by Neil Anderson
There is something to be said for the conjecture that Americans eat too many refined foods. This is especially true of sugary treats.
I'm like you. I love a good piece of French bread. I love my pancakes. I love my donuts. In fact, if it is sweet, starchy, syrupy and/or covered in chocolate - I'm generally of the opinion, if one is good, then TWO is better.
This doesn't mean I should eat them. At least, not regularly.
The thing is: America is in very poor state of health. Statistics show that Americans spend more money than any other country when it comes to health care spending. In fact, we spend more than the top 5 healthiest countries combined. You'd think this would mean we would be the healthiest of the developed countries.
We aren't even in the hunt.
Upon last check, I found we aren't even in the top 30! According to one published study, I found America is 33rd healthiest of the top developed countries. If this is true...
Most diseases are on the rise. This is especially true of the top 3 killers of Americans (heart disease, diabetes, cancer). Obesity just overtook smoking as the top "preventable" killer. Arthritis is on the rise. Osteoporosis is on the rise. Alzheimer is on the rise. The list goes on and on. Do we know what is at the heart of this?
Some of us do.
I am convinced our poor diet habits (especially refined food and carbohydrates) are at the root of all that ails us. Combine this with our completely defunct activity habits and our higher than at any time in human history, stress levels and you have the perfect cocktail of death and disease. IMHO, even those who are exercising are doing it wrong if they ever hope to achieve "optimal health" as is the goal of the GPP.
Many doctors would have us believe that advanced science and technology can save us from our destructive path of ill health. Even now, scientists and technologists labor to find new, never before thought of, machines and drugs to help us undo what we seem to refuse to do for ourselves.
Here comes the point...
The point is that we already have this machine (our body) AND the drugs (processes inside our bodies) which are far more efficient at producing the changes we all strive for.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and make this proclamation:
"Science will NEVER find or build a drug, make a machine, create an appliance, develop a surgical method, or even dink around with our DNA in a way that will be healthier, safer, faster acting or more effective than what we already know about creating positive lasting changes to your health."
The sooner we embrace this fact, the sooner we can all get on with living a more fulfilling lifestyle. Only then, can we begin to go about the work of bringing this improved lifestyle to those whom we love. I needn't say this but it bears repeating. Those whom we love and have charge over, are much more diseased at a much younger age than when we began to become less healthy.
The math goes like this for our younger generations; We are the most diseased and least physically capable humans in the history of earth. Multiply that exponentially by our young ones who are starting their poor habits earlier with less of an example than we had. Then, factor in several generations of more of the same - and you have a pretty good case for the annihilation of the human species.
Too dramatic? Maybe, but I think it is conceivable.
Our only hope is to get back to basics. How far back? How would the Paleolithic strike you? I wouldn't advocate living entirely like paleo man, especially with my penchant for some of the nicer things in life, ie. electricity, transportation, shelter and etc. But I would surely recommend that we shape our active lives and eating habits to reflect this time in human history.
The thing to realize is that paleo man was outfitted and built for survival on a level that our bodies are still programmed for today. Unless I have missed something from my anthropological studies, modern man hasn't changed in terms of biology since our ancestors evolved from their smaller brained more primitive Neanderthal roots, to our more advanced cro-magnon selves. If I am right about this, it only stands to reason that the physical and nutritional needs of the body of paleo man are exactly similar to those of our modern selves. Wouldn't it make sense that we emulate this lifestyle to some extent?
Look, I'm no raving lunatic. I'm not suggesting we all start peddling rock cars to our jobs at Mr. Slates quarry. I like modern civilization as much as the next guy. I just realize as with most things, moving forward sometimes takes a good hard look back.
This week many of us began a challenge to become healthier by eliminating, at least some of the, unneeded and potentially harmful foods in our diets. We are taking the "No Added Sugar Challenge."
Parameters...no white sugar, no brown sugar, no high fructose corn syrup (you'll have to check labels for this sneaky beast). Honey and agave are ok. You can have Splenda and asptartame, but why the H would you want to? Basically, anything that is a sugary sweet eaten for pleasure alone is off limits. Just until Thanksgiving day.
There are penalties for endulging. $1 or 1 can of food for every offense. These are to be dropped off at GPP HQ. Anyuone who has an exception (like Kenzie's beloved protein shakes) should declare it. The exception will be voted upon by all. Brownies are not an acceptable exception.
ALL of the money and food items raised will be donated to a food pantry TBD.
I all who are looking to jump start and further improve your healthy lifestyle to join in. It will be fun. Details are on our Facebook page. Click HERE.