Nourish your Body

Health is Wealth

October 2015

“Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingrediants, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise”

Mike Adams – Hungry for Change

Have you factored in additional savings for retirement to cover health care costs? I am serious. You may have planned for a certain level of income when you retire but have you added additional savings for potential health care costs?  Or are you going to rely on the overloaded Medicare system?  Or maybe the aim should be to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible….?

​I grew up in an age where we worshiped the sun.   I was taken to the beach every weekend in the summer where my mother would sun bake and us kids would play.  All day mind you.  Sunscreen was never used, rather we would lather ourselves in baby oil to ensure a deeper, faster tan.    This later morphed into me being an adult obsessed with having a tan and I was a no sunscreen beach bunny for some 38 years.  Being tanned in summer was a must; you were considered unhealthy if you weren’t. 

​Today, although many still seek out a tan, we are warned and educated of the connection between skin cancer and sun exposure.  Government funded as well as businesses promoting sunscreen products are everywhere you turn during the summer months.  Schools now insist on children wearing hats to protect from the sun in the playground.  So where was all this hullabaloo when I was a child?

​Go back to my parents’ generation and they were brought up to believe that smoking was cool.  It projected an image of confidence and charisma; everyone smoked!   Gosh even when I started working in the mid 80’s we all had ash trays on our desks!  Smoking was socially acceptable and once again a part of life.  So where was all the truly disgusting warnings of the dangers of smoking we have today?

​I highlight these two examples to not only show how society has changed but also how heavily influenced we are by marketing, advertising and the media.  The medical community may have been aware of the dangers of excessive sun exposure and smoking but it wasn’t until too many of us starting getting seriously ill and dying that the messages we were being given were forced to change.  I think we are all well aware of the legal issues tobacco companies have faced.

The current wave of misleading messages comes from the food industry and we are now beginning to see the repercussions and serious illness of a poor diet.  Serious repercussions!   The technological age we now live in has seen us demand everything in life faster and faster; this includes food preparation.  We no longer have the time our grandparents did to prepare a healthy, wholesome meal from scratch so we grab a frozen TV dinner or packet noodles or canned whatever or take away on the way home.   But who is policing the ingredients of this fast food?  The business who is trying to profit from your purchase….?  How do you really know there is nothing harmful in this man-made, processed, manufactured, pretend food?   Does the manufacturer even know?  Do you recognise and understand all the substances that are on the ingredient list?

“The problem is we are not eating food anymore, we are eating food like substances.”

Dr Alejandro Junger

​We tend to forget that our bodies are almost identical to our stone age ancestors.  Do you recall seeing supermarkets and packaged food in the history books….?  And while the human race has come a long, long way our bodies have not modified much for thousands of years.   Our poor bodies just don’t know how to digest and process all these foreign substances.   You have to give it to this incredible, miraculous machine we own though; it tries damn hard to process all these toxins, some it does and some it stores until it can figure out how to.  And guess where most of these toxins are stored….?  In your fat cells!  And the body will create more fat cells to store more toxins…  And it is not just toxins in food our bodies are trying to cope with; its chemicals in cosmetics, deodorants, hair dye, cleaning products, air fresheners, air pollution..  the list goes on and on!  If you are not taking supplements to assist, consciously adding detox regimes into your routine and exercising regularly then over time these toxins are now causing these chronic diseases.

​Disseminating this knowledge to the general public however is not yet main stream.  In my opinion there are a few reasons for this.  Doctors are not really educated in nutrition, they are trained to diagnose and cure symptoms and once they have a diagnosis we are then given more toxins aka drugs to try and combat whatever ails us.  And we blindly take whatever pill we are prescribed.    We have been brought up to put our utmost faith in everything a doctor says and prescribes.  Prior to the internet the only way to obtain a second opinion was to actually see another doctor.  Now we have this wonderful tool called Google where we can research and get information from thousands of doctors and studies and also research alternate treatments.  And yet we still choose to believe the one doctor we go to.  Shouldn’t taking drugs be the last resort…?  Unless of course your life is in immediate danger. 

“We have been taught our whole lives to be consumers of modern medicine.”

Dr Andrew Saul

Once again in this age of immediacy we are always looking for a quick fix.  Drugs have provided us with near instant pain relief, soldiering on when we have the cold or flu and so many other magic pills that allow us to continue life because we don’t have time to be sick.  I know I am certainly guilty of indulging in pain killers to ensure I can keep training!  But with the immerging warnings about resistance to antibiotics have we not abused this modern day dare I say luxury?  Maybe if we improved our health through proper nutrition and didn’t get sick we wouldn’t need so many drugs?

Or maybe we are just not ready to hear this information; change is hard!  And lets face it, we have created a life where we are all so time poor that making the effort to eat real, whole food is too difficult.  I spend a couple of hours on a Sunday preparing my food for the week.  I get up very early to not only train but to ensure I cook my breakfast from scratch and cut up my food fresh for the day ahead.  And the dishes….  I seem to spend my life with my hands in rubber gloves!

And then there is the cost… Packaged processed food is cheap!  We have designed our budget around this food and as organic whole food is not yet mainstream (it used to be!) it is more expensive.   Most people are horrified at the amount of money I spend on food and supplements.  But I don’t see food as something I spend money on; I see it as an investment in my body.   It is my insurance policy so I not only don’t have adsorbent health care costs in my senior years but that I have quality of life.  Plus I enjoy premium, illness free health now, as much energy as I had when I was 20 and I seriously don’t look anywhere near 50 if I do say so myself 🙂

​I think another factor is taste.  You would be amazed at how many things I make myself swallow for the sake of my health.  I sometimes gag when I have my apple cider vinegar I hate it so much! But I still have it every single day.  We have become a society where food is only about taste.  I am not saying that good food tastes bad because it certainly doesn’t!  But I hear all the time I don’t eat green vegetables I don’t like them, I hate the taste of _____ fill in the blank.   Is the wide range of food we have so easily available not another modern day luxury?  What if we wound back the clock and you could only grow, catch and kill your own food….?  If your life depended on it would you not eat that brussel sprout?  Sorry to break the news to you but your life kinda does depend on it!

​The momentum is slowly building and the quote attached to this blog is from Food Matters who have created a movement to educate and inform.  But until there is more regulation in the food industry and there are warnings on processed manufactured food as there is for sun exposure and cigarettes we are continually being bombarded with clever, confusing marketing to persuade us to eat more crap.

Please take the time to watch some of the movies from Food Matters.  Hungry for Change and Food Matters are their main movies and are really worth a look. And the founders are Australian!

So next time you decide to spend some of your savings on a Prada handbag or Jimmy Choo shoes or the latest iPhone 6 have a think about your priorities.  Are they for short term satisfaction and entertainment or a long term investment for your future self?   What sort of quality of life do you want in your senior years?  When would be a good time to start preserving your health?  Now while you still are young? Or later when things have already started to break down….?

“Remind yourself that health is wealth. And should you lose yours, NOTHING will be more important than getting it back.”

Robin Sharma

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