As a child I remember a Colgate commercial saying: “prevention is better than curing,” so we should always brush our teeth properly to avoid cavities.
Since then, I have the feeling that this message has been diluted in the race for corporations, especially Big Pharma and Big Agra to make bigger revenues.
Without digging too deep into the intricate relationships of Governments, Policy Makers, Lobbyists and Big Corporations, the truth is that the link between those who make policies, that should safeguard our health, and those who make products that ultimately damage it, is money.
Big food companies produce food that appeal to us consumers because they are easy, less time consuming and cheap, however they also cause immeasurable damage to the body long-term. Pharmaceutical companies create drug after drug for any little ailment, promoting the belief that we have a “silver bullet” for anything: “just take a pill” whilst instead we are again, causing immeasurable damage to our health. Medical professionals, unless they are functional medicine practitioners, are highly incentivized to push the drugs agenda too and are not educated about nutrition or alternative health care to advise otherwise.
In short: If we rely on external decisions makers to keep us healthy, I am afraid we will be disappointed. The current system is one of disease management, and not health care.
So what if, true health care, the ultimate answer to our health issues, was prevention? What if enough education, true and unbiased information, going back to the roots and remedies of our ancestors were the way forward?
It is and the only way to make this work is to take responsibility! Health care means: caring about health. Prevention means: doing everything possible to maintain a healthy body, mind and spirit, feeling vibrant and having unlimited amounts of energy.
In the ideal preventative and health care system, we would not have obesity and related cardio vascular diseases and huge increases in cancer rates.
So how do we go about prevention? Here five simple steps to get you started.
Take ownership: Taking ownership means being completely mindful about what we decide to do. Ask yourself: “is this beneficial to my health?” “Will it make me happy?” You are completely responsible for the step you are about to take because you thought about it; you applied your mind in full = mindfulness! This is applicable to food, lifestyle, relationships, career… pretty much everything! It might sounds like a big task, but truthfully, it is just about creating a new habit; the habit to check in with yourself and be fully in control of what you decide to do with your life.
Choose from nature: When it comes to food I truly cannot express this enough, but choosing from nature is the most precious advice I can give. No matter how tired or stressed you may be, choose foods that are labels free, that you can see in their true form and, taste and smell as they should. Start creating a connection between your food and your body; knowing that the purest the food, the better the health. Did you know that up to 1980, countries such as Japan, where corporations such as Mac Donald’s were non-existent, Diabetes affected 1% of the population? Yes, only 1%, a strong empirical confirmation that nutrition is the key to health and can prevent diseases.
Create a positive social circle: Have you ever heard of the “Blue Zones”? Dan Buettner, with funds from of National Geographic, traveled across the globe to find what he called Blue Zones. Blue zones are countries or particular areas in some countries, where people live a long and healthy life. Aside from food, he found that one of the key elements to obtaining longevity and health, was to socialize with likeminded people, do things together such as walking, dancing, playing mind challenging games! Places like Okinawa, in Japan, is a perfect example, not only their food remains unspoiled by western influence, but their culture teaches them to be around their peers and grow together, stimulate each other and live in harmony with one another. We all need that and it has actually been proven than a person’s health, even physical appearance is very likely to be similar to people they spend time with! Find your tribe, share amazing and memorable moments together, support each other and grow together.
Take up a spiritual practice: We are spiritual beings in a material world and the core of our existence and health relies on feeling connected to a higher power, the universe around us, and even other people. If you are not into medication or Yoga practice yet, I strongly suggest taking up those practices. Their health benefits have been documented for centuries and they are more applicable now than ever. Our materialistic and fast moving society creates a huge disconnects between our body, mind and spirit, but also other living beings. Most of us live in “auto-pilot” not paying attention to their internal environment, as they should. This disconnect has shown bring disease and challenges, both physical and mental, but we can prevent that from happening. Simply focus on your breath for 10 minutes each day and, eve if you feel you don’t have the time for a full yoga practice, yet, put in 10 minutes for some simple Surya Namaskar (sun salutations). The awareness of movement and breath is an incredible connector between your body and your consciousness, and even more so, your consciousness and the universe. It is this very link that makes you grow as a spiritual being, which we already naturally are, and promotes an alignment of purpose that translate into impeccable health.
Prioritize: Once you create awareness about your options: food, spiritual and physical practice, in addition to friends and loved ones, you can now start deciding what deserves your precious time. One of the biggest causes of disease is stress; that impending feeling that we don’t have enough time to complete our tasks or the pressure to do everything perfectly. We are imperfect creatures and we only have so much time! But that time is precious and deserves us to treat us as such. We owe it to our selves to be selective with our time and prioritize things we truly believe are good for us. Anything else: let go! Just because we are surrounded by technology, giving everyone continuous access to our time, it does not mean we need to. By prioritizing what is important to you, you are also prioritizing your health. Less stress, more time to enjoy what you love and feeling happier = being healthier.
Implementing those five steps to whichever degree you are comfortable with will allow you to accomplish ultimate health. This is what caring for your health truly means and this is why prevention is so important. By doing, thinking and eating what is good for you, you will be preventing negative effects to your mind, body and soul!
Contributor, SERENE Social
Chantal is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Author, Yoga teacher and founder of Live Lean Health and Live Lean TV.
Her journey started 16 years ago after two years long battle with anorexia and 14 yearsdestructive relationship with food, which forced her to then turn her life around due to health issues.
She mainly works with women who seek positive change, physically, spiritually and emotionally, and other clients who want to regain their health and feel their best ever!
Find more about her and events on her website: www.liveleanhealth.com