Planning for a healthy future
We start our lives in ignorance, and lets face it, many parents are ignorant of what constitutes a good lifestyle, diet and nutrition. That means that as we grow up with a less than ideal diet and lifestyle, we are laying foundations for ill-health and a short life.
As we live our lives in ignorance, it takes some time before some sickness intrudes and reminds us of our mortality. Then we look for a fix, but by then most fixes are best temporary and the only way to make a change permanent is to wake up and make those essential diet and lifestyle changes.
While there are countless diet and weight loss programs, they can help in the short term to get you on track.
We all live in something of a 'pressure cooker' existence as we must work harder in our attempt in creating a good standard of living. 20 of 30 years ago we did not have to work anywhere near as hard and we had more leisure time to enjoy the fruits of our labour, now time is scarce.
As our technological society has developed, the fast food industry made rapid advances and the fast food industry planners have gone to great lengths to make their businesses profitable and they do this using food science to concoct large quantities of high sugar, high fat foods that are generally low in real nutrition as profit is more important than public service.
Modern capitalism has in many ways reduced the working population to being 'cogs in the machine' and stripping away our humanity in the process. During the time period that we have lived on this earth, it's a relatively short time ago that we worked only a few hours a day to meet all our requirements. During the era following World War II, the 40 hour working week became the accepted normal and the working man earned enough to care for his family and wives did not have to work.
Today the entire family must work and if they worked hard, they can enjoy their colour TV, but to work this hard they have to compromise on diet and lifestyle which ultimately undermines their help, opens the door to new illnesses and life ends prematurely or if they are wealthy enough life may be extended with the newly available medical technology.
What is the solution?
There is no one solution, unless we have a major revolution, capitalism is here to stay and mankind in many ways is doomed to be a slave to the machine unless he or she can find that financial freedom to be Independent.
Reducing our needs
One of the first solutions toward creating a better lifestyle is to reduce dependence on the world and we do this by reducing our needs. We don't need all the latest gadgets, we simply need enough to simply live. By reducing needs, we spend less of our income on frivolous things and will have money to spend, adding value to our lives, instead of just collecting stuff.
Improving our diet
By adopting a whole food, semi-vegetarian diet, there are considerable savings made through not buying large volumes of meat which are put back into buying good quality whole foods. There is a general myth that whole foods take an extra ordinarily long time to prepare and that they cost a great deal.
Whole foods can be inexpensive, quick and easy to prepare, although many people will find they have to travel further to find good supplies and will have to learn new methods of food preparation.
The key advantages of a wholefood diet are:
- Improved personal and family health
- Fewer medical expenses
- Less time off work.
The other side of this lifestyle plan involves exercise, it may be that you walk or cycle to work, or you may join a yoga class for your local gym, but whatever you do exercise must be part of the equation. Even if you simply by a few exercise videotapes or DVDs and create space in your living room so that you can do at least 20 minutes of exercise every day.
If you are middle aged or over, is quite probable that your doctor has already is told you that you need to avoid fatty foods and get some more exercise. You are an intelligent person, you understand the significance of what you are reading here and what your doctor may have told you, but your life this point has become a habit and let's face it, we humans are creatures of habit and when we find a cosy spot that sometimes hard to move away from it.
But move we must, and sadly , it takes some major crisis for that awareness to sink in, and even then many people are so set in their ways, that change is impossible and an early death inevitable.
This website contains a wealth of practical information with which you can educate yourself, and to back up all the information here. A quick search on the Internet will provide similar information as well as a great deal of conflicting opinion.
Step one; understand that life is a gift and that we are here to learn and share our lives for the collective happiness of all humanity and if you remember the story of the Three Musketeers, they have a nice expression, "all for one and one for all". This means we must work toward our own happiness and at the same time support efforts toward the collective happiness of every human being.
Step two: explore ways of reducing material needs and you will find that you have more spending power. Then when you consider buying any product, ask yourself if that product or that corporation supports our core ethical human values. If they do, great go-ahead by what suits your needs, but if not boycott them and encourage others to do so.
Step three; improve your diet and exercise, exercise your body and your mind contemplating what it is to be human and what needs to be done to reduce inequities and conflict in the world.
In activating these three steps, they can all be implemented together and are helped by applying compassion, tolerance and understanding your life and the world.
Some finer details
Examine your diet, and make a list of all the things that you eat. Examine each item on that list and contemplate what you could replace those items containing colours, sugars, facts, preservatives or any chemical additives,
Our human body does not require any refined sugar including honey, or any chemical additives. Our bodies are designed acquire these carbohydrates from our whole grains, roots and cereals. Sugar is simply short-circuit our digestive system and undermine our health, allowing diabetes, arthritis and other diseases to flourish.
Our bodies will get sufficient oil or fat from whole grains, nuts, seeds and fresh leafy green vegetables. Eating processed oils and fats which include butter, all cooking oils and salad dressings, is one of the major sources of excess cholesterol in our diets.
The fallacy of meat
We have been led to believe that we need need for protein and it's true that our bodies can digest meat and absorb the protein from it. It has always been an important source of nutrition and it is not to be entirely excluded from our diet, but instead of eating meat every day, reduce meat intake to once or twice a week, or use it as a flavouring for meals rather than a staple.
Most Westerners love their meat and potatoes, while Asians love their meat and rice, and in the Middle East. It's often meat with rice or some type of bread, and no matter where people live in the world, they are eating meat, complex carbohydrates, sugars and modest or negligible amounts of vegetables.
Here is the lesson; when we combine protein, complex carbohydrates and sugars which are simple carbohydrates, the body absorbs the sugars which satisfy the bodies immediate need for energy and the undigested protein and carbohydrates passes through the digestive tract were it remains sitting in the large intestine. It can remain here, sometimes for days where it ferments and creates a breeding ground for many diseases including colon cancer.
If we are to eat meat, it is far healthier to eat meat and vegetables without any other carbohydrates or sugars.
Simple carbohydrates or sugars
Everyone loves a sweet treat every now and again, and for the healthy person, the occasional indulgence is no problem, they only become a problem when eaten regularly.
When we eat our carbohydrates such as rice or potatoes, eat them with vegetables and avoid eating sugar with the same meal.
Replace snacks with fresh fruit and ideally fresh fruit is eaten before meals or as a snack in between meals. If your energy is low and you're not quite filling 100% sometimes having a day of eating fruit alone is a healthy option, but remember that fruit needs to be fresh and free of pesticide and other agricultural chemical residues.
Creating a new dietary and lifestyle plan and sticking to it requires great determination and it also requires support from your immediate family and friends as well as work colleagues. It is very hard to do anything like this in isolation.
Physical exercise, contemplation and even meditation on the nature of life and living provides support to diet and lifestyle. The improved health that this program offers provides energy and insights, making one more productive and reducing the likelihood of workplace injury and absenteeism.
Being responsible also entails being politically responsible and involved. The only political movement that offers any support toward saying living and a sensible lifestyle is the green movement. All the other political parties are simply copies of each other, ruled by corporate interests and over the past hundred years we have seen them erode our standard of living and exacerbate suffering in the world.