When I was growing up, I looked forward to my birthday more than anything. It wasn’t for the presents as much as it was for the sugar-filled yummy birthday cake. Cakes are the perfect addition to any party, but when sugar becomes a habit, it’s an easy segue to poor health and lethargy. Let’s face it, sugar not only tastes good, but it is addicting. That is why it doesn’t stop with one bite. That spoonful of ice cream easily turns into polishing the pint, quart or more. Before you know it, your food addiction grows by the hours, the days, the years.
When this eating behavior continues from childhood into adulthood, doors open for problems with obesity. Furthermore, digestive issues, diabetes, premature aging and even heart disease could become the unpromising path that started with that first sugary bite. My eating behavior changed direction years ago after I studied nutrition and became a health professional. Now I look forward to sharing the keys to nutrition with you.
The same negative behavior holds true for many older adults who have been eating the same way for decades.
I recently asked a married couple of 50 years how they ate together as a couple all these years. They said they “really didn’t have any restrictions” on their diet. Their food choices included pasta, bread, fried foods, pizza, packaged foods, canned fruit, soda and places such as McDonalds and Wendy’s. Yikes, I thought to myself. When I asked about their health, I learned that they took medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. Add to that the wife’s impending knee replacement due to obesity, and you’ll see the picture.
Poor diet is a roadmap to serious repercussions.
There are solutions within reach, however. Although many people blame genetics for diseases, epigenetics may hold the key to the true issue. Epigenetic is the lifestyle choices you make regarding your diet, exercise, meaningful relationships, stress factors and spiritual connection. Based on your epigenetic, you can influence and even reverse the genetics passed down to you through your parents. This is where lifestyle factors including food choices are critical to your health, longevity and vitality.
Consider different choices by becoming proactive with lifestyle and diet.
As you age, which scenario would you prefer to be in?
- living a life of prescription medications to manage your diseases and fatigue OR
- living a disease-free life without prescription drugs. Feeling youthful, healthy and having longevity.
It’s really a no-brainer; isn’t it?
Changing your lifestyle and sugar eating patterns is not age dependent.
You can begin to make the positive changes at any stage of your life. Starting at a younger age prevents symptoms and diseases from happening later in life. When we are not mindful and slip into thoughtless actions, we invite toxic lifestyles. We can change that with conscious choices, effort and commitment. The results of a healthy life out-weigh the negatives of illness and disease.
It’s time to control your lifestyle factors, which include…
A healthy diet, exercise program, stress factors, meaningful relationships and spiritual connections. The positive effects of conscious choices will tip the scale in your favor. Your body will reward you for making the right choices, and you will reap the benefits of true health, longevity and vitality.
Some key points to include are:
- seek healthful food choices, such as whole foods, plant-based veggies;
- eliminate food offenders, such as sugars, processed foods, fried foods, chemicals and pesticides, GMO’s;
- reduce the amount of stress with activities, such as exercise, meditation, yoga and journaling;
- develop meaningful relationships that include love, support and laughter;
- develop hobbies and interests that give you enjoyment and a sense of purpose.
I urge everyone to look at every aspect of their lives and make solid choices that contribute to health and well-being. It starts with that first bite; then a second, and then the next! Make it a healthful one.