Simple Steps to Better Health Starting Today – Guest Post by Terry Reilly
I am extremely honored to share a series of three blog posts by a health enthusiast who made amazing changes over the last 13 years and whose health benefited in astounding ways. He also happens to be my beloved husband. Thanks to Terry for taking time to share what he’s learned through the years and to encourage others to make positive changes.
Have you ever felt that some awful disease is your fate? I have. I have plenty of friends who believe it
too. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and the list goes on. It seems like a forgone conclusion that one of them is going to “getcha.” We could treat those thoughts with therapy, but there is a better way.
Why do some people live a great quality of life, disease free, and some don’t? The answers lie in a few key areas where our daily actions truly make the difference. Anyone can live the quality of life they desire. Why do I believe that? For the last 13 years I’ve been my own laboratory. I’m living proof. And the results are good.
What happened years ago were several things. I married the love of my life who is a Naturopathic Doctor, Certified Nutrition Counselor, Master Herbalist, energy practitioner, and more. With her loving guidance I embraced natural living. I started making different choices daily and in a short period of time, I noticed some very positive changes.
You may say, “You were born with good genes” or as my medical doctor loves saying, “In life sometimes you just have to be lucky”. My family tree includes lots of big bad diseases that have taken root including emphysema, hypertension, lupus, various cancers, diabetes, renal failure, arteriosclerosis, alcoholism and mental illness. Plus, as a teen and adult, I really didn’t take very good care of myself. My life choices turned my body into a ticking time bomb looking for a fuse and a match.
At the ripe middle age of 47, I started to simply change the choices I made about my health. I emphasize simply. Here’s how you can too with easy steps that work for anyone at any age.
Welcome to Natural Living 101: Mind, Body & Spirit. Simple and effective. Part 1—Food.
- Start with better food. Become a label reader. Before you buy it, look at the ingredients list. When you see words and chemicals you can’t pronounce, that stuff just flat out can’t be healthy for you. Preservatives and colorants are there for shelf life, convenience and let’s face it, the manufacturer’s return on investment. Instead, invest in yourself and your family’s well-being. It’s your body and your money. Pay now or pay later.
- Choose simpler options. Move away from processed foods to fresh. From food shipped from afar to grown locally. Choose organic whenever available. These choices will not only pay off in better health, but as more families demand real healthier foods, the greater the supply will be. That’s a good thing.
- Eliminate less healthy foods cold turkey (pun intended). My first simple step was cutting out all soft drinks. Other things I eliminate included fast food restaurants (ones with CO2 clogged drive throughs), salty and sugary processed snacks, energy drinks, sweeteners that come in little colored packets (they’re all hideously unhealthy), plain old table salt (replace with natural Celtic or Himalayan mountain salt). Reason for going cold turkey is you’ll have to replace these bad foods with better ones, so this simple step is a reinforcing one.
- Don’t beat yourself up. When you fall off the wagon, and you will, don’t beat yourself up, simply restart your commitment. Within a few short weeks, you will find you’ve lost your craving for junk. When you do eat differently, you’ll find the taste of junk food will frankly be disgusting.
- Share the journey. “Are we there yet?” Parents, remember we are the ones ultimately responsible for our children and families. Making the move to better food can be a beautiful journey with real and lasting benefits. So talk about it. Often. Speak the truths you’ve come to learn with love and conviction. Patience, listening and involvement overcome resistance. Start with your spouse or partner first, then the kids.
- Remember what food really is. It’s fuel. Fuel for your body. Our cars have fuel quality requirements that when ignored can lead to a breakdown or costly repair. Why treat your wonderful body with any less respect?
- Remember that bad choices may be destructive. Unhealthy food usually causes disruption and inflammation in our body’s systems. Inflammation is the cause of many serious and deadly diseases. Fresh organic, non-processed foods enable bodily systems to work as they should, particularly our amazing immune system and metabolism. Fresh organic food supercharges the immune system which is our disease fighter!
- Exercise your free will. The bill of rights and constitution of the good old USA guarantee us many liberties. Processed food in the grocery may be FDA approved and declared “safe,” but the FDA doesn’t do longitudinal studies on the safety of processed foods. However, as certain as I’m sitting here at my keyboard, I can see that people eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) are, in fact, less healthy with each passing generation. We have seen the enemy and it’s processed food. Use your freedom to learn what better foods are and choose them.
Start today with simple steps. You’ll be glad you did. Simply put, the food our great grandparents ate prior to today’s chemical processing made their disease rates lower than those of today’s generation. It’s true. I’ll be 61 years old this year and I’ve never been healthier. I don’t get sick, nor do I expect to.
Stay tuned for Part 2—I hate to exercise, but I love movement. Pursuing living the quality of life you desire and deserve.
Terry Reilly is happy to be a transplanted Hoosier. A friend and the Indy 500 brought him to Indianapolis in 1978. His love of natural health began about 13 years ago. He’s a graduate of the Boston University College of Communication. A family man with four adult children, Terry enjoys movies, the arts, motorcycling and community service. He currently works as Executive Director of The Miracle Ride Foundation, Inc. and you’re invited to connect with him on LinkedIn.
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