Why Being Healthy Is Overrated

Maybe it’s always been this way.  Maybe we’ve always been told that everything was going to kill us.  Does any of this sound familiar?

“Never eat any animal products! They are poison and will give you cancer. It has been proven that everyone throughout all history who ate animal products got cancer.”

“Only eat meat, but not cheese or butter, nuts but not beans or legumes, vegetables but not fruit-because that is what the cavemen ate and so that’s what we should eat.”

“Never eat any grains!”

“Never eat grains unless they’ve been soaked, sprouted, fermented AND blessed by a Rabbi.”

“Sickness and disease are only healed on a raw food diet.”

“Sickness and disease are only prevented and healed on a traditional diet.”

“Sickness and disease are only healed if you avoid dairy.”

“You should eat and drink raw dairy and only raw dairy all day long!”

“Everything has GMOs and it will all kill you.”

“GMOs are no big deal and everything has them in it anyway so it’s impossible to avoid them.”

                                                                                                                        – excerpt from my soon coming e-book…

Do you feel better yet? Do you know which way to go?

Are you now clear on how to improve your health or are you more confused than ever?

You’re not alone.  I get it. I do. This definition of being healthy is over-rated.

It seems like nothing you do will ever be enough.

And if you are following most of the health world… you’re right. That’s pretty much the sentiment out there these days. Not to mention the rules change every other year just to keep you on your toes.

You try to make some changes and get processed foods out of your diet, so you start buying whole grains, and organic too.

Pretty soon you read a few more books (or blog posts) and realize that you can’t eat those whole grains unless they’ve been properly soaked for easy digestion.

So you start soaking. You start sprouting. You think you’re doing really good.

Enter a new book (or blog) and you now find out that you can’t eat grains at all! Who knew?!

Now you have to try to rework everything and omit all grains because… well because you really WANT to be healthy.

You really don’t want to get cancer, and you really don’t want your kid to grow a third arm either.

You really want to be a good steward, of yourself and of the earth.

You really, really do. I know you do.

But it seems like no matter how much you change, no matter how many foods you stop eating and how many weird concoctions you start taking, it seems like you’ll never be healthy enough.

So I have this revolutionary idea that I hope might help you.

Stop caring if your healthy…wait for it… to other people’s standards.  Now, granted, if you are under a doctor’s care and you have a serious ailment of some kind and have to be on a restrictive diet, you should do that. You should follow their advice. I will pray for you.

However, if you are just a normal person like me trying to keep your family healthy, then lets just all take a breath.

You need to find what works for you. You need to find something that can be maintained for a LIFETIME.

You don’t need a diet that is so extreme that you can only maintain it for a little while.

While I will often share tidbits and advice on things that I’ve learned along the way, please don’t ever grab a hold of something I say if it’s going to add stress to your life!  Just because I choose to do something for my family does not mean you have to do the same or feel condemned if you don’t.

So just take a breath. You shouldn’t care if you’re healthy to any standards but your own.

For example, let’s talk about vegetarianism. Many people feel really good on a vegetarian diet. They feel full of energy, healthy, clean, happy. They feel so good they now think that everyone would like to feel as good as they do and everyone should eat as they do. Why not, right? It’s so healthy.

But guess what? Some of us feel absolutely sick on that kind of diet. (some of us being me) I was a vegetarian for 4 years in my late teens and early 20’s. It did not suit me, I was NOT made to eat that way.

You know what makes me feel real good? It’s shocking… you’ll be shocked I promise.

Red meat. The more grass fed red meat I incorporate into my diet, the better I feel. I’m not kidding. I have seen my body completely balance out by increasing red meat alone. Now, I do choose organic grass-fed meat as often as is possible and I notice a huge difference when I eat this meat, but that’s just the choice I make.

I listen to my body. I pay attention to how I feel. I take bits and pieces from all over the place and add it all together to make what works for me. The point is we need to be intuitive eaters.

You can do the same. You really can. You don’t need to be in bondage to anyone’s standards. You really don’t.

You know the basics of what’s healthy. You know vegetables in large quantities are good for you. You know that a whole foods diet is healthier than junk food. I mean, c’mon, we’re all adults here. This is kind of common sense.

You know that cooking your food at home is healthier than eating McDonald’s. I know you do, ’cause your smart.

You’ve got this.

I know you can make good choices that work for you without losing your mind.

You shouldn’t worry about being “healthy” for anyone else, just aim for healthy enough for you.

If soaking, sprouting, and having your food blessed by a Rabbi makes you happy by all means do it!

If you feel the best you’ve ever felt on an all vegan diet, then go for it, vegan-it up baby!

I’m just saying, it’s gotten out of hand and too hard for too many. If you’ve felt like it’s been too hard to be healthy, you’re not alone.

Again, I will point out that those dealing with debilitating disease who have to change their diet are in a completely different boat. You have a much more difficult road ahead of you, but it is not impossible either.

I remember talking with another mom many years ago. She had 9 kids and cooked everything from scratch at one point. I asked her how she was able to feed everyone organically, you know, financially speaking. She told me a pretty interesting story.

Her grandmother lived on a farm. She smoked cigarettes every day. She ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, every single day. She ate junk food. She lived until her late nineties and she was as strong as an ox until the day she died. She was with it, together, no sickness, no disease.

Go figure.

And here we are stressing about every morsel of food that goes into our mouths. Did you see that key word there, stress. Stress and worry can do more damage to your health than almost anything else. You have to stop stressing and worrying about everything!

So this mom told me that if her grandmother could do all that and still be healthy, than she would PRAY and thank God for the food that she was able to acquire for her family and she would do the best she could to make good choices, but she could not go “all organic”. It just wasn’t possible.

It is my sincerest desire to never make health seem unattainable for you. I may say some crazy things (hey, it’s possible) or highlight some new ways to eat. But I never, ever want to add stress to your life. I only want to help, I only want to pass on information that has helped us in our journey. Many will probably take this post the wrong way and think I’m discouraging people from eating REAL organic food, but that’s not the truth.  The truth is you have to do the best you can with what you’ve got and you have to take baby steps.

We KNOW that there are far more toxins in our world now than there were 100 years ago, and we ought to take steps to try to lessen them in our lives. BUT, we can’t do this if we are bogged down with stress, worry, and fear and in all honesty we can’t control the outcome of our lives anyway. No one can. Move step by step. Do what is manageable for you and your family. Most importantly, LIVE life to the fullest!

I’m sure you’ve seen that graphic going around the web that says “Think organic food is expensive? Have you priced cancer lately?” Seriously, this is one of the most disturbing things I see posted. Is this trying to make the point that those who are not able to buy all organic food are going to get cancer? Where is the hope in that?! What is the guarantee that they won’t if they do eat all organic? What is the answer if you just don’t have the money for organic food all the time?

There are many, many people in this nation (let alone the world) for whom it is not possible to have an all organic diet. There are people who are just happy to have food, any food. To me, statements or blog posts that insinuate that if you can’t eat all organic you shouldn’t even try, are defeating and hopeless. This offers no answers for the normal joe American or for the poor. This condemns them and gives no hope.

On the flip side, equally as disturbing are the posts about how anyone with a low-income cannot eat good, healthy food. I realize that there are some extreme circumstances for which this really is a possibility (like not having a home or kitchen etc.), but for the majority of people, even those living on a small income, it can be possible to buy vegetables if they wanted to.

What if instead of throwing these hopeless statements around, we did something to change it?  What if we tried to help people learn how to shop for whole foods on less money?  What if we taught people how to cook for themselves? What if we sought out our grocery stores or restaurants and arranged for them to donate fresh produce that they can’t sell instead of throwing it away?

What if we DID SOMETHING? What if we tried to see what was possible and how we could contribute?

What if?

An organic diet is not going to save you, nor is a non organic diet going to condemn you to cancer. Of course we know organic is better for you but what if it’s just not possible?

We have to get a grip and stop making “being healthy” so hard for so many. We’ve got to let people know that every little bit counts, every inch in the right direction is better than none at all. Whole foods, whether organic or not are going in the right direction away from processed foods. It’s that simple.

What do you think about this? Have you ever felt like you could never be healthy enough? Do you have any stories or insights to share on this? Did I ruffle your feathers?  Let me know, leave a comment here, let’s dialogue on this point. I really want to know what you’re thinking.

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