There is so much about being a human, animal, and part of nature that for most of us, our parents did not teach us. Maybe they didn’t know, maybe nobody in their family history has for a long time. It is now the 21st century and we are finally becoming aware that what we don’t know may be enabling us to harm ourselves and the planet. Thankfully, Mother Nature has all of the answers and wants us all to thrive as happy healthy people and a happy healthy planet.
Such an unassuming word for such an amazing thing.
Soil is life….or the building blocks of it. It is the collection of organic and inorganic matter that makes up the top tiny layer of some parts of the Earth’s crust. In a sense, it is the living “skin” of the planet. Without it, life as we know it would not exist outside of water.
Naturally healthy soil is made from the cycle of organic matter. Plants, animals, bacteria and fungus with the help of some erosion break down rock into minerals. They also die, and their bodily materials end up mixed in with the rock bits. This mixture is further broken down and decomposed by bacteria, fungus, worms and other bugs that live in it. The final product is rich in easily absorb-able nutrients, is properly aerated by micro-organisms so nutrients can flow properly, and is really a living thing. It supports biodiversity of bacteria, fungus and insects that keep it cycling organic matter functionally.
Composting is the practice of helping nature create amazing, nutrient rich soil. If you want healthy people, you feed them healthy plants, grown in healthy soil. That being said, Composting is one of the most rewarding and important tools you can learn.
Basically, you are taking whatever organic materials you have at your disposal, things that might normally end up in a landfill like kitchen scraps or yard waste, and putting them into an environment where the nutrients in that material can be broken down into healthy soil. Worms can be introduced to speed up the process and their “castings” are nature’s fertilizer. You can look on YouTube or all over the internet to find different methods, but in then end, practice makes perfect.
Having access to healthy soil is the first step in taking care of yourself and the planet. You can use it to grow healthy food that in turn, grows healthy humans. Everyday people go out and consume “food” without even thinking about the soil in which it was grown. They choose to bring harmful toxins into their bodies and the environment.
Become one of the healers and start a compost bin today!!!
That is a pretty heavy title I know, but it pales in comparison to the gravity of what has been done to the soil all over the world.
After WWII, food production switched from smaller scale, local farming, to industrialized mass production of food. Everything seemed grand. There was a higher yield, more productivity and efficiency, and everyone seemed to benefit from these new methods.
One of the new practices was called monoculture farming. They would seed giant plots of land with one species of plant. They could grow huge yields, but soon the crops started to become sick. They leeched the nutrients out of the soil year after year without putting anything back in to replenish them. Also, they became very susceptible to insects and disease. As soon as the bugs or disease found a way to attack one plant, it had them all.
The new industrial complex had answers for both of these issues.
The factories that made bombs in WWII had a surplus of ammonium nitrate left over because they didn’t need to make as many bombs. Someone made the discovery that this ammonium nitrate, which was a source of nitrogen, would help plants grow. It was basically “meth” for plants. It made them grow quickly and bigger than they normally would, but it supplied no actual nutrients for the crops. As they applied it to the crops, they found they needed to keep applying it and applying more of it. This was great for a business, but terrible for the soil. The ammonium nitrate fertilizers, which are still used today, are salt based. When they are put on the soil, the salts change the pH of the soil. This changing of the soil environment makes it impossible for micro-organisms living in the soil to survive. The soil can no longer break down organic matter or aerate itself. without the continual application of fertilizer, nothing could survive on that soil. That being said, most of the monoculture fertilized land in the world is a desert. Once we stop providing for it, it will become barren dusty wasteland.
To combat the infestation and disease issues, industrial farming giants made deals with the people making AGENT ORANGE (MONSANTO is the company) and other chemical weapons to make pesticides and herbicides for their fields. These chemicals have been applied to soil for the last 50 years. They leech into any plants grown in it, including most of our food supply, as well as the local watersheds and water systems. We are eating and drinking these chemicals and have been for most of our lives. The next time you question a disease or aliment, consider the amount of toxins your body has to process everyday. Eating locally and organically can make you feel so much better, even if just for taking some of the toxic strain off of your body.
So next time you go the store, think about the soil in which your food was grown. Think about what is in it and what you want to put into yourself. Don’t be the victim of a system created and run by greed and profit margins. Put your energy into creating healthy soil and healing what you can. 🙂
Let’s just start-off with a picture of the ideal.
What does healthy or functional nutrient cycle look like that takes nutrients from food and uses them to build life? Once you can grasp how nature has set up the game, it makes it easier to see where things go wrong and, purely based on the rules of the game, why problems arise. I will go over problems in another post, for now, this is just to help people visualize what they are.
Food, we’ll call it Good Food, should supply your body with all of the building blocks it needs to rebuild itself and provide energy. It has enough essential amino acids and fats to rebuild cells and enough carbohydrates to give you energy. It also has to supply your body with the 24 vitamins and minerals necessary for life. When we eat, we think of Protein, Fat and Carbs. Protein is used to rebuild the body, it is made up of 20 different amino acids. Proteins are found in every living thing, plants and animals. animals just contain all 20. Some plants contain all 8 essential amino acids, essential means that your body can produce the remaining 12 out of those 8. Proteins in plants are much easier for your body to break down and absorb and don’t have as many toxins or bad fats a long with them. Fats are used for both energy and to help in body systems. Omega 3 fatty acid is an example. Carbs are strictly used for energy. Any extra carbohydrate matter is converted to fat and stored.
Once inside your body, this food undergoes chemical processes to break it down into the useful parts your body needs. Enzymes (basically little molecular machines) help break down proteins into amino acids and complex sugars into single sugars that can easily be absorbed through the intestines. The sugars are used for energy while the amino acids are used to build the body.
Imagine that your DNA is a blueprint for every system in your body. To build whatever your body needs, it uses amino acids(broken down bits of proteins). The blueprints in the DNA dictate which amino acid is to be connected to which, to form chains. These chains are referred to as proteins or enzymes, but basically, they are machines that do everything in the body. They have a specific shape and function. Some help the body take one chemical and change it into something else, and their specific shape is what allows them to fit perfectly with whatever chemicals your body needs. They in essence turn the 24 vitamins and minerals and fats absorbed into everything your body needs to live.
To be healthy, your body has to have access to the proteins it needs to build. It also has to have the chemical energy in the form of carbs or fat to run those systems, and the vitamins and minerals necessary for life. All of these should come from your food.
Issues arise when toxins enter the system or when nutrients aren’t being absorbed properly. Toxins interfere with the body’s ability to use its proteins and enzymes properly. They fit into places they should not and disrupt the creation of useful chemicals in the body. Nutrient absorption is another key issue, specially in the era of digestive trouble. If your body can’t take in what it needs in order to build itself, eventually, systems will start to fail. When these systems fail, some people call it disease and go see a doctor. That doctor prescribes a pill that makes it look like the system is running again. In reality, the root of the issue never gets fixed because the toxin causing it isn’t removed or the malnutrition isn’t addressed.
My goal in all of this is for people to change how they think about illness. We are the only ones capable of healing ourselves. That healing comes from creating an environment of health where the body can do what it wants to, without outside interference from toxins.
As previously shown, almost all “diseases” or modern medical ailments can find their roots in one of two issues: Toxic overload or Nutrient Deficiency. For now let’s just focus on the issue of Nutrient Deficiency. Since all food we intake has to pass through the intestines to make it into the blood stream, that is a good place to start. The intestines are divided into two parts: the small intestine which provides enzymes to aid in the final stages of digestion and absorption, and the large intestine which houses bacteria and further absorbs the remaining liquid and nutrients out of food.
The main problem with absorption arise whenever there is undigested food making it to the bacteria in the large intestine. Complex sugars, specifically, present the biggest issue. Anytime there are undigested polysaccharides that make it to the large intestine, they feed bacteria that produce gas and toxins which cause the mucus system to overreact in an attempt to rid the body of the undigested matter and bacteria. If this happens often, as it does in a high grain and refined sugar diet, the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged as mucus is constantly produced. The enzymes that help break down polysaccharides no longer can reach food particles and the bacteria problem becomes even worse. Most people live with some level of this issue. Some no longer have any clear intestine left to give access to the enzymes necessary to break down gluten or lactose. All of them are nutrient deficient as any nutrients that do enter through the intestine are usually leeched out when the mucus system flushes.
The body’s natural inflammatory response can even make things worse. In the case of Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease, the body’s own defense mechanisms begin attacking the wounded digestive tract even more, causing the cycle to get worse until the root of the inflammation is addressed as well.
A large part of all inflammatory issues in general, not just in the intestines, is that we used to eat a diet much higher in omega 3 fatty acid. Omega 3 is produced in the chlorophyll, so the green part of plants, mainly the leaves. Seeds have very little omega 3 and a high amount of omega 6 in contrast. We used to eat leaves more often and feed our animals, cows, chickens and all, leaves and grasses as well. After half a century of modern farming and food practices, we now eat way more seeds and feed our animals seeds. Omega 6 encourages the inflammatory response, omega 3 keeps it in check. Any inflammatory disease should first be viewed from diet, because usually fixing this balance, including more greens and cutting out seeds, will biochemically produce what nature intends.
I believe the current medical system is happy “giving a man a fish”, so he has to come back constantly for more. I also believe every human has the right to be “taught to fish” or how their bodies work, at least to the point that they can go get guidance from the correct healer.
I am not saying everyone should go out and try to heal themselves. You should learn about your body and your diet. If you want to make steps towards health, having the right support matters. We are meant to live in communities and pass on knowledge and help each other.
That being said, most people will want to start with shifting their views on food, consulting a nutritionist, and finding a cleanse that the nutritionist feels would address toxicity issues and still keep the person nourished. One needs to grasp the importance of local organic plants in diet and the function of the digestion in themselves. Most people also have physical structural issues with their bodies that prevent nutrients and nerve signals from allowing the body to properly nourish and communicate with itself. different parts of the body need to be able to communicate in order to repair things and fix imbalances. If there is tension or blockage, the vital nutrients cant reach tissue that needs healing and toxins can build up. That is why you need to drink lots of water after a massage, it releases toxins stored in the tensed areas. Everyone should develop relationships with a Chiropractor, Masseuse, and Acupuncturist. The chiropractor helps keep your bones and muscles aligned so they can correctly support your body and keep your nervous system communicating properly. The masseuse helps break up and get nutrients into tensed outer tissues, while the acupuncturist uses tiny needles to get the same results, only much deeper in the tissue. The acupuncturist also helps stimulate the nervous system to the brain can address issues in treated areas more functionally.
Feel free to ask me any questions you have, and feel empowered to learn about healing, start making your body a healthy system and living a life free from the ailments that have haunted humanity unnecessarily for so long.
I wanted to do a section on Disease because my youngest brother had to deal with a pretty nasty one growing up, and it kills me to think about all of the people out there expecting the doctors to cure them. The reality is, there is no cure, there is no magic pill.
Everyone who is sick is having a malfunction in their body, just like a car might have issues with its mechanics. That malfunction can take years to manifest as symptoms or it can happen in days. However the malfunction shows, the root of it is that your body isn’t getting what it needs to function properly. Your DNA contains all of the blueprints to keep you alive and healthy. Either some toxin is blocking nutrients from doing their job, or there are not enough nutrients for the body to do what it needs to do. Whenever you have a health concern, you have to view it from this perspective.
If you have an issue with toxicity and you go to the doctor and he gives you a pill, you are just adding to the toxic load on your body. If you are missing a nutrient, sure, supplementing it can help, but only if it is given through an IV. Most of the issues with lack of nutrients are a result of complications in the digestive system. Taking a supplement orally during times of poor nutrient absorption, your body will just flush it all through.
This brings me back to the idea of Cleanses. The first step in most healing processes is going to be to Cleanse the intestinal tract and detoxify the liver and kidneys. Any Nutritionist or Naturopath can guide you in this first step. The next step is to figure out what is the main first health concern in your body. If it is poor nutrient absorption in the intestines, you have to focus on a diet that balances that system out. “Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health Through Diet”, GOTTSCHALL, is an amazing resource for anyone with Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, Leaky Gut, Celiacs, Fibromyalgia, and Gluten and Lactose intolerance. Almost everyone who eats a Western diet full of processed foods and refined flour and sugars, has some issue of toxicity and partially digested food matter that lingers in the gut. A colonic and cleanse are the best way to give yourself a chance to absorb the most nutrients from your food.
This leads into the next major step on your journey to health, food. You have to start thinking about what is in your food and where it came from. You have to consider, is this going to provide nutrients or is it going to feed the bacteria in my gut? Is it real whole foods like plants and animals, or is it a processed, preserved, chemically tainted illusion? Was it grown in nutrient dense, healthy soil, or fertilized and sprayed with toxic chemicals? Is it living or dead?
That last question is super important. Most people are not aware that cooked food is not what our bodies want. We developed cooking in order to preserve foods and break down seemingly inedible things into more inedible parts. Our body views this sub par organic material as an intruder and actually floods your intestine with white blood cells. On top of creating and immune response, cooking kills or denatures most of the active enzymes in plant matter. Those enzymes help in breaking down and absorbing the nutrients from the plant once it in in your body, so cooking them out means you absorb even less of the useful vitamins and minerals.
The BEST possible food is Local Organic Plant matter. Why? It takes the least amount of time from soil to your body, meaning it has the most nutrients possibly available. Most produce in the grocery store has traveled at least 5 days or more and in that time has lost up to 40% of its available nutrients. Eating locally and seasonally allows you to boost your immune system naturally as well. Every plant that grows organically and is allowed to face the bugs and pest and diseases of nature, makes these things called Phytochemicals as a response to them. Basically they are plant made natural antifungals and antibacterials and antivirals that perfectly match the germs and micro-organisms that exist where you exist. When you eat them, your body has an instant boost to its ability to fight whatever is existing in that community with you and the plants. In the past, people ate locally and organically by necessity, and were happier and healthier for it. It was really access to cheap fossil fuels and Government Subsidies that forced food away from the people eating it. Now you have a choice as a conscious adult to do what you need to do for your body and the community.
It is also really helpful to learn about plant biology. Learn about what makes a seed different from a leaf, or roots different from flowers. Once you delve into this crazy world, plants become extremely powerful sources of life. Your eyes become open to the SUPERFOODS, or foods which have an extremely high amount of nutrient density. There are plants out there that can provide incredible amounts of antioxidants and useful vitamins and minerals that you can even grow yourself, like kale. A major issue with most people is that they consume a diet very high in seeds. Historically, people and animals have eaten a high amount out leaves. Seeds have a very different chemical and nutrient composition than leaves because they serve different roles. The leaves have many defense mechanism compounds they produce called phytochemicals, along with antioxidants, Vitamin D, A and E. Leaves are also the only source of Omega 3 fatty acid. It is produced only in the Chloroplasts or green parts of the plant that turn light into energy. Omega 3 fatty acid helps stabilize the body’s inflammatory response, if there is too little present, the inflammatory response can get out of control. As we shifted to eating more grains, autoimmune and inflammatory disease rates have risen.
As long as you keep putting good nutrient rich foods into your body and try to avoid toxins, your body will eventually balance itself out. People have cured themselves from everything from Cancer and Tuberculosis to Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis by creating an environment of health in their bodies. They had to let go of the illusion that someone “out there” could take responsibility for what was going on “inside”. Once they did, they were empowered to make changes and view the choices in their lives differently. The most important vote you can ever make is with their fork. The choices you make as far as what you ingest affects your body , community and the planet. Make a decision to hunt down the best food possible and support the people growing it. So many people say “I can’t afford to eat healthy”…. but really, can you afford not to?
Once you have a grasp on food, consider Yoga as a way to personally help your body move nutrients and stretch tensed areas. Stretching allows blood to circulate, bringing in useful nutrients and carrying out toxins. Find a Chiropractor, Masseuse and an Acupuncturist. Get a good support network set up for yourself and for once in your life, prioritize yourself and your health over the job, kids, chores, phone, whatever it is that keeps you from it, because without your health, you can’t enjoy anything else.
Hope to hear some success stories soon!
The supplements I am talking about are orally taken. Intravenous supplementation of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, can do wonders to help the healing process.
The major issue with oral supplements is absorption. After thousands of years of digestive evolution, our gut has the ability to recognize important chemicals in whole foods and absorb them. Whenever scientists take just that chemical and give it to the body, the intestines treat it like a toxin and reject it. It is only when playing in beautiful symphony with all of the other chemicals present in the whole food that carries it, that the chemical is absorbed. Researchers have even shown chemicals in one food can help the body absorb chemicals in another food. Take for example the lycopene in tomatoes, when eaten with olive oil, is absorbed at a much higher rate. Taking a multivitamin with a meal is a fine way to get a little extra of whatever you’re already eating, but if you don’t ingest the vitamins or minerals in whole food form, the body will still reject most of them. If you eat a diet that is diverse in the color and types of plants you eat, there should never be a need to supplement.
There are people who are very deficient in certain chemicals like B Vitamins which can be administered through IV in extreme cases…Food should always be the first option. B12, a key chemical in energy and focus, is produced in the intestines. As gastrointestinal issues occur, the producers of it shut down and your body no longer has a source of this chemical. In many people with depression, their bodies no longer make any or enough B12 to keep them functioning healthily. Supplementation may be one of the only ways to help pull them out of the slump and get the body back metabolizing properly. Also B3 or Niacin, is extremely important in the brain and nervous system. The body has to absorb it from food. In people who drink alcohol regularly, whatever Niacin is absorbed, is quickly used up in metabolizing the alcohol, and the person is left depressed. The founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson, actually used Niacin to cure his alcoholism, but the dose he used was extreme. That kind of Supplementation should only be done with the consultation of a Nutritionist.
This is one of those areas where for most of us, our parents left us cripplingly uneducated.
Out in nature, it is critical that parents teach their offspring what to eat and how to procure it. If they don’t, the offspring dies.
In Western culture, we are faced with many historical events that took us from our native lands and changed what we eat, so it is understandable that most people really have very little knowledge about their food. Let’s take a look at the history and see how we got off the path.
Back in the day, for ALL of us, our ancestors lived in an area for a long time, they didn’t travel as much as we have in the last 150 years. They ate what nature provided when it provided it, the plants and, animals and insects, that ate those plants. Everything was local and organic haha. They developed recipes that were handed down for generations using the same foods.
As some point something happened that caused the people to move to America. They brought their recipes and some of their foods, but slowly, they began to eat what everyone else was eating here. For awhile, this was ok, most of the food was still produced locally, people were just eating new foods that their digestive systems had not encountered before. The issues of these first generations weren’t really seen until the children started growing up. They had been raised on more processed foods and grains and meat than their poorer predecessors and their bodies were missing out on some key nutrients that their evolutionary history had brought them to use back in their native lands. This was all still back before the industrialization of WWII. Thanks to the booming industrialization of the Civil War, cities were growing quicker and larger than ever before. Immigrants were pouring into the country looking for work. The answer to feeding people was to use the railroads to transport “food” to the cities. In order to make it last longer, developments were made to preserve it and process it so it would keep longer. Most of this new “food” was made of wheat, corn and potatoes because they were easy to transport. Cows also became a bigger industry than they had ever been before. Instead of being raised in pastures, they could be kept in confinement and fed grains and food brought to them. This was the start of the change in how we fed our animals. The animals soon started getting sick because they were poorly nourished and kept in a monoculture of their own filth. Instead of moving them, luck would have it that someone figured out you could inject them all with antibiotics and they could manage to live even in horrible conditions.
This brings us to Mr. Ford and his assembly line. It worked well for manufactured things, why not try it out for food? For awhile it seemed to good to be true. After the first World War and a Depression, refrigeration and advancements in processing and transport of food as well as marketing, started turning food thought from the idea of whole foods and home cooked meals, to the realm of branding and eating out. Food was no longer sourced locally, portion size rose, people ate more calories but fewer nutrients as food had to travel farther to the plate. Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, you name it, all rose. New medicines came out to combat them, but somehow, it kept getting worse .
WWII brought about the final nail in the coffin for food culture. It was hard to hold on to your heritage when America was fighting the Italians or Germans or Japanese. People were afraid to be anything but as normal as possible, and that meant cheeseburgers and french fries for everyone.
After the war, America was the world super power. We had so much Industrial force behind the military complex and nowhere for it to turn besides food production. The era after WWII is seen as one of prosperity, job security, and growth, and really all of that was achieved through the production of extremely cheap foods and the ability to transport them cheaply. After the 1970’s, America overtook Britain as the owner of the world Reserve Currency. This is the currency used to trade oil. At that point, food or the illusion of it could be produced and moved for nearly nothing compared to the profit margin made if it sold. Huge amounts of money was put into marketing and advertizing to push this inferior, nutritionally, depleted garbage.
A few generations removed from our ancestors homeland and most of us are sick, malnourished and riddled with toxins. Most of us get our information about food from food journalism and food marketing, both of which are backed by money trying to trick you into buying inferior products. Anything that has to tell you it’s healthy, probably isn’t. In the era of flashing lights and commercials, plants, whole foods, don’t really have a voice. There isn’t a way to dress a cucumber up to make it as appealing visually as that box of crackers, but it is many times more nutritious.
That being said, fad Diets have replaced the knowledge that everyone should have about their bodies and their food. Most of us listen to them because we don’t know any better. Somewhere along the line we lost those recipes and plants and animals that our ancestors ate for centuries. It is a great journey to start looking at your history and learning about your dietary evolution. You man find plants and recipes that your family has eaten for a long time and find that plant contains specific nutrients your body craves or could be missing. I challenge everyone to go out and find the foods that make them who they are today and to start growing and eating them.
No Diet is ever going to make you healthy, understanding what you eat and what it does will empower you to make the changes necessary to facilitate health. Those people selling you the books and meal plans can’t possibly get you the local plant matter your body needs. You have to go look for it and start preparing it yourself. You have to bring those recipes and nutrients back to the community and your family. The people who change the Food Pyramid are the same people who make money off of the government subsidized toxin laden grain they push as most of the processed “food” illusion in the supermarkets they also own. Educate and Liberate your family for future generations.