular strength, etc.  The list could go on.  There are a few things that are disturbing about this.  Let’s keep a few key points in mind.

  • Wild animals maintain vigorous health without the use of supplements
  • Some forms of supplements have only existed produced by humans for a very short period of time.
  • Risks and side effects of taking synthetic vitamins and chemical supplements are not well-known.

We are not saying that supplements are necessarily a bad thing.  The message is to use caution and try to favor natural substances over synthetic.  The idea of supplements is to use concentrated doses of nutrition or other beneficial compounds to help the body in some way.  This is not a new thing.  People have long used certain substances to treat different ailments.  It just has normally been a type of plant, animal, or other natural entity.  So can we use supplements helpfully and safely in the modern age?  Here are some tips.

  • Regular Whole Foods is your first line of defense.  Eating a wide range of healthy items will round out your basic nutrition and protect against deficiencies.
  • If you have a specific problem or ailment that you are seeking relief from; do some research into what particular foods may be helpful.  For instance, high quality protein for muscular benefits, spicy peppers or greens for cardiovascular health, bone marrow for joint issues, or premium fats for brain and nervous system health.
  • Herbs are natures original medicines.  They can mend headaches, help constipation, ease stress, among many other things.  There is a learning curve with herbs and they can be quite powerful so use caution.  Try to learn the herbs that help with your particular condition.
  • If you STILL feel the need to buy over the counter supplements, get something of quality that is made from; or extracted versions of whole-foods or herbs.

Supplements are big business and too many people are buying things that either don’t work, could be dangerous, and usually more expensive than food.  With some common sense, and old-school know how, you can protect yourself from nutritional deficiencies and help correct or relieve nagging issues with targeted whole foods and/or herbs!

-JOSEPH

Your Body KNOWS How To Be Healthy! (It Just Needs YOUR Help.)

It would appear that many people in our modern settings are stressed, run-down, and developing chronic health conditions; often happening at earlier ages than just a few generations ago.  There are digestive problems, auto-immune conditions, cancers, heart disease, arthritic conditions, among many others.  Why are these happening at higher rates and among younger people?  Health problems are things that are often not publicly discussed with others; sometimes not even within families.  Yet if you take the time to view how many hospitals, medical facilities, and the like are around; we are spending so much time, energy, and money on healthcare.  The issue I am trying to bring up here is WHY these conditions are so prevalent when people WANT to be healthy and happy.

Part of this depends on your belief structures.  Some believe in Evolution.  Some believe in Creationism.  Others, a combination of the two.  Whatsoever the beliefs; humans have been around a very long time surviving AND THRIVING!  We have proven our ability to adapt and live in multitudes of environments, conditions, eat different things, etc.  We did most of this before the modern age of technology with our computers, phones, and complex data systems.  However, we also came from the World of nature and wild animals.  Sometimes it feels like we have forgotten where we came from.  So what are the answers?  Why are so many of us being dragged into chronic illness and disease if the body knows how to be healthy? 

Of course you know I’m going to say that much of it comes to the lifestyles we are choosing to live.  The foods we eat, the jobs we work, stress, new technologies, etc.  When it comes down to it, we are living MUCH DIFFERENTLY than we were even 100 years ago.  Before that, 300 years ago.  Before that, thousands of years of human evolution.  What I am saying is that our bodies, minds, and spirits are not PRIMED for our new lifestyles.  That does not mean we cannot or will not adapt.  It just means that we are not used to it.  Of course computers, cell phones, and modern media like television are exciting.  Does that mean we can handle it?  Ok, so enough jabbering; what do we do?

One of the best and easiest ways to help you and your body REMEMBER how to be healthy is to learn and emulate lifestyles from the past.  I am not saying to give up your electronics and go live in the woods.  I am saying to try to treat your body in ways that it would be used to.

  • Eat natural, whole foods.  Specifically following regional and ancestral patterns.  Try to eat locally and appropriately for your genetics.
  • Get Exercise.  Walking is #1.  Humans are used to walking A LOT.  It is essential.  After that is some forms of strength training and cardiovascular exercise.
  • Handle your Stress.  Humans are good at dealing with certain types of stressors, but we have added in new ones like chemical additives in foods, electromagnetic stress, pollution, and unhealthy living situations.  Find ways to mitigate stress.  Neutralize relationship problems, try to be a loving person, listen to music, journal etc. This is different for each individual.
  • Spend time in nature doing “old-school” activities.  This could be hiking, gardening, foraging, hunting, fishing, camping, etc.  In some of our modern cities with so many cars; the influence of nature is often greatly diminished.
  • Attitude.  How we think is of high importance.  Understanding that modern lifestyles are a very new thing and to have caution with that goes a long way.  We are marketed and advertised to constantly through radio, television, and other medias about what to eat, how to dress, what activities to participate in, and how to think.  If we can understand these are not coming from nature; but from people trying to sell things we can disengage.

This list could go on.  The main ideas are to remember that your body has a long history of successful living behind it.  It knows how to digest food.  It knows how to repair itself and eliminate disease.  It knows how to be healthy and strong.  However, even the body is tricked by some of these new age things.  WE are the connection that has to be in control!  We are the people responsible for CHOOSING the things that are time-proven in helping and not making us sick.  It is often complicated with all this new-age advice from internet articles, magazines, gossip, etc.  How do we know who is right and what programs to follow?  Using history and nature as your first line of defense is a good strategy.  Other than that, give yourself time to heal.  People don’t get sick overnight.  Most of these chronic conditions may take years to develop.  Of course we want a quick fix.  Who likes feeling lousy?  The best ways to get longstanding positive results are to adhere to basic healthy lifestyle principles.  So have faith in the body.  Have faith in yourself.  Things DO get much easier when you follow natures plan.  We don’t have to fight so hard just to feel somewhat OK.  Give yourself at minimum 30 days on a new program before claiming it doesn’t work!

-JOSEPH

Areas of Hereditary and Genetic Weakness CAN be Addressed.

Most of us have heard about these types of things.  Inherited weaknesses, diseases, or problems.  We check for family histories of different conditions to help us know what to look for in the future with our health.  Sometimes the results are somewhat insignificant and other times we have issues of cancers, heart disease, autoimmune conditions and the like.  It is difficult to cope with this sort of thing, especially if serious preexisting conditions are there.  It is important to understand what issues have been occurring in your family; especially if you can find information about grandparents or back farther.

There is some truth to this as people (and families) can and do have strengths and weaknesses.  What we want to talk about here is WHY the weaknesses exist and HOW we might go about correcting them.  Why do illnesses seem to follow families?

Sometimes families go about things in similar ways.  They may eat the same types of foods, have the same views on exercise, deal with stress in distinctive ways, etc.  These ways of doing things often gets passed on to the children.  IF these things are unhealthy, disease can result.

OUR CULTURE has gotten progressively less “genetically health friendly.”  There is often pollution in our cities, additives and chemicals in our foods, poor food quality, lack of exercise, and overwork mixed with stress.  Many of these things were not even around until very recently.  Is it possible that our human bodies do not know how to deal with this “newfangled” stuff?

So we want to fix these things and make ourselves genetically healthy and strong right?  How do we go about this?  Of course it depends on the individual situation and how far “off-course” we have gone, but here are some basic tips.

  • Number One is to begin eating foods that are as natural and unprocessed as you can get.  Healthy food literally has good genetics!  Many people are sick because they are regularly consuming foods and substances that their bodies are not really designed for.
  • Healthy Lifestyle factors.  This includes many things like exercise, rest, stress-management, sleep, mental/emotional work, relationships, and many more.
  • Brain Health.  How we take care of our mind plays a big factor here.  Spending time in nature, listening to music we like, doing mental exercise such as mathematics or puzzles, and other things can help keep our brain healthy.  Too much time in artificial environments or with new-age electronics can take away health in this area.
  • Be “Condition Specific.”  If the genetic problems have to do with digestion; it may be wise to eliminate processed pork and hard to digest meats and foods.  If it has to do with circulation; regular exercise and a overall healthy diet makes sense.  Cancers often come with too much processed foods and substances or overwhelmed emotions.  Try to know what you are working on avoiding and plan accordingly.

Overall, I just want people to know that there is HOPE at improving genetic conditions.  We literally change our genetics when we improve what we eat and how we live.  Many people have eliminated hereditary problems.  You do not have to get sicker and weaker as you get older.  It just depends if you are willing to change these areas into healthy ones, work with nature, and let yourself be led back to healthy genetics.

-JOSEPH

A Note on the Simplicity of Whole Foods.

Sometimes while shopping, it amazes me to view all of the new products we have created that people categorize as “food.”  Even in so-called “Health Food Stores,” it is common to find many processed items often touted as healthy.  What is strange about this is that it appears we have forgotten what “normal” food is.  People that shop for and eat whole foods are viewed as “on a diet,” or as “healthy eaters.”  The thing is, until recently; that was everybody.  There were no “processed foods” made in factories.  There were not additives in the food.  Of course there have been storage foods like whole grains, but many are choosing to eat processed versions of these also. 

The good news is that there are a few simple tests that will allow you to determine if something is a whole food. 

  • Does it have more than 1 ingredient?  IF YES, it is NOT a whole food.
  • Does it grow in the ground, on a tree, or move around?  It is probably a whole food.

So that leaves us with what?  Fruits, vegetables, wild edibles, meats, whole grains and legumes, as well as nuts and seeds.  There are also animal products such as raw milk and eggs.

The interesting thing to me is that many people would seem to reject this type of food.  It is in the grocery stores, but much of what is purchases are processed versions of foods.  That brings us to the question of WHY so many people are eating junk food?

There are many reasons; and that is sort of outside the scope of this article.  However, we will go over a few.

  • Addictions – People are addicted to foods and they do not always realize it.  This is very prevalent with Bread, Pasteurized Dairy, Sugar, Table salt, GMO Foods, and certain chemicals they put in processed foods.  Try getting people to let go of bread or dairy and you will find out how addicted some are.
  • Convenience – Some packaged foods feel more convenient to many.  Open the bag of chips and munch.  Take the lid off the ice cream and eat.  Of course there are healthy alternatives such as fruit, fresh greens, nuts, etc. but they sometimes aren’t loaded with calories in quite the same way.
  • Emotions – Unfortunately eating bad food can sometimes help us push away our emotions temporarily.  It does this by draining our energy and numbing us for a time being.  After the food is digested, the feelings will usually come back.
  • Cost – This is a tricky issue.  Some believe eating healthy equals paying more for food.  However, some with this mindset are the same buying junky snacks, cigarettes, lottery tickets, and fast food.  Some real food can get expensive; especially in regard to meats and produce.  I am convinced though, that if we cut back drastically on the junk we buy (not just food!), we would better afford the quality food.  You also have to think what it says about us that we are not willing to spend our money on FOOD!?
  •  

Enough on this issue.  The mains points here are that it is NOT HARD to determine what is a WHOLE FOOD, (which is what humans are used to eating).  There are pitfalls and addictions prevalent with junk food, so treat it as such.  Cost can be an issue; but honestly look at where your spending is going and ask yourself if it really is too expensive?  Overall, getting into a whole foods eating style in the modern times is easy to explain but often hard to implement.  This does not mean eating foods you do not like.  It just means selecting your food from a large variety of healthy options, and not giving your money to corporations mass-producing junk food that is just making our country sicker, more overweight, and less happy.  Respect yourself AND your food, leading to a healthier and more sustainable person.

-JOE

100 Years of Suspicion

So much of our lifestyle and culture has changed in the last 100 years.  An exponential amount of change has occurred in just the most recent 25 years.  Electronics, computers, internet, cell phones, processed foods, the list goes on.  We seem to be addicted.  In some ways, these things help us to organize, stay connected, and be more productive.  In other ways, they bring us out of touch with some realities around us.  Before these modern inventions, things were much different.  The food we ate was more natural, we were outdoors physically working more, and we were in tune with the cycles and seasons around us.  Part of the problem is that our bodies are so used to living before this “Technological Age.”  We are asking for a lot of change in a short period of time.  Many people struggling with health problems find it hard to get much better.  There are chronic illness patterns that appear very resistant to treatment.

What I am suggesting here is to be cautious with these new “Toys” we are playing with.  Especially with regard to new processed versions of food and sedentary lifestyles.  Before 100 years ago we didn’t have chemicals and additives in our food, milk wasn’t pasteurized, thing’s weren’t produced in factories, etc.  In other words, we are eating things our bodies are not used to.  Computers have helped to create many “office jobs,” which sometimes don’t offer much physical labor.  People are not exercising as much in their jobs.

Advancements in technology don’t need to hurt us.  In fact, people have always tried to improve upon their space in nature and find better ways of living.  The problem is that we are playing with things that we do not fully understand yet.

A great way to improve health is to emulate lifestyles before 100 years ago.  This does not mean we need to totally get rid of our new toys.  It just means trying to eat natural foods, work physically more when possible, spending time in nature, and being more aware of our surroundings.  It also may mean spending less time with modern media like television or video games.  Just try to remember that what we are doing is VERY NEW.  We want our new technology to help us and not hurt us.

-JOE