Dr. Lisa Graham of the Heartland Naturopathic and Wellness Centre in Portage spoke with rotary Tuesday about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and providing a good example for the next generation.
Graham argued that living in North America we have it made. We have time, space, and this beautiful country where we can eat and live like kings and queens. But there are some urgent medical problems that we need to address, one of them being childhood obesity, 8 year olds with plaque in their veins who are popping cholesterol meds.
“This generation of children is the first in the history of mankind that they are suggesting may die before their parents,” said Graham. “There is urgency for you to be role models. There is urgency for you to be the leaders. Lead them, guide them, only you can.”
Graham argued that kids will be watching your habits. They might rebel, like all kids do at one time or another, but they will come back to the habits they were taught and observed as children.
But healthy living is not something that comes easily it takes commitment from all of us.
“The people you know that are healthy, it’s not one magic pill it’s dedication and persistence, it’s being held accountable,” said Graham.
Graham added sometimes all it takes is someone to hold you accountable, to ask you those important questions.
“That’s the amazing thing about having someone hold you accountable. Someone that says, ‘What is it really worth to you what we’re putting in our mouths, what we’re putting into our lives? What are those things really worth to you versus these moments you might not get to spend?” asked Graham.
Graham used the example of a patient who was a butcher who ate 16 oz. of meat a day and eventually had a heart attack. At one point Graham had to ask him, ‘How much are you really enjoying it? Is it really worth your life? That girl that’s 19 years old, whose leaving for college, do you not want to walk her down that aisle some day?’
Thanks to that extra push the butcher is now eating 3 to 5 oz. of meat a week. He’s doing things he hasn’t been able to do in years. He’s even off his blood pressure meds.
Over all Graham was just asking the community to give themselves that extra push.
“Whether you’re talking vegetables, or a new mindset, or ripping away bars of comfort and pushing ourselves and striving for more that’s what I’m asking of you guys,” said Graham.