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The First Form of Exercise - The Old-Order Amish Diet
Written by Sharen
In the beginning of the world, fancy exercise machines, ropes, gadgets and other diet apparatus didn't exist. There wasn't really a need for them because the first form of exercise was sweat-drenching, back-breaking, simple hard work. With that, let's take on the New World where the old-order Amish diet is still in place and receiving rave reviews from the Health Community. Here's the scoop....
Based on research performed in 2003 by a team from the University of Tennessee, the old-order Amish way of life (still practiced in southern Ontario, Canada) was placed under the Diet Microscope for review. The old-order Amish diet consists of most anything under the sun - from bread to rich desserts made with real sugar and real cream. Yet, a scant 4% within this group were classified as obese and only 26% as overweight.
Although the old-order Amish don't practice Atkins and they don't visit The South Beach, they are one of the healthiest pockets to be found in Today's Society. So how can one enjoy all the niceties of a high-fat, high-cholesterol, high-sugar diet and still attain Arnold-like pecs and thighs? Running parallel with the non-typical health-wise diet is good old-fashioned work.
It's a bit like a see-saw; the diet depresses one side, yet intense activity creates a balancing act. In the Old World, when men plowed their fields, it wasn't uncommon for them to burn 6,000 calories or more per day! Women collected water from hand-dug wells; they worked with hot wax - dipping candles for their families to burn by night; they loomed and designed handmade quilts; they chopped wood, wove fabric from unprocessed cotton - then hand-stitched clothing for the family.
It wasn't an easy life, yet it was an extremely healthy lifestyle. If the Old World had the benefits of Modern Day Medicine, it would be interesting to see the effects that would have played on life span.
And now, in Today's Busy World, well - with our desk jobs and casual lifestyle, we're lucky if we burn 60 calories per day through extra activity (i.e. playing video games and walking into spas and salons to get our hair and nails done). And just one bite of most candy bars is enough to erase that slight mark! And....who says that life just isn't fair!
With all this said, the Amish enjoy a happy, joyous playing field in life - even with all the strenuous work. Think about how you feel after you've finished that long hike, or walked that mile, or shot hoops. Yes, you will probably experience a few aches and pains if you're not accustomed to intense activity, but the fact is, our bodies just feel better once we get the blood moving.
And not only do our bodies feel better, our mind-set becomes positive because we know that we've done something good, something very healthy - and when we feel good, we're just jumping with JOY!
WAS IT REALLY AN APPLE?
Whether you believe it was an apple or a pomegranate, food is the centerpiece of Biblical history that brought about major life changes. The first two major events in the Bible were directly connected to food.
The first transgression - eating the forbidden fruit.
Move forward and we have Cain who killed Able over a zealous offering to God when his brother's sacrifice was favored. Whether it was due to the actual offering or because God loved Able, food was in the midst. Other events that centered around food in the Bible include:
Job 1:18...Thy sons and they daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house; And behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Ruth & Boaz- Ruth 1:22...they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
Pharaoh's Dream: Genesis 41:22..And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good...
Abraham & Sarah feed angels - Genesis 18:6...And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth...
Other important Biblical events that centered around food include: The Last Supper and Jesus feeding the multitude.