Everything that’s good for us is being sacrificed to the economy

How do we even start improving our health when powerful forces conspire against it?

Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash

There are multiple ways to slice and dice it, but roughly speaking there are five pillars of good health:

Some version of those health foundations are present in frameworks including for example Dr. Dean Ornish’s “Undo It!” program for chronic disease prevention and reversal (notably suitable for heart disease and diabetes). Another great example is Drs. Ayesha and Dean Sherzai’s “NEURO Plan” to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive decline in general.

It’s ridiculous that we must have highly trained, expensive professionals to tell us that in order to believe it. But, hey, eating well and treating our bodies, minds, and neighbors with kindness is good for us, so if physicians are on board with spreading the news, I’m supportive.

Unfortunately, between knowing the glaring truth and implementing it in the lives of millions, there’s a set of social and economic circumstances that conspire to do the exact opposite of all those healthy things. Here is a non-exclusive list of health-pillar-smashing forces:

I’m just getting started, but you get the picture.

How can we fight back for our health?

If you are still with me (if perhaps a little stunned), now is the time to ask ourselves: what can we do to fight for our health in the face of such powerful forces?

Health is something we usually conceive of as individual and connected to our personal choices, and certainly there is some truth to that. Against all odds, there are people who start making changes every day and we have to support them however we can. Those who have success stories and managed to reclaim ownership of their health through lifestyle change deserve to see their achievements celebrated. Yes!

But we also must appreciate the profoundly systemic nature of our poor health, and join forces to increase health justice for all.

Where to start? Here’s just one way to do it:

Pick the health-opposing force above that bothers you most and find one other person — or an organization — that feels the same. Then, start chipping at it.

Which one is it going to be for you?

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Brigitte Gemme

Vegan cooking mentor, mom, runner, writer, avid reader, PhD in sociology, certificate in nutrition, morning person. Author of _Flow in the Kitchen_.