Thanks to Carol for yesterday’s Dr. Oz “heads up,” and also to Gary and Sydelle for letting me know in class yesterday. Mitch and I watched and it was great to see the authors of the China Study in the audience. The information in the China Study was compelling enough to a producer to make a film (Forks Over Knives) based on the info and compelling enough for Dr. Oz to devote an episode to it. I have so much respect for Dr. Oz, that it excites me that he seems to be a big buy in to a plant-based diet, though he did question what’s so bad about eating heart-healthy, omega 3 packed fish. The answer was that yes, while some fish are high in omega 3, they are also high in lots of other fats that aren’t so healthy for our hearts. We must also remember, the China Study is really about preventing disease, and in terms of cancer, the studies prove that animal protein in general turns on the cancer switch while plant proteins seem to turn off the switch. Fish = animal protein. Personally, I wonder if my body would be better off eating some fish, and some times I taste some…I just don’t feel happy eating animals. Even fish.
Ironically, I know so many people who are searching for the answers to their heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc., and while they would undergo hours of surgery and take all kinds of medications, they can’t wrap their arms around a plant-based diet. I get it. It’s not for everyone. I also talk to a lot of people who can’t seem to find the time to exercise. They work 2 jobs, have children and parents to take care of. Again, I get it, but here is the bottom line and it is no longer negotiable. Chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes have reached global epidemic proportions and now cause more deaths than ALL other diseases combined, according to an announcement yesterday by the World Health Organization (WHO).
We all have choices. When it comes to our health, it is NOT just about ourselves. The choices we make will impact our loved ones. Choose to be sedentary and eat unhealthy foods and you are basically asking your loved ones to expect to take care of you someday. Much as I loved and respected my parents, it really did upset me to have to cart my dad around with a wheelchair and oxygen, both a direct result of his lifestyle choices, including smoking Camel cigarettes, eating the wrong foods, leading a sedentary life and becoming severely overweight. I never wanted to resent taking care of him but I did, and may he rest in peace, I do wish he had made different choices. I DO understand that many of the choices he made were long before we understood just how unhealthy they were. Today, there are no excuses. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to MAKE the time to exercise (if you watch TV you probably have time to exercise) and make lifestyle choices, including what we eat and drink, to help increase the odds of living a long, healthy and INDEPENDENT life!
One thing I am very convinced of is that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is probably the single best thing we can do for our health. It certainly seems that as a rule, if we maintain a healthy weight our all important numbers (blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides) all seem to stay in a healthy range, as well. After just a few weeks of following the suggestions in the China Study we witness individuals losing weight and bringing all the important numbers down to where they should be for optimal health. When I watch Biggest Loser, though the contestants don’t eat a plant-based diet (but Bob Harper does) we certainly witness their weekly return to better health as they continue to lose weight. To me, it makes sense that as long as I am looking to be as healthy as possible, anything that turns off the cancer switch is worth following. I also know that what is good for preventing one disease, is generally good for all the big ones.
Tonight I am aiming to revisit my new year’s resolution of making healthier, less fattening Thursday night feasts. Tonight it will be a big salad (with some stuff from the garden which is quickly burning up from our strong sun) a pot of black beans, a pot of brown rice and a lot of roasted veggies. With some whole wheat wraps for those that want and some fresh fruit for dessert, it will be another VFT.
I beg you to get your (almost) daily exercise! If you haven’t yet read the China Study, I cannot recommend it enough. If reading isn’t your thing, the movie Forks Over Knives is either coming to a theatre near you soon (here in south Florida, May 13) or already is. At least be open to seeing the amazing results of these hundreds of studies. It might just save your life.
**Ron at TFC continues to let me know that each and every day many of Carol and my SilverSneakers students are showing up and registering. Though change is never easy, it is often good and it looks like things are falling into place for many of us. We continue to do the best we can with the options we have!
- Choosing The Fork Over the Knife (wholefoodsmarket.com)