Ever since we found out my Dad has multiple blockages in his heart and one in his neck, our family's been taking stock of our health. After all, this discovery was a complete shock since my Dad was not experiencing any symptoms. Yes, there is a history of high cholesterol and high blood pressure in his family, but still, he's paid much more attention to healthy eating and exercising in the past eight years.
Which makes me think, we can never assume good health based on life style and lack of obvious symptoms.
Though I may post more extensively about this in the future, for now I want to share three gifts with you that may provide food for thought (no pun intended) on these food-and-your-health related gifts.
For previous 3 Gifts installments, click here. If you would like to have a "gift" featured in this series, please see the bottom of this post for details.
1. the gift of preventing and reversing heart disease
this resource a couple years ago. In my pride I couldn't understand why she would think we needed to pay attention to the information in the book or follow the diet - after all none of us was exhibiting signs of heart disease. Boy, was I wrong and the Lord placed a huge slice of humble pie on my plate. If you or someone you know has a history of heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you may wish to check out "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.
2. the gift of a plant strong diet
Related to gift number one, the Engine Number 2 diet was developed by the Dr. Esselstyn's son to help a fellow fire fighter lower his dangerously high cholesterol levels. I think men may struggle the most with a plant-based diet - I know my husband equates it to rabbit food, and as he points out, "rabbits only live a couple years." :) So perhaps knowing that firefighters took this on will eliminate some of the resistance to the idea of going on this type of diet. Great, great resources on this site including PDFs of foods to eliminate, where/what to buy, recipes and they encourage parents of "plant strong families" to write in too to show it is possible to adapt this eating style.
Note: This diet eliminates refined sugars but does allow for sugar sources such as molasses, honey, maple syrup, agave. When my mom spoke with Dr. Esselstyn this week (they want to consult with him on my dad's health), he said the latest research indicates even these sugars can cause health problems and recommends cutting out all sugar sources except those naturally occurring in the fruits and veggies. I'd be curious to know his thoughts on stevia since it's an herb, though.
If you're going on this type of diet, you may want to explore where you can get local sources of fresh fruits and veggies. Visit pickyourown.org to learn about farms near you. The best part (for me) is easily identifying which farms use organic practices.
If you have a "gift" you'd like me to consider wrapping into a 3 Gifts on Thursday package, please email me the details. It can be anything you are hosting or have heard about: from a giveaways to service projects, household/parenting tips, resources, promotions/coupon codes, items such as books, music, movies, etc (ones available for purchase online). If I choose to incorporate your gift suggestion into a 3 Gifts post, I will email you to let you know when it will be featured.