This issue has of course been floating around me for some time but it seems that those surrounding me have embraced it more whole heartily as of late. My brother-in-law, Mike, has done his research and is currently enamoured with two books. Each one outlines the positive effects of planning a healthy diet.
The first book is entitled Eat Right for Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo. As I understand it our blood type correlates with particular foods that are either beneficial or harmful to our digestion and overall health.
The official website states:
Everything you put into your body today—and how your body interacts with
it—become the raw materials determining your biochemical future. Every day, how
your body interacts with what you eat influences your:
Ability to Handle Stress
From what I gather from my cursory review of this book is the premise that certain blood types evolved during our history depending on the culture of the time. If man was ingesting large amounts of meat at a specific point in time the blood type matched this diet to gain maximum nutritional value. As diets shifted to include more vegetation a new blood type arose to compensate and so on. Each blood type can find its genesis in a particular point in time.
Today in our world of fast food, chemicals, processed and manufactured foods we are doing ourselves a huge disservice and actually limiting our lifespans and quality of life. Mike was telling me that our ancestors had longer lives than we will because of the food we eat.
The other evening I was having dinner with my parents. My mom said that she never ate red cabbage or canned cranberry sauce until she met my father and moved to New York. Her family in West Virginia grew all of their own vegetables and if they didn't grow it, they didn't eat it. Simple. My great grandmother lived to the age of 98.
Another book Mike was telling me about is The Maker's Diet by Jordan S. Rubin. This one I have had even less interaction with than Eat Right for Your Type and it has a religious connection that I have yet to understand but the premise seems to be the same.
You are what you eat.
Here is a snippet from their website:
Most of us eat great quantities of food frequently, based on convenience.
In fact, the entire fast-food and TV-dinner industries have flourished due to
our fast-paced lifestyles that demand we eat convenience foods.
Unfortunately, the Creator didn't design our bodies to operate at optimum
levels on junk food, fast food, or prepackaged foods prepared in microwave
ovens. His laws that govern our entire human nature, including our health, bring
consequences when violated, whether or not we accept the fact that they are
still in place.
More and more of my friends are becoming vegetarians or vegans. They are eating healthy foods and making wise choices. In a time when cows are being fed antibiotics and steroids to produce more milk and there is a plethora of artificial substances widely in use this makes sense. Mike and my sister now order much of their food on line from organic farms. They have cut out gluten and various kinds of milk including soy, which is evidently not as wonderful as I was led to believe.
This issue is also playing out in our schools. Most cafeterias provide children with prepackaged, frozen lunches. Preparation for many of the foods consists of "just add water" or microwave. I have seen reports of schools in America that are shifting away from this and actually cooking healthy lunches. They state, in response to the naysayers, that it IS cost effective and that the students have more energy and stamina to participate in classroom/school activities and learning. Many of my colleagues visited the Reggio Emilia schools in Italy where the food is all organic and lovingly prepared with respect for the students. If it saves money AND is better for our children, why don't we provide a healty choice?
The point of all this is that perhaps it is time for me to make some changes as well. But, honestly I am a bit overwhelmed. Where to start? This is where I put it to you -- what are your suggestions?