Monday, August 29, 2011

Time For a Change

Last week Tuesday as I sat on my computer working on a fitness paper for my fitness class my neighbor was next door taking his last breaths.  I would later find out he had a fatal heart attack.  In no way am I insinuating that my neighbor contributed to his heart attack.  Although I knew Russell well enough to know that he was a good man I was not familiar with his dietary or exercise habits.  But his death as well as a CNN special show, "The Last Heart Attack", really got me thinking.  The link below will give you a chance to view the show commercial free.  It is worth the watch.

I am not vegetarian although I have over the past couple of years lowered my intake of meat-mostly for environmental reasons.  After watching this show I am encouraged to lower my intake even more. There are many positive changes that I can continue to make to my diet that will enrich my life. 

What changes can you make?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ranting from the Redhead: Nutrition, exercise and a confession or two.

I have been meaning to write this blog for quite some time.  This weekend prior to the Extra Terrestrial Full Moon Marathon (for more information on this race and more see I mentioned to a running buddy, Yolanda Holder, that I need to write a blog that I have been thinking about for quite some time.  Yolanda Holder is an individual that I am honored to know.  She is not only the world record holder for the most marathons in one year (106) but a wonderful and inspiring individual.  She has a blog here as well-My road to Guiness.  Anyhow, now that I told someone I feel more committed to writing here goes the rantings.

It bugs the heck out of me that people take better care of their vehicles than they do their own bodies.  In a few short years most vehicles get sold or traded for another one and even in the event that it is kept it is replaceable.  The body is not replaceable it is owned for a lifetime.  I would not put cheap gas in my car so why would i put crappy food in my body. 

Excuse number one-It taste good.  Yep, some unhealthy foods taste great and I feel like almost all foods can be a sometime food.  Deep fried butter being the exception....really deep fry a stick of butter and eat it?  I love my mom’s carrot cake and my mom in laws German chocolate cake.  I will eat a couple slices of each over the course of a year.  There is room in a healthy diet for occasional treats that taste good BUT tasting good is not an excuse that should be used for over eating junk foods.  There are consequences to everything you put in the body.  The body is made to run on healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.  That is the fuel a body needs to run.  That is the high octane gas.  Put crappy fuel in your body and over time results can be higher risks for heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  Just like if you put crappy gas in your car it will wear things down quicker and cause mechanical issues junk food does that same thing. 

Excuse number two-it is cheaper.  That is a hard one to debate on the up front cost for sure.  You can feed a family at Mc Donalds for a pretty reasonable price....up front.  You can buy macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, oreo cookies and other processed foods cheaply.  BUT down the road the cost of a triple bypass is going to exceed the savings that one gets from the upfront difference of food choices.  The cost of diabetes injections and testing materials will exceed the difference.  The value of good health now and later is worth the extra few dollars.  You are going to pay one way or another.  Why not pay in the way that increases your risk for better health.  Might not be as much fun eating Twinkies from a hospital room..

Excuse number three-I do not have the time to cook healthy.  Eat more raw.  Cook on the weekends and freeze for the weekdays.  Search for quick healthy online recipes.  Steamed veggies take minutes.  Brown rice now comes precooked (look for the brands that do not add sugar).  Do you have time for a heart attack?  Again time you spend now for healthy cooking is time you will save later for health issues.

Excuse number four-I don’t think it makes a difference.  Although it is true that there are some healthy individuals that do all the right things that still contract disease it is a fact that you decrease your risks by eating right.  It also increases the bodies ability to recover from injury and disease.  Everyone is going to die from something but during life one will enjoy it more with a healthy body.  A healthy body will give you better odds of mobility and enjoyment especially in your later years. 

As a side rant for those of you who are religious I do not understand how one can take bad care of the body given by God.  It seems like an insult.  You are given the gift of life and when I am given a valuable gift I feel compelled to take good care of it.  Doesn’t it seem like such an incredible gift should be appreciated and cared for?

First rant comes the second...

Exercise IS something you have time for.  30 minutes most days of the week is the minimum.  Put down the damn remote control and lace up your shoes.  Go for a walk, run, bike ride, swim.....just get moving.  Get out there and make it happen!   If you have time for your favorite TV shows, you have time to exercise.  Prioritize health and the body.  10 years from now who the heck cares about who was the American Idol or who won Dancing with the Stars.  But in 10 years from now your body will remember the exercise and reward you with better health.  If you really feel the need to watch your show multi task by finding a treadmill or stationary bike that you can use while watching. 

Short rant done.....

Confession number one.  I contributed toward my body getting cancer.  I did not cause the cancer knowingly or willingly but my physical activities (or lack of) and my food choices along with sunscreen use habits did contribute to my body contracting cancer THREE times (breast cancer, melanoma and basil cell carcinoma).  I take some of the belongs to me.  Because of this it makes me even more driven to make sure others understand the risks and how they can lower them. 

Confession number two.  I can do better than I am.  I work hard by exercising my body typically daily and making great healthy food choices ‘almost’ everyday.  I wear sunscreen to protect my skin.  But I am far from perfect.  There are things I can and should do to be even healthier.  Who wants to make commitments of change along with me?  :)