25 Jun 2012

Clean Living

25 Jun 2012

Today we had a lunch meeting with clean living coach Coco O’Donnell, and the topic of discussion was live food versus dead food. I had no idea there was so much I didn’t know about food.

Coco started by telling us about herself. Growing up, she was the fat kid, the one regularly picked on in class. She over did it on candy, donuts, cakes, you name it. If it was bad for her, she ate it. After taking interest in boys as a teenager she lost weight, but struggled to stay slim into her adult years. She remembers trying all the diet fads to no avail. Her work as a pharmacist, and then in the pharmaceutical industry did not help either. She calls that time in her life “the dark ages.” She was prescribing drugs, then found herself taking multiple prescription drugs herself. Her breaking point came when her neurologist suggested upping her dosages. She knew she needed a change. With the help of an MD who practiced natural medicine, Coco gradually began to understand why she had medical problems. She realized that some of her conditions never even existed before modern foods and lifestyles became the norm.

After telling us about herself, Coco told us a little about Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist known primarily for his theories on the relationship between nutrition, dental health, and physical health. Dr. Price traveled the globe studying the diets and nutrition of various cultures. His travels concluded that aspects of a modern Western diet, particularly flour, sugar, and modern processed vegetable fats, cause nutritional deficiencies, which lead to many dental issues and health problems.

The industrial age may have brought many benefits to society, but one of the major drawbacks has been our dependence on processed foods. Processed food, which Coco calls dead food, is devoid of nutrients in the form recognized by our body. Our bodies need food that is alive and filled with vitamins, enzymes, co-factors, and many other substances that occur naturally in food.

Back in March, after my 29th birthday, I started taking a major interest in my health. I was approaching 210 pounds, my heaviest in more than 4 years, and although I was working out daily I still wasn’t losing any weight. I decided that I had to change my diet. My partner prepares salads for himself daily, so my first step was asking him to start making me salads as well. I’ve never liked salads mainly because I didn’t think they were filling enough. But his salads were. He added salmon, hard boiled eggs, avocado, and radishes. Needless to say, I was won over. After that I started cutting back on my sugar and flour intake and substituted my daily cookie snack with chai tea. At the time, I was working a lot of hours and as a result I had to reduce my exercise time from 5 times a week, to 2 times a week. It’s been a little more than 3 months now, and even with a reduced work out regimen, I have already lost over 20 pounds. It became abundantly clear to me that the things I was putting into my body were what kept me heavy. Because of this realization, many aspects of Coco’s presentation really hit home for me. I have personally experienced many of the changes she purported as a result of changing the way I eat.

Here are some of Coco’s basics for healthier living:
– Increase intake of local, fresh vegetables
– Buy local, pasteurized meats
– Get plenty of sunshine and exercise
– Add fermented vegetables to your diet
– Stop eating and drinking sugar and sugar substitutes

As Coco puts it: “it’s never too late to turn back the clock.” All you need to do to find out if it’s your lifestyle that’s causing your problems, whatever state you’re in now.

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