I became a believer that a healthy lifestyle is the road to wellness after seeing it work for sick patients. I evaluated a healthy living program at the Continental Health Enhancement Center (CHEC) in Colorado. Patients on the very low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet popularized by Nathan Pritikin. In addition to healthier food, patients were encouraged to engage in as much physical activity as they could tolerate and given stress management counseling. So, what happened? The patients’ blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight all declined markedly to healthier levels, and diabetics who were on insulin needed much less.
The most striking thing was that patients with debilitating cardiac chest pain (angina) and shortness of breath rapidly improved and their symptoms disappeared! A retired dentist who could not walk across the room without severe angina told me he thought he was just waiting to die. But after ten days his angina went away and never came back! Another patient said that after two bypass operations on his coronary arteries, he was told there was nothing more that could be done for him to relieve his cardiac symptoms. He too became symptom free and able to live a normal life.
Many studies show what I saw firsthand at CHEC, that the human body has a remarkable ability to heal when an individual stops the chronic damage caused by unhealthy nutrition, lack of exercise, and other injurious health habits. To attain optimal health, most Americans need a new healthier lifestyle. Before you say, “I could never make all of the needed changes,” keep in mind that millions of people have. Yes, behavioral change can be difficult—it takes commitment. But for many people, it does not take a lot of willpower after you get started. Starting is the hard part. You will probably have to give up some favorite dinner table and restaurant dishes and comfortable processed “junk” foods, get your body moving, and if you smoke, you will have to quit. But men and women who have successfully adopted the dietary, exercise, and other changes needed for a healthy lifestyle usually become “converts.” They enjoy their new foods and are not very hungry on their new diet. And they are so pleased with their new feelings of energy and wellbeing, and their new slimmer bodies that they never want to go back to their old way of living! When you put in place the Building Blocks of Health and adhere to an optimal lifestyle, you will gain much more than you give up.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in the book or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Wellness with a Lifestyle Checklist. References for most of the health related information in this blog can be found in the book, The Building Blocks of Health now available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Building-Blocks-Health-Lifestyle-Checklist-ebook/dp/B08RC3XRCY/. Copyright 2020 by J. Joseph Speidel.