Sorry it’s been a while since I have blogged here. I have been so busy with lots of exciting projects and writing for The Huffington Post. I kind of got ‘blogged out.’ But you can check me out weekly there (www.huffingtonpost.com/living). Oh, and stay timed for a brand, spanking new awesome Christina Cooks website in the next few weeks. On to business now.
When I saw the recent news about the sad death of Patrick Swayze, I knew I had to find the time to write this particular blog.
Who didn’t love this smooth talking, handsome fabulous dancer? What woman wasn’t swept up in ‘Ghost’ and the pure romanticism of love? Who didn’t want to ‘dirty dance’ with him?
What was even more sad to me was watching his interview with Barbara Walters where he talked about his feelings on alternatives and his belief that if he ate healthy food, it would ‘feed his cancer’ and make matters worse.
I think that Patrick Swayze’s close-mindedness about alternative health practices illustrates what a lot of America feels about alternative approaches to health and wellness. It’s too good or too simple to be true in their view. I have been personally attacked by this same close minded thinking; called a liar and much worse. And all I do; all that my mission entails is to ask people to consider eating healthy food. I do not advise against medical care, nor do I bad mouth those who choose that path for their healing. I simply give the information that, in my experience, has validity.
Many years ago, I was diagnosed with a terminal form of leukemia and told that I had only months to live. As devastating as that news was to me, I knew that I had to look at every avenue to try and save my life. No door was closed; no information not sought out.
For me, the answer was in the food I was using to fuel my body. I did research and discovered that my choices, vegetarian junk food, had stolen my health and now threatened my life. I discovered that the way we fuel our bodies has a direct impact on how they function. Whether or not we can maintain our health and vitality is directly linked to what we choose to eat.
With all Americans know about making healthier food choices, why don’t we? We must choose food that serves the purpose of our lives and supports health, not steals it. Then we could avoid this cold sweat panic over health care reform, because by virtue of being healthy and fit, we’d prevent most of what has created the exorbitant health care costs that threaten to bankrupt us and break our spirit.
According to Dr. Dean Ornish, more than 75% of all health care costs are spent on what we now call ‘lifestyle diseases:’ obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even some cancers. That’s a staggering number, considering we spend more than $2.1 trillion on it…but what’s even more staggering is how quickly we could turn these numbers around if we just chose to eat food fit for human consumption.
Research continues to mount indicating that consuming an unprocessed plant-based diet (along with being physically active) is absolutely key to controlling weight, reducing blood pressure and heart disease, reducing the risk of diabetes and stroke and some cancers. Wow! Imagine a life free of these plagues.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why every single American isn’t eating a healthy diet. I can’t believe that there’s one person who wants to be fat, at risk of disease, lethargic, foggy and achy. It doesn’t get easier or more delicious than the natural approach to eating. You can even transition slowly if that helps. But you must do something!
Start by substituting whole grain products for bread, pasta and grains (like brown rice for white). Choose nuts, seeds and beans for your protein (for those of you eating animal products, go for wild fish, but seriously, you can skip it and be just fine…remember, cows eat grass; gorillas gorge on berries and nuts…); get rid of the saturated fat that’s clogging your veins and arteries. Drizzle olive oil or other mono-unsaturated fats in place of butter. Skip the meat and dairy. Your heart will be grateful and not attack you!
I could go on for days about all the reasons to eat healthfully. But for some reason yummy, delicious food is not enough. Robust health is not enough. We who promote healthy eating beat our heads against the wall daily to inspire people to eat well and still, Papa John wins the day.
Take a personal inventory and see for yourself. Check your own vitality and well-being and see if it needs a wee tweak. Don’t wait until a safe is dropped on your head and you are in danger of losing your life. Choose an unprocessed, plant-based diet. Choose health. Choose life.