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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Mixed messages got you confused?

  • This column was inspired by my son-in-law whose job takes him into food retail stores. He called my attention to the fact that large drug stores, by the time you get your prescription filled, have exposed you to various kinds of junk food. Rows of shelves full of candy pave the way to the pharmacy. If it is in a drug store, it can't be that bad---or can it?
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  • This column was inspired by my son-in-law whose job takes him into food retail stores. He called my attention to the fact that large drug stores, by the time you get your prescription filled, have exposed you to various kinds of junk food. Rows of shelves full of candy pave the way to the pharmacy. If it is in a drug store, it can't be that bad---or can it?
    From all sided we are bombarded with an environment that promotes poor health-even in drug stores that claim to be helping you build health. I guess they justify selling unhealthy edibles (I hesitate to call it food) by selling the drugs that say they can heal you. When you are eating unhealthy stuff, can drugs really provide good health?
    It is a well established fact that soft drinks are one of the most influential factors creating obesity but vending machines selling them can be found in the most innocent places, including hospitals.
    Church people pray for their sick members but often do little or nothing to help them learn healthy habits to stay well. In fact, someone has said church is a place to find some of the unhealthiest food around—and plenty of it.
    I was recently talking with a man in Chicago about the weather in Arkansas as compared to the windy city. I told him our hot summers don't bother me much because I pretty much live on the watery foods that are in season and eliminate meat and sugar from my diet when the weather is hot. Nothing tastes as good as watermelon, tomatoes, fruits and vegetables in season. He said, "But McDonald's doesn't have that." I told him health is a priority with me so I try to stay away from fast foods. He said his health is a priority. When I asked him why he ate the foods that make you sick if he values his health, he said he didn't know that he guessed he is just lazy.
    It seems to me it is a lot more work to try to get well than it is to eat healthfully and exercise. Being sick, pain, and feeling bad is not my idea of fun and they are very time consuming.
    What can we do to combat the mixed messages we receive from our surroundings? Surely most of us know by now that what we eat influences our health. Doing what we know seems to be our greatest challenge.
    We are born liking sugar for good reason. Mother's milk is sweet but it is also filled with nutrients, enzymes and immune building substances that nourish and protect babies. As long as our sugar keeps good company as in fruits and vegetables, we are probably okay. It is when we start changing what Mother Nature provided that we get into trouble. Sugar and high fructose, as found in processed foods, cakes, pies, candy, etc is arguably the most harmful aspect of American's diet.
    Page 2 of 2 - We develop a liking for what we habitually eat. Taste buds change. Babies even like canned baby food—because they are trained to eat it. Have you ever tasted that stuff? They learn to eat poor food by seeing big people do it and then they develop a taste for it.
    Someone said it takes 60 days to change your taste buds. I don't know if that is true, and it may vary with individuals. I can tell you if you simply turn away from health destroying substances for a period of time, you will lose your taste for them. "What you resist persists" so just turn away from foods and habits that keep you from your goal of good health. Don't give them your attention. If you fight against your sugar habit, you are giving it your full attention. Instead, just pass it by.
    Television gives us mixed messages about our health. We are inundated with ads for junk food and the pharmaceuticals that claim to cure the diseases they cause. I recently heard a frightening statement by a psychologist who studies how our subconscious develops. He said our subconscious governs everything we do. It is in control and it develops is subtle ways. When we are in that twilight zone between being awake and asleep—also called the alpha state, our subconscious is programmed. He said when we watch television we come into a state similar to the alpha state and then our subconscious is programmed by whatever is on television. We let the television control our thoughts! Scary!
    The good news is that you can take control of your environment in your own home. You can stock your refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables so they are the most available. Keep the junk food out and let your favorite foods become those that build health.
    As for me, my television is going to get a long rest—now that the Cardinals are not playing baseball again until April!

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