Steps to Regain Your Health

Tired of Feeling Bad?

Are you tired of feeling bad? Do you have a chronic physical or mental illness? Does your immune system fail you when every virus or bacteria you come in contact with decides you are a perfect host? Then do something about it!

Step 1: Realize that whatever you put in body affects your immune system. Start with your diet. Go through your kitchen and toss out every single processed food in your cabinet. Eat a pure, nutrient rich diet. Go organic. Eighty percent or more of your diet should be raw, organic fruits and vegetables. You think you can’t afford it? Well you can. Cut out all the junk, the alcohol, the chips, the dips, the sweets, the treats. You’d be surprised how much you save. Plus think about how much you spend on medicines and doctors. And how much more you will spend in the future when processed foods rob you of your health.

Step 2. Clean out your bathroom cupboards—all of your soaps, lotions, creams, shampoos, and conditioners. Everything you put on your body is absorbed by your skin. Go organic. You don’t even need shampoo. Try rinsing your hair with water and baking soda. LuSa’s Organics makes wonderful organic bar soaps that lasts for weeks.

Step 3. Get rid of all your cleaning supplies that contain chemicals. A steam mop cleans your floors better than any cleanser. Wash windows and mirrors with vinegar and water. Scrub with baking soda.

Step 4. Toss out scented candles and air fresheners. They are linked to depression and auto-immune illnesses.

Step 5. Exercise . Yeah, you know you need it.

Step 6. Choose whole food vitamins and make sure your multi-vitamins contain vitamin D. If you live north of Atlanta, Georgia you probably need vitamin D supplementation, even if you spend time in the sun every day. Low levels of vitamin D are linked to cancer, diabetes, auto-immune disease, and more.

Step 7. Get good quality sleep. Make sure you sleep in the dark and that you get enough sleep. How many hours do you sleep when you are off work? If you sleep more than you normally do, your body is trying to tell you that you are sleep deprived.

Step 8. Have fun. Enjoy your life. Live it to the fullest. And know it is up to you to create your reality. Want a better one? Create it. Ready, set, go!

Sick Society

And the ramifications of the choices we make within our sick society

We live in a sick, sick society. And yes, I mean that literally as well as figuratively. We put toxins in our water through pollution and through fluoridation. We alter and process food until it doesn’t resemble its original components and loses all of its nutrition, then we put a little artificial nutrition back in before adding artificial coloring, preservatives, and flavorings to make it taste better and look inviting while increasing its shelf life.  We send our children to schools that feed them this processed garbage once or twice a day.

Most of us believe the FDA protects us, so we feed our children sugared cereal made from genetically modified corn for their breakfast along with pasteurized juice and milk from cows shot full of rBGH. Maybe we add a little fruit sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. For lunch our kids eat fast food with plenty of trans fats. Dinner comes out of a can, a box, or a frozen packet and is often irradiated. Oh and don’t forget the snacks: sugar filled sodas, cakes, cookies, and candy. We are raising a generation of children whose sugar and toxin intake negates their immune systems and their exposure to real foods is so negligible they cannot recognize or name most of our vegetables and fruits.

Next come the pharmaceuticals. We vaccinate our children with dirty, toxic vaccines. Our children get sick (need I repeat why?) and we treat their symptoms (not the cause) with over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs. Our children exhibit behavior and mental health problems. Rather than clean up their diets and detoxify their bodies, we give them more drugs. At some point we may not be given a choice. If our child has cancer or another serious disease or is diagnosed with a mental illness we may be forced by Child Protective Services or the courts to follow conventional treatment including chemotherapy or psychotropic drugs. If we choose not to vaccinate, we may be forced by law to comply.

Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and prescriptive, are marketed to us through television and print media. We are encouraged (brainwashed?) to improve our lives with the use of sleeping pills, tranquilizers, anti-depressive drugs, and stimulants. Our society demands that we be the best we can be through the use of these pills. And yet, cancer is at an all time high. ADHD, autism, and Alzheimer’s are epidemic.

We are cogs in the wheel of the 21st century economic machine. Wherever we turn, the typical American lifestyle is ruled by the interests of big business: the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the health care industry. Poor health is a profitable outcome for all three. Processed food is cheap to buy and cheaper to make. It yields enormous profits. Factory farming is profitable. Huge farming enterprises raising crops with chemicals on land stripped of nutrients are profitable. Pharmaceuticals are criminally profitable. The medical industry is fed by illness and married to pharmaceuticals. The cycle goes round and round. And the powers that be continue in their efforts to shut down naturopathic treatments including the sale of vitamins and supplements.

The strange thing is, this same diseased society that embraces conventional treatment is punitive and vengeful to those who use these prescription drugs. Are you aware that the use of a prescription drug may be the deciding factor of whether you spend the next fifteen to twenty years in prison if you are involved in a fatal accident? Even though you took that drug as prescribed?

In the State of Georgia, drivers involved in fatal crashes can be charged with a misdemeanor, second degree homicide by vehicle or with a felony, first degree homicide by a vehicle.  If charged in the second degree, the driver can face up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. If charged with first degree, the driver faces three to fifteen years (or up to twenty if the offender is found to be habitual).

So what constitutes a first degree crime in this instance? The law includes cases of death involving fleeing a police officer, failure to stop for a school bus, hit and run, previously being declared a habitual offender, reckless driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Again, drugs don’t have to be illegal drugs nor do prescription drugs have to be abused. If you take a prescription drug and are involved in a fatal accident, you could be in trouble.

Michael Edwards (editor-in-chief) met a man who was sentenced to ten years in prison due to a sleeping pill prescription. He hadn’t taken the medication for several days before the accident, but the medication was the basis for a first degree charge. A recent case was bumped up to first degree when it was learned that the driver was prescribed Adderol for ADD.

We have a choice, a huge choice. We can continue to be a cog in the wheel or we can choose health—real health. We can eat real food, unadulterated, organic fruits and vegetables. Organic grains. Organic meats and raw dairy. We  have to fight to keep these foods available. We have to care about the foods given to children in our schools. We have to demand our rights to refuse medications, to choose whether or not to vaccinate, to demand, at the very least, that vaccinations be pure, that they are not tainted with mercury or other toxic substances. We have to demand that pharmaceutical companies are held responsible if they fail to provide safe vaccinations and medications.

The incarceration rate is obscene and rising. Justice has become a joke in this country. Once upon a time, an accident was an accident. A painful, horrific reality for a driver who lost control of a vehicle. Today, an accident is an opportunity to incarcerate someone, even if there was no negligence, criminal intent, or criminal wrongdoing.

When you choose your lifestyle, look at the whole picture. Which do you choose? If you choose an unhealthy lifestyle maintained through pills, be aware that your choices may sentence you to years in prison if, God forbid, the worst happens. An accident may be just that—an accident. Your choices are not.

Common Sense and Vaccination Injuries

How about some common sense? Vaccines are toxic!

I met another parent whose normal, happy, healthy child received an MMR vaccination and was sucked into the vortex of autism. “One day he was normal, the next day it was lights out,” said his father. “You can’t tell me there is no connection between vaccinations and autism.”

Many, many parents have reported the same result. And yet, we are told to ignore these reports, that there is no scientific “proof” of a connection.

For a minute let’s ignore the reality that scientific studies regularly contradict one another and let’s ask ourselves, “What happened to common sense?” You stick your hand in the fire and it’s burned. You give a child a shot and the next day your child’s speech disappears, he withdraws from the world, and his life is irrevocably changed. You don’t need the scientific method to deduce cause and effect.

The reports we read that refute parents’ claims gloss over the fact that the change is dramatic, clear, and immediate. We aren’t talking a change in behavior and ability weeks, months, or even days later. We’re talking about a 24-48 hour response to a vaccination. When any parent tells me his/her child was normal the day before a shot and autistic the next day I am infuriated when I read reports from the scientific community that deny the possibility of cause and effect.

We are bombarded with propaganda from pharmaceutical companies on a daily basis. We are taught to believe our government protects us. The truth is, our government protects the pharmaceutical companies, not us.

The news is finally reporting a possible connection between vaccinations and autism. But did we really need science to tell us this? Are we so disconnected from common sense we can’t open our eyes and see what’s right in front of us?

Organic Agriculture’s Resilience Shows Untapped Potential

New analysis highlights organic agriculture as an eco-friendly means of improving livelihoods and preserving natural resources.

Washington, D.C. – Despite the crippling effects of the recent economic slowdown on many industries, the organic agriculture sector not only sustained itself during this period but also showed signs of growth. “In 2009, organic farming was practiced on 37.2 million hectares worldwide, a 5.7 percent increase from 2008 and 150 percent increase since 2000,” writes policy analyst E.L. Beck, in the latest Vital Signs Online release from the Worldwatch Institute.

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) defines organic agriculture as: “a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment.”

Although organic agriculture is practiced around the world, certified organic agriculture tends to be concentrated in wealthier countries. The Group of 20 (G20), comprising both developing and industrialized countries, is home to 89 percent of the global certified organic agricultural area. But nongovernmental organizations, including Slow Food International and ACDI/VOCA, are working with farmers to promote organic agriculture in developing countries as a means of bettering livelihoods and rejuvenating the land.

In western Tanzania, organic agroforestry practices have helped rehabilitate some 350,000 hectares of desert land over the span of two decades. And in Ethiopia, coffee farmers are learning how to protect wild coffee plants, fertilize them using organic compost, and process them in a manner that retains the quality of the crop, without damaging the environment.

Although the global organic market has shown growth in the past few years, the rate has slowed since 2000, and there are several challenges that impede large-scale expansion of organic practices. The price premium on organic foods, for example, may dissuade many consumers from buying organic products, despite the potential environmental, ethical, and health benefits these products provide.

Two other challenges are the lack of organic standards and the scarcity of equivalency agreements. An equivalency agreement between two countries acknowledges each other’s organic standards and allows for a smooth flow of certified organic goods between the two countries. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation finances the Global Organic Market Access (GOMA) project, which facilitates the trade of organic products by establishing organic standards and negotiating equivalency agreements, but more progress is needed in this area.

Rising farmland prices are putting a further strain on organic agriculture. Research by the International Food Policy Research Institute shows that foreign investors have spent up to $20-30 billion on land purchases since 2006. These price hikes are threatening global food security and are especially detrimental to small-scale farmers’ ability to enter the organic agriculture field.

Despite all these challenges, organic agriculture holds untapped potential for helping farmers and consumers alike build resilience to food price shocks, climate change, and water scarcity. By turning to organic agroforestry and switching from synthetic to organic fertilizers, farmers are not only raising their incomes by reducing input costs, but also adapting to the effects of climate change and helping to protect the environment.

“In order to keep feeding humanity for generations to come, and to feed people better, farming must reinforce conservation goals by adding diversity to the food chain and by healing ecosystems,” said Danielle Nierenberg, Worldwatch senior researcher and co-director of the Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project.

Crappy Produce

I buy most of my groceries from DeKalb Farmer’s Market. I also like to shop at local, smaller farmer’s markets as well, but their hours tend to be limited and difficult for me to shop there. Living in the city of Atlanta provides a lot of good choices for fresh and organic produce.

But there are no farmer’s markets close to where I live. There are a few supermarkets within walking distance. Whole Foods, Kroger, and Publix are the three close to me. Every now and then (like this morning) I get hungry before Whole Foods opens. I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning famished after a day of extremely intense physical activity and I wanted breakfast. In fact, I think, after only 4 hours of sleep hunger is what woke me up. I felt like my stomach was about to start eating itself. So I went to Kroger because they are open 24 hours a day.

When I go grocery shopping for the week my diet mainly consists of salads (to see an example of the kind of salads I eat once or twice a day, check out the 80% raw article). I only had a few dollars to spend so I went straight for the produce. I bought three oranges and two apples, a red bell pepper, and a kiwi. This was my breakfast. They were all organic.

It was not pleasant eating this food. Don’t get me wrong, yesterday I bought two apples, two oranges, and an heirloom tomato at Whole Foods and loved them. I ate them in one sitting right before my martial arts class. I absolutely love fruits and vegetables. But every single time I buy any produce at any of the conventional grocery stores the food tastes empty. It’s a chore to eat this produce.

I understand why so many people don’t like fruits and vegetables. I understand why getting a child to eat their vegetables’ is futile power struggle. It’s because most of the produce we purchase in this country looks good on the shelves, but is void of nutrition and consequently, void of taste!

The produce I bought at Kroger was organic. But it was organic produce that was produced by a huge farm that probably produces organic food almost exactly like they produce conventional food. And the produce was probably weeks old. It was bland and hard to eat. I could have as easily swallowed cardboard or Styrofoam. My mouth was getting tired from chewing, but I could barely produce enough saliva to swallow this food that my body didn’t seem to want any more than my taste buds did.

If you are looking to start eating healthy and are looking to incorporate more raw fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, you must find a farmer’s market or a grocery store that prides itself in quality produce. If you need help locating a farmer’s market, check out Local Harvest.

And grow as much of your own food as you can! If you’re just getting started with growing your own food, Mike Liebermam’s Urban Organic Gardener is a blog you must follow, especially if you have limited space and/or a limited budget.

I feel sorry for anyone who does not have access to good produce. I can’t imagine living the way I do and eating the way I do with the kind of crap I bought this morning.

I’m Depressed (I was; not anymore)

It hits me every now and then. It hits me hard. It’s debilitating. I used to smoke, drink, and eat way too much and sleep all day when I felt this way. Now I tend to watch too much TV and procrastinate and sleep all day. I cannot get anything done when I am like this. I get angry at myself. I hate this. I feel weak. I feel like I need help, yet that is the last thing I want. If I am honest, I hate feeling this way, yet I want to feel this way right now.

People are going to read this. I’m publishing this on my website. That scares me. I consider myself almost fearless, but admitting any weakness scares me. It’s not because I am one of those tough guys who refuses to admit when they are hurt or need help. It’s because I used to be a wuss who always needed help and always got hurt. And I fixed that about me. I changed. And now if I am hurt or need help, I have learned to fix myself.

But sometimes depression hits me before I even know it is coming. If I know it’s coming, I can take steps to prevent it. Once it hits me, the steps are the same, and I still know what to do, but I don’t want to do it.

Right now I want to lay in bed and sleep. I do not want to be writing this article. I do not want to admit my weakness. I do not want to feel better. I do not want a bunch of sympathy. I do not want a bunch of suggestions. I want everyone to fuck off and leave me alone.

When I was in a relationship, it was easier. I had to get over depression fast when I was in a relationship because I had to set an example. I had to be the man.

When I felt bad I would usually make my girlfriend feel good. It made me feel better. Of course, more than once I was an asshole about it. I sometimes took it all out on her, then convinced her that it was all her fault, and then apologized, and then we both felt better.

I hope I never do that again.

But now that I am single, I am alone with my thoughts.

I just made a lot of commitments with this magazine, and I have to keep moving. I don’t have time to wallow. I don’t have time to do what I have done in the past, which is to just accept the fact that I am “in a funk,” feel what I feel, and know that I will get over it.

I am prone to depression. I’ve been through a lot and sometimes memories make life hard. I am writing a book about it (or I should say I am trying to write a book about it) and it messes me up. But I always get over it because I know what to do.

      1. I exercise. Sometimes I don’t feel like I can move a pound, but I do it anyway. It’s so difficult to work out when I’m depressed. But I go to the gym, I take my time, and I move my body and I move weight. I turn my desire to self destruct into a desire to hurt myself via physical exertion.
      2. I exercise. Sometimes I don’t feel like I can move a pound, but I do it anyway. It’s so difficult to work out when I’m depressed. But I go to the gym, I take my time, and I move my body and I move weight. I turn my desire to self destruct into a desire to hurt myself via physical exertion.
      3. I make sure I get enough B vitamins. And I don’t do stupid things like go out drinking which wipes out my B vitamins and exacerbates the problem. (Please ignore the fact that I did this last night.)
      4. I get enough healthy fats, which are needed to process B vitamins.
      5. I make sure my diet is clean, even though I do crave junk food when I am depressed.
      6. I get sunlight. I sunbathe. I don’t use sunscreen. If it’s cloudy I will take vitamin D.
      7. I get grounded. I connect with the earth. I put my bare feet on the ground. I walk. I sit. I smell.
      8. I focus on the little things and on the interesting.
      9. I stay in the moment. There are no problems in the moment.
      10. I clean up. My home represents how I feel. So does my appearance. I clean myself up and I clean my home.

But I don’t feel like doing any of this right now. I don’t give a damn. I just want to feel depressed and be angry at myself for being depressed. I want to hurt. I’d like to get in the ring with someone and either beat the crap out of them or get the crap beat out of me. Either one would be good. That would be worth getting out of bed for.

But I don’t have that option.

Normally, I would give it a day or two, feel how I feel, and then start doing the list whether I wanted to or not.

I don’t have time to just let this pass. I don’t have a couple of days to feel depressed and do nothing.

So I am putting this out there. I am publishing this for all of my friends, family, and magazine readers to see. And After I publish this I am going to go running at 12am. Then I am going to get a bunch of work done no matter how hard it is. Because there is one character trait I have developed throughout my life that has helped me in many situations and will help me here. I cannot admit that I have a problem without deciding to fix it. I cannot admit that I have a weakness without choosing to strengthen myself. I cannot write this article, publish it on the website for the world to see, and then go back to bed.

I don’t know if this will help anyone. It is certainly written more for me than anyone else. But I have an idea. To insure that this article could help people, I propose that readers comment below and tell us how they deal with depression.

What do you do? Maybe you feel a little down and you know just what to do to cheer yourself up. Or maybe you suffer from clinical, debilitating depression and it is a constant battle in your life, and you know a few things that help.

Now I am going to go running. Damn. I really just want to go back to bed.

Recommended Supplements:
Further Reading:

No More Nuclear!

I have never understood why anyone would buy into the belief system that nuclear energy is clean, unless invisible but deadly contamination doesn’t count.

Before recent events in Japan reminded us of the global threat of radiation due to a meltdown or any other release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, we knew nuclear energy wasn’t green or clean. How could it be when radioactive waste takes tens of thousands of years to decay to safe levels?

Now, with the crisis in Japan, Americans are once again speaking out about the safety of nuclear energy. And the White House is talking back.

White House spokesman, Jay Carney made it clear that President Obama, who has proposed $36 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power, has no plans to change his policy.

We find it ludicrous that low CO2 emissions and clean nuclear energy are synonymous when talking about nuclear energy.

Alex Flint of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency said in a Fox News interview that the United States is “best in class” at anticipating and preparing for unlikely events, especially since 9/11. While doing his best not to suggest the Japanese were not lax or inept in preparedness, he suggests we are more prepared and will learn from their mistakes as well. But the truth is we currently have 104 nuclear power plants in operation in the United States and many of them are on coastlines or fault lines. When scientists say the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California was built to withstand a 7.0 earthquake, which is sufficient based on their study of the seismic activity in the area, along with its thirty foot tsunami wall, forgive me if I have my doubts that all is well and perfectly safe. I can’t help but think about New Orleans. The levees, built by the Army Corps of Engineers, failed when Katrina, a level 3 hurricane, reached the shore. American superiority? Best in class, my ass.

The Japanese are well trained, well prepared, and they knew they were living on fault lines with the threat of tsunamis. After an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale and a massive tsunami, their preparations failed. At the time of this writing, they are facing not one, but possibly three meltdowns. There have been three explosions, which have released radiation into the atmosphere.

And one important consideration to remember is this: once released, that radiation cannot be contained. How many of Japan’s downwind neighbors will be affected by the fallout?