Hello all. My February blog theme is “heart to heart”-exploring the connection between heart health and heart-felt health.
First off,let’s deal with nutrition and the ever changing advise we get from “the experts” and our government. And then,we will consider the role of societal fear and stress on well-being.
Many of us try to do the right things such as:eating nutritious food,exercising regularly and reducing stress. Correct?
Despite our efforts,statistics tell us that 65% of American’s are at least twenty pounds overweight. Each year billions of dollars are spent on diet programs,supplements,health clubs,and exercise equipment,yet the statistics remain unchanged. Heart disease and diabetes are rampant and the cancer plague continues. Obesity in children is on the rise resulting in an astounding number of our dear young having high blood pressure and juvenile diabetes.
So,what’s the deal? Well,there are many experts who point the finger of blame at the fat we consume. Others say it is our consumption of carbohydrate-laden food. Just last week,our government changed the food pyramid–again! Oh,and then there is the whole gluten-free movement,the vegans and juicers. Confused? No wonder. Stressed out? Of course.
Experts can’t even agree on what is an ideal heart healthy number for total cholesterol and the ratios between LDL,HDL and Triglycerides.
What is the answer?
I believe it is that powerhouse word called “moderation”. Most of us do not sustain extreme changes in our routines and habits. When we try to become a vegetarian but adore a thick,rare steak on Friday night,it is likely that a juicy hunk of rib eye shaped tofu is not gonna fly for long!
The Buddha,while seeking his enlightenment experienced the contrast of enormous power and wealth and the aesthetic life of poverty and self -denial. As he starved himself he noticed that he was closer to death than the illumination of Truth. Abandoning the extremes,at last he was granted his coveted enlightenment. He found it in the middle way. Moderation,a balancing point between the extremes
I invite you to consider abandoning extreme diet plans and exercise programs. Have they ever worked for you,long-term? Instead,using the middle way as your guide,eat what you love and what are not your favorite,but very nutritious,foods in moderation. If you read my January blog you know which foods are heart and body healthy (if you want a copy of my list of super foods you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email it to you).
Commit to walking 20-30 minutes 4-5 times per week instead of investing hundreds of dollars on a gym membership,often never used after a few weeks. Find a walking buddy-that’s even better!
Gain can be made,without pain,in the middle way. Try it. What do you have to lose?
Next blog we will explore the effects of stress on heart health,our general well being and how to transform our thinking about stress.