Many years there was a book titled, THE NUTS AMONG THE BERRIES. And, throughout history there have been many extremists, as there are today. Indeed there is fundamentalism in nutrition, as well as in politics and religion.
Today, some of the fundamentalists are vegans (4% of Americans who are as loud as the atheists) who scream loudly about eating any meat, but most of whom wear leather shoes and belts. And, all I have tested have been deficient in one or more essential amino acids, as well as eventually in B-12.
Then there are the purer than Caesar’s wife types who insist you avoid all but certified organic meats, vegetables, fruits, and milk – if you dare drink milk. There are the milk phobics. And, so it goes.
And, even a well-known physician who insists you should eat NO GRAINS seems strange and extreme to me. Or, the all raw food people, etc, etc. There are some who even scream about showering in chlorinated water.
Most Americans live in cities. The air in almost all cities is far more polluted than the food. Many people golf frequently – on some of the most chemically polluted earth open to the public. Many years ago it was shown that the average life expectancy of someone living in a city was 7 years shorter than those living rurally. These aspects of life are elective choices.
Yes, there are some things I avoid totally – McDonald’s and its clones, smoking and tobacco, street drugs, pop, most sugar, and packaged food. I do travel a great deal – and I do not worry about it! I also take many supplements which I intuitively select. Now, if you live a low-stress life, travel little, sleep well, exercise well, do not smoke, live on an organic farm isolated from pesticides and herbicides, and raise your own food, I suspect you might not need any supplements. I am what I consider a pragmatic realist as I will describe below.
If you can afford and find certified organic foods, I am all for it.
We live on a farm and we raise most of our vegetables and many fruits – no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. We travel only 7 miles to purchase range-fed beef. We travel twice a year, 45 minutes each way, to buy range-fed chickens and turkey. I have been fortunate to bring home frozen salmon and halibut from Alaska for the past three years. But, we eat canned pink salmon, which is wild Alaskan salmon. We eat tuna fish as often as every other week. We buy brown eggs, but I am not convinced that the extra Omega 3 added or organic eggs are worth it. We buy, when it is available, 2% milk that is guaranteed not to have been produced with added growth hormone. I drink low-fat buttermilk almost daily, and we eat store-bought yogurt. We use half and half or even heavy whipping cream in making Creme Brulee. We use only virgin olive oil and butter in cooking. I know super-duper coconut oil is good, but personally, I do not like the taste of coconut in my scrambled eggs! We do not buy ”luncheon” meats. Together my wife and I eat about 2 pounds each of bacon, bratwurst and smoked sausage each year. Yes, I am aware that these products have nitrates. I am also aware that moderate dosages of Vitamin C protect us from these relatively small amounts of nitrates. And I take lots of supplements.
I also eat about one ounce of dark chocolate 5 times a week. I drink coffee an average of once a week. I drink Earl Grey tea, 2 or sometimes 3 cups a day – no sugar and maybe a quarter teaspoon of honey. We make our own fruit juices from pears, apples and peaches grown at home. But, we also buy 3 or 4 cans a year of frozen orange juice concentrate. It makes an occasional delicious fuzzy navel. We drink a glass of Beringer’s White Merlot one to 3 times a week and Paul Mason’s Madeira or Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry once every week or so. We have a wonderful Glug 3 or 4 times a year. We use brown rice and make some of our bread. We even use angel hair or orzo pasta as often as 6 times a year. But, I love sourdough bread and we have an excellent source. And, sourdough English muffins as often as twice a week. We even eat a jar or two of real English marmalade a year.
I think life is to be enjoyed, within moderation. Occasional foods that are not ”ideal” are fine! Food should taste good and be as natural as possible. I exercise up to 2 hours daily. I take frequent saunas or hot soaks. I garden. I do my own form of meditation and deep self-regulation. This is my idea of sane, pragmatic living. I am abundantly healthy, have no known illnesses and take no drugs. Remember, I wrote LIFE BEYOND 100 and believe the average healthy life expectancy should be 120 to 160 years. But you don’t have to have unusual fetishes getting there!
Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. He recommends autogenic focus (the basis of the Biogenics System) as part of your overall commitment to self-health. Register to download your FREE autogenic focus MP3 now.