Tag Archives: Standard American Diet

Playing at Going Green

LettuceI know what I need to do.

Like lots of people my age and older, it’s getting harder for me to move. Arthritis has robbed me of my once-cherished ability to spring from the floor to a standing position free from pain. Sure, I can still manage to help an actor with a 30-second quick change that involves both shoes and hat, but it’s not as much fun as it used to be.

It’s ok. I know what I need to do.

I’ve been researching cures for arthritis and joint pain for years, and I know why I keep looking. It’s because I’m not particularly wild about the answer I keep coming back to. A Raw Diet? Really? Maybe if I keep looking, I’ll uncover scientific evidence that the real cure is fettucine alfredo and dark chocolate.

So, I’ve been dabbling for weeks with improving my diet- adding more vegetables, particularly raw greens; eliminating or at least cutting back on things I know are acidifying. No, I haven’t given up my beloved coffee yet, but I have been combining it with my alkalinizing substitute. I talk a good game, but I’m really only playing at going green.

It’s time to crack down and focus on feeling better. It’s either that or start searching eBay for a used walker.

I’m serious.


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I See Unhealthy People

Lunch at Costco

Lunch at Costco

I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself lately. As I’m reading more about eating to balance my pH and make myself healthier, I’ve been overwhelmed by the difference between this eating plan and “normal” eating. It seems so unfair. Why can’t I eat like everybody else?

 I sat at the Costco food court the other day, eyeing not only the pizza and hotdogs being devoured around me, but the profusion of processed provisions overflowing from the carts  rolling past. I felt confused. This is the way everybody eats in America. How could it be so far off the mark?
I took another look around, this time not at the food, but at my fellow shoppers, normal people like me. There’s pretty much no denying it- here in America, “normal” isn’t very pretty.
Face it, everywhere you look, you see lots of unhealthy people. I’m not just talking about people who are carrying around extra weight. That might be the most visible consequence of our sadly delusive American diet, but other symptoms spill to the surface. You can see it in people’s eyes and in their skin. You can tell by the way they carry themselves and their general disposition. We see all around us the “normal” signs of aging, but if we were nourishing our bodies as God intended, would our expectations and standards be so lax?
My conviction is renewed. If I eat like everybody else, I’m going to be like everybody else. Is that what I really want?
Now, I’m as fond of Costco pizza as the next girl, but that doesn’t mean I can’t re-educate my palette. Yes, I still have to live in this world and I’m probably not ever going to have it together enough to tote healthy raw snacks with me everywhere I go. But with tools like the Master Cleanse and the growing pool of information about pH and toxins, I can make better, if not always perfect, choices.
At this point, ‘abnormal’ is sounding downright pretty.


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Green- My New Favorite Color

Glorious Green

Glorious Green

Actually, green has always been my favorite color, but that wouldn’t make for much of an analogy.

As I delve further into the idea of eating for pH balance, I get more confused. I know this is just a phase that I’m passing through enroute to culinary enlightenment, but it’s difficult to shift your thinking so far from the norm. It really isn’t a new concept to me that our Standard American Diet doesn’t do us any favors, but there’s so much emotion, tradition, and habit wrapped up in the way we eat. How do I gently transition my family and myself into a healthier way of being that’s so far from what most everyone else is doing? How do I feed them normal-seeming, guilt-free meals that they’ll eat and enjoy?

I believe my next step for myself has to be several weeks of pretty much nothing but green juices, raw veggies and soups. I’m wondering though how people do that. With everything I have to do, I need more energy than I get from nibbling on raw broccoli.  

I’m enjoying reading “The pH Miracle”, but it does throw me into a bit of a panic. I’m at a point in the book where it just seems like the authors’ aim is to zap the fun out of everything. No meat? No fruit? Are these people insane?

On the other hand, the thought of pain-free joints and renewed vitality is pretty motivating. I could drink a lot of spinach juice on the promise of that.


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Ending the Cleanse- the Last Day (woo hoo!)

It occured to me today that so much of my time right now is being spent cleaning up the messes left in the wake of past bad choices. I’m cleansing the toxins from my body that resulted from a lifetime of SAD (the Standard American Diet). We’re making a big push to get rid of our debt and clean up our finances. We’ve got a mountain of “stuff” that I can never seem to get to the bottom of, try as I might. I live with that constant sense of being a day late and a dollar short, not accounting for inflation.

I’m thinking about this today in terms of how much time and energy I would free up if a big cosmic Hoover would swoosh over my life and give me a clean slate.

Looking at my life from this perspective, I realize how incapable I am of doing this on my own. I only have finite time and strength, but with God all things are possible.

I probably won’t be posting for a week or so, because we’re going out of town. That’s right, I’m off the cleanse and on the road. Wish me luck. I’m pulling together healthy road food and making a plan.

I forgot to mention that I’ve reached my ‘happy weight’. It feels good, but I don’t expect to maintain it without some effort. Again, luck needed.

On a sad note, I just read about Michael Jackson’s death. I’m really sad he didn’t manage to get his act together, and I don’t mean the one he was preparing for London. He had so much talent, all the money in the world, and a very unhealthy life, from the look of it. Such a shame.

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Fond Farewell to Food

Just now I was digging through my beloved stack of recipes that I’ve printed off the Food Network site (it looks so good when Rachel makes it- I have to have the recipe!) and thinking about how much I love food.

I love to cook. I love to eat. I’d love nothing more than to use this blog to share my favorite key lime pie recipe with you. Maybe eventually.

But for the time being, my purpose here is a little more lofty. See, I was digging through the recipes in search of my instruction sheet for the lemonade cleanse. I found it, right under my recipe for lemon sauce, which rules the world over blueberry cake.  Now I’m ready to get ready.

Two more days till I start the Master Cleanse and no doubt start truly obsessing about food. This seems like a good time to offer up a few thoughts about healthy eating. I’ll go into more detail about this in later posts, but I think most people are afraid to take a good hard look at cleaning up their diet because they’re afraid they’ll be faced with never getting to eat their favorite foods again. I mean, who’s going to get excited about a lifetime of sprouts and tofu over  a bed of brown rice?

I firmly believe that part of what makes a diet “healthy” is the enjoyment it brings us. Just because we’ve grown accustomed to eating overly processed foodstuffs doesn’t mean we can’t readjust our palates to derive the same satisfaction from fresh, clean, real food. Besides, whatever you truly enjoy eating has a healthier version, especially if you don’t mind spending a little time throwing it together yourself at home. Adapt with healthier ingredients, enjoy your treats in moderation, and relax about it.

And hey- toss it with a nice spicy peanut sauce, and that tofu and brown rice starts looking pretty good.

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My Rant About Healthcare in America

Time for a little rant, then I promise to lighten up.

I have a fascination with healthcare, made especially urgent by my own growing list of health concerns. I’m also plagued by a creeping distrust of Western medicine. You might not agree with me, and I’m certainly not knocking the many people in that industry who have genuine compassion for people. I just think Western medicine has it backwards- it tfocuses on treating illness rather than preventing it. Even at that, the choice of treatment often seems to be based more on profitability for the industry than on what’s right for the patient.

What it boils down to now more than ever, is that we need to take responsibility for our own health. Find a doctor, or two or three for that matter, whose approach feels right to you. Research. Ask questions. Pray for guidance. Bottom line, listen to your body and do what feels right for you.  It’s your body, after all, and you’re the one living in it.

My advice about health insurance- and I get a headache just thinking about that behemoth- is to think of it as a tool for your peace of mind if something major should happen. In my opinion, insurance companies should not get to dictate what kind of care we receive. For example, my family has terrible insurance that doesn’t cover naturopathic care. Well, they do, but only in certain states and when they’re in an especially good mood. Plus, you have to receive the care and submit the bill before they’ll even tell you if a certain doctor is covered. Believe me, if you aren’t sick before you start dealing with them, you will be by the time you’re done. You’ll also be just a little poorer.

Still, it’s naturopathic care that I want my family to have, so we choose to pay out of pocket in spite of the generous premiums we pay to the insurance company. Am I wrong for feeling like I should file a police report because I’ve been robbed?

The high cost of being seen by a medical professional is just one reason why doing your own research is critical. I have three terrific naturopathic doctors whose opinions I trust, but they each have a different knowledge base. I can go to each of them with the same concern and receive three different answers. It makes sense to develop your own knowledge base and to trust your intuition.

So that brings us to my current list of personal health concerns. It seems like everyone I know over a certain age is plagued by (check as many as apply) fatigue, foggy thinking, aches, joint pain, hypoglycemia, depression, weight issues or skin problems, just to name a few.  We have a choice: do nothing, go the conventional route of taking prescription drugs (a topic worthy of a post all its own), or look for natural ways to allow the body to heal itself.

One guess as to which one gets my vote.

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My Blog… and Welcome to it

Since this is a blog about health, I’m going to start off by inviting you on my personal journey to improve mine. Anybody else out there feeling less perky than you’d prefer? Are you just too tired to raise your hand?

Like most of you, I have a busy life with, God willing, many productive years ahead. It’s making me downright angry that I have less energy than I’d like (can I take a nap now?) not to mention pain in my joints that makes me feel like I should join AARP and go take in the early bird special. I’ll appreciate all those senior discounts when I’ve earned them, but I have a few years to go, thank you very much.

My self-diagnosis (based on tons of personal research and input from my doctors) is pretty simple: too much SAD (Standard American Diet) and not enough exercise. Quel suprise. There are some other details to pay attention to, but it really is just that simple. So, here’s my plan of attack:

1. See my doctor (the one who also does accupuncture- my favorite!) as soon as I can get in, which happens to be a few weeks away.
2. Light exercise daily
3. Improve my diet. More on that in future posts.
4. Do the Master Cleanse.

I write #4 as if it’s no big deal. It is…it’s a very big deal. 4-21 days of system rinsing that involves no solid food. Yikes.

Word is that the Master Cleanse, aka the Lemonade Cleanse, kicks those toxins that have been happily residing in your cells to the curb, spring-cleans that colon (I know, eww) renews your zest for living, and paints your entire house. Ok, I made that last one up. This cleanse has been around since the 1940’s and, like Jackie O sunglasses and leg warmers, has enjoyed a recent resurgence in popularity. It’s critical, however,  to do it with the proper intent (commitment to clean health, not as a means to quick weight loss) and with clear instruction. In an upcoming post I’ll provide some of that, along with recommended reading.

My intention is to do the cleanse for 14 days and to post daily so you can see how it’s going. I promise not to give out every gory detail, just to share how I feel and how it affects my symptoms. It would thrill me to no end if some of you find my blog and decide to do the cleanse with me. Strength in numbers and accountability can work wonders.

Today is Sunday, and I’m planning to start on Thursday. Only four more days of solid food… when’s lunch?


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