Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Am Not Here to Preach

I have contemplated writing this blog for a few weeks now but kept putting it off because I did not want to sound as if I were talking down or preaching to you.  Finally, though, after having a discussion with Scott yesterday I decided just to put it out there.

Over the past year I have become a huge Jillian Michaels fan.  My friend, Carrie, introduced me to the 30 Day Shred and I have been obsessed with her workouts ever since.  I've also encouraged other people to start their workout programs with JM and those that have completed it, have had the same type of success that I did. 

So, about a month ago Carrie told me about a Jillian Michaels book that I should read called Master Your Metabolism (available on Amazon for $14.94)

The premise of this book is how hormones effect every aspect of our lives and once you can balance your hormones, then your weight, sex drive, depression, moodiness, etc will also become balanced.  What really grabbed my attention, though, is her references to breast cancer and diabetes.  As you already know, my sister-in-law has breast cancer and my dad is very diabetic.  These two things really stood out to me so I wanted to read more.

The book really goes in to individual hormones and how they effect every aspect of our life.  Admittedly, it does get a little scientific and I did skim some of those terms, but, overall, I was fascinated and couldn't read this book fast enough.

The avenue to which you start doing this is to  . . .
start eating ORGANIC. 

Ah, there I said it. 

I know that "Organic" is a hot topic and can even become a heated topic because it is easy to feel as if someone is speaking down to you when they start telling you that you SHOULD be eating organically.  That is NOT what I want to do.  Instead, I'd just like to share a few things that I learned in this book and then let you make your own decisions.

The #1 thing that made me decide to switch to almost 100% organic . . . let's face it, sometimes I just can't find organic and sometimes it just isn't feasible . . . is this:

Found in Chapter 6, page 286-"Cows that produce organic milk are fed organic grains and are given access to pasture, but, most important, they cannot be treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone, also known as rBGH or rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin).  And thank God for that!  Traditional dairy farmers feed this horrific synthetic hormone to their cows to boost their milk production, and so far, the USDA still approves them as safe.  (Unlike regulatory agencies in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and twenty-seven countries of the European Union, where rBGH is banned.)

So in common terms, traditional dairy cows are given a hormone that has been banned in over 30 countries except the United States!

Found in Chapter 6, Page 286-rBGH increases the levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 or IGF-1.  At normal levels, IGF-1 does good things in the body . . .But IGF-1 has been linked, in hundreds of studies, to increased breast, prostate, uterine, colon, lung, and other cancers in humans.

The #2 reason: 

Found in Chapter 6, Page 277-The FDA currently permits six kinds of steroid hormones to be used in producing cattle and sheep.  Eighty percent of US feedlot cattle are fed or injected with steroid hormones.  Each of these cows gains up to 3 pounds per day.

It makes sense to me if the beef that I am eating is injecting growth hormones, then so am I and so is my family.  I've thought for a few years now that the reason we have seen the start of puberty lowering (haven't you seen little 10 year old girls that have the bodies of a 12 or 13 year old?) is from all of the hormones being put into our beef, pigs, and chickens.

These additional hormones in our bodies throw off our bodies natural way of digesting food which in turn causes our bodies to store it. 

The #3 reason:

Found in Chapter 6, Page 278-279-"The tomato is grown conventially, (meaning non-organic) and sprayed with up to seven kinds of pesticides.  Then it is picked too early because it must make the long journey across the country-or across the world-from its original location to your supermarket.   . . . The tomato is still green because it was picked too early, so now it is sprayed with argon gas (also used to euthanize dogs) to make it turn red prematurely.  Wow!  We have just taken God's natural medicine and turned it into poison."

So, there you have it.  Those are my top 3 reasons that I have decided to get on the organic bus.  There are countless other studies and figures listed in the book that are all connected to our hormones and what we ingest. 

Food for thought. . .ever wondered why in the last 20 years we have heard more about:
-breast cancer
-etc, etc etc 

When I read this book I went into it with a skeptically open mind, if that is possible, but finished being convinced that there has to be some truth to all of this.  I was also really upset because I know for a fact that I have tried and tried to eat healthfully and to realize that even with all of my efforts, I was still exposing my family to all of these harmful things really ticked me off.

Like I said earlier, this is NOT to be "holier than thou" or to "teach you a lesson" but just to let you know some of the information that I learned through this book.

By the way, if you are like I was then I'm sure I can hear you say,
"Organic foods are SO expensive!"  It is true that they cost a little more but after reading this book I can tell you that my grocery bill HAS GONE DOWN each week because I have stopped buying a lot of things that I bought before.  Did it hurt the first time I bought a $6.04 gallon of milk?  Heck, yeah, it did.  But, as Jillian states in the book, I'd rather pay a bit more for good food now than pay later in medical bills.

Just food for thought.  You know what is best for you and your family. 

I'd love any comments on the whole organic idea.


  1. Amen!!

    We only buy our meat and dairy from Trader Joes to avoid that growth hormone. It isn't orgnaic (like you said $6), it is $3, meaning the cows weren't given an organic diet, but the growth hormone wasn't used. But recently, I have noticed that the Target grocery store also carries milk, cottage cheese, sliced and shredded cheese, without the growth hormone-- and it's just as cheap as the main brand stuff.

    Chris has Crohn's disease, which is controlled by medication... but we've been eating a lot of orgnaic and less processed foods just so everything digests better for him. Tomorrow, we are going to start gluten free for 30 days, just to see if it makes him feel better. I figured Haven and I would do it too, so that I am not making three seperate meals.

    I'm so glad you posted this!! I get so frustrated when I hear people say, "Well, we grew up eating all of that and nothing ever happened to us.." Well today, food is made with more chemicals than ever before... and I'm noticing cancer becoming more and more prevelant-- so it's coming from somewhere!

  2. We started doing organic milk and eggs about 3 years ago. I pay $5.99 for a gallon at Dierbergs. To me it's worth it, for just the peace of mind. We don't eat a lot of chicken (crazy I know) but the whole chicken processing story really grosses me out. I don't buy all produce organic, but will usually buy the "dirty dozen" produce organic. Good job, you are doing a good thing!

  3. ok April. I'm convinced. I'll start right now. Dumb question... .do label's say "no injected hormones"? How do you know for sure if you are buying the non-hormone stuff?