by Steven Douglas
We live in a contrasted world. Growing up in southern California during the 60’s and 70’s, I faithfully adhered to the normal conventions. I went to public school, ate the typical American diet, received the scheduled immunizations, and watched a lot of television. I was woefully ignorant regarding a classical education, feeding my body properly, immunizations, and reading books. Fortunately, this growing older dog is capable of learning new tricks. Implementing change is a difficult proposition fraught with many challenges, but progress is possible especially when we decide to make small, incremental changes.
My personal transition began later in life, but at least it’s begun. Looking back to when I was a jock in high school then later as a fit security policeman in the U.S. Air Force, I completely took my health for granted and never considered that I would one day wake up to an obese reality. Several surgeries later (including hernia, knee, and open-heart), it occurred to me that I might want to change course. What followed was a perpetual yo-yoing through a multitude of diet books, fitness regimens, and emotional bouts of eating which never left lasting results.
Today, the good fight continues as I incorporate those small lifestyle changes. Instead of perfection, I now focus on progress, and let’s get real … since the weight gain and poor health accumulated slowly over the years, can we really expect things to right themselves in just a few months? Walking a little more, cutting back and choosing healthy alternatives to my affinity for wheat and sugar, and using almond milk over regular milk are positive and encouraging steps. As a result, I have lost some weight, I have more energy, and I am no longer plagued by leg cramps and joint pain.
Since my body doesn’t do well with dairy, I’ve turned to using almond milk in my coffee and smoothies. It took a little getting used to but now I prefer the taste over cow’s milk. I also discovered, through the prompting and encouragement of my good friend Rachelle, that I can easily make healthier and delicious homemade almond milk at a fraction of the cost (see accompanying recipe). Life is still hard and we easily fall into those well-established ruts, yet with God’s help, a little effort, and a persistent willingness to shake off the dust and press on … we can make real progress. Who knows, perhaps we might even read a few great books along the way!