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Priorities: What's the relative value of health?

January 2023 / by Cookhouse Hero

Before finding the WPF diet and lifestyle, my previous life was filled with excuses and I thought some were rather valid, too. However, what I finally understood was this: it's ALL about daily choices and that they don't have a chance of actually happening if our life priorities are cocky-wobbly-upside-down.


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(values alignment + commitment = a possible hospital-free life)

CH BLOG - January 2023 / © by Cookhouse Hero / Reading time: 3 minutes

What's your why?

     I keep seeing this question within the plant-focused community. It's important to be clear about our motivation(s) for moving towards eating primarily plants which isn't the societal norm. Clearly, this is changing as more people are waking up to the realities of our harmful food, beverage, and food-systems status quo. Knowing WHY we choose broccoli over beef is the first step in creating an achievable, affordable, and adventurous diet and lifestyle. My first why started with a type-2 diabetes diagnosis in 2018 that I reversed without meds. This turned into my lifelong primary why focused on health and a possible hospital-free life. My second and third whys are positively contributing to stable eco-systems and food animal welfare. These three motivations nudge my daily choices in connection with what I value most. So, our whys are at the core of our value systems. And in the food universe, this can be challenging.




The few Chicago White Sox baseball games I enjoy every summer might include treats like overly-salty peanuts and beer. I've learned to decide what I'll consume before each game, so that I can thoroughly enjoy the day without becoming obsessive. And... it takes a commitment, for sure.

Perception is everything.

     I saw a thought-provoking documentary about the pressure of being "not black enough" within the Black American community due to eating a plant-based diet and saying a polite no-thank-you to heritage foods common in that community (The Invisible Vegan - 2019). These foods include what are known as Southern or soul foods: barbeque everything, sugary beverages, cooking lard, butter, cream, processed foods, and junk foods. The film points out a perception problem focused on the concept of what's affordable or not, and the higher value placed on items such as fashion goods and beauty products. Others might spend money everyday on expensive coffee drinks but would shy away from spending money on organic bananas, for example, convinced that they're too expensive. Perception strikes again, as we prioritize one aspect of our lives over others, which might not correspond to what we hold dear. Like our health.    


I mostly grew up on a Southern-leaning Standard Western Diet within a strict family budget, and I didn't eat much fresh produce (my grandma is from Kentucky and used bacon grease for cooking lard). Instead, our budget included hot dogs, plastic orange cheese, menthol cigarettes, and fast/junk food.

What to do?

     Again, what's your why? What do you value most? How in alignment are your core values with your daily thoughts, feelings, words, and actions? This stuff goes deep, as our world-views and life experiences mold much of our reality. Sadly, many human behaviors are automatic and unconscious. On the flip side, this automatic nature can be turned into positive daily habits. We can create a kind of muscle memory and action chains which include smart routines: eating around the same times; setting aside one day per week to do batch cooking; walking and dancing and moving regularly (daily if possible); creating a sleep schedule; unplugging everyday; going food shopping earlier in the morning before the crowds; committing to a nutrient-dense food budget while putting entertainment, fashion, beauty, travel, donations, presents, etc in second, third, fourth place and so on. This list is endless. Whenever I watch wise folks in every culture, they're sure to say that health is the MOST* important aspect of living a full life. So... I'm listening. I've observed that we all share a desire to be and feel healthy and alive. Yet, we keep getting in our own way via skewed priorities and unclear values. The truth is: when our daily choices connect to our core values, priorities towards health can become crystal clear.

* ... and love.

Click on the links below to learn more about your own why towards health and longevity!

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