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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where do you get your fuel?

I think all holistic health coaches like myself use an analogy along these lines "You wouldn't fill your gas tank with anything but gas because you know that you will damage the engine - right? And that damage is going to cost you a trip to the mechanic or possibly cause an accident. Then why would you feed your body junk?" Or possibly "don't get your food where your car gets its fuel." 

The foods we choose to eat do make a difference in our overall health. Many of us choose to ignore eating better or if we are somewhat aware of the key role diet plays in our health blame it on our distaste for vegetables, cost, lack of culinary experience, or hectic schedules, etc. Staying in the dark about the impact a healthy diet and lifestyle play in our lives will only keep us sick and tired or worse plagued by disease and death.

Check out "You are what you eat" by Jurriaan Kamp:

Under Americas new health-care reform act, health-care spending will rise slightly faster than it would have otherwise, according to a new government study. By 2019, the average American will spend $13,652 on health care every year, according to the report. Without reform, the average would be slightly lower: $13,387 per person. They now spend an average $8,389, according to The Christian Science Monitor.
Apart from the question what one may think about such very precise numbers projected almost a decade into the future, there is one clear overall trend: health care expenses are on the rise. It is probably one of the curses of the modern Western world. The wealthier we become, the more we spend on remaining healthy. It is not difficult to see the order of our priorities. What is difficult is to understand the priorities that we set in our health care policies. We read a lot about government regulation of new medicines and therapies. We hardly read anything about the importance of the very first crucial driver of our health: our food.

My favorite comparison goes like this: it does matter which fuel one pours into which engine. If you put diesel oil into a gas operated internal combustion engine, you won’t travel very far (I have tried, but that’s another story). So it makes sense to me that the food we choose influences our body engines, our health. It seems that my point is easily proven: more and more research confirms the relationship between junk food and obesity (and diabetes).
Nevertheless, still one probably gets the worst food in the primary health place – the hospital – as if modern medicine wants to underline that food has no relationship with health. There are, of course, government agencies that advocate the importance of fresh food compared to packaged foods. At the same time the economic system that we have organized drives more and more people away from healthy food and toward higher health care expenses.
An example: the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables has increased by nearly 200% since 1983. That increase is 3 times greater than the increase in sugars and even 6 times greater than the increase of the price of sodas over the same period of time. As an inspiring blog suggests: check Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma to find out why junk food can be so much cheaper than healthier alternatives.
It can be explained but it doesn’t make sense. It should be our greatest priority to make sure that people eat healthy. One way would be to use taxes. In The Netherlands several political parties are advocating to exclude organic food from sales tax. Taxes provide a great instrument to direct consumer behavior. It is a painful fact that the current tax system in most Western countries stimulates the energy and chemical intensive agriculture that produces the very unhealthy food that we shouldn’t eat.
In Harlem, New York, a truck regularly delivers organic food to people who would normally never consider buying – more expensive – healthy food. The Holton Farmsoperation was established to bring farm-fresh produce to people who cannot shop at established organic supermarkets. Besides changing the tax system, it is difficult to imagine a more relevant contribution to the health of the population.

While health care spending may increase with wealth, we are only discovering the relationship between health and food. You are what you eat, may very well be an accurate description.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Perfect Salary for Happiness

"As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. Until you hit $75,000. After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness."

Check out this article and see if you agree. I have been studying what makes me happy for years and I am not sure it is money. Though money does allow people to be secure. And, being secure or having perceived security can do wonders in reducing anxiety.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What are you currently ordering from the Universe?

Remember, the "little" things you say to yourself in jest are the big things that manifest. If you want a truly delicious life, make sure your mind is consistently ordering the right thoughts. What are you ordering from the universe? - Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy
 I don't think this particular quote is more poignant than others like it, but for the last few years the thought of what I have been "ordering" from the universe has been with me on a daily basis. I have been trying to speak with more love and kindness to myself and my dreams. I started speaking to myself with acceptance and tenderness more frequently. I have vowed to create new patterns no matter how cheesy or silly or out of my comfort zone I feel.
Opening myself up this way was far from natural to me. It has always been natural for me to complement others and see their amazing strengths. Yet, the moment someone wanted to tell me about my gifts I would cringe and feel like I was listening to lies. Like so many of my clients who are healing their relationships with food and their bodies. I've had the negative language on a continuous loop playing in the background - with the volume on high. When I think about these terrible loathsome thoughts it reminds me of what I had 'ordered' from the universe for the last 25 years.
Instead of thinking of what I don't want and putting my energy toward negativity. I have chosen to put my energy towards what I do want and what I know I deserve. This is still a struggle, but I can tell you I can finally take a complement and not doubt that the person has only good intentions (that's a big step!).
This month place your energy on what you want. Try using one or all of these methods: 
  • Look yourself in the mirror and smile at yourself!
  • Make a list
  • Draw a picture
  • Place post-its all over your house or car to remind you of what you desire
  • Meditate on your goal 
  • Visualize what you want
  • Put notes in your purse or pocket

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Deal with Food Addiction Head on

During Moments of food related TEMPTATION here are two simple questions to ask yourself:

1. By choosing to eat this food, am I REALLY loving myself by giving my body the nourishment it needs?

2. Is this food good for my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wonderful World of Apps

Are you a lover of cereal? Are you confused about what kinds of cereal to eat? I used to be too (Peanut Butter Captain Crunch was my fav as a child) and in fact I rarely eat prepackaged cereal and instead opt for  brown rice farina. However, if you love cereal check out this cool little app you can add to your iPhone called Cereal Scan.

I am hopeful that this app means that more apps like it will be coming along the horizon. Though if we all ate out of prepackaged items less we would all feel better, look better.
I'm a fan of real food that takes a bit of time to prepare. Consider these other breakfast ideas:

Idea 1

Idea 2

Idea 3