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Summer Shape Up Series #3


By K.P. Sander

Eastvale – They say, ‘You Are What You Eat’, but what if I don’t want to be Potassium Bromate?  What if Butylated Hydroxyanisol gives me the creeps (after all, “butylated” sounds like “mutilated”)?  In today’s world of high technology and instant gratification, have we microwaved ourselves into a toxic nightmare of diseases, obesity and unhappiness?

The artificial sweeteners, preservatives, dyes and flavor enhancers that have been added to our foods for decades have fattened not only corporate pocket books through prolonged shelf lives and disguised cheaper, sub-standard products, but they have fattened us up as well.  They have created maladies in our bodies including Alzheimer’s, cancers, diabetes and heart disease, and have contributed to emotional disorders in our children – even health concerns for our pets.  A hundred years ago, when you grew your own food and “fast food “ was a chicken on the run from the chopping block, these diseases were rare, and even non-existent.  But with the initiation of processed foods in the second half of the 20th Century, the health of people everywhere has taken a turn for the worse.

The frightening list of additives that infest our foods are helping to make meals to die for; literally.  BHA/BHT, artificial sweeteners, food dyes, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, potassium bromate, sodium nitrate/nitrite sodium sulfite, surfer dioxide and trans-fats are commonly found in everything from breads to meats to yogurts – even chewing gum can be toxic.  And all of these ingredients are associated with some very unpleasant, even deadly, consequences from cancer to chromosomal damage.

And, are the poisons ingested in our bodies the only cause for concern?  Is there more social anxiety prevalent because of social media?  By involving more people in our lives via technology, are we becoming more anti-social by hiding behind it?  Look around you.  The majority of people walking around (and yes, even driving around) aren’t paying attention to where they are going because they are completely focused on their phones:  texting, Facebooking, Instagramming.

I’m guilty of all of it, but I can’t remember the last time I truly felt full of health and vitality and just plain old GOOD.  I wake up to caffeine, drive-thru when I’m rushed, crack open a can of high-fructose corn syrup for energy, and text instead of call.  But I, for one, don’t want to find myself looking a heart attack (or worse) right smack in the face, knowing I contributed directly to it.  I’m going to educate myself, read more labels, and avoid ingredients I can’t pronounce or know to be toxic.  I’m going to buy more organic foods and less processed foods.  I’m going to consider an apple and a handful of almonds “fast food”.  And I’m going to contribute to my general well-being by participating in some actual face time with those I love.  I’m guessing my fitness routines will be enhanced, my body and mind will feel better, and my relationships will benefit.

Food should be a source of joy and nourishment.  The purpose is to fuel your body, and due to the sensory components, it is an opportunity to create a connection with those you love.  Create a meal to live for.  Let “you are what you eat” mean health and vitality for you and your family.