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Wanda Butler
Stressing Out With Fast Food
Wanda Butler, PhD

Stressing Out With Fast Food

I recently met with a colleague for a mid-day meeting at my office. Because of time constraints, we agreed upon her providing us with lunch for the day. While I was surprised when she placed a hamburger and fries, from a local fast food chain in front of me, I resigned myself to eat it, so as not to offend her. As I picked up my hamburger, I noticed that the bun was a bit stiff, but everything else about the meal appeared normal. When I raised it, to take the first bite, this friend urgently screamed for me to stop. Of course I jumped, dropped my hamburger and asked “what's wrong”? Then she started laughing so hard, that she had trouble handing me the receipt for the meal I was about to eat. It was dated September 4th, 2007. My fast food meal looked and smelled fine, but it was over 1 years old.
After I got over the shock, it was obvious to me that what I was about to eat wasn't food anymore. Billions of these petrified, non-food meals are being served to millions of repeat customers, who could never know the stress and havoc these meals insidiously wreak on their health. Consider that if what you ingest is not a real food, it's a toxin. The indigestion, headache, sore joints, low energy and depression that you might experience tomorrow, next week, month or year, are a direct result of the stress caused by foods that steal more nutrients than they deliver today.
As teenagers, we can eat fast foods with abandon, not because they're good for us, but because the stores of nutrients, alkaline reserves and metabolic enzymes are not yet depleted. Also, the liver and gastrointestinal drainage pathways are still efficient in the elimination of waste. For a young person, early indications that the body is stressed from an excess of fast food, or junk food intake, show up as mental and emotional stress, like distractibility, irritability, obsession, depression, and moodiness. All too often, erratic behaviors, commonly accepted as hormonal shifts in adolescence, result from a deficiency of good fats, which tax healthy hormone production, and an overconsumption of bad fats, which causes blood sugar shifts in the brain, resulting in sugar cravings that just won't quit.
In general, the older we get, the more depleted the nutrient reserves, and the more congested the drainage pathways. So, we get hit harder and faster, when we frequent the fast food route. Almost immediately after ingesting these meals, many of us notice a loss of energy, or feel sleepy, bloated and irritable. With that awareness, we're more likely to make the changes that will safeguard our health. No matter what the age, stress starts at the physical level, and our ability to meet life's demands is largely determined by the health of our diet. Eating petrified fast foods will contribute to a stressed and petrified (fearful) body. For young people, it just takes longer.

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