A Holistic Approach…

Should You Go Extreme To Be Healthy?

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Apologies for the delay in getting my next post done, things have been crazy! Anyway, now is as good a time as any to get this particular post written and out. I’ve wanted to write about this for a while and now I can kill two birds with one stone. This was actually intended to be my next blog topic regarding my keto journey anyway but life has been so hectic I haven’t had a chance to work on it. So here I am.

 

I had already been wondering if all natural health enthusiasts, coaches, doctors, etc. actually do everything they tout as being good for you and avoid everything that is bad. The lifestyle changes necessary to completely go ketogenic are ‘in-your-face’ things that make you really reflect on whether or not what you are doing is healthy. Writing a blog even more so. So when a friend recently called me out on something that’s fairly big in the natural health area, which I knew was inevitable, I decided it was time for me to address it. What are the odds of this happening right when I was planning to discuss it anyway?

This will take a little while but bear with me and I’ll get to it but I want to talk about some things first. There are a few important things I really want to convey with this blog and with all of my information. First, I want people to know that, like everyone else, I am human and we are all struggling to become better so just because I know something that can help doesn’t mean it’s so easy for me to implement. Second, I want people to know it is okay to not be extreme because sometimes extreme leads to failure and that is worse than never trying at all. Third, I want people to know they have choices and they have to be okay with their choices but whatever they choose we always have a do over. This is big. I think many people fail because they failed when trying to go extreme and, because it didn’t work, they just throw in the towel.

I think this is a big reason for our obesity epidemic. People go on diets wanting to lose weight but many of those diets are impossible to sustain, so they either stop losing weight or they actually gain weight and then completely give up. They continue to pack on the pounds and instead of seeking other solutions depression sets in and food becomes (or returns as) a comfort. I know it can be heartbreaking but I’m here to say that it’s okay. There are so many components to our eating habits the past fifty years that we can’t simply blame our lack of willpower or choices we make. But the good news is that we do have those choices and every day is a new day.

One of the things I have struggled with over the past few weeks is doing the keto lifestyle while trying not to completely change what I enjoy or who I am. Wow! Little did I know how difficult this would be and how big a part of my life carbs have been.

At first it was just the beer. I remember when I didn’t like beer and barely liked any alcoholic beverages at all for that matter – that was many moons ago, college to be exact. Then, gradually, I began enjoying a good Mexican beer every once in a while, especially on a hot day (lime and salt, anyone?). Still, I really didn’t care much for it and I had to really be in the mood. We won’t talk about how college indoctrinated me into various things, including beer. Hey, be glad I’ve broken some of it! I do research and write about natural health after all!

So, over the past couple of years there’s been this huge emergence of “craft beer”. They’ve come up with all sorts of things that make beer so palatable. It’s like anything else, the more you try something the more you are able to develop an affinity. Seriously. I never liked olives. Actually, I couldn’t stand them but now I know I can incorporate them into the keto lifestyle so, guess what, I’m gradually eating them and starting to like them! What’s up with all this? Well, the good news is that, if we can develop an affinity for something like an IPA we can develop an affinity for something healthy.

I don’t care for IPA but I do love a good apricot ale, hibiscus saison, and, pumpkin ale (‘tis the season!) among other things. Too bad I didn’t learn about all this ketosis stuff before I allowed myself to develop this liking. But I kind of digress. The point is that since I have developed this liking for beer, and of course other carb-heavy things (like bread dipped in Oro Rojo #swoon) they are much more difficult to give up. Now, go figure, Dr. David Perlmutter of the book Grain Brain and other equally important books is saying that it’s good for us to have a glass (A glass – 5 ounces) of wine, preferably red, per day; almost like a supplement. Whaaaa? I love it but it’s counterintuitive. You can read all about it here. So, too bad I didn’t just stick with the wine thing and had to go and get myself all wound up with craft beer.

Anyway, it turns out some of my habits have been difficult to kick, as tasty and awesome as it is to eat high fat foods. I’m hoping to hibernate here pretty soon and take at least three weeks to a month off of everything – well, except high fat foods, that is. I want to truly get keto-adapted even though I’m doing much better now than when I first began. My running has actually improved, even when I have gone way too long without doing it.

Unfortunately things have happened recently that have thrown me off my groove of everything, including running and doing keto. I’ve been so busy trying to build my business that I haven’t made much time to prepare yummy keto alternatives, like this pizza I really want to try. And, like I said before, I’m not battling any illness (which is a very good thing, please don’t get me wrong), and weight loss is not a big incentive for me. In the meantime I’m taking care of my mother part time, which has not been easy, and is one of those things that makes you want to turn to the things you “love”, especially the “easy” comfort food.

But, what’s the real point of this post and the question, “do I practice what I preach?” Well, the truth is I do but only to a certain extent. One of the reasons I decided to start this blog series and to be so candid is because I want people to realize we are all human. I’m not going to lie, this journey has really made me pay close attention to my habits and at times it hasn’t been easy. It also highlights the point that it’s good to sacrifice every once in a while and cleansing/detoxing is a must. The bottom line, for me, is that all of this information is an arsenal that I know I can turn to when necessary whether or not I take my own advice daily. In fact, there are certain things that should only be used on a limited basis or when necessary even though they are natural and can be helpful (some herbs can cause damage to organs if used long-term).

But the real message I want to share in this post is that we don’t have to be perfect. There are things we enjoy, whether it’s food, drink, sweets, etc. I believe we need to try as much as we can to pay attention to what we consume or even put on our bodies in the form of skincare because that’s all we can control. We must especially be aware of any hidden addictions we might have. One of the most overlooked is an affinity to sweets. We can’t always control what we breathe, or the wireless signals to which we are exposed but we can control what we consume. It’s so important. However, there are things that are technically “bad” for us that we enjoy with our friends, like craft beer or good wine or even pizza night or whatever. Obviously there are alternatives to the pizza but we really don’t have alternatives to the beer and the question then becomes, do we have to completely deprive ourselves of certain things in the name of health even when there is no addiction or health issue involved?

Well, if you talk to a purist and those people who have actually dealt with life-threatening illness I’m sure you’ll find the answer to be “Yes”. But for me I say no. It’s not because I don’t believe it would be extremely beneficial but because I understand how it is. I’m human. I care about my health but I also enjoy certain things. Things like Milano cookies. Oh dear, I couldn’t imagine giving those up forever. Not that I eat them all the time though. I bet I have them two or three times a year but they’re soooo good!

I’m relatively healthy. I don’t know what lurks underneath so I’ll try my best to cleanse, detox, eat as healthy as I can and avoid things like sugar and alcohol (did you know they are equally detrimental to health? And, let me say, wine is actually the exception) but alcohol is tough because of this thing I developed about wine and now craft beer (sheesh!). I’ll try my best though. Still, life is meant to live…moderately and with good morals, but to live nonetheless.

The other day I partook in a yearly New Mexico tradition – picking up a bushel – I hope I don’t regret not getting a sack – of green chile, having it roasted, peeled, and packed for the freezer. Being New Mexican would not be the same without partaking in this tradition. Guess what else is part of this tradition? Making fresh, homemade, tortillas and eating a fresh green chile sandwich while packing the chile. So I did and it was amazing, as usual. The tortillas are totally not ketogenic, and, except for the homemade part, pretty much against what “health” as I now know it is. Do you honestly believe I’d forego this tradition for the sake of being a purist? Um, no. And I don’t believe anyone else should either.

Of course this all takes a tremendous amount of self-control. The point is for things to be limited and in moderation. This brings me to the second bird I want to kill with this stone. So, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and start selling a popular, and quite incredible, whitening toothpaste. Sorry, but if you want more info you’ll have to contact me directly, the company is picky like that. Anyway, my reasons for making this decision will eventually be made public if my plan goes accordingly but for now rest assured that I felt it was a good move on my part.

So this second dead bird has to do with my decision to sell this toothpaste. I know about the dangers of fluoride and I am full well that this toothpaste is ”fluoride” toothpaste. I, myself, have been using toothpaste that contains fluoride even though I know about the so-called dangers of this chemical and the alleged conspiracy surrounding its use not only in municipal water systems but also in the toothpaste. Even so I have made the decision to use fluoride toothpaste, including this one, and to promote this product.

I’m not saying I like to place myself or anyone else in harm’s way but I also know that there are certain things we all will do in the name of vanity, pleasure, or whatever else. There are very few people who will go completely natural for any of these reasons and, let me tell you, those who do are pretty well isolated. Hey, if that’s your cup of tea by all means go for it. But it is not mine. I do care about my smile and whether my teeth look good or not. This is one of the things I have always noticed on a person. Does this mean that I think it’s okay to get a root canal or amalgam filling? Hell no. I’d go toothless before I’d do either.

I really try as I can to limit my ingestion or exposure of chemicals. In all honesty, based on my research, if I felt the momentary lapses in memory or whatever was based on using fluoride toothpaste and not my high glucose forming diet I would switch. Like, for reals, I’d rather change my toothpaste than stop drinking craft beer and eating bread dipped in that New Mexico Gold (it’s not called that for nothing)!

It’s all about moderation, folks, and you’ll never hear me tell you to quit anything cold turkey if it’s something you love or something that makes you feel good or look good (if looking good makes you feel good). If you’re dealing with a health issue by all means look not only to your diet but also to what you are brushing your teeth with as well as what you’re putting on your skin. In my opinion what you put on your skin is almost as important as what you’re ingesting. If I were faced with a health crisis I would go extreme. Thankfully it is not necessary for me at this time.

As for fluoride toothpaste there is a lot of information available to teach you why it is not a good idea and, yes, anything you put in your mouth has the ability to make its way to the heart through the bloodstream much more quickly than ingesting it; however, everything I have studied says that root canals are deadly and amalgam fillings are not far behind. Still, all things considered, I have discovered the importance of avoiding sugar and carbs and feel it is more useful for me to focus on that at this point.

But anyway, thanks to my good friend for calling me out on it. She’s a gem because she’s paying attention and she cares. I knew it would happen but I didn’t know who would do it. Rest assured I’m going to continue keeping it real on this blog. Just because I study natural health and prefer to go with natural healing than pharmaceuticals doesn’t mean I’m extreme. Like I said, I don’t believe we should be extreme because that sets us up for failure. In the meantime I believe we should all be aware of what fluoride does in the body so we can make the decision of whether we are okay with have anything to do with it or not. I choose to use it for now, and when I do a detox or cleanse it’s out of my life – I do go all natural, but that is my choice, as is the keto diet or vitamin C or natural body products or whatever. My role is to share information with you. It’s up to you to implement it or not and if it were something I feel really strongly about or that I wouldn’t do myself I would not recommend it at all.

Besides, I find it hard to believe that anyone who uses only natural toothpaste never drinks alcohol or has sweets sometimes (or lots of times). If you are one of those unicorn people then my hat goes off to you! As for me I’m working on being in ketosis as much as possible. This week it will be from Sunday through Thursday…then I’m going to have a margarita at happy hour and, if I can find the right one, I’ll be enjoying a pumpkin ale this weekend. #keepingitreal

Incidentally, this was my dinner last night, “breaded” (with seasoned parmesan cheese and ground pork rinds) chicken thighs, a salad with arugula, sunflower seeds, a little pear, and parmesan cheese, and steamed okra on the side. Who says you can’t throw a ketogenic meal together quickly?

Keto “Breaded” Chicken thigh, pear arugula salad with sunflower seeds and parmesan, and steamed okra

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