See the list of all Jason Murphy’s recipes at www.mysaline.com/jason-murphy.
We seem to have a problem here. People get ideas or group mentalities so entrenched in their personal identity that no number of actual facts or hard data can ever change an opinion. It’s been proven that a fact contradicting their belief more often than not just entrenches that person further into the silo they have built for themselves.
Being able to listen, think critically, and change a once deeply held belief is a rare thing indeed these days. A saying rings true: It’s easy to forgive someone for being wrong, but almost impossible to forgive them for being right. It’s strange what people get so worked up about as well.
Food, for instance. I’ve had people that seem to take it as a personal insult that I don’t eat like they do, or that I avoid foods with certain ingredients. When I give facts about the ingredient list…say for instance…by reading the damn ingredient list, it’s met with anger or arguments. And I’m never telling them not to eat it. I do not care what anyone else eats in the slightest. I’m just explaining why I don’t want it after about the fifth time of saying “No thanks” to whatever I’m being offered.
So hopefully the facts I’m about to list here don’t prompt that response in whoever happens to be reading it. Facts are just facts; they don’t take sides or intend to get people all in their feelings. Facts will set you free, but they never promise to not piss you off. They usually do the opposite, hence another saying: Ignorance is bliss. Unfortunately, ignorance when it comes to what you ingest into your body can also come with serious consequences down the line.
When I ate anything and everything on the typical American diet, I was overweight, almost certainly pre-diabetic, suffering from high blood pressure, and depressed. I would tell myself on the way home from work that I was not going into the pantry and eating a sleeve of Pringles, a Little Debbie brownie, drink a diet coke, and then lay down feeling terrible and hating myself until it was time to cook dinner. I was going to exercise and feel good!
And then, as soon as I walked through the door, I would zombie walked to the pantry and do exactly what I had been telling myself I would not do. When I dragged myself off the bed a couple of hours later, this is the expression I had for myself in the mirror:
Utter disappointment and contempt. It was the same cycle, every day. The junk food had complete control over me. When I finally hit a life breaking point and had a real “get busy living or get busy dying” moment, I quit processed foods and drinks cold turkey. The change was immediate and unquantifiable in my improvement.
Now I was able to work out immediately after walking in the door. I ate foods that fueled my energy instead of putting me into a diet induced coma. Suddenly, the little things that would give me an excuse to derail any planned exercise became just an insignificant obstacle that I could easily overcome.
For instance, the other day, a work meeting came up while I was in the middle of a lift session. Instead of letting that stop me, I brought the laptop down to the basement and my best friend listened in for me while I kept at it:
There are articles every day about this or that chemical in this or that food or drink will cause cancer. It’s usually based on a study in mice where the poor unfortunate rodent was fed the equivalent of a 55-gallon barrel of whatever it is they are testing. Then the next wave of articles will hit expounding on how flawed that research was and how unrealistic the amounts were that the mouse was forced to ingest.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle. No, drinking or eating said ingredient in said product will give you cancer. At least, not right away and on its own.
The long-term effects of the standard American diet are hard to ignore. There are reports that show that the average American’s chance to be obese, have heart disease, or suffer from cancer are twice as high as the rates for Europeans. Americans also spend twice as much on healthcare treating those ailments.
What’s different? Well, in Europe, synthetic dyes are not allowed in foods. BVO, BHT, Titanium Dioxide, Potassium Bromate, Azodicarbonide, and Proplparben are also banned from foods there. What foods have them in America? Almost everything that comes in a box, bottle, or bag at any mega-mart. Pop-tarts, breakfast cereals, candies, snack cakes, sodas, ketchup, chips…any of this sounding familiar?
Why are they allowed here? Profits, profits, profits. They are cheaper to use so companies save money on their products and deposit directly into their CEO’s bank accounts. Our medical system makes all of its profit on treatment, not prevention.
Think about the commercials for any tv show you have watched lately. It will go as follows: fast food ad, pharmaceutical pill ad, insurance ad… repeat, repeat, repeat. I am the American Medical establishment’s worst nightmare. In the nine years and counting that I have eliminated as much processed foods as possible, I have not had so much as the sniffles or a headache.
Before, I would suffer from the average amount of colds, fevers, stomach aches, and other maladies as the next person. Sore throats, stuffy nose, heartburn at night…all things that would hit me from time to time. About a year into my new lifestyle, it suddenly dawned on me that all that had just vanished. Since then, I’ve been exposed to people with viruses, colds, fevers, full blown severe Covid, and my immune system swatted it all away without so much as a second thought. I can’t remember the last time I took a pill or a swig of medicine. I just don’t need it.
I severely injured my back in my early twenties, and that used to flare up and make me bed-ridden for days several times a year. Now even that has disappeared. Cuts heal and vanish like they were never there. Around my house, I’ve referred to as “The Wolverine” for my healing and immunity powers:
I didn’t get these powers from mutant cells. I built them over time by daily habits that I do not deviate from. Food may not technically be medicine, but it damn well can determine how you feel and your base line of health.
So when those click bait headlines come out, instead of thinking about how drinking one diet soda with Aspartame won’t kill you, think about all the food you eat day after day, month after month, year after year. Think about what all those foods have in them, and how the cumulative effect of that builds over time.
Eating a processed food or drink is not an immediate health risk you can measure. It’s the long-term consequences of your entire diet that hits people when they least expect it:
Don’t get it twisted, I’m not talking about living longer. No one wants to live forever, right? It’s not about how long you live; it’s about how long you live well.
Being too weak to live on your own and going to a nursing home is a fate worse than death, and as someone who has died once, I would know. No matter what else I’m dealing with in life, being sick or feeling like crap is no longer added to it.
Being fit and strong doesn’t make life perfect, but it does make everything a bit easier. As far as cravings, once you allow yourself time away from those processed foods, you will find their taste to be downright bad or completely overpowering.
Skittles tells you to eat the rainbow. You should do that, by preparing your own colorful veggies and fruits daily. Don’t eat the rainbow that comes pre-made for you in bags lying in wait at the check-out counter. Those have more in common with the oil slick rainbows in a puddle on asphalt after a rainstorm than light fracturing in the sky.
I’m guessing you don’t grab a straw and slurp that up on your way back to the car, so you might want to avoid bags of it no matter what the commercial tells you. Make your own foods, take charge of your own health, and live how you want to live.
The truth will take care of itself, like it always does, whether you acknowledge it or not.