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The Full Yield Blog

The power that's yours

April 17, 2011 | Tags: Exercise , Featured , Food , Fruit , Health , Vegetables | Post comment

The power that's yours

Today's New York Times Sunday Magazine has three articles which together sum up both the most elemental problems and the most essential solutions to our own personal healthcare challenges and to the travesty of American public health. To riff off of Michael Pollan’s oft-cited guidance, Eat food.  Mostly plants.  Not too much, here is a summary:  Avoid sugar. Move as often as possible. Sleep more.

Start with food: the better the quality of our diets, the more energy we have to move and the more we feel like moving.  The better the quality of our diets, and the more we exercise our muscles, the more readily we respond to our bodies’ demands for restful sleep. 

Around and around this health-supporting cycle goes—if only you’ll get it going.

Junky diets create avoidable, useless, and health-depleting physical and emotional stress.  They make us feel sluggish, they interfere with restorative sleep, and over time they make us sick.  Wholesome diets allow us to engage in health-supporting stresses: the stress of active minds, active muscles, and active social engagements. 

Yes, there are a plethora of other problems: too little easily accessible wholesome foods relative to junky foods; unsafe environments in which to be active; an economy in which those of us lucky enough to have work are working most hours of the day and cannot pull time to attend to the rest of our lives. 

This is all true and things will probably get worse before they get better---it has taken hundreds of years for us to be where we are and it will require creativity, collaboration, a massive shift in awareness and placement of value to change the interrelated economic, environmental, social and structural problems from which we are all suffering.

But in the here and now, regardless of almost every kind of circumstance, you have all power you need to make things better for yourself, many times a day: you have the power to choose what to eat. 

Eating well makes us more alive, causes us to want to move, and helps us take real rest.  Eating well is the fastest and surest way to get and increase your power. Make the effort to radically improve the quality of your diet and you’ll fall into an automatically increasing health-supporting cycle, one in which the effort to take care of yourself is less and less about applying your will to your resistance and your circumstances and is more and more about automatically protecting your joy and comfort, one easy choice after another.

It is worth repeating:  Eating well is the necessary first choice in making all the choices that help you get and stay healthier, feel happier, and engage your muscles, your mind, and your heart more fully without thinking.

You can feel better.  You are meant to feel better.  You have the power to choose.