Who Has Your Back?

This past week, I attended a conference on Reader’s Workshop Structure in Secondary English. The presenter began by inquiring about our teaching beliefs. Then, she asked who the experts were that supported our beliefs.

Dang! Very, very thought provoking.

Arriving home that afternoon, I couldn’t stop thinking about my beliefs and ‘who had my back’. I couldn’t wait to go out for a run and do a little reflecting on just that topic. But, somewhere on my run, I got sidetracked, and my thinking shifted from my beliefs about teaching to my beliefs about health. (That sidetracking thing tends to happen from time to time.)

Were there expert voices that supported my beliefs about health? Was there reliable research out there?  Science doesn’t lie, but results are often taken out of context or exaggerated, so studies need to be conducted by different researchers and funded by different sources in order to be reliable.

Could I do it? Could I find the experts who ‘had my back’?

That night I made a list of my beliefs. And I’ve spent the last few days searching for those experts.

I believe…

there are 4 components of physical health: diet, exercise, spirituality, and sleep.

They work together as a team. One does not have greater importance than the others. Ignore one, and the others are affected. For example, if you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more grehlin (aka the hunger hormone), which increases your appetite.

a diet is what you eat, not something you “go on”.

If you can’t maintain so said “diet” for a lifetime, you won’t be able to maintain the results either. So yes, you can “diet” yourself down to a certain weight, but as soon as you go off of the “diet”, you will gain the weight back. (And according to the experts who ‘have my back’, you will gain back even more than you lost.) What can you actually commit to for the rest of your life?

a whole food, plant-based diet is best for you body.

Pretty simple. All your body needs are fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. And the less processed the better.

it’s not about nutrients in isolation.

Your body is amazingly complex. It’s about how the nutrients work together inside your body. Food manufactures like to use the reductionist theory, which focuses on minute details taken out of context. That’s how they get you to buy their product. That’s how they make money. That’s right. They’re using you. Your health is not of their utmost concern.

Besides that, not all nutrients are created equal. Take carbohydrates, for example. Your body needs carbohydrates, just not highly processed carbs like white flour and white sugar. Not only are carbs your number one energy source, but they also help regulate your heart rate, your digestive system and your breathing. So ditch the candy bars and soda, but don’t neglect potatoes, sprouted grain bread or millet.

numbers tell a story.

They provide feedback. You can’t ignore the number on the scale, your BMI, your cholesterol, your triglycerides, or your glucose. Those numbers are telling you something. If a number is not in range, your body is not functioning the way it should be. Something is “not quite right”.

you can’t exercise away an unhealthy diet.

Exercise can burn calories, but it can’t negate the effect that unhealthy food has on your body. You can exercise away the calories of a bacon cheeseburger, but you are still stressing your body by eating it. (And btw, you are going to be logging a lot of miles in order to get rid of that cheeseburger.) It’s not just about what it’s doing to your waistline, it’s about what it’s doing to your heart. Your kidneys. Your arteries.Get the picture?

pills should not be the first resort.

Your diet can be the most powerful form of medication you take. And since prescription drugs are actually a major health risk, due to misuse and side effects, why wouldn’t you try to attain optimal health without medication if at all possible?

There you have it. These are my current beliefs that made the cut. Some  I had to eliminate, and some I had to modify. (Apparently I’m not right all of the time. Don’t tell my husband.)

So your turn. What are your beliefs? And who has your back?



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