We all have our own reasons for the choices we make. Sometimes we make decisions that simply make us feel good. One of my strategies for good health is eating clean. It’s a no brainer. Eating healthy is a universal message broadcasted through every media channel, discussion group and health seminar. Eating healthy is a big step in the right direction for many. Cutting out processed foods, refined sugars, soda is part of eating healthy. But what is eating clean?
Eating clean is minimizing to eliminating unwanted and unnecessary toxins in my food intake. This includes growing my own vegetables and herbs and buying organic whenever possible, eliminating dangerous ingredients such as trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and anything that sounds like it came out of a chemistry lab. Isn’t that a simple strategy? I’ve had patients and friends challenge me on this approach, saying “I can’t justify the expense of organic. It’s too hard. It’s a hoax to swindle us out of our hard earned money. I want to see the scientific evidence supporting this!”
Here’s my answer and THIS is my case for eating clean.
It just makes sense to me. The thought of eating produce from crops sprayed by Monsanto’s “holy water” repulses me. (Glyphosate in Monsanto’s weedkiller, Round Up is classified as a class 2 carcinogen*). Why would I want to ingest chemical laden foods that will mess with my own natural physiology, eat away at my gut and blood brain barrier and raise my risk for cancer? (For those of you who don’t know, Monsanto is the company responsible for the spread of genetically engineered food).
I prefer to avoid these same health risks by purchasing organic, free range, grass fed meats whenever possible. Yes it costs more per pound, but when I see families dumping convenience foods into their grocery carts I’m hearing more “chi-ching” sounds of the cash register just imagining their grocery bills.. then MORE “chi ching’s” for their medical bills as a result of the refined, non-fresh food, not so clean diets.
So it’s a trade off. I choose to buy minimal dry foods for my pantry in lieu of a healthy investment of fresh foods and proteins. I grow a small garden that I can manage to nurture and it’s just enough to give me nature therapy and peace on a daily basis- my choice for health. I enjoy being in control of what I eat by preparing my own food more often than dining out.
Let’s see. Over the years I have seen more patients being prescribed statins, blood pressure meds and antidepressants at younger ages. Sadly, I seem to be part of the minority population of 40 something year olds who is not on any medications. Hmmm, you think it has something to do with my healthy lifestyle?
Can’t justify the expense of clean eating? Well, let me put it this way: Cigarettes are expensive not just financially but more so to your health. The same applies to alcohol and other drug dependencies. Buying your daily Starbucks latte is expensive. Refined foods such as boxed cookies, crackers and chips are expensive – also contributing to many pandemic illnesses such as childhood obesity and diabetes. Eating out, fast food or not, gets expensive.
My health is my most important investment. Health is not so much determined by how I feel but how I function, even down to the cellular level. And every thought I think, everything I eat and everything I do can positively or adversely affect my health. So I just choose wisely.
Without my health, I’m not affording myself the ability to live a long and happy life.
It’s too hard? Being sick, losing work time and therefore income, losing enjoyment in life and the consequential adverse effects on relationships is TOO HARD.
Need to see the research? My time is valuable as is everyone else’s. I choose not to drive myself crazy by embarking on a quest to find a research article to support every choice I make for my health. However in practice, I engage the tools necessary when making recommendations to patients. Here’s some references for those needing to see the research: Mercola.com has a plethora of research based articles and commentaries. Pubmed.com is accessible to the general public and for a simplistic interpretation of studies, try searching on Google Scholar.
I know several other natural practitioners who are hardcore in their strict regimen of food choices 100% free of eggs, soy, gluten, dairy, etc. I admire their commitment and respect their choices. I do the same when I’m on a cleanse. All other times I do the best I can and I choose wisely when I dine out. And yes, I treat myself to an occasional dessert or other treat. I don’t deprive myself. So here’s the irony: the title of the article is in contradiction with my belief that we shouldn’t have to defend our own healthy lifestyle choices. I just wanted to grab your attention. Yet sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we are challenged or feel criticized and we immediately feel inclined to explain our case. Maybe that’s because we subconsciously want to educate the cynic – our inherent desire to “spread the health”.
Health is a Choice.
We all have our reasons for making choices. What matters is that we are comfortable with those decisions and we should not need to defend our position when it comes to choosing to live healthy. You are only answerable to yourself and your Higher Power.. no one else.
*Mercola.com, article titled “Monsanto- A sustainable AG company?” March 28, 2015, Also view the embedded video documentary “Seeds of Death”