One of my favorite TV shows is Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain. If you haven't seen it, and you like food, travel, and different cultures I highly recommend it. If you don't have a sense of humor or become enviously easily I don't recommend it. Because 5 minutes in to one of these shows you will wish you had Anthony's job. So am I writing this blog to just tell you about one of my favorite shows? No, I don't think that's what you come here for. I am writing this to point out a trend. A trend I notice in almost all of these cultures. You can sum up this trend in one word, FRESH. Everything these people cook and eat is extremely fresh. From Morocco to Granada, Peru to Myanmar, everywhere he goes. All you see is fresh caught seafood, fresh picked herbs, raw foods, and colorful spices. Or I could just say, the complete opposite of what most Americans eat. It's also almost humorous how many of these cultures' staple spices are considered miracle cures here. For example, turmeric is a hot cancer fighting spice right now in the US. You have probably seen a post floating around Facebook on it. In some of these places it's just what you put on your food. And we wonder why we are so sick over here, I will tell you the quality of our food is a gigantic reason.
I also think that a major factor that is missed in regards to health is the state of the person while consuming the food. What does that mean? Well when you watch this show you will usually see people eating in large groups or families laughing and having a great time. Eating their food by courses and dragging out the occasion. What's the occasion? There is none, just life. Most of our meals are rushing through a drive through, stressed out trying to get back to work, with all courses in one bag. Your state directly affects how your food is digested and stored. For example if you are stressed, your body is in sympathetic dominance, meaning your cortisol levels and other stress hormones are high too. And inversly related good hormones that help you burn fat are down. So with stress hormones high your body will hold on to more food as fat because of being in "fight or flight" mode.
I think we can learn a lot from these other cultures, and it also makes for great TV when you throw in Anthony Bourdain's humor. But you don't need to flee the country to be healthy, you can achieve it right here at home.
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