Sunday, February 17, 2013

Power to choose

We live in a busy world and we are always on the rush.  Because of this we  frequently skip breakfast in the morning but then reward ourselves by super sizing the combo meal at lunch time. Several times a week we consume meals with enormous amounts of sugar, sodium, and trans fats. In addition our jobs require that we sit behind a desk all day long with little or no exercise at all.  But unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. What is happening with our families?  Do you know what is inside your children lunch boxes or what kind of food is offered at the school cafeteria? Over time, these are some of the main causes of obesity and diseases such as diabetes, heart problems or even stroke. Did you know that diabetes is the number one disease here in El Paso affecting more than 85,000 people? (El Paso Diabetic Association, 2011). In a city of 830K people that is roughly almost 10% of the population.

Is there anything we can do to help revert this situation?  Absolutely.  We can start by bringing awareness. If you are reading this blog chances are that you are interested in being part of the solution, and for that we want to say thank you.

To more specific actions, let’s start with small goals which in time will let you accomplish bigger goals.  Last time we spoke about consciously changing our eating habits, so let’s apply what we’ve learned so far.  If you want to eat healthier and feel better about yourself please remember that you have the power to choose what you put into your body. You can decide what is good for you and what is not. So in a very simplistic way you can start by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Choose to eat your chicken grilled instead of deep-fried or ask for steamed veggies instead of the loaded baked potato.  Avoid diet soda, because artificial sweeteners cause more damage than good to your body (you are better off drinking iced tea with a couple spoons of real sugar than drinking any dietetic beverage).  Every time you make a decision at a conscious level you can be proud of yourself because that means that you are in total control of your actions. And this is valid even if for whatever reason you choose to eat junk food, because you are completely aware of the consequences of the choice you made... And that is OK, because perhaps you are already thinking in walking an extra mile to compensate for the poor choice.

If you can do something as simple as that, you already won your first victory. Now  pass the message to your loved ones. Let’s start changing El Paso.

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