Unlike the flowers and leaves that have made an early presence this year in many locations, I am a little late in sharing about National Public Health Week which was the week of April 2-8. But, as I often tell my adult students, “Better late than never.” And as I strongly believe that preventative care is vital for our planet and overall health, I would rather be late in sharing my views on public health than to never share them.
National Public Health focuses on several themes of health which they believe are important steps towards preventing disease. I agree with many of their ideas. In fact, I also believe that many of these themes are important in healing or at least benefiting our bodies once disease has taken root. Let’s explore a few of the themes in relation to how they affect us once disease has set in.
This theme is one that is central to how my family lives and a major component to how I treat my body for inflammation. It is also a theme which I believe is woven into each of the following themes. Shortly before my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis I was moving my family away from a diet of processed foods to one of about 95 percent homemade meals and snacks. (We still enjoy frequenting our favorite restaurants and indulging in a few favorite gluten free desserts made by others). Dealing with the consequences of disease for over eight years now has really hit home for me the importance of feeding and watering my family and myself in ways that nourish us so that we can have strong immune systems that are able to fight off disease.
For many years now my family has chosen to participate in CSA’s and farmer’s markets that have allowed my two children to grow up knowing the farmer(s) that is responsible for the food they see on their plates. They have grown up tasting meat and eggs that come from animals that have seen sunlight each and every day and lived a life without hormones. For many years we have put good fats in our bodies from unprocessed whole milk, avocados, coconuts, olive oil, and many others that have left us craving foods that heal rather than destroy our precious bodies. Eating healing foods brings less inflammation to my body. By eating foods that come from nature in their natural form, we have not only retrained our taste buds but learned to be kind to the earth while healing within.
My husband and I have always promoted active living in our family. We have enjoyed time outside together as a family since my kids were young. We have played at playgrounds together, swam, taken bike rides, hikes, and more. We have always incorporated movement into our daily lives. We take stairs rather than elevators to keep our muscles strong for days that my disease may take over. We walk daily. Why is this important? Of course it keeps a healthy body strong but it also keeps a diseased body capable. On days when my joints are stiff and swollen, I depend on the muscles and balance I have developed during my good days.