The way I see it, we as a society need to do a much better job at being healthy. Our health is determined greatly by our diet and lifestyle and when we put junk food in our bodies everyday with little exercise, we are setting ourselves up for potential risks that can debilitate us and shorten our lives. This is a problem.

I have not been doing the best job of staying healthy on a consistent basis these last few months. While I haven’t been gorging on junk food the way I used to, and I still avoid things like soda, frappachinos, Spicy Italian subs and Buffalo Wild Wings, I do love burgers and other foods high in sodium and fats, and while it is okay to indulge now and then, it is not good to make it a habit. Thankfully a year of dedicated healthy eating has sped up my metabolism and taken off over 60 pounds, but I still need to keep it up.

It isn’t just about getting that “perfect beach body” for the summer. It is about keeping our arteries clean, our hearts lean, our muscles working, our brains functional, and our internal organs healthy, hydrated, and efficient. We need to cut a lot of sugar and sodium out of our diets to prevent things like heart disease and diabetes. Lowering our trans fat and LDL cholesterol intake with help enormously reduce our risk of heart attack and stroke.

We do need to eat more healthy proteins like beans or lean meats, increase potassium with fruits and vegetables, and boost fiber as well. Get all your vitamins and make most of your beverages water. Honey and tea or black coffee (or coffee with low fat creamers and/or as little sugar as possible) are good too, in moderation. They are actually beneficial.

So many health problems can be prevented with a healthy diet early in life that is maintained throughout life. Exercising at least a few times a week, if not a little everyday, gets your body functioning at an optimal rate and keeps risks down. While it is okay to enjoy that pizza or bacon cheeseburger here and there, have long periods of time with healthy eating in between so your body is healthy enough to deal with the effects of those foods.

I find myself craving vegetables more now than I ever did in my life. Healthy foods also help reduce my anxiety and keep my moods more stable, and, though it doesn’t keep episodes from happening, it does help my brain extend periods of stability and emotional well-being.

I wonder how well off we would be if we were able to put healthy foods in schools, teaching children how to cook nutritive meals and getting them to crave foods that improve their bodies and brain power. What if we took our children out and exercised with them and taught them the value of wellness? What if we stopped advertising soda, candy, and junk so much and instead made veggies and fruits more desirable? There are many ways to make healthy meals taste delicious!

These are just some thoughts. It was partly to help me inspire myself to get back on track. Writing it out solidifies my goals and going back to read it holds me accountable. Make goals and plan how you’ll get there. We need to become a healthier society, and that’s from my perspective.