Hippocrates, the father of medicine, from whom we get the Hippocratic oath every doctor takes upon graduating as a doctor, famously said, “Let they food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” Tens of thousands of different chemicals, that essentially have pharmaceutical-like and harmful effects, are in the processed foods that dominate the American diet. There are chemicals in the food and personal care products that are known endocrine-disruptors, antibiotics that create superbugs in your body and kill friendly bacteria in your gut, there are chemicals that induce changes in our biochemistry that affect the functioning of our brain and every other system in the body. And we wonder why we are sick and more susceptible to infections, and other problems!

The average American drinks over 50 gallons of pop/soda every year! A 12 oz. can of pop contains 11 teaspoons of white sugar. That is enough sugar to eat over 122 cups of white sugar a year, 10 cups a month! Even more people drink diet drinks every year. Nutrasweet/aspartame is horribly bad for you. (Read Dr. Hyman’s excellent article on the topic) Berkley University determined that even the supposedly good sports drinks and electrolyte sport drinks add 13 pounds per year on average.

About 90% of the food consumed in the United States is processed food. This is the food in the inner rows of the grocery store. These foods can sit on the shelf for 20 or more years! Processed food is devoid of any true nutritional value and is in fact the dead skeleton of foods that were likely corporate-farm grown in soil that is now devoid of vital microbes, minerals, and nutrients, heavily poisoned by pesticides, fungicides, and weed-killers. Any supposed nutrients or vitamins in processed food are most often synthetic vitamins, as opposed to food-form vitamins and nutrients. You are better off shopping only on the perimeter of the grocery stores.

Often I hear people complain that organic produce and food is too expensive. I used to agree, until I found out that in the USA, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month. If you buy only what you will really eat in a timely manner, so that there is no waste, then you could easily afford nutrient-rich, and chemical-free, organic food.

People often come to me an say “I was healthy until this bug bit me!” They cannot understand that they were likely just symptom-free before the bug bit them, but they were most definitely not healthy. There is no way to consume this type of processed food diet, virtually from birth, with pop in their baby bottle, and be healthy, even if you were jogging and exercising daily.

Many people think they are eating really good, but when they journal their food intake they realize are cheating with emotional comfort foods.

I am not saying all illness is caused by the foods we eat, far from it. I am simply pointing out that when all is well before you got really sick, often a person has spent years doing things to their body that increased the chaos in the regulation of every system.

While being symptom-free is the goal of healthy living, the true reward of living a healthy lifestyle and being truly healthy in the long run is to remain disease free to the day you die of old age. Many may oppose this, however consider the person who received yearly physical exams with their doctor and always were told they were “the picture of health” only to find eventually that they have cancer and have had it for 7-10 years before it was found.

Before you get upset, know that I blame your doctor more than I blame you, although we all play a large part in our own demise by whatever illness by the lifestyle choices we made throughout our entire life. Every doctor could learn better ways to test the body, that can detect problems long before they become serious diseases.

We all have known people who never missed a day of work, were rarely sick, who passed their yearly physical exam and their blood tests were always fine, until they felt a lump…cancer. Research shows that it takes seven to ten years for cancer to be detected. All of those years of “being healthy” were just years of being asymptomatic, meaning having no symptoms.

From this cancer-scenario that plays out many hundreds of thousands of times every year, we can see that blood tests and physicals are obviously not the best way to determine overall health, especially when year after year your doctor does blood testing and nothing is out of normal.

When the proverbial “bug bit you” the bacteria and viruses found a very happy home within your body, because your body was not truly healthy.

In research reported by the Price-Pottinger Foundation, it takes three generations of perfect diet to undo the profound health problems seen in the offspring of one generation of lab animals fed the standard American diet. The weakness and predispositions to illness in you are likely the effect of previous generations in your family, as well as the choices of diet and lifestyle that you have made. You are what your grand-parents ate, your parents ate, and what you eat!

I hear people say, “But I have been gluten-free, off of sugar, and eating only organic food for two years!” That is all well and good, however the first thirty years you lived on junk. You still use toxic, stinky laundry detergent, toxic fabric softeners, perfumes, paint your rooms with chemically toxic high-VOC paint, you love the new car smell (that is highly toxic)… If you don’t do these things then great, but there are many people who claim to have a healthy lifestyle while poisoning themselves.

Living healthy does not require a PhD. It is actually the reverse to a PhD. It is simply living a basic life as close to unprocessed in any way as possible, from the foods you eat, to the soaps and personal care products you use, to the products you use and substances you bring into your home.

A healthy life and diet begins TODAY with you! Make the decision for your own sake and for the sake of your children and their children’s children.