Take Control of Your Health by Controlling Yourself

Take Control of Your Health by Controlling Yourself
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Have you ever experienced a moment in which you just knew you were right about something, but you let the voice inside you convince you otherwise? That has happened to me several times in the past, but not this time.

A few years ago, I was laid off from a job where I had spent an exhausting three years. A dozen or so of us were laid off in January of that year. It happened on a Friday, when I had pulmonary rehab, so I was allowed to leave at noon for my 1 p.m. appointment. I had rehab every Wednesday and Friday, and looked at it like a three-day work week.

After I received the news, I said my goodbyes and was out the door, never looking back. As I walked to the train station that day, I thanked God for the opportunity to welcome a new chapter in my career. To some, that seemed like an odd reaction to losing my job, but when work empties you on a daily basis, it’s a blessing not to have it.

I remember arriving that day at rehab all smiles, and when asked why I was so happy, I announced that the best thing for my health and sanity had just happened. I told all of the participants I had been laid off. It was a good day.

Road to redemption

With time on my hands, I made it a point to get my life back in order. I started swimming every day, and then every other day. The senior citizens and camp kids were hip to my schedule, so the pool got crowded often.

I also would ride my bike and walk my dog in the park to relax and regroup, but my biggest joy came from cooking. That was my therapy.

I was always a healthy eater, and my mother used to tease me about my food choices. We always ate a lot of veggies. My family has a farm in South Carolina, so it was only natural that I would have a love for vegetables.

But as I got older and my palate matured, I could tell there was a difference in the quality of foods I had grown up eating and the foods I eat now. I heard that a lot from older folks, and now I understand what they meant.

Since being diagnosed with sarcoidosis, I’ve made it a priority to examine my diet and lifestyle more closely. My mother suffered various health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and other heart-related concerns. I believe that some combinations of medications had an adverse effect on her health, and I was determined not to let an abundance of medications do the same to me.

In theory, the more I can do to minimize my health problems, the better off I will be. I believe it all starts with what I put into my body.

Everything in moderation

Knowledge of food brands is extremely important. I’ve done my due diligence over the years and have learned a great deal. Having enrolled in two online nutrition courses, I knew I’d been doing the right thing by eating an abundance of vegetables and whole foods all along.

Plant-based diets are good at helping folks with chronic health issues. I’ve learned which foods cause inflammation and which are helpful. Inflammation has long been a major problem for people with sarcoidosis and other chronic health issues. A lot of folks seem to believe that poultry is a safe bet as a reliable, healthy protein. I would suggest doing your own research on the issue.

As for my family and me, we love our veggies and occasional meals with meat. But for my particular health issues, we focus more on plant-based meals. I dug out my old juicer from the basement and decided to start juicing again.

When I did it regularly in 2017, I lost a good amount of weight and was feeling really good. Because of my current health issues, I decided to stop. But with the end of the year ahead of us, and the excitement of a new year, I decided to start again. 

If you’re looking for something beneficial to juice that does a body good, I suggest beets. They’re excellent in delivering oxygenated blood to your muscles and they help dilate your arteries, which gives you more energy. I don’t know about you, but I can always use a quick and healthy pick-me-up, now more than ever!

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Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

Charlton is an independent multimedia/video producer and video editor located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. He was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 2004 at the age of 40. He has worked over 30 years in advertising and educational media. When he’s not creating, he’s in the kitchen cooking. Charlton is known as a skilled pit-master, homebrewer and jazz aficionado. He hopes his column on sarcoidosis will help inspire readers to live life the best they can, and not shed any tears for this illness.
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Charlton is an independent multimedia/video producer and video editor located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. He was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 2004 at the age of 40. He has worked over 30 years in advertising and educational media. When he’s not creating, he’s in the kitchen cooking. Charlton is known as a skilled pit-master, homebrewer and jazz aficionado. He hopes his column on sarcoidosis will help inspire readers to live life the best they can, and not shed any tears for this illness.
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