Have you or your spouse suddenly been required to do a full yearly health screening, in order to determine your cost bracket for health benefits? We have, and let me tell you, it has really put things into perspective! Quite simply, the better you score on the screening, the less you pay. The incentive in this case…is money, and if nothing else is “worth” changing diet and lifestyle, the company is “banking” on money doing the trick. That, or collecting all your money. Either way, it works for them!
Now, just a few short years ago, my husband was on reflux medication, borderline for hypertension, and enduring all kinds of digestive problems. His health screenings showed red flags all over the place, and he would skulk away from the doctor’s office with the “borderline” label pasted across his forehead, for several health risks. We drastically changed our diet, in large part reducing gluten and dairy, adding strong probiotics, and following the GAPS diet (read his story).
After the initial “die-off” two weeks after starting the diet (which everyone should be warned about), he began to feel like a new person. All of his previous increasingly worsening health problems began to heal. He stopped noticing the digestive issues that had been crippling him for years, eventually discontinuing all medications. And then the moment of truth! He had to undergo the dreaded health screening, and see how he was doing “on paper.”
Yet, instead of dreading it, he was actually looking forward to it! He really wanted to see where he stood with his cholesterol, blood pressure, and body mass index. Well, he not only passed his screening with flying colors, but he was put into the highest possible health bracket (usually only reserved for elite athletes! The doctor was baffled by his turn-around, and prodded him on WHAT he did to reverse all of his “borderline” numbers. Had he been working out? Dieting like crazy? Had he had some sort of surgery or started a new medication? “No, No, and No.”
There was no medication or any other intervention, just diet. And not the kind of diet the doctor was thinking. He hadn’t substituted every meal for grapefruits, or even cut out fatty foods. In fact, he did quite the opposite. The doctor was shocked I tell you, when my husband told him he had started on bone broth, and then slowly added eggs every morning, and lots of good healthy fats! I wish he had recorded the doctor’s face when he revealed that he was eating more butter, avoiding “low-fat” foods like the plague, and enjoying plenty of good red meat.
The secret is simplicity.
So what was the secret? Certainly not what the docs and health experts are selling, I’m sorry to say. Just as the food pyramid we grew up with as kids has been literally turned upside down, this is also true of much of the “low-fat” info we have been brainwashed into believing. For instance, I was horrified to read about the process skim milk goes through, when I read Real Food for Mother and Baby during my first pregnancy. The secret is simplicity. Returning to the “old-fashioned” way our grandparents grew and cooked food. In fact, a good guide to follow is to avoid any food that would not have been around when our grandparents were growing up. That was a time before microwaves, before the invention of high fructose corn syrup, and many packaged, artificially flavored, and hormone infused foods.
Return to “real food” because real food heals.
So often we think of food as something enjoyable first, and necessary second. This is truly a first world problem. We think with our stomach and taste buds, rather than our whole body. We eat what we want, and then we worry about healing ourselves with medications and surgery long after the damage is done. Is it truly amazing how food is our first source of health and disease prevention. In fact, eating the wrong foods can cause the same effects on our body as taking the wrong medication!
Where to Start?
Start by implementing a few very simple changes, such as these Four Food Swaps! Then, print out The Whole 30 Shopping List, a simple and helpful list of what you really need to put in your cart at the grocery store.
Consider reading the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which gives you a good basic overview of how gluten and dairy increase inflammation, allergies, gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune diseases, and even depression. There are helpful recipes in the back of the book, as well as a week-by-week plan for “properly” introducing first foods to baby (let me give you a hint – it doesn’t start with cereal, rice, or oatmeal.)
Check out podcasts on everything from Crohn’s Disease to Depression and Thyroid dysfunction at Underground Wellness and Sean Croxton. His Real Food Conferences feature health experts, doctors, nutritionists, as well as passionate real food promoters, who all bring excellent information on living a healthy and disease-free life.
Learn about naturally improving your family’s diet with an easy step-by-step meal planning system from Wellness Mama. Learn about how to heal your thyroid with food, lose weight by cutting out bad fat and adding good fats, the importance of liver, organ, and grass-fed meats, lowering cholesterol through diet alone, reversing autoimmune diseases and IBS, taking the right supplements, avoiding GMO foods, embracing fermented foods, increasing energy, reducing inflammation, and increasing mental clarity!
These should all be important issues to you, especially as you feed your families and nurture your bodies; through pregnancy, the aging process, and every step in between. As Dr. Tom O’ Bryan says, “every forkful either causes or reduces inflammation.”
Facts and Helpful Links:
- For the first time in recorded history our youngest generation has a shorter projected life span than the generation before them, due to environmental exposures and lifestyle choices (New England Journal of Medicine.)
- The most common food allergy today is gluten. A gluten-free diet changes lives: TheDr.com
- Many popular supplements do the opposite of what they promise: Dr. Cate Shanahan
- Coconut Oil, Real Butter, Lard, and 100% Pure Olive Oil are good fats, and should be consumed regularly and used in cooking. Vegetable oils should be avoided like the plague. The book Toxic Oil by David Gillespie explores this in-depth.
- Lupus, Alzheimer’s, and Cancer develop in your 20’s and 30’s and deteriorate cells until they present degenerative symptoms later in life. This can be tested and treated early on.
- Liver and organ meats provide the highest concentration of protein and enzymes needed by the body.
- Much of the cholesterol information that we are still using today is outdated and untrue. The book Cholesterol Clarity by Jimmy Moore uncovers the truth and helps repair levels.
- Pasture raised eggs are great EVEN for those with high cholesterol.
- Thyroid patients should avoid soy and gluten at all costs. Here is a wonderful article by one of the presenters: The Thyroid Uncovered.
- The “dirty dozen” are the most important fruits and veggies to buy organic if you can: The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.