by Mark Donovan
Read The China Study or don’t at your own peril, seriously. The evidence presented in this book appears as solid as any I have ever seen. Why hasn’t it led to more wide spread action? Why isn’t President Obama declaring a National State of Nutritional Emergency?
The damage being done by the nutritional crisis facing the U.S. right now is an order of magnitude greater than any other threat the country has ever faced. Cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, depression, just to name a few, can all be rendered significantly less threatening by simply making dietary and fitness changes. Simple changes. Inexpensive changes. Meanwhile we are wasting hundreds of millions trying to repair a broken medical system, half or more of which wouldn’t be needed if people consumed an optimal diet. Please read the China Study with an open mind and then try to refute it honestly if you have doubts. But remember, one drop of doubt can be more powerful than an ocean full of evidence.
Based upon research and personal experience I know that the key to optimizing my health is a combination of good nutrition and regular fitness activity. Everyone knows this to be true. So many of us don’t take it seriously. Why? Why did it take me 43 years before I realized that a plant based diet is better for my body, reduces the risk of disease (see The China Study) and is good for the environment. Why did I not exercise regularly between my 20’s and my 40’s?
In May of 2011 as a result of the 30-Day Happiness Challenge that I took, I adopted a vegan diet for one month and since then have maintained a mainly plant based diet. I still eat a small amount of fish and cheese, however, I completely cut out all meat, coffee and most sweets. I don’t drink alcohol or smoke. I also started and have maintained a regular exercise routine that includes running, surfing, yoga and other toning exercises. Here are the results from my annual health screening from 2008 & 2010 (animal based diet / no exercise) vs. 2011 (plant based diet / regular exercise):
|August 15, 2008||October 14, 2010||August 17, 2011|
|Weight||88.6 kg / 194 lbs||86.4 kg / 190 lbs||77.3 kg / 170 lbs|
|Body Mass Index||28 kg / m2||26.9 kg / m2||24.7 kg / m2|
|Respiratory Rate||15 per minute||14 per minute||12 per minute|
|Blood Pressure||110 / 80 mmHg||120 / 70 mmHg||100 / 70 mmHg|
|Cholesterol HDL (good)||54||55||45|
|Cholesterol LDL (bad)||167||130||96|
The major drop in Cholesterol LDL is amazing. I’ve had so much more energy and am feeling great!
In October of 2011 I did a 10-Day silent Vipassana meditation course (see Lean & Vipassana) and since have maintained a 1 hour morning meditation practice. It will be interesting to see the impact of this new element of my health plan on my next screening in 2012.
I am focussing much of my thinking these days on understanding resistance to change and why I do not take more of the simple steps that will result in dramatic improvements to my peace, prosperity, health and happiness. I see the same dynamics at play with health, lean, and vipassana.
Simple Things to Do Today:
1) Stay Hydrated
2) Reduce consumption of animal based foods
3) Reduce consumption of cow milk and other dairy products
4) Reduce caffeine intake
5) Exercise regularly