Something I have been asked recently is how long could I keep going with this lifestyle? Is it just a fad ? This question got me thinking. Would I still be living this way in 20 years - choosing organic, green juicing and home cooking to name a few habits. Will everyone else be on board? Will have anything left to share? We all know about fads and how they come and go. The grapefruit diet, the soup diet, low fat, no carb, I have even heard that living 'gluten free' is a fad? Really? Do these people do their research?
I'm not sure if there really is a revolution happening in food and health, but I would like to think so. Sometimes I am so emerged in this industry and emotionally invested in bringing health to my family and clients that I wonder if I can't see the forest for the trees.
There are so many alarming statistics released daily on the state of health, locally and globally. When you read that 3 in 5 Australians are obese and that 1 in 4 Australian children are obese it's frightening 1. Obesity is now the third largest contributor to ill health in Australia behind smoking and high blood pressure (which I think is contributed to by obesity) 1. Are we meant to ignore the facts?
Diabetes is another world wide problem. In Australia between 1989–90 and 2011–12, the age-standardised rate of diabetes more than doubled, from 1.5% to 4.2% of Australians 2. This is mainly type 2 diabetes and it is truly a scary prospect for the future. I know there are cases where the onset of diabetes has nothing to do with the lifestyle choice of the individual - however in the vast majority there is always room to make changes for the better.
I'm not sure what it will take for people to truly wake up and realise that if they don't have their health then they have nothing. This fantastic quote from the Dali Lama sums up how I feel about people and their approach to health. "....man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. And then he so anxious about the future he does not enjoy the present, the result being he does not live in the present or the future. He lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies never having lived."
Why do we wait until it is too late to make a meaningful change? It's much easier to help sooner, rather than later. I see people like this everyday. They say they have condition/issue W for years and they have seen people X, Y and Z and they are still not better. Often they want to be fixed without truly taking responsibility for what got them in this situation in the first place.
Now, I'm not talking about cancer and some truly unfortunate situations. I have very, very dear friends who don't deserve to be in the position they are and I wish they weren't. But everyone can do the basics, giving themselves the very best chance at health and happiness.
Money also won't make you happy - yet it is valued above all else. I asked my son today what he would wish for if he had a magic lamp (Aladdin was on the tv!) he came back to me with - money, a trillion iPods and more lamps for more wishes. I really shouldn't be surprised, but it had me thinking, what are we teaching the kids? Money over health and happiness? I guess he's only 6, but I need to have a good look at what I say and project.
The purpose of this post is to bring into focus the real need for people to learn how to care for themselves and their families, by making permanent healthy changes. We need to reverse the scary statistics that are continuing to rise every year.
Pretty soon what we eat will become the new 'anti-smoking' campaign, but how do you stop people eating? By changing what companies produce? I don't think so, I believe it will be education of what is truly nourishing. It's back to basics. We have processed the hell out of everything and it's no longer recognisable as food by our body, and it is taking a toll on the population's health. Not to mention the skyrocketing costs involved in treating these chronic lifestyle caused conditions.
Would I go back to many of the processed foods as a staple for myself and family, even if for convenience? Nope. I just know too much, and I plan to keep on learning. Blissful ignorance is no longer an option - start making conscious decisions.
It will be worth it.