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The Blueprint 1.2: Why We Get Sick

Hello Friends! If you’re stumped on what to cook for dinner tonight, here is a blog post from earlier this year with a whole week’s worth of favorites from Taft HQ. And if it’s warm enough where you live to start enjoying salads again, here is the yummiest homemade ranch dressing you’ll ever have the good fortune to taste. A friend of mine said she wanted to drink it with a straw! Making your dressings at home produces the best flavor and also helps you avoid harmful and unnecessary additives like sugar and industrial seed oils such as soybean and canola. We will be talking more about those in the days to come, in case you’re not familiar with these ubiquitous nasty fats.

Upcoming Events for the Locals: Our workshop on children’s health, milling grains, and baking bread has been postponed for now, as I succumbed to a stubborn respiratory virus this past week and need a few more days of recovery. New date coming soon! Since the ordeal had a rather unusual and unfortunate genesis, I wrote about the experience in this week’s blog. You can read it to your children as a reminder to obey mom and dad’s dinnertime rules the first time!

Challenge 3: Understand that disease isn’t random.

Now that you have the 5 Foundations of Health under your belt, let’s dig a little deeper into why we get sick. Many like to say disease is just a result of their own bad luck, a la “I got dealt a bad hand.” Others claim it’s divine punishment for some wrong-doing in their past. And most assert that disease is a fixed genetic family destiny that can’t be avoided. There are even medical professionals at prestigious institutions who will ignorantly propagate this last belief. But…

They’re all wrong.

When you get down to it, the cause of ALL disease boils down to three main insults.  Some of these inputs are outside of our control, but most are not, and this reality should give us hope! We are not victims. We have options. We get to choose.

Genes might load the gun, but our choices pull the trigger.

1. Nutrient deficiency - If you are eating the standard American diet (SAD), you can bet your body is starving for real nutrients. Our heavily processed industrialized foods have been stripped of everything that our bodies actually need and then have been pumped full of addictive additives, chemical preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, toxic fats, and loads of sugar. Cereal, pastries, chips, crackers, cookies, donuts, cakes, sweetened drinks, processed breads, fast food, junk food, alcohol…you get the idea. Have you ever heard of GIGO? Garbage In. Garbage Out. We simply cannot fuel our bodies with junk and then expect to escape the burden of disease. This kind of childish attitude mocks God’s design and attempts to defy the laws of nature. If your current healthcare provider is generously dispensing medications and advertising expensive procedures and surgeries, but not asking about your diet, I encourage you to find another doctor. Nutrition is the foundation of good metabolic function for every single cell in your body. It’s how we are made.

There is no substitute.

2. Toxicity - In addition to our poor quality food, our bodies can become quickly overwhelmed with all manner of biologic and environmental toxicity. I don’t want to overwhelm you with all the possibilities, but here are just a few: mold, heavy metals in dental amalgams, aluminum exposure from cookware, plastics everywhere, contaminated water, contaminated air, pesticides/herbicides/fungicides, parasites, bacterial overgrowth, endocrine disrupters in personal care products and household goods with artificial fragrance, antibacterial soaps and scrubs, chlorine in pools, fluoride in toothpaste, EMF exposure, pharmaceutical drugs, and the list continues. Phew! Basically we are living in a toxic soup. My personal approach to these insults is to work slowly and intentionally towards better choices. For example, over time replace Tupperware with Pyrex food containers, swap out scented candles for quality essential oils, purchase fluoride-free toothpaste, limit screen time and use airplane mode often, decline bottled water and invest in portable stainless steel water bottles instead, take a pass on unnecessary and unproven injections, seek out natural remedies for illness whenever possible. Little by little, a little becomes a lot, so start small and keep moving in the right direction to mitigate your toxic exposure.

3. Trauma - This is an area getting a lot more attention in recent years, as well it should. Trauma can appear in many different forms and at many times in life. Maybe it was the unexpected loss of a beloved pet. Perhaps a best friend moved away when you needed them most. There could be abuse in your history. Public rejection or humiliation. A failed relationship. A toxic relationship. Betrayal. Abandonment. A devastating diagnosis. When the feelings and negative energy associated with these events are not effectively addressed and healed, it is said that they can become trapped in the body and manifest as sickness over time. This is not a novel assertion. Ancient Chinese medicine has long paired certain emotions with particular organs of the body, and I believe it’s related to the kind of healing that Jesus would have been doing as he talked to people, touched people, looked them in the eye and asked them hard questions about their circumstances. A few to think about:  

Lungs = Sadness, Grief, Shame

Liver and Gallbladder = Anger and Resentment

Heart = Joy (or lack thereof)

Spleen = Worry

Kidney = Fear

I read a book recently in which a doctor said he’d never met a cancer patient who didn’t struggle with unforgiveness. Others say skin disorders like eczema are a sign of separation conflict (wishing to be separated or wishing to be united) and often accompany depression. The thyroid is located just above the larynx, and many believe thyroid disorders might arise in people who feel as if they haven’t had a voice in what has happened to them in the past.

These are just a few examples, but when you start thinking of chronic disease in this light, it ushers in a whole new perspective on why we get sick and struggle to heal. And it also explains why more medication is never going to be the answer. King Solomon wisely said in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Truly, the answers to our recovery lie within ourselves. We have heart issues manifesting as sickness, and there is a lot of difficult inner work to be done.

As I was preparing to write this newsletter, I decided I’d like to include a recent health podcast that I have found insightful and that might help you as well. So here is the first recommendation that I know you will enjoy: The Secret to Longevity, Reversing Disease and Optimizing Health: Fixing Metabolism with Dr. Casey Means

Please feel free to reach out with your questions and comments. I welcome the engagement. And please share whatever you find valuable here with a friend. I’m happy to add more subscribers to the list and send previous installments to any newcomers who want to start from the beginning.

Until next time, be well!

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