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10 Things You'll Want to Know

This week I thought I'd list just a few foundational truths I've discovered over the past decade or so. You might see a few you've heard me talk about before in other places, but hopefully today they will land in a new and more meaningful way. Some of these assertions I was taught, others I've picked up informally from fellow colleagues and mentors, but most things I've experienced personally and learned the hard way. Some I've internalized more deeply only in the past few months. I trust there will be at least one truth here that will capture your attention and careful thought. So without further ado...

Ten Things You'll Want To Know

  1. Everything God created is good. Not some things. Not a few things. ALL THINGS. What a full circle I've come in my own health journey to realize that dairy is good. Meat is good. Grains and bread are good. Vegetables and fruit are good. Sweet things are good. Savory things are good. Nothing that was created by God is an accident, and we had better think twice before we ignorantly label something divinely inspired and spoken into existence by God as bad. That being said, humans can absolutely take something pure and holy and quickly defile and devalue it in our selfish quest for more. More pleasure. More ease. More decadence. More indulgence. And in so doing, we have brought the natural consequences of poor health and suffering on ourselves and our children.

  2. Our bodies are designed to heal. We are now so quick to intervene with pharmaceuticals and numb any degree of discomfort that we've forgotten our bodies are designed to repair themselves. This takes time, effort, and multiple modalities, though, and in a crazy world that moves 100 MPH, we don't allow ourselves (or our kids) to "lose" more than 24 hours recovering from routine colds, sore throats, and headaches - lest we miss out on the rat race of work, school, and over-extended schedules. We rush TO DO rather than TO HEAL at our own peril.

  3. Disease doesn't just happen. It develops over time. Why are people shocked to receive a cancer diagnosis? Why are we stunned to hear we have heart disease? Kidney failure? Autoimmunity? Diabetes? Alzheimer's? Folks, these conditions take years and even decades to develop, and there are fairly obvious clues all along the way to alert us to the path of self-destruction we are walking. The problem is that we have become complacent and are not paying attention, and our physicians have been trained to silence the early warning signs (ie. symptoms) instead of promoting real healing.

  4. All medications have side effects. I can't tell you the number of times I have been chatting with folks who are beside themselves with frustration over the extra abdominal fat that refuses to budge, the hair loss, the anxiety, the skin rashes, the depression, the brain fog, the fatigue, the sleepless nights...never having taken the time to read the warnings of the prescription drugs they take on a daily basis. If we cannot even imagine a life where we can thrive without those medications, I can only say we must make peace now with their side effects. Our bodies cannot and will not heal when they are constantly battling the toxicity that accompanies these chemical medication cocktails. We've taken what was designed to be a powerful yet temporary intervention employed under acute conditions and convinced ourselves it's nothing more than a Flintstone's vitamin that can be used for as long and as often as we desire. Caveat emptor.

  5. Food is not just calories. It is information. If we are still living under the faulty presumption that we can eat anything we want as long as we exercise, we have a rude awakening ahead of us. Everything we put in our mouths - be it food or drink - informs our bodies as to the safety of our environment, the availability of good nutrition, and the manner in which cellular energy should be utilized. That doesn't mean we must be "perfect" with our food choices, but it does require a fair degree of accountability and intention, especially if we know our health is already in a state of compromise. We reap what we sow...bad information = bad outcomes. 100 calories of grassfed steak is not at all equivalent to 100 calories of chips and queso.

  6. Fitness is not the same as health. You can have 6-pack abs and buns of steel and still be incredibly unhealthy. You can be a triathlete extraordinaire and also be on the verge of a total body breakdown. You can CrossFit like there's no tomorrow and have significant medical diagnoses at the same time. And this is why we heard of "perfectly healthy people" dying during Covid - even before the jabs came on the scene. Because health - real health - is more than an outward appearance, physical strength, or ability. Health encompasses resilience in multiple arenas - body, mind, spirit. How you choose to eat, think, and live is an integral part of that equation. I mean, it IS the equation!

  7. Less than 10% of cancers are genetic. Let that one sink in. Your genes might load the gun, but it's your daily environment and choices that pull the trigger. (This is true of more than just cancer, by the way).

  8. Children do not need or benefit from kid food. Many people believe childhood is the time to eat all the sweet and junky things because growth and activity forces their metabolism to burn off calories so quickly. I would challenge this belief on a few levels. First of all, take a look around and you'll notice kids really aren't able to burn off calories like they used to. With 1 in 5 kids diagnosed with obesity, and another 15% labeled overweight, the freedom of childhood is not what it once was. Secondly, while active kids do burn off calories, they do not burn off toxicity. And this is why so many children are burdened with multiple illnesses and life-altering conditions from the time they enter elementary school. This should shake us to our core. These children are our future.

  9. No one is a victim unless he decides to be. Whether the poor state of our health is a result of our own reckless or ignorant decisions, or the fault of someone else, our job remains the same. We must take ownership of what is, and decide what the path ahead will be. No one benefits when we get stuck in a cycle of victimhood and a "woe-is-me" mentality. The only person on earth responsible for my best health is me. The sooner we embrace this truth, the healthier we will be.

  10. One percent better every day. This is a realistic goal and something all of us can attain. Whether we decide to start with our faith in God (recommended), our diet, our sleep, our environment, our movement, our relationships, our stress management, or our connection with the natural world, we can - with divine help - take baby steps in the right direction each and every day.

I hope you'll start today.

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