I’ve been rather focused on nutrition lately. 8 friends with cancer, most younger than I am – it kind of gets your attention. So I’ve been reading a lot and I’m finding more and more evidence to support what I’ve thought since I was in my 20’s – what we eat makes a HUGE difference in our well-being, longevity and day-to-day health.
On some things there is pretty wide consensus – sugar is not good for you (surprised?). But even in those “doh” findings, I’m learning new things like “sugar is cancer fertilizer.” – wow – that’s more specific and more scary than “not good for you”!
Last summer I went to see a holistic chiropractor who does a lot of work around nutrition. Among the very first recommendations were to eliminate wheat and dairy. So I assiduously set out to prove the guy wrong (I was sort of – no, make that outrageously – attached to those substances). The more I researched the more alarmed I became.
Right now I’m reading “The Inflammation Syndrome” by Jack Challem. The theory being that chronic inflammation underlies much disease and our diet underlies much inflammation. This fits with a lot that I have read and actually what this guy recommends fits overall with the way I’ve been eating lately. So I was feeling pretty good about all of that.
Then I did a little research on The China Study – may have to get the book – but that study basically says avoid all animal products, whereas the Inflammation guy says the exact opposite.
At some point one could become the sort of person others don’t wish to invite for dinner and that would be no fun!
That said, I’m very focused on what I put into my body lately. I’ve grown crazy fond of living. I see so many of my contemporaries with a zillion health problems, tired, overweight, on lots of pharmaceuticals and I don’t want that. While I DO believe there are likely some diseases over which one simply has very little control, it’s my belief (and from what I believe and the health care people I talk with) that something like 75-85% of disease is lifestyle-related.
So I’d like to be my like my Grand-Aunt Edna, please. Aunt Edna died at age 102. She was sick for a month or so. But she went to the gym 5 days/week til she was 100. She laughed a lot. She ate like the farm-girl she once was (i.e., real food, not packaged/processed pretend food or fast food).
As I watch my friends go through chemotherapy I’m thinking that really does not look like fun. There’s no guarantee that what I’m doing will prevent cancer, heart disease or any other disease – but you know, it’s worth a shot. Plus I have to say – real food – lean protein, lots of fresh veggies and fruits and nuts – is pretty delicious too.
Do I miss brownies or lasagna or cookies and cake? Not nearly as much as I’d miss the great joy of health and life. Not even close in the trade-off department.
How about you? Have you given much thought to how what you eat affects your life? What are you doing about that?