Natural living comes by increasing our knowledge | Lifestyles

In 2011, my father died of a brain tumor. It was called a “Glioblastoma,” which is a fast growing, deadly cancer which claimed his life only eight months after he was diagnosed even though he was in generally good health up until then.

My father was a strong man who was the patriarch of our family, and we were all devastated by his loss. His death was traumatic for me and caused me to go through somewhat of a spiritual awakening. In other words, it caused me to question everything and to desperately search for answers.

Why couldn’t we save my father even though we live in the age of our greatest medical technological advancements? And why are we even here on this planet if we can’t prevent ourselves from experiencing the suffering that I witnessed during the final months of my father’s life?

These questions led me on a spiritual path where I discovered that we must have faith in the beauty and goodness of one another and embrace our “interconnectedness” — not only with other human beings, but also with other creatures that exist here with us as well. We also must work together for the good of one another and for the good of our precious planet.

I’ve learned that our origin is divine and for us to deny our relationship to each other and to other life on this planet, is to increase our own illness and dis- ease in the process. It is imperative for us to increase our knowledge about natural living which includes the footprint that we leave here. In other words, we must learn to be students of health and natural, healthy living.

We live in an unhealthy society where we’ve learned to tolerate the state of illness as the normal process of aging. Cancer and cardiovascular disease are the leading cause of death in the United States each one claiming between 500,000 and 600,000 lives per year.

In my research of natural health and living, I came across a man by the name of Dr. Sebi. He was a man who in his 30s was obese, had Diabetes, erectile dysfunction, asthma and depression. He sought out an herbalist healer in Mexico and found that a plant-based diet helped him lose weight, reverse his Diabetes and asthma and he went on to father a child as well.

Dr. Sebi was a natural health practitioner, who many felt was a threat to the multibillion-dollar medical industry by claiming that he had a cure for Diabetes, cancer and aids. In 1985 he was sued by the State of New York and the Supreme Court because of these claims and famously won both lawsuits. He claimed that certain foods are acidic and that these foods destroy your body’s natural ability to heal.

By eliminating what he considered toxic foods, like meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, seafood, processed and fried foods, sugar and salt one could reverse the effects of these devastating conditions. Dr. Sebi also taught that some foods that may seem healthy like lean meats and GMO’s are acidic and full of other harmful, cancer causing ingredients and must be eliminated.

Dr. Sebi also subscribed to the “Mucous Free” diet. The premise of this diet is that your body produces mucous as a defense mechanism because it contains an enzyme that aids in destroying pathogens, organisms that cause disease, which humans encounter regularly or when we consume foods that the immune system senses as an attack on the body. When eating foods that create excessive mucous it becomes a strain on the immune system — and weakened immune systems enable cancer cells to grow.

Many would dismiss these claims as pseudoscience. But with the state of health that we as Americans are faced with and with the medical

profession’s inability to cure these diseases even with all of the recent advancements in medicine, it makes perfect sense to question the foods that we are consuming as part of the problem. It certainly couldn’t make matters worse for us to embrace a plant- based lifestyle, not as a replacement of, but in addition to traditional medicine.

Another aspect of plant-based diets to discuss are the spiritual concepts, which I must admit is the more complicated part of this conversation. So, I must stop right now and answer the question that may come to your mind. Am I one of those militant PETA members? The answer is an emphatic no. I am a vegetarian that occasionally eats dairy products and eggs. Do I believe that someone can be healthy and eat some meat and dairy? Of course. Unless, of course that person has cardiovascular disease or some other condition that’s directly impacted by the consumption of animal products. However, only a plant-based diet is capable of producing and maintaining an ultimate state of health.

But we live in the real world– one in which we have busy lives and families that have unique food preferences which can make it difficult for the person responsible for food preparation. Fast food, meat and dairy products are readily available and taste good. But I look at it as an opportunity for me and my family to upgrade the way that we eat, live, relate and see ourselves and the world around us.

You don’t have to be a full-time, raw vegan in order to reap the health benefits. I started with “meatless Monday’s” and gradually weaned myself off meat completely. First, I gave up large animals including beef and pork. Then I gave up poultry. The last thing I gave up was fish, and I must admit that it was the most difficult. Experiment with it. There are so many recipes readily available for you to try that make plant-based foods delicious and satisfying. Below I have included a recipe below for a delicious vegetable soup and jalapeno corn bread that I enjoy at least weekly.

You and your family can have that look that says health and clean living. You may avoid a future potentially serious health problem in the process. So, nourish yourselves with whole, unprocessed plant-based foods with lots of salads, fresh fruits, colorful smoothies, and green juices. That’s what I call Soul Food!

If you have any specific medical concerns, consult your physician.

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 medium yellow potato, chopped

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

2- 12 ounce cans stewed tomatoes

1- 6 ounce can tomato sauce

1- 15 ounce can of pinto or red beans

1- 12 ounce bag of frozen green peas

5 ears of fresh corn sliced from the cobb

1- 32 ounce container vegetable broth

½ 12 ounce bag frozen carrots

½ tsp hot pepper flakes (or to taste)

2 tbsp hot sauce (or to taste)

Directions: Add onion, celery, and garlic to heated olive oil. Season onion mixture with salt, pepper and garlic. Sautee until the vegetables are clear. Add remainder of ingredients and stir. Cover and bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer on low for one hour.

2 boxes jiffy corn muffin mix

2/3 cup almond or regular milk

2 ears of fresh corn sliced off cobb

1 large jalapeno pepper seeded and sliced in half.

2 tbsp butter to coat pan

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat cast iron skillet or baking dish with butter. Slice half of jalapeno pepper into thin slices. Chop remaining pepper into small pieces. In a large bowl add muffin mix, sugar, milk, eggs, corn and chopped portion of jalapeno. Stir gently until well combined. Pour mixture into buttered skillet. Arrange remaining jalapeno slices on top of wet mixture. Bake for 24- 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely and serve topped with margarine.

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