"It doesn't matter." "We are all going to die sometime." These two sentences make me cringe when I hear them spoken, and unfortunately, I have heard them often.
What bothers me the most, is that it's always the 'healthy' that speak these words. The ones whose health has not quit on them and who take it for granted that smoking, drinking, and eating whatever they like will never affect them. They can not imagine themselves bent over in stomach pain, cancer-ridden, arthritic, with fibromyalgia, or diabetic. Yet according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 out of 10 Americans will die from a chronic PREVENTABLE illness. These diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and strokes account for 50% of all deaths every year. In 2005, 1 out of every 2 Americans has a chronic illness that keeps them from performing one or more daily activities. Diabetes is the number one reason for kidney failure, amputations, and blindness for ages 20 to 74. Clearly, we are doing something incredibly damaging to our bodies. What is it? Does nature just pick someone and pull the trigger? I know with these kinds of statistics it is easy to give up, say it doesn't matter, and allow our culture to carry us away into chronic disease land. One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Andrew Saul of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, he said, "The only way to win, is not to play."
Lifestyle changes are difficult at first. Many people around you will tell you what you are missing out on - burgers, fries, sugar, cakes, chips, donuts, etc. - without ever considering your life at hand. You will feel exhausted by our culture of endless chemical food options. Walking into a grocery store will feel like walking into the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with tempting neon-blue cakes, orange colored sugar drinks, purple cookies, and every other brightly unnatural colored food to tempt your eye and stomach.
However, if you keep going....keep slowly building resistance and saying, "NO", one whisper at a time, within a few short weeks that "no" whispered with little strength will become a "NO" spoken with strong resolution and determination. You will feel the difference in your heart and body. In choosing whole foods, foods that your grandmother or grandfather would recognize, your body will know how to quickly respond. It knows what to do with an apple. It breaks it down and feeds the cells. What does it do with chemical-laden, sugary, fat globules called apple cinnamon stripe cookies? The body is well trained on what to do with a consistent diet of processed, overly salted, high fat foods- Store them! But what happens if you UP the nutrition you send down your throat? All of the sudden, the body wakes up! Little cells that have been starved for the micro nutrients in fresh foods get shocked! The vitamins and minerals that the body has been craving from fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains begins to change the inner environment for your cells. Just once, do not think of your tastebuds when you eat, think of the tiny cells that you are caring for. There are MILLIONS throughout your body and each one needs fresh water and fuel to work efficiently.
Today, give your cells what they need. Drink plenty of fresh water and choose healthy greens, fruit for desserts and whole grains. You are worth the work and your body will reward you with less pain and more happy days.
Are we all going to die sometime? Yes, we will. But not all of us will die in our 40's, 50's or 60's from debilitating and cruel degenerative diseases. Let's up our chance of being in the 50% percent that lives vibrantly into old age with more painless days than painful, more smiles than tears, and more family around us than gone. Take charge of your health and choose to live each day to the fullest!
Wishing you Love and Life!