Food = Freedom? A Yogic Perspective

It matters what you put down that hole of yours. Your mouth. You can put nutritious food, stuff that sustains you and enriches your mood, health and happiness. Or you can put the other so-called, food-stuff that goes in your mouth but isn’t nutritious, stuff that ends up coagulating in the body and gunking it up so eventually the body breaks down and disease happens.

It’s your choice.
According to the CDC, 75% of the $2 trillion spent on healthcare in the U.S. was due to chronic disease including heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. The top 2 healthcare costs based upon claims to employers were heart disease and stroke. According to the ADA (American Diabetes Association), 65% of 65yrs and older who died of heart disease 2004 also had diabetes. Also according to ADA, diabetics are at 2 to 4 times greater risk of stroke as well. If we just tackle pre-diabetes, we tackle 95% of diabetes cases, subsequent heart disease and many incidents of stroke plus we put a MASSIVE dent in healthcare costs.

Only 5% of people with diabetes have the Type 1 form that just happens to a young child and has nothing to do with predecessor diet/lifestyle. The other 95%, we cause ourselves and it starts with pre-diabetes, progresses to Type 2 diabetes and often leads to heart disease/cancer/stroke/death. ADA statistics report a full 8% of the population having diabetes in 2011, that’s 25.8 million people. And astonishingly reports 79 million people having pre-diabetes, basically standing in line waiting to get Type 2 and many of them are doing very little about it! If all 79 million got Type 2 diabetes tomorrow, over 100 million people would have diabetes. That’s nearly half the population. (WHAT!!)

If this isn’t an epidemic, what is? It’s a problem of EPIC proportions that will collapse our nation if we let it.
If you can’t do it yourself, work with people trained in a holistic modality doctors, yoga therapists, and holistic nutritionists. These folks work with you regularly, even weekly at certain times, and they are thinking about your whole being. They know you really well, inside and out. You should work with a variety of folks so you can learn as much as possible about your body, take control of your health and make sure you don’t become diabetic.
As a nation, I think we are moving toward a blended system, albeit at a really, really slow pace. Our 15 min, wham bam thank you mam expensive doctors visits are apparently NOT WORKING folks. Seek other council – find communities and professionals that devote their time to health and well-being and work with them.

Unfortunately, we still want to take pills instead of losing weight and we keep getting fatter as a nation starting with our kids. It’s unsustainable to the nations healthcare dollar. There will be a point where we can’t afford to subsidize anyone’s healthcare because everyone is so fat. We have increasing rates of ‘diabetes’, well no kidding right – we’re fat – it doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together. We have increasing rates of cardiovascular problems, well hello, ditto once again – it’s because we’re fat. Just look around and inventory any given room.

So why are we so fat?

We’re so fat because we eat crap. Sometimes we know we are eating crap. But sometimes we don’t. Labeling is so deceptive and we trust labels unfortunately. If something says healthy, low fat, whole grain we assume its good and we think that we know what that means and we eat it. In actuality most items on grocery store shelves should be called disease-causing agents with something that reads (this item causes diabetes and heart disease because its really only sugar and salt since its so over-processed), certainly NOT food. I assume the word food means sustenance, something we put in our hole to sustain our life and not to take away from our life, so if it takes away from our life it can’t be food in my opinion. These disease-causing agents are so far from any original whole form of food and has been roasted, baked, fried away into oblivion, really having no remaining nutritional value left – just empty calories. Even if there is some nutrition our food is laden with preservatives and sodium to gunk up our system just so it can exist on the grocery store shelf for a long time without spoiling. And then we can say that we are doing that so we can ‘feed our nation’ and the grocery stores can make money. Yeah, feeding poor people sodium filled prepared and canned food to make them fat, diabetics with heart problems – that sounds like something we should be proud of, right? We are the entitled nation; we want the options after all, don’t we? We expect a million options of processed foods on the shelves, right? Almost all categories of food have disease-causing options available; in fact, most ‘categories’ themselves are ‘disease-causing categories’ of so-called ‘food’.

“Buyer beware” – should adorn most labels.

So what should you eat? You know the answer – anything home cooked or raw from SCRATCH:

• fruit & vegetables (local/organic best) – ideally fresh but frozen not too bad

• any whole grains prepared from scratch not quick cook crap or sodium filled prepared crap (rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, wheat berries… ),

• legumes of all kinds – lentils, split peas, black beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans… (NOT canned, you must soak over night, rinse, then cook them, it takes time and planning),

• occasional whole grain bread,

• nut butters (freshly prepared best),

• steel cut oats and other grains prepared for your AM porridge

• yogurt (I prefer plain Greek),

• a modest and decreasing amount of eggs, fish & seafood, chicken, occasionally red meat,

• a minimum of cheese and any other dairy product except yogurt which is good for the gut.

• olive or canola oils and clarified butter for cooking

• natural sweeteners like honey, agave, maple syrup in moderation

• lost of spices and herbs

• seeds like flax seed and tahini (which is made from sesame seeds) to make it all taste

The options are endless, you can prepare food with these ingredients from any ethnicity around the world – its just home cooked, or you can buy it prepared at the grocery store provided you know exactly what’s in it and that its been freshly prepared. Find a cook! Invite the ‘portion control board’ to every meal and eat sensible portions in accordance to your caloric needs to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight to get there.

At any given time I have some assortment of home cooked brown basmati rice, fresh vegetable stir-fry, sautéed spinach and onions, pressure cooked steel cut oats, and grilled chicken in the fridge. All of which can be simply heated on the stove. No time? Then pay someone to prepare it because I feel it’s that important. No money you say… wrong. Give up those processed foods – chips, bars, frozen stuff, juice boxes, candy at many $ per package and you’ll have plenty of cash for bulk rice and vegetables and a chef – don’t think so, split the chef with your neighbor. Make it a priority. I believe its my duty to feed my family properly. Isn’t your family that important to you? Get some help.

And why are we so lazy?

We’re so LAZY because the advances in the medical profession have been so great that we can live a really long time even if we’re fat and diseased and suffering but we still want to live as long as possible even in our suffering state because after all who wants to die. Most of us do not really want to die but for some reason we’re OK with suffering. We call it ‘old age’ or ‘aging’ and like to complain about it, commiserate among friends rather than taking control of our life and relinquish from suffering. We’ve become complacent and it’s allowed, it’s actually encouraged in our society. Our society is set up to keep us fat. So many of us sit around all day and work like crazy at desks, never moving around, seldom breathing fresh air. Am I wrong? No. Who takes a walk on their lunch break? Very few people. When we’re not working we are spending ‘quality time’ huddled around TV’s, computers, and gaming stations eating processed food and getting fat and diseased because we’re ‘tired’. Well fat people get tired easily.

We’re so busy with important work and this quality time that we never cook, so we stuff our hole with fast crap-food and continue working and sitting. We eat at our desks, in our cars, while walking, snacking on the run. The idea of wholesome eating is a thing of the past for most of us. Our lifestyle, doesn’t offer the time to take proper care. Who takes a walk after dinner anymore? Who socializes and gets caught up on the day while laboring joyfully over a meal? Do you sit around a table to eat even or does everyone eat separately, when they ‘have time’, microwaving up their portion? Social graces and culture has changed in this regard.

Time for shift, folks – it starts with YOU. Pass this article to anyone you care about. Spread the word. Its time for personal responsibility.