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Healthy Living: small steps in the right direction

Certainly without wishing to belittle their achievements or offend the average doctor or pharmacist, it’s fair to say that health is not strictly speaking their area of expertise. The average doctor rarely, if ever, cuts open and looks inside a healthy person. Usually that person is either already sick or already dead.These wonderful people are in the business of fighting illness and not necessarily promoting health, though in fairness to them they do pay it more than lip-service.

The fact is your average doctor or pharmacist tends not to have a degree in health, and if everyone were healthy neither doctors or pharmacists would have anything to do. One has a wealth of knowledge about the mechanics of sickness in the human body, while the other is a specialist in chemicals to fight sickness. 

Ask an expert

If you spend a lot of time in your local bar you will have noticed that the bar owner knows a great deal about the finer points of beer and whiskey. If you go to your local Ironmonger you will discover he understands a great deal about screws, nails, brackets and hinges. How well do you know your local greengrocer? It’s my bet he or she knows a great deal about fruit and vegetables. Would it not make more sense to cultivate a relationship with your greengrocer than your doctor or bar owner? Would it not be worth your while to strike up conversations with them about their chosen specialist subject?

Traditionally the greengrocer is the person who knows the benefits of their stock in trade. They know what is at its best and when, and how to store it to keep it in premium condition. They can tell you how to prepare it to gain the most good out of it. They can tell you in advance many different recipes for the upcoming season’s produce. For centuries before we became so reliant on people whose business is not health, the farmer and the greengrocer figured large in our lives. Think about that for a moment.

Good health is at hand for all, not just the wealthy

fino-menezes-fractals-2Bill Gates and Richard Branson look healthy for their age, wouldn’t you say? “Yes, but they’re billionaires!” I hear you cry. Maybe they are, but do you think their health is because they spend fortunes at the doctor or chemist? I doubt that. I believe those men are healthy because they pay attention to what they eat.

“Yes, but they’re billionaires!”, you cry again. Did you eat an apple today? I bet both Bill and Sir Richard eat more than one piece of fruit a day. Do you think they eat £50 apples because they can afford to? Do you think they eat 200 apples a day because they can afford to? No. Any greengrocer who tried to charge them £50 for an apple wouldn’t get the opportunity to sell them another apple ever again.

I doubt they eat hundreds of pieces of fruit in a day either, because they will most likely want to leave room for other foods, so I imagine they eat maybe half the contents of a fruit bowl, maximum, in any given day. So let’s say that’s four or five pieces of fruit a day, and let’s say that fruit is organic, which will be a little more expensive than the average supermarket fruit that’s produced on an industrial scale. How much do you reckon that costs per week? On what could you cut back your spending to commit that money to your new, healthier lifestyle?

Work your way towards it is stages. You do not necessarily have to consciously cut out all biscuits and junk food on day-one (though that would be a fantastic place to start!), but you do have to seriously consider eating more fruit and vegetables so that the “bad” foods are eventually displaced by the good; after all, there is only so much you can eat in a day. Put the “good” foods ahead of the “bad” and soon you simply won’t have any room left for them. Along the way you will begin to feel the benefits and herein lies your incentive, motivator and reward all rolled into one.

Getting Started: an action plan

Let’s go back to the greengrocer shall we? If you are prepared to cultivate a relationship with your greengrocer and tell them you are looking to make healthy lifestyle changes, but you’re not Bill Gates or Richard Branson, do you think maybe you could come to some sort of arrangement whereby you promise to spend “X” amount per week, every week, in their shop if they can put together a balanced variety of fruit and vegetables that you can come in and collect over the course of the week to maintain optimum freshness?

I’m willing to bet they would be prepared to cut you a deal on the face value of their products, knowing that now they have a guaranteed “X” amount of money coming in they certainly couldn’t rely upon from you before. On top of that I’m sure they would be happy to give you tips and recipes to correspond with the contents of the bag you were collecting on any given day. If you handed them, say, a £20 note on a Monday, that greengrocer would know exactly how to spread that out over the course of the week so that you both win. If you could make it £30 or more you would have a great friend and ally in your quest for better health.

So there’s your healthy action plan for this week: go make friends with your local greengrocer.

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Fino Menezes

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