What Your Not Being Told About Your Food

If you want to be strong, healthy and live long, it’s a must to include fruits and vegetables in your diet every single day. Right? What if I told you that right now, today, eating carrots were almost useless and potatoes were nearly pure starches? Sound too off to be true? Read on to understand and to learn the Dark Secret.

While that’s not exactly the case, were not too far off. What do I mean? Decade after decade, agriculture has become its own tech sector, so to speak. Before GMO’s it was cross-breeding, etc. Now we’re not just splicing branches were also splicing Gene’s. Big Ag. Has taken a “bigger, faster, stronger” stance on growing.

It doesn’t seem too bad. Growing population, it’s a good thing we are all eating more greens and fruits. Except while they are modifying them to be more disease-resistant or to grow faster or produce more, that is all they are doing, creating nonviable foods while neglecting to enhance the ability to uptake nutrients from the soil. To that end, the soil itself has become all but barren. With crops designed to withstand climates and pests, all fertilization is done solely for the plant to get bigger much faster but lacks scope for what we should be getting from it. If you do any backyard gardening you know that you don’t feed the plant, you feed the soil.

Why doesn’t direct fertilization work for what we need from the food? It lacks time. It is equivalent to force-feeding livestock. Yes, you get bigger animals for the market, but they are inferior to those raised in open areas, left to forage more closely to what is natural. Yes, it does give it nutrients to grow but only the bare minimum. To top it off most fruit is picked for shelf life not when it’s ripeness when it contains more bioflavonoids, antioxidants, and minerals. That critical error on our part takes away from the whole health spectrum. If they picked it when it was ripe, it would spoil as it got to the stores and would be rejected. As someone who had worked hands-on with commercial produce for nearly 15 years, I can attest to the decline in quality as well as the bland nature of store-bought products. I can also tell you that the average American doesn’t know how to properly pick produce. Most of us have been trained to operate by sight, only going for what is visually “appealing” as opposed to what is superior or what is in season.

Based on a poll, appearance ranks #1 while nutritional value comes in at #6.

In addition to these, there are several other factors and one really dark one. Firstly, Lack of crop rotation and not letting the land rest. By not rotating crops and continuing to grow season after season it strips the ground. Now we’re relying on external factors to grow a crop rather than the best and most beneficial. Secondly, the use of pesticides, poisoning our foods, water, and land. Fun fact, it takes, after one spraying, 4-5 years for microbes to break down pesticides. Multiply that by decades. It would take in the hundreds of years for it to be worked out of our soils if we stopped using them today.

The Dark Secret: The U.S. currently uses pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides that most other countries outlaw. We also use them for other things besides repelling pests. Wheat growers for example, when the crop is mature would normally have to cut the crop and let it dry before further processing, but did you know that instead, they spray it with glyphosate-based weed killer like roundup to speed up the process? That “whole wheat” cereal is drenched in it. Most commercial manufacturers to meet the demand of the market use these and other methods. They have you believe that it’s safe when the World Health Organization has listed it as a known carcinogen.

Going down the rabbit hole a bit further, aside from the depletion of minerals from foods, there is also an excessive amount of food being overproduced. Most turned into ingredients like corn syrup along with other by-products used to fatten and sweeten up foods and drinks to make them more addictive. This has lead to an obesity epidemic. Now instead of eating for survival and health, we are eating Big Ag’s depleted foods only to come up empty and then have to rely on Big Pharma to fill in the gaps. Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Aside from eating too many overly processed foods which are cheaper to manufacture since they are mostly artificial and real foods are void of the materials our bodies need to heal and be happy, many end up on medications to combat conditions that are either caused by these things or could have been prevented simply by having access to and eating whole foods instead of garbage. I have several other articles about this subject so we won’t bog this one down with all the details.

Claims like these are becoming more common

Food is your best medicine. Truth is, loose oversights, lack of morals, and profit-driven businesses have started us down a road that will leave us has empty and frail as the food we are talking about. It’s no wonder that in 2018 alone, the vitamin and supplement industry took home 31 billion, with it set to do nearly 1 billion more in 2019. If you’re still getting your nutrition in a bottle, it’s time for a change.

A few modest steps to take to make that change a reality:

● Grow your own food. It sounds simple and seems complex. It’s actually very basic. With so many forums and videos, it’s pert near impossible to mess up. TIP: Start by growing the vegetable you and/or your family eats the most then expand.

● Grow Organic, Buy Organic. While there are regulations in the pipeline that are seeking to change the industry, especially with some of the biggest pesticide consuming companies buying up organic labels, organic regulations limit the use of chemicals, synthetic or otherwise, so they have to treat the soil and plants more naturally, giving them a nutritional edge. TIP: when buying plants and seeds, look for Organic, Non-GMO seeds and plants. Organic without the Non-GMO isn’t great. Organic garbage is still garbage.

● Ugly food is good food. When buying your produce, don’t just go for the “freshest” or best looking. The ugly ones tend to be riper and riper foods have more nutritional value to them as opposed to their nicer looking counterparts. A great example is bananas: a ripe banana, one that has spots, is better than one that still has green in it. A ripe banana not only has more of the potassium you need (great for the heart, muscles and nutrient distribution) but is also has Anti-Cancer and Anti-Tumor properties. More people opt out of ripe bananas because their “texture people” or “it has too much sugar” but the fiber negates most of the sugars and the unripened version is mostly starches.

● Eat seasonally. By eating what is in season you have a better chance of getting healthier foods. When you eat what’s not in season, either frozen or produces elsewhere, your likely dealing with a hybrid variety and a lot of additives. Plus, if your interested in reducing your carbon footprint, eating what’s in season reduces storage and energy usage from manufacturing processes since seasonal item goes from farm to store.

● If you can’t buy everything organic, aim for root vegetables. They absorb more chemicals than the surface-dwelling veggies. Also, check out EWG’s shopper’s guide for a more in-depth look into how to shop clean.

Aside from those, using organic activated charcoal, spirulina, and chlorella regularly to absorb and mitigate the effects of toxins can help. In the near future, I will talk about detoxing from chemicals and heavy metals, who’s it for and if you should even be doing it. In this day and age avoiding processed and contaminated foods is nearly impossible. Do your best, make it a point and don’t stress too much about it. It would seem pretty fruitless to overstress about your foods killing you all the while the stress is hurting you more.

Thanks for reading. Comments and suggestions are welcomed. Anything you would like to see, please leave it in the comments.

7 Ways To Lose Money On Your Health & Fitness?

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

Colin Powell

You’ve finally decided. You’re going to take your health and fitness seriously, or maybe you’re already on that road. Good for you. Except along the way you’ll see that there are money pits and cleverly disguised scams to take you for every cent you have with nicely packaged slogans. After years of experience, I’m here to steer you right and help you avoid sinking your hard-earned dollars in unnecessary ways and who they are really right for. Let’s jump right in.

1) Protein Powders. Let’s start with the obvious. Everyone sells them and the prices range from 5lb (2.27 kg)’s for $10 all the way up to $85 for 22lb (9.98 kg)’s. Is it worth it? The short of it is, absolutely not. Just from a useful aspect, there are several reasons why you don’t and one superb reason why you do. The first reason you don’t, there is no need for an overly elevated amount of protein to build muscle. Even a slightly increased amount over the norm will do. Secondly, they market the “window of opportunity” for maximum muscle synthesis. That’s all wrong as well. The muscle-building signal lasts for up to 24 hours after a workout and to that point, studies show that fasting after a heavy workout does not cost you gains.
Who’s it for? If you tragically under eat protein and try as you might you just can’t seem to fix it; if you are vegan and your diet plan is not dialed in like crazy or you find yourself in a situation where you can’t hit your numbers then that is where this supplement comes in real handy. It’s not the devil, just not the be all end all the hype makes it out to be.

2) BCAA’s. Not to keep harping on supplements but since we’re here. Branch chain amino acids are found naturally in many foods. Why not just take the supplements though for ease and convenience? Looking at the natural source for BCAA’s:

— Eggs

— Dairy

— Lentils

— Chickpeas

— Almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts.

So when you eat these natural BCAA rich sources, you also get healthy fats, proteins, Macro, and micronutrients. Instead of isolating one thing, you get so much more.

3) Gym membership. You are either in or you are out. Every year thousands of people buy a gym membership and never use it enough to validate its cost or use it at all. It might not seem like a lot but that extra money could be put to better use. On the upside, you don’t need a gym membership to get in shape at all. Doing home workouts is on the rise and just as effective. Your only real need for a gym is the personal training if you are a greenhorn. Then the money is well worth it, but only if you use it.

4) Bad or Wrong programs. Worse than a wasted gym membership is buying into an overhyped, overpriced program. If you’re new, regardless of your goals, keep it simple. Tabata, HIIT, “infernos” and other such programs have their place, but it’s best to start with strength training. Calisthenics costs zero. Do your body weight and work up to weights. Cardio is great too, but start with longer walks then work into a higher intensity. Without the right base, you’ll set yourself up for injury and a non-sustainable program.

5) “Diet Foods.” A big money maker and also a total waste is over-processed “diet foods.” I don’t want to dump on the whole industry, but the so-called “healthy” and “low calorie” is a sham. In my article “Why Health Is Killing America” I get further into this. While there are a few clean prepared foods, if you can just eat whole foods (which you should) then stick to that. Convenience is a real issue for some. Sacrifices must be made.

6) Pills, elixirs, and other Get-thin-quick schemes. Hard work and time is what’s going to get things done, not fat burners, carb absorbers (yes, that’s a real thing) or “natural testosterone boosters.” Most of these come manufactured with synthetic ingredients and those that don’t show promise of working. Want to boost testosterone, balance hormones? Reduce stress.

7) Your Time. I know this isn’t a product but time is money. Every minute you spend unnecessarily following an arbitrary trend or program you can’t get back. For example, studies have shown that anything over roughly an hour in the gym doesn’t generate any more benefits than 45 minutes to an hour. So situate your programs to equal an hour per workout and you won’t burn time. You have a life after all and a life spent just working out is contradictory to what you should be doing. Your workouts should be complementary to your life, not the other way around.

No matter what methods you use, nothing short of hard work, dedication and a healthy relationship with your body will get the job done. Everything else is just a tool.

8 Things Instagram Taught Us About Health & Fitness

“Your body can withstand almost anything. It’s your mind you have to convince”

– Someone smart

Ah, Instagram. To have invested in that venture at startup. A simple way to share one’s art, interests, memes about art and interests. The whose who and the what’s what is on there and there is a wealth of information within the confines of sharing images and short clips. Cooking, cars, politics; all offering a brief glance into lives. That’s all it is though, right? So, what does that mean to someone who has hundreds of thousands or millions of followers?

The internet celebrity

If you believe what is said, that Facebook is for the older generation and that Instagram is for the younger than what I’m about to say should and shouldn’t surprise you. In the age of Instagram Memes have become the new satirical cartoons. Telling a whole story in one image. What happens when people harness that for-profit?

There is a blurry line on fame these days. One is a physical being, maybe an actor or actress, a writer or singer. The other is a blogger, YouTuber or…and influencer. These are individuals you won’t see walking the red carpets, have paparazzi stalking there every move or see on your local news promoting an event while serving soup to a homeless person. Yet companies pay big bucks to have their endorsement and both kids and adults sway to their every post.

This can lead into many areas but for now, let’s discuss one. What Instagram teach us about health, fitness, and wellness?

● The negative impacts they have. They create unrealistic imagery, expectations and results. While not all, most of these people don’t live the lives we imagine based on what they present. Giving us, especially the younger generation all but impossible goals while deepening the already high percentage of issues like body dysmorphia.

This certainly isn’t to say it is all bad. If you need motivation to hit that 5 am workout, need help tweaking your deadlift to reduce low back pain, or learn how protein synthesis works over hours, then it’s great. But if your looking to it for how life should be, your setting yourself up for failure.

● Life in 1080 x 1080. It’s easy to forget and hard to understand that what a person posts is but a snapshot of their life and does not necessarily represent their true selves. Yet we can so easily associate one image with a person’s entire personality. Ask any insta-famous person and they’ll tell you that after a while exhausting because they have to maintain a specific persona. So when we see how talented they are or strong or healthy, that may be all fluff. As fans and consumers, it doesn’t take much for us to become dogmatic about it. This person’s methods are the best. This person’s information is the truest. Honestly, if it lines up even a fraction with what we think, we’ll take it all day long.

● What you see is not what you get. Fitness models are either juiced on gear or are the genetic exception. Avoid comparing your gains to theirs.

It’s the only true means of measuring

● Take advice at face value and do your own research. Fads can dictate a lot in the online realm. When Paleo first came mainstream you were practically ostracized if you weren’t on board. What works great for one might not jive well with you. Take time to research and experiment. I personally don’t so exceptionally well on a high-fat diet but cannot over-consume on carbs either. I have to balance both.

● Remember influencers need to make money too. Support if you like but just because they take a supplement doesn’t make it an end-all deal.

● Remember why you are doing what you do. If you are trying to get healthy, fit or just share wisdom, be cautious of adopting a particular model or modality because it worked for someone else. Your not them. Brand yourself.

● If you base your progress on a picture of another your doomed. Sometimes that’s not even where they are currently but have to maintain status. I’m not condemning influencers, but the rise of insta-famous people has hindered the progress of what true health looks like. Society basses their model of health on, well, models. This is not only unrealistic but dangerous.

● It’s best to compare to your own progression photos. Those show your real effort and validate the sacrifice and discipline. You are your biggest critic and your biggest competitor, best to keep your mind in the game.

Find joy in the process, make your own mark and forget the rest. Self discipline if key to success.