Nutrition

Mindfulness and Optimum Nutrition

After returning from a week away, which translated to a week of eating out and running on empty, this body is tired and worn down.  Brain functionality is minimal.  Mindful living escapes me. Proof that food is fuel.

We are all raised hearing, "You are what you eat."  Yet, there is little of that remembered or practiced.  In case we need a mini lesson on cell biology (really trying to suppress the teacher here, but...), our bodies are made of cells which are made of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and water.  All the things we find in food.  Why is that?  *scratches head* Um, duh.  Well, because food is what our body uses to make new cells and repair old cells and it is what is converted into energy for us to move and grow.  It is our power source.  I know you know this, so forgive the reiteration, please. :)

 

Did I mention aspartame, caffeine, or sodium nitrite in that short list of what our bodies need?  No.  Nowhere is it said that we need preservatives and additives to function.  In fact, these chemicals SLOW down your body's efficiency making you feel sluggish and droopy.  This is Chemical Body. 

However, when you pump that super efficient energy machine with whole, raw, healthful food and water, then you have just transformed into the finely tuned Chevy Camaro Wholesome Body instead of the broken down '57 Chevy Chemical Body.  And water?  Did I mention water? You know that clear stuff that runs from our filtered faucets?  That is GOLD.  Be mindful the next time you lift your glass and FEEL the water as it becomes part of you.

It all comes down to: The choice is ours.  It is up to us to choose to feel good.  To choose to feel like the Hot Rod Chevy Camaro.  (Speaking of  Hot Rod, did you happen to know that good nutrition boosts our energy, boosts our immune systems, and boosts our libido?  Yes, that too.)  But, we can't wait until we are older to start taking care of ourselves.  We have to start now and if you happen to be raising children, it is of the utmost importance that they are allowed this clean start. 

Raw, whole, healthful foods and water are the keys to good health and good nutrition, the prime components of transforming chaos into cosmos.  We are here to connect our dots.  To bring together our Facets of Self.  Without smoothly running machines and engines, we cannot hear clearly what Soul is trying to tell us in order to connect these planes together.  When Mind is crystal and Body is well, Soul rejoices and shows you the way to its peace. 

Listen to your body.  Feed and nurture it as though it were an infant.  Mindfulness requires clarity of thought.  Make super nutritional choices and transform chaos into cosmos.

Saving Money, Saving You

If you don't know me yet, I am tenacious.  Maybe too much so, but that is another story.  Anywho, I continue to stand atop my soapbox to delve a little deeper into crushing the bane of our existence and allowing ourselves to flourish.   

In the last episode, I touched on how we like to use time as a REASON (see, I didn't say "excuse") for our drive thru visits, calls to  the pizza delivery, or serving premade mess.  Now, you know what is next...your wallet.

Is it cheaper??

Let's talk about how much money you just spent at the drive to make yourself less healthy. A meal these days is anywhere between $4(the uber low quality and usually a kid's meal) and $6 (the one hiding under the title "healthy choice" or its the supersized behemoth that comes with a bucket of transfat and enough liquid to drown a horse). Multiply it times 4 (or more if you have more than the average 2.5 kids) and you have a minimum of $16 that you spent to make yourself less healthy that will accumulate into medical bills later on. However, is it likely that you ONLY spent $16? Doubtful. You probably didn't spend less that $20. And for that you could have made a meal and had leftovers for second or you could have had enough for two different meals. If we are talking convenience, then see how much you could have spent on veggies to take with you instead.

Now, this is taking into consideration the cheap drive thrus like the national chains that I won't mention, but that you are already friends with. What about the high-end ones that pretend to have higher quality foods? I guarantee that your home cooked meals are still healthier than the healthiest chains. Your food is fresh. Your food has not been sitting on the shelf or in the refrigerator for weeks, full of preservatives to make them last that long. Assuming, of course, that you are shopping the perimeter of your grocery for the bulk of your items and NOT buying premade/prepackaged/frozen/canned foods. You aren't, right?? Please say you aren't.

Yet, let's go back to the all important bottom line: Your wallet.

Yes, your grocery bill is going to go up, but your eat-out bill is going to go down. Shop the farmer's and side markets for the fresh fruits and veggies of the season. Look for the sales. Be diligent. Your health and your children's health is at stake. Your wallet is going to have to dish out dollars for meds, doctor visits, and hospital stays by staying in the drive thru line. 

When we buy in-season fruits and veggies, we spend less than we would if were buying imported out of season produce.  Or if you are feeling REALLY energetic, try growing your own!  Talk about savings. 

I said the bottom line was your wallet, but it really isn't. 

The bottom line is your health.  When you ingest chemicals in the form of preservatives, additives, or pesticides, you are assimilating them into who you are.  You've always heard that you are what you eat, right?  Well, no more true statement can describe what is going on inside you when you when it comes to food...so why not make yourself and your family priority and take the steps that you need to take in order to build the best you and the best family that you can?  Your bodies, brains, and babes will thank you for it. 

 

What do you believe you spend on non-homemade food?  I would love to hear your argument for/against freshly prepared meals in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

  © Tania Dakka and Chaotic Musing, 2011

Continuing the Bane

Credit: d.billy via Creative Commons

In the first Bane post, I introduced you to the concept that, due to our environment, we are the bane of our own existence.  Well, I am not finished yet. We are  just beginning to ascend Iceberg B-15.  I touched on the "why" that we get caught up in eating poor quality foods.  SO, let's dig into that a little deeper. 

I DON'T HAVE TIME!

How many of us use the excuse that "I don't have time to cook" in order to justify a trip to the drive thru or a call to the pizza delivery guy? How many times have you fed yourself, your family, your children this way for the sake of a few minutes? Is the damage that we do to their bodies (and our own) worth the time that it saved? You did not do yourself or your child any favors. What would have been helpful would have been to pack a couple a sandwiches (not luncheon meat!) before you left home. Or, better yet, packed some fresh veggies or nuts to nibble on .

Does it really matter?  Yes. It does. 

Let's talk about anatomy and physiology for a moment. Why do we eat? We eat to fuel our bodies, right? It follows that our bodies break down that food that we eat to use it make new cells, to repair old cells, to heal our tissues, and to give us energy. But what is IN that drive thru meal that you just fed yourself and your kids? Was it food? Have you LOOKED at those chicken nuggets that you ordered? Did you see anything that resembled a chicken that you would have cut and batter and OVEN-fried at home? No. It does not. And it doesn't because it isn't chicken. Well, it was originally chicken, but to make it last longer and make it taste good, chemicals and preservatives are added. Then, it is pushed through a nasty grinder to smash it all together. Your child just ate those nuggets and her tummy is breaking it down and assimilating those chemicals and preservatives into her core.  Looking a little pekid, are you? 

Think they were worth the few minutes that you saved now?  Not only is the drive thru NOT a healthy choice, it is a dangerous choice.

Let's look at what we could have done instead:  Planned ahead.

We could have planned ahead of time. I know, I know. You are working a full-time job and taking care of your home and family, too. I feel you. I understand. BUT, I contend that with one day to plan and one day to cook and prepare you can have healthful choices on hand and ready to eat, jut like the drive thru, but healthier. And cheaper (another post).

What can you do to  make change easier?

  • Make a list of all the processed foods that you buy.  See what is negotiable.  Again, I need the baker because I cannot make bread for the life of me...I'v tried.  But, I don't need chips. 
  • If you are buying prepackaged foods, make a list of the ones your family loves and find their WHOLESOME versions and practice those recipes. 
  • Find what fruits and veggies your family loves and keep them on hand.  Prepare a bag of goodies (fresh, wholesome ones) ahead of time, when you walk out the door, grab it.  Nuts travel VERY well.   

You have your assignment for the next few days.  This takes time to work on, but your health and the health of your family is worth it. Busy parents/people find a few minutes to turn off the TV and make your lists...you will be glad you did.

 

In summary, planning ahead and buying wholesome foods helps you be prepared when you are on the go. 

What are your thoughts on the drive thrus/fast food joints and the state of nutrition where you live?  What would you like to change in your home?  I love hearing from you.  Please leave your comments below...Oh, let me know how your assignment is going!

 

© Tania Dakka and Chaotic Musing, 2011

The Bane of Our Existence

The bane of our existence is our existence. 

In Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr. Claudia Welch, she purports that our ailments and sufferings are due to our lifestyles and through changing lifestyle, diet and stress management we can heal ourselves and prevent disease.  Firstly, let me say, this book is not about menopausal women as the word "hormones" elicits.  The book is geared toward women, young and old.  However, it is my contention that men, too, suffering from things like depression benefit from the same changes. 

Ayurvedic medicines and Traditional Chinese Medicine are based in preventing health issues, not merely treating them.  Thus, they focus on taking care of the bodies in which we live by honoring them with proper diet and nutrition, proper sleep, and strong stress management skills.  While I firmly believe this, our environment is in no way accessory to living this way.  Thus, the bane of our existence is our very existence.  We have to change our way of life in order to reap its benefits.

Dr. Welch quotes the numbers on how much money is spent on health care here in the West.  She cites that the bulk of these dollars are spent on treating, rather than preventing.  How does $2.1 TRILLION sound?  95% of that was to cure ailments, not prevent them.  What if we focused on mindful living, making choices that were good for our bodies, rather than our wallet or schedule?

 The grocers are do not make our shopping trips conducive to whole, fresh food kitchens.  They push the pre-done mess with a vengeance.  Then, they mark up the organics, which, by the way, is what you should be buying when you buy whole, fresh foods to cook.  Otherwise, you are feeding you and your family pesticides.  Our society does not promote healthful, wholesome living.  We are brainwashed (strong word, but it isn't too far from the truth) into thinking that we don't have time for this.  We don't have time for that.  We are so busy that we HAVE to order pizza or we NEED those frozen dinners. 

You don't.  Really.  You. Don't. 

Plan.  Shop.  Cook.  You can be free of the chains of the drive thru and be queen or king of your home, your health, and your children's health.  By the way, with two people in the home working, there isn't any reason why both parties can't contribute to this endeavor. 

There is a growing movement in this country toward homesteading and living naturally.  It is the adult generations answer to healing the damage that is already done...to our environment and to our bodies.  If that is an option for you, great.  I applaud you.  Really.  I can't slaughter my own meat.  I need the grocer, but I need him to provide organics.  For those not yet on the natural living bandwagon, now is the time to step in and stop damaging your bodies and start healing them.

Investigate the best food choices for your children and yourselves and follow through. 

When you fuel your body with wholesome, natural foods, your family will feel better.  You will be healthier.  And hopefully, able to manage your stress better because you are equipping your body in the way that it was intended to be fuelled. 

Don't fall for the ruse of the advertisers, the health care industry, and *ahem* the government.  Educate yourself.  Think.  Act. Be healthy.

 

 

Ok, I know some of you are swearing at me after this post.  This is the first in a series (sorry :)).  But I feel with you.  Making change isn't easy, but it can be done.  So what are you doing that you could change to improve your family's health?  Leave me your words and rotten tomatoes in the comments!  :)

© Tania Dakka and Chaotic Musing, 2011