Habits are things we do every day that impact our lives in either a positive or negative way. How many of our daily habits really don’t serve us very well? And yet, we continue with them because that is what we have always done. In many ways following the path of routine is much easier than trying to change it up. Sometimes, we want to change a habit but when we try, we do not stick with it and become discouraged with the effort.
If you are anything like me, at times, it is easy to justify deviating from the habit or goal that you are trying to accomplish. Before you know it, the new habit is toast and we are right back in the same routine that we were trying to break out of. So many of the better habits that I have tried to form over the years were based on something that I thought would be a good idea, or that I should do but it turns out I lacked a deeper conviction. Being skinny or looking good in clothing or a swimsuit was never really enough to hold me over for a long-term lifestyle change.
Dr. David Perlmutter’s book, “Grain Brain” truly resonated with me and helped me to form a more clear vision of the path that I preferred to be on. He made it clear to me, through his experience and research as a neurologist and nutritionist, that disease, for the most part, is not just like an unlucky lottery ticket that may strike us. It is lifestyle choices that are the basis for our future health and wellness. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and early-onset dementia are just a few examples of conditions which can be avoided by lifestyle change. When we assume personal responsibility and make informed decisions on lifestyle and habits, it empowers us in a profound way. These decisions can lead to a more fulfilling and higher quality of life now and in the future.
While it is true we all live within a genetic framework, genes can be dramatically influenced by lifestyle choices. Identical twins who clearly have the same genetic structure may have a completely different outcome in their overall health picture due to lifestyle choices. If one twin subscribes to the standard American diet full of processed foods and daily inactivity, this dramatically increases the possible onset of disease, perhaps even at an early age. Conversely, if the other twin is conscious, aware, and subscribes to a balanced lifestyle of healthy choices, this significantly increases the likelihood of a good overall health picture and can lead to longevity and fulfillment.
It is this deeper value of wanting to avoid diseases, which are striking people in epidemic proportion at earlier and earlier ages, that has become the foundation of the lifestyle that I now live. I struggled to give up my addiction to sugar and replaced sugar with honey and maple syrup. When I realized that I was just as addicted to those sweeteners as I was to sugar, I again struggled to progress further. Any food that we consume, including beverages, that spike our blood glucose level repeatedly throughout the day is promoting inflammation within our body and leads us down the pathway to potential disease.
The keto/paleo way of life that I now follow is very liberating! What’s that you say? It sounds like miserable deprivation? Friends, I am here to tell you, I truly do mean liberating! I feel fantastic the majority of the time! The highs and lows of energy and moods have evened out. This is largely due to giving my body the nutrition it desires and eliminating the rise and fall of blood sugar throughout the day
The psychology of allowing myself permission to eat anything that I choose at any time helps me to never feel deprived. I can enjoy the company of others while they indulge in their favorite dessert and know that I could have some too. Then I remember how I used to feel when I ate that way all the time and it is now easy for me to take a pass. I do indulge in dessert from time to time though, like my favorite gluten-free Italian cookies on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can tell you 2 things about that. First, it does not always taste as good as it did when I was eating sugar regularly and second, it takes several days to get that out of my system and for my body to feel at its optimum level again.
I believe that, in finding your deeper purpose and more substantial value, you will be empowered to form habits that will lead you to that place that you can envision yourself to be!
Here are three brilliant medical professionals who inspire me. They share a wealth of supportive information through their books, podcasts, and YouTube channels. Please indulge!
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