Does Your Pace In Life Dictate Your Eating Habits?

I just received a great email from my buddy Brendon. He was overseas living and working abroad in the UK for the past 5 months and decided to give me a run down of his healthy living experiences while there. Check out the email below. He makes some great points that follow along with what I've known and blog about all along. Here's his exact email for you...

Hey Bob!!

Hope all is great for you in Illinois. I have a couple of interesting observations for you as it pertains to my health and the health of people in the USA.

As you know, I just spent several months in the UK. I often ate on the run and was busy traveling and scarfing down every kind of food imaginable. London has the greatest food markets in the world and I was on vacation!

Pollution and "Hay fever" (really bad allergies) are common in London during the summer and I was suffering from them. It's really, really bad.

But, despite being on the airplane several times, taking the London tube (subway) every day, riding on public buses and eating a sometimes questionable diet, and usually drinking a lot of alcohol, I DID NOT GET SICK ONE DAY.

Here are some of the "surprising" reasons that I believed helped me remain "healthy" for the most part:

1. I did not drink very much milk at all. If I had milk on cereal, it was only once a week maximum and it was full-fat un-homoginized. My refrigerators were not big enough to store milk.

2. I did not drink milk with meals. Instead I drank water or alcohol. I drank water mostly.

3. My biggest meals were often at night. I'm not kidding. I did eat during the day, but sometimes it was a piece of fruit and decent sized lunch. Sometimes just little bits of food until I got home at night.

4. My favorite dessert or part of dinner that I had several times a week, sometimes twice a day was a BIG container of full-fat plain (probiotic filled) Greek yogurt (I often added my favorite British jam because it tasted so good) This was probably my STAPLE food over there.

5. I spent most of my time outdoors! The only time I spent inside was waking up in the morning and then cooking dinner and sleeping at night. I had no TV and wanted to see everything in Europe that I could. In Arizona, I am spending a lot more time indoors. Indoor air pollution is making people sick!!!! It's so bad....

6. I walked a lot. In London and in Europe you walk almost everywhere. Up and down the stairs. Uphill downhill everyday. No gym is no problem, because I found an outdoor jungle gym when I needed it.

To sum up what I think kept me healthy:

A. Being outdoors (indoor toxins and pollutants, no dogs/cats indoors)
B. Walking a lot every day
C. Eating tons o full-fat natural probiotic Greek style yogurt almost every day
D. Not drinking Milk. Not drinking Milk. Not drinking Milk.
E. Not sticking my hands in my mouth, ears or eyes. (Swine flu had no chance!)
F. I cooked my eggs slightly, but I had free-range eggs kept at room temp on the counter all the time.

A lot of people here in the U.S. are telling me that they have a cold and are getting sick and I'm wondering why???????

How can I live in a crowded, busy city, eat a hectic diet, travel on public transport, fly on planes and NOT get sick. Yet people in the U.S. with all of our comforts and wealth are getting sick?

My solution, stop drinking milk, eating refined carbs, open the windows in your house, get outside and get moving.

Ok his email was great and through the ramble here are the main points:

1. No pastuerized milk
2. High Fat Meals including tons of yogurt
3. Lots and lots of Water
4. Being outdoors most of the day or at least as much as you can
5. Walking a lot
6. Eat fresh fish & eat as much of it as you can (ie. whole sardines, makeral, etc.)
8. Some days if you're traveling or busy and your day might lack veggies make a huge salad at night with cucumbers, red beats, carrots, spring onions and fresh goat cheese.

Here are my buddy Brendon's final thoughts...

Keep in mind that I did drink a TON of alcohol and I did eat lots of things that are BAD for you like sweets, bacon, ham, burgers, cheese etc. Sometimes even white rice!! What I want people to know is that even seemingly big slip-ups in diet, the threat of swine-flu, or the hectic pace of life does NOT have to lead to sickness if your foundation is strong. Staying active outdoors is the number 1 thing I recommend.

Processed food, sitting around, spending time indoors, eating lots of carbs and drinking pastuerized milk can make you sick.

Wow! What a great message Brendon. Thank so much for the email and for allowing me to post it on my blog so that other can benefit from your own personal experiences.

As always, I love hearing your feedback and comments. Brendon would love to hear from you too and any of your own experiences outside the U.S. Please leave your comments in the section below.

Thank YOU!

R. Garon

Robert Garon is a Masters level pastoral counseling student at Liberty University. He and his wife reside in the suburbs of Chicago where they, together, lead a marriage enhancement and discipleship group called Re|engage at their church. Robert also regularly leads short-term mission teams, both internationally and domestically, as well as a weekly men’s community group.

On THE mission making God known by helping others thrive and flourish for His kingdom!