What’s the big deal anyway?

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Hope everyone had a fabulous fourth of July!  I made the yummiest shrimp shish-kabobs, took pictures and then accidentally deleted everything on my camera.  Great :-/ So I decided to let you in on some of the conversations I had this last weekend and some interesting things I keep thinking.
Obviously I’m a bit of a “health nut” (no surprise there).  I enjoy learning about and applying good nutrition and sharing that information with others.  However, I’ve found that some people just do not care what’s in the food they eat or why it’s good or bad, just as long as it tastes good.  So the question is, does it make one a “nut” if you do care?
I’ve read books and health journals that say more whole, organic foods, less meats and fats are the way to keep arteries clean, organs running properly, and lose or maintain a healthy weight.  But there is more to health than just what you eat (although its a major factor).  It’s also your stress levels.
Western society has been dubbed as overweight, unhealthy and overall sick!  Diseases like heart disease, cancer, obesity and its consequential diseases have all become rampant in America and other “developed” countries.  All this despite the fact that we have the best medical technologies and sanitation systems in the world.  Which makes me think that another culprit of American life is to blame.
National Geographic did a documentary on some ground breaking studies of stress and it’s effect on our health.  Its not just a mental thing, they said, its actually physiological.  That fight or flight response (the original stress) found in every living creature has been taken to a whole new level in our society.  Now instead of our heart racing only when we’re being chased by a hungry lion, we lie awake at night with our heart racing, mind working while we stress over family, money, work, school, global warming, whatever!
So how do we combat such illusive predators without adding to the stress.  Here’s some helpful suggestions:
* Limit your meat filled meals to 3 times a week.  You’ll save money and consequently increase your fiber, vitamins and mineral intake naturally.

Fruits and veggies are an essential part of a healthy diet, but many conventional varieties contain pesticide residues. 
And not all the pesticides used to kill bugs, grubs, or fungus on the farm washes off under the tap at home. Government tests show which fruits and vegetables, prepared typically at home, still have a pesticide residue.
You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 80% if you avoiding the most contaminated foods in the grocery store.
Here’s a quick list of the foods you want to buy organic and those you don’t: http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214
* Not all stress is bad. There is good stress.  The kind that comes from everyday living that keeps you motivated and progressing. The bad stress, the kind that raises blood preasure and weakens your immune system is what you want to deal with. There are lots of different ways to deal with stress and those ways can vary according to the individual.  So here are some general suggestions:
– focus on the positive
– turn stressful circumstances into a chance to develop confidence
– balance your emotions by taking a quiet minute 

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