It seems I live a radical Life. Not because I meditate, or do yoga, or have a spiritual teacher, but because I eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans. I meet people all the time who have high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, allergies, depression, and digestive ailments. I explain to them that I am a health counselor and whole-foods chef and have been eating whole-foods for over 30 years. And the response is usually, “Wow, that’s amazing! You must have a lot of strength and courage (!!!!), that’s soooo hard. How do you do that? I could never give up ___”.
It really takes me aback. When did it become less radical to have open heart surgery than to eat right and exercise? When did we decide it was normal to take insulin everyday while eating a diet that causes diabetes? Why is it more acceptable to suffer the horrible effects of dozens of degenerative diseases, prescription medication, and major surgery than it is to have to change one’s diet or life style habits?
Here’s what might be radical: waking up to the fact that the way most of us Americans eat and live is literally killing us and we have the information and the means to do better.
Helpless is usually what comes up when faced with the prospect of changing the way we live and eat, even when it is obvious that we are headed towards disaster. It’s easy to understand. Our whole lives are structured around easy and immediate access to quick, highly processed foods–foods that are, it turns out, also highly addictive. Stripped of nutrients and filled with refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, salt, chemicals, and fats, these are foods that were unknown to us a few generations ago. And now most of us don’t know how to live without them. We don’t know how to shop, how to cook, or how to nourish ourselves with whole foods.
Sound like anyone you know?
My advice -try something new. Choose one thing you can do to change your health. It can be anything – eat salad once a day, eat b-fast every day, take a walk every day, drink a glass of water when you wake up, every day. Make it easy but do it every day. And soon you will have created your very own healthy lifestyle habit. When you have it down, start another and do it daily. Some changes happen all at once, some changes happen over time. All change is about momentum. It doesn’t matter if the ball is big or small, get it rolling and you create your own momentum for change.