Good morning dear readers and welcome back to kenbaxter.com! I am Ken Baxter of Las Vegas and today is Friday, February 13th, 2015. Tomorrow is a very special day celebrated by many people around the world, so I’d like to be the first to wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day! If you’re like me, you’ve spent hours picking out the sweetest card, the freshest roses, and the most thoughtful gift for your loved one on this special day. After all, it is vital to recognize the special people in our lives who nurture and nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits each day. Not only is it an important day to cherish those we care about, but it’s also a great time to reflect on ourselves! What do you appreciate about yourself? What habits would you like to change? How can you be your best, work harder, or achieve more each day? Let this be a time to take charge and seize the moment; no one can change you but you!
Let’s face it, we all have challenges in our lives and no one is perfect. Some people struggle to manage their weight, conquer an addiction, overcome a financial hurdle, or control their anger. Our goal in self-improvement is not to be the best at everything, beat an opponent, or win a race but to overcome the specific hurdles which hold us back from being our best selves.
A critical component of being our best selves is staying healthy and fit. When you’re ill, all you are focused on (and rightfully so) is wishing you’ll feel better. If you’re stuck in bed with the flu, are you monitoring the latest stocks you should be investing in or miserably waiting for that headache and stuffy nose to go away? When you aren’t worried about nagging health issues, you have the freedom to conquer all sorts of personal and professional goals. You know what they say: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
One of the most important ways we can prevent illness is by nourishing our bodies instead of treating it like a garbage dump. Hamburgers, pizza, doughnuts, and other fast food and processed snacks may taste delicious, but they don’t offer much more than fat, sugar, salt, calories, and lots of chemicals. John Robbins, author of “Diet for a New America, Reclaiming Our Health and The Food Revolution” and writer of a brilliant Foreword in “The China Study” by Dr.’s T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell, spells it out very clearly. “If you are like most Americans today, you are surrounded by fast food chain restaurants. You are barraged by ads for junk food….It’s easier to find a Snickers bar, a Big Mac, or a Coke than it is to find an apple.”
What nutrition gurus like John know is that we are living in a “toxic food environment”; a setting which fosters and promotes obesity and unprecedented junk food consumption. An ambiance of magazine ads and TV commercials filled with Oreos, Twinkies, M&M’s, and Frosted Flakes encourages even the youngest viewers to eat candy and sweets instead of broccoli and carrots. In America, we live in a toxic food environment every day!
“The inescapable fact is that certain people are making an awful lot of money today selling foods that are unhealthy. They want you to keep eating the foods they sell, even though doing so makes you fat, depletes your vitality and shortens and degrades your life. They want you docile, compliant and ignorant. They do not want you informed, active and passionately alive, and they are quite willing to spend billions of dollars annually to accomplish their goals. You can acquiesce to all this, you can succumb to the junk food sellers, or you can find a healthier and more life-affirming relationship with your body and the food you eat,” says Mr. Robbins.
It’s nearly impossible to escape the enticing ads surrounding us every day, yet we can overcome the urge to fall into the trap of unhealthy eating those junk food commercials promote. Giving your body what it really needs in the form of fruits, vegetables, grains, and other natural foods is where the “money” is, in terms of staying healthy. Getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals is known to not only strengthen your immune system, but can also curb depression, help maintain a healthy weight, strengthen bones and joints, and keep your vital organs functioning optimally. Not only that, but adding healthy foods to your diet may help prevent long term serious illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension, which often require medications to control, leaving you a slave to the prescription drug industry, which only wants you to stay ill so you can keep them in business.
The good news is, eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up every indulgence you enjoy either. Moderation is the key to any change in diet, especially if you plan to stick to it! Like anything else, if you take simple, small steps you are more likely to incorporate them successfully into your daily life. It is estimated that about 95% of diets fail and most people who lose weight will regain it in 1-5 years. Yet if you make small adjustments, like eating apples and bananas instead of chips and cookies at snack time and incorporate a pattern of daily exercise, you will have already made huge strides in managing your health. Remember, small changes can lead to big transformations!
Whatever you do, do not give up! If you falter in your diet, you are not a failure. Just try harder the next day. After lunch, take a walk around the block. Leave that slice of cake for someone else. Every day that you make a proactive choice to eat natural, healthy foods instead of processed foods and snacks is a day closer to your optimum health!
The most valuable asset you have in life is your health. Without that you have nothing. Changing your eating habits will not only transform your body, but you’ll look better and feel better too! There is no time like the present, so resolve to make today the first day of the rest of your healthy eating lifestyle!
With very best wishes,
Ken “Rocket Man” Baxter
Photo: Ken Baxter hiking at Crystal Cove in Southern California
Created by: Ken Baxter
Blog Written by: Jennifer Acevedo as told by Ken Baxter