Nutrition Month, 2017

As well as March being Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month, it is also Nutrition Month, so I’m going to switch it up a bit, and talk about how nutrition can help your autoimmune disease.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I have struggled with autoimmune diseases for my entire life, but then when I discovered that I have celiac disease, everything started falling into place. You also know that I’m no spring chicken, I’ll be 50 years old this year, so I’ve been at this “life thing” for nearly half a century. I’ve been at this autoimmune thing since 2006 when I was diagnosed with Grave’s disease, and my “official” celiac diagnosis was in December 2009, though I had discovered it on my own near the end of 2008. 

Autoimmune disease is frustrating, it’s painful, it can be isolating, you can feel like nobody understands what you’re going through, and often even doctors can make you feel even worse about your diagnosis and prognosis, because they don’t give you the information you need. Doctors go to medical school to learn medicine. They are taught that the only treatment for disease is medicines, which are often times harsh chemical compounds that can cause more problems than the disease they’re treating. With most autoimmune diseases, they offer immunosuppressive drugs that shut down your immune system. Not only does this stop the progression of your autoimmune disease, but it also shuts down your body’s defences that are there to help you fight off all infections and even cancers. So much for the Hippocratic oath “do no harm”!

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said “let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food”. I want to have that tattooed on my arm. Hippocrates also said “all disease starts in the gut”. And yet, medical schools do not teach anything about nutrition, and there are very few conventional doctors who will not scoff at you if you go in and say “I think I have leaky gut”. Most will just tell you to stay off Google and maybe give you a prescription for an antacid, or tell you to eat more fiber.

How is it that the father of modern medicine, just a little over 2000 years ago, *knew* that all disease begins in the gut, and that food is medicine, and doctors today scoff at the idea? The Hippocratic oath is directly from Hippocrates, and yet, by *not* understanding the importance of diet, doctors *are* causing harm in their patients.

Let’s take a quick look at the history of manufactured foods. Up until the early 1800s, everything everybody ate was a whole, natural food, that they either farmed themselves for foraged. In 1812 the canning process, using metal cans, was invented. The can opener strangely wasn’t invented for another 40 years! How the f#@% did they get them open?! Then in 1912, Crisco was released in stores to unsuspecting consumers. Crisco is the first trans-fat, and it was known about 50 years later that trans-fats are unhealthy for human consumption. It took another 50+ years for governments to catch up and start to tell people they should limit their intake of hydrogenated oils, and yet they still persist in manufactured convenience foods. So, 100 years later, and they’re still using disease inducing hydrogenated trans-fats in your foods.

In the 1950s TV dinners were invented, and there starts the multi-generational decent to modern chronic disease. My own mother was born in 1947, I was born in 1967. GMOs were first released in 1996. When I was a kid, while there was ample use of pesticides and herbicides on our food, we did not have GMOs (foods that have non-food DNA in them). My sister’s children have lived their entire lives, and their bodies know nothing but GMOs. My nephew and niece’s generation is the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents! Why do you think that is? Not only do all the foods they’re eating contain GMOs, but the majority of the foods they eat are manufactured. In North America, fully 90% of the “standard American diet” is manufactured. Do the math. Only 5% of foods that the majority of people put in their mouths is not manufactured. That works out to be that one leaf of lettuce and the slice of tomato on your restaurant hamburger, the only things keeping you from having a fully 100% manufactured diet.

People often look at me like I’m starkers when I say that their food isn’t “real”. They’re sitting there eating a microwaved “healthy dinner” that is low calorie, low fat, formed meat like products. The package makes it look so appealing, and it may even have a couple of green beans in it! But when you read the ingredients list you see this:

cooked chicken tenderloins (chicken tenderloins, high fructose corn syrup, water, corn oil, modified cornstarch, lemon juice concentrate, sodium phosphates, salt, caramel color, potassium chloride, garlic, onion, paprika, spice), water, blanched enriched long grain parboiled rice (water, rice, iron, niacin, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid), green beans, wheat berries, cashews (cashews, partially hydrogenated soybean oil), 2% or less of modified cornstarch, sugar, chicken broth, vegetable base (sauteed vegetables [carrots, onions, celery], sugar, maltodextrin, canola oil, cornstarch, water, natural flavors, concentrated carrot juice, carrot extract), sea salt, cultured whey, chicken fat, caramel color, parsley, lemon blend (lemon peel, sugar, lemon oil), lemon juice concentrate, spices, dehydrated onions, dehydrated garlic

There are 14 ingredients just in the “cooked chicken tenderloins” alone! 14! And then the rice has 5 added “nutrients” because they’ve gone and removed the nutritious part of it, the outside layer of bran. Our bodies do not know what to do with the synthetic vitamins they use to “enriched” grains, had they just left the natural vitamins intact in the bran, they wouldn’t have to “enrich” them. Folic acid is potentially toxic, and is *not* a good substitute for true folate (vitamin B9). Are you a synthetic person? No? You’re not a cylon? So why do you eat synthetic foods? And of course, there’s the ubiquitous partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and 18 or so more corn ingredients for some unfathomable reason.

BAH!

How is this “healthy”? Newsflash! It’s NOT! Never has been, never will be! How about instead of this you go to the grocery store and buy some actual chicken pieces, breast, thighs, wings, or heck, even a whole damn chicken, cook that in the oven and pile in some vegetables with it, and have that for lunch? That way you’ve got *real* food, with *real* ingredients that were NOT made in a lab. If you’re stuck on frozen dinners, you can by all means package it up and stick it in the freezer for later use. But please use a glass re-usable container to microwave your meals, not plastic!

It’s not about how many calories you eat, it’s all about the QUALITY of the calories. You can stick to a 2000 calorie per day diet, but if all you eat is a Snickers bar for breakfast (488 calories), a Big Mac combo meal for lunch (1340 calories) , then you’re stuck with only 172 calories left available for dinner, so what do you do? Well of course you go over your 2000 calorie allotment, and then spend 2 hours on the treadmill at the gym to make up for it.

BAH!

Nope, it doesn’t work that way, sorry! What’s the definition of insanity? SO WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING IT?

How about instead of wasting 2 hours of your day on the treadmill, spend it preparing some real food, so then you don’t have to resort to the packaged convenience foods and drive thru dining? Doesn’t that make more sense?

80% of your body composition is directly related to the food you put in your gob. If you don’t like your body composition, you can do something about it. YOU make the decision about what you put in your mouth. Unless you’ve been kidnapped and you’re tied up in someone’s basement and they’re only feeding you peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Wonderbread. Then you don’t have much choice. Personally, I would just go on a hunger strike.

For 2 million years before the advent of farming, humans subsisted on REAL foods. It’s only just in the last 2 hundred years that we’ve gone completely nutz and decided that all of that real food is the stuff that is unhealthy (and yet it worked perfectly fine for 2 MILLION YEARS!) and now we have to manufacture everything and “fortify” it all with synthetic vitamins to ensure everybody gets their RDA.

BAH!

The tide is starting to change, but way too slowly. More and more of us are realizing that the foods we grew up on is what made us sick. Sure, it all tastes good, but we’re starving! We’re overfed, and undernourished. We’re eating way more than the daily recommended 2000 calories per day, but we’re still nutrient deficient. Go ahead, go ask your doctor to test your blood and see where your nutrient levels are. Chances are you’re low to deficient in pretty much everything. So, what would that tell you? How do we get vitamins into our body? With food, right? So how is it that doctors don’t think that food has anything to do with chronic disease and our overall health? Would you rather take a handful of synthetic vitamin tablets every day, just to get your RDA, or would you rather eat real, healthy, nutrient dense foods that taste good and make you feel better, and can maybe even reverse your chronic disease?

Hmmmm?

I know it’s frustrating. I know it’s confusing. I know it’s maddening! Believe me, I’ve been at this a number of years already, and I’m still learning. But I can help you sort it all out, I can help you learn what is right for your body, and help you make easy lifestyle and diet tweaks to take your life back from your autoimmune disease. You don’t have to spend the next 9 years like I have done learning about all of this. We can work together, and I can brain dump all of my information to you, in just a few short months! I offer 3 month programs, and 6 month programs, and heck, even my 5-Day Diet Detox will have you feeling better than anything your doctor will suggest! Send me an email rebecca@rebaweber.ca or fill out the Contact form on my website to set up a FREE one-hour health consult.

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