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how i see the world: food and nutrition

I have known for a while now that I have a very unique personally, apparently it is one that only about 1% of the entire world has. That personality I am referring to is called an INTJ.
On a side note: If you are interested and would like to learn more about this and other personality types (including your own) go to www.personalitypage.com.
Anyway, according to this (and every website that writes about personality types), I am unique in the sense that I am capable of recognizing patterns and deciphering difficult problems in a systematic way in order to create a simple and easy to follow solution that I can then apply to my life.

So basically I am able to recognize and understand things that are not so easy for other people to see and understand.

For those of you who know me personally, this might help explain why I am the way I am: I just see the world as one big problem and unlike many, I can actually solve these problems.

So before writing I always ask myself, "What has transpired in my lifetime that could possibly be of some value or use to another human life?" It wasn't long into my meditation before my subconscious mind produced this rather clever idea: Start writing about how you see the world -- specifically from your uniquely logical and systematic perspective.

So here I am.

This is going to be the first in what I am sure will be a continuous series that will involve a variety of topics ranging from health to diseases and everything in-between. These are for the most part going to follow suit with my previous posts and be a mixture of hard facts and anecdotal evidence which I have drawn from my own life experiences.

Now that I've gotten that all out of the way... let's begin!

Food & Nutrition from My Perspective

For those of you who follow me closely and have read my previous posts, by now I am sure you understand to a certain extent my general point of view in regard to diet and nutrition.

So now I am going to go much deeper into my psyche and attempt to reverse engineer my dieting background in order to help you (the reader) understand to a greater degree how I came to believe what I believe...

So here we go!

Brief History: Age 0 - 22

My life before the age of about 22 is really hard for me to remember. Whenever I try to look back and recall what I ate or how I behaved or what I was thinking I can never come up with any solid answers. The reason behind this I believe is due to the fact that I was not really living a very conscious-filled lifestyle. Everything I did was ultimately influenced (in one way or another) by some outside force and I never really took any responsibility for my life.

From Elementary all the way to High School I rarely ever questioned anything out loud. When it came to breakfast, lunch and dinner I didn't really see the point in worrying about it. In my mind I suppose I believed that as long as I didn't go "hungry" than I would be alright. I had no clue what all the foreign stuff on the back of the ingredient labels meant. All I knew in regard to food is whether or not it tasted good enough for me to want to eat it.

After about 22 years though, that way of life had severely taken its toll on me both physically and mentally. As I look back now it is painfully clear that the reason I had such trouble recalling past life events and had become so addicted to drugs and alcohol was because of my lifetime of poor food choices.


The Turning Point: Age 23-24

A lot of things started to change the moment I asked myself why I was eating meat. As time went by I remember I gradually grew more and more interested in conducting research to learn how food affected our health.

It wasn't an overnight thing by any means. I would overhear someone in a restaurant talking about how bad something was to eat and I would remember what they said and when I got home at the end of the day I would sit down and figure out if what they said was true. As the months rolled by the pieces of the puzzle started to fall nicely into place and the big picture was getting clearer every day.

Soon research wasn't enough for me, I needed solid information. More than anything I wanted to hear from people who had actually experimented with and tested these theories in real life on real people. It wasn't long before I went from independent research to obsessively watching health documentaries like Simply Raw & Food Matters. These documentaries convinced me beyond a reasonable doubt that many of the mainstream diseases we see so abundantly in our culture today can be cured by something as simple as a change in lifestyle!
I wrote a rather in depth article about this health documentary experience titled "The Health Benefits of Fruit & Vegetable Juicing". Feel free to click on that link if you would like to read more.
It was only after the hours of independently researching and studying nutrition mixed with the hours spent watching documentaries like these that I finally began to consider the idea of experimenting with these different diets myself.

Again, I never would allow myself to think that I could snap my fingers and suddenly change my life overnight. I kept it slow and steady at first by eating things like oatmeal and bananas for breakfast instead of sugary processed cereals. After a few months of eating like this I noticed that I was dropping rather significant amounts of weight.

What is really interesting to me though is that during those periods of weight loss, like I said before, I really had not changed my diet all that much... the only thing I changed was breakfast.

The more weight I lost, the more curious I became about food and the role that it played in my overall health and well-being. What did nutrients have to do with anything? How could monitoring and ingesting more protein help me reach my weight loss and fitness goals? Once I began asking questions like these I literally could not stop. I had to know everything! Sound crazy? I know -- it's an INTJ thing...

Think about it though, haven't you always been (at least a little bit) curious to know why the majority of people you see on the streets today are overweight? For me it all stems back to that natural curiosity about why I was ever fat to begin with. I knew in my heart that it could not be a coincidence; there had to be a reason. So just like before, I asked questions and conducted research until I found the answers I was looking for.

That tenacity is what helped me uncover the secret to deciphering the ingredients listed on the back of food labels. That discovery in turn lead to me uncovering the real reasons behind our countries overwhelming obesity epidemic:
Government Decided to Subsidize Corn -> Genetically Modified, Inedible & Nutrient Deficient Corn Was Then Mass Produced -> That Then Became High Fructose Corn Syrup -> HF-CS Goes Into Almost Everything You See At The Grocery Store -> We Eat This Crap -> Our Nation Becomes Fat and Sick
After learning about why people are the way they are, I then started to look back in time when HF-CS wasn't even around; when the majority of people were relatively thin and healthy. It was no surprise to me when I learned that pretty much before the fifties (and the boom of the microwavable dinner), the majority of Americans consumed a much more raw, organic and local "diet".

Not only that, but their eating habits were much different than the eating habits of the world we occupy today...

Families did crazy things... liking eating at the table! They had conversations about their days and there was relatively nothing that existed at the time (or was allowed at the table anyway) that could distract them. Because of this they were completely and fully aware of not only the the food they were consuming, but of the conversations they were having as well.

Compare that to the world we live in today: over-sized portions, information inundation, families rarely eating together -- let alone at the same table. Now we have the convenience of drive thrus (I hate that spelling) and fast food chains where people get to eat alone in their cars. Now we have delivery services, "Chinese" food (which isn't even Chinese BTW), pizza nights, refined and processed white breads are everywhere now... the list could go on and on but what this essentially all boils down to is genetically modified, nutrient starved, highly processed, man-made "dead foods" have taken the place of the all-natural, local, wholesome and whole grain foods that we used to eat not so long ago -- and it's killing us.

The reason we have become fat and chronically ill is actually quite simple: Our technology has advanced rapidly in the past 50 years and yet our bodies are still wired the same as they have been for millions of years. If you took away: electricity, cell phones, computers, internet, facebook, pens, paper, shoes, designer clothes, expensive homes, gasoline and automobiles... what would you have left? The human body. It hasn't really changed that much over time; and for what little it has changed, it certainly has not evolved anywhere near as quickly as our lifestyles have over the past 50 years.

When I was first introduced to this simple concept, something clicked inside my brain and everything sort of just made sense to me. I was finally able to see the big picture.

You see we as human beings have foolishly convinced ourselves that our superior and ever-expanding technology will ultimately rescue us from the "inconveniences" of daily life. Unfortunately this is not the case; it actually could not be further from the truth. The truth is that the majority of modern technologies and inventions that were originally designed to help and enhance our lives have actually wound up doing the exact opposite!

If you really stop and think, it really is not that hard to see why our society has been getting progressively worse instead of progressively better:


  • Shoes | Designed for comfort but they are actually preventing our feet from doing what they have evolved to do very well over millions of years of being shoe-less: walk & run barefoot!
  • Medicine | Designed to heal but is often making us sick and even when taken correctly, medicine has claimed the lives of millions of people!
  • Makeup | Created to enhance beauty but it is actually causing more harm than good because most makeup is chock-full of toxic chemicals that when applied get absorbed into your body through the skin and cause internal & external damage.
  • Fast Food | Meant to be convenient but it is actually making us fat, sick, miserable and dead.

Even seemingly innocent things like electricity and gas heat are not always helpful when it comes to living our lives in the best and most natural kind of way possible. It is no secret that electricity and gas heat have killed people and have caused their fair share of harm to our environment.

Furthermore, it has been known for some time now that electricity, or rather the electromagnetic waves emitted from using electronic devices, can cause cell damage in humans. I could go on and on but my point is that we have become disconnected from our roots and now we are paying for it with our health and with our lives when we really don't have to.

Now I am not suggesting that in order to reverse these problems we all need to completely get rid of all forms of technology and go back to living in caves. What I am suggesting instead is that we all must find a balance between the luxuries that we have the privilege of using every day and the responsibility we have to use and nourish our bodies the way Mother Nature intended.

Again, does this mean that I recommend everyone quit driving or completely give up alcohol or fast food? No! What I am suggesting is that we all need to start today and shift our daily habits to a more natural state of being. Maybe instead of driving to work every day we can commit to either: walking, riding a bike or taking public transportation and purposely get off a few blocks from your destination so you can get a nice walk in before and after work a few times a week. Maybe instead of having fast and heavily processed foods as your standard for breakfast, lunch and dinner... why not try to incorporate more natural alternatives into your meals and have fast food or pizza be the once or twice a week treat?

I can tell you that through my own experiences, this gradual method of converting your diet over has produced tremendous results in my life compared to all the times when I tried to change everything overnight.

Fast change has never worked for anybody. So whenever you are in trouble and you feel like you're ready to give up just remember this: slow and steady wins the race!

How I Saved My Life Through Food: Age 25-100 (or whenever I die)

I am going to be 27 years old soon. And after about two years of dedicating myself to eating healthy food (most of the time), I can testify that it has made a huge difference in my life.

Before I started eating this way, sure I had lost some weight. But I learned later on that I wasn't really doing it the right way. After basically starving myself and rigorously working out three or four hours each day there was no doubt that I was going to see results on the outside -- but on the inside I was still a wreck.

It's hard to describe with words but after changing over to a more natural and organic diet, I just felt like a completely different person inside.

Before I changed what I was eating, yes, I did lose weight. On the outside everything seemed to be going my way: people were congratulating me and giving me a ton of support and constantly asking me what my "secret" was. Looking back now it's kind of funny because my secret was really not a secret at all: I was eating a lot less than I should have been and I was moving my body a lot more than I ever had before. What is funny about that to me is that this is exactly what so many people in this country resort to in order to lose weight -- and it's a crock of shit.

All this ever did for me was help me weigh less and look different on the outside. What I've learned over the years is that the majority of people -- thin and fat alike -- are constantly struggling to find peace and happiness on the inside. But rather than doing the natural thing which is to heal themselves from the inside-out, they believe that it can work the other way around. I thought it could work that way too. I can't begin to tell you just how wrong I was. You can do what I did and work your ass off every day and you will achieve results... but in the end, losing weight and looking better on the outside won't fix anything.

If you are troubled on the inside and you are lacking in nutrition and emotional peace of mind, nothing you do on the outside will ever fix that. This is why I believe so many people in our culture resort to destructive methods of stimulation. Whether it is drug addiction, sex addiction or food addiction it does not matter. The main cause of all of these problems ultimately stems from within. And until you address that, I believe that you'll never truly be happy.

For those of you who know me and perhaps think I am some kind of a kook: I respect you and I understand why you think of me this way. It is a defense mechanism; I used to feel the exact same way about people like me. All I can say is that the only reason I am so passionate about these issues is because it would be wrong for me to have experienced all of this positive change in my life and not even try to share it with those I truly love and care about. All opinions and bullshit aside, I do care about you. I wouldn't be writing for hours on end and racking my brain night and day if I didn't.

If you are struggling with any of the issues that I have mentioned, then I want to help. I feel like I've been given this amazing gift, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let it go to waste.


You Can Do It Too!

So what can you do today to improve your life? There are millions of things you can do today to get you on the path towards true peace from the inside-out. I'm only going to give you advice that I have personally used and have since had amazing success with in my own life.

  1. Eat the way nature intended and learn what organic food is and why it is good for you | I'm not going to do the work for you. Bottom line is your body needs vitamins and minerals (not in a pill form!) in order to feel satisfied, happy and fulfilled.
  2. Move what nature gave you | I don't know if you realize this but your body is not yours -- it is on loan from Mother Nature. And when you pass away you do not get to keep it. So my advice to you would be to start waking up every day from this day forward and use it! Do you realize how many people are living in this world right now that would kill to be able to go for just one run? Or a swim? Or a bike ride? Or a walk!? Quit taking your body for granted! It's the most amazing thing you have control of in this world and you need to start treating it that way.
  3. Deal with what is going on between your ears | If you have pent up emotional or psychological stress or anxiety (or whatever it might be), you need to get help. Life is too short to carry that load all by yourself. And you certainly aren't doing anybody any favors by sitting there trying to take care of it alone. Let it out.
  4. Love yourself and love each other | This one has taken me a long time to come to grips with because for a long time I couldn't possibly understand how anybody else could possibly love me. As I've learned, there are a lot of people out there who, like me, grew up inside dysfunctional and "not-so-happy" homes. The stresses of living in that environment inevitably took its toll on me and for most of my life I was unaware of just how much it affected me. Things from my childhood that I had long since repressed all of a sudden began boiling to the surface and it wasn't until I finally recognized and dealt with these emotions that I was able to forgive myself and let it all go. It's was not easy, but it was definitely worth it.


Final Thoughts

I don't know what you're going through in your life right now. My hope is that you are able to live your life to the absolute fullest and learn how to love, appreciate, grow and become happier and healthier every single day for the rest of your life!

Life is short; live it to the fullest!

Love,

Corey Barton

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