As any nimrod could have predicted would happen, my parents are getting older.  My dad is really feeling his age and has had a few health issues.  There’s a laundry list of things he can and cannot do.  Typical with American medicine, he’s overtreated for symptoms rather than causes with enough meds to probably kill a man, if he was of a mind to die slowly and horribly.  I’m pretty sure half of the meds he’s on were prescribed to address the side effects of the first half.  

Now imagine for a second having a Dietitian in the family.  Family members are convinced every molecule of food and drink is being judged for its macro and micronutrient content by said Dietitian, quite sanctimoniously (cause what are they gonna be, NOT sanctimonious?!?).  They are always poised to defend every bite, usually with teeth bared, spit flying, and some growling involved.  I can only speak for myself here, but I actually rarely notice until someone asks or brings it up, usually in whiny voice “You probably don’t approve of this, do yooooouuuuuu?”  To which I’m thinking, “What makes you think I give a rat’s ass?”.

I digress.  Back to my dad.  He gets infusion treatments to reduce his chronic inflammation.  The chronic inflammation causes a host of problems, to include horrible back pain and peripheral neuropathy.  The neuropathy in his feet affects his balance, since he’s not really aware of where his feet are in relation to the floor.  The balance issue has caused him to fall a few times.  Now that would be a big deal for a guy his age anyway, but specifically bad for him because both times he’s fallen in the last year, his artificial hip has dislocated.  Like I said, a few health issues.

 

So I’m sitting with him during one of his infusion treatments and he and I are having the Dietitian/Parent talk.  He takes the expected defensive stance after donning a full set of old English armour and say’s “You just want me to live forever, but what’s the point if I can’t enjoy it”.  I immediately replied, “I don’t care how long you live, I care how WELL you live.”  It was lucky I even understood him to reply anyway because that Old English Armour is super echoey.

Now I should point out that the “enjoyment” I was questioning and he was defending is soda, particularly A&W Root Beer.  Root Beer clocks in at a whopping 45 grams of sugar per serving, so yeah, I had a little bit of a problem with it.  That’s 9 teaspoons worth of sugar!  No one in their right mind would spoon out 9 teaspoons of sugar in their coffee, that’s crazy!  Besides, your arm would get tired after about the 6th teaspoon.

I wasn’t trying to just mouth off to my incredibly stubborn dad who drinks soda like a little kid.  OK, I sorta was, but I was specifically bringing it up because high sugar consumption causes chronic inflammation – the whole reason for those infusion treatments.  He’s cancelling out the months-long benefits of the infusion treatments for a 5 minute “enjoyment” of a sugar bomb.  That’s like banging your head against a wall and then complaining of a headache.  I think he got my point, but he sure wasn’t happy about it.

My dad is not an exception.  A lot of people bang their head against a wall and bitch about the resulting headache.  They drink soda and wonder why they can’t lose weight.  They eat all of their food out of boxes and complain of having no energy and feel achy.  Most people are looking for quick fixes, the holy grail of health, fitness, and fat loss.  But “the rules” of living a long, lean, healthy life are actually pretty simple and only require that you not live like a 2-year old, always wanting “treats” you can fish out of a box.  We give these same rules to all of our Transformation Challengers:

·        Avoid highly-processed packaged foods like cereal.

·        Eat plenty of high protein foods, designing each meal around your source of protein.

·        Eat 5+ servings of veggies & non-tropical fruits per day, as many colors as possible.

·        Eat plenty of healthy, high quality, unprocessed fats (avocado, salmon, nuts and including coconut oil).

·        Eat whole, quality, unprocessed carbohydrates (cruciferous veggies, beans, leafy greens).

·        Avoid all trans-fat (fake, man-made fats).

·        Drink plenty of water (½ your body weight in ounces of water daily).

·        Eat fatty fish (salmon, cod, sardines, etc.) 3x per week or take a quality fish oil supplement.

·        Maintain insulin sensitivity by avoiding sugary foods – no more than 5g for a single item, no more than 25g per day.

·        Follow 90/10 Lifestyle – 90% good, 10% naughty

·        Don’t smoke.

·        Keep your alcohol intake low.

·        Eat slowly and mindfully.

·        Move! Move at least 30 minutes EVERY DAY.

·        Get 7-9 hours of good-quality sleep EVERY NIGHT.

·        Reduce stress.

·        Spend time with people you love and who support you.

·        DUMP THE JUNK (that includes bitchass MFs who pull you down rather than build you up).

·        Fill your life with enjoyment and purpose!

That’s it.  Follow the rules above and you’ll definitely avoid all the health issues my dad has, but you’ll also live a long, lean, healthy life!