For years, we’ve helped people in our practice transition to making healthier lifestyle choices – choices in nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, posture, and most certainly an overall outlook on how health is created… and how to get it back if you’ve lost it.
We’ve referred to this as “Innate” lifestyle, “Primal” or “Primitive” lifestyle, or even the “Human Being” lifestyle. As far as diet is concerned, “Paleo” is another term we’ve used.
We are not alone. This has become a growing trend in the world of natural health and longevity. Thankfully so. This more primal way of living is gaining speed with evidence that it dramatically reduces dangerous risk factors for ALL chronic illness (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, neuro-degenerative conditions, fertility issues, and on and on), as well as fully reversing many of these conditions.
Better than any stinkin’ drug I know of.
However, the transition to a truly healthy lifestyle – one that meets the innate genetic requirements of our cells, not necessarily one that the FDA recommends! – can seem daunting at first. In many parts of the country (planet!), making more primal nutritional choices can leave us feeling out of the social loop. While our friends are out there enjoying their cereal and bread and sandwiches and pasta and pizza and fast food and juice and energy drinks and a gazillion other foods that wreak havoc on our health, it can be tough to remain focused on fueling our bodies with pure and nutritionally sufficient choices.
Tough, but oh-so necessary.
Have you taken a look at the rates of chronic illness anytime recently? It’s not going away. It won’t go away ’til WE change what we’re doing. We’re not accidentally “getting” sick or “catching” diseases. We’re not even victims of heredity, when it comes to the development of chronic illness. Our lifestyle, and the Standard American Diet, are catching up with us. We’re chronically toxic – chemically, mentally and emotionally. It’s this environment that causes our cells to take the turn to dis-ease.
Fortunately, as far as our cells are concerned, we really don’t require all that much (nutritionally speaking) to truly experience optimal function: clean sources of protein, clean sources of fats and oils, the least toxic vegetables and fruit, and lots of pure water. Sure, there’s a little more to it than that… and we’ll get there. For now, that’s the simple foundation.
For years, our first step in the transition process has always been to “Add more Health” – meaning, start adding simple, healthy choices to each of the main areas of lifestyle. We’ve encouraged people to build some momentum with their healthy choices first, then focus on reducing and eliminating toxic choices a little bit further down the road.
While I still believe this is a nice, easy strategy to start creating better cell function, I’m starting to believe that it’s becoming even MORE important to eliminate some of the major sources of toxicity first.
For example, we were working with one client who was experiencing chronic, sometimes debilitating pain. She was adding some great things to her lifestyle – better nutrition, more movement, etc. Although the pain was beginning to dissipate at times, it was still lingering. Then we found out that she was still drinking multiple diet pops each and every day! BAM! There’s your culprit! It’s hard for broccoli to do its work when you’re choking down toxic chemical garbage every couple of hours!
In addition to that, can you even imagine how much medication is interfering with our optimal expression of health?? Frightening. We see it everyday in our practice.
Sometimes, you just need some tough love. Lose the toxic vice!
So, what ARE some of the biggest culprits that we need to begin addressing… and either cleaning them up or eliminating them altogether?
In Part One, I’ll simply list the categories. In the next part, I’ll expand upon the list by adding some basic reasoning, as well as a starter list for some common culprits in the Standard American Diet to avoid.
For now, the list:
1) Toxic Beverages
2) “Bad” Fats & Oils
3) Fast Food & Junk Food (and a whole lotta’ restaurant food, in general)
4) Most Dairy
5) Grains & Legumes
6) Common Baking Ingredients
7) Processed, Fake Foods
8) Toxic Condiments, Dressings, Sauces & Dips
9) Sweets & Tasty Toxins
10) Certain Meats
11) Certain Fish & Seafood
12) Diet & Low-Fat/Fat-Free “Food”
Betcha’ if I thought long and hard enough, I could add to that list. However, some of you may have already entered the earliest stages of cardiac arrest, or have begun your hate mail campaign to me, so I’ll leave it at that!
I want you to know that “I feel you“… I’m part of this transition, too. I was definitely not raised in a “primal” or “paleo” household… and I’ve not done a good job living that way as a ‘younger’ adult. It’s all a learning process. While I have given up grains and dairy for extended periods of time, I still have some in my diet. Yes, they’re usually gluten-free, or organic, or raw, or whatever… but they’re still there on occasion, unfortunately. I’m a work in process!
Until next post, go ahead and focus on adding the “good stuff” – pure & sufficient – to your diet. Soon enough, you’ll know where to begin as far as removing the most common dietary triggers for inflammation and lack of optimal cell function.
Enjoy the bliss of not knowing while it lasts!