When I first started down this path of nutrition-based wellness, my first several posts were pretty much rants. Just sort of hollering as loud as my keyboard would let me about the horrible state of health affairs our current society. I spent a lot of time ranting about the politics of the governmental bodies that basically dictate much of our dietary guidelines and healthcare policies and the corporations that feed off that system like leaches. Companies like Monsanto and other Big-Ag companies, Pfizer and other Big-Pharma companies are all guilty of sending us in a vicious cycle of crappy food that is cheap, easy and tasty that eventually leads to a cycle of pharmaceutical drug dependency. What a nice neat little package of annuitized business they have crafted for themselves. It’s kind of genius, really.
Looking back, it’s not that these organizations and companies didn’t deserve my ire, I still believe they do, but now that the inflammation and anger has subsided within me I can see that at the end of the day, I am the one responsible. That’s right. I’m responsible for what I buy at the store. I am responsible for what I put in my mouth. I am responsible for what my kids eat. I am responsible for looking to medicine to make me feel better. I was responsible for the horrific health condition I was in that led me to finally find my way. It wasn’t until it became abundantly clear that the food I was eating and the doctors I was seeing weren’t helping me be well. I was in a cycle of sick care, not health care. In the end I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING MYSELF WELL.
I was responsible, but I wasn’t to blame. I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time. Meaning, I did what the conventional diet books and my doctors told me I should do to be well. The problem is that what I was told to do to be well, didn’t work. At least not under the ridiculous conditions I put myself under. The stress, lack of sleep, eating on the road, holding down a full time job and raising kids was way to much to ask of my adrenal glands and immune system. (Not to mention the abuse my endocrine (hormone) systems, neurological systems took.) I did what I was told without ever questioning the authorities that told me to do it, even when I doubted them. For that I am responsible.
The fatal flaw I made was assuming that those in that authority, truly had MY best interest at heart. I assumed that these entities functioning in an essential role that impacted my overall wellbeing were doing so in a capacity that didn’t conflict with their own interests. I assumed the “do no harm” mandate of many of these entities automatically translated into a “do good” mandate. BIG MISTAKE. I am not saying that these entities were intentionally trying to harm me in anyway. All I am saying is that they weren’t functioning under the tenets that the public wellbeing comes before their own profits. At this point I tend to believe that these entities function under a win-win mindset.
Big –Ag companies can provide the cheap ingredients needed to make the quick easy foods we all buy on our way to work or the soccer game and they profit from it. Big –Pharma is there to step in when we eventually need a statin drug because too many Egg McMuffins or granola bars have sent our cholesterol numbers too high. So what’s wrong with that? It’s a Win-Win right? Not exactly.
It’s so confusing. I feel like no matter which side of the nutritional or healthcare fence you are on, there is a study out there you can site to prove your opinion. At the end of the day though, when the status quo isn’t fostering good health for a staggering number of us, it is criminal to not question the assumptions (and many of the current guidelines are based on just that, assumptions and bad science) that got us here. So, what do you do? Here are a few tips.
- If what you are currently doing isn’t working, ask why.
- What components of what you are currently doing are within your control? Ask that questions again. There is more under your control than you realize.
- Do your research. Read, read, and read.
- Learn to read research study reports and understand EXACTLY what was being tested before you trust it. (i.e. Test results on mice may or may not translate to humans.)
- Ask questions of many different experts from varying backgrounds and methodologies. They all start from a different frame of reference.
- Experiment a little bit. Unfortunately sometimes the only way to know if a protocol will work for you is to try it. And give it time to work or not work!
- Don’t give up. The answer IS out there! You just need to find it. Keep digging, keep looking until you get enough of a break that tells you that you are on the right track.
I know we would all like to think that there is a one-size-fits all answer to everything that ails us. I’m going out on a limb and saying that the perfect human diet does not exist. I know!!! Shocker!! I know you expect me to say the Paleo Diet is the perfect human diet. And actually if you use Paleo as a guideline rather than a strict prescription, I believe it is. Some people have a very low tolerance for carbohydrates and gain weight at the just thought of a banana. Others with higher amylase production and a higher tolerance can eat 4 bananas a day and never gain a pound. Still some people don’t metabolize fats as well as others.
With less and less selection pressure over the last few thousand years our gene pool has become more and more diverse. As more people live long enough to procreate, healthy or not, genes that may have ordinarily died out are still circling around and perpetuating an inability to genetically keep up with the speed at which our lifestyles and diets change.
My advice today is to take responsibility for your own well-being. You are not to blame, and who is can be debated. Surround yourself with those that you trust to make your best interest a priority. I always tell my health-coaching clients that I have done my job, when they no longer need me. But that is the way health coaching should work! Fortunately or rather unfortunately, I have no doubt there will always be thousands of people I can help. My wish is that one day, I am out of a job.
Until Next Time!
Mom Gone Paleo & Revolution Health Coach