We are what we eat. Do our choices create our health? Are there changes we should make?

Do our choices create our health? Are there changes we should make? We are what we eat.

Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food. Hippocrates

I’ve been pulling up posts from last year now that I’ve passed my one year anniversary of blogging. It’s interesting to see what was on my mind a year ago. There is no corresponding post for today from last year. Maybe we were too busy getting ready for a wedding. Watching what we were eating so our bathing suits would look as good as they could.

We worked hard to get a few pounds off for the wedding but they have crept back on. The weight I lost when I cut out the cream in my coffee and moved to a more plant-based diet has stayed off.

I’ve been bringing eggs, cheese and meat back into my diet. I picked up The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry, and then his earlier book Dr. Gundry’s Diet Revolution. I never embraced veganism but I did embrace plant-based. Deprivation doesn’t work for me. I choose what I eat, and I don’t pass up something I really want. If every day was a buffet it would be hard, too many choices means too much food.

Dr. Gundry tells us “Meat is bad for us because it is good for us, and plants are good for us because they are bad for us.” This is the food paradox. He tells us we can outwit our genes, which kill us off once we’ve outlived our usefulness. This phenomenon is genetic pleiotrophy, meaning genes that activate one sequence of events during part of our life cycle activate the opposite events when called upon to change direction. He says, “The foods of developed nations are so “good” for our genes that they are “bad” for us and our entire society.

He tells us we should:

Fool our genes into thinking that we are not fat enough to kill yet.

Convince them we’re not working overtime, struggling to survive.

Get them to reverse their effect so they undo the damage they – with our help – have already done to our body.

He tells us our diet allows us to grow faster, become stronger, and females can produce babies at younger ages and have more of them. But, all this high-calorie food has a price, because of the “calorie counter” for each species on earth. Within our master computer is a program that monitors the number of calories we consume and compares it to a standard that allows each human (like all other animals studied) to grow, reproduce and raise young, and then get out of the way in order to conserve precious food resources.

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. Jim Rohn

Dr. Steven Gundry is a heart surgeon who realized that bypasses and stints aren’t the answer to heart disease, diet is. He said even though he ran twenty miles a week, and put in an hour per day at the gym he still weighed 228 pounds. He was still plagued with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and frequent colds. He says his activity level, food consumption, and “pain” all conspired to inform his genes that he wasn’t a very successful animal, which he says activates killer genes, as does taking more than our fair share of food.

I’ve believed we are what we eat for a long time. Dr. Gundry puts a new spin on it. When he turned fifty he realized that the people he was operating on looked a lot like him, they were all part of the “Big Boy Club,” men who weigh over 220 lbs.

Where we carry our fat is important. Dr. Gundry says, “Fat on your ass, you are built to last. Fat in your gut, you are out of luck.”

He says we miss the point in the controversy over meat versus plant-based. The anti-nutrients in plants, when taken in the correct dose activate the hormesis response which prolongs our life with low doses of poisons that effectively tell our genes to protect us.

Marmoset monkeys which eat nothing but fruits are unable to reproduce in zoos unless their diet is fortified with 6 percent animal protein. It turns out the perfect zoo fruit was missing the worms and bugs naturally present in fruit in the wild. So it would appear some animal protein is a good thing.

Dr. Gundry’s diet is a balance between high protein and plant-based. He tells us the ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats is critical in balancing inflammation and anti-inflammation hormones. Ground squirrels won’t go into hibernation if the ratio is disrupted in the laboratory.

He says there is a contest between individuals and their genes, in earlier periods individuals were the winners, and species were the losers. Our modern way of eating is the perfect diet to increase our species but to cut down individuals sooner.

For years diet has been an experiment for me. Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution and Plant Paradox is just a continuation. Does he have all the answers? If we tweak our diet and lives resulting in progress isn’t that what we are looking for?

We are what we eat so let’s not be fast, cheap, easy, or fake.

If diet is wrong medicine is of no use. If diet is correct medicine is of no need. Ancient Ayurvedic proverb

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, health, and love.

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Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline Paperback – Mar 3 2009

by Dr. Steven R. Gundry (Author) 4.1 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews

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Accepting ourselves, our mistakes, our lessons. Something for nothing is probably a scam. If it seems too good to be true…

Something for nothing is probably a scam. If it seems too good to be true... Accepting ourselves, our mistakes, our lessons.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for… Unknown

Last night was another interesting night at Toastmasters. After the meeting, a bunch of us went out for a drink and some had a bite to eat. Over my peppermint tea, I listened as members waxed poetically about their childhood. They believe and I wonder if it is true that we enjoyed our childhoods more than our children have enjoyed theirs?

Is this what every generation believes? We need to let children play. Isn’t that what we did as kids, and what kids will always do when given the opportunity? I wonder about people in our midst who complain when they hear the exuberant sounds of children playing. What would they rather hear?

Organized activities are great and I am grateful we have them. But, they are not the only activities our children should be involved in. Children should be able to run and play, put together pick-up games, and pound on pianos without being expected to produce glorious music. Children should be encouraged to paint with exuberance inside the lines, outside the lines, and with no lines at all.

One of the big lessons members spoke of was being cautioned about living above their means. It is something we should learn and teach even though the nuances of living that way may be fluid. We can, of course, get into lengthy discussions on good debt, bad debt, what is an asset, and what constitutes a liability.

A member talked about how cons work and the man who sold the Brooklyn Bridge was brought up. Some say George C. Parker sold the Brooklyn Bridge at least twice a week, one time for as much as $50,000. How would anyone believe he owned it and had the right to sell it? A Nigerian scammer ended up on TV and he couldn’t believe that he with little education could scam educated people.

It seems we fall for scams and there is often a common theme:

Our need to feel part of a group is exploited.

Exclusivity and scarcity is used.

They exploit our knowledge gaps and pretend they can help us.

When all else fails they resort to intimidation and force.

Greed. We buy into the lure of easy money.

The people who do this get caught in the end. At least George C. Parker did and ended his life in prison.

Sometimes we may begin to get embroiled in something that doesn’t quite make sense.  We don’t listen to that still small voice that tells us “Whoa, are you sure about this, something doesn’t add up.” Instead, we forge ahead because we think we’ll look stupid if we stop now, and hope it will be okay. That is exactly what people who want to take advantage of us hope for. We lack self-preservation because looking stupid if we are wrong is more important than taking care of ourselves if we are right.

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us. Unknown

We need to be our own control board. Most of the time, we can’t be taken advantage of without our consent. Why do we consent? Why do we go along with what someone else wants instead of what we want? Why do we make their happiness more important than our own?

We think we need to be nice. We need to think of others. Don’t we need to look after ourselves first, so we can look after the other people in our lives? We need to remember to put our air mask on first, then offer help to those who need it. We need to be able to accept we’ve made a mistake. We’ve trusted someone we shouldn’t. We’ve made a bad decision, but instead of continuing down the wrong path we need to correct it. We will make mistakes, they are usually not fatal. We can adjust, change, acknowledge, regroup, and go forward, stronger, and, smarter.

We will make mistakes; they become part of the tapestry of our lives. If we learned from them they will be something we laugh at. Listening to people who have made mistakes and acknowledge their part in them makes us realize that is where the growth is. It isn’t hoping we’ll never make a mistake or beating our self up when we do, but learning from them that builds a great life.

We need to let go of resentment and self-pity and take responsibility for our lives. When we take responsibility for everything in our life we accept accountability, and we bear the burden of obligation. We can accept we have been hurt, and we have caused hurt. If we forgive ourselves and others for not being perfect, we can go forward, acknowledging our blessings and be better, not bitter.

Anyone can give up; it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would expect you to fall apart. That’s true strength. Chris Bradford

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life Paperback – Dec 23 2003

by Byron Katie (Author), Stephen Mitchell (Author) 4.4 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Every choice we make has consequences. Not choosing is still a choice. Choices create our destiny.

Choices create our destiny. Every choice we make has consequences. Not choosing is still a choice.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. Keri Russell

An early morning walk with a canine friend is one of the great joys of the day.  I was missing out on this because I wasn’t bothering. I wasn’t bothering to get up, and I wasn’t bothering to take the time when I did get up to go for a little walk that starts my whole day better, and my dog’s day better.

We walk past lovely homes, with lovely trees and flowers. The display of lilacs is incredible. One homes Iris’s are so big and beautiful they can hardly stand up. Some homes have no plantings, some are profusely planted, and I wonder what will this look like in ten years?

I’m late this year getting my garden in. I don’t plant much, tomatoes, basil, and parsley. I may pick up some other plants. Roses caught my attention. I had a Bonica rose I loved that died a few years ago. There they were potted roses for $5.99 each. I bought two and then when I figured out where I would plant them I went back and bought the last two Bonica roses. A profusion of roses in my back yard is what I envision later on.

If we wonder if abundance is the expectation we should have for our lives, when we look at nature, it is exuberantly abundant. Nothing in nature grows for itself alone. Everything serves a greater purpose. We need to be careful in our own lives we don’t try and create things for ourselves alone. We all have something to give and when we give it freely someone will be helped, inspired, have something to purchase, eat, look at, read, listen to, or be transported somewhere. All of our gifts, talents, work, industry, ideas, build all that we have.

Money is how we exchange our ideas, goods, creations, and labor. Instead of having to find the farmer that needs our services we can pay him money so he can buy what services he wants. Would we want to have to search for a Doctor that needs the product we produce before we could enlist their services?

When we provide a lot of services to a lot of people we amass a lot of money. If we provide a service to a few people we will have less money. If we can’t figure out how to provide any service to anyone we will have no money.

Life is about choices. Some we regret some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: We are what we chose to be. Graham Brown

When we look at some of the people we think are overpaid like professional athletes. They provide something we are willing to pay for. They provide entertainment, and because that entertainment can be so widely viewed each person paying a little for the entertainment means it is highly remunerated.

Abundance is all around us, we all have the same abundant 24 hours to do with what we please, what is required, and necessary. In those 24 hours, there is some choice, and it is those choices where we develop our lives. Some choose to exercise their bodies, minds, creativity, problem-solving, some choose to be entertained, some choose to build relationships, some choose to have new and different experiences. Is there a right choice, probably not, it’s our life, our choice, but shouldn’t we be happy with the choices we make?

Our life is our choice in many ways; after we do what we need to do to keep body and soul together we have choices in how we spend the rest of our day. Those choices add up, one choice upon another. This is our life, looking back it is the sum of the choices we made, going forward it will be the sum of the choices we make. If we think it doesn’t look exactly how we would like it to look, what different choices do we need to make?

What would we like our life to look like in ten years? We are going there anyway if we are lucky, we can put some time into designing it. If there are things we think, wouldn’t it be nice if we could? Whatever that is, chances are we can bring it into our lives in some way.

Can we become a professional athlete, probably not? Can we find sports to play, and enjoy being part of a team with the thrill of winning and losing, probably? Our life is what we make it; can we bring more of what we love into our lives? Can we live more, laugh more, experience more, dream more, create more, and enjoy more? The choice is ours, and we make these choices every day.

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. Eleanor Roosevelt

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, choices, and love.

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Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom Paperback – Jan 6 1999

by William Glasser M.D. (Author) 4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Setting and meeting our goals. Are we being the best us we can be?

Are we being the best we can be? Setting and meeting our goals.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom. Aristotle

This morning I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I walked my dog at 6:00 am. It’s a lovely morning, the crabapple trees are in full bloom, tulips and other spring bulbs are blooming. We forget what pleasures we forgo by not bothering. A simple morning walk can brighten our day. Reading some inspiring words can give us something to think about.

Sharing a little time with someone can gladden our heart. I like being up in the morning and seeing everyone off as they go to work. These are small little interactions; they may hardly seem worth the bother. This is our life and if we don’t bother enough, the missing interactions in our lives add up. I have heard the door close mornings I’ve come down late. My daughter was already off to work. With a sigh, I went on with my morning. I missed a little conversation, maybe a laugh and a smile. 

We may hardly realize what the people and pets that share our life add to it. It may sometimes seem that the kitchen is always a mess; the shoes are never put away, etc. Living is messy, cooking is messy, and pets are messy. Before our old dog Krypto a Scottish Terrier died at fifteen he had bathroom issues, eye issues, and could hardly walk. He couldn’t go through another hard winter, but the hole he left in our life we feel still.

We have a new dog that has been with us for five years. We love her, she is completely different from him which is what we wanted. We didn’t want to try and replace him with a new him, we knew that would be impossible. They are individuals and we have to appreciate their individuality.

Love and loss are part of life. We enjoy the fleeting moments of joy that come into our life, or we don’t. If we enjoyed them or didn’t enjoy them they are still gone. Was the sunrise spectacular this morning? I don’t know I didn’t look at it. I didn’t see last night’s sunset either. Small little experiences we can have, it costs nothing to enjoy the sunrise and sunset. We are unlikely to encounter such great beauty in the rest of our day.

Be willing to be a beginner every single morning. Meister Eckhart

No one will make us enjoy the sunrise or sunset. That is entirely our own decision. We choose how we see our life, not the circumstances necessarily but our reaction to them. We are as happy as we choose to be. We’ve all met people who seem happier than their circumstances appear to warrant. They aren’t happy because of their circumstances but in spite of them.

My mother often says, “I am as happy as if I’m in my right mind.”  Why do some of us embrace a dour, serious response to life and others a happy upbeat response to it? Is this the nature we were born with? Does it make a difference to our lives, or do we have to embrace who we are and how we see the world and our outlook is not better even if we are happier, we have a happy outlook?

I was watching a monk on a podcast last night being interviewed by a former monk. The monk being interviewed seemed not quite real; I hardly know how to express this. It was like he was self consciously trying to project what we think a monk should be. This same interviewer said on a podcast, “We are not what we think we are, we are not what you think we are, we are what we think you think we are.”

The more we try to be what we think someone else thinks we should be the farther we get from being our “authentic” selves. This may be one of the big problems politicians face as they try to be all things, to all people. We can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but we can’t fool all of the people all of the time. This is why our best bet is to be ourselves and let the chips fall where they may. Those who like us will like us, those who respect us will respect us, those who love us will love us, but most of all we can like and respect ourselves.

If there are things in our life we aren’t fitting in but would like to, decisions have to be made. A book that helps us do this is The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma. He tells us to “Own our morning.” and by doing this we elevate our life.

He tells us to do four things. Get up at 5:00 am, exercise for twenty minutes, write in our journal for twenty minutes, and read or watch something inspirational. By focusing on our own health, well being, and growth we have more to give to others. He tells us it takes 66 days to build this into a habit.

We can’t bring “more” into our life without finding time for it. The idea is the hour between 5:00 and 6:00 can be “our” hour. We have no one expecting anything from us so we can focus on our own growth, dreams, aspirations, health, and luxuriate in having time for ourselves.

If we want to be rich we are told to pay ourselves first. If we want personal growth we need to find that time for ourselves first. There is never money or time left over. If we are going to build our fortune on what is left it won’t be built. If we are going to build our personal growth on time left over there is none of that either.

Are we setting and meeting the goals we want in life?

Every morning we have two choices: continue to sleep and dream or wake up and chase our dreams. The choice is ours… Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, growth, and love.

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The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. Hardcover – Dec 4 2018

by Robin Sharma (Author) 4.0 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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What? What if? What now? Mindfulness reflections.

Mindfulness reflections. What? What if? What now?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future, concentrate on the present moment. Buddha

Being mindful is, “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state or heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences on a moment to moment basis.”

Last night at Toastmasters a powerful speech was given on mindfulness and how being mindful by asking the questions, what? what if?  what now? helped someone put their life and thoughts into perspective and develop a better view of themselves.

One of our biggest problems is we compare the worst of ourselves to the best of others. Of course, we find our self not living up to our own expectations by doing this. We are often kinder to everyone else than we are to our self. We understand they made mistakes, but we can’t forgive our self for our mistakes.

We all make mistakes, we reach for something beyond our grasp, we fail and we grow. Sometimes we only recognize the failure but do not recognize the growth. As Albert Einstein said, “We are all genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” We do this to ourselves; we berate ourselves because we don’t have talents in particular areas while we don’t recognize the talents we do have.

In Louise Hayes’s book You Can Heal Yourself she tells us to tell our self, “I approve of me.” She doesn’t mean we shouldn’t improve; learn from our mistakes, or change attitudes and behaviors that don’t serve us. We are doing the best we can, and when we know better we do better. When we acknowledge we are not perfect, we will never be perfect, but we are enough we can treat ourselves kindly. We can give ourselves the tools, resources, and environment to bloom where we are planted.

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. Thich Nhat Hanh

Each one of us is unique, we all have things about us that are admirable, and we all have things about us not so admirable. We need to accept all of who we are, warts and all. As long as we live we can grow, develop, and learn. If we look at someone else’s life and they have or are doing something we want to have or do, we need to figure out what they’ve done to be who they are and have what they have. Are we willing to do it? Do we want our life of relaxation and time for our family but their money and position because they’ve given up relaxation and time with the family? Have we looked at the price they’ve paid, because there is always a price? If we want what they have, we have to do what they did, but we also have to pay the price they’ve paid.

This may seem daunting but it is also freeing. There is a choice, lives are built, not by happenstance, but by actions, one action built upon another action for good or ill. What we think and do today builds our tomorrow. What we think and did all our yesterdays built our today.

If there are things about our life we would like to change we can make big or large adjustments on how we deal with others, our time, our thoughts, and our actions.

Sometimes we need to take a good long, hard look at our life. We may wish we’d made different decisions but when we look at our life what would we give up for what someone else has? If we have close relationships but not enough money would we trade? If we spent our youth becoming trained in a specific area would we give that up for the person who tripped around the world, would they change places with us?

We spent our life building a family instead of a business; would we trade, would they? We see someone’s fit body but are we willing to go to the gym at six in the morning? Life is about choice. If we want something different we’ll have to do something different. Maybe we can start by asking ourselves the questions. What? What if? What now?

Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more. Mother Teresa

“What day is it?” asked Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, mindfulness, and love.

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There is always something more to learn.

There is always more to learn.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning. Bruce Lee

We don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know what we have to learn, what will jump out at us and force us to learn, or what we may learn when we search for knowledge about something else.

This is part of what makes life exciting. Learning something may set us on a path we didn’t know we were interested in. We may find a new field of study, a new hobby, interest, career, or business. We don’t know where life will take us. When we’ll read something or have a conversation that changes our life.

This week I learned figs are flowers, not fruit. I learned eating goat, sheep cheese, and ghee is often okay for people sensitive to regular dairy. Soaking oatmeal in vinegar makes it easier to digest. Pressure cooking beans and lentils neutralize harmful lectins.

As much as we congratulate ourselves on the modern world we’ve built, we are not as healthy as we used to be. We don’t die because we are gored by a rhino; we die because we are undernourished, overfed, and lonely amid crowds.

People who believe the earth is flat are real, not just jokester’s. It sounds like you would have to be joking to say “the earth is flat”. That all the photos of earth from space are just a hoax, and there’s a rim of ice that keeps the oceans from spilling over.

My parent’s always told me truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.

Lifetime learning provides many benefits. Through lifelong learning, we can improve and develop new skills, gain confidence, fight boredom, and keep our mind and brain healthy. We model positive behavior for our children and grandchildren. We discover new interests, stay healthier, and sleep more soundly.

Too much of our formal learning is focused on giving people credentials instead of knowledge. Learning is fun, but we’ve found ways to take the joy out of it. Why do music lessons suck the joy out of music for our children instead of creating great musicians?  Why are a lot of the people with a real passion for the arts, writing, and music self-taught?

Children do not move, think or speak in a straight line, and neither does imagination nor creativity. But sadly, our standardized pathways of education do. Unknown

There is a place for lessons, but if we missed out on lessons we can still do what we want to do. We can teach our self music, art, writing, sewing, house remodeling, etc. We don’t have to make money from our interests, or maybe we do make money from them. Finding new interests engages our brain, adds excitement to our lives, make us think, dream, and discover new possibilities. We add color, joy, and passion to our life.

I was just reading about a professional musician who no longer loves music. Perhaps a new interest needs to be found; music has become a job and no longer a passion. Most of us need jobs and need to find our passion elsewhere. Learning something new can bring passion back into our lives. We have an idea; we can’t wait to see if it will work.

Life becomes an experiment again. It may be something as simple as seeing if cutting dairy from our diet makes us feel better. How far can we walk today? Who would we meet if we joined a class, group, or club? Where could our lives go if we started learning something new, now? There is always more to learn, we don’t have time to learn it all, but we can die trying. Is it true, the more passion we put into our lives, the more passion we get out?

When I walk along with two others, from at least one I will be able to learn. Confucius

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Albert Einstein

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, learning, and love.

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Micromastery: Learn Small, Learn Fast, and Find the Hidden Path to Happiness Hardcover – Jun 27 2017

4.2 out of 5 stars   4 reviews from Amazon.com |

Reclaiming our health with our choices. No one can make us healthy but our self.

No one can make us healthy but our self. Reclaiming our health with our choices.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Ann Wigmore

My husband asked me, “When are you starting your Plant Paradox Diet”?

“Eating plan”, I corrected him. Monday is the start of the three-day kick start. I will report our progress periodically. If anyone wants to join us, feel free.

Because I’ve been plant-based since September 2015 (mostly vegan) this isn’t so hard for me. I’m bringing some foods back. He offers vegan and vegetarian options and believes too much protein isn’t good for us. I’m not interested in getting back into a meat-heavy diet but small amounts of grass-fed beef, pasture raised chicken (not sure where to source this), omega 3 eggs, wild fish, and seafood coming back into my diet and getting healthier sounds like a win, win to me.

Dr. Gundry is even telling me I can bring some dairy back into my diet. French, Italian, or Swiss cheeses, and also goat, sheep, or water buffalo cheese, and ghee (clarified butter).

I’m being told to peel my potatoes, eat white bread instead of whole grain, pressure cook my beans and lentils, and eat white rice instead of brown.

I’ve been playing around with his program, filling in my food journal and the other day I noted I felt better, and I hadn’t been feeling bad. One of the things I’ve had is an inflamed tonsil and it looked better yesterday. Last night I ate something that didn’t agree with me, so it makes me think he is onto something. We need to listen to our body, but first, we need to get rid of everything that bothers us, get our immune system off high alert, so we can notice when we’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with us.

The basis of good health is always real, nutrition-dense food – all other therapies depend first and foremost on the diet. Sally Fallon Morell

The Plant Paradox isn’t the first book to talk about lectins. I pulled out my books on Eat Right for Your Blood Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. Dr. Gundry and Dr. D’Adamo’s list of lectin foods are very similar. What I like about The Plant Paradox is the connection to our health begins in our gut.

Good oral health and good gut health seems to be where we should put our emphasis. Good oral health isn’t just about going to the Dentist and flossing and brushing regularly although that’s important. Nutrition is the other pillar of good oral health.

When Dr. Weston Price visited peoples with excellent dental health before they adopted a modern diet they didn’t have excellent dental health because of their oral hygiene, but because of their diet. From what I have gleaned Dr. Weston Price’s recommendations and Dr. Gundry’s recommendations are similar.

Dr. Gundry is recommending we look at traditional diets and find what worked. Why are seeds and skin not included in Italian tomato sauce? Why was white rice the staple of millions instead of brown rice? Why was bread made with sourdough? Why was white bread the staple over brown?

We in our hubris often think traditional societies didn’t know anything. “That’s an old wives tale,” we’ll say about a traditional way of doing things. We are trying to relearn what societies learned over thousands of years. Do we really think health wasn’t important to our ancestors? Can we reclaim our health through better choices?

The problem is not so simple as merely cutting down or eliminating sugars and white flour though this is exceedingly important. It is also necessary that adequate mineral and vitamin carrying foods be made available. Dr. Weston A. Price

People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food. Wendell Berry

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Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine: Improving Health and Longevity with Native Nutrition Paperback – Apr 1 1997

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Primal Nutrition: Paleolithic and Ancestral Diets for Optimal Health
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We are enough. Marriage is worth it. Build a life you love.

Build a life you love. Marriage is worth it. We are enough.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A healthy relationship with yourself sets the standard for a relationship with someone else. Renee Slansky

Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook by a woman I grew up with. Her post is about self-love, we make mistakes, we don’t always say, nor do the right things. We trust the wrong people; we give people chances and second chances they don’t deserve. All our failures, missteps, disappointments, joys, missed opportunities, and chances we’ve taken have made us into who we are. We are good enough, we are worthy of love, from our self and others.

If we are lucky enough to have a partner who is great but not perfect we need to love them and appreciate them.

I’m hearing some young men say they don’t know why they should get married. My advice is, get married if you want to experience the depth and breadth of life. Get married if you want someone to share a life with who has your back, shares your dreams, and wants to build a life with you. Get married if you’d like to create a family and have the joy of bringing a new baby home, seeing them walk for the first time, say their first words which are usually Dada. If you want to feel you’ve done something really special create a new person with someone you love.

There is nothing in life that will give you more joy than your family. You will never feel as vulnerable as knowing everything you love could be taken away in an instant by death, or divorce. We are stronger than our fears; many of the things we fear never come to pass. We must go after what we want and face failure in all areas of our lives to achieve success. We can get through the tough times whatever they may be with strength and perseverance. Sometimes we have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

There are no guarantees in this world. Loving someone is not a guarantee of never being sad, hurt, lonely, betrayed (or feeling betrayed even if the thought is only in our own mind).

If you want to feel empty, lonely like you don’t matter, that you don’t make a difference then stay single and don’t become a father. Because then you really don’t matter in the scheme of things. It is only through connection with others that we really matter.

You don’t marry because the partner you’ve found is so special you are guaranteed she will never leave you. Even in the bible Genesis 2:18 it says, “If a man is worthy, the woman will be a helper, if he is unworthy, she will be against him”.

This would put a man’s behavior and attitude squarely as being very important and if he wants a wife that loves and supports him, he has to be a man worthy of that love, respect, and support. As Dr. Phil says, “we don’t demand respect, we command respect.” When we command respect people respect us of their own volition, it is not forced, it is not, “You will respect me or else”?

The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest. Unknown

My son said to me, “women are initiating most of the divorces”. It seems to be true, and when you look at that bible verse doesn’t it make sense?

If a young man or even an older man wants a wife. He has to step up and be worthy of his wife’s love and support. Maybe women are leaving men too quickly, but maybe men aren’t stepping up and being the husbands they are supposed to be. We can have no divorce when women have no choice. We have choices, and some people feel if women didn’t have so much choice, it would be better. I am not someone who believes it is better when women have no choice.

We need to make our marriages better, so both parties want to stay and build a life. We look at marriages from the outside and we can’t see how some marriages stay together that look like train wrecks, and other marriages that look so nice and seem to do so well end in divorce.

No one knows the intimate details of someone else’s marriage. One of the mistakes we probably make is thinking “Love is enough”. Love is just the starting point. Another mistake we make is thinking, “If he or she loves me they would know what I want, need, mean”. Good communication is one of the most important things in all relationships, especially marriage.

Who we marry is one of the most, if not the most important decision we make. Not making that decision may be the biggest mistake of our life. There comes a point when we have to take the chance on someone to build the life we want. We always have to risk failure to risk success.

In marriage do thou be wise: prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body; then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self. William Penn

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Healthy gut, healthy body. We build our health with our spoon and fork. We are what we eat.

We are what we eat. We build our health with our spoon and fork. Healthy gut, healthy body.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A healthy gut is a happy brain. Did you know? 90% of serotonin (mood stabilizer) is made in your digestive tract. Unknown

How many of us think we are just the way we are, in control of our thoughts, cravings, what we eat, and when? Our body is just the way it is because of genes, and getting older has to come with aches, pains, and disease. What if a lot of what we think isn’t true? According to Dr. Steven R. Gundry author of The Plant Paradox, we are a condominium for all the bacteria that resides within us. These bacteria can live in harmony or it can be like the Wild West in our gut.

Dr. Gundry’s analogy is we are at the lake singing camp-fire-songs. All is right in our world and our condominium until the gang members move in. Our immune system is now on alert, the trouble is it gets on such high alert that it attacks everything, even our own healthy tissue. This causes inflammation, which causes a lot of pain and suffering.

It is the gut bacteria we feed that multiply and they don’t all eat the same things. We need to be careful about our food selection so the gut bacteria that keep us healthy are the ones we feed. He also says that the right gut bacteria can renovate our body and promote health.

Some people have such serious illness that in order for them to recover a fecal transfer from a healthy person is required. This person is usually a family member. In one of his talks on YouTube, he talked about a woman with a serious infection that was given a fecal transfer from a family member. She was a runner. Within one year not only did she recover but she gained thirty pounds. The family member she got the fecal transfer from was thirty pounds overweight. The gut bacteria she received called out to be fed and by feeding them she gained thirty pounds.

Quite literally, your gut is the epicenter of your mental and physical health. If you want better immunity, efficient digestion, improved clarity and balance, focus on rebuilding your gut health. Kris Carr

Plants make us healthy, but plants also have developed ways to protect themselves. They don’t want to be eaten; they developed lectins that affect us and other animals. These lectins cause a lot of problems for many of us. He believes that with the high fiber movement we quit preparing foods the way our ancestors had developed to deal with the lectins. The lectins are found primarily in the husks, peel, and seeds of plants. When we eat white rice, white flour, peel our tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes, etc we remove some or most of the lectins. Pressure cooking is another way to deactivate lectins in food.

My daughter came across Dr. Gundry on YouTube and leaky gut is something I am familiar with. When I went plant-based following Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution I believe my health improved and I lost weight over three years. My health still isn’t quite what I think it should be. Dr. Gundry says he thought he was doing everything right, hardly ate junk food, jogged, lifted weights, but was still overweight. He lost seventy pounds following his program and gave up his heart surgery practice because he believes he can do more good promoting health through nutrition, than trying to fix people through surgery.

I picked up his book last night and will implement many of his suggestions. If it is any consolation knowing we will have to give up foods we love he does recommend, chocolate, berries, nuts (not peanuts which are legumes), olive oil, avocadoes, goat, sheep, and water buffalo cheese. He also recommends ghee (clarified butter), which I have never bought but it will be on my shopping list today.

We are what we eat, and who we feed in our condominium. I’d rather sing campfire songs than have warfare in my gut. Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” We are all our own experiment when it comes to food and creating better health for ourselves. Can this be the tweak to create our healthiest self, for our best life?

What we’ve come to understand is that the set point, the balance point of inflammation in the body is really dictated by one fundamental issue, and that is the permeability of the leakiness of the gut lining. David Perlmutter MD

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Surrendering to “what is”. Living in “the Now”.

Living in "the Now". Surrendering to "what is".

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply. Thich Nhat Hanh

In Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now he talks about “mind energy and “spiritual energy”. He says there is a gap between the demands or rigid expectations of our mind and “what is”.

Things go wrong quite often in our lives, the world, and life in general. It is our expectation that things should be different than what is, that causes our problems. We don’t want to accept that the situation is, what it is. We waste energy wishing, hoping, lamenting. He says if we can surrender to, which means yield to rather than, opposing the flow of life.

This does not mean we cannot change things. Surrender is not resignation.  Surrender means there is no judgment of the now, it just is. Therefore there is no resistance, no emotional negativity. After we accept what is, without negativity we can take positive action to do everything we can to get on with our life.

The example he gives is if we are stuck in the mud, it just is. If we get angry and rant and rave we expend more energy getting less done than if we surrender to the situation and accept that “it is” without putting a negative spin on it. Then we do what we can to get out of the mud.

When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle. Osho

Resistance is futile. Resistance hardens us. We begin to look at the world and people in general as threatening. The unconscious compulsion to destroy others through judgment arises; our interpretations and perceptions are governed by fear.  Our attitudes and our body become rigid. The free flow of energy through our body becomes restricted. He believes we access our spirit through surrender.

We think surrender is defeat. In the surrendered state we have access to a new state of energy. Through non-resistance, the quality of our consciousness and therefore the quality of everything we are doing is enhanced. According to Mr. Tolle, this is why Jesus said, “Look at the lilies, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin.”

According to Mr. Tolle we are to look at each situation we are in and if it is unsatisfactory or unpleasant ask our self, “Is there anything we can do to change the situation, improve it, or remove our self from it?” If so, we are to take appropriate action. Focusing not on the hundred things that could be done, but on the one thing we can do now. We are to be careful we don’t put our energy into running mental movies of what can be, and lose “the now”. He believes it is through surrender that spiritual energy comes into our world.

When we surrender either our conditions change or they don’t. If they change when we surrender they often change faster than when we resist the reality of life. If circumstances don’t change, our acceptance of “the Now” allows us to rise above them. Either way, we are free.

This is not new, nor is it easy. This is according to Mr. Tolle exactly what Jesus was preaching. This is also what Byron Katie is talking about in her books.

Eckhart Tolle’s ideas are not new. Some people believe that Eckhart Tolle is not compatible with Christian thinking.  He is not asking us to believe anything; he is asking us to try something. As Mark 9:38 says, “Whoever is not against us is for us.”

It may not be easy to surrender to “what is”, learning to live in “the Now” may be the best thing we can do. Can this be one of the changes we need to make in our life?

The meeting of two eternities, the past and future…is precisely the present moment. Henry David Thoreau

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