Adding life to years.
I've been having a busy old time. Just under a month ago I left my job in paediatric diabetes and joined the overweight and obesity lifestyle services for Cambridgeshire: it's very exciting, inspiring and also, sobering. Working in mainstream healthcare, while knowing there is a different way to grow older for most of us (good nutrition, movement etc), is a daily reminder of how good health really is the ultimate gift: cherish your body and its daily miracles.
I see a lot of morbidly obese patients - knees, joints and organs buckling under the pressure of excessive weight, in indescribable pain and on multiple medications. One patient, on a decades long diet of only soft drinks and confectionery (literally), was told by a doctor that her conditions were degenerative and that they would only get worse. She then tried to kill herself in utter agony as to why and how she befell such a fate.
How can such a statement be made to somebody who is not nourishing their body in any way? No vitamins, no minerals, no antioxidants, no protein, no fibre, no high quality carbohydrates, no healthy fats? Of course the body will continue to degenerate with no nutrition. But what of the healing that can occur when the right nutrients and movement is provided? I don't believe in degenerative disease unless everything has been done to try to utilise the body's inherent wisdom of its natural healing pathways: proper nutrition, fresh air, sleep. sunshine, laughter, stress management and lots of love. We all will die - but hopefully in peace that our life has been long, productive, mobile and delicious. To coin a phrase I first heard from Dr. David Katz: We want to add life to years, and years to life.
I watch this healing in my clinics: This week's happy clinic moments have included a child of six off reflux medication for the first time since he was a month old, a lovely woman in remission from ulcerative colitis and a chronic fatigue patient back to exercise, work and good, vital energy. Do not underestimate the power of good nutrition. I tell my friends that each and every healing experience moves and excites me to my core.
Dr. Terry Wahls is a lady who awes me in how she recovered from severe MS using strong nutritional and lifestyle medicine. Please get a cup of tea and watch this video.
And eat your greens! Happy weekend all :-)