It is interesting to me how the word “healthy” is tossed around. In this day and age, everyone claims to be healthy, despite being on daily medication and suffering from some sort of daily bowel discomfort. We make the claim that our kids our healthy, despite the fact that the majority in our country now have learning disabilities, ADD, or chronic illnesses, such as asthma or allergies. It has become a comparative term, one that can be used as long as there is someone much worse off than us–and there always is.
It’s as if a new “normal” has been set, one with a higher threshold for disease, and what is “healthy” now is so far removed from what health meant even 100 years ago. It’s as if we have forgotten what it is to be without some sort of ailment. We have forgotten what it is like to not need daily stimulants for energy or pills for pain or function.
Maybe it’s not that we’ve forgotten but that our world has changed so drastically, that it is all we now know.
And then, there are the “health” foods that have come to the rescue, advertised by the food industry with promises of leaner waistlines and lower cholesterol. It’s a term we trust and reach for, regardless of who is defining it for us. We jump from one fad to another, searching for the health that is just around the corner. From “healthy” soy to lean meats and skim milk, we stuff our baskets with the boxes that contain the “low-fat” label, then race to the gyms and torture ourselves with the latest exercise regimen.
And when all this fails? We reach for the “healthy” pills, shakes and bars that will give us just that extra boost we need. With just a little sprinkle or swallow three times a day, we will be well on our way to the body of our dreams, a body that’s lean, slim, and of course, “healthy.”
Can you see just how “unhealthy” all of this sounds? Can you see just how far removed this is from a “true” picture of health? A picture that portrays a body, self-sustaining, without the need for stimulants, such as caffeine, or pills to maintain normal bodily functions. A body that is perfectly proportional for the individual, not necessarily skinny, one with a strong immune system that easily fights off disease and recuperates quickly when challenged. A body that is at peace, able to soak in the natural elements and maintain a constant connection with its Creator. A body able to rise and be all God created it to be. A true picture of health goes beyond what we have been offered by the media, the store shelves or even by many doctors.
Now, I’m not judging, for I have been guilty of chasing all of this world’s pictures of health. I believed the industry “health” buffs and followed the latest fads; I pushed myself on the treadmills and purchased the “necessary” bars and pills. In every case, however, my health and well-being always seemed to elude me. (Read my story here.)
My journey to fight for my health truly began when it was quickly slipping away. Although I was never truly healthy, living with a lifetime of migraines, it was when I was spiraling downward into a daily pit of pain that I began to fight with every ounce of my being. My first opponents were gluten, dairy, soy, egg and yeast, eliminated from my diet two and a half years ago, shared on my original site Going Against the Grain.
I grew better and became stronger but soon went to battle with everything I had been taught about health. It is this part of my journey that I share in this blog. It is my search for true health that has prompted me to record my findings in order to help others find their path.
I believe that the premise for true health begins with a healthy spirit, one that believes in our awesome Creator and His ability to supply all that we need for sustenance and a general sense of well being. My gratitude goes to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for it is in Him that I have been given new eyes to see and new health to embrace and share with others. It is my faith that gives me purpose and drives me to be all that I can be for His kingdom.
The next layer of true health is one that encompasses a healthy mind, one that is at peace, self-controlled and free of the anxieties and stresses of the world. A healthy mind is optimistic, establishes safe boundaries and is challenged daily by reading, writing or other stimulating activities. It is fed with positive messages and sustained with loving, healthy relationships.
Finally, true health means having a healthy body, one that is nourished with real life-giving foods. A healthy body is strong and energized, and free of disease, stimulants and pills.
My greatest revelation in this area was discovering the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, whose teachings have become the foundation for my growth. In his work, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Price shares his research in studying the truly healthiest people from around the world. Despite location, these peoples were all free of chronic illnesses and degenerative diseases. Their bone structure was exquisite, and their teeth were perfectly straight with no signs of cavities, despite the fact that they did not brush their teeth or have fluoride.
Within one generation of being introduced to white flour and sugar, or processed foods, however, all groups began to show signs of physical degeneration, meaning their bodies began to fall apart. The children had more slender facial structures and crooked teeth and many began to get cavities. They were more susceptible to illness and no longer had the ability to heal as quickly.
After much intense study, Dr. Price realized the role of nutrition for optimal health. He summarized his findings and identified the healthiest foods, along with the traditional practices that rendered them most useful to the body. These foods are shared in Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, which has become the staple for our household.
Step-by-step, we have worked our way toward a purer picture of health than ever before. The learning curve has been huge, and the healing, at times, uncomfortable, but we have been blessed with others whose paths have intersected with ours. It is through their insights that I have grown, and it is these new findings that I now share with you.
My prayer is that you and your family embrace your own true picture of health and all it takes to attain it. May you have all that you need to embark on your own journey and sustain the changes necessary. Together, may we leave a legacy of true health, a much better “normal,” for future generations to come.
Linking up at Let’s Get Real Friday