Begin Reversing Chronic Disease NOW
One of the most painful and difficult vulnerabilities that the coronavirus pandemic is revealing is our individual physical weakness. Many, many, many of us are burdened with underlying conditions, weak immune systems and minds that have been put to sleep by
Habits of thought and behaviors that leave us unprepared to defend ourselves agains this pathogen that is coming after us.
The time to change is now. Now, now, now.
The obesity epidemic, with its conjoined epidemics of diabetes, heart disease and cancer put hundreds of millions, of all age groups, around the planet into the high risk category for serious and severe illness from the coronavirus.
How did this happen? How did humans, a robust species of great ape capable of running longer distances than any other animal on the planet, become a lumbering, overfed, disease ridden mess of an animal?
And what can we do about it?
The answer to the first question has many facets, but the broad outlines are clear, and go to the heart of everything that is wrong in our civilization.
The combination of a health destroying industrial agriculture—especially animal agriculture— combined with a conscienceless food industry and a ruthless pharmaceutical industry working with a myopic medical establishment have created an environment that traps people in a cycle of ill health and misery.
Americans are the exemplars of what has gone wrong, and though most of the rest of the world is just a few steps behind, it still stands as a cautionary tale for everyone else:
The United States makes up less than 5% of the world’s population and yet consumes a mind boggling 75% of the world’s prescription drugs, including 80% of opioids.
About 44% of all Americans take at least one prescription medication.
About 10.5% of Americans have diabetes and an additional 35% have prediabetes.
About 40% of American adults are obese and another 32% are overweight.
The average BMI for adults in the US is 29.3—a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25.
About 45% of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease.
About 25 million farm animals are slaughtered each day in the US and Americans consume on average 222 pounds (over 100kg) of meat per year. That includes vegetarians and vegans so the actual amount of meat consumed by meat eaters is higher per person.
On an average day about 36.6% of the American population eats fast food like McDonalds and Burger King.
The average American consumes over 150 pounds (68 kg) of sugar each year.
Sugar added to foods and empty fat calories make up about 40% of daily calories for the average American.
The statistics are mind boggling, and the consequences are horrifying: heart attacks, strokes, cancers, kidney failure, amputations (from diabetes)—and on and on.
All of this sickness and suffering produces enormous profits for the industries that create, maintain, and manage it—industrial animal agriculture, the processed food and fast food industries, and the pharmaceutical industries, not to mention advertising and the medical establishment which thrive on all of it.
In the time of coronavirus it is abundantly clear that the consequences of all of this greed and profiteering include not just death for the animals that feed the chronic disease epidemics and a slow, managed death for the human victims, but sudden and excruciating death in the face of a virus that damaged bodies have a very hard time fighting compared with healthy bodies.
It’s like going into battle with a musket against an enemy that carries a machine gun.
The industries are immoral and the government has abdicated its responsibility to protect the people from harm, but choice still resides in each of us.
There are two areas in which we can begin to take immediate control over the strength of our immune systems and start to reverse chronic disease: stress and diet.
I’m going to devote a separate post to stress because it is such a large subject. In many ways, food is more straight forward and easier to deal with.
The best diet in the world cannot provide a guarantee that a person won’t suffer severe illness or succumb to an infection. However, diet is the surest way to begin to reverse chronic disease and the markers of ill health, such as high cholesterol and triglycerides and inflammation.
There is much to be said for making a gradual transition to a whole foods, plant based diet that is high in micronutrients and fiber, and low in fat with moderate amounts of protein. Gradually introducing more salads and fruits, steamed vegetables, whole grains and legumes is relatively painless and just requires a slowly getting used to new foods, learning recipes and experimenting.
Now isn’t the time for that for anyone who wants to gird themselves for the possibility of suffering through COVID-19. Reform is for normal times, the current situation calls for revolution.
There are three ways that I have used and found extraordinarily effective in resetting the body and mind and getting on the road quickly to better health.
Juice fast. A juice fast, with an emphasis on vegetable juices is a powerful way to cleanse the body and begin to heal from chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease. There is an overabundance of information about juice fasting out there, but all you really need to know is that you should make your own juices and that you can drink any variety of vegetable and to a lesser extent fresh fruit juices, as often as you wish throughout the day. Keep a juice fast up for at least a week and then move on to a low to moderate fat, whole foods plant based diet.
A raw food fast. A raw food fast can obviously be supplemented with juices. Here you might want to emphasize fruits, especially highly watery fruits like grapes, melons, peaches, etc. Add in a daily mixed salad topped with a homemade, oil free dressing and you’re golden. Again, you can keep this up for a week but also go as long as you like. If you add in some healthy fats such as a tablespoon or two a day of chia and/or flax seeds, a small amount of nuts occasionally or an avocado here and there, and possibly some sprouted legumes, then you have an amazing diet that will lead you towards optimal health anyway. But a lot of people will have a hard time keeping to a diet that has no cooked foods.
An all vegetable diet. This includes raw and cooked vegetables. The first time I did this I ate steamed broccoli for breakfast every day for a week and felt a level of clarity and well-being I hadn’t throughout the entire previous year. Eating only vegetables is an amazing thing to do, and you can gain exceptional health benefits in just a week and then move on to a more varied diet that includes fruits, legumes, whole grains and nuts and seeds.
Of course you can do some combination of all three of these. It’s easier, however, to keep things simple for a short cleansing, reset period and then to broaden out. For startlingly sudden improvements in energy, clarity and improvements in health there is nothing like a juice fast. This is an ancient modality and it just works. Vegetable juices provide the body with enormous amounts of micro and phytonutrients and can clear up your skin, improve blood markers and boost your mood and energy in just one to two weeks.
The hard part of course is turning one’s back on a way of life and eating that has been with you for a long time. With you and killing you. It really is the hard part, so just take a little time to be conscious of the reality that as a consumer of the standard American diet (or even a modified version thereof that includes garbage like factory farmed meat and processed foods) you are playing the role of a cog in a machine that is designed to extract your money and leave you with a broken body and a manipulated, enslaved mind. Let that sink in, then reject the culture of death and greed that has gotten us here, and initiate change.