What you may not realize is that the state of your health is almost entirely dependent on what you put in your body. Genetics may increase or decrease your risk of certain diseases and the strength of your immune system but the bulk of diseases are preventable merely by having a healthy lifestyle. The medical industry makes money by treating diseases and not by preventing them. Usually, your doctor's goal is to treat your symptoms and not really figure out what's causing them in the first place. Humans were not designed to be fragile beings that are sick all the time. In fact, early humans died primarily from natural conditions, like starvation, weather, and animals, rather than disease. The modern environment we've created is full of toxins that our bodies can't handle, and therefore we have diseases like the common cold and cancer. Your body is actually getting rid of toxins when you have a cold so you shouldn't even take medicine to calm the symptoms because your body needs to get rid of that mucus.
I've seen a huge change in my health since I started eating healthy. I only even get sick after eating bad food and alcohol. This past winter I got a cold and sinus infection after Thanksgiving and again after New Years. I didn't take a flu shot and didn't get the flu event though I was around people that did. If your immune system is strong enough, you won't get the flu even though you may catch the flu virus. Studies have shown that you can decrease your risk of cancer and other diseases by eating a healthy diet, reducing alcohol intake, not smoking, and staying active.
So what is a healthy diet? My diet is constantly evolving but I always look at food as fuel for your body and not something that keeps your stomach full or satisfies your appetite. The basis of your diet should always be raw vegetables, whether you eat meat or not. I understand that basing your diet on vegetables is really difficult and even I struggle with it. Our society looks at vegetables as a tasteless side dish that you dreadfully have to eat. Changing your mindset on this is the only way you will obtain a healthy diet. Think of fresh vegetables as the basis of your food pyramid instead of carbs or meat. One more thing, humans were not meant to drink the milk of other mammals!
Here are some excellent resources that I've used for obtaining a healthy diet:
Peggy K's Must Have Been Something I Ate is a great resource when it comes to knowing what foods make you feel good (and which ones don't). Peggy K. is a holistic nutritionist and truly makes the connection between food and how your body operates.
Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Lifeby Brendan Brazier, who is a successful triathlete and has created a diet system for vegan athletes. He's created the brand Vega which has a lot of great products for athletes. His free online program Thrive Forward contains tons of videos, recipes, and other information from the book. It's really a great resource.
Easy Sexy Raw: 130 Raw Food Recipes, Tools, and Tips to Make You Feel Gorgeous and Satisfied by Carol Alt is a new book that I picked up and have been trying to make some recipes from. There are some great salad dressing and raw soup recipes. Eating raw is the ultimate diet!