If you were to come into my office and look at my client’s food journals, whose eating do you think is the healthiest? Weight loss clients? Or maybe triathletes? Prenatal clients would be a good guess too but none of these answers are correct. Hands down my most proactive clients are clients who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes or cancer or experienced a life threatening condition. These clients do anything in their power to improve their future health or simply have a future. In a follow up to the “Fat Trap” article the Huffington Post interviewed Tara Parker Pope about her personal struggle with weight. In the article Tara admits to what I just described, “if I had an immediately life-threatening medical condition, I’d drop everything to take care of myself.” She would, most people, like my clients, would.
Why does it have to come to this? Part of it is denial. We know we’re mortal but cannot live our lives fearing cancer or heart attacks, allergic reactions or amputations. That would be paralyzing. And yet any one of us can find out at any time that our health is very different than we thought it was. Let’s pretend this happened. I know it’s not nice to think about but what if you showed up in my office after finding out earlier this week you had cancer. I often see clients in this numb period when they’re figuring out their treatment plans and lining up their “team”. What would I tell you do? It would differ depending on your diagnosis but for starters, cancer loves sugar so we’d look at sugar in your diet. I’m not just talking high fructose corn syrup but agave, honey, evaporated cane juice too. Second, I’d look at the amount of animal protein in your diet and suggest that chicken, beef, pork and turkey be cut way down. And forget that take out salad and grilled chicken, all chicken should be organic and all meat grass fed. All chemical cuisine would be gone- the sweeteners (blue, pink, yellow) and the soda and have you read the ingredients in your gum lately? We’d pack your diet with produce with something green all meals (including breakfast). In the scheme of things, with everything you’d be facing this wouldn’t be that hard.
We think of squeezing in the time to food shop, cook or exercise but shouldn’t it come first? If not, why?