Friday, January 13, 2017

Health Tips 1-10: Pork, Dairy, Sugar, Etc.



(And, yes, I do know that's supposed to be "whom I homeschool" . . . but I didn't want to show off how smart I is.) 

I figured that for the first posts on this blog, I would share some of the “healthy living” tips that I try to live by.  (More to come.)  I don’t do everything perfect.  And I am not super strict with these.  But they are general principles that I try to incorporate as much as I can.  Life is about balance, after all.  (And I fully expect that many people will disagree with me, but that’s okay.  We are all entitled to our own opinions on these things.  Except the first one.  Everyone should agree with that one.)

1.  Laugh a lot.  Do not take yourself or life so seriously that you can’t find humor in things.  Laugh often.  And dance.  And sing.  If you can do these things, you can know that life hasn’t gotten the best of you yet.

2.  The one food that I ban completely from our house is pork (and shellfish).  In any form.  No bacon, no ham, no lard, no gelatin (except marshmallows for s’mores once a year while on vacation).  After reading God’s Key to Health and Happiness by Elmer A. Josephson and The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin (read it!!!), I have come to respect God’s wisdom in calling the scavengers of the earth “unclean.”  I believe they are the garbage-eaters, they are full of toxins, and their bodies do not clean their food like the digestive systems of the grass-eaters that chew the cud.  This would explain why you are not supposed to give this meat to babies either.  I tell my kids that they can have a soda every so often or eat some MSG chips at a friend’s house or have an artificially-colored popsicle if they are serving them at a party . . . but they should never touch pork or shellfish.  I am glad I am able to train them early on this.  (Oh, I probably just made a lot of enemies with this one.  And right off the bat, too.  Oh well, that’s life.)  

3.  As much as possible, we avoid MSG and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.  MSG is a chemical flavor and not something I think we should be eating.  And I have read that artificial colors and flavors are nerve toxins.  Yum!  The word “artificial” should be enough to make any thinking person say “No thank you!”

4.  Speaking of GMOs, I buy as much organic as I can.  Not only does it mean less pesticide exposure, but it’s the only real way to make sure you are not eating GMO products.  I don’t care what the food companies and research companies say, I think GMOs and pesticides and fungicides and chemical fertilizers are bad for us.  And I think time will attest to this.  Unfortunately. 

5.  Another biggie: We very rarely have soda.  Personally, I don’t think we are suffering from “calcium deficiency” in our country so much as we are suffering from an “abundance of soda.”  I believe soda is counter-productive to a healthy body, that it acidifies your body instead of keeping it more alkaline like it should be, that it leeches calcium from your body so that there is not enough calcium to make strong bones and teeth, that people use soda in place of healthier juices and milks, and that it interferes with your ability to enjoy natural food in its “natural sugar, less sweet” form.  (But if you do drink soda, DO NOT drink diet soda.  I think this is "early death in a can."  Look up "dangers of artificial sweeteners" for yourself.  Disturbing!) 
            [And research “acid/alkaline diets.”  It sounds like acidic bodies grow diseases and eat your teeth away, whereas alkaline bodies are healthier and strengthen your teeth.  I believe that your saliva is supposed to re-mineralize your teeth while you sleep, but if your body is acidic then it eats away at the calcium.  I learned this firsthand when my baby had Baby Bottle Tooth Decay from breastfeeding.  I was not eating healthy at the time.  But when I switched to a really vegetable-rich, no-sugar diet, his teeth began hardening up with new calcium.  I didn’t even know that was possible at the time.  It’s not the sugar on your teeth that is so damaging; it’s the effect of sugar on your cells, blood, and saliva.  And you can’t use a toothbrush to brush it away.
            Another result of eating much healthier was that we had a lot less colds go through our house the following winter, 2 the following winter compared to about 8-10 from the winter before.  And an infection that I had in my gums for seven years from a failed root canal (yes, it was terrible to let it go that long, I know!) began to heal within the first month of eating healthier.  It's amazing what healthy food does for your body!] 

6.  As much as possible, I avoid growth hormones in my dairy products.  I have a theory that growth hormones meant to cause excessive, unnatural growth in a thousand-pound animal are going to cause excessive cell growth in human children and adults.  And what do we call an out-of-control cell that begins to grow excessively?  Cancer.  Also, I wonder if growth hormones are causing some of our country's intestinal troubles, because the hormones would be in contact with our intestines the whole way through.  Could the lining of the intestines or the cells of our intestines end up growing excessively because of constant contact with growth hormones in milk?  Just wondering out loud.  Either way, we buy dairy with no growth hormones.  It just makes sense.
            [In fact, I not only have a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, but I also have a DCS.  A Doctorate of Common Sense.  I bet you’re impressed now!  But truthfully, they’re not hard to get.  Just start using your God-given brain to make reasonable, wise decisions that make sense.  You don’t always need some academic in a lab coat telling you how to think or some skewed study telling you what to believe.  Sometimes all you need is your DCS.]

7.  We also limit our milk consumption, except for some occasional high-quality, non-homogenized milk.  I would prefer raw also, but I am too scared to consume it too much.  So we just limit our milk consumption to a gallon a month or so.  I think that if you cut out the soda, you will have enough calcium even without drinking a ton of milk.  (We do drink calcium-fortified orange juice, too.)  At the last two dental visits for our four sons, none of them had any new cavities. 
            (For our cereal, we just use organic almond milk.  “Organic” because almonds are a highly-sprayed crop, too.  I saw a program once where they talked about how they have to detox the bees that are used to pollinate an almond crop because of all the chemicals that are used on them.) 
            From what I’ve read, pasteurization kills all the good, living things in dairy milk.  So it’s essentially dead and unhelpful.  And then, homogenization breaks up all the large fat molecules (and all that dead matter) into tiny little ones that can now slip past the lining of your intestines, leading to things like leaky gut syndrome.  Those fat molecules were big for a reason, so that they didn’t enter the blood stream.  We buy only organic, non-homogenized milk.  And only occasionally.  (I also read that goat’s milk is better for people and easier to digest.  If you can, get that instead.)

8.  I use real butter, not margarine.  My choice of fats are organic butter, organic olive oil, and organic coconut oil.  I am sure the nut oils and avocado oils are good too, but I avoid corn oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, and those like it.  (I side with those who say that canola oil is bad for you.  Google things like “hazards of canola oil” or “harmful canola oil” to see what you think.)  

9.  Cut out a bunch of sugar.  Ideally, I’d like to cut out white sugar completely and only use maple syrup, honey, etc.  (But not that fakey pancake syrup . . . that stuff’s nasty.  And from what I’ve read, agave nectar is basically processed the same way as corn syrup.  I don’t use it.)  But in addition to maple syrup and honey, I also use organic evaporated cane juice when I bake.  (Sugar is another highly sprayed crop, so I always buy organic.  And make sure it’s “sugar cane” or you might end up getting genetically modified sugar beet.) 
            And I have found that I can easily cut out about 50% of the sugar called for in a recipe and it still tastes good, better even.  Your taste buds will adjust.  And eventually excessively sweet things will start to taste yucky to you.  For me, a cake with a ratio of 1 cup sugar to 4 cups flour is plenty sweet.  I do even less for my breakfast cakes, about ½ cup sugar per 4 cups flour.  Just sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar on top before baking and it tastes sweeter than it is because your tongue tastes the sugar first.

10.  Have ice cream sometimes.  And cheesecake and chocolate pudding and lemon bars.  Life is too short to be all “broccoli, broccoli, broccoli.”  And when it’s time to have a treat, enjoy it.  Savor it.  Be in the moment.  You will be more likely to be satisfied by that little bit than to feel like you have to go back for more. 
            One time, I was having a small bowl of ice cream.  It was after a long day and I just wanted one moment to myself.  But as I was hiding from the kids to eat it, they came in and caught me and began whining for some.  They ruined my peaceful moment. 
            And after I shared a little with them, you know what I did?  I got myself another bowl.  But as I was eating it, I realized that I didn’t want any more ice cream.  It wasn’t tasting good.  But I was eating it simply because I wanted the experience of eating it in peace.  I wanted to have a treat all to myself and to really feel like I had a treat all to myself, that I got to savor it.  It wasn’t about the ice cream; it was about the moment.  About treating myself.  This is when I learned the effectiveness of savoring a little bit of dessert, instead of gorging on too much.  Eat a little something sweet, but make it a moment to remember. 

FYI, here are a couple websites that I find interesting: and

Do you have any good health tips to share?  I'd love to hear them.

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