Introducing a new monthly health column
For most of my adult life, I have struggled with my weight despite the fact that for over 20 years I have counseled and guided others. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the knowledge or resources. It had more to do with lack of discipline and my mindset in the areas of my understanding.
Last year I decided to take control of my life, which included living healthier. This decision was necessary as I looked at leaving a legacy not only for my family but for the community in which I have served over the years.
I would like to take you through my journey in hopes that you may find hope and strength in building your own legacy. There were three changes that I needed to get started on this journey.
First was eating more vegetables, more vegetables and even more vegetables. I was eating up to 12 cups of vegetables every day.
Second was that I had to greatly reduce my complex carbohydrate intake. This was difficult because that meant not eating any bread, cereal, rice, potatoes or pasta. For me it was better to totally eliminate them.
This was helping to change the mindset or habits I had developed over the years. Was it easy? No, but it was necessary.
Finally, I had to stop drinking sodas and juices. This was also very difficult because I love to drink my calories (what a nasty habit). I replaced them with water. I found myself drinking one gallon or more of water daily.
After a while it became a habit. I didn’t even think about it; it just became a way of living. After about six weeks, I had more energy, less pain in my feet and knees and the biggest success I had was that I had gone down two dress sizes in six weeks.
I learned firsthand how successful I could be at living healthier and longer in such a very short time. I would like to summarize briefly how these first three steps were helpful in taking action to becoming healthier.
First, vegetables are one of the most natural foods and they contain different vitamins, minerals and thousands of other plant chemicals. Vitamins regulate metabolism, and vitamins convert fat and carbohydrates into energy.
Some might ask, “Then why can’t we just take vitamins?” To that I say vegetables are the most natural way. Please do not hear me say that vitamins are not important, but they are to compliment, not supplement, eating vegetables.
Increasing my water intake helped to transport nutrients and oxygen into my cells, increased metabolism, and helped to absorb nutrients better, detoxify (get rid of toxins), and protect and moisturize joints.
For this next month, I would like to leave you with these the steps to practice:
Eat at least 8-12 cups of vegetables daily.
Drink at least one gallon of water daily.
Eliminate or reduce complex carbohydrates. This includes bread, rice, pasta and potatoes.
Pam White is a nurse practitioner and founder of the Health Empowerment Resource (HER) Center. She welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.