Thursday, January 21, 2016

Healthy Choices Matter: Let's Be Well

If you are a local friend of mine or follow on Facebook, you've probably heard me mention my association with IN.FORM through my work with The Herb Garden.  It is a weight-loss program put together by Nature's Sunshine that works and promotes health, not just a smaller waste.  If you are interested in more information about it, let me know.  That isn't the purpose of this post though.  I want to talk about how the choices we make with our body (and as parents our children's bodies) has a direct effect on their health, sometimes long-lasting, even if it feels like it shouldn't matter so much.

In the realm of health, medicine or science, there is a lot that I don't know and am never intending to diagnose or cure anyone.  Every circumstance is different and there is no way I could or should expect my thoughts to apply everywhere.  I have had a lot of experience and exposure through my own health, the health of my children and my work with The Herb Garden that has convicted me of some important things that the average American either does not know, acknowledge or put into practice.

Dinner time is one of our favorites!

With so much disease that often doesn't make sense, it behooves us to remedy the issues that clearly do make sense.  Let's do what we can!

Weight-gain is a health risk, not a body shaming opportunity.  At best, we all have different ideal weights.  Our genes decide how big our bones are, so we are never supposed to be the same size as whoever the chosen queen or king of culture is today.  How good or bad we look AND how much we care about that, is largely up to us.  Regardless of that, unhealthy weight-gain is a health risk.  That means it changes the way our body works.  From little things like shortness of breath and tiredness to a greater risk of diabetes, stroke, cancer and depression.  How you eat and how little you move can, in some cases be the deciding factors between developing these diseases or not.  If that applied to you or your family member, why wouldn't you make some changes?

What you eat directly effects how well your body works.  It is common in our culture to get cranky and rebellious about diets or some nut job trying to tell us how to live our lives.  It is common, but it doesn't benefit us or our families.  How many vegetables you eat in a day determines how many vitamins and minerals your body gets.  The levels of nutrients your body maintains impacts your immune system which often determines whether or not you get every cold in a 5 mile radius.  Or things like skipping breakfast and trying to work until lunch on nothing but a donut.  Protein is involved in EVERYTHING in your body, so not getting enough can lead to increased infections, irritability, weakness, loss of muscle and certainly hurts brain activity.  Not the best plan before a test or big meeting.  Now don't get me wrong, everyone is different and therefore effected differently by different foods, meal times, etc.  But, once you start paying attention, you can tell what foods helps you live a better life and what perpetuates health problems and bad habits.  And with your children, they are often even less equipped to understand the messages their body is sending them.  It's our job to teach them.


Where there is disease or a health issue, a change in diet or lifestyle has to be made to see great improvement.  From the big diseases like cancer and heart disease all the way down to allergies and respiratory conditions, if you are hoping for improvement, the very least you need to be doing is eating a colorful healthy diet and moving!  Especially children that struggle with asthma or crazy allergic reactions, in general a change in diet and lifestyle can go a long way in correcting struggles like this.  And in case you didn't know, sugar is in everything and in the doses we typically get, sugar makes everything worse.  Sad story, but undeniable fact.

We all have different struggles and different priorities, but feeling well enough to do the things we love is probably something we share.  I love the herbal remedies and nutritional education I've received through The Herb Garden and Nature's Sunshine, but even if you don't share that appreciation, cooking and eating at home, drinking more clean water, including more veggies and healthy fats, and making physical activity part of your life are simple straight-forward things that will change your life!  And just imagine if our children and grandchildren grew up understanding how valuable wise choices about their food and activity were!

It's easy to dismiss things like eating better and moving more as 'not that big of a deal' or 'not the most important thing'.  And I get that.  It is hard.  And making healthy choices doesn't always fit right away with your budget or schedule and it doesn't feel like it should matter so much.  But when there is hardly a person who doesn't have a major health complaint or major disruption to their life because they can't get out of bed or they are depressed or they are just in so much pain or they can't focus or breathe or cancer is continuing to show up everywhere - It is just becoming very clear that like it or not, it DOES matter.  Moderation, absolutely.  Enjoy your food - YES! But living like it doesn't matter and then wondering why our bodies seem to be against us, well that just isn't wise.  None of us can control the genes we were given or be master of all environments or circumstances, so health issues will come.  I just hope we can all understand more how our choices can benefit or hurt those issues.

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