Thursday, February 18, 2016

Measure Your Mental & Physical Health by Looking in Your Trashcan

I learned the difference between garbage and trash early in life having grown up on a small farm.

Garbage consists of things that will naturally decompose such as apple cores, banana peels, and vegetable trimmings – basically, anything that comes from the kitchen that will naturally decompose is garbage.

At our house garbage was also defined by things that the chickens and pigs would eat. Everything else was considered trash. If you are someone who composts for your garden, then you know the difference between garbage and trash.

So how can looking in your trashcan help you determine how mentally and physically healthy you are? It’s simple - you are what you eat. This phrase originated in 1826 by French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote:
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”

He was stating that the foods one eats have a direct correlation to one’s state of mind and health.

More recently, Dr. David Perlmutter explains in his book Brain Maker that a sick gut flora affects not only the immune system but mental health as well. Dr. Perlmutter believes that microorganisms in the gut have been undervalued by traditional medicine. Some scientists are now calling the intestinal flora the “second brain”.
He goes on to explain that he believes poor gut flora is the cause for the rapid increase in neurological diseases including ADD, ADHD, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
So what does this have to do with your trashcan? Everything! If you’re eating a healthy diet jam-packed with fruits and vegetables you will find that your trashcan consists of more garbage than trash.

Although most of us are aware of the importance of good nutrition, too many of us allow our busy schedules and easy access to fast foods to get in the way of eating properly. If we want to be healthy, stay healthy, or improve deteriorated health, then it’s important to look at several factors including stress levels, exercise, sleeping habits, and proper nutrition.

It’s unfortunate that the typical American diet is loaded with unhealthy fats, sugars, artificial flavorings and colorings, and preservatives. It’s important to understand that whatever you eat gets processed through your digestive tract moving through your bloodstream and into all parts of your body.

We’ve become a nation addicted to the quick fix: everything from calorie free drinks so that we can enjoy ourselves and not suffer the consequences of calories to relying on pharmaceuticals to fix the problems that we ourselves create by not taking care of ourselves. It’s time we start taking responsibility for our own health.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

― Hippocrates
ca. 460 BC – 370 BC
I challenge you to look in your trashcan and compare the amount of garbage versus the amount of trash. If your trashcan is filled with empty boxes, processed food containers, and bottles and cans from beverages filled with artificial sweeteners, colorings, and flavors then your health is at risk. It’s time to turn that around and it’s never too late to start. If your diet is completely out of control and you think you may need help you should contact a nutritional expert. There are also several great books available. Here are a few recommendations:

Brain Maker by David Perlmutter

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar - Your Brain's Silent Killers by David Perlmutter

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger

No Grain, No Pain: A 30-Day Diet for Eliminating the Root Cause of Chronic Pain by Peter Osborne

The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes by Joel Fuhrman

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