January 22, 2009

Pill Popping Problem Solvers….NOT!

For many years I lived without a TV…and I loved it! I found myself reading more, writing more and spending more time doing active things that kept me healthy & happy. Now that I live in a place with a TV, I find myself sitting in front of it when I feel overwhelmed or if I need to “check out” and not think for a while.

But, as I sit there, I quickly realize that I am not really enjoying what I am watching, and all I see is ad after ad that claims, “Take this pill, or that pill and all your problems will go away”. TV is filled with these commercials that affirm to “fix” any & every health issue we may have from arthritis, to heartburn to high blood pressure to headaches. It is truly disheartening.

Why has our society become so obsessed with the “quick fix”? Masking the problem, instead of solving it? When did we become so lazy and stop caring about ourselves and our well-being? Doctors are paid to sell drugs to us. Pharmaceutical companies are the biggest profit generators of today. Most of the time, Doctors’ just prescribe a pill to get us out of the office so that they can quickly move on to the next patient. But, are we really healing the problem?? NO! Do they really want to cure us at the deepest level?? Not sure! Are we coming back to health, or just making ourselves dependent on some substance that is making us worse instead of better??

Our bodies can become breeding grounds for disease if we don’t take care of them. The typical American Diet is high in processed foods, thereby creating an acidic environment where illness and disease can flourish! Sugar is the biggest culprit of this.

As a Health Educator & Wellness Coach, I feel it is my duty to offer you knowledge and suggestions on how to return your body to health without popping a pill. If you are one of those people who think that taking over the counter drugs is the answer, I am here to help you return to health and wellness in a natural way.

Remember, Let food by thy MEDICINE, and medicine thy food (thank you Hippocrates.) We need to use the food we eat to cure our “problems,” and imbalances and get healthy!! What we put in our mouth determines how we will feel from the inside out! We need to make smarter choices about what we eat, and how much we eat, to keep our bodies operating at their optimal state. Adopt a healthy eating lifestyle! Eat plenty of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats!! And exercise…move…do something! It’s also important to manage daily stress and get plenty of sleep. All of these factors will positively contribute to a healthier life for you.

Below is a list of a few common ailments and my suggestions to help heal them without popping those pills:

Heartburn/Indigestion: If you suffer from heartburn and/or indigestion, you most likely have low stomach acid. HCL, also known as Hydrochloric Acid, is the acid in your stomach that is responsible for breaking down proteins. If you are low in HCL, you will not be able to break down meats and other proteins, in turn causing heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux and many other digestive problems. You will also suffer from these ailments if you eat a lot of meat and other highly acidic foods like dairy & wheat. Also, low HCL prevents yoru body from absorbing B12 and other nutrients. You can re-build the HCL in your stomach by taking HCL pills (available at health food stores) or taking a Tablespoon of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar before every meal in a small amount of water. Over time, your HCL will rebuild and you will be able to digest your proteins without any help.

Gas & Bloating: Again, a digestive issue. Most likely you have a hard time digesting carbs, sugar, proteins and even vegetables. I highly recommend taking digestive enzymes before every meal to help your body break down your foods properly. Also, cut back on refined flour, sugar & diet soda!!! Food combining is another way you can prevent gas & bloating and keep your digestive system working properly. For more information on food combining, check out http://www.thewolfeclinic.com/foodcombining.html

High Blood Pressure: Exercise, Exercise, Exercise (for at least 30 minutes a day) and lower your sodium intake. If you need to use salt, switch to Himalayan Sea Salt or use Gomasio, which is a combination of sesame seeds and sea salt. Sea Salt will give your body the necessary minerals it needs and the rest will be flushed out. You will not retain water when you use sea salt, but please keep in mind that it is still sodium, so use it moderately.

Headaches: Most likely an allergy to certain foods, or too much stress. If you suffer from headaches, cut out caffeine, cheese, alcohol, refined sugar, and any food or drink that contains sulfites. See how you feel in 2 weeks. Also, spend some time practicing deep breathing exercises, light stretching or sitting quietly for 10 minutes a day.

Muscle Aches & Pains: Instead of taking that painkiller (which can stress the liver) do some stretching, see a massage therapist, take a hot bath using Epsom salts or find a local acupuncturist. Usually muscular pain in the body is created by an imbalance or energy blockage. Eat magnesium rich foods such as sea vegetables. Too much sugar or caffeine can sap your body of minerals and cause imbalances as well.

PMS/Menstrual Issues: Most likely a hormonal imbalance in the body, which can be caused by processed & fried foods, caffeine, smoking, stress, etc. First step is to cut out caffeine and sugar. Add Magnesium & Calcium rich foods to your diet. Eat plenty of leafy greens and sea vegetables. If you suffer from severe PMS, consider having a complete hormonal screen done by a Naturopath or Holistic hormone specialist. Have your Thyroid Checked!

IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very common digestive problem affecting many Americans. I suffered from IBS as a young adult and realized that I needed to do something to help myself since every doctor I went to had no answer. I started to slowly change my diet and cut out eating certain foods that would upset my system, as well as meditating and practicing deep breathing exercises. To help yourself, cut out one highly allergenic food per week such as dairy, corn, wheat or soy and see if anything changes. You can then add each food back in slowly to determine where the problem is.

Sinus Problems: If you constantly have a runny nose, a stuffed up nose, or need to clear your throat, dairy could be your culprit. Cut out dairy for a week and see what happens! Stay away from the poison that you shoot up your nose to clear it out. It actually becomes addicting and you will need to use it more and more.

As you begin to adopt a healthier way of eating, you will notice many changes in your body and how you feel overall. You will begin to drop weight. Your skin will clear up. Your allergies will subside. You will have more energy. Forgo running to the drug store to get that pill and start to take charge or your well being by making positive choices. This is the only body you have, so take care of it while you are here! Do you want to feel healthy, full of energy and vibrant? Or do you want to be filled with synthetic drugs that are sapping your body of energy, nutrients and life? You choose!!! It’s in your hands!!!

For more information on healing your body through food, exercise and nutrition, email me at missy@karmachow.com

*A special thanks to my friend Tony Horton for the “Pill Popping” title…he IS a genius!

**Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor. If you have feel you have a serious illness, please seek professional medical help.

Melissa Costello

Author, Speaker, Culinary Plant-Based Nutrition & Health Empowerment Coach | Cleanse Expert

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