Chapter 1: The Making of a Health Advocate | Our Back Story
Lynda and I grew up in fairly typical Italian families in the 1950-60’s during the time when the mantra was “Better Living Through Chemistry”.
Every event was centered around food and every aspect of our lives was supposedly being made better through chemical intervention. Plastics were becoming a dominant factor in everything from food storage and packaging to household products. Foods were increasingly becoming more processed and more “convenient”.
Ever increasing toxic household cleaners and items were entering the market place and society was embracing it whole heartedly. We also saw the systematic polluting of rivers and soil with large corporations indiscriminately dumping toxic by-products of manufacturing.
The other major shift came with the recommendation of the medical community and industry insiders to demonize real fat and unprocessed dairy and embrace pasteurized processed low fat milk like products and margarine along with pushing things like sugary breakfast cereals, juice from concentrate and “pancake syrup”.
However, for me, maturing during the time of the Vietnam War and the social unrest of the 60 & 70’s I was already getting suspicious of the establishment, especially after events like Woodstock and the tragic event at Kent State university. I already new I liked the Taste of butter real maple syrup and whole un-homogenized milk, but I was unaware of most of insidious assaults we as a population were experiencing.
Even still, I had this uneasy feeling that there were things inherently wrong. I remember noticing my parents and aunts and uncles lacking a certain vitality and level of physical fitness.
My 1st AHAA MOMENT!
Lynda and I got married young. At just 21, we thought we knew it all. In just a shot time, we managed to buy our 1st house that fortunately had well water. We didn’t know it at the time, but this would be a good thing as we were avoiding fluoride. However, our lives still mimicked the lifestyle we grew up in.
By the time we hit our early 30’s, the ways of eating and physical activity we witnessed growing up were having a negative impact on us and our health. Lynda and I were both over weight and out of shape. We had 2 young children at the time and found it difficult keeping up with them. Clearly, our lifestyle needed a change.
Lynda and I were not new to the idea of exercise as we both had belonged to gyms I our late teens early 20’s, so we made the commitment to get back to basics. Or course, I wanted to lift weights and Lynda wanted to do cardio and take aerobics classes, but hadn’t made any significant dietary changes as of yet.
We started reading fitness magazines on a regular basis and learning the ins and outs of creating sound fitness programs. It became evident we needed to change our eating habits, because after a few months, we weren’t seeing the results we were hoping for. Lynda also realized the importance of weight training to build lean muscle and sculpt the body.
Of course the prevailing mantra at the time was low fat and lots of whole grains. So we made the changes to skinless chicken breast, fake butter substitute (like I Can’t Believe I Ate That Crap) LOL, 1% milk, whole wheat bread and Tilapia, along with leaner cuts of beef and pork. Fortunately for our kids, we never really had a lot of soda in the house.
We had even made it a practice of diluting fruit juices at the suggestion of our pediatrician and had steered clear of the more processed colorful breakfast cereals, but it still wasn’t unusual for us to have things like instant oatmeal, instant breakfast and hamburger helper in the house or various things like frozen pizza and other snacks, but that would all change soon enough.
As our transformation continued, so did our self education. Fueled by our success in losing weight and having considerable more energy, this was quickly becoming our new way of life. Lynda and I would get up early and be at the gym by 5:30-6:00 am 3 to 4 times a week.
We also started cutting out more of the processed and fake food but still had SO much to learn. We had also become more cognizant of the amount of drugs our parents and their peers were on which just didn’t seem right.
We were also becoming more familiar and educated about the role of vitamins and other nutrients. This was also the introduction of direct to consumer advertising by the pharmaceutical companies.
I remember listening to those ads and the long disclaimer at the end listing all the potential side effects and thinking WHO the heck would want to take those, but obviously plenty of people, including most of our older relatives, again having no clue the damage they were having on the population.