Locavore a New Definition

I read the “100 Mile Diet” a few years ago and marvelled at the writers tenacity in sticking with it throughout all the challenges of eating only food produced within 100 miles of their home.

At the time, I was living as a vegetarian in the middle of cattle country in rural Alberta. I was surrounded by cattle-corn, grazing land, sheep, goats and dairy producers with very little herbivorous food grown for human consumption. I came to the conclusion that the 100 mile Diet would have resulted in a diet too restrictive to be nutritionally sound or satisfying for myself and my family.

That said, my focus has always been on supporting local producers and eating local whenever possible.

Recently I attended a lecture at Acadia University given by Dr. Pierre DesRochers who is a co-author of “The Locavore’s Dilemma.

He made some important points such as:

  • Global food distribution has the economic benefit of economies of scale and subsidies.
  • Biodiversity can be sustained globally by growing products in the environmental region best equipped to grow it. For instance it costs a lot more to produce pineapples in Scotland than in Hawaii, even factoring in the shipping of the ripe pineapples from Hawaii to Scotland.
  • Returning to the subsistence farming model is not desired nor realistic and we do have to be careful about romanticizing a time that in reality consisted of 10+ hour days of back-breaking labor.

I believe that sustainability and biodiversity are essential and can be achieved with a combination of local and global food sources.

I still have concerns about the enforcement of our food safety laws on food imported into our country.That is a topic for another day.

Monocultures are also a big concern as a loss of biodiversity exposes people and the market to risks associated with the loss of a single crop. The Irish Potato Famine was as a result of the same variety of potato being cultivated across Ireland.  The often impoverished farmers had little access to other foods. When this variety of potato was wiped out by potato blight, it left thousands starving.

Today’s bananas are not the same variety as your Grandmother would remember. The bananas Dwarf Cavendish and Grand Nain (Chiquita Banana) gained popularity in the 1950s after the previous mass-produced cultivar, Gros Michel, became commercially unviable due to Panama disease, caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum which attacks the roots of the banana plant. This fungus decimated the commercial banana crops and almost drove the variety to extinction.

Even in a global food economy there needs to be biodiversity or these events will risk being repeated.

I also think we need to be careful to not make assumptions about the sustainability of the current market conditions, which allow food to be shipped globally very cheaply. For instance Peak Oil is a possibility in our lifetime. See “The Long Emergency” by James Howard Kunstler.

We would be wise to learn from the experiences of Cuba when the Soviet Union dissolved. This caused an artificial ‘peak oil’ scenario. Cuba responded by localizing their food supply using Organic principles, since petroleum-Based fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides were no longer available to them. See “The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.”  It is a powerful documentary.

Perhaps we need to look at biodiversity on a scale larger than a single garden or farm.

Cooperatives within a region can be a possible solution to this problem. Each local gardener/farm specializes in a few items that are best suited to the local growing conditions & skills, which can then be bartered with neighbouring gardeners/farms or sold to local consumers at farmers markets.

By working as a community we can enjoy a rich diversity of nutrient rich foods and hedge our bets against the risks of monocultures and putting all your eggs in one local basket, by extending our definition of local just a little.

 

365 Life Shifts

2016 was an interesting year for me. It was a year of operating outside of my comfort zone. It was also the year that my writer friend Lore Raymond offered me the opportunity to participate in a remarkable undertaking. Over 200 authors were to share their most pivotal life-changing moments.

I am going to share a little secret. I have dreamed of being a published author since I was a little girl. I have dabbled here and there, a couple of newspaper articles, a BLOG, a thesis or two in university and writing scientific papers.

There is safety when your words are built upon a foundation of logic and facts.

This undertaking would require me to dig deep and allow the emotion of a single life shifting moment to totally engulf me.

I admit … I was scared … but I did it anyway.

They say that “the Magic lies just outside your comfort zone.”

I think you will agree that a lot of magic lies within.

I am including my contribution below just for you, my readers. I hope you enjoy it and are moved to read the rest of the 365 Life Shifts written by my amazing and talented fellow authors.

There are over 70 Bonus gifts when you purchase our book. Preview them HERE.
I am contributing a full webinar course “Avoiding and Managing Chronic Disease,” complete with a manual. Don’t miss out!

365 Life Shifts

I Chose Life

by Judy N Green

The breath caught in my lungs. My heart stopped beating. As the seconds ticked by, the truth slowly sunk in. I had cancer.

In September 2009 I developed a lump and angry red fingers radiating out from my left breast. My physician thought that it might be “mastitis, or something worse”.  I was 47 and my only son was 26. Mastitis was highly unlikely.

After two courses of antibiotics the crimson fingers had crept across my chest and threatened to encircle my throat. I was sent for a mammogram, after which they immediately performed an ultrasound. I could see the lump on the screen. It was HUGE. I was informed that the results would be available within two weeks.

They called me into the clinic the very next day.

My young physician was visibly distressed as she told me “the results were highly disturbing and indicative of Inflammatory Breast Disease, a fairly rare form of Cancer.”

I had watched my Mother-in-law die of Cancer within 6 months of her diagnosis. She was a ‘cancer survivor’, having survived stomach cancer only to succumb to Lymphoma some twenty years later. My sister-in-law had been battling Breast Cancer for years. My Maternal Great Grand Mother had succumbed to Cancer before I was born.

Cancer was all around me; I never expected it to be in me.

Soul crushing fear threatened to consume me. I could feel myself being dragged down into a black hole of fear and despair. I knew that I had to do something. I had to embrace my power before the cancer stripped me of it. As I left the clinic I made a decision. I was fighting this my way. I was going to fight on my terms and I would not choose conventional treatment.

It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I chose to stop the insanity. I chose to stop feeding the cancer and start giving my body what it needed to fight.

I researched. I learned. I changed. I lived.

 


Authors Bio

Judy N Green first managed her son’s ADHD through diet in 1988. She has successfully overcome her personal battles with systemic Candidiasis, chronic depression, obesity and inflammatory breast disease through optimal nutrition, healthy habits and a positive state of mind.
Judy launched RAW ‘N Green Wellness Coaching in 2015
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Understand and Harness Willpower to Achieve Your Goals

Pain vs. Pleasure

Human behaviour is driven by how we perceive pain or pleasure.  We develop neurological associations within our nervous system that link certain activities and experiences to pain or pleasure. Simply put, we want to avoid pain and engage in the things that we find most pleasurable. Oddly enough, many of us will exert more energy and resources in avoiding pain, than in gaining pleasure.

Pain vs. Pleasure

Pleasure vs. Pain

Nothing Happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change

Example 1

Imagine that you work in an office building and during your lunch break you spend time walking outdoors in a park.

On your walk, you hear someone playing beautiful music, which you love. You stop to enjoy the performance, but quickly check your watch and see your lunch break will end soon. Instead of enjoying a few more minutes of music, you head back to work.  In this case, the pain of being late for work outweighed the pleasure of staying and listening to music you love.

Example 2

You have an assignment due for work or school, but you are procrastinating by spending time with friends or surfing the web. This is because the thought of doing the assignment is painful, so you spend time doing things that are pleasurable instead.

Hold on … then why are you able to complete that assignment at the last minute? Well, that’s because the thought of not handing the assignment in on time is what’s most painful for you now. Remember, most of us want to avoid pain at all costs.

Delayed Gratification

There was an interesting study done on delayed gratification. It was designed to study a child’s ability to delay gratification for a bigger reward later. Children were taken into a room and told that they could eat one marshmallow now or if they waited until the facilitator returned they would receive two marshmallows.

Now, some of the children ate the one marshmallow right away but an interesting thing happened with the children who delayed their gratification. These children had developed willpower coping skills: they found things to distract themselves, colouring, telling themselves a story, playing with a toy etc. A follow-up study also showed that the children who could delay gratification where more focused and did better in school, where better adjusted socially and rated higher on happiness scales.

It has also been shown that children who are involved in sports, music, dance etc. develop skills that allow them to focus until a job is completed. This skill is crucial in developing your willpower.

Cool right?!?

Willpower is Like a Muscle

Another study determined that Willpower is like a muscle; it needs exercising to get strong, and it can get fatigued. The more you practice willpower, starting with small tasks, the stronger your willpower will become. However, you must be careful not to fatigue your willpower.

Have you ever noticed that after a long day of focusing on work or school, it is nearly impossible to resist temptation or get your butt to the gym? This happens because you have been exercising your willpower all day in order to focus on your daily tasks. To get around this, start building healthy habits. I have found if I go to the gym immediately after work it helps me to unwind and I do not have to exert willpower to leave my warm cozy home again after I arrived home. Alternatively, hit the gym first thing in the morning when your willpower is still strong. Healthy morning routines help to set the tone for the day.

Willpower’s Relationship to Habit

Willpower is what we require to start a new habit. We only need to use our willpower for a certain task until that task becomes habit.  That is great news! We can all do something for 21 days. That is easy!

Example

We don’t need to exert willpower to brush our teeth, wash our face or take a shower anymore. These are all healthy habits now.

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, people don’t give up because they lack willpower or motivation, they give up because the perceived short term pain of exercising and eating well is greater than the long term pleasure of having a healthy body.

Time and time again, I’ve dealt with frustrated clients who knew intellectually that eating junk food was bad, but they would do it anyway. This happens because they have a neurological association, and in some cases physiological addictions i.e. sugar, that links eating junk food to pleasure. In this case, they always eat the junk food to avoid the pain of not eating it.

Sugar Addiction!!!

Humans are hard-wired to search out high calorie sources of fast burning fuel. Sugar is a highest calorie source that tastes fantastic. Historically our ancestors might enjoy fruit and berries seasonally. They might come across a wild hive of bees once or twice a year, and harvest some honey at great risk to the harvester. It is only the last 100 years that sugar has become a major source of calories. We are sick because of it.

Sugar is addicting for several reasons. Sugar hooks into the opioid receptors in our brain. Yes the same ones that cocaine and CRACK hook into. We get a similar physiological reward for eating sugar. No wonder it is addicting.

The good news is that it takes about three or four days for the average person to get over a physiological addiction to sugar. Go cold turkey! Treat yourself with self-soothing techniques like warm baths, long walks etc. while you are kicking the sugar habit.

We also get addicted to the release of feel good hormones such as serotonin that are released when we eat sugar. Using self-soothing techniques helps release serotonin in response, so you feel good without consuming sugar. You can do it!

Rewire Your Brain

The great news is we can change our neuro-associations within our nervous system, which will eliminate behaviours we are not happy with. Tony Robbins, entrepreneur, best-selling author and philanthropist, states “we can learn to condition our minds, bodies and emotions to link pain and pleasure to whatever we choose. By changing what we link pain and pleasure to, we instantly change our behaviours.”

If living a healthy lifestyle is something you struggle with, you must start linking the perception of pain to old behaviour and link the perception of pleasure to new behaviour. Basically, you are rewiring your brain. Here are some practices you can incorporate into your life to start changing neuro-associations within your nervous system through mindfulness.

  1. Journal. You want to create a pleasurable neuro association with a healthy lifestyle, but you also want to create a painful neuro association to NOT living a healthy lifestyle. Write down all the ways being healthy will benefit you, but also write down all the ways not being healthy will hurt you. Do NOT use this to self-harm. Approach this exercise from Self-Love. Practice this daily.
  1. Food Journal. Keep a journal specific to the foods you eat and the liquids you drink. Record everything that passes your lips. A 2008 study showed that people who keep food journals shed twice as much as those who do not. They are also much more likely to keep the lost weight off.
  2. Create a Goal, Write it down. Use SMART Goals to give yourself a structure to follow. This makes it a lot easier to achieve your goals. Using the divide and conquer technique breaks down the steps into manageable bite-sized steps that you can then achieve.

SMART Goals

Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dream come true”.

  1. Visualize that you have achieved your goals. Our brains do not differentiate between fantasy and reality. Olympic athletes take advantage of this. They have been using visualization for decades. Interestingly, muscles will trigger the same during visualization as they do during the activity.
  1. Keep visual reminders around you. Again, you want to create a pleasurable neuro association with a healthy lifestyle, but you also want to create a painful neuro association to NOT living a healthy lifestyle. Visual reminders are one of the reasons why unpleasant photos on cigarette packages have been so successful helping people quit smoking. The visual reminder makes them associate pain to smoking. Vision boards keep us focused on our goals.
  1. Surround yourself with people who motivate and inspire you. If you spend time with negative people, you are going to hear a lot of negative stuff. You may not think this affects you, but we can unconsciously take on the emotions of people around us. You want to surround yourself with positivity, rather than negativity.

Studies show that:

  • You will maintain a weight which is the average of your five closest friends.
  • Your income will be the average of your five closest friends.

Choose your tribe wisely.

 

Keeping it RAW ‘N Green

Judy N Green

(c) 2017 RAW ‘N Green Wellness Coaching