It’s a convincing argument that humans are the dumbest species on the planet. Much of that can be based on observing our apparent willingness to self-destruct. No other species alive so diligently flaunts the laws of Nature. No other species works so hard at killing itself and its life support system (Planet Earth). From time to time it’s good practice to examine habits and see which ones are in keeping with the “dumbest species” designation and once identifying those behaviors, dump them.

Dump the Lump (Sugar and other poisons) Sugar is one of the most toxic substances we eat, this according to Dr. Robert Lustig and many others. Lustig’s University of California lecture on Youtube has been viewed over 4.7 million times. The challenge in avoiding it is that sugar, seven times more addictive than cocaine, is all over the foodscape. It’s in bread, packaged meats, cereals, “health” food, yogurt, canned vegetables, vitamin waters(!) and of course, fast food. Sugar does bad things to the body, even in small amounts, and that soda you drank has ten teaspoons of the stuff in it.

Eat real This single exhortation can tip the scales in favor of health, energy and happiness. All aspects of our lives are shaped and influenced by the energies we take in. What do we mean by “real food”? Much like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s comment about obscenity, real food may be complicated to define specifically but, in Stewart’s words about pornography, “I know it when I see it.” Certainly, any food that comes in cardboard and has a list of ingredients can be called altered, even nutritionally neutered. If it comes in its own skin and doesn’t need refrigeration before you buy it, it’s probably real.

Drive past the Drive-thru. Surveys find that Americans eat out five times a week, mostly for lunch. Here’s a bold statement from a restaurant owner I know: “There is no such thing as a healthy meal when you’re eating out.” Some of the worst food we can put in our bodies comes from that poor decision of dining from the drive thru.

Unplug Take back your mind. Just leave that phone home for a change. Connecting to the real world will be a healthy step. It’s impossible to “be here now” when focusing our mental energy on the virtual reality of the Cloud where all things are nebulous. Emails, texts, weather reports, news items and the like, all serve to insulate us from the experience of reality. Technology turns us into slaves to data, eroding our ability to observe. Humans have learned to do things over thousands of years by observing nature. That ability — and the healthfulness and safety it provided — is eroding with every new app that provides what was once a function of a rational mind. Now health-monitoring apps and devices are all the rage. If you need an app to tell you your heart is racing, you are running a fever or your blood pressure is up, you’ve lost a vital connection with your body. Good luck with that.

Move it Walk this way. Get up from the cubicle, the desk, the sofa. Starting with strollers, (get rid of them!), we become sessile, as if our butt grew into that cushion. Do something, anything, physical to keep the body moving. Free tai chi classes info at

Say no to drugs, most importantly the prescription kind. Prescription drugs kill more Americans than all illegal drugs combined! Nearly all Americans (over 70 percent) are on prescription drugs. Forget the overdoses, even when used properly, prescriptions kill over 106,000 yearly. Chances are you are on a drug and that drug is a) unnecessary, b) ineffective and/or c) causing side effects. Ask the same doctor who got you strung out on them to get you off of them.

Learn to meditate. Learn the real thing, not just listening to a recording or doing yoga. Not the same. Benefits are guaranteed.

Sleep more. There, you like that one, eh? Americans need more (quality) sleep. Learn how (and it’s not with pills). I once heard Joe Walsh say, “Burning the candle at both ends gets you twice the light but half the time.”

Ditch chemicals. Avoid chemicals everywhere: on your lawn, in your food and clothes, your cleaning supplies, personal care products. “For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962

Avoid doctors and hospitals. American medicine kills nearly 1 million people a year. See the report: “Death by Medicine”. It seems outlandish to modern society to view avoiding doctors as a way to stay healthy. But consider this: Historically, people only went to doctors when sick. Nowadays the medical profession thinks of everyone as sick, as if “sick” is the natural state. Guess what? Healthy is the natural state.

These steps are easy and there are dozens more. Take your own.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit for more information.

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