In honor of what would have been my Mom's 88th birthday today, I wanted to share some thoughts and facts about lifestyle and how they affected her health.
My Mom died at age 50 from heart attacks - she first had a massive heart attack one Saturday morning when we were cleaning her bedroom and then two days later she suffered a minor heart attack which killed her. The doctors never had a chance to perform an angioplasty. Mom had at least three things working against her survival: As a child she suffered from Rheumatic Fever which scarred her heart; she smoked; and we ate a high fat, high sugar, and processed diet. These foods included lots of meat, eggs, processed meats like cold cuts, sausages, Taylor Ham and hotdogs, ice cream, Twinkies, Yodels and even my Dad's favorite: white bread toast with butter and sugar on it.
Back then the Surgeon General and doctors recommended smoking was good for your health. There were no warnings about the foods we were eating. I remember discussions about how all of my grandparents died of some form of heart disease (and since then my Dad died of a massive heart attack years after having a quadruple bypass plus other family members also have also had heart attacks.).
Little did we all know then that family history gives you only a 20-30% chance of dying from the same disease - it is LIFESTYLE that dictates what diseases you contract and whether you ever turn on (and off) those genes.
This level of heart disease in my family history was one of the major factors in why I switched to a low fat, whole food plant-based lifestyle backed in February 2016. I am still on the path heading towards completely healing. With all the disruptions in my life the last year, I have still been maintaining all of the amazing results I have achieved so far. Now that my life is settling down here in Sedona, it's time to re-up my commitment and move the needle more - especially adhering to the part of this lifestyle that helps you heal the fastest - no added sugar, oil or salt. (Not eating meat, eggs and dairy now comes easy for me.)
So I ask you to think about this. What are you doing to change your family history? I'd love to hear your story. And, I'd also love to help you get started with this lifestyle if it appeals to you. Reach out!
Happy birthday, Mom! I am blessed knowing you are always watching over me.