What are you willing to give up to feel better? This is the question of the day!!
I was talking to some folks about my age the other day, and they were each lamenting about the medications they are taking, and how horrible they feel every day. Discussion about poor sleep, achy joints and lack of energy were the topic of the moment. I stood looking at them, thinking “I don’t have any of those things going on”, but I didn’t say anything. Then came the comment I hate to hear “You are so lucky that you don’t have any health issues”. The fact is, I work hard to not have those issues. Some of it may be due to genetic luck of the draw, but mostly, I do the best I can to take good care of myself.
Sometimes, I just say , “I sure am”, and walk away, but I was in a particularly feisty mood that day. “I am not lucky, I work hard to be healthy”, came out of my mouth before I could stop it. I continued on to say “I haven’t had a doughnut since 2011”, which was met with eye rolls and the standard “I love my carbs and have no willpower” comment. So I asked a simple question, and I will ask it of you too: What are YOU willing to give up to feel better?
Low calorie diets have been proven in repeated studies to NOT work for long term weight loss. Also, it isn’t always about losing weight. Being healthy is far more than the number on the scale. If you are looking for true health, start with evaluating your diet and lifestyle right now. What do you eat on a typical day? Do you cook or eat out? Are you stressed? In pain? Do you sleep well? Once you take that general inventory, it is time to get started!
So, I always tell every client I work with, that we are each individual and what works for me, may not work for you. There are however, some general guidelines to good health. Current research is changing the landscape of truly healthy diets and lifestyles, so let’s take a quick look at a few recent studies.
- Fat is not the enemy-The fear of fat came from a 1970 study published by Ansel Keys, The Seven Countries Study. This study was flawed in a variety of ways, primarily by ignoring country data that did not agree with his stance that dietary saturated fat caused heart disease, when in fact, there is no causal relationship between the two (Harcombe et al, 2015). The government grabbed onto these findings and changed the dietary standards so radically from what people had been eating for centuries, moving the dietary guidelines to include grains, margarine, and low-fat. In the low-fat foods, the real stuff is usually replaced with sugars and fillers to make it taste good. Not a good trade-off for good health.
The experiment in low-fat eating has been an epic failure. The number of Americans with diabetes has more than quadrupled since the new guidelines have been in place (Centers for Disease Control, 2015). Obesity rates are at an all time high (www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_adult_13_14/obesity_adult_13_14.htm#figure), and there is a statistically significant increase in cancer rates (National Cancer Institute, nd).
There are a variety of studies done very recently that tell us that fat is not the enemy, as it had been vilified for years. Books such as Fat for Fuel (Dr. Joseph Mercola), Wheat Belly (William Davis, MD) and Genius Foods (Max Lugavere) are just a few of the folks standing up and telling the true story of good for us foods!
- Exercise doesn’t need to be fanatic and last hours to work- A daily walk, a yoga class a time or two a week, and even a 20-minute weightlifting session a couple of times a week is enough. You don’t need a gym membership or special equipment. Just simple, daily movement.
- The food preparation doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive- Real food is easy. A burger with salad or chicken and steamed veggies drizzled with olive oil literally take five minutes to prepare. Sauteed greens with scrambled eggs are tasty, quick and cheap. Water is a much cheaper alternative as a beverage than pop or juice. I have tons of ideas for ways to eat healthy on a budget too.
So why are we trying to complicate health? There isn’t a lot of money in vegetables or walks. It is much easier to make money with pills, potions, fitness plans and packaged foods. So what do I do now to stay healthy, off medications and without the so called, aging illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure? I eat real food, I get in daily movement and sunshine, and I do work I enjoy with people I care about. That is it. Cheap, easy and fun!
I suffered from daily headaches, achy joints and frequent illness for many years. My morning routine started with Excedrin for my head and antacids for my stomach. I drank pop, smoked cigarettes and ate white bread with margarine on it, then wondered why I felt like crap. Now I seriously don’t want to eat that way. I feel too good to ruin it with a can of diet pop!
My day now looks like this:
(note: my days start at 7am and end around 8 or 9pm, but I don’t feel rushed. I enjoy my work, so the days seem to go quickly!)
Rise after a good night of sleep around 6:30am
I meditate- a quick 5 minute guided meditation to start the day!
Make organic coffee, add cream. Drink it in bed while I catch up on the news and read my emails.
Create my schedule for the day (I do this EVERY morning!)
If I am hungry, I make 2 eggs (from our yard) and saute some greens or make a few pieces of bacon.
I go to teach classes (accounting classes followed by yoga classes)
I read, cook or walk (my hobbies).
I drink TONS of water (preferably from our well)
I study- I am currently working on a PhD in Health Education and Promotion!
Sometimes I will have a salad with a burger or chicken for lunch, but only if I am hungry!
Dinner with my husband is veggies, drenched in butter or olive oil and spices, with a piece of organic, grassfed and most likely local protein. We eat dinner together almost every night. Even if it is late. We talk about our day, and start to plan the next one!
I read or watch a little TV, and head to bed around 10pm- I meditate again. Even if only for a few minutes. Clearing your mind before sleep is important! Then I sleep a solid 8 hours and start it over again.
Our grocery bill has dropped, our health has improved, and I would LOVE to help you create the same path for yourself!!
So, I will ask you again, What are you willing to give up to feel better? If you never had a doughnut again, but never woke with aches and pains, would it be worth it? If grains needed to be eliminated to get rid of your high blood pressure, would that be a good trade off? If dairy causes you issues, and you could never have cheese again, but also NEVER again have a migraine headache would you do it?
When you are ready to get started, give me a call. I would love to help you find your health!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Diabetes Translation. (2016). Long-term trends in diabetes. Retrieved from https://cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/slides/long_term_trends.pdf
Davis, W. (2015). Wheat belly: Lose the wheat, lose the weight and find your path back to health. London: Harper Thorsons.
Harcombe Z., et al. (2015) Evidence from randomized controlled trials did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Open Heart, 2, no.1. Doi:10.1136/openhrt-2014-000196
Lugavere, M., & Grewal, P. (2018). Genius foods: Become smarter, happier, and more productive while protecting your brain for life. New York, NY: Harper Wave.
MERCOLA, D. J. (2018). FAT FOR FUEL: A revolutionary diet to combat cancer, boost brain power, and increase your energy. S.l.: HAY HOUSE UK.
National Cancer Institute. (nd). SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Cancer of Any Site. Retrieved from http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/all.html