Category Archives: edumakayshun

Ten simple steps to healthier living

  1. Cut out sugar – Nothing has had more impact on my health over the past year than the decision to cut out sodas, sweets, cakes, donuts etc. Watch for “sneaky sugars – even bread has sugar in it. The ugly fact is that sugar is a poison, and it is as addictive as cocaine (which is why so many children won’t eat their vegetables but will happily inhale all the candy that they can lay their grubby little fingers on). This is why I predict that ten years from now we will think of sugar the way we now think of nicotine.
  2. Cut back on starches – God may have created the potato, but the devil boiled, mashed, and added a pint of cream and a pound of butter to it. Pasta, rice, breads, all OK in moderation, but the less the better. Remember that your digestive system breaks down starches into sugar molecules.
  3. Smaller portions, more of them – Human beings were designed to graze on natural, high fibre foods on a continuous basis. Three high-fat-high-sugar binges a way play merry hell with your blood sugar levels and “stretch” your stomach into expecting bigger meals.
  4. Fruits not fruit juices – for me the most stunning revelation was the realization that fruit juices contain more sugar than sodas! Terminate with extreme prejudice. Fruits have the same amount of sugar, but the fiber prevents the digestion of some of the sugar, and slows down absorption of the rest, so you don’t get it all in one hit.
  5. Eat Breakfast – A blend of good fats and protein is best. stay away from cereals (mostly starch) and fruit juices (mostly sugar) as they are not “part of this nutritious breakfast”. This is the most-skipped meal in western culture… and the one meal that should not be skipped.
  6. Eat out less often – There are three things we should minimize consuming: sugar, fat and salt. Paradoxically, there are three things that taste nice: sugar, fat and salt. Restaurants want you to enjoy their foods, so they will improve the taste any way they can, usually by adding… sugar, fat and salt. Once or twice a month is plenty.
  7. Cut back on junk foods – I have not had a hamburger in nearly two years. Wherever possible, I have a grilled chicken sandwich. My heart will thank me later. I would like to thank my doctor for making this possible.
  8. Cook real food with real ingredients – Read the labels: If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, or they read like a chemistry lesson, look elsewhere. Oh, and remember that 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar. So the 39g of sugar in that can of soda comes to almost ten teaspoons of sugar! Ewwwwww….
  9. Drink a lot more water – many ailments can be avoided or minimized by drinking plenty of water.
  10. Stand up and walk! The human body was designed for walking, running and lying down. Sitting was not in the design spec. Sadly, most of us have sedentary jobs that keep us sitting for long periods of time. And we wonder why we have lower-back problems. Walking is the third-best exercise there is (swimming is the second). While in London recently I typically walked four or five miles a day, with peaks of up to nine. No back pain or knee problems. Back at work, I am lucky to get three. Predictably, aching knees and back pain have returned. Make of that what you will.

Some preach “All things in moderation”, but the fact is that you can survive without “empty calorie” sugars and starches that we were not designed to consume in large quantities. As for me, my weight is down, my belly fat is GONE and my waistline is back to where it was a quarter of a century ago.

A tribute to Missouri’s only firefighter