If you haven’t heard about or seen “What the Health”, a Netflix documentary about our health then listen, you need to watch it. Now (or after you’ve read this). Thanks x
If you have seen it this isn’t going to be a preachy post about plant based diets because, honestly, committing to being a full, 7-days-a-week vegetarian took me over a year, mostly because of my commitment issues, partly because of my weight, so I am in no position to preach.
When I watched this documentary, I wasn’t surprised by anything they showed regarding government funding. I wasn’t surprised to see that the cancer/heart disease/diabetes associations are funded by meat, dairy and even fast food companies. I wasn’t surprised that the diet advice on the cancer/heart disease/diabetes association websites promoted foods that are linked to causing the very diseases these associations are trying to cure (cure, not prevent). All of these things were just being confirmed to me, giving me yet another reason not to trust our governments, but I’m digressing.
What surprised me the most was how accepting people are when they are told to take medication for numerous different things. People just accept that they need to take numerous different pills everyday for the rest of their lives, without questioning it. The people shown in this documentary had so many different bottles of pills. This for blood pressure, this for cholesterol, this for depression, this for pain, this for asthma, this for diabetes, this for side effects, this for side effects of the side effect pills, and I’m not exaggerating this. At what point do you stop and think what can I do about this?
That’s what I find most frustrating, especially in this country where the NHS is struggling because it’s over-worked and under-funded, people not taking control of their own health, people looking everywhere but their lifestyle. It’s hereditary, it’s genetics, it’s all of these uncontrollable elements and nothing to do with what they’re putting into their body on a daily basis. *Wake up!* I shouldn’t get mad but when a lot of people are living reduced lives, in pain, constantly having health issue after health issue, relying on the NHS to fix them but they aren’t looking at their lifestyle it infuriates me, it saddens me and it hurts me that they don’t value themselves enough to look after what they have.
I am in no way the epitome of health, I eat all the pizza, I skip gym sessions, but I listen to my body. If I’ve eaten too much junk my body feels sluggish. When I skip too many gym sessions, my body feels weak. When I fill my body with fruit and veg it feels amazing, so why would I ignore that feeling? Yet that’s what a lot of people are doing. They ignore how their body feels, they blame that feeling on an illness that’s in their genes, they get pills off the Dr (who is there to cure, not prevent), and they carry on until the feeling changes, they go back to the Dr, they get more pills and now this is their life.
Obviously, I’m generalising here. I know that there are people who will follow the healthiest lifestyle and still get sick and need medication. There are people who’s illnesses really are genetic/hereditary and nothing they do will change that, but these people are the minority compared to the people who’s health would improve vastly with dietary and lifestyle changes.
I can’t help but wonder how much more money our NHS would have if the general public took more pride in their health. I’m not saying we should all be vegan gym rats but we should be doing what we can to improve our own health. If that means eating less meat, less fast food and more broccoli then I think it’s a small price to pay compared to heart disease, diabetes or cancer, isn’t it?
The reality is, we get one body to use, and as much as modern medicine can fix it when it breaks, nothing will ensure it lasts as long as possible like a healthy diet will. Educating ourselves on what a good diet really is will literally save our lives. Do your own research, form your own opinions and don’t be blind to what you’re actually eating just because you’ve always eaten it. It took me ages to form my own opinion on what I should be eating, and I’m still learning and trying different things, it’s a process, but my body thanks me for the work I put in, and yours would too.