Recently I gave a presentation on Healthy Eating, to a group of retirees at a local fitness center. One of the things I love most about being a Health Coach is giving talks and workshops in the community. I always learn something new about what concerns folks have about eating more healthfully and love the chance to spread a little information and encouragement.
My topic was a basic overview of current popular eating styles and where they fall on the healthy eating spectrum. I talked about vegetarian, vegan, paleo, primal, nutritarian, and pegan diets, and some of the common pitfalls inherent in any strict dietary approach. As I expected, the group was familiar with the first two diets, and a little less so with the next four. Although I was impressed to discover that one participant was doing Whole 30 with her adult child, and another is a Paleo adherent and and avid athlete. It’s never too late to make positive changes to your health!
The thing that really struck me in talking to this group was how interested they were in learning more about healthy eating. I was afraid they might be resistant to the idea that eating better in their 60s, 70s and above is worth the effort of changing decades of routines and learning new tastes and techniques, but they were very engaged and receptive to the information I was sharing. I don’t expect that everyone went home and cleaned out their pantries and made a 180 in terms of nutrition, but baby-steps are still steps.
That presentation got me thinking about how often I hear from people that they’d like to eat better but it’s so hard, or they don’t have time, or it’s too much work. And maybe on some levels it is. What’s ‘too hard’ for one person might be mildly inconvenient for someone else. But as I think about that roomful of women and men who were probably an average age of 74, I can’t help but think that making efforts to eat healthfully NOW is worth every inconvenience, every struggle, and every challenge.
If you are in your twenties or thirties, you have AT LEAST another fifty years ahead of you. That’s half a century. And your health then depends in large part on your decisions now. Even in your forties and fifties, you can decrease, eliminate, or reverse the onset of chronic health issues by making better dietary choices.
Our longterm health and physical condition is 70%-80% the result of our choices and only 20%-30% our genetics. Think about that for a minute. How often do we blame our health on heredity? How often do we absolve ourselves of responsibility for our chronic conditions by saying it ‘runs in the family’? It might indeed run in the family, but that's because you’re perpetuating the LEARNED unhealthy behaviors of your family. Whether those behaviors are dietary, or lack of exercise, or other unhealthy choices you can decide to change for the better. Right Now. Today.
I was so impressed that a bunch of people with 10-20 years left in their lives were still interested in making the most of the time they have, that I can’t help but be energized to inspire EVERYONE to get moving in the right direction. Don’t wait until you get a diagnosis, or a health scare. Don’t wait until you’re 70. Wherever you are right now, that’s the place and time to start making healthier choices and improving your life. Get to it!
I try to fill this blog with helpful information and tasty, easy to prepare, healthy recipes, in an effort to make sure as many people as possible have access to ways to improve their lives. That’s my goal with the podcast as well and now with the YouTube channel. Let me know what you’d like to read, watch, and hear about—and I’ll do my best to cover it!
If you’d like one-on-one help, I have a few slots available for coaching clients, just click on the Coaching tab and we can get started working together. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll see those positive results.
What’s one thing you can change today to positively affect your health? Tell me in the comments section!