Most of you come to my class looking to improve your general wellness, to tone up and get in shape. There is the reason why P90X and other 90 day exercise programs are so effective, they require you to commit to working out 90 days straight. If you did my class everyday of the week, your fitness would improve far more rapidly as long as you could remain injury free. Most people are doing good if they can exercise for 3 days a week, much less seven! But, the more I read about diet and exercise, the more I understand that diet and exercise are the two most powerful players in our quest to remain in good health over the course of our lifetime. Nutrition is the best medicine we have, but our dietary habits are so difficult to change.
Changing habits is enormously difficult for most people. I was recently discussing the research in “The China Study” which details the connection between nutrition and chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer with a preventative cardiologist at PAMF. I asked her if the cardiologists in her practice were recommending a vegan diet for their patients with heart disease and she said “yes, that in 2 weeks on a vegan diet they can see rapid improvement in their numbers, and after 6 weeks, they can stop taking all medications.” Remember, this is why Bill Clinton is a vegan, it works! She went on to say, “the problem is, only about 1 out of 10 patients can sustain such a lifestyle change, the rest will walk in after 6 weeks and say they would rather have a pill.” This is not surprising, but equally as fascinating. It makes me really stop and think about the connection with food and lifestyle or food as a measure of quality of life. If you are looking to make changes in your lifestyle (changing an eating habit or adding a day of exercise), you really have to look at how this impacts your quality of life. Of course, I always see an improvement in anyone’s overall health as an improvement in quality of life, if you feel better and your health improves, then the quality of your life increases, right?? Not necessarily for many people. Taking away large Sunday meals with family may mean a decrease in another quality of life measure, the sense of connection you feel with family on Sunday afternoons. So then as a health professional, you have to help the person look at how do you maintain the sense of connection or community that is so important to the client with maintaining the changes to their diet. This is far more difficult than it sounds, but it can be done. I encourage you all to start adding vegan meals to your weekly meals plans. Maybe start with one meal a week, and then add another the next week. It is better for you, better for your kids, and better for the environment. The preventative cardiologist team and PAMF recommends 16 vegan meals a week (out of 21) as a minimum for their patients with heart disease. How powerful is that as proof that nutrition is our best medicine. Think about it, what one small change can you make this week to improve your overall health???
If you want to read more about changing habits to lose weight, here is a recent article that was posted on the Livestrong website:
I hope to see you all back at class!!! We have been having a great time getting back into the groove, don’t miss out!!! Also, if there are topics you would like for me to cover in my blog (one person wanted me to cover what I feed my kids), please let me know.