Will You Change? Why Not?

person-1052700_1280It has been scientifically proven that significant changes in diet and lifestyle can stop and even reverse type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other chronic diseases and even aging. Dr. Ornish does an excellent job of summarizing the case for these changes.

And yet most people reading this will wait until they encounter an event that either takes you to the grave or takes you to the hospital. At that point there will be a massive change in your health and a massive intervention to save you – ie. aortic stent, bypass, etc.

So it’s good to look carefully at the reasons why you would take action before that happens and why you would not.

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 11.33.56 AM

Most people I speak to in the 50+ range say that they’re too old to change their ways – meaning diet, exercise, lifestyle kinds of changes. I’m not sure why anyone who could have 40-50 good years left would say that but that’s what they say.

We resist change of course because we don’t perceive the value of change to be worth it. That means that the items listed on the left of the above table are not highly urgent to the person asked to make the changes.

The only person who can make those items on the left more urgent and powerful is you. I’m clear that unless you do, making massive changes in diet and lifestyle as is advocated by this website won’t happen. Even if you believe you don’t have anything urgent to do, you need to consider the burden that having no reason to change will place on your family.

So perhaps we need to rewrite this table..

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 1.48.45 PM

I can’t say much for negative motivation. I would much rather pull myself up by my bootstraps and pull together a good reason to keep trying and keep changing.

How about you?


Child Obesity, Diabetes, and Cancer are Rising Dramatically – Our Food is Killing Our Children!

Robyn O’Brien has been called the “Erin Brockovich of the Food Industry” – her story began when her daughter had a completely unexpected allergic reaction at breakfast which later turned out to be related to food.

Robyn TED Talk is motivating, inspiring, and full of facts that are more than compelling. I want you to take the 18 minutes it takes to watch it below. But first let me recap some of the facts she will share with you.

Cancel is the leading cause of death for children under 15.

1 in 5 children have a food allergy.

1 of 3 children will be insulin dependent by adulthood.

1 of 10 children have asthma.

1 of 45 children has Autism.

1 of 3 children have food allergies, autism, or ADHD.

The CDC says hospitalizations due to food allergies have increase 275% in the past 10 years.

There are approximately 950 million acres of farmland in America. 1% is used for organic farming. The demand for organic farming products has reached 5% and is growing rapidly. We are importing organic products because we cannot raise enough. The agricultural and chemical companies say that we cannot grow enough food to feed America. Meanwhile farmers say that we throw away over 27% of our crops each year as excess. The GMA, FDA, and EPA are run by ex-chemical company executives or related parties.

There is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs or Roundup because there is no significant research that was not paid for by the industry itself.


The Psychology of Disease

A man hiking alone falls off a one thousand foot cliff and as he falls he grasps a root growing from the shear face of the cliff. As he hangs, he begins to shout, “HELP, HELP ME!!!” and suddenly the clouds part, a light shines down on him from the open clouds, and a booming voice says, “I will help you, simply let go of the root.” The  man thinks for a while and then yells, “Is there anyone else up there who can help me?”

Why when there is so much evidence that disease is curable, preventable, and reversible, would a person continue to accept what they believe to be their fate?

Disease is just as much psychology as it is physiology. If we accept our “fate” then we generally close our ears to anything that sounds like a solution. We believe that having hope when there is none, is more painful than dying.

And if we are told that if we keep eating what we’re eating, we might keep eating it in moderation as if we wished to trade a few years for a meal we shouldn’t eat.

And in some ways we seem to think that living another 30 years disabled, crippled, and dependent on others is the same as living a vibrant, healthy, 30 years where others depend on us.

If we looked into the future and knew that our mild obesity would turn to diabetes, and eventually Alzheimers, would we continue on that path if we really believed it? Naturally, Alzheimers disease psychology is only useful before you become disabled and unable to think.

And the psychology of obesity only allows for solutions before you have developed diabetes and early onset dementia.

Even if we were to realize in our 50s and 60s where the road leads that we’re on, would we really believe it was preventable? Do we believe that we could make a change and turn things around?

Once diabetes sets in, research has shown that IQ begins to decline. The same is true of diabetes. These conditions lead to measurable brain shrinkage.

Do we believe that what we have to do would be too dramatic?

Take a walk once a day for 20 minutes?

Stand up and walk around every half hour?

Stop eating grains, sugar, and packaged foods?

Eat more green vegetables?

Drink more water?

Do these things sound like a world-ending sacrifice?

“But I can’t change.” Does anyone really believe that? Is that an excuse you can use to explain to your children why you’ll be leaving them early?

Or perhaps life is so difficult and stressful that we just decide to give it up and seek the peacefulness of death?

There may be a combination of things that we face all at once – not able to sleep well, in pain all the time, not getting help from our loved ones, not wanting to be a burden, no fun left in life, and facing criticism from our friends and loved ones (mostly unspoken) about why we refuse to take better care of ourselves, eat less, exercise more, and take better care of our appearance. How hard could it be?

As we get older, we fall out of the mainstream and people start to walk around us because we’re moving too slow and talk around us because we’re thinking too slow. The message from the outside world is – you’re done. You’re no longer useful.

Of course psychologists would tell us those thoughts are simply things we make up in our own mind – ways of talking to ourselves that isn’t true unless we make it so. And we know they’re right but we don’t seem to be able to see things any other way.

The thing that really differentiates us as we get older from our children and grand children is the ability to dream, to imagine something better, to think about how things would be if it all worked out great. When we see our children hitting 40 and 50, and we hear them talking about their discouragement with life we stop and wish we could do something to talk them into keeping hope, keeping the faith, looking for the good. Nothing worse than seeing someone who still have 50 good years left saying that it’s over for them. Talking about things they regret not doing or things they regret doing, when they still have 40-50 years left to redo it all.

And it’s especially difficult to listen to children who believe they can’t make a difference in the world and want to give up.

But why do we have such a hard time listening to that from others and entertaining it in ourselves?

I intended to be an inspiration to my family and friends. If I give up now just because I don’t think I’ve done that or don’t think I can, then chances are I never will be an inspiration. Why would I give up so easily when there are many generations at stake and if I give up I’ll simply be a semi-blank spot on the wall who did nothing in particular to remember him by?

Perhaps the psychology of disease is simply giving up our beliefs that we can truly make a difference. When we give up, there is a biochemistry that takes place in our body – it weakens our immune system, makes it harder to digest our food, shuts down the production of new cells including brain cells, and gives our body permission to just continue converting sugar to fat until we can’t function any longer.


Food is Your Miracle Medicine

Funny what you remember when you get to be 70.

I remember walking 5 miles to school in the 8th grade and then playing tag on the school grounds and being the fastest runner in the group.

Later I remember high school track and running the hurdles and the hundred yard dash.

In the air force, I remember walking down the beach from Biloxi Mississippi to Gulfport – it was about 13 miles one way in the sand barefoot and I did it every day. It was really hard to keep weight on in those days. I weight 135 pounds and ate anything and everything I wanted.

Up until I was 50, I didn’t notice that there was anything I couldn’t eat. As we became a little more affluent, we ate in restaurants more often and the food choices got more extravagant and the food portions larger and larger.

I just steadily gained weight every year until one day, after feeling very tired at work, I fell asleep driving home and totaled my car (nobody involved but me thank God) and I walked away OK but got tested for sleep apnea and found that I had it. And of course that’s another contributor to stress and weight gain – and there is a lot of undiagnosed apnea going around as more and more people gain weight.

By the time I realized I was overweight, I was really overweight – well over 200 pounds. The doctor told me I was classified as obese.

For 10 years I followed the low-fat, high carb diet that everyone seemed to prescribe and of course more and more of my meals became processed and packaged foods. And I got hungrier and hungrier and heavier and heavier.

But it took a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome to finally wake me up and start me looking for deeper knowledge than what my doctors and advisors were giving me.

I have learned some important lessons the hard way.

Whole Foods

There are lots of choices for foods and most of them are processed and packaged foods that are no good for me. Even if they seem to have healthy ingredients, chances are the processing, temperatures, and chemicals have reduced the effectiveness of nutrients to almost nothing.

Whole Foods are foods that come directly out of the ground or directly from a ranch or farm.

It doesn’t matter what it says on the label, if you’re reading a label you’re probably not getting whole food.

Organic Foods

Even Whole Foods now have a whole host of new problems. Some foods that come off a farm are infested with Genetically Modified Organisms and some foods carry insecticides and hormones that were used in the farming process and aren’t fit to eat.

USDA Organic Certification provides some assurances but even with that, there are ways that farmers collaborate with the FDA to show you the seal and then give you something else. Buying from small local farmers where you can inspect their practices is the best practice even if they are too small to get the USDA certification you’re better off.

Carbohydrates and Sugar

These foods are not what our bodies were designed to eat. They weren’t even part of our diet until much later in human evolution. As hunter-gatherers, we rarely had access to foods with carbohydrates and therefore our insulin always remained in control and our blood sugar levels were never a danger.

Today, everything placed in front of us and packaged at the super-market is high in carbohydrates. This is what the food industry wants us to buy. It’s also what’s killing us. Just like cows were not designed to eat grains and corn, we were not designed to eat carbohydrates.


This is a condition that occurs when you’re body is in pain or needs to defend itself. You can tell you have inflammation but you become so accustomed to the symptoms that you either ignore them and call them “old age” or you take Advil or Motrin or Lyrica, or something else, just to hold down the effects of inflammation rather than seek out the real root cause and eliminate it.

When your fingers and joints hurt, that’s inflammation. And there are whole variety of different symptoms that signal inflammation. When you’re eating something or being exposed to something that your body has even a mild dislike for, you’ll have inflammation constantly. Fat is not just a layer of tissue, it’s an organ that can produce inflammation all on its own. The fatter you get the more inflammation you produce.

And inflammation damages organs – it’s just a matter of which organ is weakest – the brain, the liver, the kidneys, and pancreas. Any number of symptoms derive from inflammation’s affects on our organs over a longer period of time.

But doctors and scientists have already proven that they can stop inflammation and heal the diseases caused by it using foods that are good from you and that you were intended to eat.