“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Many people don’t consider working toward better health until they become sick. We think were doing just fine, until a serious illness strikes. That’s when we decide we need to make changes. Wouldn’t it be better to get healthy first, and then perhaps we’ll have an easier time controlling that illness or better yet, maybe we won’t even get it.
Have you heard the term “Western diseases”? These are diseases such as chronic inflammation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression, etc. Western diseases are called that because they are common place in the West. They are caused by the Western diet. They were not common place in southeast Asia, western Pacific and Middle East but they are now on the rise according to the World Health Organization. This is because the Western diet has become more common around the world and people in cities have become more sedentary.
If these weren’t common diseases in places like India and now they have become common because of their diet and exercise changes, then it seems to me that these diseases are not inevitable and we should be able to reverse/prevent them to some extent through diet and exercise as well. Makes sense to me.
There’s no way you can be perfectly healthy. That is because of the fall described in Genesis 3, where the judgement on Adam was physical death. Our bodies aren’t perfect anymore. But we can be good stewards of our bodies to have an improved quality of life.
We are capable of making changes but we don’t, because it is hard work. However, small steps are doable.
Many doctors agree that the important steps are 3 fold.
- Remove the bad things from your diet/lifestyle.
- Add healthier things to your diet/lifestyle
- Try to repair damage done.
See it’s simple, right? You only have to remember 3 things. Hmm, but what are the good and bad? I imagine there is even more we can add to this list.
- Items that should be removed from our diets/lifestyle for better health: (click on link for more information)
- unhealthy fats and oils
- processed foods
- refined foods
- trans fats
- sleep deprivation
- environmental toxins
- food additives, preservatives
- reduce omega 6
- food allergens and sensitivities
- nutritional deficiencies
- know the names of ingredients that will hijack your health
- Chronic systemic inflammation
- artificial sweeteners
2. Items that should be added to our diets/lifestyle for better health:
- regular exercise
- organic foods
- whole/nutrient dense foods
- know what qualifies as real food
- healthier fats and oils
- manage stress
- better sleep habits
- more omega 3
- more fruits and vegetables
- increase fiber
- adequate water
- low glycemic load
- social connections
- purpose in life
- a sense of humor
- challenge your brain
That list is overwhelming. I am confident that no person can do all of these things perfectly. I know I can’t, but you don’t have to. The good news is one change at a time is better than no change. Pick one thing you can easily do or are willing to do. Do it for a period of time and then add another.
What steps have you taken in the past to become healthier? Let us know below.
What small step can you add this coming year?
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1Corinthians 6:19-20
(Editorial Note: This post was first published on September 12, 2015. It has since been updated. It was re-posted to encourage readers to make changes, even small ones, in the upcoming year to feel the best you can.)