We’ve all heard the phrase, “health is wealth”. But what does it really mean? I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health science and in all of my public health classes the seven dimensions of wellness were talked about. Did I say talked about? I’m sorry, I meant hammered into my subconscious until I recited definitions of all seven backwards while sleeping. My subconscious has recovered and even rebelled. I had to check the University of California Riverside’s wellness page for the definition of Physical Wellness. It is as follows:
The ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. The ability to recognize that our behaviors have a significant impact on our wellness and adopting healthful habits (routine check ups, a balanced diet, exercise, etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness
In layman’s terms, when you are healthy you can do the things you want, you don’t have pain, and life is generally easier. When you aren’t healthy, life can really suck. What leads to health? Well, if you read the definition of physical wellness, the folks at UC Riverside would argue that health is derived from practicing good habits (ex: exercise) and not participating in bad habits (ex: snorting lines of cocaine after eating three pizzas at 2 am). Get to the point, Will. Fine.
The point is, as a first world, highly developed country we have stumbled into a very dangerous, bad habit. By a general rule, as countries become more wealthy their diets change. Faster, easier options are now readily available. Processed food is a regular staple. The food we use as fuel is hurting us, killing us even. Ironically, humans when they become wealthier lose their health. They scramble to retain their health with countless doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, and whatever else is the fad at the time. The fix is simple. Eat things that help your body, that help your digestion, that help your immune system. Easier said than done right? RIGHT. Changing habits isn’t easy, especially when the habits are ingrained in you to the point where the habit just feels like the only option, like it’s just a part of your life. The Paleo diet offers a way to regain that dimension of wellness that escapes so many of us. Chew on that.