I often find myself talking to patients about some lifestyle changes that can have profound benefits in terms of pain reduction, energy levels, blood pressure, and overall health. I would be happy to help anyone reach their health goals, since that is what I enjoy the most about being a chiropractor. The ability for my patients to heal is precisely why I walked away from turbine engineering and went back to college to be a healer. Turbines don’t heal.
I am not going to try to describe the “perfect lifestyle for health” here. That doesn’t really exist. But there are common components that would include methods to, among other things, be sure you
- Reduce toxic exposure
- Ensure adequate water intake
- Ensure adequate sleep
- Improve and maintain cardiovascular fitness
- Protect your brain and mental health
- Protect your digestive system health and immunity, and
- Ensure adequate nutrition
That said, the lecture I repeat too often is typically directed at commercial drivers who are not preserving their health and wondering why their ability to maintain their commercial license is so challenging. On the other hand, I often have people coming in for pain relief – you name it: back pain, neck pain, hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, even fingers and toes – and they get frustrated because they don’t understand why they hurt or why it seems like they are “suddenly falling apart”. If this is sounding like you, please do not be embarrassed. I have been in this position, too. I am not judging you. But I have learned a lot about how much better you can be and how quickly it can happen just by implementing some lifestyle changes. And, really, as important as it is to a commercial driver to maintain their employment, is that any more important than preserving your health, extending your life and enhancing your enjoyment every day?
While all of the factors I listed are important, and I welcome the opportunity to help you with any areas where you need help, the one change that I believe will have the most profound impact is your diet. This is because, directly or indirectly, improving your diet will improve just about all the concerns. What I would like you to consider is changing how you eat. I would like you to switch to a whole food plant-based diet (the acronym for this mouthful is WFPB). No, not permanently!!! Just for a short time. Consider it a 3 month experiment. Just try it for a short time and I believe that you will feel at least 80% better, no matter what your current condition is. And then you will be informed. You will know what it took. You will know what if felt like. You will know how easy or hard it was (it’s not hard). You will know how expensive it is (it actually costs a LOT less). And you will know EXACTLY what the trade-offs were. And then you can choose to go back to what you were doing before. Easy Peasy. No harm, no foul. Limiting your commitment to 3 months is psychologically easier, than “changing forever”. You can do this and you really will be better for it, even if you decide it’s not for you in the long run.
But, please don’t think you can do this without learning a little first. Don’t just start eliminating foods willy nilly or you will risk failing. Learn a little so you can be successful at it for 3 months. Just 3 months! That is all I’m asking. There really isn’t any good reason not to try it.
If I have convinced you, or even if you are not convinced yet, but just curious… start with a video by Dr. Michael Gregor, MD of his presentation called “How Not To Die”. You can go to it by clicking this link (if your copy of this is digital) or you can find it on YouTube.com by searching for “How Not To Die Dr. Michael Greger, MD ”. Pretty catchy title, yes? You will know you are seeing the video you want when you scroll down the search results and see this preview picture:
Side Note: I picked this video because it is NOT a propaganda video.
- Yes, the animal meat industry has severe climate impacts but this video does not include Jane Goodall and doesn’t even mention it.
- Yes, the animal meat industry treats livestock horrifically, but this video has no PETA contributors and doesn’t even broach the subject.
- Yes, the worldwide fishing industry is decimating the oceans but that is not in this video
This video is really just about what a WFPB diet will do to help you get and stay healthy. If nothing else, you will better understand what your vegetarian and vegan and WFPB friends are doing and why.
If you are not convinced yet, please watch this shorter video by Dr. Neal Barnard, MD. Search on YouTube.com for “Why Go Vegan? Barnard”. Yes, another “why” video, but it is helpful to get another perspective and explanation and Dr. Barnard really has invested a lot of energy into helping you with free tools and information for beginners on the “how” part of this experiment including the first link in the additional resources listed below. The video you are looking for has a preview image that looks like this:
If you have doubts about the ability to get the nutrition you need to perform at a high level, you do not need to worry. In fact, you will find this next video fascinating. It is available with a Netflix subscription or an Amazon Prime subscription (among others), but at this time (no guarantees here), it is available free with a YouTube search or at the link below:
Finally, here are some resources for you that will make things easier:
- https://kickstart.pcrm.org/ a resource for beginners by Dr. Barnard
- https://nutritionfacts.org this is a great informational website by Dr. Gregor
- http://forksoverknives.com this has a lot of recipes, a meal planner subscription service which is cool, and a lot of other great information.
Oh yeah, another great tip for you… Get adjusted by a great chiropractor. If you don’t have one, I can recommend one for you 🙂