The search for the best diet… aka the “heart whisperer”

Last month, I had an epiphany about the importance of fully inhabiting each and every moment I have available to me. This has led to more consciously evaluating how I’m spending my time and in particular the quantity of time I need to be spending on activities that will improve my health.

Most people to look at me would not think I’m unhealthy, but I know that I get winded climbing a few sets of stairs, that those “gentle warm up stretches” that we do at the beginning of many of the workshops and classes I attend, are not the breeze I feel they should be, and the icing on the cake: my cholesterol levels have gone off the charts in the last 2 years. As I am not overweight (ok I  have been working on removing those pesky “last 10 pounds” for years), and relatively young, my  doctor has sent me back 3 times to triple check what is going on,  but it appears so far that my cholesterol levels are more than double the level than they should be. Yikes! The words “severe” and “get thee to a lipids specialist” both appeared in a more medical-ized language on my report. So the “someday I’ll deal with my health” attitude has been forcibly removed, and I’m very clear that part of my present moment is investing myself in how I can be the healthiest me I can be right now.

So new focus: getting healthy. Ugg, that’s a new one. Ha! That’s been on the freakin’ aforementioned list for years. OK, more specifically then, I want to identify and commit to a programme that will keep my heart healthy and my body ageing well for the next 60 – 70 years! That’s much more motivating. Like trying to discover a hidden secret of life. I love to discover things.

Drumroll…. My Present Moment’s Feature Activity 1: Heart Health 

I have used the words “I need to have the energy to fuel my vision” for almost a year now. It’s come up in my morning pages so often that I could not help but act on it, yet I have been almost sneakily gathering wisdom and moving towards this answer without realizing it. You see I have fallen into the info gathering paralysis mode, and while I have tried most diets that I’ve read about, I never really committed to one of the solutions I’ve found for the long term. I conveniently forget what I know about sugar for example (weight gain, toxic, premature ageing, cancer, etc.), when a pain au chocolate is gazing at me enticingly from the counter of my coffee shop.

It’s true when they say that your greatest strengths also come served up alongside your greatest weaknesses. Two years ago I took the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test. Developed by a team of scientists at Gallup using over 40 years of research and interviews with millions of people, they isolated and categorized 34 unique strenths or inherent talents within people, of which most individuals have 5 top talents that they most utilize. One of my top talents is called “Input”. This means I am a magpie when it comes to information that interests me. Always storing things – info, paper bits, photos, urls, phone numbers – basically anything that strike me as being possibly useful in the future. Well health does interest me, and so I am an exploding fountain of facts, books, articles, home made collages and websites I’ve stored and collated on the topic of health over the years. OK, so now I know the raw materials are handy and I have a clear place to start. I now need to overturn the weakness inherent in my input talent, and actually utilize what I have by searching for the the needles in this healthy haystack, so that I can plot my course to heart health.

So the search is on. I’m going to use my talent for hoarding information on healthy diets, and come back to you in the next post where I’ll compare diets like the  Low-Fat Diet (recommended by the UK, Canadian and US governments, among others), Zone Diet, Atkins Diet, Vegetarian Diet, 4 Hour Body Slow Carb Diet,  and Perricone Diet, all of which I’ve read about and tried over the last 15 years…