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If “fat” and “malnourished” appear together in a sentence, you don’t expect them to be linked by an “and.”

Yet, over and over again, folks come in to consult with me who are both.

With obesity recently being declared a disease by the AMA, I was heartened to hear a British doctor in Africa link obesity with malnutrition (oh how I wish I could give you a link for that. I heard it on NPR while driving. If anyone else heard it and can offer a link, please do so in the comments below!).

We associate fat with over-consumption, not with under-consumption. So how can someone be fat and malnourished?

The trick here is to stop thinking about quantity and start thinking about quality. When you approach it from this angle, you’ll see there are many quality culprits:

Deficient Soil

Farming the same land over and over depletes the soil of its nutrients. Most soil, and therefore most vegetables, and therefore most of us, are magnesium deficient.

In the Bible, the rules of farming dictate that every seventh year the land shall remain fallow. I would add that for the first six, organic compost should be added.

What to do: unfortunately there aren’t many good food sources of magnesium available. If you want to eat your magnesium, pumpkin (or other squash) seeds, are your best bet.

If you want to go the supplement root, try CALM powder or topical magnesium from Ancient Minerals.

Deficient Diet

Most of us who are now in our adult years, grew up in an era of fast food and convenience foods. Even things that say “healthy” or “natural” or “wholesome” on the label, usually aren’t, when you take a magnifying glass to the fine print.

It takes dedication to create change in our eating habits, our shopping habits, and to learn the ancient and forgotten art of cooking.

Not convinced it’s worth it?

Consider this: when you microwave meat, you turn many of the B vitamins (necessary to fight stress and promote well-being) into carcinogens. So instead of helping your body deal with stress, you are instead stressing your body.

Hormone Laden Meats

A few years back I ran into someone from high school at Whole Foods. She looked great… and I told her so.

“Thanks,” she gushed. “I lost tons of weight by switching to organic meats.”

It took me a little while to suss this one out. How did switching to organic meat help her to lose weight?

To fatten up cows (and other animals) for slaughter, they are given growth hormones. Which makes them grow… and fatten… and then we eat them. You do the math.

Fat & Malnourished

Are you beginning to see how this is possible?

Questioning your food choices?

Comment below to tell me one change you are going to make (and tune in next week when I continue this conversation, looking at gluten and weight gain!).

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