When we are young most of us enjoy vibrant health unless we have a serious disease or disorder. It appears that when we are young that we can get away with almost anything and that our bodies will never suffer the consequences. In youth, we tend to bounce back easily and quickly from the daily assaults we place on it from things such as an improper diet, lack of sleep, excessive alcohol, tobacco, sugar, and caffeine. We seem to be “immortal” and our bad habits have little immediate impact on our health.
However, as we enter into our 30′s and 40′s we begin to pay the price. Our energy may become lower, we experience more general “aches & pains”, maybe we can’t sleep as well, or gain weight — the “damage” begins to rear it’s ugly head. Yet, we may stack it all up to “we are just getting older” and that’s what is expected to happen – in the meantime we continue abusing our bodies with our poor diets and unhealthy lifestyles never making the connection between our lifestyle and our poor health.
Disease doesn’t just happen. The body, in its normal state, is generally healthy and strives to stay that way. For example, regulatory systems keep our blood pressure in check, balance our blood sugar, and keep our metabolism running smoothing. These are just a few of the ways our beautifully designed body brings us back to a state of health, or balance, when those systems are challenged. It is only when we damage those systems, beyond repair, that the body begins to struggle with keeping us in a state of health. As a result of dysreguation, symptoms begin to appear. This should be a wake-up call telling us that something is wrong, just as an alarm would sound if your house was on fire alerting you to the danger.
However, as quickly as symptoms appear we are just as quick to mask them with an onslaught of medications or drugs, supplements and/or herbal concoctions; all along assuming that if we don’t “feel” the symptoms that we have taken care of the problem. Yet, the dis-ease process continues despite our masking and suppressing symptoms eventually causing more damage and serious health problems down the road.
Health is our natural state of being. Nevertheless, we can really screw this up by the way we eat and the way we live our lives. The body can only take so much before it breaks. It does its best to keep us alive despite all the abuse we place upon it. However, just being alive does not equate to health. The Standard American Diet (SAD) may keep us alive for about 70 or so years – however, our quality of life will suffer greatly. It’s not so much about just “staying alive”, its really about the “quality” of life we have while we are here. Health is about thriving and having vitality up until your last days. But, how many people actually experience true, vibrant health through their entire lifespan? Because so few of us really get to experience this, or get to see others living a long and healthy life, we tend to think that it is just a myth and give up even trying! It is more common to see people living into old age who suffering and struggling with disabling illness and disease. It seems that the latest medical technology has been able to extend our lifespan, however, it has not been able to add “quality of life” to those years. No one wants to become old and sick, living out their lives in assisted care or on life support, as it is a tremendous burden on families and on society as a whole.
So, how do we stay healthy through our lifespan into a ripe old age? How does health happen? HEALTH IS CREATED BY LIVING HEALTHFULLY. It’s as simple as that. Problem is, we don’t know what it means to live healthfully. Some of us think we know – but do we really? From youth we are indoctrinated with “health information” coming from the media and other people. It’s amazing to me to see how many people hang onto every word that Dr. Oz tells them because he is seen as the “expert”. Some of the information that is dispensed may be helpful – but we are never really given the whole truth. We are given suggestions, and bits and pieces of information, that really do not make a significant impact on the status of our health. Health information is dispensed in sound bites and media blurbs. Take this herb for this, or that supplement for that, or eat this superfood to prevent this or that — we are always missing the big picture. We are NEVER told the whole truth!
Nature provides us with what we need in order to create health. If we cut our finger, it requires no more than keeping the wound clean, nature does the healing with no further help from us. If we break our leg, the doctor may have to set it and place it in a cast, but our bodies innate wisdom does all the healing, requiring nothing more from us. Nature heals if we provide the correct environment for healing to occur.
For health to occur we just need to stop abusing our bodies and begin giving our bodies what they need; the correct environment in which to thrive, not just survive. It is we who create our own barriers to health – not some outside force that is making us sick. Examples of the barriers we create in our lives are things like not getting enough high quality, restful sleep. Another may be, living a stressful lifestyle by overbooking ourselves with too many “things to do” and “places to be”. Many of us have poor diets that are loaded with animal products, sugar, salt, fat, caffeine, and alcohol. We worry excessively about things we have little, or no, control over expecting that worry will change the outcome. We don’t get the appropriate amounts of daily exercise and many of us drug ourselves when we are ill, instead of fasting for a day or two allowing our body to rest and heal. Too many of us don’t forgive eachother of perceived or actual wrongs; nor do we forgive ourselves. Each one of us create our own barriers to health and for healing to occur they must be identified and fully addressed. Once we recognize that we are choosing the lifestyle that causes us to become ill then we can do something about it.
Doug Graham, D.C., speaks about how we can only be as healthy as our weakest link. This is such a great way to see our lives. Each aspect of our life is a link in our chain. One link may be diet, another exercise, another sleep, and yet another may love in our life. If any of those areas are weak – then we suffer. It is about identifying the weakest links – then begin to work on them making them strong.
To begin, let’s choose diet. This, for most people, is usually one of our most weakest links. What is the optimal diet for humans living on this planet today? This is such an area of controversy and confusion and it really need not be. Is it the Paleo Diet, the Atkins Diet, or a vegetarian diet? What is the OPTIMAL DIET for human beings living on this planet TODAY?
ANSWER: A whole food, plant-based diet is the optimal diet for humans living on this planet today.
A diet that is filled with organically grown whole intact foods, as close to the way mother nature created it as possible. This diet is composed of plants with zero animal products or products that come from animals such as dairy and eggs. A whole food, plant-based diet is composed of yellow, green and orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, leafy greens (kale, collards, chard, spinach, arugula), beans and legumes, whole intact grains (not flours or processed cereals) with a few raw nuts or seeds. There is no oil, no animal products, no refined sugar, flour or added salt. This is the optimal diet for humanity living on this planet today.
Stay tuned —- I will go into more details in my next blog. In the meantime, seriously begin to think about what I am stating as it can save your life or the life of a loved-one.
Check out the following resources:
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD: www.tcolincampbell.org
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, MD: www.HeartAttackProof.com