“Health is not a sacrifice but the most important tool for an enjoyable journey called life”

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The more often I listen to people the more I learn and the more I realize that the general perception of a healthy lifestyle is actually seen as a burden by the majority. Frequent comments revolving around cost, effort, time, stress and then the most common sacrifice seem to be at the top of the list. The unfortunate thing that we are confronted with in modern society is that yes, lifespan of the human being has increased and mainly due to modern medicine. 

I often question the logic behind it though. Did we not create illness? Did mankind not run after wealth in order to sacrifice health? I firmly believe this is the case. Thousands of years ago, a fraction of the diseases that we experience today existed and with the industrial revolution and man’s lust and greed to become powerful and rich brought us to our own downfall. Most will not acknowledge it and keep doing as they please because hey you only live once right, take what you can, have fun and make the most out of it.

 The amazing thing is generally it’s the young that have this attitude, maybe because they are too young to have experienced joint or organ issues, blood disorders or severe illness. Nature has this strange yet wicked way of knocking on the door later on for most. But even now we are still seeing very young beginning to suffer illness and as parents there is always the question why?

I don’t have all the answers but, sometimes I wonder if what we did when we were young, what we ate, what we experienced or experimented with came back to haunt us later in life, with possible, disorders genetic modifications and then passed on to our new born. I always tell my clients once it’s passed your lips you have no control over what it’s going to do to the body and this is the point of control and decision. It’s not always our fault. Food manufacturers use genetically modified produce, load foods with sugar, create a bad name for the word “fat” and tell us what we should be eating in order to guide our money into their pockets with little concern for our health. The wellness industry exploded right along with it, as a result of what was created, we now are supporting a trillion dollar industry of quick fixes to get back to health, control weight, feel more energetic and become superhuman but that’s a separate debate.

I once met a scientist abroad who won a Nobel Prize for his research in Biotechnology. I distinctly remember a reporter asking him if this was the happiest moment of his life as it was such an achievement. His answer completely struck a cord and put a lump in my throat. He said not at all, the happiest time of his life was when he was still herding sheep on the mountain plains of Ethiopia. Life was simple then, not complicated, far less stressful and worry free.

As a nutrition expert, I can honestly soak that up and say simplicity is absolutely key. Health is not a complication, it’s merely the opposite, its avoidance it’s keeping it simple, keeping it clean and not getting caught up as another cog in the wheel being ground over and over. I always consider health to be risk management, meaning the more you extend yourself towards unhealthy options, the higher the long term risk, the more in favour you are of healthy choices the far lower the long term risks. So with all this in mind, I just want to provide you with some key thoughts which I hope will get you thinking and on the right path to ensure your life is a quality one.

EDUCATION
As I mentioned earlier the youth do silly things, not because of anything except they don’t know any better. I was blessed with parents who ensured nutritional health was very strict, Fanta and Coke were never ever seen, except maybe one day of the week. Water was the only choice we had. My mother is a chrones disease sufferer and was on weigh-less so her general diet rubbed off onto us, it’s no wonder I landed up in this business later on in lifeJ.The point I am trying to make is that educating the youth when it comes to nutrition, is so critical in how their lives will pan out. As an example a simple understanding of the effects of alcohol and sugar will go a long way especially as they grow older. Of course education without example setting is futile!

Giving a child money for school tuck shop because you are too lazy to make a healthy lunch is basically saying go and buy yourself some diabetes. Then one can look to the schools and say why do you even stock the unhealthy stuff and blame will go around and around. It’s up to us to set an example and try and create a healthier next generation, only we will suffer in the long run when our youth are falling ill due to our wrong doings.

WISE PURCHASING
Firstly if it’s in the home it’s accessible, meaning you are going to consume it for sure at some stage. If it’s not in the home, you cannot miss or indulge in what you don’t have. The choice begins at store level. Look for the healthy options and make sure only those go into the trolley. Keep the majority of your purchases, natural and unprocessed. Microwave dishes are not healthy, neither are ready made or instant soups. Low fat produce is loaded in sugar, learn to read the labels and understand the contents of exactly what you are purchasing. Remember convenience & emotional buying is just going to lead you or your family down the wrong path.

NUTRITION ADVICE
Not everyone understands nutrition properly, not even a lot of the dieticians today. Text book theories are forever changing, especially in today’s age, and out of the box thinking and experimentation is required constantly. You need to find an expert in the field you can trust and who can guide you on the right path when it comes to understanding what type of eating is best suited to your particular lifestyle. It’s also up to you to read and gain the knowledge required to be able to help further your own health goals.

SIMPLICITY
This is truly the key to a healthy eating lifestyle. Meals never need to be over complicated, thousands of years ago a five course meal with sugar loaded deserts and tons of mashed or grilled potato, salads, focaccia starters & don pedro liqueur’s to finish did NOT exist. Seriously is this the way the world has shifted? What happened to good old fashioned fried eggs, avocado, olives, and grass fed animals? Water has been replaced with colorants, acid and sugar. Coffees have been chemically purified, processed and dried, and even the naturalness of it being removed with caffeine free which is in my words pure poison, just to satisfy the emotional dependency of a craving.  Anything you make that’s quick, or processed has already been completely over complicated in order to make you addicted to that specific taste or flavour, making you want more of the unhealthy combination each time you visit the store.  Get real think about what you are actually consuming and don’t think for a second it won’t impact you. Invincibility does not exist, not even for an elite athlete or a fitness freak. Keep your meals simple, no need to overdress over cook and over flavour. One simple easy meal at a time is more than sufficient.

I am sure a lot of what I said will spark a lot of debate. There will be the deniers, the agreeable and those that just don’t care. The one thing I can say is that if you or a loved one falls ill, you will care very quickly, but by then the damage will be done.

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