Posts tagged Health

A Thought on Food and Pollution

By Julie Gengo

While planting out own veggies or buying from farmers markets are excellent ways to help reduce our carbon footprint, going green with food should also refer to the food itself. Polluting our own bodies with unhealthy choices and food that contains more non-food items than food items is one way that we can take care of our inner selves so that we can have the brain capacity to deal with the outside world…..just a thought.

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Your Year of Vibrant Health

This is a story I wrote in January encouraging readers to become proactive and green with their health.

By Julie Gengo, HealthWalk™ Marketing Coordinator

little girl holding small plant

As we move into the New Year, many of us have set certain goals or requirements upon ourselves in the form of resolutions. However, our commitment to our resolutions often fades quickly and we are once again living or finding ourselves in situations that do not suit us. My yoga practice tells me how to plant the seed, root it down and nourish it when I want to accomplish a goal. It is important to uncover the root cause of our choices. Understanding why we make our choices helps us to determine why we haven’t been able to break old patterns.

Why are we really eating that piece of cake before bedtime? What are the feelings associated with this not so healthy choice? If we first tap into the sensation that triggers our initial choice, then we can make conscious decisions that allow us to live up to our highest self.

If you choose yoga as a means to take care of your physical self, it is important to connect to the root feeling which will dictate how you approach your yoga practice on any particular day. When we pinpoint this Bhava or intrinsic nature of the self, we can then allow our practice to unfold in a beneficial way. According to yoga master, Shiva Rea: “Bhava is a deep yogic concept that extends to all of life as the feeling state of being, sometimes translated as mood, that forms the inner soil from which all yoga experience arises”. The first step to creating lasting change is to apply this concept to anything we undertake.

Yoga has taught me some essential lessons about how to live a more integrated wholesome life. The true state of yoga is the balance of self. Balancing ourselves takes into account all aspects of how we flow as humans. One of the most important aspects of self is the health of our outer and inner body.

The Buddha said: “Every human being is the author of his health or disease”. We are given a package to house our souls, investing in our bodies is the best commitment we can make today.

Aliyah Marr, author of Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity makes a very poignant statement in her book: “If you have a choice of living for twenty to thirty more years in disease, disability or pain, or living those years in health and pleasure, which option would you choose? Would you make the necessary change in your habits to achieve your goal? Change your habits and alter the course of your life.”

For many, creating a path to change habits that may increase the risk of disease is a daunting process. Taking measures to reverse already acquired chronic illness can also lead you in circles, especially if you chose an allopathic path that only addresses the symptoms. At HealthWalk, our holistic approach to achieving wellness goals allows our practitioners to find out what is causing the symptoms by analyzing the root cause. We can also set you on a path of prevention that empowers you to lead a healthy, vibrant life and will save you money in the long run.

It is predicted that healthcare spending in the United States will top $2.8 trillion by 2011 with the cost of prescription drugs reaching all time highs. Statistics are showing that the average American, aged 19 to 64, is now on taking close to 11 prescription drugs, and to get to the average life expectancy age of 72 that number increases to 18 prescription drugs. What is even more shocking is that in 2008, in the first three months of the year, the FDA received nearly 21,000 reports of serious drug reactions, including over 4,800 deaths. Does this sound like a safe and cost effective option to you? Is this really the way you want to live?

In this New Year, instead of making another resolution that will not last, why not make a commitment to a life-altering decision that will create a perfect place of being – a wholesome and healthful lifestyle for the rest of your life? Choose to live mindfully and be proactive about your wellbeing so you can live your life in health and pleasure.

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Why Go Organic?

two women on the fruit market
As a healthy foods advocate, many people often ask me whether or not it really makes a difference if they eat organic food? My response has always been an emphatic yes! There are several reasons why eating organic is not only recommended but also essential to maintaining personal vibrant health and the health of our planet.

Primarily, organic foods are grown without the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and inorganic fertilizers, which not only protects the food, but also preserves the soil, keeping it well-stocked with vital nutrients that end up in what you eat. Chemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and other inorganic additives show up in the food when it is used in the growing/raising process which will accumulate in your body when you eat them. These chemicals also interrupt the microbiotic activity in the soil according to The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). MOFGA also documents that: “Natural, undisturbed soil is alive with microbiotic organisms that exist in harmony with the native plant life and the inorganic minerals that provide the soil’s substrate.”

If avoiding chemicals and preserving soil nutrients are not good enough reasons, maybe avoiding GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) ingredients would be? Over the years, the amount of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and inorganic fertilizers used on crops grown in the United State and Canada has also rapidly accelerated due to the introduction of GMOs into our food supply. Happily, Organic foods DO NOT contain GMO ingredients.

It’s not just the avoidance of chemicals that is of concern but also the food and ingredients made from GMO crops that are strongly questionable for health safety reasons.

Against strong opposition from the scientific community, the FDA approved GMOs in 1992 for commercial use labeling them as GRAS or “Generally Recognized as Safe.” However, the GRAS label was given without meeting the guidelines of undergoing a substantial amount of peer-reviewed published studies and by achieving an overwhelming consensus among the scientific community that the product is safe. As of today, food grown and manufactured from GMO ingredients has not been adequately tested on the human body and there is no clear scientific evidence supporting its safety for human consumption. In fact there is credible evidence showcasing how GMO foods are indeed harmful. Another disturbing point is that foods containing GMO ingredients do not have to be labeled and there are no required review processes or regulation protocols currently in practice.

We have essentially become human guinea pigs and there are more and more accounts of people getting sick. According to a report published by the Institute for Responsible Technology, The FDA’s “Non-Regulation” Of GM(O) Foods, “Their influence on health has been largely ignored, but recent studies show serious problems. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been linked to thousands of toxic or allergic-type reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals. Nearly every independent animal feeding safety study shows adverse or unexplained effects.” This information has been well documented in Jeffrey M. Smith’s book, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

When it comes to making a decision between organic and conventional, the choice is clear – choose organic for your own health and for the health of the planet and future generations. If money is an issue, the last place you want to cut back on is on the quality of the food you buy and consume. After all you are what you eat, and replacing organic food with mass-produced chemically enhanced produce and ingredients will cause your body more harm down the road, which in turn increases the dollar amount you spend on healthcare. Spending a little more money now will save you a lot of money and illnesses later. Also anecdotally and from personal experience organic food just tastes better!

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