"Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process, heal our own."
- Wangari Maathai

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The purpose of health

I have often been asked 'What is the point of always making a 'healthy' choice when we are all going to die anyway?'  In fact, when I think about it, I might get run over by a bus tomorrow and then what would I care about being healthy?

The most compelling reason I have for making healthy choices is how good these choices, accumulatively, make me feel both physically and mentally. As far as I am concerned, there is simply no substitute for feeling well;  there is no drug or magic pill that has the same effect as a simple, healthy lifestyle.  I also know that, as I get older, I want to have a good quality of life and to die healthy and strong and in control of all my faculties.  There are no guarantees of course but the healthier I live the more the odds increase in favour of a healthy old age. 

So, returning to my diet:  along with reducing saturated fat and eliminating trans fats, I also reduced and finally cut out all processed foods including sugar.  I included instead complex carbohydrates like whole grains, brown rice, oats etc. as well as lots of fruit and vegetables.  Gone are the days when I would gorge on a cocktail of saturated fats and refined carbohydrates dished up in fancy-looking confectionery. 

At first I had to exert a certain amount of will power to resist a slice of cake or a baked pudding laced with sugar and refined carbohydrates.  Now, I do not even want to put the stuff into my mouth!  I would much rather have a slice of pineapple or an apple than a slice of cake. 

The increase in my energy levels since I started exercising and eating properly is remarkable.  On a scale of one to ten I would say I used to have an energy level of about 2 - 3 and now it is about 9 - 10!  I am convinced!

Nothing beats regular exercise and eating properly.  By eating properly I mean ensuring that I eat what my body needs in the way of nutrition;  I usually manage to avoid eating empty calories with no nutritional value.

Diana Elsmere