Tag Archives: health

#Fast For The Climate

FastForTheClimate

After learning about Fast For The Climate from Cory at Aquarian Bath, it didn’t take more than a second to decide that I would join this “movement of youth, environmentalists and people of faith [who] are showing their strength of commitment by going without food once a month to call for world leaders to do more to solve the climate crisis.” ¹

I decided that I would stand with the fasters. My first Fast will be Wednesday October 1, 2014.

The idea of fasting on the first day of each month appealed to me on a few levels. Firstly, because I already practice compassion and self-discipline: when, on occasion, I hear my inner voice announce that I need a treat or something sweet, I think about mother’s like me who may be four blocks away or hundreds of thousands of miles away, living in poverty who don’t have the luxury to casually escape into indulgence. Thinking about those mothers snaps be back into reality and gives me strength to not give in. It strengthens my resolve to both take better care of my health and environment. Therefore, going forward, I can Fast For The Climate on the first day of every month.

“To bring climate change under control we need to exercise self-control, we need to act together, fasting enhances our focus and determination.”

Secondly, on a regular basis, I think about the impact products of modern commerce have on our climate. The shipping, manufacture including pre-production and post-consumer waste of products, which affect everyone but mostly affect those living in poverty. Can each of us be more mindful about our needs versus our wants? I can practice making less garbage, which means being more mindful about not buying products that come in plastic or single-use disposable packaging. I can forego that chocolate that comes in single-use packaging even though it can be recycled, I know that recycling is something that should be practiced as our last resort but has become a way of justifying selling and buying more products.

Lastly, I think about the ingredients of man-made products. What are these ingredients made from? Are they processed? The mere act of processing creates by-products which need somewhere to go and often end up in landfill or polluting our waterways. If we are consuming products that are highly processed, then our health declines. As our health declines we become dependant upon pharmaceuticals which eventually enter our water ways therefore contaminating the very water systems that support life. Think global numbers here and think about how many pharmaceuticals the average person from North America alone is prescribed. Now think about our water quality. We can change this.

It should be everyone’s goal to practice eating real, unprocessed food and to not eat “products”. We should prepare our own food, which is very different from assembling ingredients that are ready-made store bought ‘products’. We need to change our behaviour from eating on the go with the belief that we can swallow our nutrients in liquid form while multitasking. We need to join the slow food and plastic free movements to ensure a happy healthy civilization (including all beings) on an equally healthy planet.

“To keep in health this rule is wise.
Eat only when you want and sup light.
Chew well, and let what you take be well cooked and simple.

He who takes medicine is ill advised. Beware of anger and avoid grievous moods. Keep standing when you rise from table. Do not sleep at midday.  Let your wine be mixed (with water), take little at a time, not between meals and not on an empty stomach.

Go regularly to stool. If you take exercise, let it be light.  Do not be with the belly upwards, or the head lowered; Be covered well at night.  Rest your head and keep your mind cheerful. Shun wantonness, and pay attention to diet.”

-Leonardo da Vinci, excerpt from Notebooks pg. 263

Can you imagine what Leonardo da Vinci would say about our global climate crisis?

“A nonviolent protest against wanton disregard for the natural world,
And a spiritual affirmation that we are all part of that world,
Responsible for its careful tending.” – Fast for the Earth

¹ Fast For The Climate

You can subscribe (upper right corner) to receive future posts via email. I will post “Reflections on My First #fastfortheclimate by the end of the week. I will share what my kids think of this and how I can include them without having them Fast.

Related articles: 

Why I’m Fasting for Action on Climate Change by Cory Trusty 

Reflections on My First #FastfortheClimate by Annie Levy of Kitchen Counter Culture

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The Kids’ Menu

Kids Menu

My kids don’t eat from the kids’ menu. Actually, they quit the kids’ menu a few years ago. Not that we frequent restaurants on a regular basis, but when we do, my kids are quick to let the server know that they will order from the adult menu, which in their opinion should be the only menu. My kids then privately launch into their usual contempt for the way kids are treated in restaurants. “Why is everything on the kids menu made with cheese and wheat or breaded?”

“Here, eat this food you’ve eaten a hundred times before…The children’s menu is always available, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.” – Seth Godin

This link will take you to a great short piece written by Seth Godin at Seth’s Blog: The children’s menu. It makes us think about our habits, habits that have become automatic. And automatic meaning: done spontaneously, without conscious thought or intention. However, having said that, a lot of people will argue that that is precisely how they like their habits to be.

Daughter and I overheard: Parent saying to child, “Here’s your lunch.” Child protesting, “I don’t want to eat that.” Parent says more to himself, “I don’t know why we keep ordering Mac & Cheese for you, you never eat it.”

Most often tired and busy parents like to have predictable outcomes. As a result, they feed their kids food that they know they will eat so that they can check that meal off the list and carry on, without running late to the next activity. The problem being is that kids don’t develop a taste for real food or a healthy habit in understanding hunger and satiety. Most foods that are given to kids are loaded with sugars (often disguised with unusual names) and highly processed. The kids’ health begins to decline and body weight begins to rise and so the parent’s automatic reaction is that the kids need to exercise more. As a result the kids are then signed up for more activities, which leave even less time to practice eating healthy meals.

Habits don’t change automatically with age. We don’t just “grow out of it.” Most adults carry their bad habits from childhood.

Follow these 5 easy steps to practice eating healthy right now:

  1. Eliminate refined sugars from your diet (see the 50 alternative names, but not limited to, for sugar listed below). This includes cutting back on fruit. Do not eat copious amounts of fruit assuming it is a healthier choice. Fruit is nature’s candy. Eating copious amounts of anything is a habit.
  2. Eat a variety of foods. Try a 4-day rotation. Try not to eat wheat, dairy, meat or coffee/tea every single day. If you are not a vegetarian or vegan, try eating like one on i.e. Mondays. You will survive, I promise and you might even feel better for it.
  3. Prepare for hunger. Generally, we get hungry every 3-4 hours. Be prepared, otherwise we make unwise choices by grabbing what’s available as opposed to what’s healthful.
  4. Drink Water (the plastic-free variety). Make water your go to drink.
  5. Join the Plastic Free July personal challenge. By avoiding purchasing foods packaged in plastic you will cut back on your exposure to processed foods that have many grams of sugar added. Practice being in control of what you put into your body and what you end up putting in landfill. Plastic is a hormone disruptor and damages our health and pollutes our waterways. The same water we consume. Click this link to learn more about Plastic Free July.

Our habits matter.

 

List of some alternate names for sugar

  • Agave Nectar
  • Barley malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Date sugar
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextran
  • Dextrose
  • Diastatic malt
  • Diatase
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Panocha
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Sorbitol
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar

Renegade Gardener

Meet Ron Finley

A man who is making a difference. “Food is the problem and the solution.”

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