Thursday, September 21, 2017

Patterns of your past are guiding your decisions and mental barriers stops you from conscious living. Also when it comes to your diet.

The scariest part of changing our diet and going off all medications was to go against the advice given by health authorities, like the doctors, government recommended guidelines and being ridiculed by our family and friends. It's scary to brake with the accepted norms in society, particularly on health issues. When the doctor tells you that your illness is not curable and will only progress so you just have to find a way to live with it, it’s normal to accept the authorities. We’re locked into this belief system and if you try to find other solutions, people think you’re odd. You got to accept that it’s genetic and nothing you can do about it. Take the medicine and live with the side effects. 

The human nature is dual minded, on one hand we like to be safe, grounded and operate inside the boundaries we identify us with; status, religion, political view, family, culture and on the other hand we are striving for expansion. A painful body becomes a barrier preventing you from exploring the full potential in life. Interacting with nature and the things of nature, exposing our selves to a more natural lifestyle has been a new learning process. Everything we knew as a fact wasn't right. It feels like we are living in our own bobble. Your belief system sometimes holds you hostage but you can train yourself to see what's ahead on your chosen path and what choices still faces you from this place in time. It just takes some willingness and determination. The day you tell yourself:"I don't know what is right and what is wrong" you will break the boundaries set by society and start searching and discover a whole new world. You will be like a kid again and discover a new you. In fact you probably know more about the universe than you know your self. 

I've written a few posts about our new lifestyle and in my post of May 22 this year, I've never tried THAT before, so I think I should ..., I described most of our changes. I told you about the weight loss as a result of these changes and it seems to have inspired and interested a lot of you. Willingness to pay a little attention to the inner nature will transform your life in remarkable ways. To go against the laws of nature will never work; you got to work with it. Learning about the body has been so rewarding, it has changed our lives so it’s only natural for me to share it with you on this blog, just as I share my creativity at home. And this is a lot more meaningful than anything else I’ve done. Thank you for all the support. The most read and commented post of all times.

I know loosing weight permanently is hard, especially if you want to loose fat. It takes a lot of dedication and effort because you have to live your life consciously. So many things in life are done as a routine, automatically without any thoughts. In todays society we don't have a culture for listening to our bodies. We're always focused outward, on jobs, education, family, home, car, vacation, hobbies and activities. With this lifestyle eating also becomes something we do unconsciously. Sitting down at the table for breakfast or dinner as a family is uncommon these days. We're just grabbing something on the way, in the car or at the desk without thinking about what effect the food and this manner of eating has on our physical and mental health. Even when we know the food is bad for us, we feel like we need or deserve a treat. But by nature eating should be done consciously, we should give the best machine on earth the best nutrition, the animals have no problem doing this, and we are so much smarter. We should read the users manual and then listen to the body, how it works. Our bodies work and react differently and ignoring it or pushing it too far results in self inflicted illness. That's just how nature works and we are not above the laws in nature. 

Why are we not paying attention to our bodies? For once we take it for granted. A friend of the family is living with diabetes 1 and he would do just about anything to be able to have a fully functioning body. Who want’s a machine that isn’t working to it’s fully potential? One that is in for service all the time and can’t operate when you want it to? Being trapped in a body with these limits, he gets frustrated watching how other people are ruining their body with their lifestyle. I used to be one of them. I thought I was living healthy, following the government’s guidelines from the food pyramid, eating lots of fiber, grains and very little fat. Buying products approved by The American Heart Association and followed my doctor's advice about watching my cholesterol and restrict my salt consumption. But I’ve since learned that these guidelines are wrong. I’ve also learned that in 6 years of medical school, only 2 hours a set aside for nutrition. So what does the doctor know? He studied medicine, not nutrition. 

Following this food pyramid has led to large consumption of refined carbs, low fat meat and vegetable oils, resulting in a skyrocketing spike in obesity and heart disease. 
Learning about the digestive system I've found out how the different organs in the body works. What they need to function optimally and what makes them run sluggish. Just like the best machine or gadget in the world, it has its limits and needs. To my surprise, the doctors have been giving us the wrong advice and led us into a paradigm that is hard to break. I've learned that sugar and refined foods is the worst thing you can give the body. The most important thing in that regards is that it causes inflammation in the body leading to just about all the diseases you want to avoid. The sugar is processed in the liver, an organ that is meant to process fruits or sweets that you'd occasionally or seasonally would find in nature. But this way of eating is not normal anymore. The annual sugar consumption in USA was 4 lbs. in 1750 and by 1996 it was 160 lbs. per person per year. The global sugar consumption increases 2% per year. This doesn't include industrial sweeteners. The average person is consuming 1/3 lbs. of sugar a day. That is about 300% more than the amount that can trigger biochemical chaos. The body has no defense for this.

Daily recommendation of added sugar consumption from American Heart Association. It doesn't count for naturally sugars found in milk and fruits. Kids should eat the same amount as women, 25 grams. 
I make all my foods from scratch, so for the fun of it, I walked the grocery isles to find out what is considered heart healthy breakfasts, like cereals and granola bars. I was very surprised and it puzzles me that we're feeding our kids this stuff every morning. No wonder they have high energy and hard time focusing at school. Sweets, both natural and artificial, are addicting so it’s natural to get cravings during the day. A friend of mine can’t live without her daily Diet Coke. You need a lot of willpower to lose weight and become healthy on this kind of diet. I'd say it's impossible. Great for the food industry, they've got us hooked on sweets and they're using the cheapest sugars like high fructose corn syrup for higher profit margins. All this sugar is turned into fat by your body. The labels might be low fat, all natural, gluten free, no GMO but they’re still not healthy. Counting calories and fats is not going to work. Consuming 100 calories of sugars might be the same as eating 100 calories of broccoli, but no one got fat eating steamed broccoli. 
Pancake mix containing 6 g sugar before adding milk, syrup and banana. 
This maple syrup contains 30 g in a serving, close to the guidelines of a male. It contains cheap corn syrup, sugar as first ingredients.
This 100 % pure Maple syrup has no preservatives, but contains 53 g sugars in a serving, double of a kids or woman's recommended dose.
Second ingredient is sugar and forth is corn syrup, fifth is corn starch. The big heart tells you it may reduce the risk of heart disease. 

These Quaker bars might be low in calories, but they contain 9-12 g of sugar, half of your recommended doze. 
This high fiber cereal has 18 grams of sugar, hope your not adding milk because you'll exceed the daily recommended doze. 
I also looked at the "healthy" juice, I used to drink every morning and the "healthy" yogurts. In my case, I used to eat one yogurt with home made granola, berries or some banana served with a glass of orange juice. Even with this healthy breakfast, I couldn't fool my body to burn fat. It will only burn sugars the easiest fuel it can get and the overconsumption will be stored as unwanted fat. So far I've only covered breakfast, the first meal of the day, and the daily recommended doze is already eaten. AHA does warn about consuming more than recommended daily dose because it can result in overweight, heart disease and diabetes. 

!00 % apple juice has 28 g sugars in a serving, no sugar added. 
Heart healthy orange juice containing 24 g sugars and 27 g carbohydrate.

100% orange and non GMO certified used to be my daily morning drink. Containing 22 g sugars. Hubby had 2 glasses in the morning to make sure he got his healthy nutrients. 
Commercial yogurt containing lots of protein and little sugar, but 100 calories is not very filling for breakfast. If you drink the juice with it, you're still over daily limit. 
A very popular yogurt with 18 g of sugars 
Lactose free yogurt contains 18 g sugars.
After spending hundreds of hours watching YouTube videos and reading several books, blogs and articles about the digestive system and holistic health, there is no doubt in my mind that the sugars and toxin loads from chemicals in food, medicine and other stressors become too much for the body to process. The food industry, health industry, and big government are working together to make more profits and we’re paying a price. The food companies pays for this heart label on the packed food and recieve a discount for getting multiple products approved. The Center for Science in the Public Interest estimates that in 2002, the AHA received over $2 million from this program alone. In fact 20,1 percent of the revenue recorded by the American Heart Association comes from contributions from corporations and foundations. 

We’ve spent a lot of energy making our life as comfortable as we want it, but we don’t have wellbeing. You will only have wellbeing when you are fixed and that takes a journey within your own body and mind. That is why I ask you to listen to your body and find out what works for you. It will take a conscious approach to doing groceries and cooking. A part of my daily routine is to plan the dinner in the morning. I take out whatever proteins I have in the freezer so it’s thawed by dinnertime. It takes very little effort and saves me lots of money. Last minute grocery shopping doesn’t work for me. Just this little conscious action makes it so easy to stay healthy.

We all have choices and our ability to see them depends on our self-image. Our self image depends of a lot of factors like upbringing, culture, religion, norms in society and many, many, more. All those things will make you see the world though those lenses and the potential of your future lies within those frames. The level of nature I bring into my life and draw upon, how I interact with nature and the things of nature reflects how well I live as a physical being, a product of nature. So in my future I will continue my journey of healthy eating and exercising in a lesser stressful environment and less toxins from foods and surroundings. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history made landfall on the Texas coast near Corpus Christi and the dirty side, the east side, pumped rain over Houston for several days. The first night, August 26th, several tornado warnings were alerted just in our neighborhood. The national weather forecast agencies have a system for alerting residence on their phone and home alarms. We had to seek shelter in our bedroom and be prepared to take cover in our walk-in closet because it's the safest rooms with no windows. Snorre was kept on a leash all the time so we could grab him if needed. Several tornadoes touched down just a few hundred yards from our home. It was scary and really hard to get any sleep.

A tornado stuck down just a few hundred meters from us
Several roofs got damaged by the tornado
Fences ar down because of the wind and the flooding. 

These tornadoes where very weak, but still strong enough to rip off shingles from the roofs, knock over trees and fences. A transformer caught fire and debris where flowing in the air. The tornadoes moved away from our area within a few hours and then it was time to wait for the flood. The lake behind us had 2-3 feet to break after the first day, but the next morning it flooded into our streets. Some of the houses got water unto the doorstep, but it halted just in time. It took no more than 2 hrs. for the water to reach the slab of the homes. Some of our neighbors had friends trying to enter our section of the subdivision, but was stopped by the police. They had to walk on foot close to the doorsteps because of the heavy stream in the streets. Several lakes spilled over to the road resulting in impassable roads.

The lake behind our street started spilling into our subdivision 
As we noticed our street drainage couldn't keep up with the flooding, we decided to start moving furniture. Many of our neighbors don't have flood insurance; in fact only 15-20% of the population of Houston have flood insurance, according to local news. Even though we're covered, there is a maximum limit of $250.000 so we thought it best to do what we could to limit the damage. Hubby and I started moving furniture. Having lived in Pascagoula and helped out friends after hurricane Katrina, we knew how devastating a flood could be. Luckily we have a two story house and hubby free of arthritis, together we where able to carry a lot upstairs.

To minimize the damage, hubby and I started carrying furniture up to the second floor
This piece with granite top is so heavy, we got our jackup ready

We removed all the drawers and carried them upstairs.

Emptying the lower part of our closet to avoid clothes damaged by water. 

Our media room looked like a furniture store.

These area rugs are very heavy 
Temporary clothing rack and tools if needed.
Realizing we could be without water for a few days, we filled a big emergency reservoir in our bathtub. It's advisable to have drinking water for the household and pets available for days. Our swimming pool could be used for hygiene purpose, but the chemical balance got out of control with so much rainfall. In some areas people were asked to boil water, it never came to that point at our place but I'd like to be prepared. 

Water reservoir in addition to what we had in the fridge. 

As the water receded and the streets dried up, we had a sigh of relief. We'd been so unbelievable lucky. We even kept our power the whole time so we could watch the news on TV. Realizing many of our neighbors where in need of help. The roads where passable outside our neighborhood and a few miles around us so we filled 2 big divers bags full of canned pet food, soap bars, dental hygiene products and regular toiletries to bring to the stadium converted into a temporary shelter. In times like these, it's good to keep busy and stay positive. 

Collecting toilet need for the local shelter

Toiletries are needed at the shelters

The next day, the National Guard had arrived, stationed at our local library and community college. With high water vehicles they're able to access and rescue people from flooded homes. By the golf club I belong to, we'd seen on TV that 11 people where rescued by boat. After the water receded we drove by on our way to get some groceries. The golf course was like a big lake. I've never seen the water that far. In an email from the club, I'm told the creek that drains the course has already receded 15 feet. Still the course is flooded for a very long time. I won't be playing golf for a while and my French class is cancelled for a while. The park behind us that flooded is now closed off so people can't access the dog park. My daily walks with Snorre has to take be in a safe area.

National Guard has arrived.
My golf course is flooded and looks like a lake
Hoping to find some fresh vegetables and dairy products, we did a second attempt to the grocery store. The day before the lines outside were too long for us to make it worthwhile. Most of our grocery stores are superstores with lots of food, but the supply is still only good for a few days. We had stocked up before the storm, but if we could get hold of fresh dairy, fruits and vegetables, it would supply us for a couple of more days. Eating healthy, getting the best energy source for the body to handle the stress and heavy lifting is important for us in order to keep hubby's arthritis under control as all the furniture had to be carried down and assembled. As the roads are getting back to normal, the food supplies will be more sufficient.

Seafood is cleared out
Fresh meat is not available 
Packed meat is sold our.

Frozen foods are gone

My catch was over my expectation. Organic and natural food seems to be available, probiotics and probiotics are great for digestion and a healthy stomach. 
The next task is to get gasoline. Many gas stations sold out quickly. Both hubby and I filled up before the storm but in case of shortage it's best to keep a full tank. We're planning a road trip this week, so we've topped up. The largest refineries in USA are located in Texas, Saudi Aramco, Exxon Mobil and Shell are the largest and have been shut down by the storm, effecting the supply nationwide and prices are on the rise. Facebook and social media are good sources for information about where to get gas. Lots of gas stations had water in their tanks so it's still hard to get gas in my area.

Searching for fuel 

Now, a few days after the storm, we're learning that many of our neighbors have water damage caused by roof damage and lack of sealant around windows. Several of them have water running down two stories causing damage to drywall, floors and furniture and have to replace the shingles on the roof. This is expensive and very inconvenient. Some of our friends had 8 feet of water in their street and lost everything, including 2 cars. They've been back by boat to collect computers stored on the top floor. As you can imagine this has been a stressful week for lots of us. Still we're thankful and counting our blessings. We're also learning not to get too attached to material goods as they have little value in crises like this. What possessions you are proud of owning today can be trash tomorrow. Hopefully this can be an experience to take with us into the future. This isn't our first rodeo, but it's never easy. I am grateful for all the support from family and friends that have been concerned. I am also happy for all those people that are safe and back together with their love ones. My daughter was stranded in Chicago unable to get a plane back to Houston, and I was truly relieved when she was safely back. It's unthinkable for those that lost someone. Please take care of each other. We have none to loose.