Are we Balanced?
Being balanced is somewhat like saying that we live in neither extreme. That we live each moment in Balance. You've heard people say they don't live super-"healthy" nor are they super-"sized". They may be neither extremely happy-go-lucky, nor seeking an extremely peaceful state. They are not extremely this, or extremely that. In fact, most of us would like to think of ourselves as "average", with the desire to fall more on the over-average side of the spectrum.
In this day and age though, if you live in the North American side of the world, "average" is anything but.
What we are here in this North American culture, is "extreme"!! In actuality, balance within our particular culture is one of the WORST things you can do for your health. Think about it! We live in a world where "most" people you meet on the street are depressed, diseased, obese, in chronic pain, fatigued, disordered, stressed, and the list continues. That's the majority of our population!! THIS is what you want? This is the balanced scale you want to live by?
Might I suggest to you that BALANCE should no longer be our goal. I'm an "extremist". I admit it. Yet, when I think of what this word even means in our culture, I start to wonder if we all shouldn't lean to that degree just a tad bit more. I mean, I get weird looks in our culture saying no to a piece of pizza! No to a white, processed, fatty, sugary, salty, overly-glutenous dough topped with pesticides, herbicides, nitrates, antibiotics, hormones, fungicides, the worst possible known source of dairy, genetically modified organisms, and other chemicals, including the box it's placed in, up the yin yang!! ...and they're SURPRISED by this?
For those of you who LOVE pizza and eat it on a regular basis, my refusing to eat it may sound absurd to you as well, even WITH the toxic list I just mentioned. To most other countries in our global planet and those who lived merely a hundred years ago, however, well they would have a very different thing to say about our billion dollar pizza industry the way we eat it. I was just in Italy and their pizza is VERY, very different in all senses of the word.
Typical Western Favorites
Some of our "health" choices still include hybridized, genetically modified organisms (a ludicrous idea, which 50 other countries across the globe have outlawed), chemicals like pesticides, fungicides, herbicides (which began only since and because of WWII), nitrates, and countless other damaging chemicals. They come out with over 40,000 new chemicals each and every year! EACH YEAR!!
Sure, you wanna say, eating "some" will not harm you. But where are we getting this definition of "some" from? Surely you don't want to define the terms "some" or "occasionally" by this culture's definition do you? "Some", in this country alone means you are eating chemicals by the mouthful! each and every day when you add it all up! Perhaps it's not from that one handful of strawberries (on the top dirty dozen for the worst chemicals imaginable), or maybe it's not from that one piece of steak or even that one apple (the worst offender on the list with over 50 pesticides according to the EWG)! But, put it all together at the end of the day, after those occasional this or that and it all adds up my friends. Maybe instead, we should rather think of "some" as during growing season by the local farmer you met in the next city whose produce is grown withOUT all of these aforementioned chemicals. Then "some" might be absolutely great!! :)
If you're on a new path to improve your health, then maybe saying, "no" to that ice cream is the best thing you've done in a long time!! You need to, therefore, be applauded for that and I absolutely applaud you. :D So, please understand when I say that "trying" is not what I'm speaking about here. In order to get somewhere, you need to first "try".
But, here's the thing: Today, without *understanding* what we are actually putting in our mouths, we are not making wise choices and cannot possibly assume our body is finding "balance". Making choices to put this or that in our mouth just because we can't see or feel the immediate effects, is NOT being balanced at all and in fact, according to intelligent, nutritional science, is being extreme in the OTHER direction!!
I'm sorry!!! SOMEBODY has to say it!!! Don't kill the messenger. It's not my fault. That loaf of bread or that fish 200 years ago would have ABSOLUTELY been an amazing addition to your body. But today? Well... someone has to speak the truth - even if it does, indeed, sound "extreme".
WHERE'S THE HOPE
Our body can fight these things off quite well if we take care of our body and give it the proper tools and fuel it needs - but are we doing that? We need to decide how we will treat our body in this toxic culture we live in. We don't need to throw our hands up in the air in fear of that very same air we breathe. We can fight off toxins if we create an environment within our bodies to do so. But how CAN we if, on top of these air toxins, we add insult to injury over and over again by ingesting more and more chemicals, which damage our ability to handle this planet's mess we put it in?
Our body can heal itself, if only we just gave it a chance
You would be right to say that eating a cooked, conventional, leafy green is not as evil as that hamburger. But, it is still filled with chemicals and those chemicals are still bad for us. I'm not saying don't start there if that's where you need to start. What I'm saying is that it's not the best and it's still harmful over time. Especially to our fragile kids!
Listen, when it comes to our kids, it's only a matter of time (in their twenties or earlier) before this so-called, "lesser-evil" will catch up to their fragile bodies. The very building blocks of their entirety will be met with some of the same chronic pain, disease, depression, and other illnesses that we now see in our own generation, except for this next generation, it will be years sooner than their parents. Did you know that this next generation of children will be the first generation NOT to outlive their parents??? This means when we're all dying of the chronic diseases and illnesses in our fifties and sixties we've created for ourselves, our very own children will be dying of those same diseases right along next to us and some, even before us. This is so, so sad to me.
Are we truly being balanced, globally?
Anything away from our North American Diet is better than on it. For sure we need to start somewhere and those of us who know better can encourage and guide others. Slowly but surely often wins the race. We need to not just avoid certain food but we also need to talk about how to get the right nutrients in our bodies. This is equally an extremist stance as my family now endeavors to eat as many Raw vegetables and Sprouts as we can. Even in eating Raw SOME of the time, we are considered extreme.
Many dieticians and well meaning nutritionists take the stance of "well, if I'm too extreme they won't listen to me and abandon it all together". But, you know what I think? I think that if we're going to be honest with people, we cannot simply tell them to go and eat all the non-organic food (leafy green or not) or "whole food dairy" they want and actually think they will benefit, long term, without any consequences whatsoever, just because it's cheaper or easier to follow. We need to stop teaching people what is "good enough" and start doing the BEST with the honest truth we are armed with. We need to "transition" toward this as fast as we possibly can!!
None of us have "arrived". Certainly not I. But, lets not merely do what's "good enough, most of the time." Don't be duped into believing it's just "fine" to eat things like pesticides off of unripened fruits and vegetables regularly if it has known carcinogenic and neurotoxic effects. Sure that organic apple has 10 pesticides and insecticides if it's found in your grocery store. But did you catch that earlier in this article that each NON-organic apple has over FIFTY!!! By eating organic apples, you have switched from the WORST SPRAYED fruit on the planet to one of the least. In our home, we don't eat ANY apples unless it is picked ripened off of a local tree where I know the farmer's practices.
This is what we USED TO DO!! Know our FARMERS!! I know what my choice would be and throwing my hands up in the air is not one of them. If we all lived in this good-enough-for-now mentality (which, indeed, we have been), we will continue down the path we're on and the stats ain't lookin' pretty. The "odd" assault here and there every month or so... yeah, okay... my body is healthy enough to handle that toxicity... but each and every single day?
I hope, for the sake of this next generation of children, we stop and think about how "balanced" we truly want to be within this culture.
I am an extremist. Do you think more of us should lean toward this side of the spectrum?
Go here for more thoughts on apples and why you might want to avoid them altogether!
Here is a funny (well, depends on how you think on it) article about how we are the only species stupid enough to poison ourselves.
For help on how to sort through eating healthier on a regular basis easier and more affordably and with love through the process, contact RawMama today.