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"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)

“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Food Fight 14: Information Misinformation

Food Fight #14

I received some misinformation about fruit. Tainted truth and beliefs can interfere with our ability to win anything, including our food fight.

Email: If you eat fruit on an empty stomach, it will play a major role in detoxifying your system and supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.
My Thoughts: Eat fruit whenever. Eat any food before bedtime if it keeps away hunger. Lingering hunger is a greater threat to health and sleep than when we eat fruit.

Email: Once you've mastered the correct way of eating fruit, you have the secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.
My Thoughts: This plays into vanity and laziness for those seeking a quick fix when the simplest, safest way is food and activity.

Email: Eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice.
My Thoughts: I agree with this natural way.

Email: Drinking cold water after a meal causes cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.
My Thoughts: What happens if we drink cold water before or during a meal? What about cold water-melon on an empty stomach? What about cold milk with cereal? Water is not what's killing most of us unless it has dangerous chemicals in it. Everyone should read the water quality report for their town and research the risks associated with those chemicals and decide if you think it's safe. For instance, fluoride in water might be a bigger threat than whether water is cold or warm.

I am not concerned about the temperature of my water. We gain greater health benefits by avoiding toxic relationships that suck the life out of and kill more of us. By the way, drinkable water flowing from mountain springs is cold.

Final Thoughts:
Where are the vegetables in this email? Being healthy depends on natural sensibilities. We don't need a Masters of Science Degree in Fruit Eating. If we complicate food, health, and nutrition, we ain't gonna do right for ourselves for long.

The diligent food fighter is neither a glutton, eating everything in sight, nor are they gullible, believing everything that sounds right. The food fight, just like most things, is a fight for our focus and thus, a fight for our entire lives.

Extra Practice: Here's another example of truths that attempt to gain our confidence and then quickly move us towards the untruths, Not So Slick Foolishness. Can you tell me just one of the several flashing warning signs in this message?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Defeating Difficult Days & Temptations: Food Fight 13

Food Fight #13

Every fight, including a food fight, has difficult days that threaten to deliver a weakening punch to progress. The repeated impact of these difficult moments can be minimized at home, work and play.

Difficult Food Days: What Triggers Temptations?

What causes a difficult day? For me it happens when I just don't feel like eating anything I've been eating for the past several days. It happens when I don't have enough quick and easy food to combine to suit my taste buds. It happens when I'm out and about and allow myself to get too hungry and the first smell of anything remotely edible turns me into an undisciplined fighter. One complete surrender to putting a bunch of garbage in my body, though it tastes good at the moment, is potentially the reawakening of a habit I'm trying to stay away from.

What can be done? My main defense is to always be in search of new foods. I try to buy something I don't normally buy each time I go the store. This adds variety to my eating routine and spices up my taste buds. Instead of a salad, add veggies to other foods like spaghetti sauce, baked beans, eggs, mashed potatoes. Make soup. Make a new kind of smoothie. Every time you eat, get in the habit of trying to think of ways to add more fruit and vegetables to the meal. Herbs, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, avocados, olives and many other veggies go well with many dishes. There is no science to this, just add what you like. Renew your acquaintance with a less frequently eaten food. Eat your salad in a pita or wrap. If you'd like, add a little mustard along with turkey, tuna or shrimp. Consider pan toasting the bread in olive oil for added flavor.

What can be done when you're at work? Eat a full breakfast at home. If you have no snacks or packed lunch handy, have a few restaurants in mind that have some healthy choices. Post the list in front of you. My first recourse is Subway since they are plentiful. Drink water and in that drawer filled with condiments, forks, knives, napkins and plastic bags, place some raisins, nuts, granola bars, natural peanut butter, dark chocolate, etc. Keep gum, Lifesavers or other hard candy in your pocket to help fight off a craving. Parties and food brought to work by others are a big threat to healthy eating so it is best to plan ahead each day.

When you're just out having fun, carry food and water in your car, purse, gym bag or in whatever you take with you. If you simply avoid soda you're one step closer. You can do so by having water with you and buying a cup of ice or freezing the water in the first place. Planning makes a huge difference in the outcomes we achieve.

Difficult Activity Days: What Impedes Momentum?

What happens to threaten the amount of activity I get? Usually it's getting involved doing something else and not eating on time. This throws me off schedule and makes me not feel like being active because usually by the time I do eat and allow it to digest some, it's late in the day. Sometimes difficulty is caused by not getting to bed on time due to talking on the phone, watching a movie, writing or internet stuff. Some days I'm able to get a late start. On other days I must get up before I'm rested.

What can be done? If extremely busy, try setting an alarm or a calendar event on your phone as a reminder to be active.

What can be done to keep the energy level up and ready for activity? Most of all make activity a priority and blend it into everyday life such as walking, biking, swimming, basketball, tennis, skating, playing with the kids, the dog, etc. If you must go through an exercise routine or machines then try to keep it at the same time each day and guard that time as though your life depended on it. Nothing can get in the way without your permission. Many of the chores, errands and items on your long list can wait, especially stuff to do around the house. Health can't wait, it will only continue to deteriorate.

Set a workout alarm that warns you at least 30 minutes before it's time so you can begin to stop doing what you're doing and start preparing to be active. Prepare your workout environment by making sure everything is ready such as lighting, temperature, water, towel, music, etc. Watch a healthy eating, exercise or doctor show while being active. Avoid interruptions such as the phone and doorbell. These things are requests not requirements. It's your time for your health. If you do everything else first, your health will be last. This is no mystery.

When you're not quite feeling like it, just start stretching and you can usually turn the energy tide in your favor. If not, then just go a little slower and take more breaks. Do a few less repetitions, use a little less weight, shorten the walking distance. Do as much as you can. Focus on breathing. Focus on the muscles being used. Distract yourself from the activity using music, television or by saying encouraging words to yourself such as “I will be healthier,” “I have willpower,” “I can do this,” “You can't beat me,” “I am strong,” and whatever keeps you determined not to be defeated when faced with difficulty. If you must, think of proving any naysayer or knucklehead wrong. Better yet, remember your goals and reasons and speak them.

The biggest threat to being active over the long run is to skip one entire workout. One missed workout is potentially the beginning of a habit you don't want to start. It's better to do half a workout today and try to get in a full amount of activity the next day. The second biggest threat to remaining active is to injure yourself by not stretching, going too hard or too fast and not paying attention to body aches or the proper body form and posture when being active.

Clobbering Difficulty

Defeating a difficult day or temptation is easier when you know it's coming. Prepare your mindset in advance that part of achieving any goal is overcoming difficulty. Each time you resist a food temptation or struggle through a workout, you win what you want. You prove to yourself you are tougher than the challenges. You prove you deserve the goal. Visualize food rejuvenating your cells, enhancing your life. Visualize the physical appearance you want. Visualize health. Do and say what you have to to be healthy.

Sometimes you're going to want to eat a doughnut and you should. When you do consume something with little nutritional value, try to make it only one portion or serving. Eat a small order of Micky D fries. Just make sure you resist the urge most of the time. The more you develop the habit to defeat difficult days and temptations, the easier it becomes. Be proactive. Plan a small weekly treat to dampen the desires that cause you to forget food is more than just something to eat. Buy or make healthier sweets sometimes so you remain in control of what you're eating.

You know best what makes it difficult for you to stick to your fight plan. Plan your food and activity each day just as you plan what to wear to fit changing circumstances. Where do you want to go today with your health? How do you want your health to look? The same way you protect your hair from the rain is the same way you protect your health when difficult days and temptations try to dampen your health.

Fight back with a counterattack. When you practice your response, you improve your chances of success. When you see a difficult day or temptation coming, you'll instinctively sidestep, counterpunch and knock it back in the direction it came from.