We Are What We Eat

Many years ago both my father-in-law and mother-in-law received serious health diagnoses.  She was hypoglycemic, and he had serious blood pressure issues.  Both were in otherwise good health.  Neither were overweight, but both were instructed to change their diet.

He was instructed to monitor his blood pressure–taking readings before and after meals.  He soon discovered that anytime he ate any form of a favorite food, pork, his blood pressure spiked.  Bacon, sausage, ham, pork chops – all had the same effect.  He discovered the same result from adding salt to his food.

She was monitoring her blood-sugar levels.  She also had to change her diet.  She had to avoid meals high in simple carbohydrates and she had to avoid concentrated sweets such as candy, table sugar, soft drinks, cookies, cakes, and ice cream.  There were other dietary changes too.  Basically, she switched to a very healthy diet – one we all should probably follow.  If she didn’t eat right, she had sinking, almost fainting spells.  Hypoglycemia can be serious.

So, as an observer of all this, I thought to myself, “Why should I wait until I have health problems to change my diet?”  I decided to make some drastic changes to the way I ate.  Then, years later, when my brother died, I had already made the changes the coroner recommended I look into.  I am amazed at the number of maladies that can be remedied by eating healthier.

Blue Genes

A devastating telephone call came that Sunday morning.  Nick was dead.  Nick!  Age 34!  Dead?  He was on a business trip in Amarillo, Texas and staying in a extended-stay motel suite.  So,  an autopsy was required.  A few days after the funeral, I went to Amarillo to get some information and closure.  One stop was the coroner’s office.

The coroner was a very nice man.  He told me the same thing I’ve heard on some of the CSI-type television shows, “We can tell a lot about a person from an autopsy.  Let me tell you what I learned about your brother.”  He told me that Nick had obviously enjoyed life to the full.  I fully affirmed that.   He said that Nick obviously enjoyed eating well.  That was for sure.  Nick and his buddies consumed sumptuous feasts regularly.  The doctor (coroner) added that although Nick died at age 34, he had lived a full life.

Then he told me that Nick was in excellent physical condition.  I affirmed that, telling the doc that Nick was even working out regularly in a local health club while conducting his business in Amarillo.  “But,” the doctor continued, “your brother did have a serious health problem that he probably didn’t even know he had.”  “What was that?” I asked.  He said that Nick had hyperlipidemia–a pre-disposition to building up lipids in his blood vessels.  In fact, the artery going from Nick’s heart to his lungs was completely occluded except for an opening the size of a pin point.  Apparently a blood clot broke from a previous ankle wound and found it’s way to that pinhole opening in Nick’s artery.  The doc said this traumatic event would be like being hit in the heart with a sledge hammer.

“The good news,” said the doc, “is that he died instantly, in his sleep, and felt no pain.”  “The bad news,” he continued, “is that this condition is genetic and is passed through the males in the family.  Your Dad, you, your sons, if you have any, are at risk.”  The sad news,” he went on to say, “is that all this could have be prevented with a change in diet.”  “You and your Dad and son(s) must do whatever is necessary to ensure that you eat healthily.”

We could have become blue over our genetic dilemma – “blue genes.”  We could have moped and complained.  Or, we could change the way we ate.  We did the latter.  I want to live a full life.

Fathers

Children desperately need fathers healthily involved in their lives. My son-in-law, Garth, is a great example of a father.  He shares responsibilities for staying with Katelyn, his 1-year-old-daughter while Kim, his wife, gets some “free” time.  He shares responsibilities for changing diapers, feeding, bathing, and getting up at night when Katelyn wakes up upset.  He talks to her all the time, continually telling her how wonderful and beautiful she is.  Thank God, for Garth.

Fathers who accept their parental responsibilities are all too rare.  As Katelyn gets older, Garth will be responsible, along with Kim, to provide age-appropriate discipline for Katelyn.  Parents, if they love their children, do provide wise, appropriate discipline for their children.  If they do not discipline their children, they prove that they don’t love them.  Love isn’t a feeling.  My friend, Keith, says, “Love is a verb.”  Administering fair, wise discipline to children is an important aspect of loving our children.  Fathers, please love your children.

HUGS

It’s wondrous what a hug can do,
A hug can cheer you when you’re blue.
A hug can say, “I love you so,”
or, “Gee! I hate to see you go.”
A hug is, “Welcome back again!”
and, “Great to see you!” or
“Where’ve you been?”
A hug can soothe a small child’s pain
And bring a rainbow after rain.
The hug! There’s just no doubt about it,
We scarcely could survive without it.
A hug delights and warms and charms,
It must be why God gave us arms.
Hugs are great for fathers and mothers,
Sweet for sisters, swell for brothers,
and chances are some favorite aunts
love them more than potted plants.
Kittens crave them. Puppies love them.
Heads of state are not above them.
A hug can break the language barrier,
And make the dullest day seem merrier.
No need to fret about the store of ’em.
The more you give, the more there are of ’em.
So stretch those arms without delay
and give someone a hug today.
Author Unknown