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A Mindful Awareness Plan to keep chronic dis-ease away

Updated: May 29

Greetings my friends,


How many of you are familiar with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland?


Do you remember this part?



“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to. Alice: I don't much care where. The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go. Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere. The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


That is what we are talking about here.


Getting where we want to go—or not.


If you want to be like Alice and are content to wander, this blog probably isn’t for you.


This blog is for you if you want to get somewhere—you want to create change in yourself and in the world around you.


I have powerful information to share, powerful and simple. And it begins with awareness.


In order for Alice—or anyone of us to get where we want to go, we need to know where we are.


When you hike—or go anywhere for that matter—do you make a plan?


You probably use a map of some kind, right?


Any goal we have in life whether it’s as glorious as hiking to the top of a waterfall—or as simple as driving to a new store—needs a map. And it starts with awareness of where we are.

I am here. I want to get there.


If I want it badly enough, if I am committed enough, then I am pretty sure to get there—even if the journey looks different from what I expect.


We know that it is in the journey that the magic happens—but we cannot have a journey without a goal and a plan and a map.


And the same is true with our health.


I have a simple approach to share: I call it MAP for Mindful Awareness Plan.


It is simple, not necessarily easy—but also not as hard as you may think.


Today I’m talking about the middle word: Awareness.


I’ll cover the bookend letters in future posts.


Where do our bodies come from?

We are born of the Earth.

Our bodies are made of the Earth.

So, how should we nourish those bodies?

I am proposing a radical notion. That we pull all items off grocery store shelves which contain ingredients our great-great-grandparents wouldn’t recognize.


I mean think about it. Our bodies have not changed since Biblical times. We have the same DNA as our ancestors who wandered the Earth 2000 years ago and yet consider how radically our diets have shifted.


Radically.


The foods we eat today are largely unrecognizable when you consider their origins.


But it tastes good. It’s hella convenient.


Yep.


Consider that a mere 200 years ago the average American consumed 10 pounds of sugar per year. 10 pounds.


That is two 5 pound bags of sugar two of those standard bags of sugar from the grocery store.


Currently, we are eating, on average, 152 pounds of sugar per person per year.


How many bags is that? Almost 31 bags of sugar per person per year.


Let that sink in.


Did you make snow houses or ice houses when you were a kid? Did you make houses out of those red cardboard blocks?


You could build an igloo, you could build an actual structure with those 31 bags of sugar.


152 pounds per year.


3 pounds per week.


What does that look like on a daily basis?


Hold onto your hats.


42.5 teaspoons per day.


There are 19 teaspoons in a 20 oz. Mountain Dew to give you a frame of reference.


But if you don’t do soda or sweetened creamers, where the heck is all this sugar coming from?


I’m going to make up that you’re not putting 42 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee. So, I repeat, where the heck is it all coming from?


Hiding in plain sight. When food manufacturers removed the fats from our foods in the ‘50’s they added sugar to make it tasty.


There’s a whole story there, but that will have to wait for another time. Suffice it to say we are swimming in sugar and it’s frequently not by our own devising.


So how are we supposed to take charge?


Has anyone here ever kept a food diary?


That’s how we find out where the sugars are coming from.


There’s an actionable tip for you:

I invite you to keep a diary of everything you put into your body for three days. Just three days.

This is part of the Awareness piece of your MAP.


We need to know where we are starting from.


And once we know where we are starting, we can make a Plan and move forward.


Awareness is also about information. So let’s get some more of that.


What is that sugar doing to us?


The World Health Organization reported that, in 2002:


“Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide...the mortality, morbidity and disability attributed to the major chronic diseases currently account for almost 60% of all deaths and 43% of the global burden of disease.”

Did you catch that? Across the globe. Chronic diseases account for more than half the deaths across the globe. And almost half of the reasons we’re sick or disabled—keep in mind that this category is going to include all the water-borne illnesses which rampage across some countries.


“By 2020 their contribution is expected to rise to 73% of all deaths and 60% of the global burden of disease.”

What?!


The report goes on to say,


“Moreover, 79% of the deaths attributed to these diseases occur in the developing countries.”

Here in the US, where we pride ourselves on living long and prospering—where we hold our healthcare system high—we are actually leading the way in suffering from Non-Communicable Diseases.


We may have increased our longevity, but we are also increasing the amount of time spent in pain and suffering.


The Lancet reported in October of last year that “the age-standardized rate of health loss has increased by nearly 3% over the past decade.”

We are living longer in a state of disease. Dis-ease.


I imagine that you, like me, prefer to be in a state of ease.


How do we get there?

It is simple, not necessarily easy—but also not as hard as you may think.

It starts with Awareness. So try keeping a log of everything you consume. Everything.


And next week I will give you some more ideas.


Meanwhile, I invite you to reach out to me personally. I am here to champion you to your optimal health.


And I have a few ways to do that.


I welcome you to set up a call with me to see if we’re a good fit to work together.


And if you’re not on my mailing list I invite to that!


Sources:

Microsoft Word - How Much Sugar Do You Eat.doc (nh.gov)

The Lancet: Latest global disease estimates reveal perfect storm of rising chronic diseases and public health failures fuelling COVID-19 pandemic | Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (healthdata.org)

WHO | Integrated chronic disease prevention and control

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