Health Basics

Friday, March 23, 2012

Why am I so Extra?

In today's fast paced world, where everything is expected to be quick, fast and in a hurry, I pride myself on being considered "extra." At the ripe age of 32, I am a wife and mother of 4. Yes, that wasn't a typo. Many of the lifestyle choices I have made may be considered "extra." For example, I make a consorted effort to make sure my family has access to the best nutritionally available foods possible. This means, buying organic/locally grown fruits and vegetables, drinking pure, clean water, steering clear of processed foods, additives and perservatives and limiting our sugar intake. For the average American family, where both parents work outside of the household, this may seem like an impossible task, perhaps even "Extra."

Being "Extra" is all about priorities. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."-Matthew 6:21 KJV. Once I became a mom, my priorities took a dramatic shift. I grew to realize that faster does not always mean better. Sure we now have many modern conveniences that our ancestors could only dream of having, but what have we traded as a result? Below are just some of the ways I have chosen to be "extra" in an effort to provide my family and I with the best life possible.

  • Ditch the microwave-Is it possible that millions of people are unknowingly sacrificing their health in exchange for the convenience of microwave ovens? In short, consider the following:
      • Microwaving prepared meats causes the formation of d-Nitrosodienthanolamines, a well-known carcinogen. (Cancer causing agent)
      • Microwaving milk and cereal grains converts some of their amino acids, the building blocks of life, into carcinogens.
      • Thawing frozen fruits in the microwave converts their glucoside and galactoside containing fractions into carcinogenic substances.
      • Extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converts their plant alkaloids into carcinogens.
      • Carcinogenic free radicals are formed in microwaved plants, especially root vegetables as well as decreases their in nutritional value.
    • Overall, microwaves kill EVERYTHING that goes into them and converts the resulting matter into a cess pool of cancer causing components. Our family has stopped using our microwave. If it were up to me in would be in the trash, however it sits in the corner, nice and clean and only gets used if we have guests who just have to use it. If we want to heat up food, it is done the old fashioned way-on the stove or in the oven. It's safer and the food taste way better anyway. My kids are worth it.
  • End your illustrious affair with the supermarket-Over 80% of the items sold in supercaskets, I mean, supermarkets contain GMO's (genetically modified organisms), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), artificial sweeteners (Aspartame, Sucralos Acesulfame K), preservatives, pesticides, hormones and other neurotoxins. If you are new or unfamiliar with GMO's it would do you some good to research it. I will do a post on GMO's soon. Don't get me wrong, supermarket's have their place, but in the grand scheme of things, there's not much benefit from doing most of your grocery shopping there-either financially or nutritionally. The food is overpriced and essentially void of anything beneficial your body can use. Opt instead to shop at a farmer's market or find a local CSA program. (Community Supported Agriculture Program) TO find a CSA program near you, click here.
    • I do our grocery shopping at our local farmer's market. EVERY week without fail, I am there to pick the most freshest ORGANIC fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and on occasion meat and fish. The health and well being of my family has positively benefited from this "Extra" behavior. I am at an attractive weight without dieting, I no longer need glasses, my husband's high blood pressure is managed without medication, my kids have bright eyes, vibrant energy, excellent cognitive skills, no allergies, and strong, untainted immune systems. The money we save in groceries has helped us cope with these high gas prices.
These two things, among others are just a few of the things that I do that may be considered "Extra" to some, but for me, it's a matter of living versus existing. How many people do you know, perhaps yourself included are going day in and day out tired, lethargic, relying on Starbucks to get you by? Your hair is dry, brittle, breaking or even falling out? You may suffer from anxiety or depression, you don't sleep well or at all. Your kids are always sick. They either suffer from chronic ear infections, asthma, eczema or a snotty nose that just doesn't ever seem to dry up? Your pediatrician tries to convince you that having 10 colds and 6 ear infections a year is normal. They send you home with antibiotics, but your kid never seems to get any better. If they do, 3-4 weeks later you are right back at square one.

I am "Extra" out of love and necessity. My family is worth it. We deserve a high quality of life and we do not have to settle for chronic degenerative illness. I don't accept that. I reject that and I reject the notion that I am "Extra." I my friends am "Extraordinary!"

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