Holistic Habits by Cheryl A. Mothes, Ph.D. Natural Health Nutrition Counselor (3)

There is only one diet that has ever been proven to reverse heart disease, which is one centered around whole plant foods. Heart disease is the #1 reason that you and your loved ones will die – so the ability to reverse it is exciting news! And that is not all it can do – it can also be effective in preventing, stopping and reversing other killers like type 2 diabetes and hypertension. There is a growing movement toward plant-based eating, yet it has been slow. Keep in mind, it took 25 years and more than 7,000 studies that linked smoking to premature death before it was widely accepted. The physician who just became President of the American College of Cardiology was asked why he follows his own patient advice by eating a plant-based diet. He responded that he does not mind dying, he just does not want it to be his own fault:) On this Meatless Monday, you too can be on the leading edge of our country becoming healthier by increasing your plant-slant!

It is estimated that more than a million deaths worldwide every year are linked to low fruit and vegetable consumption! Norway offered free fruit for grades 1 through 10 and the kids ate it up! More importantly, after a year they were still eating more fruit…and even 3 years later! There was also a positive “spillover effect” where their PARENTS started eating more, too. Most importantly, though the intention of the program was not to reduce unhealthy snacks, which is exactly what happened. Giving free fruit to kids was more effective than telling them not to eat junk food. Less than 10% of us get the recommended fruits daily target – so power up YOUR plantified plates with lots of fruits today and have a healthy, terrific Tuesday everyone!

Most people know that eating healthy foods can prevent and even reverse diseases, yet we continue to have an extremely under-nourished and over-fed society. How can we translate our knowledge into action? The motivation to change is the most crucial factor – understanding the need to change. Also, humans rate their own eating behaviors healthier than average individuals, even when their actual habits are terrible. Not only do we overestimate the health of our consumption, we also tend to believe we are somehow at less risk than others who make the same choices. This “optimistic bias” is present when it comes to heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, and all the rest – we think that somehow it happens to others, not to us. Lastly, there is a tendency to think our good genes will protect us (mom and Aunt Betty lived to be over 95), but only 10% of our health is due to genetic factors. What runs in families is habits, good ones and bad ones. By knowing we have personal control over our health and making different choices, we can live longer and live stronger. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Yesterday we talked about the need for motivation to get healthier, and for Dr. Dean Ornish, it is the first question he asks his patients. You may know that he founded the only heart health program that was ever approved by Medicare, and recently co-authored the book, “Undo It”, showing how to reverse diseases. His four pillars are to eat well, move more, stress less and love more. In talking to patients about their motivation, much of it has to do with their dreams and what or who makes them feel most alive – the reasons they want make healthier choices. Once healthier choices are made, he says that most people feel so much better so quickly that it reframes the reasons for the changes from preventing something bad from happening years from now TO a better life now. We can enjoy a wealth of health by asking ourselves why we want to feel better – what IS the motivation? Have a great Thursday everyone!
Yesterday we mentioned Dr. Dean Ornish’s work and how he has found that the overarching thing that enables us to make sustainable lifestyle changes is not fear of dying, but joy of living. If it is pleasurable, it is sustainable, and feeling better fuels those changes even more. James Cameron (you know, the one who directed Titanic and other movies) became vegan years ago and felt so much better that he was able to create and film Avatar 2, 3 and 4 all at the same time. He also is the one who co-created the movie “Game Changers” and it’s a great movie that shows the power of plant-based eating. It would be a great film to watch this weekend. Remember to


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