Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Paying Attention

by Maggie Sefton

I'm using my post today to second fellow Cozy Chick Kate's post on nutrition last week.  We all need to pay attention to the food we're buying, whether it be from a large local supermarket chain or an independent grocer or a neighborhood coop.  We have to read labels, check stickers on produce, and ask questions.  Over the past several years, changes have occurred in the planting, growing, and harvesting of our food supply.  Whether it's growing in the ground, growing on a tree or bush, or walking about on two or four feet---changes have happened.  LOTS of changes.  And we all have to pay attention.

The biggest changes have occurred in the production of grains---wheat, soy, and corn, particularly.  If your daily diet includes these grains, I urge you---all of you---to educate yourselves on the genetically modified grains that have moved into our food supply and into our grocers and supermarkets and ultimately---into our bodies.   If you are a vegan or vegetarian, it is IMPERATIVE that you learn how our nation's food supply has changed over these last few years---often without our even being aware.

I don't mean to sound alarmist, but this is a very important subject.  Please run some Google searches on GMNO and genetically modified foods.  Read the information yourself.  There's a lot of it, because it is a very serious subject---and it affects us all.  If we consume food, we're affected.  If you want to see a very well-done PBS documentary on the subject, you can check your TV lists or call your local PBS station and ask when they will be showing the documentary---"Seeds of Death."   I promise you, listening to the various scientists discuss this subject will hold your attention.  I know it did mine.

Over the last few years, I had already eliminated some of these troublesome foods from my daily diet.  But this past summer, I eliminated all seven.  And I was amazed at the difference those changes brought forth.  I started losing weight more easily.  There were those stubborn eight to ten pounds (vanity pounds) I wanted gone.  Even with my daily cardio exercise, those pounds didn't want to leave----until I dropped those seven foods.  Pounds started to come off the first week, and the next, and the next, until I finally got back down to college weight.  No kidding.  I saw numbers on the scale  I hadn't seen in thirty years.

What were the foods I eliminated?

1---Wheat/ Gluten.   This isn't as hard as it sounds because so many people have Gluten-intolerance, food companies have responded with several types of Gluten-free breads that taste good.  Honest;  2---Soy;   3---Corn;  4---Sugar, sucrose, and artificial sweeteners except Stevia.   I know----this is a biggie and it's hard to avoid.  That's why we all have to READ LABELS;  5---Dairy products;   6---Eggs;     7---Peanuts.

Believe it or not, eliminating these foods is easier than you think.  I kicked cow milk 7 years ago and went to soy milk, and 5 years ago I switched to coconut milk and almond milk.  Once I tasted those two, I never looked back.  And lots of "boutique" coffee shops offer almond & coconut milk for lattes.  Yay!  After dropping the foods and seeing success, you can experiment by re-introducing one of the seven back into your daily diet.  Watch what happens.  Your body will always tell you.  My body gave me a strong signal three years ago that the meatless substitutes that I'd adopted were not good for me.  My cast iron gastrointestinal (GI) system which NEVER reacted to foods---no heartburn, acid indigestion, reflux ever---let me know loud and clear that it did not tolerate the meatless substitutes.  My cast iron GI system kept up its warnings until I finally eliminated all meatless substitutes and returned to meat, poultry, & fish.  The return to GI normalcy was immediate.  Clearly, my body did not tolerate those foods.  That was 3 years ago before we knew how our food supply was being affected by GMNOs.  Now. . .I realize my body was obviously reacting to those altered products that were used to make the meatless substitutes.

This summer, I've also made changes to my protein sources.  I buy grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken, and wild-caught fish.  I also eat a TON of leafy green veggies, even more than usual, wonderful olive and sesame oils, and all kinds of nuts.  Three times a day I have nuts for a snack.  They contain healthy oils and are an excellent protein source.

You don't have to take my word for it.  Educate yourself and make up your own mind.   Good health is worth the effort.