Truth in Movement

We as rational beings must construct instruments through which metaphysical truths can be viewed. There is much in the universe that we can not explain through objective measures. Some mysteries have been solved by our advancement in technology but there still remains many uncertainties about our lives here on Earth and beyond. Wherever exists a lacuna in the science of the day, you will find a theory, religion, dogma, prescription drug, weight-loss method, diet and exercise plan or snake-oil on the market. We must realize that all of these methods are but lenses of varying clarity to absolute truth.
Just as there is no flawless lens, there is no flawless method of achieving fitness and health. The health industry is saturated with those who are more interested in profit rather than health. I am not just talking about commercials you see on late-night TV. The entire health industry from the FDA, AMA, HMO to thigh-master, ab-circle, George Foreman grill, etc. are corrupted with those who purposefully direct science and ignore inconvenient outcomes so that they can go to the public with a claim that will make them money. Just think of all the prescription medication that makes it to the market and then is re-called because it actually does more harm than good. The reason modern medicine is constantly changing is two-fold. First of all, the subjects in the experiment (we the people) are not a true control group. Our food sources and environment has changed more in the last 50 years than it has in the last 10,000. The second reason is that our current system of research is so tainted, either by private money or governmental grants, that laboratory results simply do not pan out in real life.
For these reasons, I approach everything I encounter in health and wellness with a grain of salt. (of the Celtic Sea variety that is) We can not become fanatics about anything. My experience thus far in the health industry has been in the western medicine setting. I have had conversations with doctors and pharmacists who are convinced that there simply is no other way to be healthy than to take pills and cut fat from your diet. When I try to present a different point of view, their defenses go up not because what i say makes no sense; it’s because what I am saying threatens everything they have spent unimaginable hours studying for. I don’t charge them with malicious ignorance. I just think that it is easy for us to get so entrenched in our life’s work that we stop learning once we’ve been convinced to follow one methodology or another. The same goes for academics. So much of a persons worth and legacy goes in to the research they will conduct and the studies they will produce. The pursuit of novelty can be very dangerous because then you are not so much concerned with whether you produce truth that will work in the real world. The main concern is if it has been done before. Of course ingenuity has saved many lives but as we continue to try to outsmart God and nature, we can become drunk with notoriety and sacrifice the cosmic intelligence inborn in our food, ourselves and our planet.
Our physical bodies are the housing of our mind and soul. It is the outward expression of every emotion we feel, every disease we encounter and every triumphant victory we accomplish. Doctors, healers, shaman, and therapists are all specialists who have studied the subtle communication between our mind and bodies. When we get sick, it’s our body telling us that there is a bacterial growth, viral attach, nerve impingement, chemical imbalance, or synthetic toxin somewhere in our tissues. Most of us have abdicated our responsibility to listen to our bodies when they speak to us. Many of us know we feel unwell but have no diagnosable pathology. We may not express any detectable symptoms but we know we are not at optimal health. It’s sad to realize once you have attained true health for the first time in your life, that for all the years that were, you were not living to the fullest. I was lucky enough to experience this vitality in my early 20’s. Now, anytime I feel myself slipping, I know exactly what to do for the remedy. Everybody is as different on the inside as they are on the outside. We know that we all require different ratios of macro nutrients in our diets. Exercise is no different however, it is not as varied from person to person as diet may be. We all need to move. That is what Moving For Wellness is about. You can be a hiker, biker, swimmer or climber but you need to move your body doing what you enjoy. The only time exercise becomes exercise is when it is so structured that it becomes “work”. Our jobs give us enough stress; we don’t need our work-outs to give us more. If you have trouble sticking to an exercise routine, it is probably because you are not moving how your body wants you to. Too much in the fitness industry is centered around rep counts, time intervals, rest periods and weights that we figure that if are not doing exactly the right thing, we shouldn’t even bother at all. All the science you hear from fitness professionals is mostly for athletes. The only scientific conclusion you should concern yourself with is that 2.5 hours/week of moderate exercise is related to increased measures of health in humans. If you find yourself unmotivated to exercise, I would say quit asking others (fitness authorities) for an exercise plan. Get outside and try different things. Take some time to get to know your body and how it likes to move. You have to be honest with yourself and not just try to avoid hard work. Once you have an idea, then go consult with a trainer or coach to learn how not to injure yourself. There are but a few simple rules of bio-mechanics that our bodies sometimes ignore to take the path of least resistance. The ultimate truth however is that nobody knows your body better than you can. Feel it and experience it’s greatness through exercise and you may be able to attain vitality and absolute health.

An Inflammatory Diet

Ask your doctor, nutritionist, naturopath, acupuncturist yoga instructor and even your best vegan friend and they will all agree that Omega-3 is a great supplement to take. There is not much else out there that all those people agree on. If you pick up a medical journal these days, you will see that Omega-3 has been proven to act favorably on diabetes, hypertension, dislipidemia, osteoporosis, obesity, dementia, neuropathy, etc. It seems to be a miracle pill. Now, I am not here to discredit it’s worth to us but I am here to help you maximize the effects of this little Essential Fatty Acid in your body, and maybe even save some money while you’re at it.
Our Standard American Diet is rich in Omega-6 and gluten. These are two inflammatory nutrients that act in entirely different ways. I’ll explain gluten further down in the text. The high level on Omega-6 is due largely in part to the fact that vegetable oils are cheap to make and have a long shelf life after they have been processed, burned, artificially colored and deodorized. They are cheap because the three major crops that are subsidized by the government are soy, wheat and corn. Soy and corn are rich in Omega-6. If you happen to walk over to your pantry right now, I would be surprised if you could find 5 items that do not have either corn oil or soybean oil on the label. Omega-6 is considered an essential fatty acid, meaning that we need it in our diets and can not produce it within our bodies. That said, there must be an equal balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3. Currently the average American takes in a 10-20:1 ratio of Omega-6:Omega-3 fatty acids. The agreed upon recommendation is 2:1 while others speculate that our cave-men ancestors were given by mother nature an even 1:1 ratio. We are seeing the effects of an over abundance of Omega-6 in our food supply with all the joint pain we all suffer from for no apparent reason. The scientific evidence is a long time away because for now, we are only looking at one half of the equation. We are so focused on Omega-3 right now for two reasons. First of all, that’s just how modern nutrition works; they isolate one portion of a food type so that it is easier to market and profit from. Second, calling for a reduction of Omega-6 in our diets would mean threatening the profits of Big Agra and all the members of congress that they have in their pockets.
The second inflammatory culprit in our SAD diets is gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye and barley. Remember, wheat is one of the 3 main crops that are paid for in part by the government. Whole grains are great nutrition however, some grains have evolved more than others. It is important to realize that we are but one of many species of organism on this planet. The food we eat, including the lowly plants, is trying just as hard to survive as we are. In the plant world, some adapt by making their fruits more appealing, thereby inviting us to pick, ingest, and excrete their seeds far and wide. Other plants have adapted by making their seeds toxic and indigestable. Wheat is one such plant that has developed a way to render itself poisonous to the consumer. Gluten is the weapon of choice for the more evolved of the grains. Gluten wreaks havoc on the digestion system. The reason this toxic crop is considered safe by the FDA is because it’s effects are slow and until recently, no medical technology could link the diseases it causes to the wheat. Being a nation whose idea of a healthy breakfast is cold cereal, we have perforated our guts to the extent that toxins like gluten can leak in to the blood stream and settle in our joints. Scientist have shown that the gluten molecule looks a lot like our cartilage that protects our joints. What do you think happens when our immune system tries to remove the gluten from our joints? Many cases of chronic arthritis have been cured by eliminating gluten from the diet.
Many misconceptions about health and nutrition are born from half-truths. While Omega-3 is good for you, its only half the battle. It only makes sense to take a look at your Omega-6 intake while you supplement with Omega-3. Popping expensive Omega-3 tablets while drowning them out with Omega-6 in your diet is silly and a waste of money. You would do better on less if you would just clean up your diet and use food as your medicine. You may even find that you will not have to use as many pain relievers for your every-day aches and pains. Supplements have their place in wellness however, you must make sure that your diet is as clean as it can be before you try and add to it. The very word “supplement” means something added to a complete thing. It is impossible to create health from a sick diet.