One of my professors in school used to say we are in the middle of a transition in which our bodies are desperately trying to adapt to the junk we consume. His point is that our genes are confused by today’s new factory-made foods. If we follow his rationale, it doesn’t come as a surprise to see the many symptoms and diseases that science often classifies as idiopathic. That fancy word means a disease or condition that appears to manifest spontaneously, and its cause is unknown.
I see many people around me suffering from skin rashes, digestive issues, unexplained weight gain, constipation, migraines, fatigue, and let me be candid with you; the list is long and puzzling. Why do we develop these unexplained diseases or signs and symptoms? What do they mean in the long run?
We live in a fast-paced environment where food is not our priority. Making it a priority is hard, and it can be frustrating initially. Some people take longer to understand the benefits of a healthy diet. We are held prisoners of this elusive notion of time. Small changes might not seem significant, but they can bring superb results in the long run. It is not too late to start.
Take Alzheimer’s disease; for example, research shows that it can be developed twenty years before being diagnosed. How then do we move from the healthy spectrum to an illness spectrum over twenty years without realizing it? Is it possible that inadvertently we contribute to the issues? Several modifiable factors play a role in cardiovascular disease, for example. Would it be too far-fetched to think that many other conditions are also highly influenced by lifestyle choices?
Clinical nutritionists have to use evidence to guide their actions. Astonishingly, the numbers don’t lie, and yet we find ourselves challenged by the many undesired food choices, lack of time, and the increasing number of tasks we have to juggle from moment to moment. No wonder our brains can’t keep up, and a good night of sleep cannot even recharge us. If we start changing our habits slowly, it is more likely that those changes will be sustainable. Changing your lifestyle might mean longevity, but aside from that, it might mean healthier and happier years ahead. Yesterday I talked to one of my clients, and she exudes happiness. Her energy has changed. She sounds happier. Her skin was glowing, and she had a beautiful smile. The changes we have implemented are minimal, but we see results already. When will you start?
Here are some ways you can start:
Create a to-do list: yes, use the old-fashioned method: pen and paper. You can add things such as eating an apple today to the list. Keep the list close to you.
Pick one day out of your week (2 hours will do) to grocery shop for unprocessed foods. If you feel adventurous, bring a recipe and buy the ingredients on the list.
Use two hours or so of the next day to make that recipe (make sure it’s enough for you to have leftovers).
Bring your lunch to work and make time to eat lunch! Do not skip meals because you are too busy. Add “lunch” to your calendar if you have to. 20-30 minutes if you don’t have more time. Make it a priority to eat lunch.