It seems as if this is big on everyone’s list these days. However, it really is not as hard as all the food, vitamin, and supplement manufacturers want all of us to believe. The truth is we all have to find our way back to basics. We can live about 30 days without food yet only three without water, so the old adage about drinking is oh so true, however tap water with all the chemicals, bacteria, and other undesirables included can be downright unhealthy if not out right toxic to our bodies.
To avoid these noxious impurities we should try to get our water supply through one of the following methods of purification, distilled, filtered or through reverse osmosis. One should be careful as to the amount of water one is taking in however as water when consumed in large quantities can become toxic to the body and can even kill, as made headline news by a recent radio show contest. One should watch how much water they are losing due to sweat that sometimes is not even apparent on the surface and should add a pinch of “sea salt” not table salt to about one gallon of pure water to help replace the lost electrolytes.
One of the biggest back to basics is in what we drink. Try to stay away from all processed drinks such as non-pure fruit mixes; milkshakes and number one soda especially diet soda. Pure water is the best for rehydrating and balancing our bodies.
As far as the foods we eat, we should aim for the same back to basics ideology, the closer to the point of growth the better. The saying of an apple a day keeping the doctor away is a well known saying yet we have moved so far from the apple’s source there is hardly any truth to it anymore. For example, a popular strawberry drink mix for milk contains no strawberries at all in the ingredients. Now the new guidelines are to eat five fruits and vegetables a day, yet eight to ten is what we should all be eating. That sounds like a mountain of fresh produce to climb, yet if you replace everything you have been consuming with fresh or as close to fresh as possible your body will be grateful.
This means fresh, frozen, dehydrated and as Jack La Lanne would state, “juiced” foods. During winter months in large parts of North America, Europe, and Asia, canned produce often replaces these abundant sources of vitamins and minerals. When having to resort to these farther from the source items it is advisable to increase the number of fruits and vegetables. We all should read the labels and learn what else is in the meals we are preparing for ourselves and loved ones. Watch out for varieties that have too much salt; try to get the non-sodium or at least low sodium varieties and those low in bleached sugar.
As for the meat supply, there is a raging debate going on around the world, as to the health impact of growth hormones and other things added to our animals through injections and feed sources. Ideally, one’s best source would be livestock grown on our own property, fed purely through organic means, and used as soon as possible after slaughter. Anyone who has had the good fortune to have the livestock grown and consumed in this way would point out the richness and increased flavor of the meat; incomparable to the products we get from the local supermarket.
One way you can get closer to this is to look for local slaughterhouses in your area, which specialize in organically grown meat. There are many slaughterhouse butcher shops that sell to the public through which you can buy your meat much closer to fresh. We should try to stick to leaner types and cuts of meat, with poultry, skinned and having any visible fat removed, leading the way. Try to cook it on a raised pan, such as a broiler pan or a roasting pan with a raised rack in the bottom of it, which allows any remaining grease to drain away.
One of the best and most over looked sources of low saturated fat and high protein foods are the nut group. Nuts although they contain fat, include the healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are healthier sources of fats the body needs to stay in proper balance. That is probably the number one thing that most Americans have lost sight of in their diets, properly balancing things out.
The closer and truer we stay to the basics of good nutrition and maintaining that healthy balance in the foods we all eat, the better off we will be. This helps our bodies to be able to fight off the harmful affects of stress and pollutants that bombard our bodies everyday with toxins that have all sorts of harmful affects on us from being overweight, and heart disease to headaches and numerous other factors that work to lower our quality of life.
We should also watch the intake of starches and processed sugars as this causes the pancreas to work overtime and is a leading contributor to diabetes in Americans. These ingredients fake out the pancreas into producing too much insulin which in turn causes the body to store fat and thus starts a vicious cycle of weight gain which in turn puts more stress on all our body systems from heart and lungs to the joints and bones. This causes a host of health issues and ages the body far too early.
As a general rule of thumb, we should stay away from the white food groups such as white potatoes, white rice, processed white sugar and bleached flour. Try to find healthier substitutes to these like sweet potatoes, long grain wild rice, whole-wheat flour, and all natural sweeteners such as raw sugar, honey, or pure maple sugar. Choose summer squash and zucchini over the heavier winter squashes like butternut and acorn. However, remember closer to fresh is always best.
Watch out and read those labels non-fat or “lite” varieties these are often huge red flags for the loading of sugars and other not so great additives. This is not only sound advice for our diets but also for our lives in general.