Your health is the result of many lifestyle choices you have made over the years. And you have a great say in the health you will experience tomorrow. Many people dislike change and feel it is easier to do what they’ve always done, even though they don’t like the results You can take a different and healthier path, and you can become healthier. It all depends on you and the choices you make beginning now.
What do you really think, and deeply feel, about your own health? Do you feel you have the ability to substantially alter it for the better? Do you sincerely believe that you can begin on a journey of greater health, leave negative diagnoses behind, function more effectively with increased energy and look forward to each new day?
Whether your answer is yes or no…you are correct. If you have no hope and think you don’t have any chance of becoming healthier, that is almost surely what you will experience. On the other hand, if you are willing to make some changes that can have the ability to impact your health positively, you can have a significantly different future ahead. What you do greatly influences your health and your life expectancy. It resides in your behavior and lifestyle, not really in your genes.
What is Involved in Lifestyle?
Lifestyle takes into account all of who we are: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Thus, lifestyle includes the food we eat, alcohol, smoking, drugs, stress, weight, proper rest and sleep, movement and exercise, proper breathing, sunshine and fresh air, relationships with friends and family, where we are spiritually, our mental health including thought life, attitudes and belief systems, and prayer and meditation. All of these shift body chemistry. When these are positive and healthy, they cause a more regenerative state and when they are negative it causes a destructive energy, literally decay or break down, within your body.
Additionally, each of us is exposed to environmental toxins on a daily basis. There are thousands of toxins in conventionally grown food, household cleaners, garden and landscape products, carpets and other flooring, paints, grouts and sealants, furniture, mattresses, beauty products, tap and bottled water, and so much more. For some, hobbies or occupational exposures cause increased risk. And some people simply do not detoxify these chemicals as well as other people and this increases their risk of ill health as well. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Many things we cannot control, but we can choose healthier foods and products for our home and property.
Health is failing miserably for a large percentage of Americans in the United States, yet we spend far more per capita on healthcare than any other country in the world. In spite of this spending, two-thirds of Americans are overweight, millions have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, autoimmune dysfunction, dementia and so much more. And half of all Americans, including children, are taking pharmaceutical drugs trying to alleviate health concerns. Sadly, as a result of lifestyle and all it involves, it is being said that the younger generation of today will not live as long as their parents.
And what about our elderly? By 2030 It is expected that 21% (nearly one in four) in the United States will be over 65. But what quality of life or health will they experience? For many the “golden years” are not, or will not be, so golden. Instead, failing health, inability to function well, declining mental abilities, and constant aches and pains are the daily reality. Healthier eating habits and better lifestyle choices would have allowed many to be functioning well and living vibrantly as many elderly people are (in their 90s and into the 100’s) in several old countries. These people live on simple and whole food, and do not have the fast-paced, stressful lifestyles of so many living in the United States.
Food and lifestyle undermine a person’s health regardless of age, and many are unaware because this doesn’t happen all at once. Conditions like heart attacks, stroke, cancer, diabetes and so many more do not happen overnight. Chronic and degenerative conditions develop over time. Sadly, the Standard American Diet (referred to as SAD) has been a major contributor to poor health for millions of people in the United States. Furthermore, statistics indicate that the ten leading causes of death in the United States are directly related to diet.
Food is essential for life. We need proteins, fats and carbohydrates that provide vital nutrients for survival, healing and helping the body function well. These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids, and a multitude of other nutrients in plants that are all considered the building blocks of health. If a deficiency develops, the body cannot do what it needs to do to remain healthy. Given enough time, health issues can result from these deficiencies. Nutrition is the fuel from which your body functions day in and day out, just as gas and oil in your automobile are necessary for it to run.
Here are some typical questions asked about food and nutrition:
- Is there a particular diet that I should follow? Are diets safe and healthy?
- Does organic make a difference?
- Are GMO foods harmful?
- What happens if I don’t get all the nutrition I need?
- And why can’t I lose weight, no matter what or how I try?
- How can I know the truth with conflicting information online, in books and from other sources?
Let me answer the first questions right now because it is driving the habits of many. Diets presented to us online, over radio or television or any other media, try to persuade us into believing there is “one diet that is best for everyone.” That simply is not true. What’s worse, many of the so called “diets” are absolutely unhealthy and have led to many health issues, sometimes even death. There is no one diet for everyone. In fact, once you know a little more about your body, and you learn the basics of nutrition, you won’t have to live by any diet! It will set you free as long as you do what is healthy.
Do Genes Determine My Health?
Many believe health is dependent upon their genes and therefore they believe they have no control over their health. This is a misconception. Genes are not like computers governing how your body works. Genes can be influenced. In fact, some research indicates that only 5% of what exists as disease is due directly to our genes. The other 95% is due to our lifestyle including diet, exercise, meditation, attitude, relationships, etc. Genes don’t actually change unless they are impacted by factors such as radiation, chemical disruption, herbicides and the like. What does change is whether or not they become expressed, or manifest, in your lifetime. Again, what we do affects our genes.
All the factors mentioned above in “lifestyle” impact our gene expression, particularly the food we eat, and our level of stress and how we respond to it. All, however, exert pressures that cause chemical responses that can lead to various genes being switched on or off over time.
This is why what you do, think, eat, drink, how you live, where you live, exercise, sleep, relationships, aging, exposure to toxins and pollutants all affect you (called lifestyle and environmental factors).
A term used frequently today is Epigenetics, which literally means “above” or “on top of” genetics. This refers to external modifications to DNA that turn genes “on” or “off.” They do not change the DNA sequence itself, but they do alter the physical structure of DNA, affecting how the cells “read” genes. And this is why, regardless of our genes, we have much say in how our bodies respond and whether or not certain genes will be turned off or on.
From all this…take away this understanding. Your genes are your history….they are not your destiny. Scientific research is now indicating that 95% of disease conditions today are influenced by our diet, exercise and meditation and only 5% is by fully penetrant genes. This is a profound shift from what many believed previously. It is interactive self-care that makes the difference, and that is under our influence.
A Look Back in History
Hippocrates in Greek history, often considered the Father of Medicine, believed that disease was caused by environmental factors, diet, water quality, climate and living habits. And, believing as he did that “every disease had only natural causes,” the treatments he utilized in working with his patients were primarily natural remedies.
Good health is about making simple and effective choices: Stop doing things that cause problems and start doing things that support your health. A huge part of this is what we put into our bodies. Food (the nutrients in it)…is the foundation for health. Unfortunately, for many people, what they call “food” is also the foundation of disease.
Nutrition, exercise and all other lifestyle factors have a huge impact on your body. Remember, your genes are NOT at fault!! Many factors negatively impact your health including smoking, excessive alcohol, overeating, too little sleep, lack of exercise, stress, poor relationships, and a negative mental attitude. But there’s more. Environmental concerns such as household cleaning products, cosmetics, and outdoor gardening products can be filled with harsh chemicals and contribute greatly to us being less healthy. All these factors are impacting your health and you may not even know it is happening. The opposite is true as well. When you live a healthy lifestyle and create a healthier environment (those things that you can control) you give your body what it needs to keep you healthy.
Taking Your Next Step
Are you facing health challenges? Or perhaps you are healthy right now and want to make sure you remain on a healthy course? Cheryl can help you turn that confusion into understanding. You will gain a new perspective of how your lifestyle may be affecting your health and a greater understanding of nutrition that will allow you to have a healthier life. You may be surprised to find many things you have believed until now are simply not true and have actually pushed you further away from the health you most surely would prefer to enjoy.
If you are in that place of questioning your health…know that you have choices. You can give in or submit to the “norm,” or you can take a healthier path that will lead to radiant health. Even if you are much older, there is often much that can be done to enhance your health and life … at any age.
Cheryl has helped thousands of people, for more than 40 years, to a new reality of health in their lives, whether as a client in her practice, or those who have attended her seminars, webinars or heard her speaking at conventions or conferences.
When you consult with Cheryl, she will take into consideration all aspects of “lifestyle,” including nutrition, and you will learn to firmly develop attitudes and behaviors that will lead you to a greater level of health in the days and years ahead. Whether you live at a distance and your appointment is by phone, or you meet with Cheryl locally in her office, she will help you make informed choices and she will be your strong advocate as you embark on a new course.
Health isn’t something that just comes to you.
It is something you gain by the way you live.
It is your choice. If you are serious about taking charge of your health, call Cheryl to schedule an appointment to begin, or continue on, your journey of healthy, vibrant living.