Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Okay, it's time for a rant

Well, we all know that the holidays are right around the corner and now is the time to start stocking up on ingredients for big dinners, yummy desserts and sweet snacks. I walk through Fred Meyer every week and see stacks and piles of chemical-laden, super-sweetened frankenfood on sale for rock bottom prices. It sickens me to be honest. How many people look at the labels of this trash?
I know that a lot of the people in my life here think I've become a wack-job and a weirdo since I've started cutting these things from my diet but I don't care! The chemical additives in our food supply is making us so sick and we continue to stuff our faces and turn a blind eye. I used to think it was funny that some people don't eat things that they can't pronounce. It sounded like a great idea, but just about impossible to pull off in a tiny town in Alaska. Don't they realize that everything we have here has to be preserved some way? It became something that left-wing kooks and tree-huggers did to try and save this planet. (That's another rant that we'll not be going into right now) I have since come to the realization that, aside from responsible stewardship of our resources, eating healthy was one of the best ways of caring for our bodies. We are made in the image of God! It's horrifying to think of the garbage I've chucked into this temple because it was easier than having to prepare a real meal and I didn't want to be bothered with having to read ingredients. It's been a slow process of realizations but I'm almost to the point of chemical freedom. It all started with shampoo...

I used to use Dove shampoo and conditioner. I absolutely loved it and it loved me. My hair was soft and shiny and silky and was on it's way to achieving major length. I knew about product buildup and took steps to insure it didn't happen. I don't use any product on my hair except those two so buildup needed to be removed every couple of months. In January 2007 I developed a greasy patch of hair right in the back. No matter how I washed or rinsed I couldn't get rid of it! I tried different conditioners, different shampoos, nothing worked. I began searching for natural shampoos and conditioners thinking maybe my hair needed a break, not intending for this to be a lasting thing. What I discovered was an entire online community dedicated to 'no poo'. If anyone's read the first few posts of this blog they'll know about that. I decided to give it a try and see what happened, still skeptical but needing to do something different. I also began looking for something in the shampoo and conditioner that could have caused my grease patch. What I found was nasty. The products that I loved, that smelled so wonderful and gave me back my hair were nothing but a chemical concoction, designed to strip my hair of it's natural, moisturizing and protecting oils and then lay on thick layers of silicone to disguise what had been done. As sad as I was, I threw away my beloved products. It's been almost a year since then and I've settled on organic shampoo and conditioner. A disasterous encounter with a clay-based, organic shampoo caused my hair to dry up and I needed to use shampoo to get all of the residue out. I chose an organic shampoo, though not one I would use on a continual basis as it contains mild detergents and non-silicone coating products. Which, if they didn't use the first one, the second would not be necessary. Anyhoo, I've settled on a different line of organic products and am quite happy with them. My hair is not stripped nor coated with yuck and the basis of both items is infusions of flowers and herbs.
While searching the internet for hints, tips and tricks for going without shampoo I stumbled onto another blogger in California who has been 'no pooing' for a couple years and had a couple of posts about it. She also turned me to the Weston A. Price Foundation. Needless to say it was an eye opener. Dr. Price was a dentist who spent years searching the globe for the healthiest diet and the best way to prevent cavities. He discovered that the healthy, indigenous populations he studied had similarities in the way they prepared and ate their food. The foods were different, but the preparation methods didn't vary that much. He also studied the diets of unhealthy peoples, indigenous and not and discovered many unhealthy similarities in the way they prepared and ate their food as well. The SAD (standard american diet) was one of the unhealthy ones, not the worst but certainly not the best. A lot of fad diets really freak me out and I was really skeptical of this too but after reading extensively from the site and buying a cookbook that corresponds to this diet, I am a true believer. The site debunks the myths of the lipid hypothesis and the dangerous lie that unsaturated fat is healthy for you. Good quality, saturated fat is what our bodies need and crave to be healthy and not all saturated fat comes from animal products. Coconut oil is 90% saturated fat and is the main fat source for many tropical people.
Western medicine tells us to avoid saturated fat since it is the main cause of heart attacks and strokes when in fact arterial plaque is 74% unsaturated fat with only 26% saturated. 41% of those unsaturated fats are polyunsaturated, which is the fat that the AHA recommends to combat heart disease. The cholesterol found in arterial plaque is oxidized from being attacked by oxidized polyunsaturated fats. Oxidized cholesterol is the only cholesterol that is dangerous and it is caused by oxidized fats. Saturated fats don't oxidize but the very process that makes polyunsaturates "fit for human consumption" cause them to oxidize. I have banished all polyunsaturated vegetable oil from my family's diet. We eat small quantities of olive oil, which is a monounsaturated oil that does not come from a seed, (more on seeds later) but mostly we eat butter, duck fat, coconut and palm oil.
Studies indicate that consuming saturated fats only raises HDL cholesterol levels, not LDL levels. Much evidence shows that cholesterol is an antioxident, a protector of the body. It stands to reason that, as we age our cholesterol levels rise to protect us from the damage of prescription drugs and a lifetime of free radical damage.
The body uses saturated fat to strengthen cell walls and when there is no saturated fat being consumed the body is forced to use unsaturated fats which make cell walls weak. To combat this effect, the body uses it's stores of cholesterol to shore them up, thus lowering it's levels in the blood. Cholesterol is also used by the body as a bacterial toxin sponge.

Having done a little bit of research I realized that I needed to radically change the way my family eats. Mom and I have been sticking with it very well but Dad is having issues giving some things up. Baby steps I guess. I've discovered that I don't really miss my junk food since I know what goes into it now. It sickens me to read the ingredients of something we ate all the time only to realize it has nothing in it nutrition wise. I feel better, I'm losing weight and I feel better knowing that I am working to make my body the healthiest that I can. To be honest, I haven't cut out all the chemicals. I am still searching for replacements for some things we eat all the time and it is slow going since my choices are limited here. I have a $500 dollar a month grocery budget to work with and it's hard to know when I can buy the best and when I have to make do but it's not that bad. I'm learning how to make a lot of my own food and it really does taste better when you know exactly how it got made and got dirty making it. I'll post later on the dangers of many modern sweeteners, soy, dairy and eating seeds without preparing them properly, which is a major contributing factor to IBS, Crohn's disease and gluten allergies.


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About Me

We're a family that came to Alaska in shifts. We've been here since 1995 and don't plan to leave any time soon.

For Jaime

Comment from a SMART President

" The government that is big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have."

Thomas Jefferson President 1801-1809
Died on JULY 4th, 1826



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