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Wellness Journey with Joe

Week 5 - Fruits & A Little Philosophy

Week 5 - Fruits & A Little Philosophy

Week 5 – Fruits & A Little Philosophy

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By now you will have cut out the bread and most grain products, added vegetables wherever you can including a large colorful salad daily, and are drinking much more water than you were probably used to.  Just with this you have contributed greatly to our goal of health restoration.  We will be covering much more than food on our journey, but getting a handle on your diet is imperative to reaching the goal.

To date these recommendations are not too much to ask, moving slowly in order for you to create new and healthy habits.   If you are just joining us please read the first four posts, it shouldn’t take too long to get caught up.

I can’t emphasize enough the need for drinking more water.  This whole program is addressing health at the cellular level.   Remember, that is WHERE THE ACTION IS.  That is where all the functions of our bodies occur.  And every cell uses water to help grow, heal, regulate your temperature, add cushioning properties to your discs, and help protect the spinal cord, among countless other uses and benefits.  Over 60% of our body weight is water, and we lose water through breathing, sweating and digestion.  Coffee and alcohol may contain water but they are diuretics, meaning they stimulate the loss of fluid through urination. The dangers of chronic dehydration are devastating to vitality and longevity.

Fruit Market

We have addressed vegetables, with their high concentrations of vitamins and minerals, now let’s turn to fruits.  Along with vegetables, fruits are carbohydrates, a ready source of energy in the form of sugar and fiber for the body to utilize.  They also contain concentrated amounts of vitamins and minerals along with phytochemicals.  These phytochemicals are helpers, aiding in the digestion of vitamins and minerals.  The vitamins from supplements rarely contain these phytochemicals and never in the balanced form provided by nature and whole foods.  Not to say that supplements are not beneficial.  I recommend a daily vitamin, fish oil, and probiotics, but more on that later.  However, first look to whole foods for your necessary amounts of good carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

The list of health benefits from fruits runs the gamut of body functions.  Try not to “target cure”, in other words, eating this fruit for that benefit.  Like vegetables, fruits are “color coded”, with each different fruit containing higher concentrations of one vitamin over another.  So just like vegetables address fruits by getting as many colors of fruits throughout the day to ensure the widest range of nutrients needed in the cell.

Joe's Typical Weekday Breakfast

How Much Fruit Is Enough – Five fruit servings a day.  There’s my answer.  It can be measured in cups but I figure  five fruits a day is easier to remember and you will be definitely be getting the amount you need.  When I say a serving I mean one orange, or one apple, a medium slice of cantaloupe or melon, a hand full of grapes or berries, a medium slice of watermelon, etc.

I begin the morning with an apple and orange and some grapes.  Those are my staples and then I need to grab only two more servings of fruit for the rest of the day. 

We often make a smoothie for an afternoon snack which is full of berries, banana, and pineapple.  We normally have some kind of melon in the fridge for a convenient slice.

Pick form the list provided and develop a habit of a morning fruit staple.  Mine habit seems to be the apple, orange and grapes first thing in the morning, then supplementing them with a number of any fruits available.  But you can choose the variety that suits you.

My Basic Approach    (A Little Philosophy)
Overall I appreciate the Paleo Diet’s model and approach.  It makes sense to me that we evolved into human beings due to the combination of circumstances surrounding our environment.  In other words it was the food we ate, the exercise required to live the hominid life, and the problem solving that occurred along the way, stimulating the growth of our pre-frontal cortex. 

Basically the food we ate as we evolved included fruits, vegetables, lean meats (all grass fed), fish, poultry, nuts and seeds, and water.  We did not eat grain until 10,000 years ago when we began to live in communities, domesticated our animals and farmed.  We didn’t drink milk after being weaned until that time, and we certainly didn’t drink other animals’ milk.  We ate no processed foods prior to that time either.

I believe we continue to evolve as a species.  However, I fear that with our poor diets, our diminished exercise habits among the majority of us, and the high stress we are exposed to (and expose ourselves to) we are evolving in an unhealthy direction.  We will dive into this more as we move beyond nutrition but basically I believe we are forcing ourselves to function more from our mid-brain portion of the brain and less from the pre-frontal cortex portion where human intelligence lies.

Our mid-brain is the instinctual area of our brain.  It is concerned with hunger, reproduction, and basic survival.  Our stress response is coordinated here and you will know all about that soon.  However, it is the pre-frontal cortex that allows us to reason. 

Looking at our world today and seeing how we dehumanize immigrants, continue to keep the poor disenfranchised by not providing equal education to all our citizens, believe that more guns will keep the peace, live in gated communities and build walls and fences to keep out those different from us, dumb our education down to math and science only and not teach those areas of study that fully support the humanness of our species, it is clear to me that we are functioning from a fear-based mid brain dominance.  An area where competition of one over another is the primary motive.

While we will be covering what it means to be human we can’t get there if we are pre-occupied with the ailments we suffer from, complicating those “life-style ailments” with quick fix symptom numbing medications that ultimately compound the problem.

Fruits, vegetables, etc. are the foundation, the building blocks that our bodies need in order for us to tackle the more complex problems of family life, community living, peace on earth, and ultimately living congruently with the power and the beauty of the spirit that holds all this together.

This is a beautiful world, and the resources are clearly at hand to enjoy its abundance and provide a life of fulfillment and contentment.  Let’s discover together what it means to be human in order for us to be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.

See you next week,


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