If we know the the one constant in life is change, why do so many of us resist it? No matter what state your life is in at this moment – good or bad – it will eventually change. What’s bad will get better and what’s good will get worse.
The best way to deal with change is to embrace it, and whenever possible, get ahead of it. When it comes to our health, our bodies will usually indicate that change is happening. Before a woman enters menopause, she’s had signs years in advance that it’s happening. When people are diagnosed with diabetes, they’ve usually experienced some warning signs – high blood pressure, numbness, frequent urination, blurry vision, etc.
These are the changes we need to embrace sooner. Unfortunately, what I’ve come to realize is many people go into denial – too often to their detriment. Everyday I encounter people who have serious health problems. What’s disheartening to me as a health coach is how few people are motivated to deal with it. Instead of dealing they choose to ignore. When it comes to your health, ignoring it or denying it won’t make it go away. If you don’t change what you’re doing, your condition won’t stay the same. It won’t get better. It will get worse.
One of the most thought provoking questions I pose to my clients is this – what’s at risk if you do nothing? If you do nothing about your pre-diabetic or high blood pressure diagnosis what do you stand to lose?
I understand that many people feel overwhelmed and often afraid when they hear bad news. What I try to stress to people is there are things you can do to get control of this. Most health issues can be controlled or reversed. You don’t have to spend your life on medications. You can usually change your condition through nutrition.
Look at it this way, if you have the choice between being on medication for the rest of your life or improving your nutrition – what would you decide? It seems like a no brainer, but too often it is not. Instead of sacrificing a few favorite foods or getting up a little earlier to workout, a lot of people choose to remain the same. They end up taking medications. After taking medication for an extended period of time some people become deceived into thinking the problem is handled. At least for now, most medications don’t cure diseases – they temporarily reduce symptoms and reduce pain. It’s like putting a bandage on a gun shot wound when the patient really needs surgery. The bandage will hold up for a little while, but unless something is done to improve the patient’s condition, the problem will get worse.
For some people it’s difficult to comprehend that changing your eating habits can change your health. Well, it’s true. Hippocrates – the father of western medicine said it best - “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”
Evidence shows that following a plant based diet can prevent – and in some cases – reverse major health issues. Even if you don’t become a vegan or vegetarian you can still incorporate more plant based foods into your diet.
Here are three simple things you can do:
Eat fresh foods at every meal. Get rid of processed and canned foods. Don’t eat green beans in the can, buy fresh green beans. Don’t buy frozen broccoli with cheese sauce. Instead, steam your fresh broccoli crowns in veggie broth; you can even roast them in the oven with olive oil. Add blueberries or strawberries to your oatmeal or cereal in the morning. Have a big green salad with your dinner or for dinner.
Drink green juices/smoothies. Avoid the bottled versions from the grocery store and make your own. There are many simple recipes. Just choose a few leafy green veggies you like, add a banana, apple or pineapples to sweeten it, and blend them with water.
Reduce your meat consumption. Let there be one day of the week that you don’t consume any animal protein. Have a meatless Monday.
These are just three simple things you can do to add more plant based foods into your diet. They are small changes, but will have a big impact if you do them and if you’re consistent.
So, I want to ask you again – What’s at risk if you do nothing about your current condition? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments.