The Long Run


The Long Run

This month I have been studying the 7 dimensions of wellness. Again. They are

* Physical
* Emotional
* Intellectual
* Social
* Spiritual
* Environmental
* Occupational

I go back to these often, especially when it is time to write an article or start a new endeavor. Funny how there is always something new to discover in any of these aspects of health. They NEVER disappoint.

This week, I am diving into a new endeavor, so I am back digging into the aspects of health.

What’s the new endeavor? Well, recently, I was invited to work with a doctor in Michigan, Dr. Aajay Shah. He is a cardiologist who happens to follow a whole food plant-based, no oil diet. He is also passionate about lifestyle medicine. What a bonus!

We decided to create a podcast based on the dimensions of wellness combined with diet and nutrition. As we plan our collaboration, it is clear that the epidemic Americans are dealing with is low-quality nutrition. It is literally the biggest problem that the average American in the US faces today. Here’s our first episode.

Poor quality nutrition takes so many different forms. It could look like a pattern of eating that is heavy in:

  • sugars
  • fats and oils
  • salt
  • refined, artificial, and processed food-like substances
  • animal products
  • empty calories


or it could be disguised as a diet missing:

  • enough water
  • adequate fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • healthy fats


Poor nutrition leads to almost all of the most deadly illnesses in our country, including obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and some cancers. On top of that, the newest research shows that people who have the chronic illnesses mentioned above are more likely to have worse outcomes if they get COVID-19 illness.

While this is true across all neighborhoods and income levels in the US, the challenges are significantly worse for low income populations, and people of color.

Looking at the issue from the other direction, the US spends $3.3 trillion ($10,739 per person) or 18% of US Gross Domestic Product on Healthcare. It is estimated that by 2050 Medicaid and Medicare alone will account for 20% of the GDP.

90% of this is spent on chronic disease. Most of which is preventable. 

So what do we do about it?

Simple answer. Educate yourself and eat better. Focus on the vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes that pack the most nutrition in every bite. Drink enough clean water to manage your body’s needs – let’s say at least 80 oz per day for an adult weighing 160 lbs. Apply the same plan to your children. Eat and offer kids fruit for dessert, roasted veggies for treats. Do the same for our elders. Eliminate the junk. Avoid the processed fake food-like substances. Stop supporting fast-food places. Spend those dollars in the produce section of the grocery store or at a farmer’s market.

These small acts of kindness directed toward yourself and your loved ones could make a palpable difference in the long run. In addition, they would likely result in you being around for the long run and able to enjoy it.

You know what I mean?

Check out our resource pages for some great suggestions.

All the best for the long run,

Meryl


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