Meet our newest guest blogger, Christian, author of AverageVeganDude. Christian has a lot to say with his bio, so I’ll let him take it away!
“My blog is titled AverageVeganDude not because my health, intelligence or fitness levels are average, but in light of the fact that we are all just everyday people living average lives. Some aspects of each of our lives are better than others and some worse. My point is that the sun doesn’t revolve around any of us myself included.
Born in Italy and living most of my life in Queens, New York and Philadelphia areas, I have come in contact with the very best and worst that cuisines have to offer. Unfortunately, I have spent most of my life consuming the latter. Well, probably not the worst but close to it. Having learned much over the last few years about the human diet, I accept the label of former bad eater now. Throughout my life I slowly started to gain weight, as many of us do in our 30’s and 40’s. I began feeling pretty old at 41. I knew I wasn’t living an optimal healthy life. I could be found at the gym weekly and did all the normal things people do but to no avail. I decided this had to change. I began to read about nutrition, foods and their effects on us. The transformation that occurred in me when I started to move away from a Standard American Diet (SAD) to a predominantly raw vegan diet was nothing short of amazing. I transitioned from vegetarian to vegan to raw vegan and never looked back. At 45 I am stronger, fitter and faster than I have ever been. I owe this to the raw vegan lifestyle and a good fitness routine.
This blog is meant to help those trying to find a better life for themselves and their families. I now realize that everyone is capable of attaining this amazing state of health without pills, medications or procedures. Maybe this craziness has become the American way as of late, but it is not the sensible way. True health and a better well-being can be attained by each and everyone of us on some level. It’s time to drop the SAD and get busy living a healthy, vibrant life with the remaining time we have on this planet.”
“Let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates
News flash – Our healthcare system is not broken. There I said it. It’s actually doing a good job. Our system in overdrive doing everything it can for us by placing a huge band-aid over our nation’s populace to stop the bleeding temporarily until such a time arrives when we regain our sanity as a people. Yes, we know we eat poorly and thus place our destiny in the hands of our nation’s physicians. We use pills and medications as our real life “get out of jail free” cards. Many of us poison ourselves with the food stuffs we consume and then blame the medical community for not healing us. Yes my friends our nation is living in denial when it comes to personal responsibility for our own health and well-being.
For clarity let’s omit the word “health” and substitute “disease” in the word healthcare. I think disease-care is more appropriate since no one is obtaining real health from taking the scores of pills and medications being prescribed. We are undergoing many procedures annually to correct the results of bad eating. Sure some conditions and diseases need medical intervention we can all agree on that. Every illness will not be cured by eating a greener, healthier diet, but the majority of illness in America occur through poor diet. We should have hit rock bottom already in this crazy frenzy over the last 50 years to correct ourselves with drugs, but it seems the use of medications by Americans is a still on the rise. It is a black hole with no way out.
Today there is no shortage of television and internet health experts who have the magic pill or device to make you healthy and feel young again. This madness is just part of the norm of everyday life now. Instead of looking towards our farmers for our health we have our “responsible” doctors who can at the drop of a hat write us a prescription for Viagra, Zoloft, Zocor, Lipitor, Celebrex, and Prozac.
The causes of our nations many illnesses are a mystery to our medical community. They do not pinpoint the origins but they sure do have the answers, medication. Illnesses like autoimmune diseases, cancers, irritable bowel syndrome as well as growths, tumors and the like are unexplainable by our healthcare establishment most of the time. Maybe this is the cause, maybe that, but no one ever says they know. We sure do need a huge band-aid to control all of these unknowns. Seldom is diet discussed when we visit our family doctor for illness. Simply because we exist we acquire cancer and kidney stones. We just happen to stumble upon these various autoimmune diseases, diabetes or heart disease. Maybe the air quality is bad where you live or possibly a chemical came in contact with you when you were a baby. It’s a big smoke screen that makes the average Joe feel helpless in securing his own fate when it comes to health. I believe the answer is simpler than our doctors lead us to believe and it’s right under our nose. It’s our mouth and what we choose to put in it.
In 2013 our physicians have become our pushers. Seldom will you leave a doctor’s office without some form of medication. We pride ourselves on the medical advances made here in America. Our medical establishment has become as American as apple pie to us. But why are we the sickest nation on earth? Why don’t we demand better from our food system and our medical community? Is apple pie really American anyhow?
When we look at our foods and their influences, the health picture gets even grimmer. We are advised by likes of Paula Deen and Guy Fieri to slather everything in oil, butter and cream. Seldom does a dish leave the kitchen that is under 1000 calories per serving. There is little or no effort to present dishes that are actually good for the human body. Even while suffering from diabetes, Deen continued to put out book after book of her unhealthy concoctions. These chefs pray to our weaknesses for a profit. Who wouldn’t love a triple layered cake loaded with chocolate and whipped cream? It’s an easy sell to us and a good many celebrity chefs are willing to give you your drug of choice. Do you enjoy ground beef? Through the miracle of food television you can visualize 100 ways to cook it and top it with everything under the sun. Sure cardiovascular disease will soon follow but hey, that is not their responsibility. They are just giving you what you want, feel good food. What network wants a chef that makes a great zucchini pasta with sun-dried tomato sauce? I mean they wouldn’t last an episode on the major networks. Healthy food is what we eat when we are on a diet for one month out of the year. It seems as if though most of us are in the process of or have already given our personal health away to doctors that we meet for 30 minutes a year who barely remember our full names. It’s crazy to think that this is the norm in our society.
I sat aghast the other night watching an episode of a show I stumbled upon called Man vs. Food where the star shoved into his mouth a plethora of fried fatty foods saturated with all kinds of grease, oils and all around badness that was enough to make Dan McDonald faint. Restaurant patrons on the show would cheer the man to consume foods that we all know are bad for his health. What will the next television craze be? Cheering on a drug addict with a needle filled with heroine to give himself the ultimate high for our amusement? Are we all living in denial here in America? Are we truly all this stupid when it comes to food and health? Sure, occasionally I will meet someone who is 5 cans short of a six-pack, but I don’t believe we can all be this moronic.
So what’s going on here? Why are the statistics so poor here in America when it comes to our health and wellness? If we are to believe the medical and pharmaceutical industries, we have the most advanced healthcare system in the world. I am not sure if it’s the most advanced but I know we dump a lot of money into it yearly. Surely we should be the healthiest nation. Eat to your stomach’s content because we have medications for everything and anything. Does our medical community promote health or just delay the inevitable for most Americans? Is our food system toxic and creating a huge medical burden on our nation? I would say so. There is only so much blue number 2, yellow number 5 and 6, red 40, msg, gluten, high fructose corn syrup, sodium nitrate and hydrogenated fats that we can consume before we all have serious health issues. Since all of our foods are laced with this substances, we are getting a healthy dose of these toxic as well as obesity causing additives daily. These are not natural foods and thus not what humans should consume.
So what is our government’s role in solving this exponentially growing problem? We did pick them to help us out here, didn’t we? Well unfortunately this is America and everyman is out for himself. It’s up to you to figure out the total amounts of these toxic food additives you’re consuming daily, weekly and yearly. Try to figure those numbers out while taking care of your 2.3 children, working 50 hours a week and managing your home. Impossible. So what can we do? We can either do something crazy like becoming a raw vegan and just simply scrap our food system all together or keep the status quo. OK, how about a diet predominantly high in organic fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Is that more doable? In my opinion it is not only a more sane decision and is better than slowly watching you and your family descend into a life of illness over time.
Why should we make the change now? Well the food system isn’t going to get better anytime soon, that I can promise you. These additives and chemicals are a large part of why we are ill and why we are seeing doctors at an alarming rate. Change might come, but it will be extremely slow and might take our lifetime and before real progress happens. The big corporations still push for more advancements in all the wrong directions. With DuPont and Monsanto pushing for GMO’s and more altered crops, we will have a long fight ahead. Corporate farms and Round-Up use isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
What other alternatives do we have as a person to get out of this downward spiral? Personal responsibility is the answer. Time to take the blinders off. We need to take our own health and the well-being of our families seriously. Why would anyone think that food manufactured and put in a box for an eternity is something you want to put in your body? The majority of Americans don’t actually believe these foods are good for them. We are leading fast paced lives that make it difficult to prioritize the foods we consume daily. We are a grab and go society and obviously we are paying the price with our health. Ribs smothered in BBQ sauce and ice cream slathered in fudge are readily available at the drop of a hat at our local franchise style eatery. We call this treating ourselves after a long hard week. Treating ourselves to cardiovascular disease and cancer?
We have to stop living in denial today. Not a year from now or 5 years from now but today. We know proper human foods are not produced in a factory by the many fast food companies. Our star-studded chefs have let us all down with recipes that deserve two thumbs down when it comes to health. I am pretty sure Ronald McDonald came along a lot later than man’s first steps on this earth. Our species survived relatively well prior to the invention of the Big Mac, so I have to figure that fast foods are not necessary for our survival. So let’s get them off our plates permanently. Over 99% of nutritionists state that we should NEVER consume fast food types of products. Not once a week or twice a week but NEVER. That speaks volumes.
We all know the correct answers. We aren’t stupid. We just don’t want to display our weaknesses to these foods to others. There is shame we feel when we consume these harmful foods. We all know a bagel and cream cheese is not a meal of health, but we justify it because we cannot get off the addictive additives that are in these foods. Companies knowingly addict us. They understand what they are doing. These multibillion dollar food manufacturers have labs not kitchens that test different levels of substances meant to addict us. They have chemists who put just the right amount of msg, salts, artificial sweeteners and other additives in our foods to give us just the right high. I think we all saw these type of tactics played out in the cigarette industry years ago with nicotine. After much denial there was no doubt the companies were using this substance to hook us on their particular brand. Although I have to say Joe Camel alone could convince many to try a pack. He seemed pretty cool in his day.
We are not as dumb here in America as we might seem to the rest of the world. We are pretty bright people. Our problem is that we are hooked, period. Because of this we love hearing “research” telling us coffee is OK for us, eat your cereals soaked in cow’s milk. There are plenty of “studies” that promote consuming artery clogging beef products as well as cancer and osteoporosis causing milk products. Some of the most disease forming foods are still being heavily promoted by even our government. These are big money industries with big money lobbyists. Business in Washington comes way before the health of the Average Joe here in America. Until we get real with ourselves and say enough is enough, we will continue down this road of medications and procedures to ease the damage from the sickening foods we are eating.
Sometimes I think being a raw vegan isn’t such a hard choice when we remove our blinders and realize the cards are stacked against us if we continue down the path of a SAD diet. Think about it America, it really isn’t such a hard decision. Start with yourself, then your family and friends. Maybe get on your computer and start a blog about your new-found health and try to help your fellow Americans get off the SAD.
Now that is as American as apple pie!