Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Healing could be defined as a progression from an unhealthy state towards a healthy one. A journey, so to speak. This is the story of my journey towards personal health, so that I can provide healing to others. I feel that I am beginning my journey from a neutral point- meaning I am neither sick nor vibrantly free from all ailments. Likewise, I provide better than average healing to my clients, in the form of massage therapy, but I am not healing at the best, highest potential. These factors are interconnected and I aim to improve myself in several different ways over the next year.

Every time I turn on my GPS for directions, it first has to find some satellite signal and figure out where I am in the world. That's exactly where I am now...assessing my current situation...getting my bearings. At 31 years of age I can see quite clearly my family's genetic and environmental challenges and I spend a lot time trying to be proactive about those issues. First and foremost I have to be vigilant daily about obesity. Over the last year and a half I have lost about 35 pounds, which puts me at 180ish at 5 ft 11 inches. I did that by severely limiting carbs and by changing from a sedentary desk job of 5 years to being a full time massage therapist. For a couple months I've been lazy, however, and feel myself becoming less fit daily.

The super low carb diet has me eating lots of animal protein and a fairly high fat content, when I do it strictly. The consume almost no fresh fruit or veggies, so I must be low on vitamins, minerals and all the other micronutrients.  Being a vegetarian from age 23ish-30ish did more harm than good, I think. By never getting enough protein to keep from being hungry, and by subsisting on pasta, bread, and oatmeal, I found myself gaining weight and still malnourished due to lack of veggies.

Sugar is bad. I discovered my "meat fast" over the last year has kept me gastronomically satisfied, kept food related mood swings to a minimum, and kept my weight in check. As my very diabetic mother can tell you, as well as her parents before her, sugar is bad. It's an addiction to us, just as destructive as alcohol or crack are to their victims. It killed my grandparents and it's not so slowly killing my mom. Which brings me back to being proactive instead of reactive. How do I get enough nutrients along with a high protein staple diet?

Veggie Juice is good. I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix one night a few months ago. It resonated with me, because I like his laid back intensity about the process more than any personal connection to his specific ailments. Juice seems so natural, obvious, and is loads cheaper than modern medicine, which seems to be going in any direction but nutritional healing.  So a couple days later I stumbled upon a little dinky juicer at the Goodwill thrift store for $4.95. I bought some beets, apples, and carrots, knowing that I couldn't process leafy greens in my new little gadget, and set off to make some fresh, raw, nourishing, healing juice to drink. Good taste...not too sugary...I feel good when I drink it...no adverse, crazy detox effects...So far so good! The downside is the aforementioned dinky-ness of the juicer. I could only make a couple cups of juice before disassembling everything to empty some really soggy pulp to make room for more really soggy pulp.

Naturally, I got frustrated with the hassle despite the influx of tasty nutrients and went back to my habitual diet.After reading more about "rebooting" my life with a juice fast, I discovered that they used a Breville model juicer in the movie, which costs about a hundred and fifty bucks more than my thrifty find at the Goodwill store. I learned this around the end of September and kept it on the back burner of my mind through most of October, due to birthdays, anniversaries, and trips all over the state. A state of the art juicer just wasn't in the budget, yet.

I have to explain that big ticket items, meaning over $20ish are REALLY hard for me to rationalize into my budget unless I get plenty of positive research and find stellar reviews of that product. The Breville Juice Fountain Plus with all of its 850 watts and dual speeds fit that description- I'm pretty sure I haven't read anything bad about it anywhere, aside from the price tag- but it seems that you get what you pay for when you're talking kitchen appliances.

During this same month or two, my wife dropped down to part time at work and consequently lost our "health" insurance coverage, but saved us hundreds of dollars a month. I decided that for less than 1 month's cost of insurance, we could buy a juicer. Then, if we actually consumed a couple hundred bucks of fresh, raw veggie juice over the next month, we'd actually be building health into our lifestyle instead of paying money to a major corporation to feed us pills if we happen to get sick. A hundred bucks buys a lot of Kale.

The Breville juicer is shipping as we speak and should arrive in the next couple of days. I have several recipes ready along with several sources of fresh fruits and veggies from local produce stands and markets. I can't wait! This is a major step in the right direction for me- physically, mentally, professionally, and perhaps even spiritually. I'm not sure if the Wife is anywhere as committed as I am to this health boosting juice consumption, but I hope to lead by example.

I plan to update this blog with my progress with both juicing and my upgraded exercise habits. Exercise will have to wait for another dedicated entry because it's time for me to waterpik myself- yet another entry!

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