Long ago (okay, like 3 ½ years), I knew NOTHING about nutrition. My formula for health went something like this:
Eat 2000 calories + Expend 2000 calories = H.E.A.L.T.H.
Shortly after getting into my home-based business, The Education began. I am SO, SO grateful for what I’ve learned, and as a blessing to you, I’d like to boil it down to one main point.
What you eat affects how you feel.
That’s it! I’m sure a lot of you already know this, but for those who don’t, this one principle can be life-changing. If you eat hamburgers, fries and pop (even diet!), you will feel sluggish and gross. And an hour or two later, you’ll be hungry again. If you eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains you will have more energy and feel satiated. Why? God created fruits, vegetables and grains to fuel our bodies. Man created white bread, deep-fat-fried skinless potatoes and tannin-dyed caffeine with fake sweetener.
A good illustration I once heard referred to a vehicle. Would you fill your gas tank with Jell-o and expect it to run? Probably not! So why do we give our bodies junk for food and expect them to work in an efficient manner? It’s no wonder the statistics for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer are going up and up and up every year. Even when so called “health foods” (read: low fat versions of the same horrible, nutrition-less foods) came on the market, did it make us healthier? Nope. More of the aforementioned diseases. So what’s a person to do? It’s so expensive to eat that healthy. Isn’t it? Well, in the adjustments that Husband and I have made over the years, we haven’t found it to be so. When you’re substituting water for soda, it’s cheaper. When you’re eating grains (on average about $1 for a 1-lb. bag that cooks up into many servings) versus meats, it’s cheaper. When you’re purchasing a pound of bananas for snacks instead of a pound of Oreos, it’s cheaper. Granted, a pound of bananas doesn’t have as many servings, but it will fill a little belly for much longer.
An example I have of people not knowing that the two are linked (nutrition and disease) is my sweet little neighbor. She’s in her 80s. One day last summer we arrived home at the same time, and I went out to say hello after we pulled into the garage. “I just got home from the hospital; I was having heart problems,” she said. All I could see was the fast food cup in her hand. “So you went to Culver’s?” I blurted out before my mind could stop my mouth. And she saw no problem with that. My father thought much the same way. He would drink “magic potions” hoping to get rid of his cancer, but when I would beg him to change his diet in an effort to at least improve his quality of life (cancer feeds on sugar), he wasn’t very receptive to the idea. It broke my heart.
So, even though I am far from a perfect eater (hello, cookies? I love you!), I want to encourage everyone I know (including you, bloggy friends) to fuel your body in the way God intended. The occasional treat becomes that much more enjoyable. And you’ll find your body craving salt, sugar and fat much less. And the cancer, heart disease and diabetes? You’re going to have a much better chance of avoiding them or fighting them off if you give your body a fighting chance.
Some great resources for further reading from authors who taught me a thing or seventeen:
http://www.thechinastudy.com/ (amazing book)
http://www.fromheretolongevity.com/ (I’ve heard Dr. Ray speak in person twice, and she’s a fount of information. Oh, and LOOK AT HER. She’s in her 50s. Holy moly.)
http://www.wellnessforum.com/ (I get Dr. Popper’s daily voice messages regarding healthy living. She’s an advocate for health on a personal level and as a political activist.)
http://www.learntoliveit.com/ (I confess that I haven’t read this book, but I know a lot of people who have and attest to its truths.)
http://www.experiencelifemag.com/ (one of the best health magazines I’ve ever received; from the same people who own the gym I attend)
http://www.themeatrix.com/ (will change the way you think about the meats you eat)
Go forth, be empowered, and live healthier lives!