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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Janice Norris: Your food may be your remedy

  • Today we know, and hear almost daily, that the processed and fast foods, that comprise over 90 percent of the diet of Americans, is causing an epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
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  • Lectures at ASU Heber Springs on Tuesday nights continue to be interesting and informative.  They are at 6.
    Back in 1972 when I wrote my first column for a newspaper, entitled “The Stuff You’re Made Of”, it was a different world, nutritionally.  High fructose corn syrup (HFC) had not been added to practically every food on the grocer’s shelf.  The nation’s downward spiral in health was just beginning.  To even suggest that poor diet was causing sickness was considered very radical.  Doctors were telling patients that they could eat anything they wanted—it wouldn’t make any difference.
             Today we know, and hear almost daily, that the processed and fast foods, that comprise over 90 percent of the diet of Americans, is causing an epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and is influencing each and every disorder that afflicts you or me.  The only people who don’t know this are the ones in denial because of addiction or those who would rather bury their heads in the sand.
             Now, I am making a bold suggestion that perhaps food can actually heal better than medicine.  In this day when we think a pill is the answer to everything, either supplements or drugs, do we dare even think that our food can make us healthier than the strong expensive pills in which we put so much faith? 
             “Thy food shall be thy remedy”, said Hippocrates, the father of medicine, more than 2,000 years ago.  A relative’s physician more recently told him that the doctor of the future will be telling you what to eat as a cure rather than prescribing drugs.  A reader told me she used cranberry concentrate capsules and cured a recurrent bladder infection when drugs had made her sick. 
             A man told me eating cherries daily (or taking cherry concentrate capsules) kept his gout under control and pain free.  If he fails to eat cherries as much as three days pain returns.
             Her physician told my daughter that her treatment for diabetes is over ninety percent up to her and less than ten percent up to the doctor.  Diabetes cannot be cured or even improved without changing the diet and eliminating the foods which created the disease in the first place.
             It is becoming apparent that if we continue to do what made us sick, as an individual and as a nation, we will only get sicker.  Change is required!  Most of us resist change but it is a fact of life; if we don’t create the change ourselves, nature will do it for us. 
    Page 2 of 3 -          One of the most important secrets to a fulfilled life is the ability to adapt to change.  Changing your lifestyle can help create health so that you will be strong enough to bend when life brings its inevitable changes. 
             We occupy a different world than that of 1972.  Our food supply is different as big industries create more and more foods for profit, not for health.  The general public has blindly accepted the brainwashing that has come into our homes in living color.   We have been convinced that processed and fast foods are convenient and that we have better things to do than prepare healthful foods; people who eat fast foods are happy and carefree.  Nothing could be further from the truth.          
               If this poor health crisis that has engulfed us is to be turned around, we have to make conscious changes.  We have to WAKE UP!  Many heath professionals, from lay people to chiropractors, medical doctors, naturopaths, nurses are waking up to the fact that it is up to patients to choose to get well and be willing to make the changes required.  They are making the rounds on television, radio, magazines.  I do think they are making a difference.
             I am noticing more people at the grocery store reading food labels, even the fine print ingredient list.  Local stores are carrying more organic produce, which means people are buying it. 
             People are friendlier with me and some are even asking me questions-- maybe thinking I may not be the fool they thought.  Back in 1972, some were downright hostile because I dared suggest that the white flour nutrition of the day might be harming our health.  
             I wrote columns then about the healthy aspects of whole wheat flour and how to make it.  In the years that have followed, I now learn that present day wheat has been modified in ways making it more profitable but the results are  starch and gluten.  Whether in white or whole wheat flour, wheat is one of the biggest causes of diabetes and the horrifying (and expensive) diseases that can follow in its path.  People are improving their health by eliminating all wheat products, including pasta and cereals --along with sugar. 
             I do hope you are among those who have become aware that you are in charge of your own health. 
    Page 3 of 3 -          It is a slow awakening, but it is an awakening nevertheless. 

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