HI I’m Andrew from the Foolish Couple.
We all have a father. Some of you may have a very good, close relationship with your father, but not me. For one reason or another, due to family drama and a lot of other factors, I was never really close to my father. Sure, we lived together, we ate together every day, but emotionally we barely talked. And I didn’t realize what I was missing out on, until 12 years ago.
15 years ago, I had already moved away to the Bay Area, far away from my parents and my brother who lived in Vancouver, Canada. So when I found out that my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I couldn’t believe it. And the fact that he had been hiding his condition from his entire family was just baffling to me. When we finally found out about his condition, his Parkinson’s was already very severe. If we had found out earlier, maybe, just maybe, we could’ve helped him make some lifestyle changes and possibly slowed down or even reversed his symptoms. But, like every other sickness, there is a point where it was too late. He was put on more and more medication, and that medication did extend his life, but I saw, with my own eyes, that this was not the life he had wanted to live. He was placed into a senior care facility, he was confined to his bed most of the day. And, every day, the only thing that he could look forward to, was to have his family go and visit him. Seeing him suffer for many years of Parkinson’s, I finally understood what Doctor Myron Wentz meant when he said, ‘We are dying too long and living too short.’ Until 2017, my dad finally left us forever.
I was never close to my father, but I am very close to my half-brother Sam, who practically raised me.
Sam is16 years older than me, and he took care of me most of my life. And as an executive chef at a large Chinese restaurant, his lifestyle was not exactly healthy. He worked late into the night, which left him very little time to exercise. In his late 40’s, he was already diagnosed with diabetes and was put on medication. His doctor told him that as long as he stayed on the medication, his diabetes would be under control. But what he did not understand, is that the medication, just like any other medication, has side effects. Some of these side effects may not show up until many years later, but eventually, they will. Last year, 15 years since he was put on his diabetes medication, he finally saw the the side effects. We took him to see a specialist, where he found out that his kidney function had less than 50% left.
So, at 64 years old, Sam finally saw what was the difference between a lifestyle change, versus suppressing a health condition using drugs.
Now, with the looming thought of death and the chance of having to do weekly dialysis, Sam was finally open to suggestions, looking for other solutions to manage his diabetes. As a functional nutrition coach, I helped him make certain lifestyle changes and exercise routines that could help him slow down or maybe even reverse the symptoms. Even at his stage, I don’t think it is too late to change. But it’s an uphill battle for him to regain his health and I worry about it each and every day.
Now I’m telling you real stories about my own family members because I want you to know that, there is a point where there is nothing you can do to reverse your health condition, like my dad.
But for most of you out there, it is not too late to change. For my brother Sam, changing his eating habits and lifestyle is an infinitely more attractive option than having to go through dialysis every week.
What you need to do, is to see the signs. Look for the yellow lights. Most people, when they see the yellow light, they just keep on going until the point of no return. But you can change. You could stop doing what you are doing, you could change your current lifestyle, which is what’s causing most of your health problems.
For me, I look for yellow lights all the time by measuring my metrics. Over the last year, my Apple watch had been logging intermittently a high heart rate while I was walking or resting. At first, I thought it was a faulty watch so I actually had my watch replaced 3 times, and the metrics were still showing the same thing.
I also have a Qardio blood pressure meter which gave me intermittent warnings about erratic heart rate. So, I brought these concerns to my own doctor. She looked at my charts and said everything looked good. She took my blood pressure, checked my pulse, and said everything was fine and most likely my Apple watch and Qardio was wrong. After all it’s just technology right?
Most people would probably accept that answer, but I pushed back and asked her to entertain me into getting me an EKG. She sort of smiled, and said OK and sent me downstairs to get an EKG.
After my EKG, I waited for over 1/2 hour before my doctor came to get me. She had this worried look on her face and asked me to come in and sit down.I was wondering what was going on. She said that my EKG showed signs of an enlarged heart and that I had a minor heart attack. I was thinking, I thought you said I was OK… She says I needed to get an echocardiogram to confirm.
I went to get my echocardiogram and she just said it looked pretty normal and to let her know if I felt shortness of breath or tightness in my chest in the future. And if things get worse, she can give me prescription drugs to control my cardiac problems, which she couldn’t find. But until then, there’s nothing else she could do for me.
Now I don’t want to wait until I actually have a heart attack or any other heart problems.
I just don’t like this "Wait until you need drugs" approach.
And as a nutrition coach, I believe in finding root causes rather than treating symptoms so I am always investing time to learn about new medical findings and new ways to regain my health and other People’s health.
Last year, I have done a 5-day water fast and I have been on intermittent fasts to clean up the toxins in my body and to generate new stem cells through autophagy. That’s the destruction of old cells and formation of new stem cells in your body.
I am now very mindful of the foods I eat because food is my medicine. I choose the right types of foods to eat. I eat carbs from natural sources, healthy fats, and lean proteins. I choose to eat mostly organics and clean, sustainably raised foods. I basically had a lifestyle change even though I thought I was already eating healthy.
I am still monitoring my heart activities through my Apple watch, and for the last 2 months, I no longer get the spikes in my heart rate nor the warnings of erratic heart rate from my blood pressure monitor. Better yet, I am no longer always hungry and I have more energy for sports and exercises.
I want to share with you my experience with you so we created a free, 6-day video series on the Demystifying fats and the Truth about Sugars so that you too can start to gain back control of your own health.
Until Next Time, Love what you Live and Live What you Love
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