Monday, May 30, 2011

Scared Healthy: Don't Let This Be You!

What gorgeous weather God gave us today! It's sunny and warm. Flowers are in bloom. It's my favorite time of year. Yet, I'm in a reflective, pensive mood this morning. In fact, my mood took me out to sit by the lake for a while and ponder over things this morning. You see I am facing a pretty big colon surgery soon. Yes, your health coach is mighty sick.

So Petey (the furkid) and I headed out to our favorite spot on the boardwalk
this morning. I sat and pondered how much genetics might have played a role in my current situation. Both my siblings have had recent colon problems. I pondered how much the standard american diet and lifestyle had played a part in the colon problems of all three of us.

Well, yes, since my battle with Lupus I have greatly improved my nutrition and lifestyle. Nutrition played a huge part in my remission from Lupus. But the previous 40 or so years I was the average unsuspecting American where nutrition was concerned. All THOSE years I ate mindlessly as do millions of Americans; not understanding three meals on the table do not make a person automatically healthy. The nutritional quality of those meals is of vital importance. I remember when my mother discovered "TV" dinners. She thought they were a godsend and my dad and I thought they were a "treat" from the usual. We didn't realize they were nutrient-poor death in a box.

So I sat by the lake with Petey today and pondered all this.
I'm sure my mother didn't question whether tv dinners were nutritious or not. She, like millions of other mothers, never dreamed the food industry would present anything other than nutritious products. After all they said so in their TV commercials. Pondering this got me to thinking how many mothers TODAY are sending their children to school with the pre-made processed food box lunches which are specifically marketed to children. Have those mothers read the INGREDIENTS of those box lunches? MSG, High Fructose Corn syrup, other things which sound like a science experiment .... need I go on? If our great-grandmothers wouldn't recognize the ingredients as food we shouldn't be giving it to our kids.

What one eats today doesn't just nourish you for today; it also plays a part in your future health. Dr Dean Ornish (and others) have recently shown in their research it is possible to turn off bad DNA and/or keep bad DNA from turning on by maintaining good nutrition and a lifestyle which includes routine exercise. I've worked in a hospital for 30+ years and I can tell you sadly people don't understand that food really is medicine. It MATTERS what you eat! Our hospitals are filled with people with lifestyle disorders. So much of the misery I see at the hospital is nearly totally unnecessary.

I routinely see people who have done nothing to reverse their risk factors for illness and now expect their physician(s) to make them healthy again. Unfortunately, our health system, food industry advertising and the pharmaceutical industry create this self-uninvolved reactive mindset toward health. We, each one of us, MUST be proactive regarding our health. It is MUCH easier to stay healthy than to get healthy and health is home-made! It is NOT pharmaceuticals which create health. It is a properly functioning immune system which is supported by good nutrition which creates health.

As you can tell I did a lot of thinking sitting out there by the lake today. I know there are a lot of people who don't know what to do to reverse their risk factors and don't want a situation of being "scared healthy" in their life. Most importantly they don't understand that drugs do not create health.

I clearly don't have all the answers. Neither does your doctor. But I know a few things for sure. I know awareness of nutrition is of paramount importance. Nutrition matters! Food IS medicine. I know moving your muscles routinely is of paramount importance. I know there are too many people mindlessly driving thru fast food windows. I know we MUST get back to eating WHOLE FOODS.

Where do you start to support your health better? Very simply don't try to make to many changes at once. Make healthy changes one at a time. One of the easiest and healthiest changes you can make is to have a "green" smoothie every day. It sounds trite. But green veggies are chock full of nutrients. It only takes five minutes to make a smoothie and clean up afterwards.

You might try this recipe:

Avocado Surprise

1 avocado
1.5 cups almond milk
2 tsp honey or agave nectar
ice cubes
Blend in blender.

Here's another one:

Papaya Delight

baby spinach
ice cubes
Blend in blender.

The pharmaceutical industry likes to discuss risk factors as though they are diseases. The word "disease" psychologically triggers people to think of themselves as ill and needing drugs. But risk factors are NOT diseases and in many instances can be reversed thru awareness of nutrition and attention to exercise and good sleep.

That was some pondering session huh? I would just like to conclude with this. Don't buy the B.S. the food industry feeds you in their commercials. Think nutrition first. Eat mindfully. Be Smart. Eat to live. I care about you. I don't want you to be "scared healthy" I want you to be healthy.

I hope you'll subscribe to this blog and allow me to help you make healthful changes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Smoothies: Home-made Health

Are you one of the multitudes who swing thru McDonalds for a quick breakfast? Did you know you could throw together a nutritious smoothie in less time than it takes to go thru McDonalds? You can make a smoothie and clean up in 5 minutes.

Many folks want to improve their health but don't know where to start. Incorporating a smoothie for breakfast is a great and healthful first step to improving your nutrition and healthstyle. It's an easy way to get a portion of your "5 a day".

You might try this smoothie:

Pear Smoothie

8 oz almond milk
1 Pear
8 oz fresh apple juice
1 tsp plain greek yogurt
cinnamon (to taste)
ice cubes

Blend in blender.

Or you might try this one:

Chocolate PB Smoothie

8 oz almond milk
2 tsp plain greek yogurt
2 tsp organic peanut butter
1 scoop (chocolate) whey protein powder
ice cubes

Blend in blender.

Too many people treat physicians like mechanics. They don't take good care of their health and then expect their physician to fix it. It's much easier to stay well than to get well. Health must be nurtured with good nutrition and a consistent regimen of exercise. Health is home-made.

If you are a "drive-up" breakfast eater or even worse; don't take time to eat breakfast I would urge you to give having a smoothie for breakfast a try!

Next post we'll talk about GREEN smoothies. They are especially nutritious. Subscribe to this blog so you don't miss it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why I Grow Food

It's my favorite time of the year. I'm anxiously planning my patio container garden. For the last several years I've grown veggies in containers on my patio. Despite all my years of observing my parents grow their garden there has been a learning curve. Last summer though, I grew an amazing amount of veggies in containers on my patio. It was delightfully fun!

Why do I grow food? There are so many reasons. First, the sheer joy of watching plants grow, blossom and bring forth fresh food. There is nothing like the succulent goodness of a fresh tomato. Growing your own food you have security in knowing how healthfully it was grown. There is great satisfaction and stress relief in planting and tending a container garden.  It's very exciting when the first veggies appear! I use organic soil and growing in containers have no need of weed poisons. I also have not needed any poisons to get rid of pesky bugs but will use organic methods if bugs become a problem.  Thus far I have successfully grown tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, squash and zucchini. Here's a picture of part of last summers patio container garden:

Having only a small space in which to grow your container garden is not limiting. You are only limited by your imagination!  It's fun to design your container garden. There are so many colorful containers from which to  choose. What will you grow?  What are your favorite vegetables? Is there a vegetable you've never eaten but would like to try? Do you want to grow tomatoes? There are many, many varieties of tomatoes from which to pick!                                                                                                  
I hope you will consider planting a garden this growing season!   It's a great project to get your kids involved in!  It doesn't take a lot of space or even a lot of time and the benefits are many!  Fresh veggies are terrific for your health!  There is great joy in growing, harvesting and eating food which you grew. There's nothing more wonderful than the taste of freshly harvested vegetables!   

You can do it! Start planning! Get out there and ENJOY!