My interest in nutrition started with a single question.
Did diet and lifestyle choices have any bearing on my Dad’s heart disease and ultimate passing in 2011?
I watched my Dad goes through 4 (yes 4) quadruple bypass surgeries where they moved healthy veins from his legs and transplanted them into his chest to restore blood flow to his heart that was being negatively impacted by blockages in his arteries. It is a deeply invasive but life saving surgery that arguably kept him alive for another 10 or so years.
My mind was full of difficult questions such as “what created those blockages in the first place?”, “is it possible to remove these blockages so that bypass surgery is not required?”, “is surgery the only option to resolve this condition?”, “what tests are available for early detection of this condition?”, “what can I do to make sure that I don’t suffer the same fate as my Dad and my kids have to watch me go through the same invasive and difficult operations?”.
The medical world, with all of its skill, good will and talent to perform these life saving operations, had no real insight as to the root cause or any real desire to explore it either. They were too busy performing by pass surgeries to stop and think deeply about prevention.
This was the seed of my interest in nutrition and that seed combined with curiosity led me to return to formal education in 2016 where I undertook a year long diploma in Nutrition and Health Coaching to try and find out the truth of the matter from the academics.
That year served to further deepen my interest in the topic of holistic health and the role nutrition plays but also how the mind body connection and lifestyle choices impact on the health of our bodies.
This led me to my current undertaking which is a 4 year diploma in Nutritional Science and Therapeutics. I am in my 3rd year here currently. I find it like a magnet, the topics we are covering just draw me into them and I feel I am learning so much with not enough hours in the day to follow all my curious questions to resolution.
Before I started down this path, I was under the blind belief that heart disease was hereditary. The classic question on so many medical and insurance forms – “Is there any heart disease in your family?” – always seemed to reinforce the idea that genetics was the primary driving factor in whether you got heart disease or not.
After studying the cardiovascular system and reviewing the literature and studies out there, it is clear to me now that genetics is not the only player on the pitch here when it comes down to heart disease. When I look at the amazing work of Dean Ornish and his UndoIt program, the works of Caldwell Esselstyn and T. Colin Campbell, I find it a compelling and logical conclusion that genetics certainly do have a role to play but if genetics load the gun, it is diet and lifestyle choices that pull the trigger.
There is so much more that we can do to reduce the risk of us contracting heart disease and it requires a proactive approach to health and well being.
There are no single truths in nutrition.
There is no one diet that works for all of mankind that will deliver optimal health and a disease free life. If there was, we would all be on it and the problem would cease to exist right?
They truth of it is; nutrition is complicated because we are human. We are flawed, we make mistakes, we have emotions and self limiting belief systems.
We each have to find our own personal path to success with nutrition, learning from those around us, being curious enough to ask the questions and being brave enough to follow the sometimes lonely path to find the answers.
I believe the era of Personalised Health and Nutrition is nearly upon us and I for one, think that by adopting this proactive and preventative model of healthcare, we each have a better chance of avoiding becoming part of the ever increasing disease statistics.
Yours in health and happiness,