Tuesday, April 30, 2019

How Not To Die - A book that had me "shookt"

Pardon the "feeling millennial" reference but it's true!

In my memory there are only a few books that shocked me in my life. First is the Swiss Family Robinson for being the first full-length novel I had chosen for my Grade 6 book report. Emphasis on the length hahahaha..what was I thinking then? Next is The Lovely Bones well, for being what it is..I definitely wasn't able to have peace of mind nor had decent sleep midway into that book. 

And now in my mid-30's, I've been absolutely shocked (in a very good way) by what I have read in Dr. Michael Greger's How Not To Die book! I know most of you would be too!

How Not To Die 
In what way you ask? It is in a manner that has me literally questioning what have I been doing my whole life. Specifically, what have I been eating?? Shudders!! 

In essence, this book is organized by the top modern diseases that plague people. From coronary heart disease, lung disease, brain disease, digestive cancers, infections, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, blood cancers, kidney disease, breast cancer, suicidal depression, prostate cancer, and Parkinson's disease. It also discusses why it happens, and how we can avoid it. Emphasis now on the fact that we have the power to avoid it. 

As a mom who prepares meals for her family, this is truly very significant information for me. This book is so powerful that it convinced me and my husband to gradually transition to the recommended 'whole food, plant-based diet' to better improve our health. I really feel blessed to have 'stumbled upon' this book after watching Netflix health documentaries. 

Here are some of the things that I learned from this book:

  1. That not only can we prevent most of these diseases, we can actually reverse them. This mentions a case wherein "...even without weight loss, a plant-based diet can enable those who have had type 2 diabetes for decades get off all their insulin injections in as few as two weeks."
  2. It guides us on what ingredients to cut back on: *ahem* salt, oil, animal products.
  3. It also shows us what kind of food we should eat more of. Specifically Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen of: beans, berries, other fruits, cruciferous veggies, greens, other veggies, flaxseeds, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, whole grains, beverages, and exercise.
  4. Moderation kills. I thoroughly appreciate how they offer the research-based data and let the reader decide for themselves whether to go all in with the change in diet, go 50-50 or don't change at all. "You can choose moderation and hit yourself with a smaller hammer, but why beat yourself up at all?"
  5. "A heart-healthy diet is a brain-healthy diet is a lung-healthy diet...unlike drugs - which only target specific functions, can have dangerous side effects, and may only treat the symptoms of disease - a healthy diet can benefit all organ systems at once, has good side effects, and may treat the underlying cause of illness."
  6. Waist-to-Height Ratio (WHtR) "The circumference of your belly should be half your height - ideally, less" this has been recommended as an alternative or as an adjunct to BMI
  7. On smoothies: "...blending is better than juicing to preserve nutrition. Juicing removes more than just fiber."
And soooo much more if you get to read it.

I got the kindle e-book version so luckily I didn't realize it was a long read. Despite the length, obviously I was so hooked. So much so that I think I bought 4 of it already - the e-book version, 2 I gave as gifts and 1 is the cookbook version. It is that life-changing that I sincerely want all my family and friends to get a chance to read it. 

My knowledge and perspective on "Preventive Health" is now on a different level, thanks to this book. I'm also glad that they recognize the fact that although the title is catchy, it could be a misnomer as we will all go eventually. Dr. Greger acknowledges that "it's about how not to die prematurely and that we have a tremendous power over our health destiny". Even in it's conclusion, the book is so full of wisdom. As they interviewed the president of the American College of Cardiology in 2015 on why he chose to eat a strictly plant-based diet, he said that "I don't mind dying, I just don't want it to be my fault."


Mommies (and Daddies too!), I really urge you to read this book and research more on proper nutrition (Netflix and Youtube has lots of health docus). 

There is a great sense of peace knowing that we are the gate-keepers to our family's best health. That we are doing right by them, and are giving our husband/partner and kids the best start in life.

And you know what else can give you that peace of mind? It is in knowing that your family is protected too for other eventualities :)

When it comes down to it, we can borrow Dr. Kim William's words:

"I don't mind dying, I just don't want it to be my fault - that my kids / family is left unprovided for."

As we have plan for our nutrition, let's also plan for our family's financial wellness. Know that you have the power and are also responsible for your family's financial health. 

All the best! :)

Talk to the #WomanFromThePRU

Disclaimer: This simple book review is not medical advise. Kindly consult your physician or health practitioner.


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