On any given day, the news headlines report problems such as gang violence, arrests for drug possession, and serious accidents due to drunk drivers. Bad decisions cause bad outcomes. As regrettable as it is, there is a price to be paid for poor judgment and decisions. Many of us might be tempted to say, “What were they thinking?” Or, “I guess they got what they deserved.” Hopefully none of us will ever have to experience consequences like these. However, in another aspect of life, many of us are or will have to pay what I term THE HIGH COST OF LOW LIVING in regard to our health.
Let me first talk about the HIGH COST. The price I’m referring to are things like obesity, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, strokes, diabetes, and even cancer. All these conditions are life changing, expensive, and usually require medication, treatment, and even surgery. At some point they become irreversible and can even result in early death. As I mentioned, bad decisions cause bad outcomes.
Next, let’s define what I mean by LOW LIVING, which is the culprit exacting those COSTS. The problems are poor judgment and the resulting decisions that I group into the categories of wrong eating, overeating, and lack of proper balance in activities. Most people have developed bad habits in these areas, and habits are hard to break— if held long enough, they can even become addictions.
Wrong eating starts with empty calorie foods, which is anything that has calories but is bankrupt for vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Leading the pack are ‘bad whites’ such as white bread, white rice, white sugar, white pasta, and even white potatoes, but there’s more close behind. When was the last time you had a bagel, pretzels, or some Pringles? These items are over-processed, meaning heated, bleached, colored, gassed, preserved, and always depleted. They are robbed of nutritional qualities that cannot be restored even when they are ‘enriched’ with some chemical additive.
Soda, particularly the diet and caffeinated varieties, are terrible for the body. And most energy drinks are basically soda on steroids—all the bad aspects and more, with none of the good. They will eventually degrade the function of the adrenal gland, leading to an array of endocrine problems. As for fruits and most vegetables, just follow the adage of raw and fresh first. If that’s not an option, then buy frozen. Canned fruit should be your last option.
Of course, you can’t talk about wrong eating without mentioning things like alcohol, tobacco, and potions and pills that do violence to the physiology of the marvelous human body.
Overeating is self-descriptive. In nutritional science there is a motto which states that we should “eat to live, not live to eat.” Among the seven deadly sins it’s called by another name: gluttony. Controlling portion size, eating slower, and drinking plenty of pure clean water will help solve this problem. Watching the Biggest Loser on TV can be mildly inspiring and entertaining, but tragic to experience on so many levels.
Lack of balance is what affects the use of our precious allotment of time each day. Outside of their normal work day, more and more people of all ages are spending the majority of their waking hours watching TV, surfing the internet, and playing video games. These activities don’t really provide the quiet reflective time to meditate and organize our lives that is so important.
Physical activity is just about as important as proper nutrition. I have always gotten a kick out of watching people drive around in a parking lot for 15 minutes looking for a parking spot next to the entrance, or hire someone to mow their small patch of lawn or weed their garden or clean the pool. These are potentially great and satisfying forms of exercise. I get a chuckle out of seeing someone who will drive their car several blocks to the gym to ride an exercycle, or take an elevator up a couple of floors to use a stair climber or treadmill, but at least they are working it. The body doesn’t care where it happens.
The solution to the HIGH COST OF LOW LIVING is obvious and simple. I’m not saying it’s easy, because as I mentioned old habits are hard to break, but they can be replaced with new beneficial habits. Activity-wise, get outdoors more often: walk, ride a bike, work in the garden, enjoy the fresh air, and connect with nature. Park as far from the store entrance as feasible so that you are at least getting that much exercise. Your muscles, joints, and bones will thank you.
Nutritionally, the motto of “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” has real merit. Eat a raw, organic, balanced vegan or flexitarian type diet. There is no better way to eliminate the low living than with Sunwarrior plant-based proteins, slow burning carbohydrates, and ORMUS supergreens. They provide amazing nutrition that satiates the appetite and are designed to help you lose unwanted weight, making you feel and look better.
As the final piece to the puzzle of health, psychologists say that you are about as happy as you make up your mind to be, so count your blessings, render random acts of kindness, and when you act happy, soon you’ll be happy—it’s contagious.
Learn more about Dr. Steve Weston