A Legacy of Gluttony

Those of you who are old enough (children of the 50’s and 60’s) will probably remember your parents telling you to clean your plate because “children in China were starving.” It never made sense the way they said it. Wouldn’t it be impractical to gather up the brussel sprouts that my sister and the dog and I didn’t want, and ship them over to China to help those kids? And how would my consumption of these disgusting green balls help those Chinese kids anyway?

Obviously, we missed the point entirely, but so did our parents!

After WWII, the parents of us baby boomers lived a more prosperous lifestyle than had previously been seen in the world. They simply wanted us to appreciate the abundance that we had, and I believe it was this clean your plate mindset that sent our entire generation down a path that led to record breaking rates of diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and all manner of nutritionally preventable disease in the 21st century.
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The easily attainable prosperity of the 60’s and 70’s took us from the clean your plate mindset into an absolute portion distortion trap that has become the norm. We are regularly presented with far more than we need to eat, and we are trained to clean our plate so we eat it all. And what we are eating is loaded with chemicals, sugar, and fat that enhance the flavor and make it truly enjoyable for us to eat until we are overstuffed and uncomfortable. That uncomfortable feeling should be a signal to us that we ate too much, but we have been conditioned to ignore that signal and true to our habit, we will do it again and again. Just look at the size of the portions served in restaurants and at the fast food drive through. Look at the size of that triple cheeseburger and consider… do we really need to eat this much food at one sitting?

The wisdom the bible teaches us is far from our clean your plate mentality. The bible teaches us to use what we need, and leave the rest for someone else to meet their need.

Deuteronomy 24:19-21 (NKJV) “When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.”

Proverbs 23:20-21 (NLT) “Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep clothes them in rags.” Maybe the poverty spoken of is the actual physical result of consuming too much. It steals our energy, our health, and teaches our children a detrimental way of life.

So here comes the BIG question. How do we break this cycle? If we cannot conquer this in our generation, our children and our children’s children will pay dearly for this legacy of gluttony. I have become more aware of this over the past couple of years as my work has become less physical, and I have reached that age where the fat just wants to stick to my middle. In two years, I moved from the middle of the green zone on the body mass index chart to the yellow (warning) edge. Now I am not pleased with the way my mid section looks, and it is time to do something about it, but, I have a lifetime of bad eating habits to break, and I imagine many of you do as well.
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The good news is that there are solutions, and I have found one that is working for me. Backed by scientific discovery of the importance of consuming low glycemic, non cephalic foods and beverages to losing unwanted fat, by replacing one product I have consumed daily for my entire adult life, I have seen immediate results. This is really important because nothing will motivate us in the early stages of change quite like a benchmark of success! Add to that the validation of a great body of research revealing that the consumption of high glycemic, high cephalic products cause weight gain in adults and children, and can lead to type 2 diabetes… I believe I will stick with this program.

I have not consciously changed my eating habits for the better (dieted), nor have I begun a program of regular exercise, which I know I should, but I no longer crave the sugary afternoon boost, or the donuts and muffins with my morning coffee. I am well satisfied with smaller portions of healthier foods. I have a lot more energy, and my mind seems to be more involved in deciding what to eat, instead of my body responding to cravings that dictate consumption of fatty and sugary treats. In the past four weeks I have dropped 6 pounds and shed 4 inches, without really trying or feeling like I gave anything up.

So what is it that one thing I changed? My coffee! Yes, that’s all. I found a great coffee with low glycemic & thermogenic (fat burning) properties, and stopped drinking Folgers. Yes, it costs a little more than Folgers, but it costs far less than many weight loss alternatives, and tremendously less than the health problems that go along with becoming and remaining overweight!

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