Saturday, August 06, 2005

Pondering Malnutrition With A Full Plate

It's happened. The Twinkie, the quintessential junk food we all grew up with, has celebrated it's 75th birthday. Did you know, Hostess cranks out 500 million of these hydrogenated-oil-loaded, sugar-and-preservative-laden, cellophane- encased snack cakes each year. Even as we cry about increased health costs and rising chronic disease statistics, Americans spent $47 million on Twinkies last year. I don't even want to think how many millions (billions?) total was spent on all junk foods. What sad statistics those are!

I was in the grocery store the other day. The man in line behind me at the checkout counter was putting his stuff on the counter. I noticed ALL the food he bought was processed. There wasn't a fresh vegetable or fruit in sight! Unfortunately, this is not an unusual occurrence. Look what other people are buying next time you go to the grocery store.

So what have YOU eaten lately?

The advertising companies have done such a "good" job, most of us don't give a second thought to the preservatives, dyes, fake flavors, etc., not to mention the lack of much, if any, nutrition in processed foods. Don't even get me started about artificial sweeteners. Kind of makes me want to gag.

Is there any wonder that we are the "best fed" people in the world and yet we have disease rates that are climbing exponentially by the year?

Do you know in the past 20 years the U.S. has gone from first in the world for life expectancy to 19th in the world for women, and 29th for men (behind Slovenia)?

Perhaps, we need to take our brains back from the advertising agencies and make good, healthful choices in what we eat. Let's treasure health over convenience.

Ya think?

Wishing you wellness and joy,

Pam Murphy,B.S.,RRT

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Pondering Labels

Awwww ohhh there I go again. I've been pondering labels.......

We live in a label-ridden world. Lesbian, Gay, Catholic, Baptist, Missourian, Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, etc. Labels compartmentalize and separate. Labels by their nature set us apart from one another. In many instances, they foster hate, anger, fear and distance between people and even between countries. We have given so much power to a word. Sometimes we see the label and not the person.

There is a freedom, a peace and a lack of judgement in the absence of a label. Without a label the true beauty and uniqueness of each person shines. Without a label the true miracle of each person can be appropriately revered.

Labels.......what do they have to do with wellness? Have you read Walt Whitman?

"If anything is sacred the human body is sacred"
Walt Whitman

My battle with Lupus (which I have won) also has caused me to hear a "different drummer". A drummer I can not completely put into words as of yet. But this I know, our use of labels and the judgements we make because of those labels hurts us all. We don't often listen to our hearts anymore. Nor do we often look beyond the label to see someone elses heart. What do you think about this body you inhabit? What labels have you attached to it? Fat, Skinny, Dumpy, Trim? How does the label you have for your body make you feel? What labels have you attached to other people in your life? How do these labels make you feel?

"To me, every cubic inch of space is a miracle...Welcome is every organ and attitude of me...Not an inch, nor a particle of an inch is vile"
Walt Whitman

Do you realize that we ARE what God is doing? You and I are miracles. Everything we see around us is a miracle. Life is a miracle. The labels you attach to yourself and others reverberate like ripples in a lake, creating positive or negative vibrations across this nation and across this planet.

Do you know the composition of tears changes with different emotional states? The mind and the body are intricately connected. Labels evoke positive or negative thoughts. What effect do you think they have on your health? Or on the people around you?

When I was doing my student teaching to earn my teacher certification for Instrumental Music, the nun professor of one of my education classes told us before she stepped in front of a class she said silently to herself as if talking to her class, "I love you." What do you think the world would be like if everyone took a moment to say "I love you" before starting the day?

I challenge you to make an effort for a day to look beyond labels, to see yourself as a miracle. I challenge you to see the people you meet as unique miracles. Strive to experience the freedom and peace in lack of judgement. I challenge you to love.

Your body will thank you.