Is illness optional?

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  • When I was a kid/young teenager I was always ill, I grew up in a stressful home, was smoking drinking and drugging from an early age, never slept properly and ate all the wrong foods.

    Then when I was in my early twenties I turned it all around, did a lot of sport and fitness training ... During this time I hardly ever got ill, but I never paid much attention to diet and lived on junk food, I kinda got away with it, but still had asthma which prevented me from taking my sport seriously.

    When I was about 26 I developed an interest in diet, nutrition and the effect of stress. I changed my diet so I ate far more raw food and underwent a course of hypnotherapy to deal with stress. I also supplemented with top quality vitamins, cut out caffeine, drank gallons of water, ate with virtually macrobiotic style fussiness and made sure I slept properly. Within 6 months of this, the asthma I'd had since a child completely vanished.

    Of course, convenience and lacking discipline meant that I eventually returned to eating junk food, but strangely the asthma never returned, I had the occasional bouts of exercising, but never got back into it like I did in the past.

    Anyway, in the last 4 years I've done very little exercise (the longest amount of time since I was 19) My diet has been meat free, but still full of dairy and other fatty shit. I've piled on weight, been more prone to colds, I get hay fever more often, have bouts of eczema, get lethargic and stressed more easily. After being so healthy in the past it definitely isn't something I've been happy with.

    So, now I'm exercising and eating properly again ... time will tell if I stick to it or not. I know the benefits of good nutrition, but my downfall has always been self-discipline. I'm already feeling better and it's only been 6 weeks.

    So who else believes that many of our illnesses/allergies can be prevented by looking after ourselves and adopting a more holistic approach to diet and health?

    Of course, this is kinda stating the obvious, but what about bigger diseases like cancer? Are they also preventable by adopting a different approach to diet and fitness?

    I found this article and thought it made an interesting read.

  • Well I feel ill pretty much 85% of my time.. my diet is so shit its stupid.. and of course my will power is pooooooo

    I believe diet has so much to do with it.. and knowing this fact, I just don't know why I won't kick myself up the arse and be good

    My uncle swears by macrobiotics, its his life!! He is the chairman of the macrobiotics association and does regular workshops and retreats and all that jazz.. I'd say he is about 65 years old and I've never ever known him to be ill ever!!! He tries to talk me into the lifestyle and I know I could do it cause the food is quite barable..

    anyways.. back to your question.. I think illness is optional..

    someone give me some will power!!

  • I actually feel pretty good. Ok I could lose half a stone or so but I blame that on the pasties :D

    The big factors I have found though are:
    More than a little dairy is bad - someone once said the purpose of milk is to turn a 100lb calf into a 400lb cow, and they were right :D
    MSG - it fucks people up, well, it fucks me up :)
    Sugar - too much is poison, simple
    Water - many of our ailments are down to drinking too little water (thats water, not beer, juice, tea etc) :D
    Exercise - I always feel better when I do a little every couple of days, but its never formal or specialised as I'm far too lazy for that! :D Just walking :)

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • I truly believe that illness is optional, yes. But it depends on the information you have. Some people may not have any inclination that diet, etc. actually makes a difference and I suppose in that case its not really optional. I'm thinking of older people/ my grandparents etc., even if I told them and provided them with information I don't think it would make much of a difference.
    But, however, for people who do know about these things, for younger generations it is entirely optional.
    Eat well-vege/vegan/wholfood diet
    Drink enough water
    Use herbal teas to boost immunity
    Don't take caffene
    Don't take alcohol or drugs
    Get enough excercise
    Use meditation for relaxation
    And Laugh!

    Perfect combination for an illness free lifestyle!

    *please note that by illness here I am refering to colds.flu, and minor ailements. I am by no means saying that some illness are due to the fault of the person and their lifestyle although I do believe it can effect it majorly.*

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]May all beings have happiness and create the causes of happiness.
    May they all be free from suffering and from creating the causes of suffering.

  • it's all down to basic common sense...small healthy portions of food and regular exercise

    doesn't mean you can't eat choccy or drink wine..just be sensible about it:)
    i also think enviroment plays a big part...i'm much healthier now than when i lived with my parents...i think my mothers constant fussing and my poor diet (god her cooking was vile) played a part in my ill health..

  • not quite sure how it started but i think my initial transition to veganism spurred me on to eating healthier,and a conversation with someone saying its about being 'natural' affected me somehow..and since then ive eaten so much healthier all round,and i feel so much better for it.
    just simple things,like noticing my nails are shiny and i used to hate mornings and look awful,but lately im coping with them,and barely look tired all the time like i used to..
    i think diet n stuff probably is the best way to avoid minor illnesses..but i also read once that it could also be psychological..but i cant remember enough details to go into all of that

  • 'optional' is probably not the right word -though i cant think of a better one right now.
    Like most of you I've had times in my life when i took loads of drugs and ate crap etc
    I beleive my physical health to be better for not doing those things anymore and while my only evidence is empiracle, I beleive my mental health to be better too.
    I'm sure Scars right about the 'all things in moderation' but, personally, I've never been able to make that work for me. I find not drinking at all easier than trying to drink socially for example.
    As my good friend Swiss Tony(dont ask!) says 'Its better to be fit and boring


  • I do believe that everything we do has an impact on our health. The emotional/mental state I think can have much more of an instant impact than food in some cases. But as others have said, it's holistic. You could have the best diet in the world and exercise daily but if you're mental state isn't good then your body will still be out of balance.

    I often think about the more serious illnesses and wonder what they're really about. Is it just genetic? Is it too much bad food or smoking etc over a prolonged period of time? Or is it underlying emotional issues that have never been dealt with.

    I know how my body reacts when I'm feeling stress - even if it's one minute of panic; the chemicals that are released in that moment can cause changes that aren't good. Now imagine a few days of stress. It's mind, body and spirit. The 3 work together and it seems logical that if one's of balance by an action, the rest will be out of balance.

  • while i agree that diet exercise will definitely reduce the amount of illness you encounter, it is certainly not optional. i think the majority of illness we encounter are transmitted through the air, i think these illness are bad at infecting you so are easy to avoid with a healthy immune system. however infection from cuts is not so easily avoided, like wise with STIs.

    even with an air transmitted illness, i think you could still contract it no matter how healthy if oyu were in the right environment (like a lecture theatre with loads of freshers from many places)

  • I definitely agree that if you're generally "healthier" with what you eat, and take regular excersise etc. you are less susceptable to illnesses. For example, I've had a cold now for about a week, but had I been a healthier person I may have shaken it off within a few days, or not had it effect me as badly.

    Plus I think having a healthy immune system makes it less likely that you'll pick up colds etc. from people. So I think you can take steps to avoid becoming ill, or at least not becoming as ill as you might.

  • I agree with Earthwhirler...its balance of mind body and spirit that are the keys to good health (as long as U don't live in high pollution levels). I do believe illness is optional, but no matter how positive you are, stress free etc, environmental and dietary factors will play a part. A healthy diet for one is not so healthy for another. I was vegan for 15 years out of my love for animals but I had so many things physically wrong with me that I then tried the blood type diet, out of desperation. I really rate this! I think you have to listen to your body and act on this information. Will power is usually a problem for me for the first few weeks of making a change, after that it is easy. I find if I can maintain the diet that suits me generally, occasional waivering is OK. Human beings were not built to sit down and eat crap all day - its that simple, we are 'grazers' who are supposed to be mobile much of the time. I don't hink you can go wrong if you follow that.
    The recent link of red meat to breast cancer, and media hype, I think is another example of spin trying to control farming and food production. Perhaps if they acknowledged that women have successfully eaten meat for centuries, but that meat is now full of so much junk - hormones probably being the main culprit in the breast cancer link - they would realise that its the way in which it is farmed and produced that is the problem. At least they had the decency to acknowledge processed meat is the worst. I notice no mention was made of organically produced meat.
    I used to be extremist about meat I've got older I have become alot more liberal and decided that some people need meat to be well. It's about the amount of crap that goes into it that is now my concern, as well as ethical issues ofcourse. I cared for a lady who had cancer and diet was a key part of her therapy. Some epople believe that if you have cancer, you rarely die from the tumour itself (unless its on the brain), but the toxins it realeases - until your body is so toxic it can't cope.
    The old saying 'you are what you eat' is true.

  • I remember reading an article years ago that linked dairy to breast cancer, it suggested that cultures with little or zero dairy in their diet had very low instances of breast cancer when compared to the west ... The theory then went on to say how milk contains growth hormones designed for calves, and prolonged use by adult humans would produce unnecessary fatty deposits.

  • I was bought up with a variety of animals, no central heating, fruit scrumping (running exersises!) - and I think over the years, it did my immune system the world of good - along with the old being kicked out of the house in the morning during holidays and being told not to come back until we were 'bleeding, thirsty or being called' :)... I had hayfever quite badly from 10 until I was 17, but had given up on the doctor when I was 15, in favour of alternative treatments - homoeopathy did the trick, and I have been to a doctor once (for a required medical) in 19 years...

    Central heating, air conditioning and games machines / PCs, along with many factors in todays society that basically make outside play 'boring' for kids, and going outside just downright unappealing. This cannot help a developing immune system in a child - especially if it is fed on rubbish.

  • Quote from Paul

    I remember reading an article years ago that linked dairy to breast cancer, it suggested that cultures with little or zero dairy in their diet had very low instances of breast cancer when compared to the west ... The theory then went on to say how milk contains growth hormones designed for calves, and prolonged use by adult humans would produce unnecessary fatty deposits.

    That makes a lot of sense - putting animal hormones into people can't be right. The other breast cancer connection is using deodorants - the type that block the sweat coming out - many lumps are near the armpit - there are so many factors but really it boils down to one thing - be natural :)

  • Quote from Paul

    I remember reading an article years ago that linked dairy to breast cancer, it suggested that cultures with little or zero dairy in their diet had very low instances of breast cancer when compared to the west ... The theory then went on to say how milk contains growth hormones designed for calves, and prolonged use by adult humans would produce unnecessary fatty deposits.

    Thats interesting but i'm a little dubious as i'm wondering if these cultures are the ones that are pro active when it comes to breast feeding and have very little interference with their own natural cycles such as the pill etc. Which all contributes.:wiggle:

  • Found the article in Paul's first post very interesting


    Dr. Tunsky says we must first realize that the biggest error in mainstream medicine and naturopathy is that the body is compartmentalized, suggesting that the systems are not interrelated. In reality, the human body is a complete unit with highly complex systems working together to keep it functioning optimally.

    Spot on...though there's many more approaches than just his that are holistic, there are ideas in there I won't forget.

    I reckon a lot of the maintainance skill is in the right food and drink for your body. I'm lucky on the drink side, lots of mountains with clean water near enough to me.

    Sometimes I don't spend enough time calmly each day and get a bit out of tune with my body, but when I do get a sign of being poorly, I'll sit and relax more, do some stretching, a bit of yoga. Go for a good book rather than TV or laptop:waves:. Let my body concentrate its resources where needed. For a while I spoil my body with the best of healthy foods and make sure I choose some appropriate herbs and spices, with my nose getting the final say.

    I listen to it more carefully, it usually starts demanding all these delicious things like bananas and avocados and garlic..:D

    The older we get, the more beneficial it becomes to keep in tune with it I reckon. I've abused mine with decades of smoking mucho tobacco..I was amazed when some phlegm cleared from my lungs recently and it was as though my lungs could 'sense the flavour' of the air more, that phlegm must've lifted a lot of the shite that's been there since I gave up at the end of 2005.