Eat Well Die Young?

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  • September 8, 2014

Spring is in the air! Hope you are enjoying it wherever in the world you may be!

It’s a couple of weeks now since the Wellness Summit and I’ve had an opportunity to sit back and take a breath (if you didn’t see the mayhem that was the Summit click here).

Now without a Summit to organise I have been putting all of my energies into a new program dedicated to helping people live exceptional lives which I look forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks.

One of the stories I share in the program is of a husband and wife in their 50s who focus a large proportion of their energies on their nutrition and yoga. Let’s call them Bob and Betty. They did so in the belief that eating well and moving well would guarantee them a long and pain-free life.

Bob died rather quickly of cancer. Betty was left not only grieving at the loss of her husband, but bitter and angry at the world that years of healthful practices would lead to this. As a result, she resorted to all the foods that the couple never ate – hamburgers, lollies, chocolates and all other kinds of refined foods. She put on 35 kilograms in the three years following her husband’s death and had diabetes and depression.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS

Bob and Betty are not alone. And yes, this is a true story. In a world where there are so many uncontrollable situations, the fact that what we put in our mouth is completely under our control means that we can tend to overstate its importance. 

With this overstated belief about our nutrition, we are open to adopting a “nothing can possibly happen to me if I eat well” attitude, and when it does, we often find ourselves racking our brain as to what we possibly did to cause this illness.

DIETS AND GUILT TRIPS

There are raw vegans out there who would tell you that they only get sick when theyeat a cooked food. There are low-carb paleo disciples who will tell you that a baked potato was the cause of their flu. Again, the challenge we all face in this information-overloaded world we now live in is that we have mistakenly put our nutrition onto an insurmountable pedastal where it now is the hero AND the villain. When we are feeling great, it’s because we eat so well. When we are feeling average, it’s because our diet has suffered.

PEOPLE WHO LOOK FOR THE MAGIC BULLET GET SHOT

This quote comes from an interview I did last year with Dr John Demartini (click here to listen to it). It has stuck with me ever since, particularly when it comes to diets. Every single diet out there will tell you that their’s is the best and that their’s will go close to guaranteeing a long life and a disease-free life. Sadly (or happily depending on your point of view), this is not the case, never has been the case, and never will be the case.

If you are looking for a magic bullet, look at your whole ENTIRE life. The magic bullet is the entire jigsaw puzzle, not just one piece. Nutrition is one piece of a beautiful puzzle yet so many of us have been taught to make it the ONLY piece.

Don’t be one of those people. I know I was one of them for at least six years when my food choices (as a vegan) were at the centre of my identity. I didn’t intentionally plan for it to be that way however it became part of me and its consequences are not something that I want to pass on to my children or the people around me. The impact my behaviour around food had on my social life and family life are not worth it. Particuarly when you consider how vital an active social life and family are to health, which I will share more on in the coming weeks.

FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD

I think it’s so important for us to love our food for at least three reasons –

1. Love our food for it’s gift in providing us with nutrients that keep our body functioning
2. Love it for its delicious taste and how good that makes us feel
3. And love it for its ability to bring us close to people we love and can enjoy magical moments together.

THE LATEST FROM THE PODCASTS

IS PALEO THE WAY?

Wellness Couch identity and Australia’s foremost nutritionist Cyndi O’Meara wrote an article this week on the likelihood of the paleo diet taking over the world. Read it here. As Marcus likes to do on the hottest topics in nutrition, he grills Damo on Cyndi’s view.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Until next time, may the rest of your life be the best of your life,
Marcus

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