4 minutes reading time (707 words)

Exercise Your Power to Choose Health

Exercise Your Power to Choose Health

We often hear the term "lifestyle diseases" bandied about. But what are these diseases? Lifestyle diseases are defined as those negative, chronic health conditions which are brought on by our choices about food, exercise, and the use of substances like tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. We all know there are dangers associated with substance use and abuse. But the connection between poor health and our daily eating and exercise often doesn't seem as straight forward.

When "everyone" seems to have at least one chronic medical condition (and many people have multiple ones by the time they reach retirement age), lifestyle diseases often appear to be related more to aging and genetics than to our choices. In the case of lifestyle diseases, appearances are deceiving.

Which Diseases Can be Avoided by Choosing a Different Lifestyle?
Many of the most common adverse health conditions we experience are simply the result of the choices we've made. The following are all diseases that can be avoided by choosing to eat different foods than the ones typically eaten by our families or society.

•  high blood pressure
•  high cholesterol
•  atherosclerosis
•  heart disease
•  stroke
•  some forms of cancer
•  diabetes
•  arthritis
•  obesity

I have seen all of these conditions halted, improved, and often reversed when my patients choose to eat a Starch-Smart® diet of low-fat, whole-foods, plant based diet. Their need for medication is often reduced or eliminated.

The truth is that our body was designed to stay healthy, trim, and supple into old age. When we treat our body right, eating the food that it thrives on — rather than the food we have learned to crave, our body responds with health and vitality. We find ourselves with the energy and often the desire to exercise. Our sleep becomes more restful, our attitude improves, and our cravings greatly diminish. 

Ellen's Story Shows the Power of Choice
I invite you to watch the video below and be inspired by the story of Ellen Jaffe Jones. Her mother, her aunt, and both of her sisters had breast cancer. But Ellen chose a different path in life: a plant-based diet and exercise. That choice, she believes, has made all the difference.

Ellen's story demonstrates that even when we haven't lived "perfectly," we can still find improved health by switching to a plants-only diet. After experiencing a life-threatening colon blockage in her late twenties, Ellen learned about fiber and the healing power of a plant-based diet. Years later, she slipped "off the wagon" and again found herself in a health crisis, experiencing hemorrhaging fibroid tumors that almost required a hysterectomy. Fortunately, her OB-GYN reminded her to go back to eating plants. "Three weeks later," says Ellen, "all signs of menopause were gone, even hot flashes." She avoided the hysterectomy, and she believes, maybe breast cancer due to her lifestyle choices.

We Have the Power to Choose
When we make different choices about our lifestyle, we can expect to experience different outcomes than our family members, our neighbors, and society at large. When it comes to lifestyle diseases, genetics doesn't have to determine our health status. We have a choice about how healthy we want to be.

I encourage you to choose a whole-food diet of low-fat vegetables, beans, fruits, intact whole grains, and a few nuts and seeds — all without added oil — to experience the optimal level of health available to you. 

Additional Reading:

(1) Why do we Crave High Glycemic Foods?

(2) But I Could Never Give Up Meat - Dairy!

(3) Opiate-Like Chemicals in Cheese are Physically Addictive

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