Mehmet Oz, M.D., in his talk at the 2013 Integrative Healthcare Symposium held in New York City, declared that health care in America will bankrupt our nation unless we make changes to our lifestyles. We need to eat better food, move more and decrease stress, he said.
Many clients say it is difficult for them to stay on track. The fast pace and pressures of daily life overwhelm them. Over years, such a life negatively impacts us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. How to stay on track?
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, Michael Pollan’s excellent book, gives a candid assessment of the complex web of scientific, economic and industrial forces shaping our unhealthy food choices. Importantly, he also provides simple methods that will help us all choose better food. One example, check labels; if it has more than five ingredients, it’s heavily processed and nutritionally suspect. He discusses Sarah Lee’s “whole grain white bread.” It has over 40 ingredients, many unrecognizable to anyone other than chemists and food scientists. Is it really food? In contrast, his grandmother’s bread had 4 ingredients – flour, water, yeast and salt.
And what about stress? How do we make wise and healthy choices in the face of pressure to do what is expedient.
Three important stress relievers are exercise, meditation and sleep. Stress wears us down while these strengthen us. Meditation and sleep provide vital rest that restores us for the activity ahead. Meditation also quiets the mind and enhances awareness.
Movement and exercise release pent up tension in the body. At the same time, our body grows stronger so that the challenges of the day are less taxing.
A healthier life is achievable for everyone. It does require change, developing new habits. The rewards are well worth it. What would you pay for extra years of quality life? It’s all available for a minimal financial investment.
A good place to start is with meditation. After 15 minutes of meditation, your mind will be quieter. You will perceive your needs more clearly, make better choices, and be happier. Quieting the mind is fundamental for staying on track in life. Effortless Meditation is part of my personal daily hygiene.
Greg Schweitzer, MBA, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years