So, while this may have started as a note to my sons, I think it is a message that everyone can take away something from. Nothing drives the need to focus on health like watching someone else lose theirs. Our bodies are the only tool we have to empirically bring our purpose for being on this planet to life. Scripture tells us that our bodies are temples…except not as something to worship, like so many do in this body-conscious world we live in, but because our bodies hold our spirit, our soul. It is the greatest part of what makes us human. For those of us who were born with a body that is in tact, functioning, and whole, it is our responsibility to take care of it to the best of our ability. When I think of how much more information is available today than when I was a child, it is almost mind-boggling to me to see how much more unhealthy we are. We have developed a keen ability to rationalize away our poor choices. We have taken short-cuts to avoid changing our life style by using quick fixes, focusing on short-term results, and popping pills to cover symptoms, or achieve weight loss, or bigger muscles or just to defy the aging process.
We have a health care system that is broken. We can’t fix health by focusing just on disease. We have to ask better questions about what are the root causes of ill-health. Then, we have to be willing to hear the answers. You would be surprised how many people don’t really want to hear the answer to what they need to do to be healthy. I have watched many people turn away because the thought of actually having to change their lifestyle is just too daunting. I hear phrases, like “I can’t sign up for this because my insurance won’t cover it.”, “well that’s just my genetics”, or “it costs too much to be healthy” and it literally makes my blood boil. I would like to say to them, “if your car broke down would you pay to fix it?” “what good is saving for retirement if you’re dead?’ “do you really think your insurance company gives a crap about doing what’s best for you?” and I usually don’t, because I know that they are just not ready to accept the truth yet. Why is it that people find it so hard to take responsibility for their health? Is the answer more frightening than the disease? Please, if you think it comes down to philosophy…that isn’t the problem. I hear the same frustration from all different kinds of doctors all with different philosophies. We do not see our bodies as temples. If we did, we would avoid all packaged, GMO altered, trans-fat- to empty calorie fake foods (for weight loss). We would make the necessary changes to our priorities, that put our bodies ahead of recreational purchases (your car should not cost more than the food you’re willing to put in your body). We should not subsidize the foods that we should avoid, rather, we should subsidize the foods that our bodies need to thrive. We have given in to what is quick and what feeds that pleasure part of the brain to the point that we disregard what we may know to be true…that what we’re eating just isn’t good for us.
To start, I would say nature made is best…which does not include genetically altered foods, or livestock that isn’t raised humanely and is full of antibiotics. Fruits, vegetables and lean meats…avoiding grains which are inflammatory foods (and genetically altered). Move every day, get your heart rate up and drink a lot of water. Change your life-style to avoid stress, which may mean living simpler lives, but I guarantee you will sleep better, which is also a necessary part of health. Make taking care of you body, mind and spirit the top priority of your life. It will make you better able to share your unique gifts to the world.