Diet and Disease
I have been seeing clients for many years and the one thing that many of them seem to have in common is a lack of understanding of the impact food has on their health.
I have been asked to speak for a lot of different organizations, cancer being one of them, and I am always surprised to see that the food being served consists of coffee, cheese, sweets, fatty foods, soft drinks and yes, even cheesy pizza with pepperoni.
We are all addicted to something, whether it’s sugar, caffeine, that glass of wine at the end of the day, salty snacks, cigarettes, pain medication, marijuana, etc.
When we indulge in stimulating foods or substances we end up disturbing the delicate balance, or equilibrium, in our body and brain chemistry and set ourselves up for cravings and health problems. This can affect our sleep and our ability to handle stress, causing hormonal imbalances and mood fluctuations including depression, decreasing valuable energy needed to accomplish our goals.
Caffeine, for instance, depletes you of minerals and is a central nervous system stimulant. Your body doesn’t need it, but you’re addicted. Have you ever noticed the people standing in line at Starbucks in the morning waiting to get their fix? I, unfortunately, am one of those people. Green tea is my choice of a morning stimulant, which ends up depleting me of magnesium. I don’t want to give up my green tea, so I take magnesium to balance it out. It’s a crazy cycle, isn’t it?
I do believe that we need to enjoy our lives and that includes food, but it’s about making healthier choices and keeping our stress to a minimum. Our constitution or physical makeup plays a huge role in our health and longevity. Have you ever wondered why some people can eat less than optimally, drink alcohol, get next to no sleep and are still able to function? I read an article about a woman in France who lived until she was 122. What was her secret? She smoked cigarettes, drank port wine and ate a couple of pounds of chocolate per week until she was 119 years old. She credited her longevity to laughing a lot and not getting stressed out. She was quoted as saying, “If you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it.” Her positive attitude, plus the fact that she was born into wealth and married a wealthy man, enabled her a life of ease and comfort. This doesn’t mean you have to be rich to be happy, as I have also seen a lot of people who are wealthy and miserable. It is our perception of life’s events that plays a huge role in the way we process things.
Unfortunately we can’t control the type of constitution we acquire, but we can take the initiative to make the most of what we do have and live the healthiest we can. And this starts with diet. By eliminating the fake foods and adding back the real, nourishing, whole foods, we can begin to take control of our health. Stress, another common denominator in disease, shouldn’t be taken for granted either. Stress depletes the body of important minerals, weakens the adrenals and leads to sleep deprivation and hormone imbalances.
What can you do? Take time for yourself and change your perception of the stressors in your life by viewing them as opportunities for growth, not as obstacles. Enjoy healthier versions of your favorite foods and most importantly enjoy your life!
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