It seems like everywhere you turn these days there’s some dramatic health transformation story about how so and so was ill and managed to turn their life around when they switched to a plant-based diet.
Kris Carr was diagnosed with an incurable stage 4 cancer back in 2003. But instead of accepting defeat, she chose to eat plants and thrive despite living with cancer.
“My wake-up call encouraged me to make a total lifestyle upgrade inside and out. It taught me how to listen to my brilliant inner guide, brought me back to nature (my church), the garden and kitchen (my pharmacies), and connected me more deeply with the people and animals who set my heart ablaze. I learned that a nutrient dense, plant-passionate diet rules, the Standard American Diet destroys (everything), stress sucks (life-force), exercise is non-negotiable (great for your head, heart, cells and ass-ets), joy is utterly contagious, and having fun must be taken very seriously.”
Rich Roll was a raging drug and alcohol addict, and at the mere age of 31, he had already been to jail and had just started his rehab treatment. Over the next ten years, he gained 50 pounds and was at risk of a heart attack.
After being defeated by a flight of stairs, he decided to change his life for the better. He became a dedicated vegan and started running. He went on to become an Ultraman athlete.
“My life just became about moving up the corporate ladder and getting married and showing up for the boss and paying the mortgage and all that kind of stuff. During that time I lost sight of my wellness. I gained a bunch of weight. I gained 50 pounds. More importantly, I just felt horrible. My energy levels were terrible. I was depressed. I was essentially a couch potato. It took a little bit of a health scare to get me to take an honest look in the mirror and realise that I had to make significant changes in the way that I lived my life.”
I don’t have anything against these case studies. I mean, who doesn’t like a story of triumph where the main character is down and out, facing adversity, and then against all the odds, musters up the courage and resilience to defeat their demons?
These stories are useful in the sense that they inspire those who are in a similar situation to eat and live better. But if we need to sit back and wait for people around us to become sick and inspire us before eating plant-based whole foods, we have a severe problem.
The pain of now or the pain of later?
This is a wake-up call. A wake-up call to those of us who unconsciously walk through life without giving a damn about ourselves. All because “it’s too hard”, or “too uncomfortable”.
“I don’t like cooking.”
“I love meat too much.”
“Organic produce is too expensive.”
“I hate having to shop for food.”
All of this essentially means that right now, you don’t care about yourself and you’re waiting to be motivated by pain.
“I know this KFC chicken bucket is not good for me, but I’ll eat better tomorrow.”
I know this all too well as I was going through the motions, thinking about everything but what I put in my body.
Honestly, I was more concerned about spending as little time in the kitchen as possible. I also hated grocery shopping. I saw these things as a major inconvenience.
Now, I can confidently say that I love preparing delicious plant-based food, and I enjoy going to the markets every Saturday morning.
I like nourishing my body. And no, I wasn’t critically ill before making this decision. I was just a regular guy who happened to watch a documentary that finally connected me with the food I consumed.
If you consider yourself to have a pretty standard diet, by which I mean you mainly consume meat, dairy and processed foods, I challenge you to think about your life as an investment.
Most of us are quite happy to put aside a portion of our salary every two weeks so we can invest in a superannuation fund.
In fact, some governments will help to support your investment by giving you incentives. Nobody pauses to question why you do this.
This is all quite unusual as you would have thought that investing in your health every day, so you can ultimately live longer and healthier was more important?
Stop waiting, stop complaining and stop making excuses. Invest in your health now (not later!) and avoid a situation where you’ll have to overcome extreme adversity.
At that point, it can go one of two ways.
Either you’ll become a hero and join the list of people mentioned above. Kudos to you if you can do it.
But if you go the other way and get defeated, you could potentially die. All because of the choices you made in the past.
That’s what the stakes are. Don’t wait. What are you going to do?
“You don’t have to suffer the depths of alcoholism to realise that drinking too much is bad for you and you probably shouldn’t do it. You don’t have to put on a ton of weight or suffer a heart attack to realise that maybe you should think twice about what you’re putting down your throat. Unfortunately for most people it takes that kind of severe consequences in order for them to change. It’s unfortunate, it’s part of the human condition I suppose but if anything I’m trying to promote this idea that you don’t have to suffer like I did or like so many people did in order to implement some simple changes that could actually make you feel better and help avoid the onset of all these congenital diseases that we’re suddenly experiencing in gigantic numbers with no end in sight.” – Rich Roll